The Muhlenberg Melting Pot

I ran across this doing some research.

Frederick Muhlenberg, a delegate to the first Congress of the post-Constitution age, was also the first Speaker of the House of Representatives.

He was from Pennsylvania; of good German stock and a founder of the Lutheran church in America. He, and his brothers, spent a great deal of time in the German principalities in his youth and he spoke fluent German.

An issue arose as to whether to translate some official U.S. documents into German, considering the large number of German speakers in Pennsylvania (including one of my predecessors on my mother’s side) and elsewhere, Muhlenberg abstained from the vote, causing it to fail.

Allegedly he explained his abstention — “The faster Germans become Americans, the better it will be.”

We could learn a lot from the people of the founding era.


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