The Reverend Mr. David Craft
CHRISTIAN MISSIONS AMONG THE INDIANS OF BRADFORD COUNTY
Papunhank, the Monsey chief, who founded the Indian town of M’chwihilusing (spelled Wigalusui, Machwihilusing, Ch’wihilusing), had learned something of the Christian religion from intercourse with the white people, and especially with the Quakers about Philadelphia, where he was a frequent visitor, set himself up as a teacher of morality to the people of his town. In this teaching there was a strange mixture of truth and superstition. In early life he was addicted to the use of strong drink, but his father dying a drunkard, he was aroused to reflection. A believer in dreams and supernatural revelations, after the Indian custom he retired into the woods, where by fasting and solitariness he sought direction from his Manitou. "At the end of five days," says the narrator of this story, "it pleased God to appear to him for his comfort, and to give him a sight of his own inward state, and also an acquaintance with the works of nature; for he apprehended a sense given him of the virtues and nature of herbs, roots, plants, trees, etc., and the different relations they had one to another. He was made sensible that man stood in the nearest relation to God of any part of the creation. It was also at this time he was made sensible of his duty to God, and he came home rejoicing, and endeavored to put into practice what had appeared was required of him." This occurred three years previous to his baptism.
In May, 1760, Christian Frederick Post, a Polish Prussian by birth, and the most adventurous of Moravian missionaries, when on his way to a grand council of the western Indians, with words of greeting and assurances of friendship from Governor Hamilton, spent a night at Papunhank’s village, and, at the request of the council held that day, preached from Luke ii. 8-11. This 20th of May should ever be remembered as the day on which for the first time the words of the everlasting gospel of peace were proclaimed in this county. The event proved to be one fraught with important results, both to the Moravian church and to the aborigines of this valley.
Although Papunhank’s discourses on morality led to the awakening of his people, they failed to satisfy them, and the question of the propriety of sending for a Christian teacher began to be agitated; but owing to a diversity of sentiment they were unable to agree upon whom they would have. Papunhank, the nominal chief, and his friends, being acquainted with the Quakers, favored a teacher from among them. He declared, "I have heard a voice say to my soul the Quakers are right." On the other hand, Job Chillaway, a native of the country about Little Egg Harbor, who spoke English fluently, had considerable intercourse with the whites, and had frequently acted as interpreter, whose wife was a sister to Nathaniel and Anthony, two native Moravian converts residing a little below Tunkhannock, and who had considerable influence in the town, favored the Moravians.
This religious awakening coming to the knowledge of the brethren at Bethlehem, they dispatched Zeisberger, an eminently laborious and successful missionary, to the town, to learn further of the prospect of an opening for the gospel there. Accompanied by Anthony, he reached the town on the evening of May 23, 1763, and though wearied from their toilsome journey, the missionaries found no time to rest. Papunhank received them into his lodge, and hither the Indians flocked from every part of the village to hear the gospel. Their coming was most opportune. For six successive days councils had been held to conclude upon whom they would ask to be their teacher, but they had been unable to reach any conclusion. At length they resolved to accept the first one who should come to them. Thereupon Zeisberger came, and they exclaimed, "Here come the men for whom we have been in search." To this Zeisberger replied, "God often acts in this way, and he has brought us to you that you may learn to do his will." Zeisberger and Anthony continued here until the 27th of May, when they set out for Bethlehem, bearing to the mission board the earnest and cordial invitation from the whole town that they would speedily send a religious teacher to reside among them.
On the 10th of June, Zeisberger and Nathaniel, a brother of Anthony, again set out from Bethlehem for Wyalusing, which they reached on the evening of the 17th, and were welcomed by Papunhank and his people. Notwithstanding the whole country was ringing with the news of the Pontiac conspiracy, the intrepid missionary resumed his work with fervency and joy. On his way to M’chwihilusing he had overtaken and passed John Woolman, a Quaker evangelist, who arrived at the town the next day after Zeisberger.
Woolman, having met at Philadelphia, in the autumn of 1761, some of the Wyalusing Indians,* "felt inward drawings toward a visit to that place." In company with some of the Indians, he and Benjamin Parvin set out June 7, 1763, and in eleven days reached their destination. He says, "The first Indian that we saw was a woman of modest countenance, with a Bible, who first spake to our guide; and then, with harmonious voice, expressed her gladness at seeing us, having before heard of our coming." A council being called, John Curtis† and another Indian kindly invited them into a house near the town, where they found about sixty people waiting to receive them. "After sitting for a short time I stood, and, in some tenderness of spirit, acquainted them with the nature of my visit." For three days he and Zeisberger labored together harmoniously, when, on the 21st, being informed that the Indians continued steadfast in their preference for Zeisberger, after having spoken with great tenderness at several of their meetings, he departed, well satisfied with the decision of the council, and praying that the great work undertaken by Zeisberger might be crowned with success.
On the 26th of June, in a large assembly, Papunhank was baptized and named John. This was the first time this holy ordinance was ever administered in the county. In the evening another Indian was baptized, who was called Peter. Papunhank henceforth became an efficient helper in the great work of Christian evangelization among his countrymen, and led a consistent Christian life until the day of his death. He was appointed one of the native assistants in the missionary work, in which he continued with great success until his death at Schönbrunn,‡ May 15, 1775, at the age of seventy years.
At Tawandaemunk they were also anxious to hear the gospel. Being informed of Zeisberger’s coming, a messenger was dispatched bearing an invitation to him to visit them. Accordingly, the missionaries visited this town June 27, and continued there three days, preaching constantly. Here an awakening took place, and the gospel was received with the same eagerness as at M’chwihilusing.
But the good work was forcibly interrupted. On the 30th a runner arrived with a letter from Bethlehem recalling Zeisberger. With reluctance he obeyed. It would have been folly to remain longer. Already the messengers of Pontiac were visiting the towns on the Susquehanna, urging them to join their forces with his for the extirpation of the hated pale-faces; and in a few days all was turmoil and confusion.
The inhabitants on the frontier, suffering the usual horrors of a border Indian warfare, vowed vengeance against all Indians indiscriminately. For protection, the Moravian converts were assembled about Bethlehem and Nazareth. But even here they were not safe from the exasperated frontier people. The government of Pennsylvania, aware of their innocence and of their danger, determined to disarm and remove them to Philadelphia, whence they were taken to Province island, where they were sheltered and fed at the expense of the government. Papunhank and twenty-one of his people, determining to have nothing to do with this war, in December repaired to Bethlehem, whence they were escorted by the brethren to Philadelphia, and cast in their fortune with the converts. Subsequently Job Chillaway and some others, who were disposed to be peaceable, were also invited by the governor to Philadelphia. Here they remained for fifteen months. Suffering untold hardships, insulted and reviled by mobs, decimated by disease, scorned alike by savage whites and savage Indians, "a gazing-stock both by reproaches and afflictions," they continued steadfast in the faith of the gospel. After having borne nearly one-half of their number to the Potter’s field, the remainder, eighty-three converts in all, left Philadelphia, March 20, 1765.
After the war the government required all Indians indiscriminately to remove beyond the limits of lands purchased by the white people. At the suggestion of Papunhank, who offered to intercede in their behalf personally with the Six Nations, the mission board granted permission to build at Wyalusing. This place afforded many advantages for the settlement. Here lay hunting-grounds in their original wildness, while sufficient land had been cleared to afford them corn-patches for immediate use. It was situated at the junction of the travel-path from Zeninge to Ostonwacken, with the great war-path; while its fertile lowlands had made it a favorite location for plantations and villages. At the same time it was sufficiently removed from both white and Indian settlements to insure that seclusion and independence necessary for a Christian town. Thither, accompanied by their beloved teachers and companions in tribulation, they set their faces, April 3, 1765, and reached their destination after a tedious and toilsome journey of thirty-six days.
Zeisberger, Schmick (with his wife, who were henceforth to be resident missionaries in the town), and Papunhank laid out the town on the site of the old village, and staked off the plantations. In accordance with the law of Indian diplomacy, a message was sent to Togahaju, the Iroquois sachem at Cayuga, who ruled this part of the Delaware dependencies of the League, announcing their arrival, and asking his permission to begin the settlement.
In the freedom of their forest homes and the hunting-grounds of their fathers, hopeful for the future, guided and encouraged by their teachers, their hearts were filled with gratitude and joy. "The new town which came into existence rang with the melody of praise even while it was being built."
On the 4th of June the Indians began to erect dwellings, and at the end of the month had completed four log cabins and thirty bark-covered huts. In September, at the close of the summer hunt, a commodious meeting-house and a mission-house, fifteen feet square, built of unhewn logs, were erected. At the close of the year there were connected with the mission one hundred and forty-six souls, of whom thirty-three were communicants.
In May, 1767, the town was moved to higher ground near by. This was on the second bench of level ground on the farms of Hon. L. P. Stalford and Benjamin Brown. The plat was surveyed and regularly laid out. The main street, running nearly east and west, was eighty feet wide, in the centre of which stood the church, just east of the Stalford line. Opposite the church, on the south side of the street, was the mission-house; and on either side of the street were lots each thirty two feet wide, with an alley ten feet wide between every pair of lots. Each household had a canoe on the river. Surrounding the town were two hundred and fifty acres of plantations, on which there were several miles of fences. The village was enclosed with a post and rail fence; and during the summer the street and alleys were swept every week by the women with wooden brooms, and the refuse carried away. Every passer-by was struck with wonder at its order, cleanliness, and beauty, so that its fame extended far and wide.
The effects of the gospel were conspicuous in other respects. While the men still loved the chase, and the women continued to plant and cultivate the fields, the town began to assume the appearance of a thriving agricultural community. Several hundreds of acres of corn, oats, and other grains were planted near the village, on the island just above the mouth of the Wyalusing, and on fertile patches for some distance up the creek. They had horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, and fowls. After the first year they raised not only an abundance for themselves, but were able to sell to their neighbors, and to others, who in times of scarcity came from more than a hundred miles distant to Wyalusing to procure food. Hay was cut on the meadows at Meschaschgunk, and brought down in canoes for their cattle. In addition to these employments and the customary hunts, in the spring they had their sugar-camps on the Wyalusing, the Sugar Run, and the Tuscarora; in the summer were gathering flag for mats, huckleberries on the mountains above Tunkhannock, wild hemp for carrying-bands and reticules at the Lackawanna, cranberries in the marshes of Wilmot near Stowell’s pond, and ginseng and wild potatoes in the dry banks of the neighborhood. The missionary remarks of the people at the settlement, "They are like a hive of bees—each one busy and each one cheerful."
The Moravian store at the Rose tavern, now in Bushkill township, eleven miles northeast from Bethlehem, was the market frequented by the Wyalusing Indians for the sale of peltry, deer-skins, horns, and tallow, where they received the bounty paid on wolf-scalps, and where they purchased such things as their improving civilization made desirable.
Although the settlement was in a measure prosperous, the people happy, and the work of the mission successful beyond the most ardent anticipations, yet the uncertainty of their long continuance here, owing to the desire of Togahaju to remove the settlement near the head of Cayuga lake, hung over the mission like a shadow, dampening the ardor and checking the enterprise of the people in the permanent improvements of the village. The chief had told the deputies who, in obedience to his summons, had visited Cayuga, that the place was not a good one for their settlement. "It is stained with blood" (referring to the destruction of Gohontoto). "I will appoint you a place near us. As to your belief, believe what you choose; no one shall interfere." The deputies promising to lay his decision before their people, and return him their answer when the corn was ripe (this was in May), took their departure.
At first the Indians were disposed to accede to his demand, but upon further inquiry found the place would be unsuitable for them, and resolved to remain where they were if possible. Unfortunately, they failed to return their answer to Togahaju as they had agreed. At length the sachem dispatched a runner to the Susquehanna with this message: "Cousins, what kind of corn have you at M’chwihilusing? You promised an answer to my proposition when your corn would be ripe. My corn has been ripe long ago. It is nearly consumed. I think soon of planting again. Why do you not fulfill your promise?" This was in the month of April.
* Works of John Woolman, ed. 1774, p. 143, et passim.
† John Curtis, a Nanticoke chief, had been for a time a resident of this town.
‡ Schönbrunn, German,--beautiful well or fountain.
This caused great consternation at the mission. The authority of Togahaju was so great, and the fear which the Iroquois league inspired so general, that the Christian Indians deemed it necessary to conciliate the sachem by every proper means within their reach. Hence they applied to Newallike, a brother of Anthony, an influential chief of the Delawares, at Wechpakak, on the Tunkhannock, to plead their cause, but this he ungraciously refused. Thereupon Zeisberger offered to negotiate with Togahaju, and persuaded them to elect four of their number as his assistants.* Anthony, John Papunhank, Abraham, and Jacob were chosen. The party set out from Wyalusing April 23, 1766, and on the 30th reached Cayuga town, where the sachem received them. The next day the embassy was received by the council. Into this august assemblage the converts entered with awe, and delivered their message with trembling. Thereupon Zeisberger took up the discourse, and pled the cause with earnestness and success. The chief answered, "Up to this time you have only sojourned at Wihilusing. Now I take you and set you down there firmly. And we give you all the land from Wihilusing up to a short distance above Tioga, which is two full days’ journey by land. There you can build, plant, fish, and use as you like. It is yours."† He told them further, that if heathen Indians resided on the tract they should leave. It was to be reserved for the Christian Indians only.
Newallike, envious of the prosperity of the mission, and the influence of its teachers, set in circulation the report that the great council of Six Nations had repudiated the grant made by Togahaju. What doubts soever there might be of the truth of this report, the issues now at stake were deemed of sufficient importance to justify the use of every necessary precaution.
Zeisberger, accompanied by Gottlob Sensemann, a Moravian minister, set out for Onondaga, October 14, in order to ascertain the truth of the report. He addressed the council at some length, recounting the negotiations with Togahaju, the opposition of Newallike, the history, character, and purpose of the mission. To this speech the council returned the following answer: "The grant of land made last spring by Togahaju is approved by the council. The Aquanoschioni have a fire at Wihilusing; let their Christian cousins and the teachers of their Christian cousins guard it well. Newallike, the Delaware, has no authority in the town; let him not venture to usurp authority. Their Christian cousins are to consult directly with the council, or with Togahaju, its accredited deputy."
This question being settled, the mission began to evince even greater prosperity than before. In 1767, the meeting-house being found too small to contain the crowds that flocked to hear the gospel, a new one was built. This was twenty-four by thirty-two feet in size, constructed of squared white pine timber, with shingled roof and glazed windows, surmounted with a neat cupola, which contained a bell "that henceforth run out on Lord’s day and holy day over the meadows and corn-lands of the sequestered valley," calling both savage and Christian to the sacred services of the sanctuary. This chapel was adorned with two paintings in oil, representing respectively the Nativity and Christ’s Agony in the Garden. By the contemplation of these, we read in the mission diary, many a savage sojourner at Wyalusing was moved to ask, in amazement, who it was that thus humbled himself and then suffered for the children of men. A spinet, constructed by Joshua, a Mohican Indian, assisted by Schmick, contributed to the interest of the chapel services, and was used as an accompaniment to the singing of the Delaware hymns. It was set up on Christmas-eve, 1767.
Public religious worship was regularly maintained, morning and evening of each day; the Sabbath was spent in quiet, with religious services and devout meditation. The various holy days of the church were duly observed with appropriate services. The Lord’s Supper was frequently administered. The children were carefully taught both secular and religious knowledge, and every year witnessed considerable accessions to the church. Induced by curiosity, the well-known hospitality of the Christian Indians, the abundant supply of provisions in the town, and its peculiarly accessible situation, the mission was continually thronged with visitors. Many of these heard here the great words of eternal life, and many a dusky chieftain, it is believed, learned the great lesson of faith in the Son of God, whose name was never enrolled on the catalogue of the mission. The influence which went forth from this one bright spot in these vast fields of heathen darkness can never be represented by statistics nor reckoned in figures.
Soon after the negotiations were completed which secured to the mission the site it occupied, a code of municipal laws was adopted. The police duty was committed entirely to those who were chosen to this office by the inhabitants of the town; ardent spirits were prohibited from being brought into the place; traders were forbidden to stay more than two or three days at a time; and such heathen Indians as came merely to enjoy the outward advantages of the settlement, and not to hear the gospel, were no longer allowed to build lodges.
The name of Friedenshütten (or huts of peace‡) was given to the town in accordance with an act of the Provincial synod held at Bethlehem, in June, 1766.
"A pitch-pine in the hedge that forms the dividing line between the lands of Mr. Wm. H. Brown and Mr. G. W. Lung, marks the only ridge or knoll on the lowland near the site of old Friedenshütten. This was the burial-place selected for the mission; and here, between May of 1765 and May of 1772, there were laid into their graves unto the resurrection from the dead the mortal remains of forty-one Indians, viz., six male and six female adults, three youths, one maiden, twelve boys, and thirteen girls. The ground was laid out after the manner of Moravian grave-yards, with distinct plots for the burial of the dead of different age and sex, and was surrounded by a post and rail fence in the spring of 1768. Like the hallowed repositories elsewhere, it was carefully kept free from briars and weeds, and each sleeper’s resting-place marked by a plain slab of stone. Fragments of these slabs are occasionally still found in plowing on the flat. It was on this knoll that, ‘very early in the morning’ of the 19th of April, 1767, ‘as it began to dawn,’ the congregation of Christian Indians met with their missionary and his wife, for the first time at Friedenshütten, to join in the prayers of the service appointed by the Moravian church to be read on the great festival of Easter, and in part near the abodes of the dead who died in the Lord."††
* Life of Zeisberger, p. 315.
† Wialusing Diary.
‡ Hütte, pl. n.; sig. hut, cottage, tabernacle.
†† W. C. Reichel, Trans. Moravian Hist. Soc., p. 187
|Scarcely had the uneasiness caused by the desire of Togahaju to remove
the mission into the Cayuga country ceased, when troubles arose from another
quarter. The Iroquois had discovered the value set on their lands
by the whites, and the arts and arguments used by different parties to
obtain them. They therefore determined to dispose of the coveted tracts
as often as a purchaser could be found to pay them their price. Having
sold the Susquehanna valley, in 1754, to the New England people, in 1766
they gave the Christian Indians all that part of it from Wyalusing to above
Tioga, and in 1768 sold again the same tract to the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania.
This latter sale was for a time kept profoundly secret from the Indians
of Wyalusing, who had no intimation of the fact until the 5th
of December, when it was told them by a trader. Early the next year a messenger
was sent to Wechpekak to learn the truth of the report. To this inquiry
the Cayuga sachem returned the following evasive answer: "I heard
that an Alleghany Indian (Killbuck) had been with you. Don’t believe all
he says. Stay where you are. Before the war, we Indians lived at Wyalusing.
Then we scattered. Now you are there, stay! But if white men come, and
you wish to or must leave, I will select good land for you." April 21,
the Cayugas informed them that they had sold the lands from Shamokin
to Wyoming; that the Lackawanna was the northern boundary, and they had
secured the Wyalusing grant; that the lines had not yet been run, but they
had stipulated they should be so run as not to include Wyalusing. But the
Christian Indians were not deceived by this duplicity. They had the best
assurances that their professed friends and would-be protectors had sold
their own land from under their feet, and they turned to the governor of
Pennsylvania for protection.
In a petition to his honor the governor, dated February 7, 1769, signed by John Papunhank and Joshua the Mohican, in behalf of themselves and their friends at Wyalusing, they recite---
"That the said Indians, being about one hundred and eighty men, women, and children, are, by their connection and intercourse with Christians, become in some degree civilized, using agricultural and other domestic business; have built at the place aforesaid twenty-five good, strong log houses, a handsome church or meeting-house, cleared and enfenced fields of several miles in circumference, in full expectation that they and their posterity should enjoy the fruits of their labor on a small glebe of their native country.
"That about six miles above the aforesaid settlement, at a place called Massasiung, is a tract of about three hundred acres, where they make hay for their cattle; and on the west side of the Susquehanna, opposite their settlement, is some good woodland, it may be one hundred acres, proper for to get their fuel; and that these three tracts are so necessary for the support of their settlement that if either of them should be taken up by an old right, or people should come of their own accord and scat and improve them, the Indians would be obliged to remove further up in their country.
"That about six miles below their said settlement are two spots of ground, may be four hundred acres in the whole, which the Indians have no immediate occasion for, but they are apprehensive that some or other people, that look out for good land, might be tempted to seat themselves there, and give the Indians opportunity to buy rum, which must tend to the utter ruin of their young people.
"That your petitioners have no money to offer to the Honorable Proprietaries for these lands, or to pay quitrents or other rents, but must confide in their Honors’ wonted goodness, who have always in their purchases reserved some lands for the Indians that had lived there before the purchase was made. Besides that, no grant of sale or lease can secure and Indian property when, for the convenience of Government and to avoid disturbances, they should shortly be obliged to remove further up in the country.
"And your petitioners humbly pray that the aforesaid lands may, by a special warrant, be surveyed, and afterwards by grant be vested in trustees for the use of the said Indians; so that when the Indians, for the good of the State, must remove, the said trustees may sell the improvements for the benefit of the Indians, subject to the Proprietaries’ demands for the price of the lands, and under such other reservations and restrictions as your Honor in your wisdom shall think fit."
On the same date the petition of
"Samuel Davis and his friends, the Indians that live at a place called Tshetshequanink, on the west side of Susquehanna, about thirty miles above Wyalusing, humbly sheweth—
"That their settlement or Indian town, of the name aforesaid, is out of the new purchase, but on the line thereof; and that they have made some corn-fields on the east side of Susquehanna, within the said purchase; and further, that there is on the same side a tract of about half a mile in breadth and five miles in length of grassy lowland, reaching from the point of their settlement up near to Diaogu, on which they have hitherto subsisted their cattle, grazing being the chief occupation of your petitioners.
"And your petitioners humbly pray that the said corn-fields and grass-land may, by your special warrant, be surveyed and reserved; not that they want any property or estate in the same, but the use thereof for the purposes aforesaid, during the pleasure of your Honor, the Proprietor."
Joshua, John Papunhank, and Jacob were commissioned to present these petitions to the governor, bearing also a letter from the missionary in charge of Friedenshütten, endorsing the facts therein stated, and informing the governor of the uneasiness among the Indians on account of the sale of their lands.
Previous to this, Lewis Weiss, of Bethlehem, had also requested Governor Penn "that no application may be taken from or grants made to any person or persons interfering with their said settlement."
To these various petitions, John Penn, then acting governor, replied as follows under date of June 21, 1769:
"I have heard that you are very uneasy for fear that your land at Wyalusing should be taken from you. When some of you came to me a few months ago, I told you that as you were a peaceable and a quiet people, and behaved very well, you should not be disturbed in your possessions at Wyaloosing. This is the word that I then gave, and you may depend that I may keep it; and I have accordingly given orders to the surveyors not to survey your lands, nor any lands within give miles of your settlement. [Warrants, signed by John Penn, were issued for surveys within this reservation the August following.] Therefore I would have you disregard all idle stories you may hear about your lands being taken away from you, and be satisfied that I will do all in my power to protect and secure you in the possession of them so long as you behave yourselves well; and if any of the people of this Province shall offer to disturb you, I will take care that justice shall be done to you.
"One thing I must tell you, that I expect you will not give encouragement to the New England people who have taken possession of the Proprietaries’ land at Wiawamack. If you expect to be protected by this Government, you must not encourage the New England people, who are endeavoring to take the land from the Proprietaries."
In reply, the Christian Indians thank Governor Penn for the assurances of his protection, and inform him that any who behave badly shall not live in their town; and with the New England people they have had no connection at all. This whole correspondence is worthy of study. It not only reveals the care which was taken by the Christian Indians to avoid all complications in land matters, but the condition of the mission at that date, the gratitude with which they regarded their teachers, the importance of the settlement, and also the wise and eminently just measures by which they proposed to avail themselves of a fair remuneration for their improvements. This, to the shame of the Proprietary government, was denied them.
Another and really far more serious difficulty grew out of these negotiations with the Pennsylvania government. Previous to the beginning of the mission a rivalry had arisen between John Papunhank and Job Chillaway. This for a time was restrained by the missionary, but now it well-nigh caused a rupture in the community. Job applied for a Proprietaries’ warrant for the Wyalusing lands, ostensibly for the purpose of securing them for the use of the mission. This application was resisted by the Papunhank party, who urged the superior claim of Papunhank. The result was that neither party procured any form of title until after the abandonment of the mission. This rivalry not only retarded the progress of the gospel, but gave the missionary ceaseless care and anxiety. In the summer of 1771 there had been considerable sickness in the town, which resulted in a number of deaths; whereupon Chillaway concocted the story that Papunhank had been dealing in poison. This for a time created no little excitement at the mission; at one time so intense was the feeling against Papunhank that his life was threatened. In due time, however, he most triumphantly disproved the accusation, and exposed what the missionary characterized as a "diabolical lie," to the chagrin and same of his false accusers.
Notwithstanding these dissensions within and opposition without, the mission continued to increase in influence and usefulness. At the close of 1771 there had been connected with the mission 206 souls, of whom 41 had died and 14 had removed, leaving at that time the number in connection with the mission 151. To these should be added several families, who had obtained liberty to build at Wyalusing, but who were not considered as belonging properly to the Moravian community. During the continuance of the mission 139 had been baptized, and 7 couples had been married, the first of whom were two converts named Thomas and Rachel, Dec. 23, 1766; doubtless the first Christian marriage celebrated within the bounds of the county. The town at this time consisted of 29 log houses, several of them roofed with shingles, and 13 huts, 7 stables for horses, and several gardens. Adjoining was an orchard of apple-trees, and on the island opposite a peach orchard.
In making these improvements, the missionary not only aided the converts with his counsels, but with his hands. In addition to this he was obliged to depend largely upon his own labor for his support. Such entries as the following are of frequent occurrence:
"1768, Oct. 25. My wife and myself harvested potatoes."
"1769, July 4. Bro. Jungman made hay on the Wyalusing creek."
"1769, Oct. 12. My wife and myself bound buckwheat."
Their Indian brethren assisted them what they could, and they also received some aid from Bethlehem. But at the best it was at the expense of many comforts, sacrifices cheerfully borne, that they engaged in the work for the Master. As to supplies, their plantations afforded an abundance of corn, beans, squashes, and pumpkins; deer, bear, wild turkeys, and other game were abundant in the forest; in the spring-time, shad, by the thousand, were caught with bush-nets in the river, and large quantities of maple-sugar were made at the sugar-camps. It was a life of few wants, and these readily and abundantly supplied.
In addition to a great number of visitors, both whites and Indians, who frequented the town, on Oct. 19, 1766, Newallike came with the following message from the Six Nations: "(1) That the Tuscaroras were coming from North Carolina, and all the Susquehanna Indians should assist them with food and canoes. (2) That the Nanticokes, from below Philadelphia, were also coming up, and were to be aided. (3) That the Jersey Indians were coming up, and they also must be assisted. We promised to do so."
On March 25, 1767, two Tuscarora messengers arrived at Wyalusing, stating they had left their companions at Shamokin, and they were come to collect corn and request its transportation to that point without delay. May 4 they broke camp and commenced their upward march, arriving at Wyalusing on the 20th. Before the close of the week the most of these half-famished wanderers set out for Zeninge, the place of their destination; a few, however, remained at Wyalusing through the ensuing winter. This migration numbered seventy-five souls. A colony, consisting of twenty families, halted at the mission in November.
On Sept. 8, 1767, a message was received from the Nanticokes, stating that fifty-five of their nation were en route for the north. They begged for corn, and requested the loan of canoes in which to bring up their aged and infirm.
September 21 the emigrants arrived at Wyalusing, and the next day set out for Zeninge. These large bodies of strange Indians passing through their town drew largely on the stock of provisions and occasioned no little anxiety on the part of the Christian Indians, and the diarist expresses that great relief was experienced at the mission when the last of them had departed.
MISSION AT SCHECHSCHIQUANUNK
It will be remembered that soon after the close of the Pontiac war, Echgohund, with a few Monsey families, settled at the mouth of Cash’s creek, in the present village of Ulster. This being but a day’s journey by water from Wyalusing, the inhabitants of one town were frequent visitors at the other. From the first Echgohund, the chief, manifested deep interest in the success of the mission, and in the negotiations with Togahaju volunteered to intercede with the Six Nations on its behalf. On his return from Cayuga town, Zeisberger tarried here overnight, May 4, 1766, and, at their request, preached to quite a company of them, who gathered at the lodge where he stopped. From this time a constantly-increasing interest in the gospel began to manifest itself in the settlement, and the two brothers, Jim and Sam Davis, influential inhabitants of the town, often came to Wyalusing to hear the Word of God. Joshua, Sr., a Mohican convert, residing at Wyalusing, visited Schechschiquanunk the middle of August, and reported that there are many there desirous of hearing the gospel. During the next year eight persons, including two families, removed from there to the mission for this purpose. In May, 1767, Jo Peepe (or Peepy, alias Weholalahund), originally from Cranbury, New Jersey, who had been baptized by Brainerd, and who had subsequently lived at Craig settlement, near the Lehigh Water Gap, then at Bethlehem, and finally returned to New Jersey, came with his family, consisting of his wife Sarah and their children, James, Isaac, Sarah, Isaiah, and Mettshish, to reside at Sheshequin. A man of more than ordinary intelligence and influence, he favored the Moravians, and sought to persuade them to establish a mission there. On the 21st of February, 1768, the brethren were formally invited to come there, and promised to take the matter in consideration. Accordingly, John Ettwein, at this time a member of the Moravian mission board at Bethlehem, and subsequently a bishop in that church, was deputed to visit them. In the month of April, accompanied by Zeisberger and Sensemann, who were directed to visit the Allegheny for the purpose of establishing a mission there, he set out for the Susquehanna. On the 10th of May they reached Schechschiquanunk, and, as Echgohund was not at home, were entertained by Jo Peepe, "whose house is the largest in the town." Here they continued until the 12th, holding religious services each day.
At this time the village consisted of twelve huts—five on the south side of the creek and seven on the north side. Those on the south side of the creek and seven on the north side. Those on the south were wild Indians, whose heathenish practices and hatred of the gospel had hitherto deterred the brethren from undertaking to establish a mission there. Those on the north side had acquired some knowledge of the arts and customs of civilized life, whose chief business was the raising of cattle, of which they had large herds, and their meadows and pasture fields extended up to Tioga.* "From here the path leads to the West Branch, which Zeisberger and Spangenberg traveled on their way to Onondaga in 1745."
After the morning discourse on the 12th,† "Jo. Peepe, Jim
Davis, Sam Davis, and James held a council together, and, when over, repeated
to us their conclusion, to wit: ‘Our four families desire to have the Word
of God preached to us. We go often to Wyalusing to hear it, but cannot
always go. We would like to settle there, but we have much cattle and large
families. In Wyalusing there is not much pasture for cattle, and they would
have a more precarious living than here, where there is plenty of good
land and meadows. Hence we desire to have brethren come here and settle
and preach the gospel to us.’ David Zeisberger replied, ‘Brother, how is
it with the other families who are not of the same mind? Will they not
continue their dancing and carousing, and thus disturb you?’ Said they,
‘The four or five huts over the run yonder have done lately just such things,
but the chief, who is of our mind, has forbidden them.’ In answer I told
them I would present their request to the brethren at Bethlehem, and doubtless
they would heed it."
* As this included the site of Queen Esther’s town, that could not have had an existence until after the migration.
† Ettwein’s Journal.
The Schechschiquanunk people were reminded of the necessity, to avoid complications, of obtaining permission from the great council at Onondaga for a missionary to reside there. Therefore a messenger was dispatched to the Cayuga sachem for this purpose, and his consent readily obtained, the sachem declaring that he, too, would come to Schechschiquanunk to hear the Word of God, as he was firmly convinced in his own mind that it pointed out the only true way to eternal happiness.
John Roth, a Prussian by birth, who had entered the service of the Moravian Indian mission in 1759, was appointed to this mission, and arrived at Schechschiquanunk February 4, 1769, and preached his first discourse the following day. From this time religious services were maintained, with great regularity, morning and evening of each day. For the first year the congregation repaired to Friedenshütten for the sacraments and festivals of the church, Sheshequin being regarded as only an outlying station of the Wyalusing mission.
In a letter to Nathaniel Seidel, a Moravian bishop, and at that time president of the mission board, dated Sheshequin, February 8, 1769, Roth writes, "I am at present living here in a trader’s house, in which a quantity of merchandise belonging to Mr. Anderson is stored. This is in charge of an Irish servant. I am to live with him until the Indians have built a house for me. Some of the Indians here were baptized by the Presbyterians" (Brainerd).
John Anderson, who, we are told by Heckewelder, was called by the Indians the "honest Quaker trader," in whose house Roth made his home for a time at Sheshequin, lived in the neighborhood of Fort Allen, and had established a trading-house here as early as May, 1765. For the next four or five years he and the Ogdens from Wyoming made two trips each year, visiting the villages on the Susquehanna, buying peltry and selling rifles, powder, lead, trinkets, and, possibly, rum, to the natives. We hear nothing of Mr. Anderson after the establishment of the mission at Sheshequin, nor of the Ogdens after their trading-house at Wyoming was destroyed by the New England people in April, 1770. That probably finished the business of Indian trading in the county.
February 10, some Indians from Wilawamink came to Sheshequin to hold the feast of the meat-offering with the heathen Indians in the neighborhood. On the night of the 21st the feast was held about a half-mile from the settlement. "There were some fifty of the heathen together, shouting and screeching like fiends." For eleven days they had turned the village into a Pandemonium, making the day terrible and the night hideous with their wild songs, their dancing and revels. In the Wyalusing Diary we have a faithful description of this feast, which is here transcribed for the purpose of giving the reader an accurate account of this heathen festival—
"A lad approaching manhood has a dream, in which he sees either a raven or an eagle, as large as a man, approaching from afar towards the north, which says to him, ‘You must prepare me a roast.’ The boy now marks well the form of the bird and the words which he utters. These words are to be chanted repeatedly at the feast. As soon as such a lad shots his first deer his dream returns to him, and this deer must be sacrificed entire. Sometimes a bear is sacrificed. This feast must not be made in the lad’s village, but a day and spot are selected by an old man, to whom the offering is committed, and preparations are made according to his direction. Three days before the feast he sends out messengers to invite the guests to the spot and the occasion. Many also come from a distance. A long house, in which there are three fire-places, is needed for the ceremony. In this house the old man who is to officiate suspends the skin of the deer, which has been given to him, near the fire in the centre, and by the other two fires the flesh is roasted for eating. As soon as the guests are assembled, the old man orders twelve straight, lithe saplings and twelve stones to be brought in. The foot of the saplings are thrust in the ground in a circle; the tops are bent over together in the form of an arch, and covered with a blanket. The twelve stones are now heated red-hot in the fire, and rolled into the centre of the vault. Each stone represents a god; the largest the great God of Heaven, the others respectively the sun, the moon, earth, fire, water, house, Indian corn, east, west, south, and north. This ceremony being completed, the old man and the lad who offers the sacrifice to into the vault. The old man, having in his hand a rattle made of a calabash containing grains of Indian corn, strews tobacco on the glowing stones, and amid the incense smoke shakes his rattle, and invoking each of the gods by name, says, ‘This boy, N, brings you an offering for luck and prosperity. Have mercy on him. Give him luck and give him health.’ Then he chants a dream. As soon as the tobacco burns, he clasps his hands and prays until it is consumed. Then two go to the skin and chant their dreams and visions and what the bird told them, and the rest go to the other fires and eat. This is repeated until the repast is finished. Then each in turn seizes the rattle, chanting his dreams and dancing to the music, until each has recounted his visions, when the old man who has officiated as master of ceremonies takes the deer-skin, and, directing its head and horns toward the north, holds it suspended on his arm, uttering a strong cry, which ends the feast, and all return home."
To such scenes of heathen festivity and superstition and wickedness was the missionary introduced at the very beginning of his work, and we cannot wonder if his soul was fired with new zeal, as was Paul’s at Athens, to preach the gospel to those thus sunk in degradation and vice. Nor did he have long to wait for the effect of his preaching, for on the 18th of the following May, James Davis, the first fruits of that mission, was baptized into the faith of the gospel. At the close of the year five had been baptized, four log houses had been built, and eighteen added to the mission; so that at that time there were fifty souls in the town. Among those who came was Isaac Stille, also one of Brainerd’s Indians from New Jersey, who had been employed as government messenger and interpreter, and to whom, for his services, the proprietaries had given a tract of land at Sheshequin. As at Wyalusing, so here, strange Indians were frequent visitors, and from Zeninge, Shamunk, Wilawamink, and other places, multitudes gathered to hear the gospel.
The missionary’s house was built February 16, 1769, of squared pine logs donated by James Davis, which he had prepared for a dwelling for himself. This served also for a church until July of the next year, when a chapel was erected, surmounted by a cupola containing a bell.
Ettwein served the mission from July 28 until August 22 of this year (1770). In this interval (August 16) Roth was married to Maria Agnes Pfingstag, at Bethlehem, and also received ordination to the full work of an evangelist. At the end of this year the mission numbered fifty-eight souls.
On May 28, 1771, the Susquehanna rose to an unprecedented height, inundating both the towns of Sheshequin and Wyalusing. At the latter place great damage was done by the water sweeping off fences and stock and covering the corn, just coming up, with mud. At Sheshequin the inhabitants were compelled to take to their canoes and retire to the wooded heights back of the town.
The character of the Christian work at Sheshequin, the employments and habits of the people, did not differ materially from those at Wyalusing. It was not so large a place nor so exclusively a Moravian town; but the good work done there was not in vain. The mission continued to increase in numbers and usefulness until the migration, at which time it numbered sixty souls.
This year (August 4, 1771) the missionary Roth’s wife gave birth to a child. This was doubtless the first white child born in the county. It was almost in sight of Tioga, where, after a captivity of about six months, Susanna Nitschmann, the only captive taken at the massacre of the Moravian town on the Mahony, November 24, 1755, pined away and died May 9, 1756.
No sooner was it known that the Proprietaries had effected the purchase of Nov. 5, 1768, of the Iroquois, than the removal of the mission was clearly foreseen by those to whose care it was committed. Notwithstanding Governor Penn had promised that his surveyors should not run lines nearer than five miles to Wyalusing, and afterwards made the same promise with reference to Sheshequin, yet, in the spring of the next year, proprietary warrants were laid in sight of each town. This was expected, from the fact that the government of Pennsylvania refused to make any grant or enter into any agreement which would give the Christian Indians any claim to the least portion of the territory which had in 1766 been ceded to them by the Cayuga sachem, and confirmed by the great council of the Iroquois. In addition to this, the New England people, who were struggling to maintain possession of Wyoming, claimed the whole territory, in virtue of a purchase made in 1754. In order to secure a hold upon this disputed tract each party sent their surveyors, who ran lines through the plantations belonging to the mission, each claiming the land for his employer. The settlements at Wyoming and on the West Branch had deprived the Indians of their hunting-grounds, and thus cut off the sources of their supply of food. It was with the greatest difficulty that the Moravian Indians, who kept up a constant intercourse with Bethlehem, to which the path lay through Wyoming, could avoid being entangled in the disputes which were then fiercely waged between the New England people and the proprietary government for the possession of that coveted spot. In addition to these things, the whites were constantly pushing their settlements up the Susquehanna, and the mission became more and more exposed to the irregularities, immoralities, and illicit trade in ardent spirits which almost universally prevail in frontier settlements. These causes created a constant uneasiness at the mission, and those who had the care of it were watching with the deepest solicitude the progress of events which would render its removal beyond the reach of these influences an immediate necessity.
The mission board at Bethlehem, learning that the Indians on the Allegheny were desirous of hearing the gospel, sent Zeisberger thither in 1767. On October 16, he reached Goschgoschünk, a Monsey town, founded in 1765 by emigrants from Wyalusing and Tioga, situated on the eastern bank of the Allegheny, near the mouth of the Tionesta creek, and was the guest of some relatives of Papunhank residing there. Aware of the difficulties clustering about the Susquehanna missions, the Delaware chiefs of this county sent an invitation to the converts at Friedenshütten and Schechschiquanunk to remove to the west, where they would be supplied with land. This invitation the Wyalusing Indians were not prepared as yet to accept, although during the years 1770 and 1771 several families, both from Wyalusing and from Sheshequin, removed there. For the purpose of seeing the work of the mission, and of consulting with the brethren on the ground as to the propriety of removing to the west, they were visited (May 15 to May 21, 1771) by Christian Gregor and John Loretz, members of the Unity’s Elders’ conference at Herrnhut, Saxony (then on a visit to the Moravian church in the provinces), accompanied by Nathaniel Seidel, who were received at Wyalusing with every demonstration of joy. All work was laid aside, and the time was given to religious services, social enjoyment, consultations with reference to the welfare of the mission, and the ministrations of the house of God. The festival of Pentecost, which fell in the interval, was solemnized by the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. In the evening of Whit-Sunday the rite of baptism was administered to four catechumens, of whom the visitors and Schmick baptized one each. Gregor adds, "The last day of our sojourn I baptized also a little child as it lay in swaddling clothes; her I named Johanna, and commended her to the keeping of her crucified Master. Hereupon we set out on our return to Bethlehem, with hearts grateful for all we have here seen and experienced."
On the return of the party to Bethlehem, Zeisberger was summoned to meet them, who, in view of the advantages afforded a Christian town in the Tuscarawas valley, and the urgent invitation extended to the Moravian converts on the Susquehanna by the grand council of the Delawares to settle in their country, recommended the removal of the Wyalusing and Sheshequin missions to that place. The conference adopted his views, and commissioned him to lay the subject before the Indians at Friedenshütten and Schechschiquanunk. Accordingly Zeisberger visited Friedenshütten in the beginning of September, and convened a council of the converts from both stations. After a full and careful deliberation in which the growing difficulties of their present situation and the promised advantages of the west were freely canvassed, they unanimously resolved to accept the offers of the Delaware chiefs, and to emigrate to the west in the spring.
Measures were at once set on foot to carry into effect the resolution of the Susquehanna converts. Zeisberger repaired to the Tuscarawas valley, where, gathering the Delaware converts about him, they proceeded to clear ground, build huts, and make other needful preparations for the reception of their eastern brethren. At Wyalusing and Sheshequin, surplus stock and grain were sold, new canoes were built, and other arrangements made for their departure.
In the month of May their preparations for the journey being in a state of great forwardness, Ettwein, at their request, was sent to Friedenshütten to superintend the journey, where he arrived May 20, 1772. In his diary of this journey he writes: "During the 8th, 9th, and 10th of June, all was bustle at Friedenshütten, with preparations for the impending journey; and the pestles of the corn-mortars were plied night and day." The emigrants were divided into two companies; one under Roth were to go by canoe down the North and up the West Branch as far as the Great Island (Lock Haven), where they were to meet the company who were to go overland with the horses and cattle, the heavy articles being transported by water.
Early on the morning of June 11, they met for the last time in their
chapel in the town for divine worship. Says Ettwein, "I remarked on the
Scripture passage for the day, in effect that all our temporal and spiritual
welfare depended upon the presence of the Lord’s Spirit with us, and of
His being pleased with His people. Then we knelt in prayer and again thanked
Him for all the numerous blessings which had been vouchsafed to us in this
spot, and for the evidences of His love and patience. Hereupon we commended
ourselves to His keeping and guidance on the way, asking Him to supply
our wants, both by land and by water. At the close of this service, the
canoes were laden, the bell was taken from its turret, the window-sashes
were removed from the church, and the dismantled windows nailed shut with
boards. At two o’clock in the afternoon, brother and sister Roth set out
in their canoe, followed by the others, thirty in number. Timothy, who
carried the bell in his canoe, rang it for some time as the squadron moved
down the stream, never again to ring out its call to the house of prayer
over the waters of the lovely Susquehanna. After all had left the town
we locked the doors of the chapel and the missionary’s dwelling, took leave
of Job Chillaway, and commended to him the oversight of the houses and
improvements, to which he consented, at the same time he made fair promises.
He and his wife were the only two who appeared to regret our departure,
as they shed tears. All the others manifested satisfaction. One hundred
and forty souls went with brother and sister Roth; with me, by the overland
route, were fifty-four. There are others also to proceed by land from Schechschiquanunk,*
so that the entire migration will number two hundred and eleven souls.
A short time before our departure the measles had been brought to Friedenshütten
from Schechschiquanunk, which place had been infected by a white man. The
epidemic soon appeared among the party with Roth, and a maiden of my company
was taken with them on the third day out. Our journey consumed five days;
that of the company by water ten days; when we met at the mouth of Muncy
creek, on the 20th of June."
* Of these were the Davises, Jo Peepy, Isaac Stille, and two sons of
Tadeuscund (Teedynscung?), all noted Indians.
Sickness, rain-storms, and high head-winds delayed the movements of the fleet, but otherwise the trip was made with comparative comfort. Not so, however, with the overland party. They took the "Wyalusing path," which, after crossing the river, takes up a steep hill, striking the main branch of the Sugar Run a short distance below Welles’ saw-mill; thence to the Muncy valley. The way led through swamps, dark with a heavy growth of timber, through tangled masses of laurel, sometimes so dense that a man could not be seen the distance of six feet, over rocks and precipitous hills on the divide of the Sugar Run, Loyal Sock, and Muncy creeks, and again through swamps until they reached the lowlands, near the mouth of the Muncy. Along this route, tormented with sand-flies (punkies), to this day the pest of this wilderness, drenched with daily rains, in constant danger from rattlesnakes, this band of pilgrims, having under their care sixty head of cattle, and fifty horses and colts, forced their way, losing but one young cow.
Arriving on the West Branch, it was found to be utterly impracticable to take all their goods over the mountains, between there and the Allegheny. Arriving at the Wallis farm, they sold many of their cattle, their canoes, bowls, firkins, and other wood- and iron-ware, which would prove too great an encumbrance on their journey. Leaving the West Branch, their way led through the wild, rough country of that mountainous region, until they reached the Allegheny, whence, by canoe, they reached their destination on the 5th of August, and the missionary adds: "Scarce a day passed that we could not distribute rations of meat, and never did a soul go to bed hungry. Those who had aught shared it to the last crumb. None received injury to his person, although dangers were without number. Rattlesnakes were numerous. I knew that upwards of fifty were killed. Among the rocks and timber we fell countless times. Sister Roth fell from her horse four times, once with her child into a bog up to her middle, once into the bushes backwards from the horse with her child in her arms, and once her foot hung in the stirrup." As one reads the narrative of these trials and labors we are amazed at the fortitude, patience, skill, and unwearying labor of these self-denying missionaries, and at the transforming power of the gospel upon the minds of their converts.
"This migration," remarks Rev. W. C. Reichel, "marks a new era in the history of the Moravian missions among the aborigines of this country, which era was characterized by perpetual disturbances and unrest; it being also the era of its gradual decadence, extending down into our own times, when there is but a feeble remnant of Christian Indians ministered to by Moravians, dwelling at New Fairfield, Canada, and West Field, Kansas. In the veins of some of these there flows the blood of the Mohicans and Delawares of old Friedenshütten, the ‘deserted village’ of the flats of Wyalusing."
To mark the spot of Friedenshütten and perpetuate the memory of this Christian Indian town, a monument bearing fitting inscriptions was erected under the auspices of the Moravian historical society, which was dedicated with appropriate services in the Presbyterian church of Wyalusing, and on the site of the mission, June 14 and 15, 1871. This monument, which is thirteen feet high, of stone quarried from Campbell’s ledge, above Pittston, and within an appropriate inclosure, bears on the die the following inscriptions. On the northern face—
"To mark the site of Friedenshütten
A settlement of Moravian Indians
between 1765 and 1772."
On the eastern face—
"This stone was erected on the 15th day of June, in the year of Redemption 1871, by members of the Moravian Historical Society."
The western and southern faces bear respectively the words of Scripture—
"And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places."
"Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee."
The Indians at Schechschiquanunk, who were not connected with the mission, gathered at a village four or five miles above, opposite the junction of the Tioga and Susquehanna, on the west bank, and formed what was known as Queen Esther’s town. This town was destroyed by Col. Hartley, in the autumn of 1778. Of the early history or family connection of the woman who was known in this valley as Queen Esther, for whom this town was named, but very little is known, except that her father was a white man, probably a Frenchman, and her mother a squaw of the Senecas. The evidence of her relationship to the Montour family is very unsatisfactory. The similarity of parentage has probably given rise to the tradition so widely spread that she was a cousin to Madame Catharine Montour, or even Madame Montour herself. Her house was large and commodious, and surrounded with many of the appliances of civilization. Her influence was so great with the Indians that was called Queen Esther by the people of the valley. She is described as a large, heavy-built woman, walking erect, of commanding appearance, and ordinarily kind in her disposition. All her intercourse with the whites, both her and at Wyoming, previous to the battle of Wyoming, was marked with uniform kindness and courtesy. She was a frequent visitor in the family of Mr. Van Valkenburg, at Wysox, and well known through the country. She was present at the battle of Wyoming, where her fiendish brutality obliterated every kindly recollection, and made her name a synonym for cruelty. In the "History of Buffalo and the Senecas," by William Ketchum, occurs the following paragraph:
"Mrs. Campbell (one of the captives from Cherry valley), thus speaks of a female who occupied a very prominent and influential position among the Indians: ‘Among the persons driven into the fort (Niagara) by the American army was Catharine Montour, who had signalized herself by her inhumanity at Wyoming. She had two sons who were leaders of bands, and who consequently imparted additional consequence to her. This creature was treated with considerable attention by some of the officers.’"—P. 325.
She had a sister Mary, who frequently accompanied her in her visits. The remnants of the old Schechshiquanunk were destroyed by Hartley in 1778. In 1790 the party who settled Aurora, in the State of New York, found on the shores of Cayuga lake, a little south of Springport, a band of thirty or forty Tuscarora Indians, under Steel Trap and Queen Esther. Where they went or what became of them I can learn nothing further.
At Wyalusing, Job Chillaway and some others did not join in the emigration. Chillaway, though at one time connected with the mission, had either voluntarily left it or had been excluded previous to its removal. It will be remembered that as early as 1769 he made application to Governor Penn for the land on Wyalusing plains, but, on account of the opposition of Papunhank and others connected with the mission, the warrant was not issued until May 20, 1772, after the removal of the mission had been determined. The survey included the plain bounded by the river, the Wyalusing creek, and the base of the mountain, as far as the little run near D. W. Brown’s, contains six hundred and twenty-three acres and six per cent allowance, was made by John Lukens, surveyor-general of the province, Sept. 16, 1773, returned to the secretary’s office, March 10, and patent issued March 12, 1774. Chillaway conveyed this land to Henry Pawling, of Montgomery county, by deed bearing date May 4, 1775.
In 1774, Chillaway and an Indian named Hendrick were living at Wyalusing, and are spoken of as showing great kindness to the early emigrants to this county, assisting them in the selection of land, supplying them with food, and encouraging their settlement. They continued to reside here until the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, when Hendrick joined the Indians at Tioga Point, whom he accompanied to Wyoming at the time of the battle, while Chillaway moved to the English settlements down the river, and espoused the cause of the colonists. A captain’s commission was given him, but he did not engage in any active military movements. He was born near Little Egg Harbor, in the southeastern part of New Jersey; removed first to Easton, and then on the Susquehanna. He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, possessed a good knowledge of English, frequently acted as Indian interpreter, adopted the dress and habits of civilized life, and was greatly respected and trusted by both whites and Indians. He died on the West Branch in the winter of 1778-9,--
"By strangers honored, and by strangers mourned."
In March, 1778, an expedition of one hundred and fifty men under Lieut. Col. Dorrance came up to Wyalusing for the purpose of aiding the few remaining Whig families there to remove to Wyoming. They tore down the church and some of the best log houses of the town, and made a raft of the timbers, on which were placed the families and their goods and floated down the river. The remaining part of the town was destroyed by Hartley in 1778.
The march of civilization for more than a century over these homes of
the red men has well-nigh obliterated every vestige of their former occupancy.
The woodman’s axe has leveled their forests, the plow of the husbandman
has defaced their fields, the white man’s home stands upon the site of
their ancient villages, and the railroad train thunders along the trail
of their war-path, while in many instances their bones have been torn from
the soil, and vandal hands have polluted their graves. In their march towards
the setting sun, their fugitive tribes have left behind them no track nor
An enumeration of the Indian families residing at Friedenshütten, with the number of members in each, and of the improvements made by them, 1771:
John Papoonhank, wife Ann Johanna, and daughter, three members; two dwellings of squared logs, covered with shingles, one small do., covered with split boards, a stable, and a garden.
Joshua, Sr., wife Bathsheba, and brother, three members; one dwelling of squared logs, covered with shingles, a stable, and a garden.
Shebosh, wife Christiana, and two children, four members; improvements same as last-named.
Mark, wife Ann Elizabeth, and two children, four members; one dwelling of squared logs, covered with shingles.
John Martin, wife Regina, brother, and three children, six members; improvements same as last.
Joshua, Jr., wife Sophia, and three children, five members; one dwelling, covered with shingles, and a stable.
Billy Chillaway, wife, and two children, four members; one dwelling of squared logs, covered with shingles.
Augustus and wife, two members; one dwelling of squared logs, covered with shingles, with stable and garden.
David and wife Charity, two members; one dwelling of squared logs, covered with shingles, and a stable.
Joseph, wife Ann Mary, and three children, five members; one dwelling of squared logs, covered with shingles.
Cornelius, wife Amelia, and four children, six members; one dwelling, covered with split boards, and a stable.
Daniel, wife Johanna, father, and three children, six members; one dwelling of hewed logs, covered with shingles.
Philip, Jr., wife, father Philip, Sr., and five children, eight members; one dwelling of squared logs, covered with shingles.
Gottlieb, wife Ann Rosina, and five children, seven members; one dwelling, same as last.
Andrew and wife Ann Justina, two members; one dwelling, same as last.
Moses, wife Julianna, mother, and three children, six members; one dwelling of unhewn logs, covered with split boards.
Zacheus, wife Catherine, his son and wife and their three children, seven members; one dwelling, covered with bark.
Esther (widow), one member; one dwelling, covered with split boards.
Mary (widow), one member; one dwelling, same as last.
Phoebe (widow), one member; one dwelling, covered with bark.
Helen and three children, four members; same as last.
Sam Evans, wife Ruth, and three children, five members; one dwelling of unhewn logs, covered with shingles.
Amos, wife, and child, three members; one dwelling, covered with split boards.
Louisa and two children, three members; one dwelling, covered with shingles.
Timothy, wife Martha, and daughter, three members; one hut.
Thomas, wife Rachel, grandson, and two children, five members; one hut.
Sarah (widow), one member; one hut.
Bartholomew, wife Elizabeth, son, and two girls, five members; one hut.
Lucia and mother, two members; one hut.
Christian, wife Augustina, mother, brother, and two children, six members; one hut.
Hannah and her grandchild, two members; one hut.
Patty, her son, and daughter, three members; one hut.
Abel, wife, and two children, four members; one hut.
Amy (widow), one member; one hut.
Magdalene, Erdmuth, and one child, three members; one hut.
Total number of families, 37.
The missionary has two dwellings adjoining each other, both covered with split boards, a stable, and a large garden, in which there is a well. The meeting-house, thirty-two by twenty-four feet, built of squared logs, and covered with shingles, stands in the middle of the town plot; and adjoining it is the school-house, a log building covered with split boards. Number of log houses in the town, 29; number of huts, 13; total number of dwellings, 42. Land cleared for planting, and converted into meadows, measures 250 acres. The fencing on two sides of the settlement measures almost two miles in length. Number of adults in the town, 94; number of children, 48; total inhabitants, 142.—Bethlehem Archives.
Some changes occurred during the following year, some having died, some removed to the west, and others having joined the mission. Its status, at the time of the exodus in June, 1772, was as follows:
Communicant members, 52; non-communicants, all baptized, 72; members of the mission, not baptized (adults, 10; children, 11), 21; other persons, 6; total of souls at Friedenshütten, 151. Members residing at Schechschiquanink: communicant members, 4; non-communicants, all baptized, 15; members of the mission not yet baptized, 31; Roth, wife, and child, 3; total, 53. Total of souls attached to the mission on the Susquehanna, June 1, 1772, 204.
ADDITIONAL STATISTICS—The number who emigrated from Philadelphia Barracks, 80 adults, and upwards of 90 children; total, about 170. For the year 1765, from May 9 to December 31: baptized, 5; died, 2; communicants (brethren, 16, sisters, 17), 33; non-communicants, all baptized, 23; not baptized (adults, 37; children and youth, 34), 71; total number connected with the mission, 146.
For 1766.—Born, 6; died, 1; baptized, 18; received into church fellowship, 4; communicants, 46; candidates, 3; non-communicants, baptized, 55; not baptized, 68; total, 172.
For 1767.—Married, 3 couple; died, 4; baptized, 23; communicants, 42; candidates, 1; non-communicants, baptized, 75; unbaptized, 67; total, 185.
For 1768.—Baptized (adults, 8; boys, 5; girls, 4), 17; died, 9 communicants, 48; non-communicants, baptized, 75; not baptized, 52; total, 178.
For 1769.—Born (boys, 7; girls, 5), 12; baptized (adults, 3; boys, 6; girls, 5), 14; married, 1 couple; died, adults, 2; (boys, 4; girls, 2), 6; communicants, 45; non-communicants, baptized, 82; not baptized, 51; total, 178.
For 1770.—Born (boys, 6; girls, 1), 7; died, 7; married, 1 couple; baptized, 10; communicants, 47; non-communicants, baptized, 79; not baptized, 45; candidate, 1; total, 172.
For 1771.—Died, 7; baptized, 19; moved to the west, 14; communicants, 48; non-communicants, baptized, 77; not baptized, 26; total, 151.
From 1765 to 1772.—Whole number baptized, 104; whole number died, 41.
STATISTICS OF SCHECHSCHIQUANINK.—From Jan. 25 to Dec. 31, 1769.— 4 log houses built; to us came 18 souls; left us, 3 souls; baptized, 4; died, 3; birth, 1; communicants, 3; non-communicants, baptized, 14; not baptized, 36; total, 53 souls.
For 1770.—Baptized, 3; admitted to the Lord’s Supper, 2; whole number connected with the mission, 58; died, 2; births, 2; came to the place, 16; left the place, 6.
For 1771.—Connected with
the mission, 10 married couples, 20; widowers, 1; widows, 7; single men,
7; single women, 3; half-grown boys, 6; half-grown girls, 4; children (boys,
6; girls, 9), 15; total, 63 souls.