Kliest and Loesch’s Diary 12/19/1754-12/25/1754

Diarists Heinrich Frey and Gottlieb Roesch

[1754]

 

On December 19th over the noon hour we (Henry Frey and Gottf. Roesch) began our journey to Wyoming after a heartfelt farewell from Gnadenhütten. Brothers Fabricius and Weha accompanied us to the top of the Spitzberg and from there they turned around, and because they had carried our bundles until then we were especially aware of their love for us. Soon after this an Indian from Gnadenhütten met us (he said he was the husband of our Mariane who now lives in Wyoming. We heard later that that was true although he was separated from her again). He went with us until the watchpoint where he made his way to Nescopeck. He behaved with great friendliness towards us.

On the 20th we made good night quarters with a large fire as it was so cold, just as we did yesterday evening in Johannes Ruh.[159]

On the 21st towards sundown we arrived in Wyoming on the Susquehanna, which was flowing fast with ice. After calling loudly for a canoe to cross some boys and an Indian woman finally came to the edge of the water, but the latter let us know that we could not be ferried across because of the strong ice flow. Then Brother Heinrich called out once again that we came from Gnadenhütten. At that she gave us a friendly signal, ran off and said that she would send someone right away who would get us across, and thereupon Joachim, Abraham’s son appeared , making his way over to us very painstakingly through the ice chunks and fetched us and brought us to his father’s house where we were welcome in a very friendly fashion, also by the old Maria, who Brother Grube had baptized there, who along with others joined us quickly and appeared quite happy and cheerful. From among the menfolk in Wyoming there was no-one else at home but Abraham and Joachim, for we had come upon some Delaware huts already where there were only womenfolk at home. The aforementioned Indian woman, who had come to the Susquehanna and had arranged our crossing, as we later heard, was the wife of our dear old Paxinous.[160]

It was very cold in the night, so that when we laid down by a pretty big fire we still froze and so it was for our host Abraham throughout the whole night. And because Abraham can speak good German and at this moment was quite cheerful and awake, we were able to converse well with Abraham and we had a very nice night in Wyoming. Abraham told us that it would be his wish that a Brother would live in Wyoming. It would be a blessing for the whole area.  He assured us though that the Shawnee and especially Paxinous’ household loved us dearly. There were also a few Delaware places that longed for something and that kept themselves orderly and loved us too. Also the Minisink town, where Brothers Grube and Rundt had been, still felt that they were looking for something for their hearts.[161] Etc. Things were not going well at a few other Delaware villages, especially where Gideon was living.[162] Abraham’s little son Isaac, who had been very ill for a time, was really cheerful and when Brother Rösler gave them greetings from Beother Eeber in Bethlehem, he said himself that he would like to dictate a little letter for him and Brother Rösler wrote it as was dictated to us. He asked whether the little Negro boy Daniel were still living in the Boys’ Anstalt, he wanted to greet him especially. Brother Abraham asked us where Brother Post might be.   And as we answered his question he said of his own accord that he wanted to dictate a letter to him before we leave, which he also did on the 22nd when Brother Rösler wrote it word for word as Abraham said it in Mohican and Joachim then in German. And because we saw that we had achieved what we had wanted to in Wyoming so we started our journey back today. As we left we reminded them of the impending birthday of our dear Savior, who had already done so much for their hearts, that they should in turn make use of this for the good of their hearts. (Brother Abraham had asked us soon after our arrival, when Christmas Day was.) They gave us various greetings to convey to Bethlehem and Gnadenhütten and so we went our way, quite content and comforted from the various blessed conversations about Wyoming and the whole affair of the Savior with the poor Indian people in this area and slept this night in Wambhallopank.[163]

 

On the 23rd we arrived in Nescopeck and visited with Nutimes where no-one but the Paten (Godfather) Nutimes was at home, who was very friendly, and at our request was quite willing to take us over the Susquehanna. As we arrived that evening at the old Solomon[164] it was good that we had crossed at Nescopeck because if we had gone down the river on this side we would not have reached them because now in winter he lives a little away from the river in the bush and would not have heard us call (for a canoe). He welcomed us at our arrival and professed that he would very much like it if we would come to his house. We had walked in the rain today. He and his wife and Johannes, the grandson were alone at home. But it was not as comfortable for us here as it had been in Wyoming.

 

On the 24th we set off on our way to Shamokin again. At our departure he said that his heart was often in Bethlehem and Gnadenhütten and he also sent greetings along with us. What we heard and felt there once again gave us cause for many conversations about the business with the Indians along the Susquehanna, at which we were content. By the evening we had come to about 20 miles above Shamokin not far from Labach Peter,[165] where after we had climbed our ways through two big creeks we made our night camp under the stars and celebrated the blessed night of the birth of our Creator and Savior. Around midnight it started to rain and so we had to make a tent out of our blanket and sit under it, so then sleep was not permitted. But we were quite content and spent this night in quite blessed meditation, were with the Gemeine in our hearts and the night had soon passed before we knew it.

 

On the 25th December towards evening we arrived in Shamokin on Christmas Day quite happy at our dear Brothers and Sisters’ who had gone out to look for our arrival almost every hour. We rejoiced on both sides. And we thanked the Savior from our hearts that He had allowed this journey to end happily through the good works of his angels and his nearness.