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  • The Salzburgers of Ebenezer

    Amy Lebey, the Salzburger historian, tells why Lutherans moved from Salzburg, Austria to the Georgia colony in the 1700s. Georgia was very different from Salzburg, and it took a lot of adjusting to make their home in New Ebenezer, Georgia. The church they built still stands today. 

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Why did the Salzburgers have to leave their native Austria? In what year did they begin to come?
     
    2. What else did Salzburgers desire other than freedom to practice their faith?
     
    3. Describe the problem with the first place given to the Salzburgers in Georgia.
     
    4. Why is there no longer a town of Ebenezer in South Georgia?

    Expansion

    1. You are the leader of a group of people who have to leave your home and your state to start over somewhere else. Make a list or form a plan to begin to build a new life for yourself and the families you lead. Describe what the place will look like. Describe the way you think the “town” or settlement will look when completed. What will you need to take with you or acquire before you get there? How will you live until you can get houses and businesses going? What expertise will the settlers need to have in order to build this new living space? How will you keep order among the people?

    2. After listening to Salzburger descendants talk with one another, discuss why it is important to reconnect friends and relatives who share a common past.

    Vocabulary

    Protestant: members of various Christian churches that are distinct from the Catholic church; founded by Martin Luther who, in the 15th century, “protested” against some of the practices of the Catholic church (Protestant Reformation)
    incendiary: a substance or weapon (such as a bomb) used to start fires
    Salzburgers: a group of German-speaking Protestant colonists

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Why did the Salzburgers have to leave their native Austria? In what year did they begin to come?
    They were Protestants in a Catholic country. The Catholics told them they would have to give up their religion or their land. They gave up their land, and they traveled to the New World to escape religious persecution. Here in Georgia they were able to practice their Protestant faith - Lutheran. They began to come in 1734.
     
    2. What else did Salzburgers desire other than freedom to practice their faith?
    They wanted land of their own that they could work without being told what to plant and how to do it. They were much like sharecroppers. Oglethorpe promised and gave them this land.
     
    3. Describe the problem with the first place given to the Salzburgers in Georgia.
    The land was so marshy and swampy land that many of them died from dysentery caused by drinking and cooking with the bad water. Malaria, caused by mosquitoes and the standing water, also decreased their number.
     
    4. Why is there no longer a town of Ebenezer in South Georgia?
    The Revolutionary War came to Savannah. The town of Ebenezer was burned. They rebuilt, but the Civil War came. Sherman’s troops came through and destroyed the small town. The only building left is the Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, the oldest church building in Georgia.

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