Grube’s Diary of the Shamokin Mission 04/14/1753-06/04/1753

Shamokin 1753

Diarist Brother Grube

On the 14th April Brother Grube, Christ and Kotus van der Merck (Johannes?) arrived from Bethlehem with the Daily Text “Deine Kleider riechen, Sie kamen aus der Atmosphäre des Grabes Christi her.“ . The brothers in Shamokin were very happy about their arrival as they were a little nonplussed about several circumstances. That evening we were very blessed together. Our neighbors, the Indians, were very loud and quite drunk.

On the 15th April we rested and Brother Grube told the other Brothers news about the Gemeine. In the evening, we held a little Singstunde about the sufferings of Jesus.

On the 16th April, after the morning blessing, all the brothers went about their work. Brother Pfeister began the masonry work on the chimney in our house. Brother Grube stayed at home and cooked. At noon, he invited Captain Logan and his brother John Shikellamy to speak to him about the new fence that Brother Joseph had promised to have made for him a year ago. Brother T’girhihontie was now traveling over the big water to Brother Johannes and the other brothers.[127] Brother Tecarekondie had returned from Greenland, etc. In the matter of the fence, we thought to take care of it in the following manner, because we did not have time to build a completely new one, that is, we wanted to take the best planks from their and our old fence and then erect a new fence with them, that would be just as good as a new one. He said the same thing to them about the [original damaged] that means that we would soon leave. We had in mind to destroy it completely because we needed a lot of it in our new house, and we also did not like to see other people living in it. They were both satisfied with my proposition. Logan said he would move away from here a few miles up the West Branch. John however would stay here and build a little Store house next to our new house (this will probably not happen because John has taken a Shawnee wife and will live not far from Logan).[128] In the evening, John showed the Brothers the piece of land that was supposed to be fenced in.

On the 17th April in the night the Indians began to drink again. We were quite disturbed in our sleep.

On the 18th April the business continued. But we did not allow ourselves to be disturbed but rather in the morning and evening held our opportunities and were especially happy about the beautiful words of the Savior, “whosoever eats this bread”[129] and held the hope that we too would soon enjoy this.

On the 19th April on Maundy Thursday in the morning things were still rather noisy because of the drunks. At midday, we held a little Quarter of an Hour meeting. Brother Grube told the other Brothers that we would celebrate communion today. In the evening the Indians became quite quiet, and we held our communion service peacefully, and during it read the sermons that the Savior had held to his disciples on his Passion. After that we held another Quarter of an Hour service and a pedelavium and after that the [original damaged] and our bloody lamb pervaded us in our very souls [original damaged] martyr body and blood, and so we went [original damaged].

On the 20th April on Good Friday we sang [original damaged] verses on the Passion and thanked him from our hearts that he spilled his blood for us poor little sinners on the Cross.

In the evening three warriors from the Oneida country arrived to have their weapons made here. But we said to them that we were not working tomorrow or the next day because we had two great feast days and had to speak to our God. They were very understanding.

On the 21st on the Great Sabbath we were quite still and thought a great deal of Jesus’ body in the tomb. The warriors came to visit us. I asked them if they knew Ononseracheri.[130] They said yes and were very friendly. Friedrich from Gnadenhütten is staying around here also for a few days but did not come to see us. In the evening we had a Singstunde and after that we went to rest.

On the 22nd April, before dawn, we visited our departed Brother Hagen’s grave, sat ourselves down at it and sang a few verses. In the evening we read an Easter sermon and held an Evening Hour.

On the 23rd April very early after the morning blessing Brothers Grube, Kobas, and Marx Kiefer went in the canoe to the mill to fetch provisions. Grube and Marx were going along for the first time. Today we went over 50 miles and stayed the night in the shelter of a thick tree, we were happy and thankful to the Savior, that he had gracefully protected us this day.

On the 24th we traveled another 16 miles and arrived at 9.30am at the place. We took the wagon from Quittopohille [131] [original damaged]

We could not continue and as soon as we were at the mill a terrible North West storm arose. Our little ship was in quite a lot of danger because of the waves because we could not quite haul it up onto land. In the evening Brother Xanter arrived with the provisions, but we could not load them because of the storm which lasted through the night. We could also not keep a fire and had to sleep with each other on the wagon but could hardly stand the cold.

On the 25th the storm continued. We made a little mound with the wagon’s cover behind which we could load the flour into the barrels. As we were done Brother Xanter left again, and we gave him two packs of skins for Bethlehem. An hour later the storm quietened down a little, and we began to travel but immediately had to navigate a very dangerous drop, but came through safely. We thanked the Savior for this because many people have already been unlucky there. For about 20 miles, we had very strong currents. In the evening we lodged on an island opposite where white people live.

On the 26th we woke up early and after we had traveled several miles we caught a good wind. We profited by raising our sail which consisted of a blanket. It went well. We passed another dangerous drop (where David and Martin had been shipwrecked). We tied a long rope to the canoe and one of us pulled on that and the others worked the paddles, and so we got up them safely. Our sail pulled as good as a man and it turned out that we covered 70 miles against the current in a day and a half. But we got quite weak from this. In the evening around 9 o’clock we arrived safely in Shamokin. We found everyone drunk, but we were able to bring our things quite quietly to the house and were glad to be with our dear hearts who were still at home. They told us how badly the Indians had behaved during our absence and that they had allowed the Brothers no rest, day or night, and that they had killed almost all our chickens and eaten them.

On the 27th April our dear hearts David and Henrich Frey arrived from Bethlehem. The Indians started to drink again.

On the 28th things were still very tumultuous. Several Indians came to visit David and welcomed him, especially the two young warriors, one of whom was an Oneida Chief, whom David knew well and had been there when they had wanted to allow the brothers to travel through their lands. He was very pleased to see David here. In the evening David held the Singstunde.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the brothers made a canoe.

On the 3rd May the dear hearts David and Henrich Frey left here for Onondago. We supplied them with provisions and after we had kissed them cordially they left with their new little ship.

Brother Grube accompanied them for a few miles and at his departure they let off a few shots for joy. We would have loved to go with them to Wyoming. But it could not be right now.

On the 7th Brothers Pfeifer, Schwarz and Kobas left here for Bethlehem. They took some skins with them. We also gave them reports to take with them. This week the new fence for the Indians was finished.

On the 11th May we started to plant Indian corn. But it goes very badly, as the ground has to be broken up first with the hoe. An Indian began to build our coal shop.

On the 19th May we celebrated a blessed communion and beforehand had a thorough small group prayer meeting. [Bande]

On the 20th May we were quite blessed in Jesus’ wounds.

On the 21st May 11 canoes full of Indians arrived here. They had lived for a while on the Juniata and actually came from Monocasy in Maryland[132], and are called Conoy Indians. [133] They speak most like the Nanticoke, they can also speak good English and they want to settle in this area.

On the 25th May we were finished with planting Indian corn.

On the 29th we began to move into our new house. We transported most of our things with the skid there.

On the 1st June we were finished. We also left hardly a nail in the old house, took everything that we could loosen. In time, we will also take off the roof. Everything went well and without hindrance. The day before everyone was drunk.

On the 2nd June we held our first Sabbath in the new house. Had a contented Love Feast and dedicated our new little Saal and thanked the Savior for this dear little place. Brother Grube composed a little hymn for the occasion.

On the 4th June (1753) Brother Grube travelled to Quenischachachque[134]