Westward to the Delaware Country, 1767
AFTER RETURNING from his Onondaga trip in November 1766, Zeisberger spent the next ten months at Christianbrunn relaxing from his missionary labors, although he was restless and longed to return to the missionary field.
Early in 1767, the western tribes along the Allegheny requested a white Christian teacher. The source of the message, Zeisberger wrote, "was somewhat untrustworthy."1 He would later discover that the invitation came from residents on the Allegheny who had friends at Friedenshutten and were impressed with the teachings at the Susquehanna mission. Since the Moravians were not generally known in the Allegheny area, the Mission Board approved a tour to investigate. Zeisberger, their most experienced missionary, was chosen to make the trip. He left Bethlehem on September 20, 1767, traveling north to Friedenshutten, and arrived four days later.2
The trail his party would take to the Allegheny region was known as the "Forbidden Path" of the Seneca Nation.3 No white man had successfully traversed it. Christian Frederick Post and John Hays had tried in 1760 but were turned back when the Indians threatened to cut off Post's ears.