Christopher Sower Biography


Who is Christopher Sower? Information on elder Christopher Sower and younger Christopher Sower biography and life story.

Christopher Sower; ELDER (1693-1758), German-American printer, publisher, and editor. Christopher Sower (also spelled Saur or Sauer) was born in Laasphe, in the area that is now the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany. He emigrated in 1724 to Germantown, Pa., and in 1738 established there the printing and publishing business that was to be carried on by his son, Christopher Sower, and a grandson.

The most famous of Sower’s publications was a German edition of the Bible (1743). Except for John Eliot’s Indian version, it was the first American publication of the Bible in any language. During its history the firm published German-language newspapers and books and pamphlets in both German and English. Sower was a prominent member of the German Baptist Brethren (Dunkers). He died in Germantown on Sept. 25, 1758.

Christopher Sower YOUNGER (1721-1784), who was born in Laasphe, inherited the family business and managed it ably. He was also a notable colonial leader of the German Baptist Brethren. Soon after his ordination as a minister in 1753, he became a bishop and served in that capacity throughout his life. His personal fortunes declined with the coming of the American Bevolution because, in keeping with the tenets of his religion, he preached and wrote against resort to war. As a result, he was charged with treason but was cleared of the charge before his death, in Methacton, Pa., on Aug. 26, 1784.

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