Diary of the Indian Gemeine in the Barracks in Philadelphia, Original Draft (March 1 - October 27, 1764)
12019-08-26T13:40:28-07:00Will Fenton82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650a72004(path)gallery2019-09-02T13:25:11-07:001764Moravian Archives of Bethlehem, MissInd 127.Excerpt from Julia Maynard Maserjian, "Moravian Indians: A Brief Introduction." Bethlehem Digital History Project, 2000-2009. bdhp.moravian.edu/community_records/christianindians/narrative.html The Pennsylvania frontier recalled the violence visited upon it during the Seven Years' War. The new bloodshed brought about by Pontiac's War bore down on the western backcountry and bred a new contempt among frontiersmen toward Indians and the government to the east. These individuals saw no distinction between hostile, friendly and Christian Indians. In an attempt to protect the Moravian Indians, the government moved them from the villages of Nain and Wechquetank to Philadelphia in November of 1763. Angered by the government's protection of the Moravian Indians, while it seemed to ignore the defense of the Pennsylvania frontier, an angry band of men called the Paxton Boys visited their rage upon a small group of Conestoga Indians near Lancaster. On December 14, 1763, fifty armed men murdered six Conestoga Indians at their settlement. The remaining fourteen Indians were taken into protective custody only to be brutally murdered by the Paxtonians on December 27. Fortunately, through negotiations, attempts to make the Moravian Indians housed near Philadelphia their next target were thwarted. The dispersing of the Paxton Boys did not, however, alleviate the threat to the Moravian Indians. The Pennsylvania government tried to transfer the refugees to New York or New Jersey, but the Moravian Indians were rejected by both governments and were returned to Philadelphia where they remained confined in barracks until 1765. After their release from the barracks in Philadelphia, the missionaries and their converts, in an effort to place themselves as far away as possible from any future threats posed by white settlements, moved to the Wyalusing valley. There the second Friedenshutten was founded and would flourish until 1771. Although the Iroquois granted the land for Friedenshutten to the mission Indians in 1768, they sold the Wyalusing land to Pennsylvania in 1771. Land disputes were avoided when the Delawares of the Tuscarawas Valley offered the Christian Indians a home in Ohio. By 1773, virtually all of the Moravian Indians had moved from their various settlements to Ohio bringing an end to Moravian missions in Pennsylvania. The events of 1763 through 1765 drastically altered not only the Moravian Mission effort but also the face of Pennsylvania colonial politics. The challenges faced by the Moravian Indians during this period speak to these regional events. Like their unconverted counterparts, the Christianized Indians suffered attack, betrayal, persecution, and forced migration." Will Fenton82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650aRelevant date range excerpted from Diary of the Indian Gemeine in the Barracks in Philadelphia, Final Draft (1764). Transcription and translation by Katherine Carté. Permissions courtesy of the Moravian Archives of Bethlehem.
The Moravian Indians remained at the Philadelphia barracks until April 1765, fourteen months after their brief trip to Amboy. During that period, Brothers Grube and Schmick—with help from Brothers Zeisberger and Rothe— continued with the daily rhythm of prayer and services, while struggling with serious shortages in provisions, nearly constant visits from Philadelphians interested in seeing the Indians, devastating illness that killed dozens of members of the little congregation, and increasing discontent among the Indians, particularly the younger men. What follows is an abridgment of the community diary. Places where text has been omitted are indicated with a †.
Diary of the Indian Gemeine in the Barracks in Philadelphia March 1764
March 1: Br. Schmick held an earnest and forceful morning service, because a few of our bad people behaved very poorly last night. We sent letters to Bethlehem with the Nazareth wagon, as well as the diary for the last months.
March 2: The soldiers received orders from Captain Schlosser not to let anyone into the barracks without permission from the officers, because the Indians will be overrun by all kinds of people and a mishap could easily happen. Because Peter was disobedient to the brothers and against our will had traded with the soldiers, 3 £ gold that he had received the day before for his horse was stolen out of his pocket by a soldier. Brother and Sister Neusser and a few other sisters were here to visit, as well as Mr. Pemperton, who bought many spoons from our Indians. A good friend from Lancaster visited the Indians with pleasure.
March 4 [Symbol for Sunday]: Br. Schmick preached in the Mahican language. Many people from the city were in the meeting. At the evening service, Br. Grube spoke about the Daily Text: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.(2) Various orderly city-people and soldiers listened with devotion. Our Indians had more peace today than usual, because the watch had strict orders to let no one in the Indian rooms.
March 5: It was quiet calm around us. Our men folk were diligently making spoons so that they could buy some bread for their children.
March 6: Br. Micksch came as an Express with letters from Bethlehem. Br. Schmick went immediately thereafter to Mr. Fox to speak about the Indian Single Sisters which are to be sent here from Bethlehem.
March 7: Our dear David Zeisberger came here from Bethlehem with the intention of going on pilgrimage with us again. A few of our Indians began to be sickly, because they are not accustomed to eating salted meat and fish.
March 9: Mr. Epdy came to visit. He came back from Sir William Johnson yesterday, but he could report nothing reliable about our coming trip. In the afternoon, Sr. Anna Rosel came from Bethlehem with the stage and brought four Indian Single Sisters with her, who are to remain in the barracks with us. They were lodged with Br. and Sr. Schebosch and their child in a separate room. Their arrival was soon after reported to the Governor and the commanding officers. Br. Marshall and David visited us. Jannetje, Regina, and Eva, who had nursed Geschee and her child and [then] withstood their [consequent] quarantine, were put back in their rooms. Andreas and David got fevers. In the evening was a Singstunde.
March 18 [Symbol for Sunday]: Br. Schmick preached in the morning and in the evening Br. Grube held the service. This afternoon was very uneasy here, the people from the city frequently come to see the Indians.
March 19: Br. Schmick went to the Honorable Governor in order to learn whether our trip will soon take place.(2) He received for an answer, however, that the matter is not yet determined. Jacob Weiss visited our sick people and gave them medicine. Captain Makintosch, who saw our Indian Single Sisters, regretted greatly that they should be brought into the wilderness, admired their decency, and said: I have never seen such people in my life. So say many other people who come to see them. Even the soldiers respect for their rooms and do not come near them.
March 20: Captain Mackintosch searched the barracks because so many dissolute women folk stay here and engage in such an immoral life with the soldiers that there is little rest for them, day or night. Br. Schittelhelm’s youngest son gave a Love Feast to our Indian boys for his birthday today. Our children sang a little verse to him; at the end, they all kissed him heartily. There were strangers again in the evening service.
March 22: After the morning service, the communicant brothers and sisters had their quarter-hour service, in which it was made known to them that we would have Abendmahl [communion] this week. Br. and Sr. Schmick began to interview those from Nain, and the Grubes those from Weequetank. We found that the dear Mother [Holy Spirit] works incessantly on the hearts. Many wept for joy when they heard that even here in the barracks there shall be Abendmahl, and said: we feel ashamed that the Savior does so much good for us when we are yet such bad people. We want to stay with Jesus’ people, if the Brethren should leave us, however, we would be very sad, since the words which the Brethren say to us from the Savior are our comfort, particularly in our current sad and difficult circumstances, when almost all people hate us and want to kill us.
March 23: We heard that one does not want us to have permission to move through New York.
March 25 [Symbol for Sunday]: At midday, Br. Grube preached about the subject of today’s festival. In the afternoon was the Abendmahl. Soon afterwards, Johannes Pepunhang and Job. Chelloway arrived in the company of Major Clayton and Capt. Ervins, from the Susquehanna via Bethlehem, which made us very glad, because for a few days already we had been very worried about our dear Johannes Pepunhang. [He also] brought his daughter with him from Machchihising. The Indians up there are said to live in much uneasiness and have to suffer much hunger. Br. David Zeisberger held a blessed evening service.
1. Numbers 6:26. English translation taken from the King James Version. 2. Discussions about how and when to return the Indians to "Indian Country" continued for over a year.
April 1 [Symbol for Sunday]: In the morning, Br. Schmick preached and had many people to listen. It was very hard for us today, because too many people came into the barracks to see the Indians. We therefore asked the sergeant from the watch to put a stop to their coming.
April 2: Capt. Schlosser visited us. He told us that, on order of the colonel, he and his company would march away from here at the earliest day. We were very worried about our poor Indians because it seemed that no one wants to take care of them anymore. One sees in the writings that are published almost every day the many accusations and great enmity against our Indians; that through [such writings] the people are enticed to be more and more against us, and if our dear Lord does not specifically protect us, then we must still become victims. Today we had our people bled. Benjamin is very sick and contract. [Part of entry omitted]
April 3: Because last night again two of our worst people behaved themselves badly, Josua talked with the Mahican people and Anton with the Delaware, and explained to them the kind of misfortune that could come to all of them because of a couple bad people. The ill-doers promised that they would never again do it. The Single Sister Marthel was sick. Mr. Fox provided us with food today.
April 5: Dear Br. Peter from Bethlehem gladdened us with his visit, he saw all of the Indians in their rooms. They greeted him warmly and rejoiced to see their dear Br. Peter one more time. Br. Schmick and Br. David went to visit some of the Honorable Governor’s advisors this afternoon, in order to make known the concerns of the Indians. Br. Marshall visited us. Our men folk gathered today and deliberated over the suggestion that they wanted to make to the Governor regarding their trip to General Johnson, namely, that the Government might bring them to the border, and afterwards they would see how they could get themselves through.
April 7: Br. Schmick and Br. David went to the Honorable Governor and conveyed the concerns of the Indians. At the same time, they visited several other Magistrates to get an idea of their good advice. They came back home however without any hope that our poor Indians might be helped. Our dear Indians were totally downcast by this news. We consoled them though, that our dear Lord would already have an idea for them, although it was as yet impossible to see it. Some Quaker women visited our Indians and gave our Single Sisters 20 Shillings. Two Indians from Mr. Braynard’s people from the Jerseys visited their friends here.
April 10: The Honorable Governor sent his Secretary and one of his Counselors to our Indians to hear their suggestions about how they thought to come to Sir William Johnson. Our Indians explained themselves thus: that it was quite possible; if they were first brought safely to the frontier, they could help themselves to get farther. These two gentlemen promised to inform the Honorable Governor, to whom it was very important that the Indians might be safely and happily brought to their lands again, etc. etc. Colonel Bouquet and many officers were in the barracks for the mustering and exercising of the soldiers. Yesterday our dear old Emy went with her sister to the Jerseys; we had nothing against it, because she is old and incapacitated and can not get along any more, her heart will stay with the Savior and keep His people dear.
April 12: We had a blessed morning service. At midday, Mr. Fox came and told us in the name of the Honorable Governor that he, with his Counsel, had considered our circumstances, [but] they could not give us permission to go to New York and settle there. In the current situation, we could not be sent to Indian country, because we would lack for food and could quite easily come into danger of being attacked by enemy Indians. Also, we could easily be blamed if a murder should be committed on the border. Thus it had been concluded that we should be transported back to Province Island, and a watch of soldiers would be provided. As our Indian Brethren heard this report, they were very glad and had Mr. Fox thank the Honorable Governor. We had been perplexed about our Indians for several weeks and have given our faithful Lord many good words about them, that he might arrange everything according to his Heart. And we repeat to Him in reward and praise, He had made everything well so far.
April 13: Br. and Sr. Schmick and Sr. Grube visited Mistress Fox and were welcomed very warmly by her. Various officers and distinguished people were here to visit. The young Josua had to play for them on the spinet, which amazed them.
April 16: Br. Rothe, who stayed here for a long time and wanted to come with us to Indian country, went back to Bethlehem. Our dear David Zeisberger, however, resolved to stay here until Br. and Sr. Grube, who are going to Bethlehem to the synod, come back again.
April 18: Br. and Sr. Grube visited poor Renatus in prison, who was very glad of the visit. He is healthy and well and spends most of his time reading in children’s books. He asked often: Will I not be freed soon—because I am very tired of being here among the mean people.
April 19: The communicant brothers and sisters had a quarter-hour service for Maundy Thursday. Then were the interviews for Abendmahl. In the evening, first the sisters then the brothers had a blessed Foot Washing service. They were all very ashamed over the very unexpected blessing, because they thought that there was no possibility of having such a thing here. Br. David Zeisberger remained in the barracks with us this night.
April 20: Br. Schmick held the morning service. At ten o’clock, a beginning was made with reading the story of the suffering of our Lord in the Mahican language. Most of the day was spent doing it, many tears were spilt in the process, our Johannes Pepunhang, who heard it for the first time, was particularly taken by it. The soldiers were amazed by our frequent gatherings. In the evening, the communicant Gemeine, numbering 42, came together to taste the sacrament of our Lord. Joh. Pepunhang had the blessing of watching. Oh how glad and thankful we were to our bloody martyred man for this blessed day, which we could still hold undisturbed in the middle of the noise of the Earth.
Diary of the Indian Gemeine in the barracks in Philadelphia April 1764 – June [closing date written in pencil]
April 24: In the morning service, we gave ourselves anew to our dear man of pain. The brothers made spoons and the sisters baskets the entire day, so that they could buy some bread. Towards evening, David Owns, who recently came down here from the Susquehanna, was here with another man. He gave our people several reports from their friends who still live up there in peace and quiet. In the evening, Br. David held a blessed meeting [to celebrate] the joy of the Lord.
April 25: Br. Schmick held the morning and evening services. In the afternoon, Mr. Fox visited us and recommended our Indians have patience in the current circumstances.
April 30: Br. Schmick visited the poor Renatus in jail and held a blessed band with him, for which he was very thankful. In the afternoon, Mr. Fox was here, and when he heard and saw that the Indians lacked wood, he went to the water himself, bought a couple wagons full, and brought them here. The Indians thanked him warmly, which pleased him well.
May 1: We thank our dear Lord from our hearts that He had let us feel something of his martyred and bloody atonement. Throughout the day, there were visitors from the city, the people bought spoons and baskets, the boys, however, [bought] bows and arrows.
May 5: The soldiers marched out for Lancaster and Fort Loudon. One sergeant, with six healthy and six sick [soldiers], was left here for a watch.
[Symbol for Sunday] May 6: We felt strikingly well in the sermon and in the evening service. Many listeners from the city attended. In total, there were more than 1,000 people here today to see the Indians, who showed themselves very orderly and friendly. Various Brethren from the city and countryside visited us.
May 7: There were many people here again in the afternoon, among whom were Pastor Handschu and two colleagues, who are recently come from Europe. They inquired about the Indians and asked if they believed in the Savior, and since they heard that most were not only baptized but also went to communion, they were amazed and wished Br. Schmick much luck and blessings in his work. Johannes Pepunhang’s daughter came and spoke with us about her heart and [said] that she had already felt a desire for the Savior several times and would like to be baptized, since she did not know what else would help her.
May 8: In the morning, Sr. Schebosh bore a little daughter, who...
May 9: in the morning service was baptized by Br. Schmick and named Christiana. Josua Senior was very sick, also Johannis’ second daughter, Martha. An old man from Machchilusing and Pepunhang’s daughter asked for baptism.
May 10: Many boys from the city brought hickory wood in order to have bows and arrows made, in this way our boys earn some pennies for themselves with which they can buy bread.
May 15: Near morning, Johannis’ and Lorel’s second daughter, Martha, [who was] ten years old, went to the Savior and was buried in the evening. Our dear Br. David Zeisberger also traveled from here to Bethlehem. He had stayed here ten weeks and served us very faithfully. This morning Br. Grube began an English school with the young people, who want it very much, and through it also gain more occupation.(1)
May 17: Mr. Penn, the Honorable Governor’s brother, visited all the Indians in their rooms with an officer, and asked Br. Schmick about a few things, namely, whether the Indians had enough to eat, [and] whether they were glad to remain in the barracks, and said: the latter [staying in the barracks] would be the best for them, because it would now be too unhealthy on Province Island. Because the soldiers are now gone, we can lodge our Indians better and with more room [by remaining in the barracks], which was very pleasing to them. Johannes, Lorel’s husband, was very sick.
May 19: Two Indian women came from the Jerseys and wanted to visit our Indians, but because they were drunk and had rum on them, they had to leave again. Today we had the first bread baked from our portion of flour by Br. Johann Peter, because we are not in a position to buy it any longer. In the evening service, we laid ourselves especially before the Savior’s heart and recommended ourselves to His faithful protection.
May 22: The sick Johannes was absolved and went soon after to the Savior. He was baptized in 1744 in Shecomeco by the blessed Christian Henrich, came in 1748 to Gnadenhütten to live and was an participant at communion. When Gnadenhütten was destroyed, he lived for a while in Bethlehem and Gnadenthal, and finally in Nain, where he came into a confusion with his wife, and he went from there to the Susquehanna with his children, lived a year there, [then] came finally, though many prayers from his poor children, back to Nain, and asked for a little place to live with the Brethren, which was granted to him and his wife in Weequetank. He had a mild and changeable character, but there was a blessed election of him, thus the Savior brought him back to His people. Towards evening the Honorable Governor came here with his brother and a few other gentlemen to see the Indians, ordered a few Indian shoes and asked the young Josua to play the spinet, which they listened to with astonishment. In the afternoon, the sisters had an unusual gathering in which much about the rooms and the cooking was discussed. Finally, the new establishment of bands was made known to them, which was very dear to them and they wept for joy. They said also, we would like to become good and obedient children. Jacob Weiss was assigned to us by the Honorable Commissioners as a doctor.
May 29: Our dear heart Nathanael came from Bethlehem to visit and was warmly welcomed by our Indian Brethren. The old Josua became quite violently sick with colic.
1. "Occupation" appears in English in the original. It is unclear if the writer meant the school would give the young Indians more to do during their stay in the barracks or more opportunities once their stay in Philadelphia was over.
June 1: After the morning service, the communicants were informed in a special gathering about tomorrow’s Abendmahl, for which they were also interviewed. A brother and sister, who were not participants last time, were very small and sinner-like, and asked for forgiveness. The sick Lorel, who up to now has been in a bad situation of the heart and as if hardened, recognized her sins and asked for forgiveness, because she believes she will soon go out of time. The old Sarah, Abraham’s widow, who has been taking care of the sick, also became sick. A thorough band was held with Josua on his sickbed, and he was ashamed that he concerned himself with unnecessary thoughts.
June 7: Early in the morning, Lorel’s body was brought to rest. Late in the evening, Mr. Fox came to us and brought fourteen Indians with him, Nanticokes and Delawares, who have been staying in the Jerseys for a while and were maintained by the Quakers, who have asked the Honorable Governor take them into the barracks for better security. Mr. Fox reminded them to be obedient and to follow our advice so that we would not make any complaints about them.
June 10: Br. Grube held the midday festival sermon, as well as the evening service. Afterwards the communicant Brethren, and also some of the baptized and unbaptized people, came into the liturgical room where two old men, who have already for a long time asked for baptism with tears, were baptized in Jesus’ death by Brs. Grube and Schmick. The first received the name Nicodemus and the second Paulus. They have already, a year ago, heard the gospel from Br. David Zeisberger in Machihilusing, came down here last fall with Johannis Pepunhang and lived with us on the island, and since then they have become believers in the Savior. Our dear heart Marshall also went to this blessed act, and many tears were spilled by the baptized and unbaptized.
This morning our dear old Sara, Abraham’s wife, the first among the sisters, went blessedly to the Savior. She was baptized in 1742 by Br. Christian Henrich in Shecomeco, as the blessed Disciple [Zinzendorf] was there and established a conference, thus she was named an Eldress. In 1749, she came with her family to Gnadenhütten to live and had the blessing to be disciple several times. As her husband was made captain of the Indians in Stockbridge, however, and the Nanticokes and Shawnees made a pact with the Brethren,(1) he was seduced away from Gnadenhütten to move to Wajomick, with which our dear Sara was not wholly in agreement. Yet she had to follow her husband, and she came, through this, into bad circumstances. She was glad, however, every time she saw a brother from the Gemeine and always asked to hear something of the Savior. The last words of the old Abraham, before he went home [died], were with her: "You go, as soon as I am dead, back to the Gemeine and ask the Brethren to take you back in and forgive," which she did. She came to Nain a year ago with her daughter and youngest son, and they received permission to live in Weequetank, about which she rejoiced and for which she thanked the Savior. She had, however, no real rest, and she often asked for absolution with tears, which blessing she also took part in. She was also soon readmitted to Abendmahl, bending and ashamed. She was sinner-like and small, and, in our difficult circumstances, she always remained child-like and confident in the Savior. In her sickness she said, I would like to go to the Savior and that will happen on the next Sunday, which then came to pass, and we were warmly thankful to the Savior that he found this first fruit again and made her blessed again through his wounds.
June 11: Our dear Br. Marshall traveled again to Bethlehem. The body of our blessed Sara was brought to rest by Br. Grube in the Potters Field this evening, and, by the grave, he thanked the Savior in a childlike way for the blessed election from the heathen. In the evening, after the service, most of the brothers and sisters came together in the liturgical room for the baptism of our Johannis Pepunghang’s daughter, whom he brought down here this winter from the Susquehanna. She had already asked for baptism several times, because she felt that she could not become blessed without Jesus’ blood, which blessing she received, and she was baptized in Jesus’ blood by Br. Schmick with the name Sophia.
June 14: Br. Schmick brought the two bodies [of the two Indians who died the previous day] to rest in Potters Field in the morning. Renatus was brought, very early, from here to Newtown by the Over and Under Sheriffs, the Prison Keeper, and Br. Schebosch. From there, Br. Schebosch and the Sheriff from Bucks County will bring him to Eastown, where his trial will take place on the 19th.
June 15: Br. Schmick held the early service. After that he traveled with Ludwig Weiss to Bethlehem to be there for Renatus’ trial in Eastown. In the evening, we had a blessed service about today’s Daily Text: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, etc.(2)
June 16: The little Elisabeth, Lorel’s remaining child, went gently to the Savior. She was born on Province Island and baptized by Br. David Zeisberger. We were glad and thankful, that the Savior took this little orphan to himself so soon. Jacob Weiss visited our sick, and found that three of them have pox. The brethren’s bands [Gesellschaften] were held with blessing.
June 19: Some Indians from the Jerseys came to visit their friends. We had much effort today to resist evil, and if the Savior did not specially support us, one could easily become powerless: because the Foe begins, in all sorts of ways, to bring our Indians into confusion. The bloody dysentery is also quite strong among our Indians.
June 21: Br. Grube celebrated his fiftieth birthday. Job Peep the Indian, who came a few days ago from the Jerseys with several other Indians, received permission from the Honorable Governor to take his wife and daughter with him. He had left them several years ago, and she had stayed with us for a while, but remained mostly dry and unfeeling. Job Chelloway, the Indian who is now in the service of the province, came to visit his wife and child. Our young people gave us much distress today.
June 23: Our dear Br. Schmick came back from Bethlehem today with the happy news that the poor Renatus underwent his trial in Eastown and on June 21st was declared free and innocent by the jury from the false accusations. Our Indians rejoiced greatly and were thankful that Renatus is now free again. Br. Schmick held the evening service and bestowed the greetings from the Brethren in Bethlehem and Renatus in Eastown. Br. and Sr. Neusser came from the city to visit us.
June 25: During the early service, Rahel, Renatus’s youngest sister, fourteen years old, went to the Savior from the pox. She had a sensitive heart and often came to Srs. Grube and Schmick and spoke about her heart. She said: I am a poor child and feel my misery, but the Savior lets me feel his love, I now want to become and remain completely His. In the last band [Gesellschaft], she expressed particularly that she would like to go to the Savior. When Br. Grube visited her during her illness, he asked her if she was well and easy in her heart. She answered, yes, I have nothing that prevents me from going to the Savior, only I would like to see my brother Renatus one more time. She became weak soon thereafter and asked if someone could sing her a little verse and play on the Zitter. This last Elias did, and she received therewith the last blessing. She recovered further and passed eight more days, then she blessedly left. Her sisters Anna Johanna and Christine from Bethlehem were her nurses and now had to keep their quarantine.
Naemi’s girl also came to us, asked for baptism, and said: I will not live long, because my dear Rahel is now gone to the Savior. When she became sick she spoke heartily with me and said, I wish that you might come to the Savior, and let a blessed heart be given to you through baptism, because if you are not washed with Jesus’ blood, you will be lost. Now I do not feel well, and will soon go to the Savior, and now promise me that you will give your whole heart to Him.
June 26: Br. Schmick held the early service and reminded Johannes Pepunhang about his baptismal day today. Variously friendly officers came to see the Indians. In the German newspapers, it said that Renatus was declared innocent by the jurymen in the court in Eastown. We also received news from Bethlehem that our poor Renatus is still in mortal danger of being killed by Pöbel. Josua the younger was promised to Sophia, Pepunhang’s daughter, and, in the evening after the general services, they were married in a special service by Br. Grube.
June 27: Before the evening service Mr. Fox visited us, spoke with our Indians, and reminded them not to go out of the barracks, because he knew there were very many mean people in the city who did not wish us any good. For himself, he wished that they [the Indians] were 1,000 miles from here in safety, only now it was not possible to send them away. We heard also that the people in the city are very unsatisfied that Renatus was set free and acquitted. They would rather have seen that he was killed.
June 28: Ruth, Sem Evans wife, delivered a son. Ludwig, Joel’s 9-year-old son, died of a high fever, and was ...
June 29: buried in the Potters Field by Br. Grube. The little Schmick celebrated her second birthday, and gave the smallest children a Love Feast, by which they were very pleased. Sr. Grube got an attack of high fever. Mr. Schippen, Secretary, and Col. Francis saw our Indians. The sick Adolph asked fervently for the Absolution of his sins, which was given to him yet this evening in the name of the Savior. He then said to Br. Schmick, oh how light my heart now is, a great burden has been taken from me, etc.
June 30: We explained various matters to our people in a special service, particularly about going home [dying], because various of them have let themselves come into reasoning about it. Anton said at last: It is true what our wise brothers say, I know their hearts, and whoever says or thinks something against them, he speaks or thinks against the Savior, and I will have no part of it. Gottlob, Nathanael’s son, got the pox. Because his parents have not themselves had it, the last two to be baptized, old Br. Nicodemus and Peter, volunteered to care for Gottlob. They were placed in a special room on the south side. In the evening, Br. Grube closed this week with a Singstunde. In this month, we have particularly experienced the visits of the Savior, in that he took ten little brown sheep into his arms and had four people buried in his death. May he be thanked 1,000 times by our four poor hearts. The Schmicks and the Grubes.
1. See Gnadenhütten Journal 2. 1 Corinth. 3:16. English translation taken from the King James Version.
Diary of the Indian Gemeine in the barracks in Philadelphia – 1764 July
July 1: This morning our dear old Hannah the Mahican went blessedly to the Savior. She was only sick a few days with dysentery, and no one suspected that she would go home [die] so quickly. She was baptized in 1751 in Pachgatgoch by the blessed Gottlieb Bezold. Came a few years later to Gnadenhütten to live. She had the blessing to go to communion, and followed her blessed and calm course until her end. At midday, Br. Grube preached about today’s daily text: As the Lord Jesus took her on, so she changed in him. Marie, Benigna’s daughter, got the pox. The old Delaware Hanna volunteered to care for her, we gave her a special room on the south side of the barracks. The young Philippus and Abraham behaved very badly.
July 2: Early, Br. Schmick brought the body of our blessed Hanna to rest in Potters Field.
July 4: Before day, Br. Rothe and John Jones brought Renatus from Eastown, he was settled in very quietly. When the Indian brothers and sisters awoke and heard that Renatus was there, they were very glad. They soon came and greeted him warmly. We were thankful to the Savior for the merciful rescue of his life. From the Jerseys, we heard that the old Sara, Jo Peeps wife, is very sick. Br. Rothe visited the Indians in their rooms. In the evening service, which Br. Schmick held, there were a few people from the city again. The young Sara, Abraham’s daughter, lies very sick and asked earnestly for forgiveness, which she has already done several times. The blessing was given to her in the name of the Savior.
July 6: We spoke with our people very earnestly because we heard that many are concerning themselves with damaging stories regarding the Brethren, and that Job Chelloway is said to have been a leader in it.
July 11: This morning four went home [died], namely: Adolph, Levi, Marie, and Abraham, the last two of the pox, which has caused much reflection among our people. We thanked the Savior, however, that he intended such good for these people that he always took one after another into safety. A few young people put us in an awkward situation today, because they went too far from the barracks without our knowledge and could have come into mortal danger by doing so. Adolph’s and Marie’s bodies were buried by Br. Grube in Potters Field this evening.
July 16 [First part of entry omitted]: These past days some of our people made us very uncomfortable because they insisted on going into the wilderness, so we were forced to explain to them the danger and misery in which they would be putting themselves and those they left behind, etc. etc. Salome, Salomon’s widow, went blessedly to the Savior. She came to Nain a few years ago on the occasion of the treaty in Eastown, heard the Gospel there and believed it, and was baptized by Br. Peter in 1761. She was soon thereafter an enjoyer of the body and blood of Jesus, and she followed her course blessedly until her End. She was, with her husband, a joy and a wonder of mercy to us. She had shown much faithfulness and love to the sick in her room, and her blessed man [departed husband] made the agreement with her that she should soon come after him, which then happened. The upcoming Abendmahl was made known to the communicant brothers and sisters.
July 17: In the morning, Priscilla, Nathanael’s wife, went home from the pox, about which we were not comforted. Today Josua and Bathseba were spoken to especially; both are in dangerous circumstances. The two bodies were brought to Potters Field by Br. Schmick towards evening.
July 18: Our dear Elias, Andreas’s son, went to the Savior from the pox. He was very pleased in his sickness and spoke of nothing but the Savior and that he would soon go to Him. A few days before his end, he had the Brothers asked that when his wife should give birth, the child would be baptized, which was promised him and for which he was thankful and said: my dear hour is near, and so the Good Shepherd took him in His arms. He could play prettily on the Zitter, as well as on the Spinet, and passed most of his time here with that. We are very comforted about him.
July 19: His body was brought to rest by Br. Grube. Yesterday Mr. Fox sent another doctor to us to visit the sick. The old Josua and various other Indians asked Job Chelloway to go to the Governor’s secretary in their names to let him know that that they wanted to speak with the Governor themselves.
July 20: [Today] was the most blessed day for our dear, old, blind, sister Thamar, Anton’s mother, because she had the blessing: His eyes, his mouth, the body wounded for us, that we build so firmly, go to see joyfully, and in his presence greet the wounds on hand and foot. In 1750, she was carried by her two sons forty miles from the Susquehanna to Gnadenhütten because she wanted to hear the Word. She was baptized that same year by Br. Martin and afterwards had the blessing of going to communion. She lived in Bethlehem and Nain after the destruction of Gnadenhütten. She had already been blind for several years, but the Savior was thus all the nearer to her. She confessed to Sr. Schmick several times that she had seen the Savior standing before her, giving her His hand and [that He] was very friendly to her. She was also very calm in all circumstances. On our difficult pilgrimage since last fall, she endured much. Fourteen days ago, she became sick with dysentery, which served to be her blessed release. A few minutes before her end, she said to Sr. Esther: Now I feel no more pain, the Savior beckoned me, He will take me to him soon, which then happened under the blessing of Sr. Schmick. Her age was some eighty years. Job Chelloway’s eight-year-old daughter also died from the pox. She came down here last fall with her parents from Machchilusing. The communicants were interviewed for the Abendmahl[.]
July 23: [First part of entry omitted]: After the early service, all the men and women folk came together. We asked to know who it was who wanted to go to the wilderness. The young people said: it is us. The women folk, said, however, where should we go? We stay with the Savior and the Brethren. Br. Schmick went to the Honorable Governor, because he had asked to speak to him about the Indian’s request to speak with him themselves. [Schmick] found him not at home, however, because he had traveled to Lancaster. Jacob Weiss visited our sick.
July 24: Last night three more went home [died], namely: 1) Beata, Joachim’s daughter, who was born in 1756 and baptized by Br. Bader in Bethlehem. She was a dear child and had the Savior very dear. She was always sickly, got the pox and seemed to come through quite okay, [but] at the end she got dysentery also, which exhausted her little body, and thus she went over into the Savior’s arms. 2) Joel, who was mostly blind, was baptized by the blessed Br. Gottlieb Bezold in 1751 in Gnadenhütten, went to communion, lived the last few years in Weequetank, [and] was also sick most of the time. Last fall he retreated with the other brothers and sisters to Nazareth and was afterwards satisfied during our entire difficult pilgrimage. His heart hung on the Savior and at the end he gave himself willingly to help care for the sick. He soon became sick himself, however, and went blessedly and glad with those whom he had served over into the healthy realm. 3) Isaac, Abraham and Sara’s youngest son, was born in 1741 in Gnadenhütten and baptized by Br. Martin Mack. His parents put him in the Macungie School for a few years, but he was given back to his parents because of his sickliness. His parents, to his detriment, took him to the Susquehanna. When, a year ago, his mother came to the Brethren again, she asked for permission for her son to live with the Brethren. He got the pox fourteen days ago, [she?] could not visit him, however, because she had not yet had the pox. We are of the hope that the Savior has taken him to Him out of mercy. After the morning service, Susanna’s little daughter was baptized by Br. Grube and called Martha. This night five of the young people behaved very badly, so that we could sleep very little.
July 28 __ [First part of entry omitted]: Elisabeth, Bartholomew’s wife, bore a daughter, who...
July 30: was baptized by Br. Schmick and called Elisabeth. Little Johanna Schmick was very sick yesterday and today.
July 31: Schebosch went with Job Chelloway and Johannes Pepunhang three miles from here to fish, with permission of the sergeant, and came back home in the evening. And so we closed this month with thanks and joyful tears for the blessed visits of our dear Lord, who took twenty souls out of our midst into his arms. The difficulties that we also had this month we gladly forget when we remember how our friends had to work day and night on our behalf, and gave themselves for us. Amen.
Diary of the Indian Gemeine in the Barracks in Philadelphia, 1764 August
August 1: At the beginning of this month, various young people made our hearts heavy.
August 2: We sent our Diary from last month to Bethlehem. Our dear old Br. Bechtel came here to visit and brought us letters. Mr. Dan. Benezet send us a half cord maple wood for spoons and baskets, which was then soon distributed in the families. Our people were glad that they received work again, which is very healthy for them.
August 7: After the morning service, the little son that Juliana left behind [when she died in the epidemic] was baptized by Br. Grube and called Petrus. He went to his eternal rest soon thereafter.
August 8: Last night, our dear old Erdmuth went over into Jesus’ arms and lap. She was baptized by Br. Nathanael in Gnadenhütten in 1751. She asked to participate in Holy Communion, was a true heart in all temptations. Tediusgund, her daughter’s husband, and her children themselves, spared no effort to pull her from the Savior and the Gemeine. She held herself all the closer to the Savior, however, and said often to her children: Do what you want, but I stay with the Savior and His people. In our recent difficult circumstances, she always had good spirits and left herself completely to the Savior. In the interview before the last Abendmahl she said: I know, and I feel it, that I belong to the Savior with body and soul, he can do what me what he will, I live for Him and I also want to die for Him. Eight days later, she became sick. When one asked her what hurt her, she said: I have no pain, I have only a little heat. She also made her last will and gave the little Augustus, her grandson, to Lucia, who should keep him until he can come to the Gemeine, because she said: He belongs to the Gemeine and otherwise to no one. The Brethren in Bethlehem should also have my things, with that she was very pleased and well. A few days before her end she gave a beautiful prayer before her people and begged the Savior with her heart that He might make all our Indians right blessed, because she had tasted his blood, the Savior should not become tired taking pity on her and forgiving her sins, etc. She always lay still like a lamb, and her heart was with her eternal husband until her end. She received the last blessing with the words: Open arms take her; pale lips kiss her on the heart. And so her most faithful friend took her in his arms and those that were present had a blessed feeling thereby. She was one of our best sisters. Four Indians went out with a soldier to look for herbs.
August 10: Philippina asked for baptism for her sick child, which request was granted to her. Br. Schmick baptized her and gave her the name of Esther.
August 11: She went home [died] and was...
August 13: buried by Br. Schmick. We received letters from England from Br. Broderson, which made us very glad. Nicodemus and Paulus, who have cared for those sick with the pox, have endured their quarantine and came back into their rooms.
August 14: Our little Johanna Schmick became very sick. Br. Schmick went to the Honorable Governor to make the concerns of the Indians known to him. Namely: that they want to be in the wilderness again because they are so sick here. To that the Governor answered that it was now a pure impossibility to let them go to the wilderness, as long as there was war with the Indians; because as soon as there was a deadly attack on the frontier, then they would be given the blame, and he also did not trust all our young people. He also knew of no better place for them than the barracks. Their necessary support and clothing will also still be taken care of. We received a few cords maple wood, which was soon distributed. The men folk began immediately to make spoons in order to earn something.
August 15: Today’s Daily Text was very good for our hearts: He consoled them, and spoke with them in a friendly way. Br. Schmick got a fever and his little daughter was also very sick. The little Anna Rosia, Gottlieb’s and Anna Rosina’s little 1 year old daughter, when to the Savior.
August 16: She was buried by Br. Grube. Br. Schmick had to go to the City Hall again. He had the opportunity to speak with the Governor, and to tell him the views of the Indians regarding his last answer, which, however, amazed him, particularly that Pepunhang insisted on speaking with him himself. He did not reject that completely, but he said: If his request is only to go back to the Susquehanna again, then it would be futile that he speak with him, it could not now happen. The Honorable Commissioners behaved very kindly to Br. Schmick and asked him to draft a list of how much clothing, approximately, the Indians need. Today’s Text: before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth (1) was very striking to the heart of the teacher.
August 25: Early, Anna Johanna, Timothy’s wife, went right happily to the Savior. She was baptized, in her eighth year, in 1749, by the blessed Cammerhof. A few years ago, she achieved the blessing of going to Abendmahl. She was married with Timothy. She was very depressed when her Br. Renatus was brought to Philadelphia to prison and when her old father Jacob died. When Renatus was free again, she was very glad; when she saw, however, that he wanted to go his own way again, she spoke often with him and tearfully asked him to surrender himself completely to the Savior, so that he might not bring the Gemeine and the Savior to disgrace and to shame, and it had a good effect on him, because he said afterwards, it is not my intention to become a disgrace to the Savior, but my mind is taken with several things that I’ve heard about our people since I’ve been here. I want to have the Savior very dear and follow him, etc. When her little daughter went home three weeks ago, she got a yearning desire also to go home. She spoke about this with her husband. He said: I’m glad that it is thus for you, but for me it is not so. In the last days before her sickness, she was very pleased and witnessed with every occasion how much she would like to go to the Savior. Seven days ago she became sick, she said immediately, now I will go to the Savior. When the visitors asked her how it was in her heart, she answered, very good, I am very poor, but the Savior is mine and I am His, and so she fell into sleep gently with the blessing of the Gemeine. Because Br. Grube and Br. Schmick were sick, Br. Neusser took care of the burial this evening. This night our little and dear Johanna Maria Schmick was kissed home by the little lamb [died]. She had already been very sick for six weeks and had in her dying life,(2) which lasted fourteen months, experienced quite a bit of this miserable life.
August 27: In the morning, the body of little Johanna Maria Schmick was buried by Br. Neusser in the Brethren’s God’s Acre. Peter, also called Harris, also had the mercy of going home. He was baptized in 1750 by the blessed Cammerhof. He lived a while in Gnadenhütten and attended Abendmahl, and was, as long as his blessed wife Theodora lived, in a very nice path. When she went home, however, and Mahony (3) was soon after destroyed, he reached the Susquehanna and came there into bad circumstances. At the time of the treaty in Eastown he came again to Nain, asked the Brethren for forgiveness and that they might take pity on him again, and one noticed again soon a blessed working in his heart. The Brethren allowed him to live in Weequetank, and he was often on a good trail, but because he did not want to be a sinner, the Savior could not establish much in his heart. When, a year ago, the disturbances of the war began, he was very faithful and watchful, and said: if we can not maintain ourselves here any longer, let us rather go to the Brethren in Nazareth and die there, because we do not want to go back into the wilderness. In his illness he prayed fervently for forgiveness and said, I have used and troubled the Brethren and the Savior very much and have never been just right, I have felt quite well that the Savior and the Brethren meant well with me, but I have always listened to my backwards heart. To his wife he said, you are the reason that I am still with the Brethren, otherwise I would already be long gone. I thank you for your faithfulness and your love, ask also for forgiveness that I have often disturbed you in your blessedness, I go home as a sinner and leave myself on the Savior’s mercy and love, and so he departed with the blessing of the Gemeine. Otherwise, he was a diligent man, a good hunter, and helper of the poor.
August 30: Job Chelloway went with his family away from here to Frankfurt.
August 31: Br. Marshall gave our Indians a small pleasure, giving them 220 ears of green corn, which is a rarity here. Br. Schmick, who has been quite sick recently, found himself a good deal better today. Our hearts are very thankful to the Savior for His repeated merciful visits this month, and that He took eleven souls to himself in peace.
1. Gal., 3:1. English translation taken from the King James Version. 2. Moravian euphemism for one’s life on earth 3. The settlement at Gnadenhütten
Diary of the little Indian Gemeine in the barracks in Philadelphia – 1764 September and October
September 1: Br. Rothe came from Bethlehem with letters from Br. Nathanael, to give us a hand during our sickly circumstances.
September 2 [Symbol for Sunday]: At midday, there was a blessed sermon about the Daily Text: They will set themselves at your feel and will learn from your words, as Marie did. In the afternoon, our dear Brother Marshall took his leave of us and went to Bethlehem. Br. Rothe moved in with us in the barracks and will stay until Br. Schmick is better.
September 3: Br. Rothe held the morning service, and Br. Schmick ventured out a little.
September 8: Br. Schmick visited Mr. Galloway and had the opportunity to tell him that Nain will soon be taken down.
September 10: He [Br. Schmick] went to Mr. Fox and gave him the list of necessary clothing items for the Indians, namely: blankets, shirts, stockings, etc. etc.
September 15: Br. David Zeisberger came from Bethlehem to visit. A few gentlemen from New York and Philadelphia were here to see the Indians. One of them knew Br. Joseph [Spangenberg] and various other Brethren and inquired about them. Among other things, he told us that this midday he was a guest at a merchant’s, where there was a minister present (presumably Whitefield), so someone asked him what he thought of the Moravians, and whether they would also go to heaven? He answered, yes, certainly, they will come rightly above etc. etc. Also, he said that four Indians of those who are in prison in New York have died, and that the others still lie sick. <