Province Island Diary (December 1, 1763 - January 4, 1764)
12019-08-26T12:26:34-07:00Will Fenton9e3bf7727b68fc64e416bcd18efaefb81d06944c72008(path)gallery2019-09-02T13:24:14-07:001763-1764Moravian 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 Fenton9e3bf7727b68fc64e416bcd18efaefb81d06944cTranscription and translation by Katherine Carté. Permissions courtesy of the Moravian Archives of Bethlehem.