Monday, January 09, 2006

Thone's Table

This table belonged to Thones Kunders, my g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g grandfather (that's nine greats). Thones, whose descendants would change the family name to Conard, was born about 1653 in Nuewerk, Honschaft Damm, Muchen Gladbach, Rhineland, Germany. His early life was spent at Crefeld, Germany where he worked as a blue dyer. A group of one half dozen neighbors at Crefeld purchased 1800 acres of land in the Pennsylvania colony from William Penn. One of these Lenert Arets, whose wife was a sister to Thones' wife, sold to him 500 acres ofthis land. A party of 13 families consisting of 33 persons, left Crefield. They sailed Jul 24, 1683 on the ship Concord. They established Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1684. Thones' home was located on what is now Germantown Avenue.

In the 1680s The Friends of Germantown, of which Thones was a member, held their first meetings in Thone's home. The Friends consisted of Quakers and Memonites. Some residents of Germantown had decided to acquire slaves and at one meeting, held on Feb 18, 1688, the Friends voiced opposition to slavery in the Untied States. A document (of which only a photocopy survives) was signed on the above table declaring slavery morally wrong This was the first anti-slavery document drafted and signed in United States History. Today, While Thones house is gone (although a sign marks the spot), the table is preserved in the Germantown Mennonite Meeting House. Thones died in late 1729 and is buried in the upper Germantown burying ground. I'm not sure if the grave is marked or not.

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