History Fact #20
One Amish boy came to America in an unusual way. When Lewis Riehl was eight years old, he was sent down to the Rotterdam wharf by his mother with a basket of cookies to sell, as they were poor people. A man by the name of Kurtz persuaded him to get on board a vessel ready to sail for America, and when once aboard, the ship began to move. The boy in vain implored him to go on shore, but the vessel moved on and he was forced to remain on the vessel and come to America. When he came to this country he was bound over to a certain man until of age. While serving his time he had very inhumane treatment, not infrequently availing himself of the beds of the swine to lie down in. He worked in Philadelphia and saw a man driving down the street with a beard and a broad brimmed hat, and thought it looked like his father used to dress. He talked with this man, and when he was released, this man gave him a home, and joined the Amish faith. That is how the name “Riehl” was added to the Amish roster in America.
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Source: Unser Leit, The Story of the Amish