In the 1700s, the settling of the British colonies by small German-speaking religious groups continued. 1700s – The groups included Swiss Mennonites, Baptist Dunkers, Schwenkfelders, Moravians, Amish, and Waldensians; most German immigrants belonged to the main Lutheran and Reformed churches. The central colonies received the greatest part of this immigration, especially Pennsylvania.
As many as half of these immigrants came as redemptioners, that is, they agreed to work in America for four to seven years in exchange for free passage across the Atlantic. German settlers designed and built the Conestoga wagon, which was used in the opening of the American Frontier.
1731 – Protestants were expelled from Salzburg, Austria, in this year. They subsequently founded Ebenezer, Georgia
1732 – The first German-language newspaper, Philadelphische Zeitung, was published in the United States. German publishing flourished in Philadelphia and in smaller communities such as Ephrata, Pennsylvania.
1733 – John Peter Zenger, who came to America as an indentured servant from the Palatinate region of Germany, founded a newspaper, The New-York Weekly Journal; two years later he was acquitted in a landmark trial involving freedom of the press.
1741 – Moravians founded Bethlehem and Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
1742 – Christopher Saur, a German printer in Philadelphia, printed the first Bible in America.
1778 – General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a Prussian officer, became inspector general of the Continental Army.
1783 – As many as 5,000 of the Hessian soldiers hired by Britain to fight in the Revolutionary War remained in America after the end of hostilities.
1784 – John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) left his village of Waldorf in Germany and arrived in the United States in 1784 with $25 and seven flutes. He amassed a fortune from real estate dealings and the fur trade, and at his death was by far the richest man in the country, worth an estimated $20 million.
1790 – By this date as many as 100,000 Germans may have immigrated to America; they and their descendants made up an estimated 8.6 percent of the population of the United States; in Pennsylvania they accounted for 33 percent of the population; in Maryland for 12 percent.