History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Thanks to Judy Dolanski, who painstakingly typed the article!
From an old newspaper of unknown origin
MORAVIAN MISSIONARIES TO THE MOHAWKS 1745
OF A MISSIONARY TOUR BY THE MORAVIAN MISSIONARIES DAVID ZEISBERGER
AND C. FREDK. POST TO CANETSCHOCHERY, N. Y. IN A. D. 1745.
following journal was recovered from the papers of the late Rufus Grider
one time professor in the Canajoharie schools.
Jan. 1st--(new style) left Bethlehem, Pa. (a foot).
Jan. 11--Arrive at Staten Island.
Jan. 12--Arrive at New York.
Jan. 18--Arrive at Shecomso (Ulster Co., N. Y.).
Jan. 22--Arrive at Chrbn Fuhrers on the Hudson (below Freehold).
Jan. 27--Set out for Freehold.
31--Came to Fort William, went into an Indian Tavern, it was presently
known in all the Castle that there were two of the Moravians here. House
full of curious people all day to look at us.
Feb. 1--Started for Canetchochery (Fort Plain). (1).
2--Reached Canetchochery. We went to Conrad Weiser's sister (2) and
stayed there that night.
3--Spoke to the Family about the object of our coming here to learn the
Mohawk Language, and asked to lodge with them. They had no room in their
house, recommended us to go to the Indian Town across the river, (3) as the
Indian King, Henry, has plenty of room in his good house, besides it would be
too inconvenient to cross the river daily, especially in winter. We crossed
the river and called on the King. He is baptized (4) and his name is Henry.
The Indians were just assembled in Council about an affair with the
Albanians. We told them where we came from and gave the King a Salutation
from Brother Pyrieus, he was glad to hear from him, and expressed a great
love for him and asked whether he would not come soon again. The other
Indians were also glad to hear from him. I told Henry that I had learned a
little Mohawk from Pyrieus and had come hither to improve myself therein and
to learn from them.
told him also that I had tried to get lodging with the white people
unsuccessfully, and that we should like to live with them as being more
convenient and better for learning Mohawk. He considered about it with other
Indians and consulted his wife. Finally said: "You shall live in my house,
have a room for yourselves and may come into my room whenever you wish to
converse in Mohawk with me." We thanked him and removed to his house this
4--Henry the Indian went to William's Fort (Tribes Hill?) (5). He came
home at midnight and called all the Indians together--house was full--great
noise and tumult--we did not know what it meant.
5--Indians are all in arms and look angry. Henry tells us that the
Albanians had given out that they would have the Indians away from this land
(though properly belonging to him) or they would kill them all. (6) Hence
they are now in a state of defence. He said the Indians are so angry they
had a mind this morning to go out and kill them on their plantations. Some
of them wanted to break in the door and kill us, believing us to be Low
Dutch, that it was all he could do to prevent them. This Indian Nation is
counted the worst of all--'tis reported that they are Cannibals, and Henry
himself told me that they could eat man's flesh.
7--Many High and Low Dutch people come in to see the uproar, they are in
great fear, the High Dutch unanimously concluded to assist the Indians.
Henry promised them that they should come to no harm.
Feb. 9--The interpreter came from Albany with letters for the Indians.
Feb. 11--Henry with the Chiefs went to Williams Fort.
Feb. 12--We were quite alone, Henry entrusted the house to us.
13--Henry returned. Soon after two constables came into the house with
a warrant for our arrest--the Mayor of Albany had sent them to take us away,
the Indians were much troubled; had learned to like us for they saw we were
quite different people from those who lived about there. Took tearful leave
They said we should come again--we started in a sled.
15--Came to Albany--brought before the Mayor--next to the Court House.
We were examined as to our business and the length of our intended stay,
(Ans.) two weeks or more suspected of being Pabists (7) (Jesuits) dismissed
for the day.
16--Early in the morning were taken through the town into the Castle
(the Fort) to Capt. Rutherford (he is like a
Governor in the town) he said he would send us to the Governor in New York,
because we would not swear allegiance to the King.
22--Arrived in New York taken to the Governor's house, thence to
prison--were visited by some of our New York friends.
23--Cited before the Council--long trial--we refused to swear
allegiance, as being against our Concience took us back to prison.
Mar. 1--Still in prison.
the account ends--they were released April 10th, 1745. They did not
return to the Mohawk Valley again. (8).
Pyrieus--was named by the Mohawks Tgannia Tarecheo--means
"between two seas". 1748.
journal is found in the Archives of the Moravian Church at Bethleham,
Pa., copied for me by Robt. Ran. 1894. R. A. GRIDER
The words in parenthesis are evidently interpolations by Grider. It was
evident that he was in error as to Fort Plain being the destination. The
Journal says "We started for Canajoharie" which is exactly what they meant,
Canajoharie being the Indian village located near the present Indian Castle
on the south side of the river, opposite the mouth of East Cananda Creek, in
1745. It was here that Sir William Johnson later built the Fort called Fort
Conrad Weiser's sister was evidently the wife of Nicholas Pickert
residing within a mile of the present Indian Castle, as noted in Conrad
Weiser's Journal from "A Life of Conrad Weiser" by Beauchamp page 76. He had
been at Colonel Johnson's (Sir William Johnson) at Mount Johnson over night.
This was in 1750. On Sept. 2 he says: "I left Colonel Johnson's and came to
Canajoharie to Barthol Pickert's, twenty-five miles. My horse got lame this
day. The third came to Nicholas Pickert's about eight miles. My horse, very
miles with a lame horse would bring him roughly to the present
Indian Castle. In that same year, he records page 83, "came to the upper
Castle of the Mohawk called Canawadagy". Here he had a conference with the
Indians. He says, "recommended John Pickert, my sister's son as interpreter
etc. after I am grown old * * * the young man speaks the language tolerable
well and can write and read English, Dutch and Indian. His father lives a
mile from Canawadagy and he has the best opportunity to learn the Indian
Language perfectly". This establishes the residence of Conrad Weiser's
sister fairly accurate, as about a mile from the present Indian Castle. It
should be noted that the whole south side of the river from Little Falls to
the Noses was the Canajoharie district. To any one living anywhere in this
territory, they lived in Canajoharie , the same as we might at the present
time say that a person lived in Minden which might mean the township itself
or the hamlet of Minden. In most cases when the village of Canajoharie, now
Indian Castle, was meant, they referred to it as the Upper Castle. There was
no settlement at the present site of Canajoharie at that time.
Here is positively proven that at that time King Hendrick and his Mohawk
tribe resided on the north side of the river as it says plainly "cross the
river", and their village was near the East Creek Falls.
Here is new light on that fine character known as King Hendrick. It is
indicated that he was a Christian Indian and had been baptized as so stated,
and was christened Henry. While there is no supporting proof, there is reson
to believe that he was christened by his friend, the first pioneer, Hendrick
Klock and thus received his name. There were few Henrys among the first
There is some confusion here as to William's Fort. The only fort known
at that time was Fort William at the carrying place between the head waters
of the Mohawk and Wood Creek at the present city of Rome, but this can hardly
be the Fort meant as it will be noted on Jan. 31 he came from Freehold to
Fort William coming to the valley by way of the Hudson. It would indicate
that this so called Fort William is somewhere along the Schoharie. It is
possible that he meant Fort Hunter which would make it reasonable. Note that
they stopped at an Indian tavern and the whole "Castle" came to see them.
The only "Castle" at that time were the "Lower Castle" (Fort Hunter) and the
"Upper Castle" now Indian Castle.
This land trouble was probably the beginning of a long series of
disputes as to land ownership between George Klock and Sir William Johnson
and consummated eventually in the award by the Crown of the Royal Grant to
Sir William Johnson. It was a constant and continued controversy over land,
each side intriguing with the Indians by every means to secure their
signature to the Indian deeds which the Colonial Council required as the
first step. Rum and whiskey played an important part in these negotiations.
It was thus that King Hendrick, the first temperance advocate made an
impassioned plea before the council praying that traders be prohibited from
selling to the Indians. This was disregared by both sides and the Indians
continued to become prey to the ruthless and unscrupulous traders and land
The influence of the Jesuits on the Six Nations was very strong and
inasmuch as the Jesuits paid allegiance to the King of France their presence
was deemed inimical to the interest of the British Crown. Sir William
Johnson was put to his mettle to counteract the influence of these French
Grider says they did not return to the Mohawk Valley again, but
Zeisberger did return to Onondaga that same year and was accompanied by
Conrad Weiser. See Weiser's journal of 1745. Zeisberger, became proficient
in the Iroquois tongue and was advanced to the post of interpreter on many
ACCOUNT OF THE VISTS IN THE MOHAWK VALLEY AS FOUND IN THE
MORAVIAN JOURNAL, 1752 TO 1755.
THE JOURNEY OF 1752.
following notes were taken from the Moravian Journal arranged and edited
by Rev. Wm. M. Beauchamp and only that portion of the journey is taken which
relates to the Mohawk Valley. This is a continuation of a series on the
Moravian Journey started in our issue of Wednesday, December 4.
Zeisberger appears in each of these separate journeys which began in
1745 and continued in intermittent periods up to 1766. Many of his journeys
were made direct from Sunbury, PA. up the Susquehanna and through the route
now covered by a state highway from Cortland, north into Cayuga Lake
(Ithaca), north through the lake and then across on route 20 from Auburn to
Skaneateles to Syracuse. Another nearly all water route bringing them within
twenty miles was to come up the Susquehanna and various branches.
1752 the party was composed of David Zeisberger, J. Martin Macks and
party left Bethlehem, arriving at New York July 30, and leaving there on
a sloop, Aug. 3rd. They were in Schenectady on the 11th, and next day came
"to Williams' fort, a Maqua town, where many Indians live, who were baptized
by a minister of the church of England, by name Ogilby. We found but few at
home. Conrad Weisser's son resided here last summer, to learn their
language." At another time also the Moravians called Fort Hunter, Williams'
On Sunday, "we were obliged to rest all day."
their way on Monday, "we left the Low Dutch and entered the High Dutch
settlements," stopping 8 miles east of Canajoharie, the Indian town.
August 15--At 8 o'clock reached Canajoharie, a Maqua Indian town,
where Bro. David and Post were arrested seven years ago, and carried to
prison in New York. Bro. David showed us the house in which they then lodged
. . . The Castle, which was built during the last war, is half a mile from
the town . . . .We continued for eight miles through the woods, until noon,
when we came to the Great Falls . . . . In the afternoon we crossed over the
river . . . . Here we met about one hundred Indians, mostly from Anajot and
Cayuga who live in these parts and dig roots, which are very good in all
kinds of sickness. The Indians sell them to the people hereabouts, or
exchange them for goods with the traders."
August 16--About 10 o'clock reached the last house between here
and Onondaga. (Kash or Kast, Either John Jurgh or his son. The former would
have been 73 years old at the time). where we found many Indians. . . .
After being here half an hour the Indians that we met yesterday arrived and
with them the chiefs of the Oneidas. . . . We heard that a large party of
Indians lay drinking near where we must cross . . . . In the afternoon the
chief came to us and inquired as to our business in Onondaga. Bro. Hill told
him the whole object, but he did not seem satisfied and left us. During the
evening the chief of the Oneidas and a Seneca" came on the same errand.
Explanations were useless. "They were very bitter and told us several times,
'Don't you take it upon you to go any further; therefore you shall go back
tomorrow.' The Oneida chief who was at the Council two years ago, was not
with them." A conference was agreed on for next day.
Germans in the house told them it would be impossible for them to go on
saying, "Nine years ago there were also two persons who had a mind to go to
Onondaga to learn the language, but the Indians sent them back and if they
had gone there they would have been killed," referring to Anton and Pyriaeus.
August 17--The four Oneida chiefs met this morning, with twenty of
their nation and a chief of the Tuscaroras. We then went to them, when they
immediately bade us to sit down." Explanations were heard with great
attention. A chief then asked whether we had a belt of wampum to the Council
at Onondaga. Bro. David replied, 'No, but we have some strings of wampum.'
These were handed to them, and explained according to the instructions given
us at Bethlehem."
result was good. The chief said: "You may go on to Onondaga and lay
your proposal before the Council. This, we chiefs say to you: ye may go in
peace and we are glad that we have heard of your affair."
chiefs . . . . at parting called us 'their brethren' and also told us
their names, being Huyenjot, Hachtachguosde, Tgawio, Ononti, Guntaantie,
Kontartie, Satiunganichnarontie, Ognico, Iagotisgenogechtoe, and Iaothonto,
the speaker. They also informed us that on our way up we pass through
several towns, among the first two Tuscarora towns where we should tell the
chiefs that the Oneidas knew of our going to Onondaga. At the last town a
chief would go with us and hear our proposals. Upon proposing to them that
two of their chiefs should go with us, they replied that it was not necessary
for they had listened to and know our message already and you may appeal
thereto if you are asked about us. We observed, however, that they sent out
messengers, and soon after learned that they were sent to the Cayuga and
Seneca country, to tell the chiefs to appear at Onondaga, to hear the message
of the Brethren."
took leave of their German host, who was amazed at the change in
affairs. "By night we reached a fine creek, by the side of which we
refreshed ourselves, and after a happy singing hour, went to rest under the
August 18--We set forward early this morning . . . . At noon we met
an old Seneca, who informed us that he had been appointed by a messenger to
accompany us to Onondaga. In the afternoon it rained in torrents. Two hours
before night we reached Onajot, where, we found almost thirty houses, large
and regularly built, with a wide street through the middle of the town. We
soon obtained lodgings in a hut, and were joined by two old Senecas, who had
been hunting not far from hence and were also on their way to Onondaga.
August 19--The watchword . . . . In the morning the Tuscarora
chief who lives here, came to see us, and told us that yesterday he had
received an account of the matters we had to lay before the Council at
Onondaga, from the Oneidas. Being lame and unable to attend the Council, he
requested us to tell him of our matters, which we did, to his great
satisfaction. The Senecas started with us. Before noon we came to a few
huts occupied by some Tuscaroras, and in the afternoon to a town of the same
tribe. The Senecas stayed here all night, and told us that they would
overtake us in the morning. We went on a little farther and lodged in a cold
and dark wood." A huge tree fell close beside the fire, but they closed the
day with a singing hour.
August 20--The Senecas joined them at 8 in the morning. Lodgings
were bad and Indians drunk. "At noon some Indians belonging to Onondaga met
us. We then came to a place where many posts were standing, from which we
concluded that a town must have stood there formerly. The old Seneca told
Bro. David that when he was a child of eight years of age, Onondaga stood on
this spot, but was burnt by the French. In the afternoon between 4 and 5
o'clock, with the Watch words . . . . we arrived at Onondage
REV. W. M. BEAUCHAMP'S NOTES ON THE SAME JOURNAL.
12--William's fort at a Mohawk town was mentioned earlier and can only
be Fort Hunter. This name was occasionally used. Thus Col. Woodhull, 1760,
left Schenectady, going west. "We camped two miles below Fort William," and
then went on to Little Falls.
and Low Dutch settlements refer to people from Holland and Germany.
The latter were Palatines.
Indian village of Canajoharie may once have been at Fort Plain and
even near the present place, but was then at Indian Castle in Danube. He
says it was 8 miles below the Great Falls, now Little Falls. This was the
historic Canajoharie, where Brant and Hendrick lived. The roots dug were for
the most part ginseng which the Moravians also dug at Onondaga, where it was
called Da-kyen-too-keh (the forked plant).
Kash's their way led through the woods and away from the river.
Pyraieus and Anton were those turned back nine years before. Gen. Clark said
that the original Kass farm was in the present town of Schuyler given to
Johan Jurg Kast and his children in 1724, a tract of 1100 acres on the north
side of the river.
THE JOURNEY OF 1753.
at Onondaga food became scarcer and they decided to visit German Flats
(Herkimer). The first entry is Monday, July 16, 1753.
16th--We decided to go into New York State, in order to get the
things we had left there last autumn, and also to see if it were possible to
get some provisions. Not knowing how to undertake the journey, we went to
the house of Otschinachiatha, but did not find him at home. He had gone to
the lake to await the return of his sons from the war. The old woman, whom
we found got us to remain till he came, saying that he might have something
to tell us. She gave us some corn, and we stayed.
17th--In the morning we visited Otschinachiatha who had just
returned. We told him of our plan of visiting Tioga as for some days we had
had nothing to eat. He did not object, and asked if we had any food for our
journey and took us to his sister's house. He told them to give us something
to eat, and prepare some food for our journey, which they did at once. Three
of Otschinachiatha's sons had returned from the war. When he told me that
Br. Henry had come in the place of Br. Rundt, he asked if he had not yet
received an Indian name. They debated for some time together and then the
chief said he should be named Ochsehugore; a chief of the Onondagas had
borne that name and Br. David, too, belong to the Onondagas. As we were now
provided with food for our journey, we took leave of them and started,
spending the night in the woods.
18th--It was as cold tonight as if it was autumn, and having no
blankets we felt very chilly and uncomfortable, because yesterday we had
perspired very freely on our way. During the morning we soon reached town of
the Tuscaroras. With the exception of a few women, all the people had gone
fishing, as their stock of food was entirely gone. We went on our way but
soon felt so miserable because of the cold we had taken last night, that we
could hardly go on. In the afternoon we reached Tichrungwe, where there are
still a few huts of Tuscaroras. We concluded to stay there, as we felt too
sick to go on. An Indian, who had recently returned from the war, asked
where we came from. When he learned that we lived in Onondaga, and that one
of us was named Ganousseracheri, he was charged to give us a letter; and
thus, to our great joy, we received a letter from Br. Gube just as if we had
found it on our way. Had we not spent the night there, perhaps we might not
have received it , as the Indian did not yet know us. The people in the town
were very friendly and showed us many attentions.
19th--In the morning we went on our way, and soon reached
Sganatees, a town of the Tuscaroras. Where we went to the house of Chief
Sequalissere, with whom we were acquainted and remained there till evening as
we felt very tired. Here we found several Ninticokes who had come up from
Zeniinge. They were very glad to see us and seemed much surprised to meet us
so unexpectedly. Toward evening they went in toward Anajot and we went with
them, as it was not far off and spent the night there. We were most kindly
received and entertained. The Nanticokes held a council with them this
evening, and we were present and listened.
20th--We again started on our way.. We felt rather better, and with
food we might have been quite comfortable, but we had only a little corn meal
boiled in water, and a very scanty supply of that. We went on as well as we
could, but were quite often obliged to sit down, being greatly overcome with
weakness. Toward evening we came to quite a large creek where we at once
began to fish and as there were many fishes there, we stayed over night and
caught enough for the next day.
21st--We started early and reached Tigachquet at noon, a creek
which is the line of land which has been claimed. We boiled fish and corn
meal and caught several fishes in the creek. We then went on but with great
difficulty, as our strength was almost gone. In the evening we came to a hut
where we spent the night.
22d--In the evening we came to Kasch's. He began to swear dreadfully
as soon as he saw us, and said: Why did we wander around in the woods and
not live like other Christians? For we would derive no benefit, but be
obliged to live like cattle among the Indians and spend a miserable life. He
said that death already looked from out our eyes. We replied that we had
been sick on this journey, and been so completely tired that we could hardly
23d--We went on to the village which is 8 miles farther on, to see if
we could get some corn and flour. In the whole village, however, we could
scarcely obtain as much as a horse could carry, the Indians having hardly
enough for themselves. The people in the village soon recognized us, and
wondered if we were from Bethlehem. A drunken school master and several
others wanted to dispute with us, but when they saw that we had no wish to
carry on any conversation with them, they said that we thought them beneath
us. The school master asked if we had a passport; admitted, however, that he
had no right to demand it. We replied that we were furnished with one, and
he was very eager to see it, though he had not the courage to ask for it. In
the evening we again went to Kasch. On the way we met two clergymen from the
village, who had also visited him.
24th--Br. David hastened into the village to look for some corn, but
could get nothing but a few bushels of peas with which he returned in the
evening. Many Oneidas came in the evening, who knew us well. Two of the
chiefs told Br. David that they wished to speak to us, and he said they
should have a chance of doing so tomorrow. Br. David had helped Kasch to
25th--In the morning the two chiefs sent for Br. David. They
brought forward the matter of land on the Tschochniade in Pennsylvania, and
desired David to write a letter to Conrad Weiser. They would tell him what
to write, and a Tuscora would travel there and bring him the letter as they
feared he might forget to mention the matter. Br. David refused, and said we
would have nothing to do with such affairs, and that he was unwilling to lend
a hand to anything of that sort; adding that if they had any message to send
to Weiser, the should do it by means of a belt, which was a much better and
surer way than by letter. When they saw that Br. David would not consent
they said they would ask the clergyman in the village to write. They
complained bitterly about the whites; they could get no food from them, and
they treated the Indians as badly as if they were dogs. They also told us
that some of them had been baptized and married by the village clergyman.
ACCOUNT OF THE VISITS IN THE MOHAWK VALLEY AS FOUND IN THE MORAVIAN
JOURNAL, 1752 TO 1755.
THE JOURNEY OF 1752.
traveling Nanticokes stopped with Kasch (Kass). They complained of great
hunger and said: Oh, that we were now in Bethlehem! The Brethren there
would certainly give us enough to eat. A woman, hearing their complaints,
gave them a piece of bread. A man living near by, came and took leave of us,
invited to call on him if we came that way again and said he wished to
converse with us on spiritual matters. He regretted our not having lodged
with him, so that he might have an opportunity to do so. He felt timid
before Kasch, who is rough and corase. The man is a day laborer, and does
not own a plantation. He gave us some flour and meat, as we could get
nothing. Today we went into the field with Kasch and helped him to harvest,
as he had asked us. He wished Br. Henry to teach him the Pennsylvania way of
harvesting, as he preferred it to theirs.
26th--We went into the woods to find a tree suitable for a bark
canoe, but found none, as such trees are already very scarce in this section,
and it is so late in the season that there is not much bark to be had.
27th--At last we found one, but not of the right kind. We took it,
however, as we could find none better.
28th--While we were working on our canoe an Oneida came to us, and
saw that we were very awkward about our work. He at once called two of his
comrades; they took our work to pieces, and in two hours time they had
finished the boat. We were very glad indeed, as we could doubtless have
worked the whole day, and even then with poor success. In this way we had
the opportunity to learn how to build that kind of canoe. The Indians were
from Anajot and were well acquainted with Ganoussereacheri.
29th--In our canoe we sailed down to the cabin of Kasch, packed up
our things, and started off toward evening. Kasch's son brought our luggage
with horses to the water. He and Kasch had become attached to us during our
stay with them. They urgently invited us to stop with them, if we came that
way again. We sailed but a few miles up the river and camped in the. . . .
30th--We went on up the river. Its course was westerly, not counting
the curves. It was easy sailing, in quiet smooth water, with hardly any
current. We met five boats with traders, which came from Oswego. They were
very rough people who wondered what we were doing among the Indians. In the
evening we sang hymns together around our campfire.
31st--We sailed up the creek, passing two forks. The creek grew
very narrow, and was so filled with wood that often we hardly knew how to
advance. We again met five canoes with traders; they were quite civil and
modest. Br. Henry shot several ducks, and in the evening when we wished to
encamp, we found five racoons on a tree, and caught them, so that we were
abundantly supplied with meat.
August 1st--In the morning we came to a place from which we had to
go four miles across the country, to another creek that flowed westward. We
found several white people, who remain there in order to take over the
messengers on horses, who go up and down to Oswego. Because we could not
dispense with our bark canoe, or let if fall to pieces, we took it on our
shoulders, and carried it over into the next creek. These two creeks are but
two miles apart, but yet the distance is four miles to where they become
navigable, as the one flows to the east and the other to the west. There is
no mountain between them and the country is very level.
met Cayugas who had come up the creek. Their canoes had been very much
injured, because as they said, the water was very shallow; they told us we
would have difficulty in proceeding, because of this. We returned to the
cabins and spent the night there. Two boats, with traders from Cayuga, came
across the portage. The traders were very friendly and modest, soon learned
that we were Moravians. One of them, an Englishman, had gone through
Bethlehem six or seven years ago, and said he would like to visit the place
again. They were much surprised at our having dared to try so perilous a
trip in a bark canoe, and, as they told us, to cross such a wild lake without
knowing the way. They described the way very clearly, and warned us not to
go too far into the lake, but to keep, as much as possible along the shore.
There are Oneidas living here who know Ganousseracheri well. We at once saw
that they felt more kindly toward us than to all the traders who were there, and
this we observed everywhere. They entertained us very kindly with food, though
they gave nothing to the others, who had to travel down so as to get some on
the following day.
2d--In the morning a man brought our luggage across the portage on
horseback. It rained very hard, so we stayed till afternoon, mending our
canoe which had been badly torn. We then went down to the creek, which is
not wider than the mill trench in Bethlehem; quite deep in many places,
however, but so shallow in others, that we had to lift our bark canoe with
much care. After having gone some miles we came into quite a large creek
called Wood Kill. It is so filled with wood and trees, that in a bark canoe
the utmost care is necessary, in order not to wreck.
3d--We sailed slowly down the stream, not being able to go on
swiftly, because of the needed care for our canoe. The creek flows west, but
very crookedly; it remains always of the same size, no creeks flowing into
it. Toward evening we met two boats coming up from Oswego. The people were
very modest, and friendly. At first they took us to be French; when they
heard that we were Germans they spoke to us, asked whence we came and where
we were going. They described our route. We went on, and struck so hard
with our canoe that it was almost shattered. We had to land and spend the
night on shore.
4th--The mending of our canoe kept us busy until noon. Two boats
came up the creek. In one of them was an Indian from Onondaga, who talked to
us. When our canoe was again in order, we went on and reached Oneida Lake in
good time in the afternoon. As the traders had described it, it is eight
German miles long and eight English miles wide. Though there was no strong
wind the lake was very rough. We went a short distance out, but had to
return very soon, as the waves ran too high for our frail craft, and we spent
the night there.
5th--In the morning, at break of day, we sailed out into the lake,
now quite calm. Looking ahead we could see no land, and we could almost
imagine ourselves sailing into the sea. The lake flows from east to west.
We had to cross a bay from six to seven miles wide, in order to reach the
nearest land. It grew very dark and windy. Soon a high wind arose and the
lake became as rough as the sea and looked very white. We went into shore
and had to carry our canoe to the land, in order not to have it dashed to
pieces by the waves. The wind kept up all day, so that we had to stay here.
6th--The wind had abated and the lake was calm and pleasant for
sailing. We started at daybreak and went straight on, till at last, at noon,
we saw an opening where the lake emptied, into which we sailed. A short
distance down the river we met quite a number of Onondagas fishing. They
were much pleased to have us come to them so unexpectedly. They had a
fish-weir there which quite closed the river. Chief Hatachsoca to whom the
fishery belongs at once came to us and made an opening, so that we could
proceed. We stopped with them and they told us of the war. They gave us
some dried eels and we gave them some flour. We went on and came to a
fishery where we met Onondagas. Toward evening we reached a fishery
where we met Chief Gajagoja. who talked with us about the war. He complained
of hunger and said he could catch nothing in his fish-weir. We gave him of our
provisions, went for some distance and stopped for the night.
7th--We went on and soon, reached the Senecca River, which flows
toward Oswego, and again had to sail against the current. At noon we reached
another fishery, where there were also Onondagas, who were very friendly and
gave us eels. In the afternoon we again had to mend our canoe, after which
we went on, but had to build a hut and encamp. Because of the mosquitoes,
however, we could not sleep all night.
8th--We started early and soon reached Onondaga Lake, but before
we sailed into it we had again to mend our canoe, which has been so often
patched that there was scarcely a whole place on it. We crossed the lake
with quite a strong wind, and toward evening arrived in the town. Our hosts
were pleased to have us return. Indians of this family had come from Canada
and lodged in our house.
July 16--Out of the Indian country eastward, they would be in New York.
20--They stopped at Oriskany Creek.
21--Tiatachquet seems Sadequoit or Sauquoit Creek.
25--Tschochniade is Juanita.
Aug. 1--They crossed the portage at Rome to Wood Creek.
CHARLES FREDERICK AND DAVID ZEISBERGER, FROM JUNE 9, 1754 TO JUNE 4, 1755.
left Bethlehem June 9 and reached New York three days later, June 15
they sailed for Albany and landed there four days later.
19--"As yet no Indians had arrived. There was much excitement in the
town, several Indians having been murdered by negroes, and we hear that
several of the miscreants have been hanged."
22--"We went out to look at the Indian lodges when David espied Conrad
Weiser, who was much surprised to meet us. He wondered whether we had just
come from Onondaga. We answered him, "No", and that we had come hither to
see how it would fare with the Indians. Toward evening several Indians
23--"David busied himself in looking about for any Onondagas who might
have come in, and presently two appeared at our door who knew him and we
invited them in. One of them was a friend of the Brethren and the other had
been the host of the Brethren on several oceral occasions. David inquired
about the state of affairs in their country, and we were informed that peace
and plenty reigned there, and that we would find this time propitious for
going there. They called on us during the following two days and David spoke
long with them about our going into their country, therefore on the "27th we
left the town at 8 a. m. We would have preferred to wait until all the
Indians had arrived, but it seemed to involve a great loss of time. . . . We
had scarcely passed the place where the Indians were lodged, when a negro in
a wagon overtook us, and told us that an Indian had been looking for two
persons whom he professed to know. Assisted by Conrad Weiser, they hunted up
our late stopping place, and to their disappointment, found that we had
already left." They rode on, and "in the afternoon we reached Schenectady;
on the road we saw many Indians on foot, with their old men, women and
children on wagons. To the public house where we put up, came also the old
chief Henrick, who was on his way to Albany where they had been greatly
longing for his presence."
day they sent their goods by water beyond Little Falls, and the
following day reached the last house east of that place, where they staid
over night and part of the next day. At the next place they had religious
disputes and abuse. There was more of this trouble farther on, but Wednesday
evening, July 4d, they were in Kasch's house. Next day they began making a
canoe which was finished on the ninth, and they resumed their journey on the
13th, sleeping in the forest that night. They made the portage on the 15th,
reaching Oneida Lake on the 17th. A high wind delayed them there. "Toward
evening several bateaux for Oswego passed us, loaded with fire, arms and we
were pleasantly greeted. They soon went on, as the waters had quieted down
considerably. We delayed our start till next day, as the lake is usually
quieter in the morning.
sunrise we were on our way, enjoyed calm weather all day and
were able to make several miles up the river on the other side of the lake.
19th--We passed a bateau coming from the country of the Senecas.
20--About noon we crossed the Salt Lake. There were several Indians
there engaged in fishing who made us a present of an eel which was very
acceptable. As one of them was about going to the town, we asked him to
secure help to move our goods into the house which we were to occupy. Our
arrival promised to be a welcome one, for food was becoming very scarce in
21--We entered Onondaga in the afternoon and in a short time were
visited by nine chiefs, who were desirous to know what we had to say. David
told them the words of Tgrihitonti.
started again from German Flats, the son of their hostess going with
them to Oriskany creek.
creek was near and beyond Old Oneida and they made a bark canoe,
paddling down to the Mohawk. The bateaux may have gone up the creek toward
was some miles west of German Flats and north of the river, the
most westerly house of all. Frank's was a little below on the south side.
May 3--"Holzkille," literally Wood Creek.
Lake was often passed in the night because of strong kinds in the
day, the north shore being preferable.
manifest blunder in dates makes the passage of Onondaga Lake six days
after that of Oneida, while it was evidently but a day or two later.
11--Canoes rarely went up Onondaga creek because of fallen trees.
they left Onondaga they went up the valley, but say nothing of this,
passing the Tully lakes, and building a bark canoe on the outlet of Big Lake
ACCOUNT OF THE VISITS IN THE MOHAWK VALLEY AS FOUND IN THE MORAVIAN
JOURNAL, 1752 TO 1755.
THE JOURNEY OF 1752.
Cast or Cass referred to in the Moravian Journal as the farthest
west of the settlers was undoubtedly John George Kast, Sr., a Palatine
immigrant who came to this country with the Palatines in 1710. He was 31
years old when he came over. He came to German Flats with the Palatines and
settled on the lands granted by Queen Anne. The certificate was granted
March 28, 1723 and John George Kast got Lot 5 about two miles west of the
mouth of East Canada Creek and fronting on the north side of the river,
containing 1100 acres. Patent granted 30th April 1725. He also got lot 22 in
the Burnettsfield Patent which he sold to his son in law Frederick Helmer in
1754. His will was dated 1755 and proved in October, 1757 so he died between
1755 and 1757 and was the proprietor of the Cast trading post referred to by
the missionaries. John George Kast left a will and his descendants proven by
that instrument are as follows: Jurie (George and Anas Jurie) variously
referred to. He was the eldest son. Also Margaret married William Fox, Sr.,
Maria married Geo. Richtmyer, Elizabeth married Nicholas Matthys, Sarah
married Teedy Mac Ginn, Dorothy who married Hendrick Hager and Mary Barbara
who married Frederick Helmer. The latter two not living at the time of the
making of the will but their share was left to their children. There was
also a Lodewyck not mentioned who died two years previous to the making of
the will. It is of interest that at the early visits of the missionaries up
to 1755 Kast's house is mentioned as the most westerly of the settlement.
But two years later according to the Crown map there were several houses west
of the German Flats (Herkimer) the "uppermost" settler being placed almost to
the present site of Utica and named Wynards on the south side of the river
while across the river was Harpers. It is evident that Beauchamp was wrong
in placing Cass as far west as the mouth of Oriskany creek which would have
entailed a considerable journey to German Flats (Herkimer) where the
missionaries did their trading. Kast had acquired from Queen Anne lot 5 of
1100 acres which was almost in the corporate limits of the village of
Herkimer then called German Flats. The missionaries say they went from Kass'
to the village eight miles, placing the site noted as Harpers in 1757. It
was above Burnetts patent and within the limits of the Oneida precinct. It
is evident that Kass operated a trading post under permission of the Indians
and was not occupying his land in the village of Herkimer. The Moravians
called him a common laborer who owned no plantation but mentioned working in
the field which would indicate that he worked some land probably cutting the
Indian grass referred to in soldiers diaries in about that period. Eight
miles above Herkimer would bring his residence far short as mentioned by
Beauchamp. It is quite evident that old man Kast was unable to fathom the
motives of these Moravian missionaries. The idea of men living among the
Indians who came neither to preach, trade or acquire land was entirely
outside of his philosophy. It will also be noted that the Indians themselves
were unable to understand the motives of the missionaries. It was however a
well thought out plan of procedure. The Moravians were working among the
Delawares but they soon realized that before they could move the Delaware
about or acquire permanent settlements it would be necessary to secure the
consent of the Iroquois confederacy who held the Delawares in subjugation.
They realized too that Indian politics involving as it did lengthy conferences
attended by all the ceremonies of ancient usage required an accurate
knowledge of the language as well as full information relative to the
ceremonies attendant upon an Indian council. David Zeisberger became in
fact an expert linguist and in later years prepared a Delaware, Iroquois,
German lexicon giving a brief vocabulary in English language.
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