MS-124: Samuel Simon Schmucker Bicentennial Celebration
MS – 124: Samuel Simon Schmucker Bicentennial Celebration 1999
(3 boxes, 70 cubic feet)
Bulk Dates: September, 1996-October, 1999
Processed by: Ronald Couchman
In 1999 three institutions in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, sponsored a series of commemorative occasions in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Schmucker remembered chiefly for his contributions to education, theology, and social reform in the early American republic. Each of the three sponsors, Gettysburg College, the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and the Lutheran Historical Society, claim Schmucker as their chief founder. The celebration began with a birthday party at the college on February 28, 1999 with a number of Schmucker’s numerous descendants in attendance. The commemorative series continued with scholarly lectures at the seminary in April and again at the college in September. Displays of Schmucker memorabilia at the seminary and the college added another dimension.
Scope and Content Notes
The official papers of the Schmucker Bicentennial Committee reside in the Archives at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. This collection at the college contains the material retained by Gettysburg College representatives to the committee and internal college documents relating to the program events compiled by the Public Relations Office and the Office of Planned Giving. Of special interest is a review of a research effort conducted within the Office of College Relations to identify the descendants of Samuel Schmucker in order to invite them to the college for the birthday event. This research resulted in the creation of a large family genealogical chart containing the names of 131 descendent of Schmucker. The collection contains correspondence with and personal histories of some of the living descendants.
This collection is divided into two Series. Series 1: Schmucker Bicentennial Planning and Celebration, includes material relative to the college’s contribution to the Schmucker celebration including internal college correspondence during the planning process, minutes of the Schmucker Bicentennial Planning Committee, review of publications for the event, preparation of a budget in support of the program, and documentation relative to the Committee’s successful application to secure a $3,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Series 2: Schmucker Descendants, documents the College’s efforts to identify the Schmucker descendants and to communicate with as many of the 62 living fourth, fifth and sixth generation members of the family as could be found. This correspondence, which in some cases includes some personal histories, is organized in alphabetical order.