Blackcoats among the Delaware: David Zeisberger on the Ohio Frontier

By Earl P. Olmstead | Go to book overview

SEVEN
The Goshen Mission

After fifty-one days of toilsome struggle and considerable risk, the small flotilla of canoes carrying thirty-one Indian converts arrived at their destination. They came ashore at the site of the old Schoenbrunn village, camping there for several days as Mortimer traveled to Gnadenhutten to discuss the available food supply with Heckewelder. "Brother Heckewelder," Mortimer wrote, "offered us all the present relief in his power."

On October 7, 1798, following the usual morning service, the entire contingent traveled the short distance to the proposed site of the new mission. Mortimer describes the day's activity.

All the brn. went to the place which had been designated as most suitable for a town to be built on. The situation was approved by all present. It will, we believe, prove healthy & pleasant, and as convenient as could be chosen. It lies on a level highground on the W. side of the river, about 1-3/4 miles S.E. of the place where formerly New Schoenbrunn stood, & half a mile distant from our S. & W. lines. Nearly opposite to the intended town is Zeisberger island, so named by the surveyor who laid off the tract last year, according to the act of Congress [see page 96]. The main street will be made parallel with the River at a distance of 25 yards. 1

The following day they moved the baggage to the new location and began to lay out the town. Mortimer recounts the procedure. "The 9th the town was laid out, & divided into lots 3 rods [49.5 feet] in front. The street is 5 rods [82.5 feet] wide. The Indian brn. went immediately to work to cut down the high timber and thick underwood with which the place is covered. Our land here, and the adjacent country, has acquired such a wild appearance since we left in the year 1781, that we can hardly know it again." 2

Early on the morning of October 10, the Indian Brethren built a temporary dwelling for the Zeisbergers. These huts were crude, hastily built

-107-

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Blackcoats among the Delaware: David Zeisberger on the Ohio Frontier
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Part I The Wilderness Years 1772-1798 1
  • One the Ambiguous Delaware 3
  • Two the Great Dispersement 34
  • Three from Disaster to a New Beginning 51
  • Four Return to the Ohio Country 64
  • Five Pettquotting the New Salem 76
  • Six from the Detroit River to the Retrenche 87
  • Part 2 The Goshen Mission Years 1798-1821 105
  • Seven the Goshen Mission 107
  • Eight Goshen Mission Life an Overview 124
  • Nine Without Their Beloved David 152
  • Part 3 Record of Burials, the Goshen Mission Cemetery 173
  • Origins of the Goshen Biographical Sketches 175
  • Burials 1-44, 1799-1823 177
  • Appendix A 241
  • Appendix B 243
  • Appendix C 244
  • Appendix D 245
  • Appendix E 246
  • Appendix F 248
  • Appendix G 249
  • Notes 255
  • Bibliography 267
  • Index 273
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