Joseph Powell’s Diary January 4, 1748 — April 18, 1748

Joseph Powell’s Diary is also viewable as an xml-encoded text  and Martha Powell’s memoir can be found here


Monday Jan. 4. 1747 [1748][74]

Dear Brother Cammerhoff kept with us the Sacraments; were quickened and much Blest thereby. Parted with our Dear Brothers and Sisters with many Tears, Powell accompanied them to Eva Creek. Felt in our Evening little meeting our Hearts Lo and melted. Commended to our Dear Lamb Our Whole Circumstances laying on his Tender Heart the Condition of the Poor
Indians, prayed him for this part of the World which till now has been govern’d By Satan, lying under the powers of Darkness. Felt our Hearts getrost – and our Lord’s promise true. He Heers in the midst whear three
Meet in his Name.
Came Mrs Harris wth three Traders. one of which asked Bro. Powell if we’d employ him to split sales to which he replied friend, it may be good first for us rightly to view the matter then u know splitting sales is hard work, said he but I’de reather do it, being Obliged by Trading to live so Wicked a life.

Powell continued splitting Sales. Bro. Antone Had many visits from Indians. brought Much work. Paid in Skins. Have hear so many Languages+ we find it very Difficult to learn anything. Then its rare to hear two Indians talking In one language. Pray our Lamb to help us and and his will might
Be dun in us.

Januar 9. Sabbath enjoyed our Love Feast with
Innig Satisfacttion, tho many Blassings
We had enjoyed in the Dear Church ware
Us by this opportunity erinnerlich thanked
Our Dear Saviour for allowing us this
privilidg hear
visited us three Tootlers, wonder’d we
kept two Sundays, never said they knew why
the white people kep more than one
In the Evening sang part of the Wounden Littany

[Sunday] Visited Shikellame, being Snoe Weather
Could not well go further, invited him to
Sup with us.

11.12.13 Came many from hunting, visited us, sum
employed Bro. Antone, ware all very friendly
and glad to see us
Powel widened our fence made a
Field abt. two Acres.

16 ware Chearful and Happy together by our
Sabbath Lovefeaste.
Our Neighbour the Moheconterin came
With an other woman to visit Sister,
she wept and tould the other woman it
trubled her that she could not understand
and speake with Sister Smith more.
Read a letter from Snake an Indian
Up the River to whom we are Somthing
In Debt. Said he’ed come down soon-
Invited Shekellame to Dinner
Monday came from Waquallepank
Three Delawares with thar Guns to
Be mended. Powel knew one of them
By name, John Watson, having three
Year agoe seen him in Bethlehem.
All behaved with Bescheidenheit
Paid us and returned the 3rd Day following. ware well, thought oft on the Sinners
and prayed our Lord to help and bless our
Dear Brothers and Sisters thear and on the
Roade. Believed they thought on us
And love us (tho worth but little) as thare
Flesh and bone.
Sabbath had us as usuall at 10 in the [morning]
Our married quarter of an Ower. Felt the
Peace of our Lamb thearby.
Had a Sweet undisturbed Day. Enjoyed
Our love feast. Love and understand each
Other. Felt true fellowship
A little past midnight was a Earth
Quake, which so shook our House and
Beds that sum of us awaked.
Powel visited some fammeleys
Found all well. Invited Shekellame
To Dinner.

Intertained and lodged a man of nd Maggee
Who came in exceeding wet having waded
The Creek. Powel and he being of one
Relligion spoke freely with each other
From real Christian principels and how a
Man should and wood act to have a Clear///
Conscience and perticuler in
Dealing with the Indians—
At going to sleep had our
Usual quarter of an ower.
in the Morning brought him in a
Cannoo over the River with Difficulty
Being full of Ice. Was very thankful
Behaving with greate Respect.
We observed that the Traders can with
Eagerness go thro the greatest hardships
And Difficulties for sake of Gaine.
hard by a Trader that Mr. Magee
was exceedingly trubled having heard
by two Indians that Bro. Cammerhoff
and Powel ware Drownded the Day we
left his House.
came two Indians from the War with the
Cattobats. Being all that are escaped from
A number that went out last Spring.
We hear that the Day they were killed they
Two that are escaped left the other and
Came behind a towne of the
Cattobats expecting to kill som as they
Came out a little before went
Out of the Town about 30 men verry
Swift on foot— they took the others
And having scalped them cut their flesh
All over thare boddyes to the bone
While they ware yet alive.///
Shekelleme made us a pressant of
Half a Dear. Gave it hartily.
had a still sweet Sabbath felt in perr-
ticular our Lamb’s peace, offered him
our worthless poor Hearts, beg’d him
to take and keep them as Reward of
His paine.
In the Evening two Dellawares Desir’d
Room for a Bundle of Skins. We refused
It fearing others should Demand them to
Whom they did not belong—
And Sister Smith went a visiting
Found verry few at home.
Shekellame asked Powell if he’d
Make him a long fence. Said he’ed
Pay in Skins. Tould him Powel had
Not time.

Feb. 1  came two Traders down the river
Cal’d of Shikellame but came not to
Us. We see that tho we behave frien-
Dly towards the Traders yet when one
Happens to com in our hous he’es as a
Fish out of water. Thank our Lord
That they trouble us so little.
had severall visitts from Indians
we had not before seen. Sum have
no corn at all and cannot by with Skins
but are obliged first to change them
for Brandy and with that by Corn///

Feb 4 came in the Evening to James Logan
A Dellaware by name Pet Cutfinger
Had two wives, he and his Company
In the Night were verry Drunk with
Licker they brought.
came early to see us two of our next
neighbours puerly that we might
see thay ware sober—
Logel prepared to go to Wyomack
To by Corn but was prevented by the
Excessive couldness of the weather.
Sabbath was to us a Day of Rest
Sang by our Love Feast—this virs
Whear three in love do live with Blood Baptis’d
A Church is seen tho little not Dispised

[Sunday] ware much trubeled with a Drunken Delaware
Shekellime being not at home—

Sister Smith had a Could fit of feavour
Attended with excessive paine in the Back.

the Indians continued verry Drunken
women and Children oft made our Hous there
thar Refuge

Sister had againe the feavour seemly hard
Attended with much paine as before—
-came from Yomack a Moheconterin
had a pritty Child, was by hir Husband drove
away he having besides hir three Wives

Shekelleme and his Eldest son John Returned<
From hunting, being so excessive could that
Thay could not hunt. Ware Oblig’d in about
A week to Return without flesh—invited
Him to dinner, had a hunter’s appetite.///

Samuel Danyals a Dellaware came for his
Gun. Bro. Antone had mended, but Refused
To pay. Shekelleme being by was Displeased
With him wood have had us a kept the
Gun by fors till he paid, but it was not so
In our hearts being unwilling to make him
Our Enemey—he came afterwards and paid
–we supposed Shekelleme had spoke with
him about it.

had a netlich Love feast Sister Smith
gave being hir Birth Day

in the Evening Powell had the feavour
was unwilling to be sick, prayed our Dear
Lamb to keep and Restore his health and it was

came foure Dellawares, Bro. Antone mended
thare Guns. They behaved modestly—and in
the Evening Returned to the Trader over
the water—

Sister Smith got could the which was attended
With great horseness in the throat, Suppose
She got after a swet she took for the feavour
ware all well prayed our Lord to keep
our Hearts in Simplicity closely connected
with Him and his people in health and Sickness

19      Indians ware most all Drunk, except
Shekelleme and his Eldest Sone, he being tired
With the nise he must continually hear
In his own House, came to us Dined with
Us, was Displeas’d tho knew not how to
Prevent the greatest Disorder thay after
Made in his owne House.///
We hear severall Nations will joyne to
Take a Town of the french call’d

20       Sabbath—felt our Hearts in union with
our Saviours flock, (without was nothing
but tumult and nise) we had peace ware
shut up secure and free as Sheep who
know those Sheppard watcheth and slumbereth

visited us an Old Dellawar. Said when
he Dyed he Shu’d go to Hell and he thought
it wood be soon. Perhaps tomorrow being
verry Old. Asked him how he came to
belive so, said he I have liv’d with white
People (who can reed and know many things
From God) and they all Say so.

Sister Smith has the feavour

— the Indians continued very Drunken
one woman Burnt hir Back exceedingly
for which reson we hear she’d continu’d
Drinking that therby of the Smart She
Might be Uncensible
Came a little before Midnight to our door
Swaring Bitterly She using hir best Endevours
To break it Down, but Bro. Antone prevented
It with a Bar of Iron but the hinges she
Beat almost of

hard Neighbour Maggee lay Exceeding
strong>Mrs Harris Sent Desiring we’ed immediately
Both come over, understanding by the
Messenger that her Man William had beat
Hir and wanted to rob hir of hir Skins
We refus’d to go telling him to speak
About it to Shekellimi

Shekellami and two of his Sons went. We
Roth to hir thus:

Dr. Mrs Harris. We are willing if Possible
To Serve and help you, but in and with such a
Matter we cannot meddle, then we are
People of Peace and love living alone for
Our Dear Lord in this World
Smith and Powell

Shees a Woman we Respect and wish well
Have far less hope of a Self Righteous person
Than of hir.

Shekellame sent his Son John to visit
Mr Maggee hear by him that he is something
most of the Dellawares are gon
we hear some intend to return at planting

Sabbath supposed the Sacrament to be
In Bethlehem. Thanked our Saviour for
The sweet fellowship we felt.///

Feb. 28  Sunday. Shekelleme brought us to
Read a Treaty held with the Indians of the
Six Nations in Philla. this year. and also
A Letter of Recommendation Rote and given
Him by the Governer, which we read
To him. Was much pleased. Breakfasted
With us.

Mar. 1    Mrs. Harris sent us Milk. The which we
Excepted. Returning hir thanks.

ware all well. The Daly expectation of hearing
from Bethlehem gave us Muth.

4          had no flesh. Confired with each other
how to get a little. In the evening a
Delaware Woman brought and gave
Fine flesh pice hir husband being just
Comin from hunting.

Sabbath—Sister had the feavour seemly

A Mingo desired to sleep with us told
Us Shekellame had no room. We
Admitted him.

an old Shawaneno brought work to Bro.
Antone. Tould us he came wide thro the
Bush. Said he had been many Days verry
Hungry. But every Day thought I can just
Get to the Smith I shall get Bread
We gave him some.
His name is Neshanokeow. This is the
Man who tould Shekellamo in Sister
Mack hearing the first time she//
Was hear that we ware like Piggons
If he suffered a paire hear to reside they
Draw to them whole Troops, and take from
Him all his Land.

Shekelleme brought us Flesh his sone
John being just come from hunting
Both din’ed with us.
Shikellimi tould us that he and his three
Sones wood visit the KirkaDunde[75] after
as the other two sons returned from

Sister Smith had the feavour

9          Shikelleme asked againe if we’ed fence
a large field, tould him we shoudl hardly
grub the get this of our owne neads before
planting time.
to which he replied the KirkaDunde[76]
Should send hear more Brothers

10       ware all well and well employed. Antone
in his Shop, Powel and Catherine Grubing
and Burning Grubs
lov’d each other felt the peace of God
in our Midst

11       ware very still most of the Indians
being from home

Enjoyed our Sabbath in Stillness and Inward

13       Shekellemo Dined with us Inquired if the
Kirka Dundes house was in Bethlehem and
How wi’d from Tulpehocken//
Severall Indians brought Bundells
And Bushells of all what they had. Beg’d we’d
Give them room till they returned.

16       Andrew Smith a Trader slept with us
was exact in behaviour and thankful
tould us Cunnorrrad Viser[77] was on his
journey to Allegenea[78] with the intent to prosicute the Traders thear that
sould Liquer to the uttermost Severity
of a new Act made Febr. last
had in the Evening our little quarter
of an Ower as usual—

had many visits from Travilling
Indians who ware Hear detained by the
Exceeding highness of Water. Our Towne
At present is an Island being incompassed
With water about 8 foot Deep—

19       ware well in Boddy and Spirit with our hearts resting on the Merritts of our Bleeding Lover

20       [Sunday] the Indians that ware hear Detained got verry Drunken, but were not to us troublesome furder then the nise they made the whole night. One woman had a Child which we in the Night hard Cry Bitterly. We suppoed hir to have throw’d it in the fier.—

[Mar] It Being snow and bad weather to work out made sum alterations in our House, made our room Door in the South End, being before inconveniant having happened that Indians came in and up stares without comming in our Dwelling room. Bilt also a large foar Hous on the South End the widness of the house.

23       Mrs Harris made us a present of sum milk. a Young Delaware woman Desir’d to hide by us a kegg of Brandy. We refus’d it telling hir shee was not unsensible how the Indians abused and beate thare poor Wives when Drunk. If she’d take our advise she’ed immediately thro it in the Susquahanna being the justest way for hir to be set free from so poor a way of living.

Widened our fence nearer Shekellame. Planted beffore our House 14 pritty Larg Peach and Appell Trees. Shekelleme Desired we’ed rite by him to the Kirk a Dunde [Spangenberg]. Said he inted in the Morning with his Eldest Son to set out for Bethlehem. Was displeased his other Sons stay’d so long at Yomock [Wyomick] Intending to have had them with him.

Mar 26           Sabbath we helped them with thare Horses and to pack up. Gave them Bread to Eat on the Road. Rote to Bro Joseph Gave them a Direction from Dulpehocke to Bethlehem. Rote in English and Dutch—

27       Came two Mingoes brought work to Bro. Antone. Let one of them Blood having bad Eyes and paine in arms and Side

Was not one Indian man on this side the River and only one woman and a few Children. Shikelleme Sons returned from Yomack. Sister Smith had a hot feavour— came home sum fammilyes of Tootlers. We think they are the worst sort under all the Indians; are by all opportunities stealing and begging and yet thereby Self-Righteous

April 1            came two Delawares one was Brother to Godleabs Wife. Ware friendly tould us Godleab[79] lived with them 15 miles up the River—Mrs Harris visited us brought us Milk. Tould us Godleabs Brother in Law was with Hir, and spoke many evill things of the Brethren. Said the Indians tould him in Knaden Hitten the Brethren wanted to Make them to Slaves and that they oust Pald of sum Indian Corn Colbs of Thare owne planting and a Brother Met them and took it from them and Beate them. Tould us also that Zackheus’s wife Complained exceedingly to hir of hir Husband Said he used hir exceeding ill and wept bitterly.

Shekelemes two Sons and Wives went with the Tootlers down the River. A Trader not wide from the Mill sent the Tootler Nation word that he had for them a Long Sack of Flower and a Barrill of Brandy. We hear his intention is by this opportunity to Deale with them.

Came down the River in a Bark Cannoe 8 Warriors, Bro. Antone made them What they Wanted, they behaved exceeding Well, in the Evening Drumed and Danced after the Warriors Methode With Drawn Swords and other Weppons In thare hands, each had a brown Coat trimmed with Lace which appeared like Gold. in the morning took thare Leave intended to go to Harrises Ferry and from thence to the Cattobats by land

Powel and Sister Smith Plowed and it went much better than we expected.

April 8            Came home sum of the Dellawares. Brought us flesh. Lent Mrs Harris an Inglish Song book. She having oft asked to See one.

Sabbath—ware woll. Ware continually Looking and Expecting to See Brothers and Sisters, this being oft our Meditation Both by Day and Night to hear from Our Dear Congregation. Could with many tears thank our Lamb for the peace and unity hee letts Us seek and enjoy this makes each burden As a feather light.

[Sunday] Had som visits from strangers we had Not before seen.

Mrs Harris brought hear severall Indians who came about 50 miles down the North Branch had much work for the Smith

came 4 Warriors being part of an armey that went last Spring. The other part returned an other road. Had one scalp the head or Captaine visited us several times, behav’d with greatest sevillity. we find the warriors in generall men worthy of Respect.

The Captaine Desiring a little Meale; we gave him som, we could speake but little with them, but to sho thare love they came and made us Musick and took thare leave.

Finnished plowing but could make no Gardens for want of Seed. Could get none thats of any use.

Bro Antone had the feavour verry Strong.

16  Sabbath.

Ware all well. committed our whole Circumstances to the keeping and car of our Dear Lamb looking to his loving Brest letting him do whats Best

Antone had a second fitt

18  Came our Dear Martin and David. ware by them unspeakably Refreshed ware assham’d with harts bow’d for our dear Lamb for all his care and faithfulness to us Sinners.