The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Muhlenberg a recruiter for the Revolutionary War?

PBS History Detectives host Elyse Luray (left) talks with Mary Redline, library archives/project manager at the Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia, about a cloak that’s part of the school’s historical collection.

In a History Detectives segment in July, Luray delved into rare period accounts from Lutheran pastor Peter Muhlenberg’s family, friends and contemporaries to learn whether the cloak was really the one Muhlenberg tore from his shoulders during a fiery sermon in January 1776, revealing a uniform. It’s said that he rallied some 300 parishioners to the patriotic cause with that act. While it was determined the robe was authentic, the dramatic disrobing was deemed a myth.

Peter Muhlenberg’s father was Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, considered a founder of U.S. Lutheranism and of many congregations that still exist today.


Scott  Brissey

Scott Brissey

Posted at 1:13 pm (U.S. Eastern) 9/20/2007

Henry Muhlenberg is also considered "the father of American botany'.  His drawing are still used as references to plant life in early America, especially in Pennsylvania, where he spent much of his ministry in America.   He is  still honored: more than 300 plant names include 'muhlenbergia', the latinized version of his name. 

Perhaps his interest started as he strolled through the woods, composing sermons. 

Does anyone know how Muhlenberg started drawing plants?

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