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Queen Anne's Proclamation - Free land in America

During my research of my Hollenbeck ancestors, I came across an interesting book published in 1823, which provides much valuable insight into the arrival of the Germans in Schoharie County, New York.

The book, titled "A brief sketch of the first settlement of the county of Schoharie, by the Germans : being an answer to a circular letter addressed to the author by The historical and philosophical society of the state of New York", by John Mathias Brown (1745-1838), can be found on here.

In these two excerpts, the author explains how the Germans came to be in Schoharie County, New York:

"Queen Anne having intended to settle America, sent her agent to purchase land from the natives; for which purpose she sent messengers to Germany to invite people to come over and settle, and promised that they should have the land they possessed free. In consequence thereof, many came over, and a purchase was made, beginning near little Schoharie creek, at high water mark of the big Schoharie river, and at an oak stump, burned out hollow by the Indians to serve for stamping their corn; where a stone heap was erected, which stands to this day". (Click here to continue reading on page 13).

Queen Anne and her husband Prince George of Denmark by Charles Boit 1706
Queen Anne & husband Prince George of Denmark by Charles Boit 1706

"Queen Anne had caused her proclamation to be carried through all Germany, inviting people to come over to settle the New World, promising there to given them lands gratis, and that they should all be free, or have and enjoy freedom. O! Liberty was sweet - that they like Abraham of old, left their fathers, friends and nations. And in the year 1710, on New Year's day, started for the unknown land; went down the river Rhine, where they were provided with shipping to Holland, from thence to England, and there provided, so went on to America. They had a very tedious voyage; a great many died, and the remainder landed at New York in the year 1712, on the 14th day of June, after having been one year, five months and several days on their journey." (Click here to continue reading on page 20).

Queen Anne died at Kensington Palace at the age of 49 on August 1, 1714. The portrait of her and her husband, Prince George of Denmark, was made by Charles Boit in 1706.

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