The Huguenots of 1709-10: Why They Came and Where They Stayed
The French Protestants known as Huguenots played a huge part in the development of early America, and there were few places they didn’t settle . . . ironically, though, they generally avoided their fellow Frenchmen, preferring to remain among the Englishmen and Germans who accepted their views and shared their Protestant faith.
Colonies of Huguenots grew up around New Paltz, New York and Manakin, Virginia, among other sites. But the colonization was especially prolific in 1709-1710, when large numbers of French Protestants arrived from Germany and Switzerland. This particular group came as a response to England’s Queen Anne’s offer of new opportunities and religious freedom. Life for these settlers was harsh; they were forced to weather a “stopover” in London, and when they finally reached New York, many chose to move south to Pennsylvania.
Besides the “Queen Anne Huguenots” lead by Reverend Joshua Kocherthal, there were the aforementioned colonies at Manakin and New Paltz and additional settlements full of Huguenots in North Carolina. The North Carolina Huguenots camped out around the area of Neuse River and later founded New Bern, which was named for Bern, Switzerland. Many Huguenots came from Switzerland to America, having been born in that country rather than in France due to their families having fled persecution.
It is interesting to note that by this time in history there were large numbers of Huguenots in England, Scotland, and Germany, as well as America, and that South Africa still hosted a good many Huguenots or descendants of Huguenots. Their homeland of France may not have wanted them, but French Huguenots disseminated their values, faith, and industry across the globe, much to the benefit of those nations among whom they settled.
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved