DARMSTADT, JOSEPH (d. c. 1820), early settler of Richmond, Va. Darmstadt arrived in the United States as a sutler with the Hessian troops and was captured by Continental forces. Sent as a prisoner to Charlottesville, Virginia, he renounced his foreign allegiance, presumably recognizing the assets of a democratic government. Darmstadt settled in Richmond no later than 1786. He became a successful merchant because his knowledge of the language and customs of the large German colony in the mountains west of Richmond drew the people to trade in the capital city. A popular figure, he was elected to the exclusive Amicable Society in 1789. Darmstadt was active in Masonry and was the second Jewish Mason in Virginia. He was founder of Beth Shalome Congregation.
H.T. Ezekiel and G. Lichtenstein, History of the Jews of Richmond from 1769 to 1917 (1917); Rosenbloom, Biog Dict, 31.