Abstract: Printer, Writer, Traveler, Businessman: Henrich Miller Establishes a German-Atlantic Printing Network

Patrick M. Erben

Abstract

This paper positions the eighteenth-century Pennsylvania-German newspaper publisher Henrich Miller (1702-1782) as an international broker of the religious and secular networks that shaped the development and rise of the early United States.  A printer and journalist who had travelled much of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world before beginning his publishing business in Philadelphia in the early 1760s, Miller counteracted ethnic isolationism among German immigrants and ensured their investment and enfranchisement in the emerging public sphere of early national America.  While primarily secular in his political outlook and print publications, Miller was nevertheless a devoutly religious man with close ties to the Moravian Church.  His ability to channel the transatlantic flow of information into his successful German-American newspaper Pennsylvanischer Staatsbote (Pennsylvania State Courier) and printing business in fact stemmed to a large degree from his participation in the global religious networks built by the Moravians.  The appeal of Miller’s press to German and English audiences at the cusp of the American Revolution stemmed from his ability to translate international concepts of liberty to the New World.