Since 1857, the Moravian Historical Society has presented its members with an update on the state of the organization and has hosted an annual lecture. Many of these lectures have been published in the Transactions of the Moravian Historical Society, now known as the Moravian Journal. This long history is remarkable. A complete listing of the Annual Lectures can be found here.


The 164th Annual Meeting, Lecture, and Reception was held on October 9, 2022.

Made in Christian's Spring: A Story of the American Revolution

Dr. Scott Gordon presented the lecture entitled, Made in Christian's Spring: A Story of the American Revolution. Recent discoveries offer the rare opportunity to trace the movements of an elegant rifle that a gunsmith at Christian’s Spring produced for a wealthy Mennonite farmer in Lancaster County. Bishop Nathaniel Seidel, traveling west in 1773, delivered the valuable item to Benjamin Baer. But if Baer aimed to pass this heirloom on to his children, the American Revolution frustrated his plans. Three years later, the rifle retraced its path, traveling east: a common soldier carried it to war in New Jersey. A unique object had become an interchangeable one. The story of this rifle sheds new light on how Pennsylvanians were armed, and disarmed, nearly 250 years ago. 

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Scott Paul Gordon  is the Andrew W. Mellon Chair in the Department of English at Lehigh University. He teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level in eighteenth-century transatlantic literature. He has served as chair of the Department of English (2011-2016) and as chair of the Department of History (2018-2019), and he has directed Lehigh’s First-Year Writing Program (2003-2006) and the Lehigh University Press (2006-2011). In 2002 Gordon received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and was named a Class of 1961 Professor for the years 2002-2004.

Gordon’s edition of the vast correspondence of Mary Penry (1735-1804), who immigrated from Wales in 1744 and lived as a single sister in Moravian communities at Bethlehem and Lititz for nearly fifty years, was published by Penn State University Press in 2018 as The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America. His current research focuses on religion, social ambition, and patriotism in colonial and revolutionary Pennsylvania by exploring the lives of “worldly Moravians.” Pieces of this project have appeared in The William and Mary Quarterly, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Early American Studies, Pennsylvania History, and The Journal of Moravian History. In 2010 the Jacobsburg Historical Society published Gordon’s study of the Delaware chief Gelelemend (1737-1811), titled Two William Henrys: Indian and White Brothers in Arms and Faith in Colonial and Revolutionary America.



The talk is free to attend. Check back later for 2022 registration info.