Hidden Collections

William C. Reichel Papers


Archival Description

Title: William C. Reichel Papers
Dates: n.d.
Quantity: 1 box
Identification: PP RWC
Language of Material: English
Location: Moravian Church Archives
Alternate View: View Moravian Archives Finding Aid

Scope/Contents

This collection is comprised of research notes as well as book manuscripts belonging to Bethlehem teacher, minister, and historian, William Cornelius Reichel (1824-1876). The book manuscripts include a nearly complete draft of his recounting of the Moravian Church's purchase of land from William Penn's family -- titled "The Crown Inn Near Bethlehem, Penna. circa 1745" as well as a manuscript of "A Register of Members of the Moravian Church and of persons attached to said Church in this country and abroad." Also included are extended notes relating to the Walking Purchase of 1737 and another recounting the lives of Native Americans in Pennslyvania and else where. Also in the collection are research notes pertaining to many different topics. These topics include: cemeteries in Bethlehem, the original settlers in Bethlehem, census data from Bethlehem, houses and buildings erected in the early years of Bethlehem, the Bethlehem Fire Department and the Waterworks, banking, finance and industry in Bethlehem.

In addition to his career as a teacher and a minister, Reichel was very active as historian in Bethlehem. He wrote many worked throughout his lifetime, including: "The Crown Inn near Bethlehem Penna. circa 1745," "Memorials of the Moravian Church," "A Register of the Members of the Moravian Church and of persons attached to said Church in this country and abroad," "History, Manners and Customs of the Indian Nations Who Once Inhabited Pennsylvania and the Neighboring States," "The Old Moravian Sun Inn, Bethlehem, Penna., 1758," "Friedensthal and its stockaded mill : a Moravian chronicle, 1749-1767," and "A history of the rise, progress, and present condition of the Bethlehem Female Seminary. With a catalogue of its pupils, 1785-1858" among others.


Biography/History

William Cornelius Reichel was born on May 9th, 1824 in Salem, North Carolina to Gotthold Benjamin Reichel (1785-1833) and Henriette Friederike Vierling Reichel (1793-1829). In 1834, he moved to Nazareth, Pennsylvania to attend classes at Nazareth Hall. After graduating, he taught both at Nazareth Hall and at the Moravian Female Seminary in Bethlehem. After marrying his first wife, Mary Jane Gray, in 1852, he continued his career as an educator in the Theological Seminary in Bethlehem and at Linden Hall in Lititz, Pennslyvania. After his second marriage with Addy Harkins he returned to Bethlehem and continued teaching at the Moravian Female Seminary. He died on October 25th, 1876 in Bethlehem.


Restrictions

not restricted


Custodial History

The William C. Reichel Papers were donated to the archives by John W. Jordan at an unknown time. At sometime, either by Jordan or by the archives, the papers had been sorted into general categories and labelled. In the summer of 2011, the papers were reorganized by Erin Thorn, a Lehigh University student working on the CLIR grant. At this time, the material was sorted into further categories. Also at this time, a book belonging to the Moravian Church Trombone Choir including a copy of Reichel's essay on Trombones was removed from the collection and placed into the manuscript collection (MSS).


Records

William C. Reichel Papers
Records
1. "A Register of Members of the Moravian Church and of persons attached to said church in this country and abroad"
Date: without date
Physical Description: good
Scope/Content: Includes: Draft of the register transcribed by Reichel from a manuscript by Abraham Reincke. Included a short draft of the section titled "New York, Long Island, and Staaten Island" and an extended version including several congregations throughout the United States and the World.
2. Manuscript of "The Crown Inn, near Bethlehem. Penna. 1745 : a history, touching the events that occurred at that noble hostelry, during the reigns of the second and third Georges, and rehearsing the transmission of "the Simpson tract" in the lower Saucon Township, Bucks county, in unbroken chain of title, from William Penn ... to Margaret and William Lowther ... and last, to Jasper Payne ... for the sole use and behoof of his Moravian brethren between 1681 and 1746"
Date: without date
Physical Description: good
Scope/Content: Includes: Manuscript complete save m.s. pages 49-57, includes title page as well. The manuscript was published in 1872.
3. Manuscript of "A Historical Sketch of Bethlehem, 1741-1876"
Date: without date
Physical Description: good
Scope/Content:
Note: Not complete.
4. Walking Purchase, Indian Tribes, and Boarding School extended notes
Date: without date
Physical Description: good
Scope/Content: Includes: Extended information collected by Reichel regarding the Walking Purchase of 1737, interactions of Native Americans and Settlers- titled "Introduction to Heckewelder's History of Indian Nation, Feb. 1876", as well as a long note discussing a reunion at the Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies.
5. Research notes on the history of Lehigh Valley and Bethlehem
Date: without date
Physical Description: good
Scope/Content: Includes: Research notes pertaining to general history of the Lehigh Valley and Bethlehem in particular. Among these notes are copies of entries from the Bethlehem Diary, information on Bethlehem Church bells, and the history of businesses in the Lehigh Valley.
6. Research notes on Industry, Finance, Post Office, Water Works, Fire Department
Date: without date
Physical Description: good
Scope/Content: Includes: Research notes pertaining to the slate and coal industrial hub that was booming in Bethlehem at the time of Reichel's death. Also included are notes on the history of the Bethlehem Fire Department, the Water Works, and the First National Bank in Bethlehem.
7. Research notes on buildings in Bethlehem
Date: without date
Physical Description: good
Scope/Content: Includes: Research notes pertaining to the building of homes and other buildings in the city of Bethlehem. Several notes include hand drawn maps of an early Bethlehem. Others include lists of family's street numbers and timelines of the development of various properties in the city.
8. Research notes on Bethlehem's population
Date: without date
Physical Description: good
Scope/Content: Includes: Research notes pertaining to the population in the city of Bethlehem. Among these papers include information on cemeteries, census information, and short biographical information on many of Bethlehem's early settlers. Also included are general notes regarding various topics.