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David Zeisberger's conversion stands out as clearly and

strongly as does that of John Wesley. in January, 1743, a lit-

tle company stood on the deck of the "James," ready to leave for

Europe. It was a group of Moravian Brethren, most of whom

had come to take leave of their beloved leader, Count Zinzen-

dorf. Belonging to this company was a young man, twenty-

two years of age, who had been appointed to return with the

Count to Germany. He stood alone and looked mournfully

upon the land of his choice. "Cast off the cable!" commanded

Captain Garrison. At that moment Bishop Nitschmann, who

had been the last to take leave of Count Zinzendorf, passed by,

and, observing the young man's dejected looks, stopped short.

"David," said he, "do you not return to Europe willingly?"

"No, indeed!" was Zeisberger's reply. "I would much

rather remain in America."

"For what reason?"

"I long to be truly converted to God and to serve Him in

this country."

This declaration deserves our careful consideration. David

Zeisberger was a "born Moravian" both nationally and denomi-

nationally. His birthplace was Zauchtenthal in Moravia, where

he first saw the light of day on Good Friday, April II, 1721.

His parents belonged to the Ancient Church of the Bohemian

and Moravian Brethren. They were evidently most godly peo-

ple, for in July, 1726, they left their large earthly possessions,

forsaking all for Christ's sake, and sought a refuge in the new

settlement in Saxony called Herrnhut. And yet, born Moravian

that Zeisberger was, and brought up in a pious home, he him-

self apparently remained unchanged by the Divine grace and

Spirit. Heredity was not sufficient. Not that he despised his

birthright; far from it! He prized his privileges and oppor-

tunities. With the great Scotch preacher and poet, Horatius

Bonar, he would have said:

"I thank Thee for a holy ancestry;

I bless Thee for a godly parentage;

For seeds of truth and light and purity,

Sown in this heart from childhood's earliest age."

David Zeisberger

David Zeisberger.                 191


Another circumstance to be noted is this: David Zeisberger

passed through the great revival of 1727 and the following years

in Herrnhut. Ten years he spent in that place of which John

Wesley wrote: "God has given me at length the desire of my

heart. I am with a church whose conversation is in heaven, in

whom is the mind that was in Christ, and who so walk as He

walked." In this congregation David Zeisberger lived during

the most impressionable years of a person's life, from five to

fifteen, and yet without being "converted to God."  He listened

to the strong Scriptural preaching of the Moravian carpenter,

Christian David; he heard the joyful testimonies of that "little

preacher of righteousness," Susannah Kuehnel; he witnessed

the remarkable prayer-meetings of the children when they spent

hours in supplication and praise; yet, though deeply impressed

by all he saw and heard, there was in his case no definite de-

cision, no absolute surrender. He still was not "converted to


Let us learn from this that neither heredity nor environment

can save a soul. Zeisberger's opportunities were certainly of

the best. Pious Moravian parentage, godly Moravian training

and education were all enjoyed by him, and not without much

profit. It is a matter of record that he was the "brightest Latin

scholar of his class, a diligent student who showed a natural

facility for acquiring languages." Moreover, he lived a morally

pure and clean life. He was a truthful, honest and industrious

lad. The first year spent in America, 1739, he acted as a trav-

eling companion and assistant of Peter Boehler, that masterful

preacher and soul-winner, just arrived from England, where he

had been the means in the hand of God for the conversion of

hundreds, among them being John and Charles Wesley. With

him David Zeisberger spent upwards of a year and yet was not

"converted to God." In later years when speaking of this period

of his life he said: "At that time my heart was not yet con-

verted to God, but I longed to enjoy His grace and that fully."

On board the vessel, therefore, Bishop Nitschmann advised the

young man to leave the ship and return to Bethlehem. Zeis-

berger did not wait to be told a second time. He returned to

Bethlehem in a state of deep spiritual concern and of longing

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for the assurance of the pardon of his sins. A Brother by the

name of Buettner, four years his senior, acted the part of An-

drew and Philip in bringing the young man to Jesus. "Some

days thereafter, during the singing, by a company of young men

in the Single Brethren's House at Bethlehem, of a familiar hymn

of praise to Jesus, the Saviour of sinners, a great light came

into his soul, and Zeisberger realized the joy of thorough con-

version in the assurance that the Saviour had taken all his sins


This great change was such a distinct and unique experi-

ence in his life that Zeisberger might truly with few variations

have adopted John Wesley's words, who described his own con-

version at a little Moravian meeting in London as follows:

"About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change

which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my

heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ

alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me, that He

had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law

of sin and death."



David Zeisberger at once became an evangelist. The old

martyr-spirit of the Ancient Bohemian and Moravian Church

was both in name and in fact the "witness-spirit" of the Re-

newed Brethren's Church. Zeisberger put at once into practice

what another young Moravian in Europe was doing at the same

time, viz., John Cennick, who testified:


"Then will I tell to sinners round

What a dear Savior I have found,

I'll point to the atoning Blood

And say: Behold the way to God!"

Zeisberger, like his Master, practiced both personal and

public evangelism. In John's Gospel, chapter 4, we are told

how Jesus dealt with one poor sinner in such a way as to lead

her to repentance and faith. This might be called personal

evangelism. It led into a larger field. This woman became

such a witness, that Christ was invited to spend several days

David Zeisberger

David Zeisberger.                 193


in her town, and to conduct there a public evangelistic campaign

resulting in the conversion of hundreds. Some one has called

it "The Revival at Sychar."

Following in the footsteps of the Savior, young Zeisberger

felt his heart drawn out in pity towards the lowest and poorest

of mankind. He began to speak to some Indians near Bethlehem

and Nazareth of "Jesus and His love."   Proceeding further

through the wilds of Pennsylvania he preached to the Indians in

the Mohawk Valley of New York. When he and a brother-

missionary were arrested as spies and asked by Governor Clinton

at Albany, N. Y., as to their designs, they made this truly

Moravian and Scriptural reply: "We hope to get liberty to

preach among the Indians the Gospel of our Crucified Savior,

and to declare to them what we have personally experienced of

His grace in our own hearts." This became the supreme pas-

sion of his life-"to declare to the Indians what he had per-

sonally experienced of Christ's grace in his own heart."  In

order to do this, he mastered their languages and dialects, tran-

lated the Holy Scriptures. Litanies and Sacred Songs, prepared

school-books, grammars, dictionaries, etc., and spent sixty-three

years of his life amongst his brown brethren, often in pathless

forests, frequently exposed to privations, hardships and death,

all with one object in view, viz., "to declare to them what he had

personally experienced of Christ's grace in his own heart." He

became a plodding student, a thorough scholar, a famous lin-

guist, a noted writer, an accomplished administrator, in order

that he might be a successful evangelist. Frequent revivals ac-

companied his faithful testimony.

The famous picture of Zeisberger preaching to the Indians

well illustrates the supernatural power of the Gospel which he

preached "with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven" At

one time when laboring in Central Pennsylvania Zeisberger


"For several months a great revival has been prevailing

among the Indians who visit us. All who attend our services

are deeply impressed and listen as though they never had enough

of the message of the Savior. Often while I am preaching the

power of the gospel message makes them tremble with emotion

Vol. XVIII-13.

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and shake with fear, until they almost lose consciousness and

seem about to faint. This shows with what violence the powers

of evil within them oppose the work of the Cross. As a rule

when such a paroxysm is over they weep in silence."

Special methods and meetings were found to be necessary

in dealing with those under conviction of sin. Zeisberger's

biographer tells us; "A revival broke out at the new mission,

named Friedenstadt, in Western Pennsylvania. In the house

of Abraham, the Helper, inquiry meetings were held every even-

ing, sometimes lasting until midnight. Even the children were

impressed and talked of Jesus." St. Paul's maxim or rule of

methods had evidently been adopted by David Zeisberger: "By

all means save some." Like Alleine he was "insatiably greedy

after souls." With David Brainerd he could say: "I had no

notion of joy from this world; I care, not where or how I live,

or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain

souls for Christ."

Brainerd finished his course with joy after five years' service;

Zeisberger toiled in the vineyard sixty-three years. A biographer

thus describes one of his many journeys: "For two days, amid

drenching rain, in the pathless forests and swamps of the Broad

Mountain, in what is now Monroe County, these two mes-

sengers of Jesus crept for miles on hands and feet, beneath and

between laurel bushes whose tangled mazes made walking im-

possible. Their only guide was a pocket compass. After two

days they struck the trail to Wyoming. Although thoroughly

exhausted by the toil of their journey, Zeisberger at once began

to preach the gospel. The Indians flocked from every side to

hear his blessed message. Next morning, after a short night's

rest, the work was resumed, and for three days he preached

Christ with great power. Tears rolled down the cheeks of his

hearers and their whole frames were convulsed with emotion."

"He is wise that winneth souls," said Israel's royal sage,

and David Zeisberger was indeed a wise soul-winner, for, like

John Wesley, he organized the newly converted into societies

and drew up rules and regulations for their guidance. One of

two articles of their "brotherly agreement" may well be heeded

in thesetimes:

David Zeisberger

David Zeisberger.                  195


"We will rest from work on the Lord's day and attend

public service."

"We will have nothing to do with thieves, murderers,

whoremongers, adulterers or drunkards. We will not take part

in dances, sacrifices, heathenish festivals or games."

"We will not admit rum or any other intoxicating liquor

into our towns. If strangers or traders shall bring intoxicating

liquors, our Helpers shall take it from them and not restore

it until the owners are ready to leave the place."

No wonder in view of all this that one of Zeisberger's ad-

mirers exclaims: "Rich fruitage of the veteran missionary's life

labor! Happy indeed amid all the countless trials and poignant

sorrows that clouded his career, in the triumph of the Savior's

grace over the powers of darkness, in the salvation of hundreds

and thousands of precious souls!"



A century ago this valiant soldier of the Cross stood face

to face with "the last enemy." In spirit let us gather around

that death-bed. The historian tells us: "Zeisberger lay calm,

without pain and perfectly conscious. The converts sang hymns,

treating of Jesus, the Prince of Life, of death swallowed up in

victory, and of Jerusalem, the Church above. He occasionally

responded by signs expressive of his joy and peace. Amid such

strains, at half past three o'clock in the afternoon, he breathed

his last, without a struggle, and went to God. All present im-

mediately fell on their knees."


"Oh may I triumph so,

When all my warfare's past;

And dying find my latest foe

Under my feet at last!"

What now was the secret of Zeisberger's peace in death, of

his victory over the mighty conqueror? What-was the ground

of his serene confidence? Did he rest on his own achievements?

He might with reason have been tempted to do so. What a

career could he look back upon! Measured by length of service,

by absolute consecration to Christ, by self-denial and self-sacrifice

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for the sake of the gospel, no name stands higher in the history

of Christian Missions than that of David Zeisberger. With the

Apostle Paul he might have said:    "Are they ministers of

Christ?  (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more

abundant, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. In journey-

ings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils

by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in

the wilderness.  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings

often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and naked-

ness." II Cor. II:23-27. Yet all these toils, trials and suffer-

ings, so cheerfully borne for Christ's sake during nearly seven

decades, did not form Zeisberger's ground of confidence in the

hour of death.

Was it then perhaps his seemingly perfect character? To

us at this distance as well as to his contemporaries David Zeis-

berger appears well-nigh faultless. His famous companion in

labors, John Heckewelder, said of him: "He was endowed with

a good understanding and a sound judgment; a friend and

benefactor of mankind, and justly beloved by all who knew

him, with perhaps the exception of those who were enemies of

the Gospel which he preached." "Experience invariably proved

the correctness of his judgment. Receiving, as it were, a glimpse

of the future, through the deep thoughts and silent prayers in

which he engaged, he stood up, on most occasions, full of con-

fidence and knew no fear." "He would never consent to have

his name put down on a salary-list or become a 'hireling,' as he

termed it; saying that although a salary might be both agree-

able and proper for some missionaries, yet in his case it would

be the contrary."

The language used by the noted Unitarian preacher, Theo-

dore Parker, in his eulogy of the famous missionary, Adoniram

Judson, might with equal truth be applied to David Zeisberger:

"If the Foreign Missionary enterprise had accomplished nothing

more than to produce such a character it had been well worth

all its costs and sacrifices."

But Zeisberger's hope for eternity was built on a better and

stronger foundation than that of his wonderful character. A

few days before his death he gave his last testimony, and the

David Zeisberger

David Zeisberger.                 197


words form the, sum and substance of his creed and experiences:

"As my weakness is continually increasing and my appetite gone,

I believe that the Saviour intends to take me to Himself. Ly-

ing here, often sleepless, on my bed, I have employed the time

in reviewing my whole past life, and I find so many faults,

and so much cause for forgiveness, that nothing remains to me

but His grace. Nevertheless I know that I am His. I trust

in the efficiency of His atoning blood, which makes one clean

from all sin. The Saviour is mine. The Saviour's merits are

mine. Some Christians die rejoicing, with joy unspeakable and

full of glory. This is not my case. I leave the world as a poor

sinner. My spirit God will receive. I am certain of that. This

mortal, with all its sinfulness, I leave behind."

And thus the greatest of Moravian missionaries passed into

the presence of the King and entered the joy of his Lord. The

Christian Church does well to observe the Centennial of his

death. We, of this place, would affectionately call to mind the

heroic youth who helped to found our town and congregation.

Often has he trod this ground on errands of mercy for his

Master. How times have changed! The very soil which his

weary feet frequently pressed has become a source of untold

material wealth. Where nestled some of his mission-stations

huge cement plants are now located. But his name and fame

are far more imperishable even than the products of those great

industries. The wild mountain regions of Pennsylvania which

he so willingly traversed on foot for many years, searching out

and shepherding his brown brethren, for whom Christ died, have

yielded up incalculable treasures of coal, iron and oil, and made

some of his fellow mortals multi-millionaires and "kings of

finance;" but none of them can for a moment compare with him

who coveted only "souls for his hire and as seals of his ministry."

The Territory of Ohio, in which he achieved some of his

mightiest missionary triumphs, has become a great State, and

the so-called "mother of presidents;" but the fame of none of

them will equal his who a century ago left her clime for the

Paradise of God, who having "turned many to righteousness

shall shine as the stars for ever and ever."

Let us not, however, spend our lives and waste our breath

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in mere idle admiration, but let us follow him even as he followed

Christ. Be it ours to seek and find that "full assurance" of our

pardon in the "precious blood;" be it ours to bear witness "to

sinners round" of what "we have personally experienced of

God's grace in our own hearts;" be it ours to turn our backs

upon the world with its treasures and pleasures, "to seek and

to save the lost;" in order that there may be said of us what

was so truthfully affirmed of David Zeisberger in the text of his

funeral sermon a century ago: "They overcame by the blood

of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved

not their lives even unto death." (Rev. 12:11.)


"Soldier of Christ, Well done!

Thy glorious warfare's past!

The battle's fought, the victory won,

And thou art crowned at last!"






Professor of American History, Marietta College; Editor Washington's

Tour of the Ohio 1770, Washington's Journal of 1784, The Crown

Collection of American Maps, etc.

[A portion of an address given at the Zeisberger Centennial, No-

vember, 1908. For the accompanying illustrations thanks are due William

C. Lane, Librarian of Harvard University in which the original manu-

scripts were deposited by Edward Everett who collected them.]

I think Zeisberger's service was most marvelous for his sub-

lime patience, and the addresses of Dr. Rice and others during

the centennial proceedings have shown us that when that patience

failed, the great heart of Zeisberger failed also. I almost feel

that Zeisberger would have died at any time when that sublime

patience had reached its limit of endurance. The Bible, you

know, tells us that it is for some to "mount up with wings

like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, the      shall

walk and not faint." It was for some to mount up with wings

like eagles in that great unfolding drama that wrought a new

civilization in the twilight of this American Black Forest be-

tween the Allegheny and the Wabash; it was for some to run

and not be weary - men who also laid potent hands on the

mysterious forces which in God's providence were to produce

great empires where the deer loved to play among these trees;

and then there were men who were merely to walk and not faint,

not to do the conspicuous. things or appear in notable affairs

but to whose hands came a host of commonplace, monotonous

duties - lives not woven in white and purple but in "one seam-

less stuff of brown."  Such was the life of the man we bear in

mind today and as such it is of pregnant inspiration - or should

be - to all of us who must be humdrum heroes, trying our best

to walk and not to faint.

Since 1898 when I attended the Cnadenhutten Centennial, I


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Click on image to view full size

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.              201


have had more than a passing interest in the work of the Morav-

ian missionaries but it was only very lately that it became plain

how tremendously we are in the debt of those fearless men for

the preservation of the early history of this middle west and of

Ohio in particular.

Last summer under the auspices of the Ohio State Archaeo-

logical and Historical Society was began a thorough examination

of what we may for convenience call "The Moravian Records"

at Bethlehem with the generous aid of Professor Schwarze, of

the Moravian Theological Seminary. The lack of any list or

calendar of the immense collection of documents there made it

impossible to determine its historical value. From the appended

catalogue, rough and brief as it is, it will appear that it is un-

likely that any other source is more prolific of information con-

cerning the regions in which the Moravians operated than these

collections at Bethlehem will untimately prove to possess. The

Moravians were assiduous and careful record keepers; every

mission congregation kept its daily record; all affairs came in

for mention in these diaries, secular and religious. At times they

are given up entirely to discussion of outward affairs of moment

to the mission and of greatest importance to annalists and his-

torians of today. There must be ten thousand manuscripts in

the entire collection.

For instance, the records of the travels of the Moravian

missionaries will throw a good deal of new light on the subject

of the early western settlements, roads and advancing pioneers.

From about 1740 to nearly 1840 Moravian missionaries were

threading the trails and rivers of Pennsylvania Ohio, Indiana

and neighboring states.

Zeisberger's literary remains are numerous and in good con-

dition. His tours will prove of interest and are as follows:

1. Zeisberger's narrative of arrest in New York.

2. Zeisberger's journal to the Cayuga town 1766.

3. Zeisberger's journal to Goschgoschung on Allegheny,


4. Zeisberger's journals, 1762-I767.

5. Zeisberger's tour to Allegheny 1767,1768.

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6. Sister Zeisberger's diary from    Canada to Muskingum,


7. Zeisberger and Cammerhoff's journey among Five Na-

tions, 1750.

8. Zeisberger and Spangenberg's journey to Onondaga.

9. Mack and Zeisberger.

10. Zeisberger's stay at Onondaga, 1755.

11. Zeisberger's journey from Fairfield, Can., to Mus-

kingum, 1798.

But of more importance than the records of travel are the

records of the congregations. These were written usually by

the oldest missionary in charge of each station, with the help of

his assistant. They relate primarily, of course, as did the

Jesuit Relations, to the progress of the mission work, the routine

of services, the public and private talks with the converts. When

least expected, however, matters of outward importance are in-

troduced, oftentimes to receive large attention. One illustration

will prove this. In the Goshen diary of the year 1810-the

critical year before the war with Tecumseh's allied Indians--

we find the following enlightening reference to British-Indian


"January 11," "we also spoke with Nicodemus, who belonged to the

Pettquotting congregation, and has lately intimated a desire to be re-

ceived as an inhabitant here, informing him of two important points,

on which it would be necessary for him to make up his mind fully

before he came to a determination on the subject; namely, that he

must, if he would live here, totally break off his engagements with the

heathen chiefs, (engagements that members of a congregation of be-

lievers never should have entered into); and also leave off the going

to Maiden for presents. As to this last point, it is well known to all

our Indian brn. [brethren] that the agent of the British government at

Malden has, above a year ago, declared by letter to the missionaries

that no presents would be given there in the future to our Indians.

If therefore any who belong to us obtain presents there, it must be

in consequence of their professing themselves to be heathen."


It is doubtful if anything like the full story of the relations

between the British officers and the Indians along our frontiers

can be told until the records of the Moravian Indian congrega-

tions are published. The diaries of the congregations in Canada

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.               203


will throw much light, it is believed, on this mysterious chapter

of western history.

The following has been translated from the 1776 diary of

the Gnadenhutten congregation to show the average general in-

Click on image to view full size

terest that attaches to many of the entries. The selection was

made at hap-hazard in the year named:

May 1-24:   [pastoral- corn planting, etc.]

24th. Brother of Shawano Chief reports that some Mingoes are

on the war path to murder white people. He is on his way to Pitts-

burg to report the matter.

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25th-31st. [pastoral, routine]

June 1-3. [pastoral, routine]

3d. At noon Captain White Eyes came here with John Killebock.

-Both left here for Pittsburg to see Mr. Morgan, who called for them.

Soon after them came, Mr. Wilson from Pittsburg by way of Schoen-

brun with a string of wampum and a speech to the Delawares asking

them not to go to the Fort but to stay at home, because Mr. Morgan

had come to him himself and wished to speak with them in Cohohooh-

kung--White Eyes is called back.-Traders forbidden to sell rum in

Moravian towns in Mr. Wilson's "speech".

4-9th. [pastoral routine]

10th. Mr. Morgan and Makie with six white people and several

Shawanees arrive from Pittsburg on the way to CoChoohkung.

10-26. [routine]

27th. Heckewelder comes from Schoenbrum and goes to Lichtenau.

30th. [pastoral]

July 1-3. [pastoral routine]

5th. David Zeisberger stops on way from Lichtenau to Schoenbrum.

11th. Indian brings news that Five Nations have decided to sup-

port the King of England.

14th.. Mr. Morgan comes with two white boys who had been kid-

napped by the Mingoes.

16th. Mr. Morgan a little later followed by Mr. Makie return to


21st. White Eyes comes to his wife and uncle on his way to


24th. Mr. Oharro arrives from Pittsburg with ten horses, loads

of wares and also a man by the name of Makarmick to buy cattle.

28th. Two traders on way to Pittsburg report ten Shawanees on

war path.

Aug. 9th. Seven Virginians from Williamsburg stopped on their

way to the Shawanees."


Any record of those happy years of Zeisberger's greatest

success 1770-1775 are of interest.   An extract follows from   the

Gnadenhutten diary of 1773:

"January 1. Brother David returned from Gnadenhutten toward

evening, with him came Echpalawehund with his wife who had come

there this morning from Gekelemukp, and with whom Brother David

had the opportunity to hold much conversation during the day and

then his desire was aroused to live with us and to live after the Sa-

viour. So we gave him good advice because we must take care when

we wish to take such people among us.

February 3d. Brother Josua and Brother John Martin came here

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.                205


from  Gnadenhutten and Echpalawehund from   Gekelmukpechunk; the

first two incidently, the last for a visit.

March 8th. Brother David came from Gnadenhutten where he went

to pay a visit, day before yesterday and with him came Isaac from

Goschahossink, twenty miles from Gehelemukp.

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May 22d. Indians came here from    Gekelamukpechunk, Goscha-

hossunk and other places for a visit. Since it seemed that some time a

war with the Shawanees and Virginians who live far below on the Ohio

would be inevitable, the first having already killed and scalped many white

people. So we received the joyful news that everything would be laid

aside and peace would remain. The Wawiachtanos and Kilsapus, two

nations who are their neighbors, have held a council with them and or-

dered them to keep peace.

June 26th. In the afternoon we had a very violent thunderstorm,

which shattered the thickest trees; next to them  not far from our

houses to the west side it made an opening in the earth from three to

four feet wide and two and one-half feet deep.

August 10th. Before the break of day it pleased our good Lord

to take into his care Anna Justina Phillipus in the second year of her

age. She was born at Friedenshutten on the 19th of October, 1771, and

was baptized by Brother Schmidt on the 20th.

September 25th. The strange Mohicans went away friends. Marcus

had proclaimed the love of the Savior to them by day and night and

they also attended our meetings diligently and listened attentively to

what was spoken. Brother John Martin and Brother Isaac from Schoen-

brum were chosen by the "Helpers Conference" to go to preach to the

Indians and announce the gospel to them, which the first joyfully


November 5th. The speaker Killebock came with a counsellor from

Kikalemukpechunk [gekalemukpechunk] and brought a string of wam-

pum with the following words: "Nachees which means Grand Child:

We have heard that three Indians have been killed, two of the bodies of

whom were found at the mouth of this creek; and one Shawnee was

thrown into the creek by white people. If the murdering by white people

is not stopped war will be declared. Therefore several chiefs and especially

our Netawatwees with their counsellors have decided to consider these

and other evil and important things, and to keep peace and on this

account several chiefs have already gathered at Pittsburg. It also is

their intention to prevent the white people from journeying so far

among the nations. The teachers among the Indians are not meant

by this but the traders, who through the rum which they bring along

make many Indians poor and make them drunk so that many Indians

kill each other."

October 9th. The Mohicans and those living near them went to the

surveyed place. It lies half way between us and Gekelemukyse. That

is ten good miles from us on the east side of the river. It lies upon a

high bank of the river and the land is very beautiful above; the fields

however lie opposite.

October 10th. Brother David went there with a few Indian brethren

and from there went with Josua again to Gekelemukyse.

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.                     207


October 11th. Brother Jungman preached here on the love of the

Saviour for all the poor and sick who only approach him in faith and

ask him for help. An Indian came from Gekelemukyse to visit his

friends here and offered them a canoe load of corn if they wished

to have it, which was thankfully received.

It appears that the study of the Moravian records during

these years of the Second War with England will necessarily lead

to a rewriting of its history, at least so far as Ohio is concerned.

The story of the Goshen congregation record for the year

1812 reveals a strange new story of conditions in northern Ohio;

its pictures of the terror of the people of an Indian raid from

Canada, of the earthquake, of the militia of New Philadelphia

and vicinity, of the return of Hull's betrayed soldiers from De-

208 Ohio Arch

208        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


troit and Cleveland as ragged beggars along the homeward road,

of the helplessness of those in authority and their dismay, are

truly illuminating.

Did you know that it was only by a hair's breadth that a

second Gnadenhutten massacre was averted at Goshen when a

party of infuriated New Philadelphians came upon the little vil-

lage at midnight upon hearing idle rumors that the Moravian

Indians were in correspondence with the British authorities?

This is the brave Mortimer's description of the alarming episode:

"[August] 8th, between 11 and 12 o'clock at night above 20 men,

all armed with rifles, swords or pistols, came here from New Philadelphia,

to search for Indians who have been said to sculk about by day, and

assemble here at night. Messrs Laffer and McConnel preceded them

on horseback, and came first to Br. and Sr. Mortimer's house, to give

them notice of the approach of the people, and what their business was.

Br. Mortimer, who was fast asleep, on being awakened and dressed, offered

to go with the whole company, with a candle in his hands, into every

Indian house, and to every place about us which the people might

express a desire to visit. It happened that there was no other Indian

here except Charles and Christian Henry and their families, who at

this dead hour of the night were all fast asleep. They were awakened by

Br. Mortimer in presence of Messrs Laffer and McConnel, and told

of the object of this visit; and Mr. McConnel went immediately after-

wards with Br. Mortimer's consent to fetch the company of armed

men, who had meanwhile stopped near the town.       Three of these

people believed and maintained, that from the place where they had

stood among the bushes, they had seen two men cross the street just

at the time when Br. Mortimer came out of his house with Messrs.

Laffer and McConnel, with a candle in his hand. They declared too

that they had heard them open a door, and speak together; and no

surmise made with a view to explain what might have led to this belief,

would satisfy them. The most diligent search was therefore made in

all the buildings and places from whence the New Philadelphians them-

selves believed it to be possible, that the supposed two men could have

come; but no trace, they allowed, was found, that a human being had

been in any one of them, within the preceding 24 hours. If therefore

they saw anything, it was probably only two dogs, who had recently

barked, and might have crossed the street at the time when Messrs.

Laffer and McConnel entered the town, and who by means of a distant

candle, and their fears, became long and alarming shadows. All who

belong here were very sure, and averred, that no strange Indians were

secreted here.

"Had this unauthorized visit, made in the dead of the night, with

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.                 209

210 Ohio Arch

210        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


many apologies for troubling us at so unseasonable an hour, and with

much caution in particular from Mr. Laffer, who took care that no

person here should be alarmed, and nothing done or said that could be

taken amiss; not been conducted so prudently, we might with pro-

priety have made it the subject of a complaint before a magistrate.

A report, it was said, had reached New Philadelphia that 15 strange-

and it was supposed hostile--Indians were seen during the day coming

towards this place. This occasioned much alarm, and the 20 armed men

and upwards, came here to see whether the report was true; and if so,

they told us, to take the 15 strange Indians prisoners! But their plan

was illjudged; for had there been so many hostile Indians here, the

greater part of them would probably have been killed by them, as their

behaviour was altogether unsoldierlike. Judge Dierdorf, Mr. Clark, Col.

Bay and others in New Philadelphia had endeavored, they said, to dis-

suade them from their purpose, as they professed to be convinced, that

all the reports of hostile Indians being harbored here, were false; but

as their representations were disregarded, they particularly desired Mr.

Laffer, who keeps the principal tavern there, to ride in haste thither,

give due notice of their approach and business, and strongly recommend

in their name, to behave themselves in a becoming manner here. After

staying with us upwards of an hour, these nightly visitors set off on

their return home. As soon as they were out of town, they began to fire

off their guns, in order as they had said here, to frighten the women in

New   Philadelphia, and make them  think that murderous work was

going forward. As they approached New Philadelphia they continued

firing, which so alarmed Abr. Kneisley Esqure. and his family, who live

about half a mile out of town, that under supposition that hostile In-

dians were actually come, and were fighting with the New Philadelphia

people, they all fled with the utmost precipitation into the woods, and

remained there till break of day."

Following is a rough catalogue of the manuscripts preserved

in the archives of the Moravian Church and Malin Library. The

numbers refer to the green boxes in which the collection is at

present preserved:

No. 1.

John Heckewelder-Narrative of Indian Mission on Muskingum

Captivity and murder-From his diary from Cuyahoga to Bethlehem,

October-November, 1786. Also diary of Bro. Wigand [Shebosh was the

Indian name of John Joseph Bull] and Shebosh to the Huron River and

brief letters by Bro. M. Jung, 1783.

Diary of the wandering Indian congregation in their flight from

Muskingum to Sandusky, its final destruction, and the rebuilding on

the river Huron not far from Detroit in the years 1781-2-3 (brief


The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.                211

212 Ohio Arch

212        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


No. 2.

List of families who fled from the frontiers to Bethlehem January


Account of contributions for same.

Letters, etc., Pa. Indians and Pa. Governor including posts. Con-

tains D. Zeisberger's conversation with Mohawk chief Nicola at Bethle-

hem, August 1758. Something of Fred. Post's missions at Fort Augusta,

Pittsburg, 1758. Moravian's replies to accusations that they were corre-

sponding with the French.

Joseph Powel's account of benefactions to needy, etc., in Indian war.

(copy) Kettles, garments, linen, etc.

Short description of the many favors and blessings of the Lord our

God which the congregations in Bethel experienced during the dangerous

wild war, 1755-7.

Letters and reports from the country congregations during French

and Indian War, 1756.

No. 3.

1. Diary of the Indian congregation in Sangundo Wenunk from

November 27, 1771, to April 12, 1772.

2. Short report from Gnadenhutten from June and July, 1780.

3. Diary of Schoenbrunn and Gnadenhutten from November 1779

to August, 1780.

Heckewelder's instructions from  S. P. G.t concerning    Indian

lands, 1799.

Six maps of Muskingum Region.

Correspondence of great value bet. Moravian Church and Col.

Broadhead concerning Gnadenhutten massacre with accounts of same.

Memorabilia of first white settlers at Gnadenhutten, 1799.

Signed (B. Mortimer).

Letters from Salem, August, 1780.

Letters from Zeisberger, Heckewelder, Jung, etc., 1781-2-3.

Diary of Sisters Grube, Senseman, etc., of journey across the

mountains, May-September, 1780.

Diary of the Indian congregation in Lichtenau on the Muskingum

from April 6, 1779, to the end of February, 1780; also from March 1st,

1780 to August 14, 1780.

Diary of the Indian congregation at Gnadenhutten on the Muskin-

gum, 1772-1777.1

Diary of the Indian congregation in Gnadenhutten on the Muskin

gum River from February 16 to May 19, 1774:

"Toward evening a lieutenant by the name of Ante arrived who

lived in Detroit where he is engaged in business. During the past

Society for Propagating the Gospel.

1 Sample translation from diary of 1774.

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.                 213

214 Ohio Arch

214        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


winter he has been in New York where he went by water; now how-

ever he is returning home by land; we took him in with us for the

night and with him Colonel Croghan's officer who is accompanying him

as far as Sandusky. This lieutenant told us, when I asked about Cap-

tain Sinclair, that he has obtained from the Indians a beautiful tract of

land between Lake Erie and Huron which has been granted to him in

Old England by the king".

Another sample taken at haphazard--May, 1775:

"From May 1st until the 8th, we had many visits from friendly

Indians who had come partly from hunger and partly to hear the

word of God. We had experienced similar pangs of hunger when we

fled from these places during the war times. A Virginia captain by

the name of Wood came here with another Simon Girty from Pittsburg.

They went into our meeting house with good feelings and soon went

on from here to the delamatenoe to invite the Shawanese and Delawares

to a treaty at Pittsburg, September 10."


No. 4.

The affairs of the exile of the Indians from Nain and Wechquetank

from 1763 until 1764.

Diary of the exiled Indian congregation from Nain and Wechque-

tank; partly from Province Island and in the Philadelphia barracks;

partly from the journey to the Susquehannah and the arrival in Nachlli-

ching from December 1, 1763 to May 21, 1765. The wonderful preser-

vation of the Indian congregation from Nain and Wechquetank in exile.

Several address of the same to the Governor during their stay outside

of Philadelphia, March, 1765.

No. 5.

Two maps of Wechquetank Region.

Diary of Wechquetank, 1760-1763.


Diary 1769-1772 and a few letters.

The place was a Monsey Village on the west coast of the Susque-

hannah nearly opposite (a little below) Shesequm, Bradford County, Pa.

The mission there was begun by John Roth in 1769 and was abandoned

in 1772, the Indians from there emigrating to Ohio.


No. 6.


Diaries 1749-1754.

No. 7.

Diary of Meniolagomeka, 1752-1755.

Diary of the Indian congregation in Bethlehem, August, 1758.

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.              215

216 Ohio Arch

216        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


No. 8.

Diary of Pachgatgoch, 1755-1759.


No. 9.

Nain - Shamokin.

Things concerning Shamokin especially of the year 1755.

Diary of the Indian Congregation at Nain from June, 1762 to May,


Diary of Shamokin of the years 1747, 48, 49, 50, 53, 54, and 55.


No. 10.

Lawunakhannek on the Allegheny.

Languntoutenunk on the Beaver.

"Diaries of the Brethren on the Ohio," 1769 seq.

(12) Letters and memo from Zeisberger on the Ohio (Pittsburg,

etc.) 1768-9.

Letters from Zeisberger from Lawunakhannek, 1769.


No. 11.

Indian Dep't.

Wyalusing or Friedenshutten. 1765-1770.


No. 12.

Registers of Baptisms, marriages, deaths, etc., of Indians, 1742, 1791.

Catalogue of various Indian congregations, lists of Indian emigrants,


Letters from Indians to Spangenberg and others written from dicta-

tion, also letters from Spangenberg and others to various Indian con-


Zeisberger's narrative of his arrest at Conajoharie and imprison-

ment in New York, 1745.

Zeisberger's Journal of visit to Cayuga Town, 1766.

Zeisberger's Journal to Goschgoschung on Allegheny River, 1767.

Journal C. F. Post-1758.

Zinzendorf diary to letter to Shecomeco and from Weiser.


No. 13.

Recollections of the journeys of the Brethren Abraham Luckenbach

and Haven on the River St. Marys, a branch of the Miami River, 1808.

A. Diary of the Indian Congregation in Welhik Thuppek on the

Muskingum from September to October 18, 1772.

B. Report of Brother A. Luckenbach on his visit in company with

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.                    217


the Indian Brother Zacharias to the Monseys living upon the Thames

River and the Grand River.

Letters and journal, Zeisberger, 1762-1767.

Brother David Zeisberger's diary of his journey to the Ohio or

Allegene, September 1767.-1768.

Ettwein and Heckewelder 1772 and 1773 journey.

218 Ohio Arch

218        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


John Jungman's diary of journey from Bethlehem to Muskingum

River, 1773.

Diary--Indian congregation on Cuyahoga. Departure thence and

journey along Lake Erie and arrival in Petquottink or on the Huron

River, 1807.

C. Brief from the diary of the Brethren A. Luckenbach and J. J.

Hagen about their journeys to Sandusky and their stay from the 22d

of April to the end of the year 1811 and during the first half of the

year 1812.

Frederick Post's journey to and sojourn in Pittsburg in the year

1750-1760; and to the Ohio in 1761; also the minutes of the Indian

treaty at Pittsburg, August, 1760.

Report of John Heckewelder's journey to Muskingum and his return

from September 10, to December 23, 1788.

Diary of the journey of John Heckewelder and Jacob Bush to

Gnadenhutten on Muskingum and their doings in their services of the

S. P. G.

Diary-Journey-Brother and Sister Peter from     Bethlehem  to

Gnadenhutten on the Muskingum.

Short report of John Heckewelder's journey to Muskingum, his stay

there and return from September 10, to December 23, 1788.

Diary of Sister Zeisberger's and Brother Benjamin Mortimer's jour-

ney from Fairfield in Upper Canada to Schoenbrunn on the Muskingum

River in company with 33 Indians, men, women and children from

August 15, to October 4, 1798.

Brief of the report of John Heckewelder and William Henry upon

their journey to the Muskingum, in the service of the S. P. G.; as a

deputation to be present at the survey of the land along the Muskingum;

and their return in April, May, June and July, 1797.

Heckewelder's journey to the Wabash, 1792.


No. 14.

Diary of Brother Cammerhoff's and David Zeisberger's journey

among the "Five Nations," from May 14, to August 17, 1750.

Short account of John Martin Mack's and Christian Froelich's

journey to Wayamuk and Hollobank, 1745. (English)

Joseph Spangenberg, David Zeisberger and John Joseph--Diary

of journey to Onondago and return to Bethlehem.

Martin Mack's report to Brother Petrum of his journey to Wayamuk

and sojourn there.

Brother Rauch's journal of his journey to the Mahak Indians.

Brother Cammerhoff's and Gottlieb Pezold's diary of their journey

to Wechquatnach and Pachgatoch from February 23, to March 22, 1749.

Johannes' diary of journey among the Indians from Oct. 1748.

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.                    219


Diary of Brother Martin Mack's, David Zeisberger and Gottfried

Kundt's journey to Onondago, from July 26, 1752.

Report of the journey of Jacob Eyerly and John Heckewelder for

the surveying of the land on Lake Erie, granted by the Assembly of

Pennsylvania to the S. P. G.; May and June, 1794.

Journey of William Henry and John Heckewelder to the Muskingum

under S. P. G. on occasion of surveying of land on Muskingum, April,

May, June and July, 1797.

No. 15.

Relations of the treaty of the Brethren with the Nantikoks and

Shawanees in 1752.

220 Ohio Arch

220        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Spangenberg's declaration to the Indians in Nazareth, 1747.

Proclamation against the sale of rum to the Indians.

Map of the country of the "Five Nations".

Indian Conferences from 1745-1747.

David Zeisberger's memo. of his doings in Onondago for Zinsen-


Description of the work of the Brethren among the Indians in N.

America from the beginning until 1751.

Affairs of the Indians.

1. Letters about the land of Pennsylvania and French and Con-

neaught Creeks, 1791-1794.

2. Papers about the land on the Muskingum, 1798.

3. Concerning incorporation of S. P. G. 1798.

4. Papers about Smouth's Legacy in Trenton, 1791.

Material concerning Zeisberger's N. Y. imprisonment in letters

and reports especially about the Indian affairs together with an abstract

of Brother Joseph's journey to Onondago. 1744-54.

Sketch of S. P. G. by Heckewelder for President of U. S., June, 1822.

Succinct account of S. P. G. work in U. S. (English)

Etwein's diary on road to Ohio. 1772.

No. 16.

Letters and reports concerning the captivity and release of David

Zeisberger and Brother Post in New York.

Heckewelder's map.

Cayahoga Indian Settlement in package marked "Rev. J. M. Lever-


Observations made on the pamphlet entitled "an inquiry into the

causes of the alienation of the Delaware and Shawanees Indians from the

British Interests," by Conrad Weiser. Chiefly on land affairs.

No. 17.

Letters from Pettquottink from 1804 to 1807. (Huron River, O.)

Records, diaries, from Salem, Pettquottink, 1787, 1790-92.

Diary of Schoenbrunn, August 1780 to March, 1781.

Diary of Gnadenhutten August 1780-1781.

Diary of Salem on the Muskingum August, 1780 to March 26, 1781

-September 2, 1781.

Diary of New Salem on Lake Erie, October, 1789 to May 1, 1790.

Diary Pettquottink on Lake Erie; January, 1787 to March, 1788.

No. 18.

Diaries of Moravian missionaries among the Cherokee Indians.

1799, seq.

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.                   221


No. 19.

Diaries of Gnadenhutten on Huron River, 1783-1787.

Brief from the diary of the wandering Indian congregations from

the Muskingum to Sandusky, their final destruction and reorganization

on the Huron River, 1781-1783.

Diary of Gnadenhutten on the Huron River from August 1783 to

May, 1785.

Diary of the Indian congregation on the Cuyahoga River from May

17, 1785 to September 25, 1786.

Diary of journey of Sister Sarah Heckewelder with her two year

old daughter Anna Salome, from Cuyahoga River to Bethlehem from

October 9, to November 15, 1785.

Diary of a small company of Indians on the Cuyahoga from October

1786, to February, 1787.

222 Ohio Arch

222        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Diary of Gnadenhutten on Huron River from August, 1783 to May,


No. 20.

Diary of Schoenbrunn, 1773-1777.

Diary of the Indian congregation of Lichtenau on the Muskingum,


No. 21.

Documents concerning the acquisition of the Muskingum land, 1788-


No. 22.

I. Two copies of Carl Frederick's and David Zeisberger's letters

during their stay in Onondago from June 9, 1754, to June 4, 1755.

II. Christian Seidel's visit to Pachgatgoch from April 29, to June

7, 1755.

Papers relating to the Indian Missions.

1. Address of the missionaries, J. P. Kluge and Abraham Lucken-

bach to Wm. H. Harrison, Esq., Governor of the Indian Territory.

February 23, 1801.

2. Address of the missionaries, David Zeisberger and B. Mortimer

to Arthur St. Clair, Esq., Governor of the North West Territory, March

9, 1801.

3. Testimony of the Red Sisters in Gnadenhutten, April 9, 1753.

The names of the different Indian Nations in North America;

hitherto discovered, the situation of their countries, with the number

of their fighting men. N. B. Published in the calendar of Quebec.

Bishop Etwein-some remarks on Indians, etc., sent to General

Washington. 18 pp 350 perp.

Heckewelder's Sketch (another copy).

Outline of the Missionary history of S. P. G. by Secretary Benade

from 1787 to 1802.

Catalogue, Indians living on Muskingum.


No. 23.

Reports of the Indian mission on the White River from May 25,

1801 until 1806.

Diary of the journey of Brother and Sister Kluge and brother

Luckenbach from Goshen on Muskingum to White River from March

24, to May 25, 1801.

Diary of Abraham Luckenbach and Johann Joachim Hagen during

their stay on the Sandusky River in Ohio from April 30, 1811 to Septem-

ber 10, 1812.

Diary of Brother and Sister Kluge and Abraham Luckenbach from

the White River to Bethlehem from September 16, to November 12, 1806.

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.               223

Included among the Zeisberger Manuscripts in the Library of Harvard University.

224 Ohio Arch

224        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Another copy of diary of the journey of Brother and Sister Kluge

and Abraham Luckenbach from Goshen on Muskingum to White River

from March 24, to May 25, 1801.

Diaries and writings of the Indian congregation in Pettquottink

from its beginning in 1804 to its end in 1809.

Extract from the diary of the Indian congregation in Pettquottink

on Lake Erie from June, 1787 to 1789, including same by Zeisberger.

Abstract from the diary of the Indian congregation on the White

River from April 1, 1802 to May 31, 1803.

Also diary of White River during 1806.

Reports of the Indian mission on the Pettquottink from  1805 to

August, 1808.

No. 24.

Diaries, Gnadenhutten on Mahoning, 1746-1752.


No. 25.

Diaries, Gnadenhutten on Mahoning, 1747, 1753, 1754, 1800.


No. 26.

Goshen diary May 1, 1800 to 1806.

Journals of the Indian mission at Jongquakamik from September,

1802 to 1806.

Letter from David Zeisberger to the Rev. Geo. H. Loskiel, Beth-


Dairy of the Indian congregation at Goshen from May 28, 1820 to

April 22, 1821.

Journal of the Indian congregation in Goshen from 1814 to May, 1820.

Journal of Goshen from April 23, 1821 to October, 1831.

Report of the mission conference held in Goshen in 1803.

Conference about the Indian congregation in Upper Canada held in

Goshen in 1803.

Conference about the Indian congregation in Upper Canada held in

September, 1815.

Diary, Goshen, 1 May, 16 November, 1812. Eng. fine of Hull's

army, etc. Letter replying to same from Rev. Reichel.

Goshen diary, 1810-1813.

Same 1804.

Two copies Protocol (documents) Mission Conference, Goshen on

Muskingum, October, 1803.

Loskiel to Mortimer, July, 1806.

Loskiel to Muller, July, 1806.

Loskiel to Zeisberger, July, 1806.

The Moravian Records

The Moravian Records.               225

226 Ohio Arch

226        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Mortimer to Loskiel, May, 1806.

Loskiel to Heckewelder, May, 1806.

Muller to Loskiel, May, 1806.

No. 27.

Diary, (Eng.) Zeisberger and Mortimer from Fairfield, etc., to

Schoenbrunn with thirty-three Indians, October, 1798.

Diary (Eng. and Ger.) Mortimer Oppelt Jungman, etc., from Bethle-

hem to Goshen, 29 April--14 June, 1799.

Diary at Schoenbrunn, October 4, 1798--November 3, 1798.

Diary of Indian congregation at Goshen from 1798 to 1821 with a

mission; partly translated into English.


No. 28.

Diary Indian congregation in Fairfield, 1811-1840.


No. 31.

Report of Mission among Chippewas, April, 1802-December, 1806.

Mission to Chippewa - Fairfield, 1791-1810.

Diary, Heckewelder and Mortimer's journey from  Bethlehem to

Fairfield, 1798.

Map of Fairfield Mission.

No. 32.

Diary Mission, Fairfield, 1797-1811.

Same, 1810-1811-1812.


An arrangement has been made with the Board of Gov-

ernors of the Moravian Church by which the Ohio State Ar-

chaeological and Historical Society will publish an indefinite

number of these manuscripts under the joint editorial manage-

ment of myself and Professor William Nathaniel Schwarze of

the Moravian Theological Seminary and Curator of the Morav-

ian Library. A beginning will be made with Zeisberger's writ-

ings, issuing first his seventy-thousand word "History of the

Indians" written on the Muskingum River in 1778-9. It is be-

lieved that this "History" of the faithful missionary among the

Indians of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio 1740-1808 is the

most intimate and important record of its kind, relating to our

Middle West, in existence. This will be followed by the records

of Zeisberger's labors and travels among the Six Nations and

the Delawares.