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Moravian Massacre at Gnadenbrutten

In the early part of the year 1763 two Moravian missionaries, Post and Heckewelder, established a mission among the Tuscarawa Indians, and in a few years they had three nourishing missionary stations, viz: Shoenbrun, Gnadenbrutten and Salem, which were about five miles apart and fifty miles west of the present town of Steubenville, Ohio. During our Revolutionary War their position being midway between the hostile Indians (allies of the British) on the Sandusky River, and our frontier settlements, and therefore on the direct route of the war parties of both the British Indian allies and the frontier settlers, they were occasionally forced to give food and shelter to both, which aroused the jealousy of both the Indian allies of the English and the American frontiersmen, although they preserved the strictest neutrality. In February 1772, the American settlers (nothing more could be expected) assumed to believe that the Moravian, or Christian Indians; as they were called, harbored the hostile Indians; therefore they pronounced them enemies, and at once doomed them to destruction. Accordingly on the following march, ninety volunteers, under the leadership of one David Williamson, started for Gnadenbrutten where they arrived on the morning of the 8th, and at once surrounded and entered the station; but found the most of the Indians in a field gathering corn. They told them they had come in peace and friendship, and with a proposition to move them from their unpleasant and dangerous position between the two hostile races to Fort Pitt for their better protection. The unsuspecting Indians, delighted at the suggestion of their removal to a safer place, gave up their few...

Moravian Tribe

Moravian Indians. Mahican, Munsee, and Delaware who followed the teachings of the Moravian brethren and were by them gathered into villages apart from their tribes. The majority were Munsee. In 1740 the Moravian missionaries began their work at the Mahican village of Shekomeko in New York. Meeting with many obstacles there, they removed with their converts in 1746 to Pennsylvania, where they built the new mission village of Friedenshuetten on the Susquehanna. Here they were more successful and were largely recruited from the Munsee and Delaware, almost all of the former tribe not absorbed by the Delaware finally joining them. They made another settlement at Wyalusing, but on the advance of the white population removed to Beaver river in west Pennsylvania, where they built the village of Friedensstadt. They remained here about a year, and in 1773 removed to Muskingum river in Ohio, in the neighborhood of the others of their tribes, and occupied the three villages of Gnadenhuetten, Salem, and Schoenbrunn. In 1781, during the border troubles of the Revolution, the Hurons removed them to the region of the Sandusky and Scioto, in north Ohio, either to prevent their giving information to the colonists or to protect them from the hostility of the frontiers men. The next spring a party of about 140 were allowed to return to their abandoned villages to gather their corn, when they were treacherously attacked by a party of border ruffians and the greater part massacred in the most cold blooded manner, after which their villages were burned. The remaining Moravians moved to Canada in 1791, under the leadership of Zeisberger, and built...

The Delaware Indians

Associated with the early history of the Delawares are thoughts of William Penn, and of his peaceful intercourse with, and powerful influence over, the wild natives with whom he treated. At the first settlement of the country by Europeans, the tribes of this nation occupied no small portion of the present state of Pennsylvania, but their principal settlements lay between the Potomac and the Hudson. Situated between the great northern and southern confederacies, they were in turn at enmity and engaged in wars with either party; but, at an early day, they were in a measure subdued and reduced to a state of inferiority by the Six Nations. The conduct of Penn towards the Indians has ever been spoken of with high admiration; and we are assured that his care for their interests, and anxiety to secure their rights, and to protect them from wrongs and aggression, caused his name to be idolized among the Delawares. Upon obtaining the immense grant from the crown, named Pennsylvania at the time of its bestowment, his first thought was to draw up a table of “conditions and concessions,” for the government of those who should adventure with him in the settlement of the wilderness. He expressly stipulated, in behalf of the Indians, that their persons and property should be protected by the same laws and penalties as those of the whites; that overreaching in trade should be avoided by the conduct of all sales in market overt; that a jury of six whites and six Indians should pass upon matters in dispute between individuals of the different races; and that the interest...

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