Ohio History Journal

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The nucleus of the material hereinafter collected is taken

from an article1 by the eminent German-American historian,

Henry A. Ratterman, who from 1868 to 1887, published Der

Deutsche Pionier, in Cincinnati.

The historian will note that of all the great nations of west-

ern Europe, during the centuries immediately following the dis-

covery of America, Germany alone took no official part in the

colonization of the newly discovered hemisphere. This was un-

doubtedly due to the demoralized condition of Germany in con-

sequence of the terrible civil and religious wars that again and

again swept over that country. Besides, Germany was not a

maritime nation, nor were the Germans by nature inclined to

conquest and colonization. With the recovery of Germany after

the religious wars which had reduced the population, the Ger-

mans, in view of their economic condition, started an enormous

movement of emigration to America, and especially to Pennsyl-

vania, at the beginning of the last century. Previous to the

American Revolution it is estimated that over one hundred

thousand Germans and Swiss settled in Pennsylvania alone.

The subject of this sketch was a member of one of those

families that sought greater opportunities in the new world. Mar-

tin Baum, a descendant of an Alsatian family, was born July

15, 1765, according to Tournier, in Hagenau, Alsace. In various

brief biographies heretofore included in histories of Cincinnati,

it is stated that his father came from Straszburg, Alsace, and

settled at Hagerstown, Maryland, where young Martin was born

June 14, 1756. This is a pronounced variance in time and place,


1 In Der Deutsche Pionier, X (1878), 42-48.