Ohio History Journal





NOVEMBER 20, 1908.




As the result of the plans of a committee appointed, several

weeks previous to the event, by the Trustees of the Ohio State

Archaeological and Historical So-

ciety, a celebration was held com-

memorating the Centennial Anniver-

sary of the death of David Zeisber-

ger, which occurred November 17,

1808, at Goshen, Tuscarawas

County, Ohio. The day selected for

the celebration was Friday, Novem-

ber 20th, (1908). It proved a most

successful occasion in every respect.

The weather was propitious, bright,

crisp and cheery. The program was

opened at the little burg of Sharon,

some two miles from Goshen, and

about six miles from Gnadenhutten.

The day's commemorative services

began at the Sharon Moravian Church at ten o'clock. The peo-

ple, not only of the Sharon community, but from the neighboring

towns for a radius of many miles had gathered to participate in

the exercises and a large company of interested guests filled the

beautiful church recently renovated. The teachers and pupils of

the Tuscarawas high and grammar schools attended in a body,

occupying the front seats in the church. Professor G. Frederick

Wright, President of the Ohio State Archaeological and Histori-

cal Society presided. After the opening hymn, "Come, let us

join our friends above," Rev. C. Weber, of the Moravian Church

in Canal Dover, led in the responsive "Te Deum Laudamus," and

Rev. Walter V. Moses, of the Uhrichsville Moravian Church, read


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the Scripture lessons. The choir of the Gnadenhutten Moravian

Church sang the classic anthem, "The Heavens are Telling," with

fine effect. Rev. Jos. E. Weinland, the Sharon pastor, then spoke

warm words of welcome, to which President Wright made fitting

response. After another hymn, "Jesus makes my heart rejoice,"

the historical address on "David Zeisberger" was delivered by

Rev. Wm. H. Rice, D. D., pastor of the John Heckewelder Me-

morial Moravian Church of Gnadenhutten. Rev. Mr. Rice is a

lineal descendant of John Heckewelder for many years the com-

panion and co-worker of David Zeisberger. Dr. Rice's address,

therefore, comprised not only an intensely interesting resume of

the life and services of Zeisberger but had in it also the flavor of

personal sympathy and historic kinship. We print on a later

page a summary of Dr. Rice's address which was delivered

entirely without notes owing to his great familiarity with the

subject. His little book entitled "David Zeisberger and his

Brown Brethren" is a classic and one of the leading authorities

upon the life and character of the great Moravian Missionary.

Mr. Rice's address held the close attention of old and young in the

audience to the end. Short and informal addresses were made

by Prof. Archer Butler Hulbert, of Marietta College, author of the

"Historic Highways" and many valuable volumes on Ohio and

American History, and Mr. E. O. Randall, Secretary of the Ohio

Archaeological and Historical Society. Prof. Hulbert spoke on

the great courage, fortitude and perseverance displayed by the

Moravian Missionaries in their efforts to reach the Ohio country

and of the incomparable deprivations which they endured during

their missionary service. Mr. Randall spoke briefly of the

Christian influence exerted upon the Ohio Indians by Zeisberger

and his companions and dwelt upon the treatment of the Indians

by the white race in the pioneer days, and the efforts employed

by the United States government today to make some sort of

restitution for the old injustices in the present national efforts to

care for and elevate the remnants of the Indian tribes now on the

Western reservations.

The services in the Sharon church were very impressive and

served to deepen the interest in the day and in the man whose life

and labors were thus commemorated. During the noon recess

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the people present were served with an elegant dinner by the

Ladies' Aid Society of the Moravian Church in the spacious base-

ment of the Sharon church. The noonday repast completed, the

assembly proceeded to the Goshen Cemetery, some two miles dis-

tant on the road to New Philadelphia. The present Goshen con-

sists of but half a dozen houses, one on the site of the mis-

sionary house in which David Zeisberger lived and died. The

little enfenced Goshen Indian Cemetery contains the remains of

the following former White and Indian Christians:

Rev. David Zeisberger, Rev. William Edwards, William

Henry, Nicodemus, Thomas, Christian Gottlieb Henry, Benjamin

Henry, Moses, Abel, Ignatius, Joseph.

Boys.-Francis's son, Abraham James, Levi Moses, Jacob

Henry, Joseph Warner Mortimer, (son of the Rev. Benjamin

Mortimer), Benjamin Henry, Arnold, Joseph, Deborah's son,

John Christian's son, John Henry's Charles.

Joachim's Anna Mary, John Henry's Anna Benigna, Charles

Henry's Anna Caritas, Ignatius' Christiana Sophia, the elder,

Sophia, the younger, Salome, Rachel, Anna Maria, Rachel.

Girls.-Lisetta, Gertrude, Beata Henry, Ignatius' Agnes,

Abel's Rebecca, Charles Henry's Anna Rosina, Joseph's Anna

Salome, C. Gottlieb's Rebecca, J. Henry's Nancy, C. Gottlieb's

Anna, Carolina Louisa Luckenbach (infant daughter of the Rev.

Abraham Luckenbach).

The names of those whose bodies lie buried here in this his-

toric sanctuary of the dead as given above are preserved on a

time stained sheet, fragile from age, in the Gnadenhutten


The after mid-day exercises in the little Goshen graveyard

were most beautiful and heart appealing. The assembly gathered

about the graves, including the officials of the State Society, the

visiting clergymen of the several denominations, and the pupils

and teachers of the Beidler and Goshen Hill public schools. Just

after the adults from the nearby homes, and more distant com-

munities, had assembled in and about the little graveyard, the

pupils of the two schools just mentioned, were seen emerging

from their respective school buildings in two processions, the arms

of the children filled with flowers. The two little columns slowly

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approached the Cemetery, solemnly entered therein, and each

little boy and girl deposited a flower or sprig upon the grave of

Zeisberger. It was a beautiful tribute to the religious hero of

the pioneer days. Rev. Dr. Wm. H. Rice lead in the praying re-

sponsively of the Moravian Easter Morning Litany, which trans-

lated by Zeisberger in 1774 was used that year in the Easter ser-

vices of the churches of the Tuscarawas Valley for the first time.

We give a paragraph from that Litany, both in the Indian tongue

and its English translation:

"Machelemuxowoaganitetsch   nanni Amuiwoaganid    woak

Pommauchsowoaganid! auwen welsittawot pommauchsutch quon-

natsch angel."

"Glory be to Him who is the Resurrection and the Life; He

was dead and behold! He is alive for evermore and he that be-

lieveth in Him, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

The following is one of the hymns in the Litany as rendered

in the Delaware language by Zeisberger:


"Tamse jun ugattumane,

Ajane Wdulhewink,

Mocum nhagatamane


Wentschihhillak Erchauwesit,

Pakantschitsch kikeuchgun,

Nenicchink hokunk epit

Ndaan, Christ ndamuignukgun."


The English rendering of the above as translated from the

German in the German Hymn Book of the Moravians is as fol-


When I shall gain permission

To leave this mortal tent

And get from pain dismission

Jesus, thyself present;

And let me, when expiring

Recline upon Thy breast,

Thus I shall be acquiring

Eternal life and rest.


There were then sung by the assembly the hymns of the

Moravian Burial Service, Rev. William T: Van Vleck, the Gnad-

David Zeisberger Centennial

David Zeisberger Centennial.         161


enhutten organist, acting as precentor. This simple, but impres-

sive service was brought to a close with the benediction pro-

nounced by Rev. G. Frederick Wright. The families of Rev. Dr.

Rice and Rev. Calvin R. Kinsey, relatives of John Heckewelder,

furnished a beautiful floral cross which was laid on the grave by

Miss Rebekah H. Rice and Miss Martha Kinsey.

These two services fittingly honored the memory of the great

Zeisberger amid the very scenes of his labors and at the spot

where his body was laid to its well-earned grave-rest on Sunday,

November 20, 1808. Of that day, one hundred years ago, the

chronicler says: "The thick fog of the early morning was dis-

pelled by the bright sunshine, which made the day of the funeral

one never to be forgotten."

The children of the neighboring schools present at the after-

noon service will long remember the scene, at the grave of Zeis-

berger, on this memorable and beautiful centennial day of his

burial, and will in a large measure help to keep green his memory.

Upon the evening of the same day, the public commemorative

meeting was held in the Union Opera House at New Philadelphia.

An audience that filled every seat in Union Opera House was

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present and heard fitting and beautiful tributes paid to the life

and services of David Zeisberger. School children, who had been

given some taste of a knowledge of Zeisberger during the day at

special memorial exercises in their school rooms, were no small

part of the audience and their attention bespoke their interest in

what was being said on the platform.

County Treasurer W. A. Wagner, President of the New

Philadelphia Board of Trade, presided at the meeting and his in-

troductory remarks were in excellent form. The exercises were

opened with a beautiful selection by the New Philadelphia Musi-

cal Club, followed with an invocation by Rev. Mr. Rettig, pastor

of the First Reformed Church.

Superintendent G. C. Maurer, of the New Philadelphia Pub-

lic Schools, explained to the audience the significance of the meet-

ing at which the people were present, and dwelt with much

earnestness upon the value and necessity of keeping fresh in our

minds the brave deeds and good works of the generation who

first settled the wilderness of Ohio. The example and encour-

agement that their efforts and achievements should set before the

youth of today, and the necessity of marking historic spots by

fitting monuments, that the historic sites might not be lost.

Prof. G. Frederick Wright spoke of the geological interest

of the Tuscarawas Valley, its wonderful earth history, and made

the unique suggestion that the most fitting material that could be

used for monuments upon the historic sites would be some of the

great bowlders that were to be found in the immediate neighbor-

hood, imperishable rocks that had come down on the ice drifts

from the regions of Northern Canada.

Mr. E. O. Randall spoke of the rich historic interest of the

Tuscarawas country, and related briefly the story of the siege of

Fort Laurens, the site of which was only a few miles from New

Philadelphia. He thought that site should be secured by the State

Historical Society and properly marked. At that place in the

winter of 1778 and 9, and the spring months following, there was

enacted one of the great scenes of the American Revolution. It

was indeed the Valley Forge of Ohio.

Rev. William H. Rice spoke most enthusiastically and feel-

ingly concerning David Zeisberger and his "Brown Brethren."

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David Zeisberger Centennial.           163


Prof. Archer B. Hulbert in his remarks compared the trials and

triumphs of the Moravian Missionaries with those of the Jesuits

through the Northwest.

Prof. C. L. Martzolff, of Ohio University at Athens, elo-

quently portrayed the early history of Ohio.

The meeting was one of marked significance, revealing the

interest which the people at large will take in the historic events

of our State when properly brought to their attention

The addresses were informing, interesting and eloquent, and

the beautiful sentiments so well expressed, extolling the high

Christian character and the untiring efforts of David Zeisberger

in planting the Christian religion in this county, filled every one

in the large audience with an admiration for the man whose ser-

vices have been so far-reaching in good results. The develop-

ment of the great Buckeye State as brought out by the speakers

was also a source of intense interest and pride to all.

The celebration at New Philadelphia was given under the

auspices of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society,

immediately directed by the local committee consisting of School

Superintendent G. C. Maurer, ex-Mayor Apollo Opes and Mr.

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C. L. McIlvaine, representing the New Philadelphia Board of


The announcement was made of the organization, under the

auspices of the Board of Trade, of the Schoen-Brunn Monument

Association, and the names of the Board of Officers were an-

nounced as printed on the program: President, Wm. A. Wag-

ner, President Board of Trade; Vice-President, Rev. Dr. Wm.

H. Rice, Gnadenhutten, O.; Financial Secretary, Professor

George C. Maurer; Treasurer, James F. Kildenbaugh; Associates,

Laurence E. Oerter, Canal Dover; Oliver Peter, Uhrichsville; M.

McDevitt, Scio; Apollo Opes and Charles L. McIlvaine, New


It is the purpose of the Schoen-Brunn Monument Association

to erect a fitting monument to the memory of David Zeisberger.

Superintendent Maurer, in a short address that was attentively

listened to, said that the money for the proposed monument would

be raised by public subscription and he was sure that the people

of Tuscarawas County and the school children would be happy to

contribute to perpetuate the memory of so good a man as David

Zeisberger, whose life was a model.

An original poem from the pen of Judge J. W. Yeagley, of

New Philadelphia, entitled: "The Grave of Zeisberger," was

read with much expression by Miss Bertha Kelly, and was well

received. A pleasing number on the program was a vocal solo

by Albert Senhauser, entitled: "The Lord is My Light."

The celebration throughout was a splendid success and re-

flected much credit upon the local committee.




DEAR FRIENDS: We are assembled in the Sharon Moravian church,

on this Friday morning, to make memorial of the death, and of the burial

one hundred years ago, of David Zeisberger.

He died in the Goshen Mission House at half past three o'clock on

the afternoon of Thursday, November the seventeenth, 1808, and his In-

dian brethren and friends with their white brethren and friends, laid

the body of their revered pastor and friend to its well-earned grave-rest

in the near Goshen Indian God's- cre on the following Sabbath morn-

ing, in loving obedience to his dying injunction, "Bury me amongst my

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Indians." And in that consecrated spot his body has now been resting

for a century, awaiting the Resurrection morn.

He and his illustrious co-laborer, John Heckewelder, - younger by

twenty-three years than Zeisberger, and who, after his subsequent re-

moval to Bethlehem, in Pennsylvania, in 1810, died there in 1823,-al-

though dead are more alive than ever in the esteem of all who love the

Gospel and their fellowmen. Their names can never die; they are "writ

large" in the annals of men. John Heckewelder, in his 65th year, stood

this day, a century ago, at the grave of his honored leader and co-laborer,

David Zeisberger, who rested from all earthly labor in the eighty-eighth

year of his heroic pilgrimage, sixty-two of which were devoted to mis-

sionary work amongst the Indians of North America. In our State and

especially here in Tuscarawas County and the Valley of the Muskingum,

they are honored as the earliest pioneers

in the establishment of Christian civili-

zation within the borderes of Ohio's im-

perial domain.  Their foot-marks will

never be blotted out so long as the

names of Schoen-Brunn (the Beautiful

Spring); Gnadenhuetten (The Tents of

Divine Grace); Lichtenau (the Meadow

of Light); Salem; and Goshen, shall

have a place in the records of our State.

Your presence here this morning in

response to the invitation of the Ohio Ar-

chaeological and Historical Society of Co-

lumbus, and the presence here of the So-

ciety's representatives testify to the deep

interest and affection with which the

names of Zeisberger and Heckewelder are

cherished by the people of today; an

interest and affection which Ohio has al-

ways cherished for these heroic pioneers and their illustrious achieve-

ments in the beginnings of the establishment of Christian civilization in

her broad domain.

It is a matter for special gratification to note the presence here this

morning of the teachers and pupils of the neighboring grammar and high

schools. It augurs well for the perpetuation of the memory and record

of the men who were instrumental in the establishment and conduct of

the first schools for the instruction of the children and youth of the in-

habitants of this section. In 1776, there was published in Philadelphia,

Pa., "A Delaware-Indian and English Spelling Book for the use of the

Schools of the Christian Indians on Muskingum River," by David Zeis-

berger printed by Henry Miller, pp. 113. John Heckewelder was the

teacher of the Schoen-Brunn school.

It is a good omen for the success of the proposed plan to erect a

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monument in memorial of the first school in the territory of the State of

Ohio, which stood on the eastern bank of the Tuscarawas (then Mus-

kingum) at Schoen-Brunn, that the teacher and pupils of the neighbor-

hood are showing their intelligent interest in this centennial memorial


In the time at our command I will attempt a brief sketch of the

outlines of the history of David Zeisberger.

He was born in the Province of Moravia, in the Austrian Empire,

of old Moravian stock. His parents, David and Rosina Zeisberger were

dwellers in the (Valley of Kine), Kuhlandl, in Moravia, and had their

home in the village of Zauchtenthal in that valley. One night in July,

1726, his parents arose with their family of children, including the five-

year-old David, and leaving house and lands, fled from religious oppres-

sion to find their way across the Saxon mountain border to the estate of

a young Saxon nobleman, Count Zinzendorf. Here, since 1722, refugees

from Moravia had been permitted to begin the building of a settlement

for exiles from their fatherland. They called it Herrnhut, the Lord's

Watch. To this asylum the Zeisberger family found its way in 1726.

Ten years later, in 1736, the parents were sent on missionary errand,

to the Province of Georgia in North America, where at Savannah, under

the patronage of General James Oglethorpe, they joined the colony of

Moravians who under Bishop David Nitschmann, were carrying on mis-

sion work amongst the Indians of Georgia.

In the intervening ten years, their son David, now a lad of fifteen,

whom they left behind, had been attending the schools of the Herrnhut

settlement, and shown great aptitude as a diligent scholar. He was very

quick in the thorough study of Latin, a talent which he afterward im-

proved in the acquisition of Indian languages and dialects. The lad of

fifteen was sent to a newly-established church-settlement in Holland near

Utrecht, as an errand boy in a mercantile establishment.

One day he was sent to accompany a gentleman of rank as a guide

to a neighboring castle. The lad's manner so pleased the visitor that he

offered him a very liberal gift, on parting with him. The lad refused to

accept the gift because it was against the rules to do so. But the gen-

tleman compelled him to take the gift. On stating the case to his su-

periors the boy was at once denounced as a liar and thief, and severely

punished. He was told that nobody would think of giving so large a

sum of money to a mere youth, and that he must have come by it in a dis-

honest way. This the lad resented. And we must give him credit for

resenting such unreasonable conduct on the part of his elders. He made

up his mind to run away from his unjust superiors. He made his way

across the channel to London, where he hoped to find the opportunity to

join his parents in the Georgia colony. In this he was entirely success-

ful. He found friends who introduced him to General Oglethorpe, the

patron of the colony. He readily furnished the lad a passage to Savan-

nah. On his arrival at the American port, Zeisberger's parents could

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scarcely believe their eyes on seeing their son David, who had almost

grown out of their recognition. But their joy on receiving their son

was greater than their surprise. David was happy now in the new

home in the American wilderness; for such it was as compared with the

soft civilization of Holland.

In the third year after his arrival, the lad of eighteen accompanied

his parents and the rest of the Moravian colonists to Pennsylvania.

Here, in the "forks of the Lehigh," within twelve miles of the conflu-

ence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers, they founded the Moravian town

of Bethlehem, in 1741. Here amid the hard experiences of a church set-

tlement in the new country, the youth grew into the years of early man-

hood, strong in body and resolute in purpose to do his part in the com-

mon work.

The Moravian church settlement at Bethlehem was organized for

missionary work, primarily amongst the Indians of the provinces. Zeis-

berger was ordered back to Europe by the authorities of the settlement,

who had chartered a vessel to carry a company to England. On the

dock, at New York, as they were preparing to embark, Bishop David

Nitschmann, inquired of the young man, "Are you anxious to go?" The

prompt reply was given, "No! I am not; I would much prefer to remain

in America! I want to be thoroughly converted to Christ and to serve

as a missionary to the Indians of this country!"

The Bishop was surprised and delighted. His answer came quick,

"Then, if I were you, I'd at once go back to Bethlehem!"

Without another word Zeisberger jumped ashore, saved for his great


In a year he is the smartest scholar in the class of young Moravians

studying the Mohawk Indian language as candidates for missionary work

amongst the Five Nations in the Province of New York. This pro-

ficiency in acquiring the language of the Delaware Indians in the neigh-

borhood of Bethlehem caused his appointment as official interpreter to

the civil authorities in the meanwhile.

In 1745 he began his missionary career. He accompanied Christian

Frederick Post, on a mission to the Indians of the Mohawk Valley. The

sequel of this first attempt was the imprisonment of both of these Mo-

ravian missionaries as spies in an Albany, and then a New York prison.

After their release and return to Bethlehem, Zeisberger accompanied

Bishop Spangenberg through the trackless wilderness, on a visit to Onon-

daga, the capital of the Iroquois Confederacy, in New York. On this

visit Zeisberger was adopted into the Tribe of the Onondagas and the

Turtle Clan, and received the name of "Ganousserarcheri," which signi-

fies "On the Pumpkin." This first expedition was followed by a second

visit to the Iroquois capital, on which occasion a treaty was made, by

the terms of which two resident missionaries were to be sent to the

capital to learn the language.

On his return from Europe whither he had been sent by the Elders

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of the church at Bethlehem, to report to the elders at Herrnhut the

present outlook for successful missionary operations amongst the In-

dians of the Provinces of New York and Pennsylvania, Zeisberger pro-

ceeded to Onondaga, the Iroquois capital, and took up his abode in the

quarters assigned to him by the Indian Council. In the following year,

1754, with his assistant, Frederick, he erected a substantial Mission-

House, at Onondaga, with a view to the establishment of a permanent

Mission center in that section. The good will of the Iroquois friends

seconded their effort. The Grand Council of the Iroquois Confederacy

appointed Zeisberger, Keeper of the Archives, and deposited in the Mo-

ravian Mission House many belts and strings of wampum, written

treaties, letters from colonial governors, and other similar documents of


He was encouraged to believe that his favorite plan of evangeliza-

tion, with Onondaga as a center of mission work in the Confederacy,

was now in a fair way to success. He had gained a complete mastery of

the Mohawk Indian language and spoke several of the dialects fluently.

His labors in the compiling of an English-Mohawk Dictionary were ap-

proaching a successful completion. But the breaking out of the French

and Indian War, in 1755, put an end to active evangelization, and marks

the close of Zeisberger's missionary operations in that quarter.

At the close of the War, in 1763, Zeisberger entered again upon

the life-work which he had chosen, as an apostle to the Indians. But

now he was called to the field which he occupied until his death among

the Delaware Nation of Indians in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The first mission station was established in the Wyoming Valley,

on the Susquehanna. In their eagerness to respond to the invitation sent

them by their Delaware friends, Zeisberger and his assistants "crept for

miles on hands and feet beneath and between laurel-bushes whose tan-

gled mazes made walking impossible." The results of his pastoral labors

were phenomenal. Amongst the converts was the foremost "prophet"

of the tribe, Papunhank. At his baptism he received the name of John.

He played a very conspicuous part in after years, in Zeisberger's work

amongst the Delawares. Rev. John Heckewelder, who at this time be-

came his assistant, says, in his manuscript Biography of Zeisberger, "Had

Zeisberger inherited a kingdom, his joy would not have been as great as

it was over the conversion of the Indian 'prophet,' the first one whom

he brought into the Church of Christ."

The visiting Quaker Evangelist, John Woolman, attended the ser-

vices in Zeisberger's church and prayed, "that the great work which Zeis-

berger had undertaken might be crowned with success." But again war

-the "Pontiac War"-put an end to Zeisberger's Indian work. His

converts were imprisoned in Philadelphia, where small-pox decimated

their ranks.

In the Spring of 1765, on the return of peace, the Pennsylvania

Provincial authorities released the imprisoned converts, who like a flock

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of partridges that have been cooped up in the winter quarters of a farm-

er's barn-yard and are set free, these "children of the forest" flocked to

their forest home on the Susquehanna, and at once began to rebuild their

Mission Station which they called Friedens-Huetten, Tents of Divine


This village is described as having twenty-nine log-houses, with

windows and chimneys, like homesteads of white settlers, and thirteen

huts. These were built along one street, in the center of which stood the

Mission Church, a structure thirty-two feet in length by twenty-four in

width, with shingled roof and a wing used as a school house. Each

house-lot had a frontage of thirty-two feet. A ten-foot alley ran be-

tween every two lots. Gardens and orchards, stocked with vegetables

and fruit trees, lay to the rear of the homesteads.

A post and rail-fence enclosed the town. In summer time the street

and alleys were kept scrupulously clean by a company of women. They

swept with wooden brooms and removed the rubbish. Two miles of

fencing enclosed two hundred and fifty acres of meadow land, between

the town and the river. At the river bank a canoe for each household

was tied. Cattle, hogs, and poultry of every kind were raised in abund-

ance. More time was given to farming than to hunting. Plentiful crops

were raised. They sold corn, maple-sugar, butter and pork, and canoes

of white pine, to the white settlers, and visiting Indians.

But the spiritual prosperity of the Indian church in the wilderness,

exceeded the material prosperity.

The beginning of a great revival was marked by the baptism, in

the autumn of the first year, of an Indian convert. From near and from

far came visiting Indians,-- Mohawks, Cayugas, Senecas, Onondagas,

Mohicans, Wampanoags, Delawares, Tutclas, Tuscaroras, and Nanticokes.

Zeisberger wrote: "For several months a great revival has been prevail-

ing among the visiting Indians. They listen as though they never had

enough of the message of a Saviour. They tremble with emotion and

shake with fear. We have many candidates for baptism." Of one of

the Indian Helpers or Elders, of the church, he says: "Anthony enjoys

the particular esteem of his unconverted countrymen and he sets forth

the Saviour's love with such feeling that not infrequently his hearers

burst into tears, and Anthony weeps with them." After four years of

unvexed prosperity the beginning came of the trouble which ultimately

compelled the abandonment of their prosperous settlement. The land

was to be sold to the white settlers.

Without waiting for the inevitable crisis, Zeisberger set out in the

fall of 1767, on a tour of exploration to the head waters of the Allegheny.

The path of the intrepid apostle to the Indians, (he was accompanied

by his two Indian Elders, John and Anthony, with a pack-horse between

them), was through the trackless wilderness, never before trodden by

the white man. In the following year (1768) Zeisberger and a company

of Indian converts from Friedenshutten established the mission station

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Friedenstadt, (City of Divine Peace), on the banks of the Beaver River,

in what is now Lawrence County, on the Ohio border. Here the preach-

ing of Zeisberger was attended with the usual results. The most signal

gospel triumph was the conversion of the Delaware Indian war captain,

Glikkikan, who was baptized, receiving the name of Isaac. Zeisberger

was adopted into the Monsey Indian Tribe and the religion of Jesus

was recognized as that of the majority of the Tribe.

Here in March, 1772, an urgent invitation from the Grand Council

of the Delaware Nation led Zeisberger to visit the Delaware capital sit-

uated in what is now Oxford township, in this county of Tuscarawas.

It was his first visit to Ohio. Post and Heckewelder, then a mere youth,

not yet of age, had been here in 1761 and 1762. But this was the be-

ginning of the first permanent mission in Ohio. Zeisberger was just

fifty years old when he first came to Ohio. For the thirty seven after

years of his life he was an Ohio Missionary, to the Indians of this region.

In 1772 the entire body of Moravian Indians, at the settlement of

the Susquehanna (in Bradford County) and at the settlement on the

Allegheny (in Lawrence County) were transferred to Tuscarawas County,

under the leadership of Zeisberger and his principal assistant, John

Heckewelder. The site of the first settlement, on the Muskingum, near

Tuscarawas River, marked out for them by Chief Netawatwes, was oc-

cupied in May, 1772, and named Schon-Brunn (The Beautiful Spring-

in the Delaware language, Welhik-Tuppeek). The site of the second set-

tlement, that of Gnadenhutten (The Tents of Divine Grace) was occu-

pied in October, 1772, by a party of Mohican Moravian converts, under

David Zeisberger Centennial

David Zeisberger Centennial.                 171


the leadership of Joshua, the Mohican Elder. Lichtenau (Meadow of

Light) was settled in 1776 on a site just below the city of Coshocton,

on the Muskingum. In 1780, on a site a mile and a half below Port

Washington, John Heckewelder founded the settlement of Salem. After

having built the Chapel at Salem, he welcomed his bride, Miss Sarah

Ohneberg, the daughter of Rev. George Ohneberg (a Moravian mission-

ary) who was escorted from Bethlehem, Pa., by the Rev. Adam Grube.

The wedding took place in the newly built chapel July 4, 1780, with Rev.

Grube as the officiating clergyman, at what was, probably, the first wed-

ding of a white couple performed in Ohio.

Schon-Brunn, the first settlement, begun in May, 1772, had two

streets laid out in the form of the letter T. The main street ran east

and west, and was long and wide. About the middle of the transverse

street, and facing the main street, stood the church, in which, on June

27. of the same year, the Holy Communion was celebrated for the first

time. In August following the first church-bell used in Ohio was hung

in its steeple. Adjoining the church on the right hand stood the house

occupied by Zeisberger.

At the northwest corner of the main street stood the school-house.

The first school-house erected in the territory of the State of Ohio.

I am sure I may gather from the interest these pupils have shown

in my story of Zeisberger, that there will be no lack of enthusiastic sup-

port of the proposed movement to mark this historic site in the near fu-

ture with a monument worthy of the work to be commemorated.

This is not the occasion nor would the time permit me to give the

history of the heroic missionary campaigns with all its record of suf-

ferings and of murderous persecutions with fire and sword, and cruel

captivities and banishments and wanderings in the Ohio wilderness, and

in Michigan and in Canada, which extend, over a period of years from

1781 to 1798. In 1782 occurred the Gnadenhutten Massacre, on March

the eighth.

From "Captives-Town" in Wyandot County, the Moravians fled

across the border into British territory, and for four years lived in their

new settlement in Michigan, in Clinton County, Macomb township, within

the present municipality of Mt. Clemens. At the close of Indian hostili-

ties they were compelled by their Chippewa hosts to give up their set-

tlement, and they crossed Lake Erie to return to the Muskingum Valley.

On their arrival near the site of Cleveland - at the site of what proved a

short-lived settlment-Pilger Ruh, Pilgrims' Rest, was occupied for a

few months. In the meanwhile Zeisberger selected a site in Huron

County, near Milan, for a new settlement. It was named New Salem.

At this mission station the palmiest days of the Indian work of Zeis-

berger were revived. Amongst other gospel triumphs in the prolonged

revival which characterized the labors of Zeisberger and his Indian Help-

ers, was the conversion, among other prominent Indians, of Gelelemond,

chief of the Delaware Indians, who at his baptism was named, at his

172 Ohio Arch

172        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


own request, William Henry. Here died that veteran assistant mission-

ary, Joseph Schebosch, or more properly, John Bull, aged 68. Since

1742 he had been identified with the Moravian Indian Mission work. On

the day of his funeral, Friday, September 5, 1788, Zeisberger writes this

memorable tribute:

"Bruha Schebosch was serviceable to every man without distinction

white or Indian, at all times ready to help when he could. He bore his

cross with patience, for in this life he seldom had things cosy and good.

But he was never heard to complain or fret, even if things went hard

with him, and he had not even enough to eat. He loved and was loved.

We shall long miss him among us. His stay here below will remain with

us and with the Indian Brethren in blessed remembrance."

"Dear old Abraham," converted at Friedenshutten on the Susque-

hanna, 1765, who went through all the sufferings and hardships of the

Indian church, in the years intervening, died and was buried here at

New Salem. "We have had but one Abraham," is Zeisberger's tribute

to William, a National helper, an interpreter in early manhood in the

service of Sir William Johnson, of New York, who joined the church at

Friedenshutten on the Susquehanna, in 1770, died here. A man of "fine

gifts," honored by Indians and whites as a man of consequence, Zeisber-

ger pays high tribute to his fidelity as a Christian and his great helpful-

ness in the service of the church and against the hostile Indians.

But the final break-up of this flourishing mission station came, when

on April 10, 1791, the day before the seventeenth anniversary of his

birth, Zeisberger preached the farewell sermon preliminary to removal.

They removed once again to a settlement under the British flag,

near the mouth of the Detroit river, on the Canada side. After the lapse

of a year, on a grant of land by the British government, on the River

Thames, in Oxford township, Canada West, Zeisberger founded the Mis-

sion settlement of Fairfield. The tract of land was six miles wide and

twelve miles in length. Here they established a flourishing settlement of

forty-two regularly-built houses, with a church and parsonage. For six

years, until 1798, Zeisberger labored here. In 1798, John Heckewelder,

commissioned by the Mission Board of the Church, at Bethlehem, Pa.,

with the venerable William Edwards, led a colony of Indian converts

back to Tuscarawas County and built a new Indian settlement, here at


Hither, in October, 1798, the venerable David Zeisberger in the 77th

year of his pilgrimage, came to spend the last of his honored career.

Here in the Goshen Mission Home he lived from October, 1798, until the

autumn day in 1808, November 17th, when he fell asleep in Jesus, and

rested from a period of missionary labors which extended over more than

sixty years.

He enjoyed during the two months of his last illness the counsel

of a physician and the nursing care of his fellow missionaries and friends.

During the closing days of his life, when scarcely able to speak, he

David Zeisberger Centennial

David Zeisberger Centennial.                173


signified his great satisfaction and comfort when his Indian brethren,

who watched with the dying saint, sang some of the Delaware hymns

for the dying, which he had rendered into their vernacular years ago.

And thus on the afternoon of November 17th he fell asleep amid

the prayers of his brethren and the singing of his converts, after the

benediction had been spoken in the name of the church.

On the following Sunday, at noon, after funeral sermons in Eng-

lish and in German, interpreted into the Delaware vernacular, three of

his Indian brethren and three of his white brethren bore his body to the

near Goshen God's-Acre, followed by a large concourse of the inhabi-

tants of the vicinity. There they buried him, one hundred years ago this

very hour. And to-day his name is more alive than ever in the memory

and esteem of the people of Ohio, and of this neighborhood, as every-

where in the world where men value apostolic love and fidelity to Christ

and to those for whom Christ lived and died.




The following is the Poem written by Judge J. W. Yeagley

and read by Miss Bertha Kelly at the celebration of the Centen-

nial of the death of Zeisberger at the New Philadelphia Opera

House, November 20, 1908.


Close by a placid river's shore,

Near where its waters lave

The sylvan banks that fringe a plain,

I saw an ancient grave.


And by it rose a monument,

On which thereon was traced

The name of one who toils endured,

And many dangers faced.


The name of one who came from far,

Who crossed the ocean wave,

That he might be an instrument

The red man's soul to save:


Might make his home in wilderness,

And teach the savage rude

The mission true of human life,

And all it does include:


Might tell him of the loving One,

Who loves his creatures all,

174 Ohio Arch

174        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


Who came redeeming all mankind,

Who marks the sparrow's fall.


For SIXTY YEARS he labored hard,

Braved danger, threat and frown,

In faith sublime that blessings sure

Would all his labor crown.


Vhat toils encountered, perils braved,

What sacrifices made!

What dangers run, what want endured,

What holy zeal displayed!


Ah! who should chronicle and tell

The varied good he wrought?

What savage feuds he stayed and quelled,

And how dissolved the plot?


Zeisberger, rest! thy labor's o'er,

Thy mission nobly done;

Thy battles fought, the triumph gained,

The brightest vict'ry won.


Rest "faithful servant of the Lord,"

Sweet rest from all thy strife;

Thy name is writ on hist'ry's page,

And in the Book of Life.


And thy red brethren pass'd away,

Who with thee trouble bore,

right jewels in thy crown are they,

And saved forever more.


Oh! sweet the greetings must have been,

In mansions of the blest,

As one by one they gathered in,

And entered into rest.


Zeisberger, rest! thy honored name

Adorns our early age;

Oh! rest secure in noblest fame

Upon our hist'ry's page.

David Zeisberger Centennial

David Zeisberger Centennial.                 175







From The Ohio Teacher, January, 1908.

A beautiful November day it is. One of those rare last days of

the autumn time whose minutes pass too lightly, for you want to keep

them by you. One of those days when you are watching the sun and

calculate mentally how much of it you have yet to enjoy. You know

that you cannot have many more such glorious days, and you want every

bit of this one.

This is the 20th of November, in the year of our Lord 1908. The

records tell us that it was just such a day as this, a hundred years ago,

that a little band of Moravians--white and red-moved slowly from

yonder site where stood the mission house to this spot and reverently

interred the body of their teacher in the virgin soil of the Tuscarawas


I like that word "teacher." It is Anglo-Saxon. It has in it the

strength of the English oak. It is cosmopolitan. It means the minister,

the educator, the leader. So they laid to rest their teacher. Over the

open grave of David Zeisberger his "brown brethren," as he loved to call

them, chanted the Moravian litany in the hope of the Resurrection. Many

of his "brown brethren" had gone on before and had received Christian

burial. The remaining followers digged his grave that he might rest

beside those whom he loved, for whom he lived, for whom he labored

and for whom he sacrificed.

Now a century has gone by. The broad valley of the Tuscarawas,

dotted with homes, churches and schools, lay basking in the sunshine.

In the small iron enclosure a little company waited until a party of chil-

dren from a neighboring school could be present. In each child's hand

was a sprig of evergreen. These were laid on the grave. Then with

bared heads the men and women joined in reading the Easter morning

litany of the Moravian Church. The minister who conducted the cere-

monies was a great-grandson of John Heckewelder, a fellow laborer of

Zeisberger. It was a beautiful service.

But why stand by this simple slab in a country graveyard?




Born April 11, 1721, in Moravia.

Departed this life November 17, 1808.

Aged 87 years, 7 months, 6 days.

This faithful servant of the Lord labored

among the American Indians as mission-

ary during the last sixty years of his life.

176 Ohio Arch

176        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


It is the story of a hero. Near him is the tomb of his co-worker,

Edwards. All around are the graves of the forest children whom he

taught. Yonder is the site of the mission house which he built and to

which he retired in his later years. A farmhouse now stands there.

Some of the rock foundation is still in use under the modern structure.

Two miles up the river is Schoenbrunn, where Zeisberger and Hecke-

welder began a settlement in 1772. Here was built a church and school.

A little plot of ground now owned by the Moravian Society reminds us

of this pioneer movement of civilization. It was the beginning of a se-

ries of Moravian communities on the Upper Tuscarawas-Gnadenhutten,

Lichtenau, New Schoenbrunn and Salem. Here within a few years were

gathered by the devoted Moravian missionaries hundreds of converted

Indians. They were prepared for the future world by preparing them

to live well in this one. Agriculture and stock raising and the manual

trades were taught. Rum was not to be brought into the community.

They were not to go to war.

To get an Indian to agree to all this in such a short time is cer-

tainly a compliment to his teacher. A hunting, roving, rum-drinking,

blood-thirsty aborigine to be transformed into a law-abiding citizen of

a community is enough to cause one to doubt the doctrine of total de-


Dr. Winship, of Boston, expresses the idea in describing two small

boys whose behavior was at opposite poles. He said that there was no

difference between the boys; they had different mothers only.

Schoenbrunn was the first "dry" territory in Ohio. At Schoenbrunn

David Zeisberger Centennial

David Zeisberger Centennial.                177


was written the first civil code in Ohio. At Schoenbrunn was built the

first church in Ohio. At Schoenbrunn was the first school in Ohio. At

Schoenbrunn was prepared a spelling book for use in teaching the In-

dians. Two years at Schoenbrunn, and on Easter morning. 1774, Zeis-

berger led the people in the praying of the beautiful Easter litany of

the Moravian Church, which he had translated into the Delaware Indian


Who said that there were no good Indians but dead ones? We

are told that we graduate them at Carlisle, and the graduates hang their

diplomas in a tepee, lay aside their civilized garb and go back to the

blanket. Is it a difference of teachers only?

The Zeisberger Indian did not go back to the blanket and bear's

grease. Neither did he cultivate some of the civilized (?) habits of his

white neighbors. He was trying to throw off savagery. Experience had

told him that fire water didn't tend that way. It has taken 6,000 years

to evolve a civilized man out of a savage, but it only takes six minutes.

with plenty of "booze," to turn it the other way.

The Zeisberger education was no veneer. It did not rub off.

Brother Schebosch, the Indian convert, identified himself with the Mo-

ravians in 1742. Zeisberger says on his death in 1788, "He was service-

able to every man without distinction." The Indian woman Agnes died

in 1783. Thirty-two years had she passed through the many hardships

that fell upon her people and then "died in peace." "Our dear old Abra-

ham," as Zeisberger calls him, died in 1791. He was converted in 1765.

"He was formerly one of the greatest drunkards and fighters, so that

all had to flee before him." William became a Moravian in 1770. In

1772 he came to Ohio and for the remainder of his life worked as a

missionary among his own people.

Over at Gnadenhutten is a monument upon which is inscribed these


Here Triumphed in Death

Over Ninety Christian Indians.

March 8, 1782.


Yes, David Zeisberger, you were a teacher, and it is because of your

work as teacher that I linger a little at your grave today and stand by

the waters of Schoenbrunn.

When the last page of the world's history is writ and the scroll is

about to be made up and placed in the archives of the eternities, there

will be no pages more replete with heroism, sacrifice and service than

those upon which are engrossed the achievements of the teacher, and

none of these will be brighter than the one devoted to David Zeisberger,

the first Ohio teacher.

Vol. XVIII-12.

178 Ohio Arch

178        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.




A poetical tribute by John Milburn Harding, New Philadel-

phia, Ohio, November 17, 1908.



[One hundred years after he died.]

There are tombs of the high, there are graves of the low,

There are sepulchers sacred in story

But the grave hollowed here just a century ago

Has a halo of unselfish glory.

'Mid the scenes of thy triumphs and direst defeat,

Near the spring rich in savage tradition.

Here you gave up the ghost and at Jesus' feet

You implored but a Christian transition.


Sixty years of your life you had headed the strife

To upbuild in the Indian nation

The Moravian faith in the heavenly life,

And a prosperous civilization.

Whether "vagabond" preacher, or pris'ner in jail,

Or advisor in savage commotion.

Or guest in the lodge, or a guide on the trail,

You possessed the sincerest devotion.


Though your labors were vain as to saving the race,

Yet the souls that were saved numbered many.

The success of your work on our fair valleys' face

Has scarcely been equaled by any.

Could you now, brave Zeisberger, return to this vale

When the church bells on Sabbath are pealing,

With thy "Brown Brethren" gone, and the faces all pale,

Would it bring you a sad hearted feeling?


Still the stars twinkle down, and the river still flows,

And the flowers bloom in springtime at Goshen,

Still the sunshine still falls, and the rains and the snows,

But our life has a greater commotion.

'Twas the strength of the race--the invincible one-

That o'ercame your high hopes and ambition,

And that forced the brave Red Man to follow the sun

Would this be to you now true fruition?

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

180 Ohio Arch

180      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


county. The church probably stood in the yard of Mr. Moore,

and the town stretched across over the farm of Mr. Foraker.

The settlement of the Lichtenau village was begun by Rev.

David Zeisberger on April 12, 1776, just one day after his 55th

birthday anniversary. Eight families accompanied Zeisberger

and his assistant, Rev. John Heckewelder, a young man of 33.

It was Saturday. On the following day, April 13, Chief Neta-

watwes with almost the entire population of Goshochkunk at-

tended the first Sunday services. Zeisberger preached on the

text Luke XXIV, 46 and 47.

"Thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ to suffer,

and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and

remission of sins should be preached in His name among all na-

tions beginning at Jerusalem."

The one street of this village ran parallel to the river. The

church was erected on a lot half way between its northern and

southern ends. The work prospered from the outset and con-

tinued as this letter of Pastor Heckewelder shows. Among the

converted were members of Chief Netawatwes' family, as well

as himself. The first service at which the Lord's Supper was

celebrated was on Sunday, May 18, 1776.

At this time the Delaware-English spelling book by David

Zeisberger, printed for the use of pupils in the Mission schools ot

these Ohio towns in Philadelphia, Pa., was completed and came

into use in these parts. It is the first Ohio spelling book pub-

lished 132 years ago, for schools at Schoen-Brunn, Gnadenhutten

and Lichtenau. In July, 1776, the first baptism took place at

Lichtenau. The convert from among the heathen Indians was

a grandson of chief Netawatwes. He was named John. To a

friend who advised him how perilous it would be for him to risk

religion, John made quick answer, and brave as it was quick.

"If my life is in danger, I will the more cheerfully witness

of the truth. Do you imagine that a baptized Indian fears your

sorceries as he did when he was a heathen, and that he will hesi-

tate to make known what the Saviour has done for him and for

all men?  No! While I live I will not hold my peace, but pro-

claim salvation. This is the command of God."

David Zeisberger Centennial

David Zeisberger Centennial.            181


Among the men who wielded the axe in cutting timber for

the building of Lichtenau was the converted Indian Chief and

brave warrior, Isaac Glicklican, who was a church elder as emi-

nent for his piety as for his prowess. He perished in the Gnad-

enhutten massacre in 1782.