Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

David Zeisberger Centennial

David Zeisberger Centennial.            179


Slumber on, and may Christians of whatever creed

Bow their heads to the altered condition,

And as years roll along with eternity speed

Give thy tomb its deserved recognition.

Slumber on in the vale far away from thy birth

Where pure beauty and plenty fail never,

Where thy victories were in the efforts put forth

For the Race almost vanquished forever.




Regarding the location of Lichtenau, founded by Rev. David

Zeisberger of the work of Heckewelder and Zeisberger and the

first spelling book used in Ohio, Rev. W. H. Rice, D. D., says the


Lichten-Au is a German word, signifying a Pasture or

Meadow of Light here the name is significant of God's smile upon

the green pasture lands. It was the name given by Rev. David

Zeisberger to the Christian village settlement which he founded

in April, 1776, on the eastern bank of the Muskingum river, two

and a half miles below Goshochkunk (Coshocton) in accordance

with the urgent wishes of the chief of the Delaware Indian Na-

tion. Chief Netawatwes whose capital was Goshochkunk the

Indian name which has survived in "Coshocton." Netawatwes

selected the site in such proximity to his capital because, "If the

brethren will live near me, I will be strong. They will make me

strong against the disobedient."

The site is a broad level of many acres stretching to the foot

hills with a slight rise. The river bank has an arc-shaped out-

line and was covered with maples and sycamores. There was a

rich soil, and an abundance of materials for building.

The pre-historic relics tell of its having been occupied once

before as a village site. There is a circle of five acres and a

mound. The former is quite near this site of Lichtenau and the

latter three-quarters of a mile down the river.

Forty-five years ago the site of Lichtenau was identified as

stretching across the long lane that runs from the river to the

foot hills, separating the farms then owned by Mr. Samuel Moore

and Mr. Samuel Foraker, in Tuscarawas township, in Coshocton