Amish Arrivals:
An Amish Historical Romance Short Story.
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Amish Arrivals by Elizabeth Grace Pennman

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The first half of the eighteen century saw an influx of Amish immigrants to the New World, hardy settlers who desired to escape from religious persecution in their Palatinate homeland.

But are their troubles over? Amish Arrivals is the first story in the "Amish in the New World' series, an historical fiction romance series inspired by the experiences of the determined pioneer settlers in Pennsylvania. 

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Amish Arrivals - Chapter Read 

Chapter One


     The sea voyage was over at last and the Bylers thanked Gott for seeing them through the perilous crossing. They were more fortunate than some of their fellow passengers who had suffered the misfortune of losing one or more family members to disease and injury during the course of what they could now regard as an adventure. The memories they had accumulated over the previous few months might fade but they would never been forgotten, nor would the friendships which had been forged through shared adversity.


Rebekkah Byler was a solid, strong young woman who was not afraid of anything Gott sent her way and she was prepared to carve out a new life here in the New World, together with her husband, for their three kinner


Rebekkah's sister Hannah had come with them, since there was nothing left for her back in the Palatinate and with Rebekkah, she shepherded the kinner off the ship while Peter attended to the formalities of registering their arrival at Philadelphia Pennsylvania. This was the place they would start out from before heading north west into the wilderness.

 There were families here, who had come before them, establishing farms and hewing a living from the fertile earth. The Bylers would do the same but Peter, unlike the majority of his fellow compatriots, had a plentiful supply of funds with which to purchase a large tract of land as well as the goods and chattels necessary for a successful venture.

 This was an important consideration if they were to survive the coming winter before clearing, plowing and planting the following spring. First though, they had to buy food and organize shelter before the cold set in. 

"It is so gut to be here at last. The most charming thing about the Charming Nancy is being off her I think. I never thought we would spend so long cooped up below decks. But never mind, soon we will be able to clean ourselves and our clothes. Ach Hannah, I cannot wait to be on our land, to breathe the fresh air of our new country. Philadelphia smells like most other cities and I would prefer clean country air for my family."

  "I am looking forward to it too, but I wish our parents were here with us to enjoy it."

  "Jah, but they would not have survived the voyage. We will do our best to make them proud of us here in the New World and their deaths will not be meaningless. Let us trust Gott to give us the strength to make a new life here. It will be hard work but we can live and worship without fear of persecution."

 "Rebekkah, look over there. It is Peter with our things. Let's take our hand luggage while all our other baggage is unloaded." They sat down where they were directed, among the family belongings.

     "Are you finished yet Peter? Do you have more to attend to before we set out?"

 "Jah Rebekkah, I must see about many things and it will be necessary to stay here in the town for a few days and purchase everything we need prior to leaving. It is important we are well provisioned because it is too far to our land to be traveling back here all the time for things we've forgotten. I will explain everything to you when we are settled at the inn. Come now. You and the little ones should rest up a little and you can start a list of essential provisions to buy tomorrow.


Their accommodation was serviceable and comfortable after the primitive, cramped conditions they had become accustomed to on board the Charming Nancy. Peter rented two rooms, one for Hannah and the kinner and another for Rebekkah and himself. It was the height of luxury after the ship and they were all excited by the prospect of a hearty supper with plenty of meat, bread and real kaffe. Peter left afterwards, to attend to the many tasks still awaiting his attention because he was determined they would be successful in their new life.


Rebekkah joined Hannah in the kinner's room. "Would you go and bring us some warm water, please? We can all wash and change into our clean clothes and launder these filthy ones. I'm sure we will all feel much better afterward."

Hannah went downstairs to fetch warm water while Rebekkah brought out their spare clothing, all the while making a huge pile of everything to benefit from a thorough washing. It amounted to pretty much everything they had used on the voyage, including their bedding.


Hannah soon arrived with the water. "Here you go. Let's get started. I found a laundry downstairs too. Laundering is part of our tariff so I will take everything down and help the laundress, seeing we have so much to wash." 

"That is kind of you Hannah, denke. I must admit I am feeling daunted by what is ahead of us. I find it overwhelming to think we will soon be on our own in the wilderness through the winter."


"Gott will be with us Rebekkah, all the time, to watch over and guide us. We must trust Him."


"Jah, you are right. I am tired after the voyage. Peter is right to ask us to make a thorough inventory of everything we might need. Still, I do not know what is before us, so I am not sure what we will need. This is what worries me."

 "We should start with food and clothes... staples enough for a full six months as well as dried and preserved foods," said Hannah. "Yard goods for winter clothing... and maybe some lighter weight fabrics as well... cheesecloth for the cheeses... ach, and extra bedding. We'll require additional quilts or the stuff with which to make them."


"I am being silly Hannah. Jah, all those things are necessary and the storekeeper can no doubt advise us of anything we've forgotten. Peter will see to purchasing animals and I am forgetting the things down in the hold of the ship."

While Hannah was downstairs, Rebekkah started her inventory. Instead of comforting her though, the growing number of supplies emerging on the paper served only to reinforce her increasing apprehension.

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Author Bio

Elizabeth Grace Pennman is a former librarian who has always enjoyed writing as much as reading. She enjoys the simple things in life and has learned through the Grace of God, the benefits of living by Christian values. Her interest in the Amish has developed as a result of having had parents-in-law who were Bretheran, being one branch on the tree of the original Anabaptists.

Elizabeth loves spending time with her children and grandchildren as well as brightening the world around her by growing as many flowers as possible. Writing inspirational and historical fiction is Elizabeth's way of showing how lives can change for the better when God is added to the mix. 


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