David Zeisberger: A Life among the Indians

By Earl P. Olmstead; David Zeisberger | Go to book overview

13
Frustration on the Allegheny, 1768-1770

ANY HONEST assessment that David Zeisberger may have made of his recent four-month trip to western Pennsylvania must have led him to an enigmatic conclusion. If he returned to the Allegheny it was going to be risky. The first trip had been exhausting, mentally more than physically. He looked forward to a long winter's rest at his favorite haunt at Christianbrunn, headquarters of the single Brethren's choir, located a few miles north of Bethlehem. In his twenty-eighth year, he had led the first group of twenty-two men to the new village on December 17, 1749, and served as their first leader and elder-counselor.1 The cold but lazy winter months of 1767 and 1768 provided the rest and reflection he needed to decide his future course of action.

By the beginning of May, responding to the call of the Bethlehem elders, Zeisberger and his assistant, Gottlob Sensemann, were at the Friedenshutten mission on the Susquehanna, preparing to keep his promise to return to the Allegheny. The Zeisberger party, consisting of Anton and his wife, Johanna, Abraham and Salome, Peter and Abigail, and the boy Christian, the grandson of Anton, departed on May 9. Exactly one month later, toward evening on June 9, they reached Goschgoschunk, stopping at

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