Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade - my 70th and taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.
Here in North America no one can say they are not an immigrant or descended from immigrants. Every human on this continent is descended from ancestors who came from other shores, even Native Americans whose ancestors came tens of thousands of years ago, looking for a better life.
Here is my immigrant ancestor's story:
In the first decade of the 18th century Benedict Brechbuohl was the leading teacher and preacher of the Swiss Mennonites. Because of his influence with the sect, the Swiss government more than doubled the reward for his capture. He was imprisoned in 1709 after being expelled twice from Berne and was one of 58 Mennonites who were deported in 1710, to be taken by force to North Carolina. With the others he escaped to Holland and returned to Manheim, Germany where he had been elder and preacher before his capture in Switzerland. While in Mannheim, he acted as agent to whom the Dutch Mennonites sent financial aid for not only distressed in Germany but also in Switzerland. He also went to Prussia to visit land on which King Frederick wished to found a Mennonite Colony. In 1717 he with Burcholder, presided at a conference of Mennonite leaders which resulted in the decision to migrate to America.
He sold his house and farm situated near Weiler in Sape, on the river Werre in Germany for 700 Rix dollars ($570.15). He sailed for America with his wife and three children and landed in Philadelphia August 24th, 1717 having been on passage for 12 weeks. Their expenses were $30.44 a piece. He (purchased) 530 acres of land for $186.66. This land was between Strasburg, PA and Bunker Hill and was purchased from Hans Funk.
Rev. Benedict Brechbuohl was born in Transelwald, Berne, Switzerland in 1666, died near Strasburg in 1720 three years after his arrival.
My uncle did the genealogy research for this many years ago and wrote this history. I am the ninth generation descended from this immigrant who was fleeing religious persecution in his home country.
I don't know if I would have had the courage to uproot myself and travel to an unknown land despite stories of how much better life would be. Who are we to deny immigrants fleeing violence, hatred, war, prejudice ...?
I haven't been on a Vantage House "field trip" for a bit. We've had a change in staff and organizing these has not been high on the priority list. This trip to Annapolis was well done, however.
It was a lovely day, blue sky, light wind, low humidity. Perfect for taking a tour of one of the service academies. The others are the Army's West Point in NY and the Air Force academy in Colorado Springs.
The campus is huge and we saw only a bit of it.
Our tour guide (yellow shirt below) was a retired Navy doctor and has been doing these tours for 15 years. He was very knowledgeable.
The Academy mascot is a goat!
Heads of departments get some pretty fancy mansions to live in. This is actually a duplex but each side is huge.
We didn't go in many buildings but the doors on this one were interesting as
was the light with the ship on top.
The top of the Navy Chapel peeks through the tree tops.
One of two buildings we entered was Dahlgren Hall.
One of the Wright Brothers' planes hangs in there. The guide said it could still fly.
Two Japanese torpedoes are on display. Here's one of them.
The nation's largest dormitory here at the Academy houses all the cadets and their huge dining room. Here's one corner.
Cadets assemble here before each noon meal time. None until later this summer as all are off on assignments and training for the summer.
The architect modeled this building on French architecture.
Tecumseh statute. Cadets flip a coin up to the arrow case before exams for good luck.
And inside the chapel
This candle is lit at every service to honor the missing in action from the Viet Nam War.
We saw very few midshipmen when we were there. The class is 1/3 women but I think they're all called midshipmen.
Here's the gate where we met our bus after lunching on campus.
I had toured the Academy before but with 4th graders in tow. It was nice to go on an adult tour and learn other tidbits about the place.