1728 Johann Adam Matern, of Rosenheim, Upper Alsace. 26 years old. Weaver. A good worker who deserves some negroes. Three pigs.
Thus reads the roll in or around 1728, describing my forebear, the first Matern/Matherne who came to the New World with several hundred Germans as pioneers.
I don’t know why he was considered worthy of owning other human beings. Yet so the record reads.* A few years later, in 1731, Johann has increased his holdings. By then, he acquired 3 sons, 3 negroes and 7 cows.
He got his Negroes. I suppose that’s a sign of success. Just like you and I might be proud to have a new car or a house with no mortgage, Johann was the proud owner of 3 negroes. I hope my readers are not incensed beyond reason. It was a sign of the times.
I am rather proud that he’s described as being a good worker, not so much as a man who owned other people
*THE SETTLEMENT OF THE GERMAN COAST OF LOUISIANA AND THE CREOLES OF GERMAN DESCENT. John Henno Deilor