bullet Michael (d. 1758)

(View source documents/German transcription - 5 pages)

Monday, the 24th

Our Brother Michael, who has been sick for two months and has been growing weaker, underwent a change at eight o'clock, and one could see that he would not long survive. He left his mortal life at twelve o'clock. Here follow a few details of his life.  He reached an age of seventy and some years old, [and was] of the Mennesinger Nation [nation of the Minisinks]. 

Nota: He is said to have been a great warrior in his youth, as is usual among the savages, and is said to have at one time held out in a battle for six to eight hours while as many as twenty balls hit the tree under which he stood charging [his weapon]. He also had (as one still sees on the very old Indians) a face that was painted with figures done in gun powder so that it would not come off, and his cheerful look with the figures gave it a pleasing appearance in the coffin. The figures that he had on his face were a large snake on the one right side at the temple, and from starting at the lips a pole that [ran] between the eyes and the nose and up the forehead onto the head, on which pole there was every quarter of an inch something of a round figure, like a scalp. On the left cheek, he had two spears cross-wise over one another, and at the jaw line the head of a wild boar. All of it was done very neatly.

He was gripped by the Savior in 1742 by the great awakening in Shecomeco.  In the same year, on December 24th, he was baptized into Jesus' death, and the following year he was among the first admitted to the holy communion.  He immediately received a deep impression of the Savior's wounds on his heart, which stayed with him until his end.  In Bands he was always very open-hearted and upright, and if something came his way to disturb his blessed progress, he called it by its name, and said "Brothers:  Now you have it there, the evil spirit that wants to deceive me."  He felt deeply that he was a sinner and that guilt lay with him.  He had to be consoled often over this, and when he looked upon Jesus' wounds, he was also consoled.  In the year 1746, when the Indians were driven from Shecomeco, he was with them and came for the first time to Bethlehem.  That same spring he moved to Gnadenhütten, where he lived for nine years and made the least trouble for the Brethren.  He worked industriously and behaved well.  Nothing disturbed him more than when he heard that someone wanted to leave the [Gnadenhütten] Gemeine.  Several times, on certain occasions, he eagerly gave witness to particular older and well-known Indians as to what the Savior had done in his heart, and what a mean person he had been before he knew the Savior.  In 1755, when the Moravians on the Mahoni [at Gnadenhütten] were attacked by murderers, he fled with the surviving Indians to Bethlehem, where he soon came to live with the single Indian Brethren in the Single Brethren's House.  This arrangement was very comfortable for him, and he spent most of his time there, both day and night. At every Abend Mahl interview, he repeated his wish that he go into the Single Brethren's house.  He loved and was loved in return.  He cared for certain brethren specially and was faithful to them.  Andreas Weber was one of these.  In the disturbances of the war, the Single Indian Brethren were often very anxious that they might be killed.  Michael said to them, "If you are in good stead with the Savior, you would not be so nervous.  Your bad hearts are responsible for your anxiety."  When the land in Nain was divided up in spring, Brother Joshua asked him how much he thought to plant.  He answered:  "I will not need any more land to plant during the time that I yet live.  I will receive as much food as I need."  When he heard in May that Tediuskund (1)  wanted all of the Bethlehem Indians to come to Wajomick(2),  he said: "He will certainly not have my body, on the contrary, it will stay here and be buried."  He began to become quite weak, and yearned to be absolved soon.  Four weeks ago, old Jacob took him into his house, because he fell sometimes into an unconscious state, and one worried that he might sometime stay away without anyone being aware of it.  In recent times he could not come out of bed very often, but rather passed away most of his time sleeping; he never complained about the pain.  Fourteen days ago when it was time for the Abend Mahl, he said, "This time I can't go out any more," so it was passed down to him.  After that he was completely still for a couple of days and spoke very little, yet his Single Brethren's House was with him, and when Andreas Weber visited him, he could not testify enough of his joy for his friend.  This morning, several brothers visited him to whom he reached his hand and squeezed, and indicated, saying in a broken voice, "go to the Savior."  He remained still, without much movement, until twelve o'clock noon. Then, under a blessed Liturgy and a blessing from Brother Martin and at the words "pale lips kissed his heart" he passed blessedly, mercifully, and gently away into Jesus' arms and lap, in the presence of various Indian Brethren.   He is now in peace.  His body was buried on the following day.  His wish that he would like [to] die and be buried in Bethlehem was granted by the Savior.  He was certainly the crown of all our baptized in this part of the world, because his holiness progressed after his baptism without many changes and transformations. 

1  Usually spelled Teedyuscung.  Teedyyuscung,also known as the "Delaware King," had once been a Moravian Indian but, by the time of Michael's death, he had moved away from the Brethren and was settled in the Wyoming Valley to Bethlehem's north.  He sought to represent the Delaware in treaty negotiations, but his difficult personality made this complicated.  He was an important figure in the Easton treaty negotiations during the French and Indian War, particularly objecting to the fraudulent 1739 Walking Purchase.  He died in 1762.  For more information on Teedyuscung see King of the Delawares:  Teedyuscung, 1700-1763 by Anthony F.C. Wallace.
2  Presumably "Wyoming."

Transcription & translation by Katherine E. Carté.

Updated: 11 December 2003

return home