Birthdays on November 17
Pierre Francois le Courayer was born in Rouen, France. Becoming a Catholic theologian, he received his doctorate at Oxford University in 1723 for a dissertation demonstrating that England's Protestant clergy descended in unbroken succession from the apostles (a strong point in proving their legitimacy). He was eager to see the reunification of Protestants and Catholics. Although he always claimed to be a true Catholic, he rejected some Catholic ideas which he considered to be superstitious and he was excommunicated for his defense of the Anglican orders.
Gotthilf Henry E. Muhlenberg was born into a famous Lutheran family at Trappe, Pennsylvania. A Lutheran minister himself, he was also a notable self-taught botanist, called "the American Linneaus" and he corresponded with botanists of international fame. His brothers were ardent Patriots during the Revolutionary War, which made him a target of the Tories. This forced him to flee from Philadelphia on foot, disguised as an Indian. Henry (as he preferred to be called) founded Franklin College and was its first president. He pastored Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for twenty years.