The Christopher Sower
In the last Mac History Tale, I introduced you to a very important German family. Over the years they helped to shape not only the lives of the Dunkards, but also the lives of many other people living in the new world. Christopher printed not only a German Bible but also a Bible in English. This was the first Bible printed in the new world except for Eliot' Indian Bible. After his experience with Ben Franklin, he built a foundry where he made his own type and was even able to improve on how the type was made with the help of a soldier. He made his own paper, ink, and bound the books when he finished printing them. Christopher was also able over the years to use his vast knowledge to invent many things that helped make printing easier. Christopher's main interests in life were printing, but his son had other interests. Christopher Sower Jr. became a bishop in the Dunker church. It was he who oversaw the printing of a second and third edition of the German Bible in America. His hard work helped the family business to become the largest book-manufactory in the country during the 1700s. But there is an even more important gift this family gave to the colonial people that is still with us today.
Christopher Sower Jr. continued his father's business of taking herbs and other plants to make medicine. This medicine was sent to all parts of the colonies. He even helped to start the Germantown Academy. However Christopher Sower took his duties of being a bishop even more seriously and showed it in both word and deed. He spent much time preaching against war and fighting of any kind and was also against slavery. Unfortunately he lived during a time when the new world was trying to gain independ-ence from the English. Many of the people did not want to hear about peace but
instead were trying to get all men to join in the fight against the English. The Continental Congress considered Sower to be a spy and a sympathizer of the English so he was arrested and put into jail. His printing press and all the equipment was taken and sold at auction. When Christopher Sower Jr. was let out of jail, he went to live with his daughter. He died a very poor man,
but rich in the knowledge that he stood up for his beliefs.
The Sower family was able to rebuild over time and become once again a very important printing family. The house that Christopher Sower, Sr. built for the Dunkards to use upstairs as a meeting place was eventually replaced with the Germantown Meeting house. This family truly did live up to their motto “For the Glory of God and My Neighbor's Good.”