"Conrad Weiser"

Conrad Weiser inner cigar box label

"Conrad Weiser" - Colonel John Conrad Weiser, Jr.
Indian Interpreter/Advisor (1696-1760)

Conrad was born in Wittemberg, Germany to John Conrad Weiser and Anna Maria Uberle (who died when Conrad was 12).   In 1710, Conrad and his father came to America, along with 150 other German families.  They purchased land from the Mohawk Indians near Schoharie, New York.

Conrad's father soon became friends with Chief Quagnant of the Mohawk who invited Conrad Jr. (age 17) to spend the winter with his tribe to learn the language and ways of his nation. After spending a year among the Mohawk he returned home and became a valuable asset as an interpreter between the Germans and the Mohawks.

Label Inset - cigar box labelLabel Inset - cigar box label
Several years later Conrad moved down into the Pennsylvania area.  In 1731 he accompanied his friend Chief Shikellimy, overseer of the Delaware for Six Nations (this included many major tribes and sub tribes), to Philadelphia to work on treaty negotiations with Governor Gordon.  In 1732 he was officially recognized as Interpreter of Pennsylvania and Head of the Indian Bureau and remained so until his death.

In 1755, during the Indian outbreaks along the frontier, Weiser was appointed Colonel of a regiment of volunteers from Berks County, PA.  A number of forts were constructed under his direction along the frontiers of Lancaster and Berks counties.   During the "French and Indian War", he commanded the Second Battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiment.   The Pennsylvania Archives states that Weiser's Indian name as "Tarachawagon" or "Tasachawagon", which means "he who holds the reins".

Weiser Home Today - cigar box labelWeiser Home Today - cigar box label
(I took these pics in 2004)

Conrad was also a business man and acquired quite a bit of property in the Pennsylvania area. At the time of his death, Conrad's estate included some 900 acres of land in Heidelberg Township, Berks County; Blue Mountain lands; and a lot in the town of Reading.  In 1751 he erected a large stone home, which was also the first store in Reading.  After the original building burnt down in 1907, a new facsimile was built and is now a museum to honor this unassuming national hero.  At the age of 64, he died at his home on July 11, 1760.
Weiser Home Today - cigar box labelWeiser Home Today - cigar box label
The info on Conrad was taken from excerpts of a book that is being written by Rhonda Hansch who is a distant relative of the Colonel.  Actually he is the 11th great uncle on her Dad's, Mother's side of the family.  Thanks Rhonda...

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