bullet Gnadenhütten Journal - Comprehensive Report


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Brother Joseph [Spangenberg] reports the following from his visit to Wyoming, a stop during his travel from Shomoko back to Gnadenhütten and Bethlehem:

Wednesday, May 31st, We (namely Brothers Joseph, Nathanael, David Zeisberger and Kaske) arrived in Wyoming. A foreign [fremder] Indian servant led us straight to the Governor’s adjutant. We were received in a friendly manner and fed venison. Our host regretted that he could not give us anything else. He had no bread. The Chiefs of the Indians’ came to our quarters and greeted us amiably. They greeted every one with the words: "How do you do Brother" and " welcome Brother." Our host said that we came at an opportune time. There were Chiefs from the six different Nations gathered and they would dispatch emissaries to Onondago. At noon, one of them called us for a meal. He led us to a kettle, which contained eight buckets. We sat around on the ground and ate with a big appetite. They had a delicious meal of welsh-corn baked with bear fat. After the meal we went back to our quarters and slept for a while. As we stood on the Susquehanna and observed the village, there came three Indians, and invited us to their council. We brought our Brothers Abraham and Jacob with us, and sat down with them. There were 40 Indian Chiefs present together. They had over 35 Belts of Wampum spread out next to one another on a blanket and one of their ambassadors took one after another and demonstrated to the whole company what he had to say. The smallest of them was four fingers wide and a yard long. There were many Fathoms of Wampum, each of which had its own meaning.

As the council broke up, we went back to our quarters. Hereupon I took our host aside and let him know that we had heard about their poverty and that we had therefore resolved to deliver 50 bushels cornmeal to Gnadenhütten, where they could retrieve it. He demonstrated his gratitude with special expressions. What gladdened us the most was an elderly Indian woman whom the disciple [Jünger] missionary had gotten to know 10 years ago. She implored Abraham to have his son bring her to Gnadenhütten with a horse. And he promised to do so.

We set out again and went to our night quarters, but before we did, we gave our hosts a piece of bread from our own poverty; it was a pleasant present for them. We left early on Thursday and arrived in Gnadenhütten at noon on Friday June 2nd.

See the Bethlehem Diary from May 1752. Addendum subtitled: Continuation of this travel report.

Friday, July 14th. Two deputies arrived from Wyoming before evening with the news that 50 Nanticokes and 15 Shawnee were on their way and would be here tomorrow. Brother Abraham received them into his house and they were given food immediately because they were very hungry. I cannot describe the joy this news brought among white and among brown Brethren. There was only one grievance; namely, where would we get enough food for so many people this time of year. Brother Joshua said: there is no other way but for the Brethren who are still at home to go hunting tomorrow. It was so decided upon, and the Brethren were willing to do it. Thursday, July 15th, two messengers were dispatched at dawn, one to Bethlehem to deliver the joyful news to Brother Joseph in a letter, and another to Meniolagomekah to bring news of their arrival to the congregation. This was said to the two messengers, because they had great longing to see Brothers Joseph and Nathanael Seidel, who had been with them recently. Our Brethren went hunting.

The Lovefeast was canceled today, and only the necessary arrangements for their room and board were made. After the morning service, Indian Brother Nathanael and young Moses came from hunting and brought a deer, so we had the best for a meal. Several sisters were sent to cook right away. They made arrangements, to give them meat Sapan [soup] when they arrived.

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Translation by Rachel Wheeler & Irakly Chkhenkely

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