Hidden Collections

Louis Francis Kampmann Papers

Archival Description

Title: Louis Francis Kampmann Papers
Dates: 1832 - 1884
Quantity: 1 box
Identification: PP KLF
Language of Material: German; English
Location: Moravian Church Archives
Alternate View: View Moravian Archives Finding Aid


The collection includes documents about the Kampmann family history and Kampmann's family life, including a list of ancestors, Christian Kampmann's will, memoirs, and birthday odes and poems. The bulk of the collection is related to Kampmann's attendance at the General Synod at Herrnhut in 1857. He wrote fifteen letters home (in English) detailing his experiences at Synod and his travels and experience in Europe. The Synod of 1857 was particularly significant because it dealt with the potential separation of the provinces. Prior to Synod, Kampmann had a copy of "An Appeal for United Prayer" (Oct. 11, 1856, Gnadenfeld), and a copy of the proposal to alter section III.A of the Synod Results (Synodalverlass) of 1848, and a long treatise by Hermann Plitt from 1856. Kampmann received two letters while at Hernnhut, and had a copy of John Henry Buchner's explanation of his position. In his own hand, Kampmann copied a letter admitting mistakes in "Was ist Wahrheit?" which was originally written by Buchner. During his trip, Kampmann kept detailed records of his expenses. The latter part of the collection includes lecture notes and material relating to the Bethlehem Sabbath School (Sunday School).


Lewis Francis Kampmann was born in Philadelphia, Pa., on Feb. 16, 1817. He died in Bethlehem on Oct. 21, 1884. His father was Dr. Franz Christian Kampmann (born Sept. 29, 1745 in Schwingelsen (Schwindratzheim)/Elsass, died Nov. 6, 1832 in Bethlehem) and his mother was Anna Rebecca Heckewelder (July 14, 1791 - Dec 11, 1818). Through his mother's family, Kampmann was related to the Nitschmann family from Zauchtenthal, Moravia. Kampmann became a pupil at Nazareth Hall as a very young child because of his mother's early death. He studied theology in preparation to enter the ministry, and remained as a teacher at Nazareth Hall in 1835. In 1840, Kampmann was sent as the assistant missionary among the Indians in Upper Canada. He arrived in New Fairfield on Nov. 14, 1840. He returned to Bethlehem and married Maria Louisa Oerter on Nov . 14, 1843. They had 8 children, but only 3 survived. On Nov. 15, 1845 he was ordained as a minister by Bishop Benade and he and his wife were sent to Canal Dover, Ohio. He spent 7 years as a pastor, and then spent 2 more years in Gnadenhütten, Ohio beginning in 1850. Kampmann became the junior pastor of the congregation in Bethlehem in 1851 and remained until 1855 before serving the congregation in Lancaster. Kampmann conducted the first church service in the District School House in June of 1857. He was ordained as a Presbyter in Lancaster by Bishop Peter Wolle on Dec. 27, 1857. During the same year, Kampmann travelled to Germany as an American delegate at the General Synod at Herrnhut. Between 1858-1864, Kampmann served as the Head Professor (President) of the Moravian College and Theological Seminary in Bethlehem.


no restrictions

Custodial History

The collection came to the archives at an unknown date after Kampmann's death. The papers were originally arranged by Rev. Vernon Nelson and Dr. Lothar Madeheim between 1966-1979. A note from approximately the same time period states that the collection came from Mrs. Kampmann in the Sisters' House. The collection was rearranged by Kristine Mayer in the spring of 2010.

Related Material

2 photos of Lewis Kampmann are located in the photo collection.


Louis Francis Kampmann Papers
1. Notes relating to collection contents
Date: 1966 - 1979
Physical Description: 4 papers
Scope/Content: Includes:
a note stating how the collection was aquired and detailed lists of the contents written by Rev. Vernon Nelson and Dr. Lothar Madeheim
2. Papers relating to ancestors and memoirs
Date: 1832 - 1884
Physical Description: 4 items
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. A list of ancestors of Lewis Fr. Kampmann
2. Will of Christian Frederic Kampmann
3. Memoir of Lewis Kampmann
4. Memoir of Laura Augusta Keller
3. Poems by Louis Francis Kampmann
Date: 1866 - 1867, nd
Physical Description: 2 books
4. Letters from Kampmann to his family, written during his journey to attend General Synod at Herrnhut
Date: 1857
Physical Description: 15 letters and envelopes
Scope/Content: Includes:
letters to Maria L. Kampmann and daughters Josey and Laura.
5. Papers and letters relating to the Synod
Date: 1856 - 1857, nd
Physical Description: 4 items
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. Copy of the proposal to alter III, A of the Synodal Verlass of 1848, nd
2. An Appeal for United Prayer, Oct. 11, 1856
3. Long treatise from Hermann Plitt, May 28, 1856
4. Letter from Ernst Wilhelm Cröger, Sept. 1, 1857; Letter from Jeremias Scholz, July 2, 1857
5. Letter from Wilhelm Müller, July 13, 1857
6. copy of John Henry Buchner's explanation, July 11, 1857
7. Kampmann's copy of J.H. Buchner's letter, nd
Note: More information about Kampmann's activities and impressions during his time of the Synod can be found in the letters to his family. The copy of Buchner's letter that Kampmann made, and the letter explaining Buchner's position provide an interesting connection to the letter Buchner's controversial letter, "Was ist Wahrheit?"
6. Travel expenses and notes
Date: 1857
Physical Description: 5 items
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. List of expenses
2. Travel notes
3. Travel schedule
4. Expense book
5. Card from a bath in Herrnhut
Note: All pieces in the group are related to Kampmann's trip to the General Synod in 1857
7. Material relating to the Bethlehem Sunday School
Date: 1854 - 1855, nd
Physical Description: 5 items
Scope/Content: Includes:
1. Hymns for the Sunday School Anniversary, Oct. 8, 1854
2. Music for the hymns
3. Kampmann's Sunday School notes, Sept. 23, 1855.
4. Scriptural Album with Floral Illustrations, presented to Kampmann on Sept. 29, 1855
5. Christmas texts for transparencies, nd