Ritter, George (17th/18th centuries)
Georg Ritter, a well-to-do grocer of Bern, Switzerland, who played an important part in the emigration of Swiss Mennonites. He and a certain Louis Michelle, who traveled in the Pequea region of Pennsylvania in 1704-5, organized a land company whose holdings were to be settled by Swiss Mennonites. This project did not materialize, although in 1710 Swiss Mennonites did establish the Lancaster Mennonite settlement. In 1712 Ritter, in co-operation with the Bernese magistrates, undertook to conduct to the English colony of Carolina in America a transport of some 56 Mennonite prisoners at Bern, and a few poor Bernese residents. He was promised 45 Thalers for each Mennonite whom he safely delivered across the ocean, to be taken from their confiscated property, and for the poor a lump sum of 500 Thalers. But the plan miscarried because the prisoners were released by the Dutch officials when their ship arrived at Nijmegen. In the next year, through the intervention of the Dutch government (see Runckel), a number of Swiss Mennonites were permitted to leave the country to settle in the Netherlands; then Ritter was the leader of the transport of five boats which sailed from Basel on 16 July 1711, arriving at Amsterdam on 3 August. For his care and pains Ritter received a gift of 200 Rixthalers.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 524.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. I, Nos. 1321, 1326, 1339, 1349, 1763.
Müller, Ernst. Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Frauenfeld: Huber, 1895. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. de Graaf, 1972: 258-302, 319 f.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 344. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Ritter, George (17th/18th centuries)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/ritter_george_17th_18th_century.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Ritter, George (17th/18th centuries). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/ritter_george_17th_18th_century.