Lehigh University
Lehigh Universiy

You are here


A black man, born in 1715. When twelve years old he was brought from Guinea to Charleston, S.C., and sold as a slave. Was taken to England in 1727, by the captain of a vessel because he was "a very fine looking negro." In 1732 came to Montserrat, West Indies, and a year later,with ten other slaves, to Durham Furnace, Pennsylvania. His master having moved on a farm about two miles from Bethlehem, Joseph met the Brethren, and from Brother Froehlich heard of Christ the first time, and then desired to be saved. He married a negro woman, Hannah belonging to the Ysselsteyn family, who lived at Bethlehem; but he was obliged to remain at a furnace in New Jersey. Later was taken to Maryland for two years. His master, having come to Bethlehem and seen Joseph's wife and little son, permitted him to return from the furnace, so that he might be nearer his family. Occasionally he came to Bethlehem, and was impressed by what he there heard. His wife had been baptized. In May, 1752, Joseph was baptized by Bishop Spangenberg in Bethlehem. He longed for liberty and to be able to live in Bethlehem, the Brethren collected 50 and secured his freedom. He lived in Bethlehem for some time; then 12 years at Gnadenthal, and 10 at Christianspring. Of his seven children, two daughters survived their father.
Birth Year: 
Arrival Year: 
Member Year: 
Death Year: