Mack and Zeisberger’s Short Report of the Heidenpaß in Shamokin April 18, 1748–June 19, 1748

From 18th April [o.s.] 1748

Martin and David arrived safely at noon among our Brothers and Sisters in Shamokin. They were heartily gladdened as they saw us as they had greatly desired to see someone from Bethlehem for a long time. We communicated news to them both in writing and words and shared many kisses and greetings. We spent the afternoon with love and God’s little Lamb strengthened the Brothers and Sisters anew. The Mohican woman and her husband soon visited us, and were very friendly, asked if my wife were still alive. I said yes, about which they were thankful. In the evening we had a blessed Evening Quarter of an Hour.


On the 19th [April] Shikellamy and his son came home from Tulpehocken. Martin welcomed him. He was very surprised that we had arrived before him. In the evening, David and Paul [Brother Powell] visited him. He was very cheerful. Anton was very sick today. He had a strong fever, which made him very weak. There was also quite a lot of noise around our house with the drunken Indians. But they left us in peace.


On the 20th [April] Shikellamy and his eldest son visited us. They brought Paul and Anton a letter from friends and also tobacco, and said that this time we had had beaten them home… They breakfasted with us, were cheerful. They asked is T’girhonti [Spangenberg] had arrived home. We said yes, soon after he had left. “Ei” said Shikellamy, “if only I had stayed another day I could have seen him.”

We read him the words that his Brothers T’girhonti, Gallop, as well as Annentschi, Ganiaterechco, Hajinkdnes and the other Brethren in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Gnadenthal, Gnadenhütten had written to him, which he received very well.[80] They were both particularly happy that we used the names that they had given us.[81] They were both very cheerful and open [lichte]. We were much visited by many Indians today, also many drunken ones visited us. They behave so well when they visit us though, as well as they possibly can. Paul and David plated some Indian corn and many other things. Martin wrote [letters?] and busied himself with the Brethren. In the afternoon, Sister Schmidt had a strong fever with much heat. In the evening we held a blessed Quarter of an Hour service.


On the 21st Brother Martin set off again down the Susquehanna by land to Quitapahilla[82] to order provisions and some steel and iron for Shamokin. The Brothers and Sisters were blessed and content with each other.


ON Sunday the 24th Brother Joseph Paul [Powell] and David travelled by water down the Susquehanna. Anton and the others watched them leave with sorrow in their hearts because they are now alone at home.


On the 26th, ten warriors returned from the Flatheads [Catawba]. They immediately began to drink and caroused horribly the whole night long.


On the 27th it was once again very noisy in Shamokin because of the drunken people.


On the 28th everywhere was filled with drunken men and womenfolk apart from old Shikellamy who visited with Anton a lot in his shop.


On the 29th Brother Martin returned safely to Shamokin in the night with the provisions. He found Anton and us cheerful and well and joyful in their hearts. We held another blessed evening Quarter of an Hour service with each other where we thanked the little Lamb heartily that he had helped us get here again so safely and as we had been in danger for our lives a few times on the Susquehanna and sometimes could hardly see how we would get through without harm, then he helped us so palpably that we are quite astonished at his love and care towards us poor children. We committed ourselves anew to live for him and to do his will with great cheer. We blessed each other with the kiss [of peace] and laid ourselves down in the arms of the little Lamb.


On the 30th [April] we held our Sabbath where we did good things for ourselves both in body and spirit. We had many visits from the warriors who were slightly more sober. Shikellamy visited us at midday. We held a little Lovefeast with each other at which the little Lamb was inwardly real to us [innig wahr].


Sunday, the 1st of May in the morning we heard that several sick people were on the island. Martin sent Anton and they and Joseph Paul [Powell] over to visit, which the Indians there received well and with much love. Brother Powell opened the veins of some of them. Today several of the warriors left. In the evening, Shikellamy came and asked us to make a fence for him around his land so that he could plant Indian corn. We said we could not do this. We had no time and we made suggestions to him that he should get people who could do this for him sooner. He said he could find no-one. Finally, he said, “Brothers, have mercy on us and help us this time. This is the reason we suffer so much hunger, because we have no fence and the horses eat up all our Indian corn.” We said that we would consider it further. But we could not promise him anything. Around midnight the dear hearts Nathaniel and Heinrich Frey arrived here unexpectedly and brought us many hearfelt kisses and little letters. We thanked our little Lamb heartily who has brought these two brothers to us so happily.


On the 2nd May early in the morning Shikellamy visited us. He asked who had arrived in the night. We told him that Annuntschi along with another brother had come. He was happy. There were also several warriors visiting who were very friendly. We were visited a great deal by Delaware and other nations today. Nathaniel and Martin held a conference about several issues. We were very happy today among ourselves. In the evening, Brother Nathaniel held a blessed evening Quarter of an Hour service.


On the 3rd, Shikellamy was with us and also ate at midday with us. After this Brother Nathaniel reported the words of T’girhonti and his brothers to Shikellamy. Shikellamy again asked that we build him a fence. We said that we could not do this without T’girhonti’s knowledge. He first had to ask T’girhonti and his brothers about the matter, which he immediately did through Brother Nathaniel who soon is travelling there. Otherwise he was quite cheerful and content in his own manner. In the evening Nathaniel visited Shikellamy.

[Inserted in margin] The Mohican woman brought a pair of shoes today and gave them to Catharina Schmidt and said that she should give them to Jannische [Anna Mack] as a sign of her love.


On the 4th [May] it was quite quiet here. Shikellamy at at midday with us. Brother Nathaniel told him that the smith was going away for a short time so he should help keep an eye on the smith shop that the Indians did not spoil anything in it and he should indicate to the Indians that if they brought work then they would have to wait until the smith returned. He should also keep an eye on the brothers who stay here and see that no harm come to them. He received this all very well. In the evening, Brother Nathaniel held another blessed Quarter of an Hour for us.


On the 5th Brother Nathaniel, Joseph Paul [Powell], Anton Schmidt departed from here to Bethlehem, the latter two for a visit there. Martin and David stayed here alone, watching them depart with sorrow. We had heavy rain the whole day, thought countless times about our Brethren who had left us today [in the evening Quarter of an Hour we committed ourselves to the little Lamb’s heart just as we are.] [Inserted in margin] Today Shikellamy said that he was thinking of travelling tomorrow to Thomas Magee’s with his son.


ON the 7th Shikellamy and his son travelled to Thomas Magee. Otherwise we had a very quiet Sabbath in both externals and internally. Almost nothing happened the whole day.


On Sunday, the 8th May Shikellamy and his son returned home again. We were visited by many Indians.

In the evening, Martin and David were very blessed in each other’s company. We rejoiced in the beautiful wounds of our Lamb of God. Our dear Bethlehem was much on our minds.


On the 9th, today the Indians took almost 16 gallons of liquor from the woman trader across the water and then they gathered and did not stop drinking until it was all gone. They made quite a noise, especially during the night.


ON the 10th we had many visits from drunken Indians. They were friendly and modest towards us. Shikellamy ate at noon with us. He told us that he had not been able to sleep the previous night because of the drunken Indians. In out evening quarter of an hour, we laid this poor people in the area at the heart of the Little Lamb.


On the 11th Shikellamy visited us. David learned many words from him. The Mohican woman also visited us. She brought us a little bear meat.


On the 12th we hoed (gekropt) in order to plant some Indian corn. Various Indians visited us and watched as we worked.


On the 13th David visited Shikellamy and explained to him that the horses had trampled down his Indian corn. Oh, he said, if only T’girhonti would soon send me someone to mend my fence!   We also ploughed today and planted some Indian corn. In the evening, Heinrich Frey and Marx Kiefer arrived from Bethlehem, the latter in order to make a fence for Shikellamy and the former as company for him on the journey. They brought us heartfelt little letters and little kisses that quickened us both inside and outside. Throughout the night it was very quiet with the drunken Indians. The trading woman who lived across the water moved away today too.


On the 14th it was the Sabbath. Externally we had quite a great uproar as most were once again drunk. But in our hearts we were content and happy little birds of the Cross Air (Kreuzluftvöglein]. We had happy hours in each others’ company, thought much of our dear Bethlehem. Shikellamy ate with us today at noon. We also let him know the words that his Brother T’girhonti had sent to him, which he received with pleasure and thanked us that someone had come to make him a fence. His son Thachnechtoris[83] also visited with us much and grabbed several drunken Indians by the arm and took them out of our house. In the evening, as we were wanting to go to bed, four drunken Indian women with a drunken man came and wanted to sleep in our house. Shikellamy soon found out and came and tactfully removed them from our house.


On the 15th [Sunday] it was quite peaceful. Shikellamy visited us quite heavily and ate with us at noon. We also visited him and his family. He also showed us today the land that he wants to have fenced in.


On the 16th Shikellamy visited us in the morning and said that I should let T’girhonti know that he greeted him and his wife, and his Brother Gallichwio[84] and his wife and Annuntsche and Ganachagejuto and his wife and all Brothers and he promised that T’girhonti had sent us to make his fence. He breakfasted with us and thanked us heartily for that. Heinrich Frey set off from here. David accompanied him until his night camp. Martin had the opportunity today to speak quite reasonably with a Delaware Indian, especially about they way in which they lived. He complained that they had to suffer so much hunger. Martin said that they had no need to suffer hunger, that they could live quite well if only they wanted to work a little bit and not drink so much. He said, yes, that might well be true. I said, I bewailed the poor Indians as often as I looked upon them, that they allowed themselves to be dragged around by the enemy on a fool’s cord (Narrenseil) when they could have it so good. He was quite reasonable to this.

[Inserted in margin: Today Marcus Kieffer began splitting sales for Shikellamy]


On the 17th May eight canoes full of Indians came up the river, about 50 of them. They made camp opposite us, over on the island. The will move to Wyoming [Valley]. Their nation is called the Nanticokes. They have otherwise lived on the Susquehanna where it runs into the sea. [85] They say that this fall more will follow. They all speak good English, even the children, but they have otherwise a very odd way of speaking. There are several reasonable people among them. Towards evening, the dear heart David returned to me. I was very joyful and we kissed each other and hugged and our evening quarter of an hour was quite blessed. We were able to plea from the heart to the Little Lamb for this whole area, that the dear Mother {the Holy Spirit} might make her son’s suffering known in the hearts of the poor Indians.


On the 18th many of the Nanticokes visited us. They wanted the smith to mend their flints and axes. Martin began to hoe the Indian corn today and David baked bread and at the same time washed our shirts.


On the 19th David helped Marcus Kieffer to split sales for Shikellamy. He visited with us a great deal today. Martin cooked and hoed the corn.


On the 20th Thachnechtoris, Shikellamy’s son, left here with two other Oneida to go up the Susquehanna about 100 miles. An Indian from the Nanticokes came to Martin and asked for a piece of bread for his children. He said that they were crying so for white people’s bread. They were used to it. Martin gave him a little piece. He was a good man. He had something of the Brethren about him in his face. He really took my and David’s heart. The Mohican woman and her husband visited with us a great deal today and were very friendly.


On the 21st we had out Sabbath. We were very blessed and cheerful in each other’s company. We rested in the little Side Hole, really treated ourselves, also enjoyed some quiet from without, and in our hearts were in Bethlehem a great deal. The Nanticokes left today also and travelled further up the Susquehanna. One family however left to go down to the white people. David visited Shikellamy today who is alone now most of the time and sat in his store house and spoke.


On the 22nd May [Sunday] David visited Shikellamy. He was very open. He learned many words from him. We received many visits from several Delaware Indians. In the evening we had a blessed quart of an hour service, thought greatly of our Brothers and Sisiters. In our hearts felt that they were with us.


On the 23rd it was quiet here. Martin visited Shikellamy who was ill. He had a headache and sick eyes. Gave him a piece of bread for which he was very grateful.


On the 28th we were visited by many. Otherwise we had a peaceful and blessed Sabbath, both within and without. Shikellamy, who was a little better, ate lunch with us. He stayed with us a long time and had long discourse with David.


On the 29th [Sunday] the Mohican woman brought us some venison. She asked for a little piece of bread, which we gave her.


ON the 31st Marcus Kieffer went in to the bush to chop wood. In an hour he returned and had cut himself in the foot. David carried planks for Shikellamy’s fence.

Martin helped him. The dear Savior had clearly protected him today because he stepped on a big rattlesnake and it was very angry. In the evening a trader came and without asking permission lodged in our house. He came up the river by land. Shikellamy came right away and was pleased. Gave him his hand in a heartfelt manner. He though it was one of T’girhonti’s people. He also asked right away who he was but we said no, it was a trader and unknown to us. That really upset him that he had given him his hand and had been so friendly to him.


On the 1st of June the trader left again. We had much rain today. Planted some cabbage. Oh, how many times today did we think of our brothers and sisters who were gathering today from all over in our dear Bethlehem. We also thought of all the work that the Laborers had done and blessed them in our prayers.[86]


On the 2nd we thought of the Synod and asked the little Lamb to send us all his sympathies that we were not there in person and he should make us remembered. We also felt that the little Lamb was quite palpable among us.


On the 2nd June towards evening Shikellamy came and said that he was hungry. This evening he want to eat his night meal with us. It tasted very good to him also. It seemed that he had had nothing to eat all day because most of them were all drunk and so they did not get to cooking. In our evening quart of an hour we laid ourselves at the little Lamb’s heart just as we were feeling, asked him in a childlike fashion to bless our Laborers greatly in Bethlehem in their work that they had before them and that he should make them successful in everything that he wanted them to do through the power of the Holy Mother [Spirit]. In particular the plan with the Heathen because they are his great prize.


On the 3rd Martin carried sales for Shikellamy. He helped him a great deal. Some unknown Indians arrived here also.


On the 4th we held the Sabbath. Were blessed and content. Rested in the little Side Hole with our Brothers and Sisters in Bethlehem, which did us much good. Felt as though they were really thinking about us today. Martin and David visited the Delware on the island but fond that there was only one sober there, because the others were all drunk. Also visited on the side where we live. Came to a sick woman who was very weak… and had such great pains.


On the 5th most people were drunk here. We were also visited the whole day by them who looked quite angry. We were quiet. David visited Shikellamy. But a drunken man came right away and complained to Shikellamy that an Indian had hit him and now he wanted to be angry. Just then the other man came along who had hit him and wanted to make things good with Shikellamy. But he chased him off and said he wanted to have nothing to do with him. He was a bad man. In the evening the Mohican woman brought us some venison.


On the 6th Marcus Kieffer went back to his work. His foot was quite better again. David helped him. A Delaware man visited us from Nesgabeka. [87] Martin hoed the corn.


On the 8th we were out working hard when in the afternoon a strong thunderstorm came and for quarter of an hour it hailed so hard that the ground was quite white afterwards. The hailstones were so big that our corn that otherwise was growing so nicely and was almost three feet high was so beaten down that it was no longer recognizable. It was the best in Shamokin and the Indians were astonished that we had such beautiful corn. We wondered whether this was the reason this happened, so that they would not get envious.


On the 9th we started to set Shikellamy’s fence. He helped us and several of his people. Various Delaware Indians came down from Nescopeck and wanted to visit the smithy. They visited us. Were very friendly to us. The Delaware Indians here were mostly all drunk. For three days they had been trying to get him to drink. He always avoided them and fled to us twice.


On the 11th we held the Sabbath. Were blessed and cheerful among ourselves. Shikellamy sent five people with six horses to Tolpehocken to fetch flour which had been given to him by the men in Philadelphia when he had been there last. [88] He visited us was very sickly. He lamented greatly that the smith was absent so long. In the afternoon Martin and David brought him a piece of bread. He was very grateful. David learned many words from him.


On the 12th various Indians arrived here and wanted to come to the smithy and had come a long way. We also visited Shikellamy today.


On the 13th several Delaware Indians visited us and complained that the smith was away for so long. Shikellamy was with us for a long time today and ate at midday with us. He was very relaxed. We were very busy today with hoeing the corn. In the evening we were blessed among ourselves, especially in our Quarter of an Hour. Asked the little Lamb to bless the Brothers and Sisters who were on the journey to us here and to protect them in soul and body and bring them to us soon.


On the 14th we were visited by many Delaware who were drunk.


On the 15th we were busy with hoeing the corn. In the afternoon the little Lamb brought Brothers and Sisters Paul and Anton here safely. Oh how happy we were! We thanked our little Lamb with all our hearts for the Brothers and Sisters and the heartfelt little kisses and little letters. Shikellamy came running right away and several other Indians. Welcomed them with much joy. In the evening we had a blessed Quarter of an Hour. Our hearts melted in many tears.


On the 16th we were visited much by Indians. Brought much work to Anton.

Martin and David visited Shikellamy and brought the words that his Brothers T’girhonti and Gallichwio[89] had sent to him, which he received well and one could tell that he was happy to hear something from his Brothers. He then asked Ganackragajat whether he had heard if his wife and children were also well. Ganakragarat said yes, he had heard that they were well. After this he said he was happy. Then he asked whether Gallickwio’s wife and his small child were well. We said that we had heard that they were well. After this he said, I am happy.

[Inserted in margin: he said after this that he had seen Gallichwio’s and Janekeaguhontis’ child. They were 2 beautiful children.]

After this we told him that T’girhonti’s wife had heard that his daughter was now a widow and so she had sent his daughter a blouse, which made a spezial impression on the man and a while later he gave it to his daughter. After this she appeared so happy and light as though something wonderful had happened to her. I definitely believe that this will be a reminder for her.


On the 27th Martin and David both went out to work on Shikellamy’s fence because we would very much like to have it finished. Anton was busy in his smithy shop. An Indian woman brought us some venison.


On the 28th we held our Sabbath. Two traders arrived here and behave quite scandalously. In the presence of many Indians they called each other many shameful names that they could think of and finally they both beat each other’s heads bloody. Shikellamy said „jachte go janneri traders!“ [90]


David visited Shikellamy. He was very talkative. He asked David when Brother Johannes would be returning to the land. David said he did not know. When Brother Johannes would be back—maybe in seven years. He did not know if he would come. He had much work over there.


He asked about what T’girhonti was doing in Virginia. David said he was visiting the people who lived there.[91]


There were several Indians present, as Shikellamy began to say the Ganouserackeru was still single and that Annuntschi too who had been here in the past and that many single brothers lived together. They had their own land where they lives and now they were building a big house. [92] They had started on it when he had been there before, and he had been in the room where the single brothers slept, each one having his own place for a bed. It looked as though it would be very nice. At midday weh ad a very blessed Love Feast with each other. Oh how our dear Bethlehem occurred to us so many times and the blessed times that one had there when a heart is really thirsty and hungry. In the afternoon our brethren Paul and Anton went to visit the Delaware Indains who were friendly and revealed themselves to be full of love. In the evening quarter of an hour we felt ourselves to be sinners and asked the dear Mother to reveal our Plan to us clearly and to make her son’s suffering known in the hearts of the poor Indians soon. We especially felt our hearts pleading for Shikellamy and his family. Thereupon we laid ourselves gladly down in the arms of our dear husband.


On the 19th David visited Shikellamy a great deal. He also ate at midday with us. Was cheerful and alert. In the afternoon we visited on the island and found many at home.


From your dear hearts Martin and David.