Our annual mmeeting and free lecture takes place this afternoon!!
Join the Lititz Historical Foundation for our annual meeting lecture on Saturday November 18th beginning at 1:30pm at the Lititz Public Library. After some very brief items of business, we will welcome Scott Paul Gordon, who will present a program on Moravian sister Mary Penry (1735-1804). Penry spent most of her adult life in Lititz, arriving in 1762 as one of the first women to populate the new single sisters’ choir house. For more than forty years in Lititz, Penry kept the diary of the single sister’s choir and served as the choir house’s clerk, recording the varied business activities related to the choir’s textile industries and its girls’ school. She was responsible for guiding visitors around the community; she earned income from her embroidery; and was paid to translate documents from German into English. Penry remained single for her entire life, an extremely rare phenomenon in early America where nearly all women married (and remarried). Penry knew that this opportunity was possible only because she lived in a Moravian community.
Few early American women produced such a prodigious amount of first-person writing as Mary Penry. Penry’s sharp eye and skillful pen recorded an ox roasted on the frozen Delaware, air balloons that some had proposed for transatlantic travel, a visit to Philadelphia’s “African church,” and the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion. She corresponded with Benjamin Rush, met the Miami chief Little Turtle, was lifelong friends with the Quaker Elizabeth Drinker, and knew everybody in the late eighteenth-century Moravian church.
Gordon is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Chair at Lehigh University. He teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level in eighteenth-century transatlantic literature. He has served as the Director of the First-Year Writing Program; Director of Lehigh University Press; and as chair of the Department of English. #lititz #lititzpa #moravian #communityevents #lititzlibrary #history @spgbethlehem