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David Hort

Photo courtesy of Brazilian White Center - UNASP.

Hort, David (1833–1894)

By The Brazilian White Center – UNASP

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The Brazilian White Center – UNASP is a team of teachers and students at the Brazilian Ellen G. White Research Center – UNASP at the Brazilian Adventist University, Campus Engenheiro, Coelho, SP. The team was supervised by Drs. Adolfo Semo Suárez, Renato Stencel, and Carlos Flávio Teixeira. Bruno Sales Gomes Ferreira provided technical support. The following names are of team members: Adriane Ferrari Silva, Álan Gracioto Alexandre, Allen Jair Urcia Santa Cruz, Camila Chede Amaral Lucena, Camilla Rodrigues Seixas, Daniel Fernandes Teodoro, Danillo Alfredo Rios Junior, Danilo Fauster de Souza, Débora Arana Mayer, Elvis Eli Martins Filho, Felipe Cardoso do Nascimento, Fernanda Nascimento Oliveira, Gabriel Pilon Galvani, Giovana de Castro Vaz, Guilherme Cardoso Ricardo Martins, Gustavo Costa Vieira Novaes, Ingrid Sthéfane Santos Andrade, Isabela Pimenta Gravina, Ivo Ribeiro de Carvalho, Jhoseyr Davison Voos dos Santos, João Lucas Moraes Pereira, Kalline Meira Rocha Santos, Larissa Menegazzo Nunes, Letícia Miola Figueiredo, Luan Alves Cota Mól, Lucas Almeida dos Santos, Lucas Arteaga Aquino, Lucas Dias de Melo, Matheus Brabo Peres, Mayla Magaieski Graepp, Milena Guimarães Silva, Natália Padilha Corrêa, Rafaela Lima Gouvêa, Rogel Maio Nogueira Tavares Filho, Ryan Matheus do Ouro Medeiros, Samara Souza Santos, Sergio Henrique Micael Santos, Suelen Alves de Almeida, Talita Paim Veloso de Castro, Thais Cristina Benedetti, Thaís Caroline de Almeida Lima, Vanessa Stehling Belgd, Victor Alves Pereira, Vinicios Fernandes Alencar, Vinícius Pereira Nascimento, Vitória Regina Boita da Silva, William Edward Timm, Julio Cesar Ribeiro, Ellen Deó Bortolotte, Maria Júlia dos Santos Galvani, Giovana Souto Pereira, Victor Hugo Vaz Storch, and Dinely Luana Pereira.

 

 

First Published: June 19, 2021

Heinrich Christian Georg David Hort was the owner of the store where the first Adventist literature arrived in Brazil.

Introduction

Heinrich Christian Georg David Hort was born in Hötensleben, Germany on November 25, 1833.1 There are few records about the beginning of his life, but it is known he worked as a miner in his home country.2 In 1868, he married Anna Elizabeth (Von Stallenburg) Hort (1834-1918), born in Magdeburg, Germany. From this union eight children were born, of which only three have their names in the records: Germano (b. 1861), Carlos (b. 1863), and Adolf Hort (1871-1944). In a previous relationship, Anna had a daughter named Maria (b. 1859).3

When Hort was 35, the family emigrated to Brazil in pursuit of a better life. On April 6, 1869, they left Hamburg harbor and, three months later, the ship made its first stop at the Santa Leopoldina Colony, state of Espírito Santo. The next day, the ship sailed to Itajaí, state of Santa Catarina where the Hort family disembarked. Then they traveled eight more days by canoe through Itajaí-Mirim to the city of Brusque, where they established their residence.4

The German colonization of the Brusque region began in 1860. Thus, at the time the Hort family arrived, the colony was still in its relatively early days. After a land raffle among the new colonists, the Hort family started living in Cedro Grande District. Having obtained land, David built a large, two-story, wide colonial house between 1875 and 1880 located at 124 Cedro Street. The Hort family lived on the second floor and opened Kaufläden Hort, a grocery store, on the first floor.5

The store served the small communities in the region and colonists would sell or trade agricultural products for family consumer goods such as salt, bacon, tools, oil, fabrics, and guns. In addition, social activities were also held there and it served as a meeting point for neighbors and mail delivery. At the time, the warehouse owners were the middlemen between the host city sellers and district sellers, which generated a certain dependency among the colonists and grocers. Because the colony was isolated from any urban center, the colonists had their commerce options limited to sales and stores. For that reason, the merchants were very influential at the place, and many times they would dictate the rules. The Hort store was strategically located, near the harbor in Itajaí-Mirim river.6

Besides being part of Cedro Grande history, David Hort’s store also has historical significance for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Brazil. It was at this store that the Adventist message arrived in the country through the German magazine Stimme der Wahrheit (Voice of Truth), even before having an Adventist missionary in the territory.7

The story began when, around 1879, a young man called Borchardt got involved in a fight in Brusque, seriously injuring his opponent. In fear, he ran to Itajaí harbor and got a job on a German ship plying between Europe and South America. On the ship, he met two Adventist missionaries that asked him if he knew someone in Brazil interested in religious matters. Borchardt gave them his stepfather Carlos Dreefke’s address, who lived in Brusque, so they could send him Adventist literature.8

The story of the beginning of Adventism in Brazil is vague for lack of detailed records. According to oral statements gathered by F. H. Westphal, E. H. Meyers, and G. Streithorst, the arrival of packages at Itajaí harbor happened between 1879 and 1884. Addressed to Dreefke, the correspondence arrived at Hort’s store. Dreefke wearied of receiving the shipments, fearing he would later be charged for them. Motivated by David Hort and some curious people, he opened each package and distributed the Adventist magazines to interested people. At the time, there was not much to read in the region and even less in German. Still suspicious, a little while later Dreefke decided to stop receiving the shipments; but, at the request of a teacher called Chikiwidowsky, he passed the responsibility for distributing the material to him. Reports say that Chikiwidowsky later also lost interest, handing the responsibility over to Frederich Dressler.9

Dressler, the son of a Lutheran pastor, was expelled from Germany for being an alcoholic. To feed his addiction, he started selling the magazines. Seeing that the audience interest only grew, he wrote to the Tract Society in the United States, asking for more material, promising to pay later – which didn’t happen.10 Among the materials sent were the following magazines: Stimme der Warheit (Voice of Truth), Prophetischer Erklärer (Prophetic Explainer), Herold der Wharheit (Herald of Truth), Christlicher Hausfreund (Christian Family Friend), and books such as Gedanken Über das Buch Daniel (Daniel and the Revelation), by Uriah Smith.11 The spreading of Adventist literature resulted in Guilherme Belz developing a deep interest in Adventism and, therefore, to start keeping the Sabbath, the first one to do so in Brazil.12

David Hort was never interested in the magazines that were delivered to his store. However, years later, part of his family started studying the Bible through the initiative of his son, Adolf, in light of the Adventist material. At the time the first package of magazines was opened, Adolf was still a child. In August 1896, Adolf, his wife, and his daughter-in-law were baptized by pastor Huldreich F. Graf and became witnesses to their community.13 David died on December 15, 1894, from a cancer that spread to his lungs, and was buried at the Brusque Lutheran Community Cemetery in Santa Catarina.14

On March 31, 2019, decree number 8.379-2019, was homologated by the City Hall of Brusque declaring the Casarão Hort (Hort House) a historical heritage. On June 4, 2019, the decree was published in the official newspaper by Brusque mayor, Jonas Paegle.15

Sources

“David Hort.” National Center of Adventist History Network (Online), January 12, 2016.

“Ilse Hort.” Revista Adventista, March 1989.

“Uma Recapitulação dos Começos na América do Sul.” Revista Adventista, October 12, 1989.

Bertotti, Fabiana. 100 anos de fé pioneirismo e missão. 1st edition, São José: Santa Catarina Conference of the SDA, 2004. 

Boehm, J. H. “Elizabeth Hort.” Revista Adventista, December 1918.

Borges, Michelson. “A chegada do Adventismo ao Brasil,” Creationism, May 1, 2008.

Borges, Michelson. “Linhagem adventista.” Revista Adventista Network (Online), August 19, 2019.

Borges, Michelson. “Raízes da nossa história,” Revista Adventista, January 09, 2018.

Borges, Michelson. A chegada do adventismo ao Brasil. 2nd edition, Tatuí, SP: CPB - Brazil Publishing House, 2001. 

City Gazette Publishing of Santa Catarina for June 4, 2019. In: Collection of the National Center of Adventist History/Ellen G. White Research Center: UNASP-EC, Engenheiro Coelho, SP. Shelf: 2. Rack: 14. Folder/ Case: “Hort, David.”

David Hort Biography. In: Collection of the National Center of Adventist History/Ellen G. White Research Center: UNASP-EC, Engenheiro Coelho, SP. Shelf: 2. Rack: 14. Folder/ Case: “Hort, David.”

David Hort Death Certificate. In: Collection of the National Center of Adventist History/Ellen G. White Research Center: UNASP-EC, Engenheiro Coelho, SP. Shelf: 2. Rack: 14. Folder/ Case: “Hort, David.”

Elisabeth Hort Death Certificate. In: National Adventist Memory Center Archive/Ellen G. White Research Center: UNASP-EC, Engenheiro Coelho, SP. Stand: 2. Shelf 13. Folder: “Hort, David.”

Greenleaf, Floyd. Terra de Esperança. 1st edition, Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2011. 

Hort, Georg Friedrich Adolfo. In: National Adventist Memory Center Archive/Ellen G. White Research Center: UNASP-EC, Engenheiro Coelho, SP. Stand: 2. Shelf 13. Folder: “Hort, Adolfo.”

Meyers, E. H. “Uma Recapitulação dos Começos na América do Sul.” Revista Mensal, October 1928.

Miranda, Josino M. de. “A Mensagem Adventista Chega ao Brasil por meio de um Bêbado e um Assassino.” March 1971.

Nigri, M. S. “Nas pegadas dos pioneiros.” Revista Adventista, December 1956.

O. B. “Adolf Hort.” Revista Adventista, April 1944.

Streithorst, Germano. “O início de nossa Obra.” Revista Adventista, March 1958.

Weber, Werner A. “Hort.” Revista Adventista, March 1970.

Zukowski, Samuel. “Santa Catarina: berço da mensagem adventista no Brasil.” Revista Adventista, December 1994.

Notes

  1. David Hort Death Certificate (National Adventist Memory Center Archive/Ellen G. White Research Center: UNASP-EC, Engenheiro Coelho, SP); Michelson Borges, “Linhagem Adventista,” Revista Adventista Network, August 19, 2019; Emir Schmidt Hort, interviewed by Victor Alves Pereira at Engenheiro Coelho, São Paulo, October 2019.

  2. “David Hort,” National Center of Adventist History Network, January 12, 2016.

  3. Elisabetha Hort Death Certificate (National Adventist Memory Center Archive/Ellen G. White Research Center: UNASP-EC, Engenheiro Coelho, SP); J. H. Boehm, “Elizabeth Hort,” Revista Adventista, December 1918, 16; “David Hort,” January 12, 2016; O. B., “Adolf Hort,” Revista Adventista, April 1944, 25.

  4. Borges, “Linhagem Adventista.”

  5. Michelson Borges. A chegada do Adventismo ao Brasil. (Tatuí, SP: CPB - Brazil Publishing House, 2001), 49-58.

  6. Borges. A chegada do Adventismo ao Brasil, 49-58; Borges, “Linhagem Adventista.”

  7. Nigri, M. S. “Nas pegadas dos pioneiros,” Revista adventista, December 1956, 11.

  8. Germano Streithorst, “O início de nossa Obra,” Revista Adventista, March 1958, 29, 30; E. H. Meyers, “Uma Recapitulação dos Começos na América do Sul,” Revista Mensal, October 1928, 4, 5; Josino M. Miranda, “A Mensagem Adventista Chega ao Brasil por meio de um Bêbado e um Assassino,” Revista Adventista, March 1971, 22.; Samuel Zukowski, “Santa Catarina: berço da mensagem adventista no Brasil,” Revista adventista, December 1994, 8; Borges, A chegada do adventismo ao Brasil, 49-58; Fabiana Bertotti. 100 anos de fé pioneirismo e missão (São José: Santa Catarina of the SDA, 2004), 21-26; Floyd Greenleaf, Terra de Esperança: o crescimento da Igreja Adventista na América do Sul (Tatuí, SP: Brazilian Publishing House, 2011), 25.

  9. Ibid.

  10. Ibid.

  11. Borges. A chegada do Adventismo ao Brasil, 49-58; Borges, “Linhagem Adventista.”

  12. L. H. Olson, “Progressos da Obra na América do Sul,” Revista Adventista, September 1956, 3, 4; Germano Streithorst, “Santa Catharina,” Revista Adventista, December 1924, 10; Greenleaf, 25; Borges, A chegada do Adventismo ao Brasil, 59-61.

  13. Orlando G de Pinho, “Assim se passou a história,” Revista Adventista, March 1954, 9; Nigri, 11; O. B, 25; Adolf Hort, (National Adventist Memory Center Archive/Ellen G. White Research Center: UNASP-EC, Engenheiro Coelho, SP), 2.

  14. David Hort Death Certificate.

  15. City Gazette Publishing of Santa Catarina for June 4, 2019. (National Adventist Memory Center Archive/Ellen G. White Research Center: UNASP-EC, Engenheiro Coelho, SP).

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UNASP, The Brazilian White Center –. "Hort, David (1833–1894)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. June 19, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=3GJ1.

UNASP, The Brazilian White Center –. "Hort, David (1833–1894)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. June 19, 2021. Date of access May 20, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=3GJ1.

UNASP, The Brazilian White Center – (2021, June 19). Hort, David (1833–1894). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 20, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=3GJ1.