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Forecasting Loss: Christoph Saur's Pennsylvania German Calender (1751 To 1757)

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Chapter Summary

The Hoch-Deutsch Americanische Calender forecast heavy losses for 1755. Penned by full-time separatist and printer, occasional pamphleteer, and frequent polemicist Christoph Saur, the popular almanac offered a medium for sustained reflection on the various kinds of loss experienced by German migrants to British North America. Over the many pages of the Calender, Saur's sharp tongue is unusually mild. In the almanac, Saur largely refrains from the polemical language he deployed elsewhere, for example, in the pages of his first weekly and then bi-weekly newspaper, the Pennsylvanische Berichte (Pennsylvanian Reports), or in the print salvoes he exchanged with Franklin or with the founder of Ephrata Cloister, Conrad Beissel. Saur uses almanac's conversations as a pulpit from which to preach a message he believed crucial to keeping the colony's peace. Finally, to the chagrin of Benjamin Franklin and others, Saur's publications steered readers to support the colony's long dominant Quaker political party.

Keywords: almanac's conversations; Benjamin Franklin; British North America; Christoph Saur; German migrants; Hoch-Deutsch Americanische Calender; Pennsylvanian reports

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