In the years following the Seven Years’ War (1754-1763), tens of thousands of Germans left for the New World to improve their worldly lot. It seems that my ancestor, Michael Greissen (or Eisan as he later was called) was one of these. He was among about 400 Germans who subscribed to join a colony being set up by Johann Heinrich Christian von Stumpel,a Hanoverian officer who had helped to clear Nova Scotia of Acadians. As a reward, King George III of England had granted him 20,000 acres of land in Nova Scotia and he went to the Palatine to recruit settlers.
On July 18, 1764, a group of former German officers notified the Board of Trade in London that von Stumpel had disappeared with their and the settlers’ money, leaving them without the means to support themselves or to undertake the voyage to Nova Scotia. The Board of Trade published a warrant for von Stumpel’s arrest but did nothing to help the victims of his fraud.
King George went even further and granted the German emigrants land in South Carolina. On October 6, 1764, three ships, the Dragon, the Union and the Planters Adventure, set sail from London. Among the list of passengers on the Dragon was Michael Greissen Frein. Due to illness, twenty of the passengers died on this ship during the crossing and another twenty died shortly after arrival.