Digital Collection Spotlight #38: The Martin Hauser Papers

Posted March 29, 2023 in Digital Access

Digital Collection Spotlight #38: The Martin Hauser Papers

The pages shown here are from the personal papers of the Moravian minister Martin Hauser (1799-1875), one of the many collections that we have digitized and made available online over the last several years. The full collection can be accessed here through our online finding aid.

Martin Hauser was born on September 3, 1799, near what is now Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1821 he joined the Moravian Church, married Susanna Chitty, and in 1829 they, their four children, and two of Susanna’s siblings moved to Indiana. They settled northeast of Columbus on a tract of land called Goshen, near where Martin’s brother already lived. They would name the village “Hope.” On June 17, 1830, Hauser established Hope Moravian Church, where he led services as a lay pastor. In 1833 he was ordained, continuing to lead the congregation until 1847 when he became the minister of the Moravian Church in West Salem, Illinois. Hauser would serve the congregation in West Salen until 1852. After his retirement, Martin Hauser returned to Indiana where he passed away on October 25, 1875.

Diary of Martin Hauser, PP HaM 2, Moravian Archives Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

This first page is from Martin Hauser’s diary, specifically from early May of 1848 while he was a pastor in West Salem. From this, we can see that he appears to have made at least a brief note of his activity each day, with some examples including that he purchased this particular book on May 1 and that on the 7th, a Sunday, he preached from John 20:24 and the weather was “fair and pleasant”. Such Information makes the diaries invaluable resources for studying not just the life of the author but also other topics such as everyday life in the community they lived in.

Commonplace Book of Martin Hauser, PP HaM, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Pennsyalvania

Another interesting item from the collection is a commonplace book, a volume in which someone records lists, quotes, recipes, anecdotes, etc. that they find valuable and wish to be able to reference later. The pages shown here are of recipes Martin Hauser recorded, specifically ones for producing elderberry wine, an early form of root beer, and a storm glass.
In addition to the diary and commonplace book highlighted here, the collection includes items such as Martin Hauser’s autobiography, the memoir he wrote for his wife, and a birthday book. After his death, these papers were passed down in the Hauser family before being donated to the Archives in 1921.

Further Reading:
“History of the Hope Moravian Church” Hope Moravian Church. Accessed 3/21/2023 Available Here
Shay, Earl R. “MARTIN HAUSER: THE OLD PIONEER OF THE NEW PURCHASE.” Transactions of the Moravian Historical Society 23, no. 3/4 (1984): 79–100. Accessed 3/21/2023

Featured Image:

Half-Length Portrait of Martin Hauser, PhotPortraits H.037, Moravian Archives Bethlehem, Pennsylvania