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Graffenried, Christoph, Baron von (15 November 1661– November 1743), promoter of Swiss and German settlement in early North Carolina and founder of New Bern, was born in the village of Worb near Bern, Switzerland, the son of Anton von Graffenried, lord of Worb, and Catherine Jenner. After studying at the Universities of Heidelberg and Leyden, he visited England about 1680, where he met the duke of Albemarle, Sir John Colleton, and other Lords Proprietors of Carolina. In 1683 he returned home and in 1684 married Regina Tscharner, with whom he had thirteen children....

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Scholte, H. P. (25 September 1805–25 August 1868), Reformed cleric, journalist, and founder of the Pella, Iowa, Dutch colony, was born Hendrik Pieter Scholte in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the son of Jan Hendrik Scholte, a sugar box factory owner, and Johanna Dorothea Roelofsz. The Scholte family for generations operated sugar refineries in Amsterdam, and young Hendrik, called “H. P.,” was destined to carry on the business tradition. Religiously, the family members were “outsiders” who belonged to a pietistic German Lutheran congregation rather than the national Dutch Reformed church, headed by the monarchy. The death of his father, grandfather, only brother, and mother, all within six years (1821–1827), freed Scholte to use his inheritance to enroll as a theology student at Leiden University. In 1832 he married Sara Maria Brandt. They would have five children before her death in 1844....

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Williams, Samuel May (04 October 1795–13 September 1858), Texas colonizer, city founder, and banker, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Howell Williams, a sea captain, and Dorothy Wheat. After local schooling, young Sam served around 1810 as an apprentice in his uncle Nathaniel Felton Williams’s commission house in Baltimore, Maryland, and he soon journeyed as supercargo to Buenos Aires. Naval activities associated with the War of 1812 prevented his return to the United States until after 1815, allowing Williams time to master the Spanish language and culture....