Nous suivrons ce Christian AUGSBURGER (68)
qui s’installe dans l’Ohio, à Milford Twp
à Madison Twp (69)
. Il fait partie de cette grande tribu qui descend du premier Nicolas AUGSBURGER, le compagnon de Jacob AMMAN; il est parent à quelque degré avec les AUGSBURGER des censes de Salm, même si je ne me risquerai pas dans l’exercice du tracé de tableau généalogique, exercice toujours dangereux avec des familles aussi foisonnantes et aussi réticentes à l’enregistrement.
L’Ohio, c’est l’Etat américain qui se trouve juste à l’ouest de la Pennsylvanie. C’est celui que convoitaient des premiers colons de Pennsylvanie une fois que leur famille avait foisonné et qu’ils voulaient des terres supplémentaires pour leurs nombreux enfants.
La famille AUGSBURGER implante le Mennonisme dans les villages de l’Ohio où elle arrive. Elle prend immédiatement le leadership, comme elle le fait en Alsace depuis le premier Nicolas AUGSBURGER, fondateur du mouvement Amish aux côtés de Jacob AMMAN, et jusqu’à cet autre Nicolas AUGSBURGER, ancien des anabaptistes de Salm, que nous connaissons bien.
Il semblerait que la famille AUGSBURGER se voie reconnaître une certaine légitimité à exercer la «cléricature». Ayons une pensée pour cette pauvre famille allemande qui vint rejoindre la communauté, et qui se vit demander de renoncer à son piano, pauvre relique d’une vie civilisée, transporté dans les conditions qu’on devine en chariot bâché…
En Ohio, se met en place une organisation tout aussi rigoriste qu’en Alsace, et même plus puisque le Mennonite qui quitte sa communauté pour une autre doit présenter à cette dernière un certificat de bonne conduite signé du chef de la communauté d’origine…
Les extraits ci-dessous donnent tous les détails possibles.
Voici à quoi ressemblait le village de Milford Township dans les années 1805:
«From 1803 to 1806 the settlers were tried by the pinches of poverty. Most of them had to travel fourteen miles through the wilderness to mill; McCullough's, at that time, being the principal one, which was situated on the Big Miami, about two miles above Hamilton.
The Indians begged "ochpon" (bread), "monako" (milk), and "quis-quish" (meat) from nearly all the settlers, and were very annoying. Some of them often appeared in full war dress, painted, and the scalpingknife by their side. Others wore the uniform of an officer, whom they had previously killed and robbed. Two of them were known by the names of Bill KILLBUCK and MISHAWA, the latter a Shawanee chief, who is believed to have been killed at the battle of the Thames, by Colonel JOHNSON's men.
In the Fall of 1804, Robert CRANE and Isaac SIMPSON, who had been to mill, and who were returning home, raised the well-known Indian yell. The neighbors took fright, some fleeing to Robert OGLE's and others to L. R. COOCH's. Before morning the little settlement had collected for resistance, but the cause was found out, and all was quiet again.
During the same Fall a Baptist preacher, by the name of PATTERSON, from South Carolina, a traveling minister, preached, at the house of L. R. COOCH, the first sermon ever delivered in that part of the township»
Voici les conditions d’installation de la famille AUGSBURGER:
« AUGSPURGER, SCHULMEISTER, KINSINGER (Madison Twp., pp. 600-601), In the year 1819 Christian AUGSPURGER and family, and his brother, Joseph AUGSPURGER, and family and his second cousin, Jacob AUGSPURGER, and family, and others immigrated from near Strasbourg
, France, to Butler County, and settled near Collinsville, Milford Township, where Christian AUGSPURGER bought a farm of about three hundred acres of land, of which there was about one hundred acres improved; but as the other AUGSPURGERs were short of means they rented farms. Things looked very gloomy then, however, for farmers, and to make money was almost an impossibility, as the prices for produce were very much depressed, and there was no money scarcely to be had for any thing. Corn was ten cents per bushel; wheat, twenty-five cents; butter three cents per pound, and pork one dollar and a half per hundred pounds, net. Whisky, however, was fifty cents a gallon, but people did not know how to manufacture it then as well as they do now, and beer was scarcely known in Butler County. Whisky, however, was the most profitable product, as it could be transported to the market with less expense, as there were no turnpikes, canals, or railroads, to facilitate travel; in fact, there were nothing but mud-roads. The farm implements, also, were very inferior to those now used, and grain separators, reapers, self-binders, and mowers were not known. Grain was cut with the sickle, and here and there a cradle was used.
The change for the AUGSPURGERs from Europe to America was very great, and especially for Christian AUGSPURGER, as he lived on one of the finest and best improved farms in France, consisting of about five hundred acres of choice land. The farm was leased for a number of years, and belonged to Charles SCHULMEISTER, who served as a spy under Napoleon the First, and was considered to one of the best. His property was very valuable. The farm on which Christian AUGSPURGER lived was so well improved, that princely personages and generals in the army frequently paid their visits there. SCHULMEISTER also lived on the farm. It happened, however, that Marshal Bertrand received a large territory from Napoleon the First, on which he wished to introduce farming according to French style, and sought advice or information in regard to it; for which purpose he requested Christian AUGSPURGER to come to Paris, where Bertrand then lived. Christian AUGSPURGER complied with the request, and, in company with his cousin, Nicholas AUGSPURGER, went there for the purpose, to the satisfaction of the marshal. They were shown through all the parliamentary buildings and saw the throne. Later, Christian AUGSPURGER received the medal of the Legion of Honor, which is now in possession of his children as a memento. The medal consists of a ruby in the form of a star, with gilded points, and a ribbon affixed thereto, with a description, and signed in the name of the emperor.
In 1827, however, Christian AUGSPURGER family had increased to twelve in number, six sons and six daughters. The names of his sons were Joseph, Christian, Jacob, John, Samuel, and Frederick; and the names of his daughters were Catherina, Magdelina, Barbara, Mary, Jacobina, and Anna. In 1829 Christian AUGSPURGER bought another farm, about two and a half miles south of Trenton, in Madison Township, where he moved in 1830; and later the other AUGSPURGERs followed him to the vicinity of Trenton also.
In 1846 Christian AUGSPURGER's wife died, and in 1848 he also died. The property that Christian owned consisted of nineteen hundred and seventy-five acres of choice land in Butler County, besides a large personal estate, which was all divided equally among his children
(note: on est non violent chez les AUGSBURGER, mais on n’est guère curieux sur l’origine de toute cette terre … MF
). The number of the descendants of the AUGSPURGERs now living is about one hundred and eighty, of whom about one hundred and fifty are living in Butler County; the others have moved to Illinois and Iowa
, and two, C. KINSINGER and P. KINSINGER, are now living in Cincinnati with their families. The amount of land now owned by the descendants of the AUGSPURGERs, in Butler, Warren, and Preble Counties, is about three thousand six hundred and sixty-three acres
. The AUGSPURGERs nearly all belong to the Mennonite denomination, as their fathers did.»
Voici comment la famille AUGSBURGER organise la vie anabaptiste à Madison Township:
There are a large number of Mennonites settled south of Trenton, who form an excellent portion of the population. When the Augspurgers left Europe, in 1819, a Mennonite elder or bishop, by the name of John Miller, and his family, started with them; but when they arrived in Pennsylvania he left them; and so the Augspurgers were without an elder or bishop when they arrived in Butler County.
In 1828, however, two elders or bishops made their appearance in Butler County, one from Canada and the other from Pennsylvania, and meetings were held in the dwelling-houses, as they had no meeting-houses at that time.
In 1830 Jacob Augspurger, the second cousin of Christian Augspurger, was elected and qualified to the office of elder or bishop of the congregation, and the other elders left for other parts. In 1832 a colony of Mennonites from Hesse-Darmstadt and Kurhesse, Germany, arrived in Butler County, amongst whom were the Holly and Iutzi families, who brought along with them musical instruments, such as pianos, for their enjoyment, which was quite a surprise to those Mennonites that lived in Butler County then, as they were not used to such things
. Their dress, also, was more fashionable, to which those that lived here then were not accustomed, and it caused much dissatisfaction amongst the old people. Finally it created a division of the members into two parties; and the other party, which may be termed the liberal party, obtained another elder or bishop from Germany, by the name of John Miller; and Joseph Augspurger, Christian Holly, and Peter Kennel were elected assistant ministers, and the two parties held their meetings separately in their dwellings. In 1847 Elder Jacob Augspurger died, and his son, Nicholas Augspurger, was elected in his place; and in 1860 Elder Miller moved to Illinois, and Joseph Augspurger was elected in his place as elder.
By this time their numbers had increased so that their dwellings were too small for their accommodation, and they concluded to build meeting-houses. Consequently, in 1863, two meeting-houses were built, one by each party, south-west of Trenton, near the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad, where meetings are now held alternately every Sunday in each meeting-house, so as to give to the members an opportunity to visit both meetings.
An organized Mennonite meeting consists of one elder or bishop
, (note: en Alsace, en théorie, il n’y a ni ministres ni évêques; il y a donc eu un renforcement du pouvoir clérical à l’occasion de la migration MF
) one or more assistants or preachers, and one or more deacons (re-note: oh h là la… On nous décrit là toute une hiérarchie à plusieurs niveaux… Décidément, la migration en Amérique a fait le jeu du pouvoir clérical. MF
). The duty of the elder or bishop is to preach and perform the sacramental ceremonies, and to take good care of his flock; the duty of the assistant ministers is to assist the elder in preaching and obtain practice in the art of preaching; and the duty of the deacons is to take care of the finances of the Church, and look after the poor and sick, and supply their wants. The ministers are all elected by the members of the Church by ballot; but when there is a tie declared, one of the two largest in number is drawn by lot. The elder or bishop is elected from among the assistant ministers of the Church; but the assistant ministers are elected from among the members of the Church to which they belong. They receive no salary; but if they are in need they are assisted by the Church.
The religious principles of the Mennonites are as follows: They are opposed to infant baptism. Their children are generally baptized when from fourteen to sixteen years old, which is done by sprinkling. They are opposed to bearing arms and to swearing oaths (note: l’opposition aux armes doit être relativisée, car nos pacifistes ne sont pas contre le fait d’occuper des terres récemment prises à autrui par la force; l’opposition au serment doit être relativisée également; ceux qui sont venus en Amérique avant la Révolution ont forcément prononcé le «test oath», à savoir le serment de fidélité à l’Angleterre MF
). They are opposed to going to law with each other; but when they have difficulties they try to settle them among themselves. They are opposed to the practice of dancing and going to balls, and to extravagance in their dress. They generally hold their communion twice a year -- that is, at Easter and in the Fall -- on which occasion they wash each other's feet. Some Mennonites, however, neglect doing this. When a member removes from one place to another where he is not well known, he is required to show a certificate of membership in writing of his good standing in the congregation where he is from, before he is admitted as a member in his new home. Such certificate must be signed by the elder or bishop of the congregation where he is from
. Members are excluded from the communion for immoral conduct, and are banished from the Church for committing a crime; and in some localities they are refused admission to the communion, and are even expelled
, for disobedience to their Church rules. »