John Christopher Kunze

Johann Christoph Kunze ( born May 6, 1744 Artern; † July 24, 1807 in New York City, also Kuntze, English John Christopher Kunze ) was a German pietist and evangelical missionary.


Kunze was born on August 5, 1744, the son of an innkeeper in Artern and moved to Roßleben, where he received his first lessons later. After attending school in Halle, Merseburg Roßleben and he studied theology for three years in Leipzig, and was appointed for a further three years at the convent school of the monastery mountains. He then worked as a orphan home inspector in Greiz.

On May 6, 1770 Kunze was ordained in the court chapel of Wernigerode Castle for missionary and sent to Pennsylvania, where he set out on July 29th of the same year with the brothers Heinrich Ernst and Frederick Muhlenberg. They reached New York City on September 23, 1770 and went on to Philadelphia, where Kunze was received like a biological son claims to be the father of the two of Muhlenberg. On October 8, he began his career as a pastor before it, the 19 - year-old daughter of Muhlenberg, Margaretta Henrietta, married in the summer, took off from the Muhlenberg 's house and founded his own household. His 1773 established " seminary " he had to give up during the British siege of Philadelphia in 1777, followed by a period of uncertainty and chaos ensued. After the situation had stabilized Kunze, he was appointed in 1780 professor of philology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he honorary in the same year the academic degree Master of Arts in 1783 and received his doctorate for divinitatis Doctor. In 1784 he accepted a call to New York, where he worked for the United Christian and Trinity churches. The following year, Kunze was appointed professor of Oriental languages ​​and literature at Columbia College. He retained the position until the period from 1787-1792 to 1799. Together with Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben and other influential German -born citizens in 1784, he founded the German Society of the City of New York. In 1785 he worked as an official translator in Congress. Kunze died on 24 July 1807, at the age of 63, leaving behind his wife Margaretta Henrietta ( 1751-1831 ) and four daughters.


Johann Christoph Kunze married on July 23, 1771 Margaretta Henrietta, who was born on September 17, 1751 daughter of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg and his wife Anna Maria, née Weiser. The couple had nine children.

  • Mary, * August 17, 1773
  • Marie Catherine, * October 22, 1774
  • Catherine Eliza, born October 4, 1776 January 29, 1863 † ∞ May 21, 1801 Casper Meier
  • Anna Maria, * August 20, 1778
  • Hannah Christina, * August 20, 1779
  • Charles Henry, * June 24, 1781, † 1808
  • Maria Magdalena, born October 8, 1785 † July 11, 1838
  • Catherina Frederica, born March 26, 1789 † March 22, 1809, ∞ Daniel Oakley
  • Anna Margaretta, born August 14, 1791 † September 21, 1836, ∞ Jacob Lorillard, son of the founder of today's Lorillard Tobacco Company

After her death on October 23, 1831 Margaretta Henrietta was buried in her husband's grave.


  • Some poems and songs, Philadelphia, 1778.
  • A Hymn and Prayer Book: For the use of search Lutheran churches as use the English language, New York, 1795.
  • A Table of a new construction for calculating the great eclipse, expected to happen on the 16th of June, 1806, New York, 1806.


Frederick Carl Hausmann, Kunze 's Seminary and the Society for the propagation of Christianity and useful knowledge among the Germans in America, Philadelphia, 1917.