Records of a Moravian Boy's School

Arthur J. Lawton

Arthur J. Lawton has published three volumes about the Friedrichstown Moravian boy’s school located at the Henry Antes farmstead from April, 1745 through August, 1750. Each published volume includes full page photographs of all the original manuscript pages, transcription of the manuscript text from the old German script into modern Roman type-font and translation of the German text into English. A detailed introduction is given in both the English and German language. Volume IV, yet to be published, will be the personal papers of Henry Antes. 


The English Translations of the Lawton Volumes
Will be added to this website


Volume I is the Kirchenbuch (church-book), a register of adult staff personnel, school children, birth, baptism, death records and considerable personal information where available, about individuals.

Volume II is the Tagebuch (day-book) is the five-year daily journal of purchases, sales, and services rendered and received. Each entry records the date, individual involved, the object or service, the quantity and the cost. 

Volume III is the teacher’s manual favored at the time in all Moravian schools in Pennsylvania: two booklets in a single manuscript, Philipp Christian Bader’s “Several Remarks found Necessary about the Reading Booklet” and “Some Reminders that are Necessary to Writing.” Included also in this volume are his personal diaries of 3 “tours to and visits of the schools in this country,” in 1752, 1753 and 1754. 

Literacy education for children was an integral part of the Moravian “American Settlement Plan” by which they managed  organization of schools such as Friedrichstown. Their Jena method was formulated at the University of Jena, the fruit of an early educational reform movement bringing vernacular reading and writing to early modern Germany. Philipp Christian Bader (1715-1797) was tasked with training the school masters of Moravian congregational schools throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. The church-book and the day-book provide an intimate look into the daily lives of Friedrichstown’s  extended-family as they were fully engaged in shaping the future citizens of their community. The manuscripts of Bader describe in detail their methods for classroom management, the recognition and use of letters, syllables and words, pronunciation, punctuation and effective reading and writing. Highly successful and widely praised, their schools considered individual stages of childhood development, presented experiential learning to curious young minds, and united body, soul and spirit in an intensive spiritual community. 

The Kirchenbuch - The Church-Book



What was the Friedrichstown - Kinder - Anstalt?

Vol I Introduction


Kirchenbuch Translations

Part I - Staff, 1745

Staff of the Moravian Boys Boarding School

Includes "A Short Report on the Purpose and Beginnings of the Bording-School Boys" and detailed accounts of the staff including names, arrival date, role (teaching, caring for the children, management of the housekeeping and plantation) and date of departure.

Part II - The Students

The Students

Includes detailed information about each boy and their parents.

Part III - Index of  Births, baptisms, and deaths of children and staff.

Births and Deaths of Staff and Students