Cherokee Phoenix

From the Maryville Intelligencer

Published October, 5, 1833

Page 3 Column 1b

From the Maryville Intelligencer


Soon after the arrival of the Christian Indians at Shoenbrun, the rules of the congregation, as agreed to, and approved by the national assistants, were read and accepted by the whole congregation. [It will be remembered that in the United Brethren's settlements among the heathen, congregation and church are distinct. One embracing all who desire instruction, ' their children, the other only true believers.] They were as follows.

1. We will know of no other God, nor worship any other but Him, who has created us, and redeemed us with his most precious blood.

2. We will rest from all labor on Sundays, and attend the usual meetings on that day for divine service.

3. We will honor father and mother, and support them in age and in distress.

4. No one shall be permitted to dwell with us without the consent of our teachers.

5. No thieves, murderers, drunkards, adulterers, and whoremongers, shall be suffered among us.

6. No one that attendeth dances, sacrifices, or heathenish festivals, can live among us.

7. We will renounce all juggles, lies, and deceits of Satan.

8. No one using witchcraft in hunting, shall be suffered among us.

9. We will be obedient to our teachers, and to the helpers, (national assistants) who are appointed to see that good order be kept both in, and out of town.

10. We will not be idle and lazy, nor tell lies of one another, nor strike each other. We will live peaceable together.

11. Whosoever does any harm to another's cattle, goods or effects, 'c., shall pay the damage.

12. A man shall have only one wife,-love her, and provide for her, ' the children. Likewise a woman shall have but one husband,and be obedient unto him; she shall also take care of the children and be cleanly in all things.

13 We will not permit any rum or spiritus liquor to be brought into our towns. If strangers or trades happen to bring any, the helpers are to take it into their possession, and take care not to deliver it to them till they set off again.

14. None of the inhabitants shall run in debt to traders, nor receive goods on commission for traders, without the consent of the helpers.

15 No one is to go on a journey or long hunt, without informing the ministry or stewards of it.

16 Young people are not to marry without the consent of their parents, and taking their advice.

17. If the helpers apply to the inhabitants for assistance, in doing work for the benefit of the place, such as building meeting or school houses, clearing or fencing lands 'c., they are to be obedient.

18. All necessary contributions for the public, ought cheerfully to be attended to.

19. No man inclining to go to war,-which is the shedding of blood, can remain among us.

20. Whosoever purchases goods or articles of warriors, knowing at the time that such have been stolen, or plundered, must leave us. We look upon this as giving encouragement to murder and theft.

According to custom these rules were, at the commencement of every year, read in public meeting; and no new member, or applicant, could be permitted to live in the congregation without making a solemn promise that he or she would strictly conform to them. When any one residing in the congregation gave offence, it was the duty of the helpers, to admonish such person in a friendly manner; but where such admonition proved ineffectual, then to concert together for the purpose publicly putting him, her, or them out of the society, and dismissing such altogether from the place. Next to these rules, other necessary and proper regulations were made and adopted; for instance, respecting the daily meetings,- the duty of church wardens,- schools,- attending to visitors, and the attention to be paid to the poor, sick, or distressed; and with regard to the contributions to be made from time to time for the benefit of the congregation at large, as also individuals in the same, unable to support themselves, or furnish the necessary attire for the deceased, so that the corpse of the poorest person in that community was dressed as decently as the wealthy.

That part of the congregation of the Mohigan tribe, who had spent the winter at Beaver Creek, now came on, and settled ten miles below Shoenbrun, where they built a town and called it Gradenhutten.

The Christian Indians who left Friedenshutten in 1770 and formed a settlement on Big Beaver, were now, in 1773 obliged to leave their beautiful village, and join their brethren at Shoenbrun.

The work of God, now prospered, and numbers were added to the church and congregation, so that the Christian Indians at Shoenbrun, and Gradenhutten, somewhat smaller. Both were built of hewn timber, with shingle roofs, and a cupola and bell. The town being regularly laid out, the streets wide, and kept clean, and the cattle kept out by means of fences, gave the whole a neat appearance. The Gradenhutten congregation having no resident minister, sent several Indian brethren to Bethlehem for their beloved former teacher Schmeik and his wife, for whom they had built a convenient house. These arrived on the 18th August, 1773.

The year 1774, was a year of trial to the Indian congregations, on account of a war which broke out between the Senecas and Shawnees, and the Virginians; in which it become well known that the whites were the aggressors. The whole country on the Ohio River, had already drawn the attention of the neighboring provinces, who generally forming themselves into parties, would rove through the country n search of land, and some, careless of watching over their conduct, or destitute of both honor and humanity, would join a rabble, who maintained that to kill an Indian, was the same as killing a bear of buffalo,and would fire on Indians that came across them by the way. Nay, more, some white men would decoy such Indians as lived across the river, to come over for the purpose of joining them in hilarity, and would then fall on and murder them. Some of the murdered were of the family of Logan.- The Indians at length determined to take revenge on the long knives (Virginians) 'for, said they, they are a barbarous people.' Some were for killing every white man they could see till they obtained revenge. They kept on the look out for traders to kill them; but these had generally fled the country. Some however had been taken under the protection of some friendly Shawnees Indians, who afterwards conducted them safely to Pittsburgh. These good people, however, Oh! shameful to relate! were, on their return, waylaid by some of those white vagabonds,- fired upon, and one man shot in the breast, though fortunately, with his wound bleeding, he reached Shoenbrun.

This war soon terminated, and as an expression of gratitude for returning peace, the Christian Indians set apart the 6th day of Nov. as a day of thanksgiving and prayer.

In 1775, the congregations increased so that the chapel at Shoenbrun, though large, was too small. In this year two native assistants departed this life; the one John, a Delaware, and the other Joshua, a Mohigan, and one of the first baptized on 1742.

In April 1776, a third mission settlement was begun, with eight families, under their faithful leader, David Leiesberger, and the writer of this narrative (Mr. Heckewelder) as his assistant. They laid off a town, thirty miles from Shoenbrun, and called it Lichtenau. The Christian Indians had increased so that their number in 1775, was 414 persons. And at Lichtenau new members were soon added. Nothing deterred those who believed they had an inward call, from joining the congregation. The schools at the three settlements were kept up regularly, and a new school book, prepared by Mr. Ziesberger, had been introduced. D. S. B.