Sunday, February 04, 2007

My Own Local History

Given Dive's pictorial history of Norfolk and Ame's lesson on her own local mission, here is a bit of history from Ohio.

In 1772, David Zeisberger, a Moravian missionary, moved to the Tuscarawas River with a few Delaware Indian families that had converted to Christianity. They built a village named Schoenbrunn, which means "beautiful spring" in German. They built the first school house in Ohio, developed skills in various trades, and lived as pacifists during the Revolutionary War. Their town grew to over 400 Delaware and Moravians, but they were pressured by hostile natives controlled by the British and by aggressive frontiersmen. When they realized their pocket of peace wouldn't last, they held one last worship service and then dismantled their church.

They moved their settlement, but the British eventually took complete control. Some of the Moravians were tried as American spies, and the Delaware were sent off to another location. Eventually, they were allowed back to their settlements to collect their belongings. They were captured by an American militia that believed the Indians were aiding the British, and they were massacred--62 adults and 34 children.

We have an outdoor play telling this story that runs all summer long. Here is a picture of the church after it was reconstructed in the first half of the 1900s.

9 comments:

dive said...

Brrr …
That's a story as chilling as the snowy photograph, Robyn.
And as always in American history, it's the white man who covers himself with shame, even after one of them had been trying so hard to do the right thing.

The play is an excellent idea. The awful events of history are there as lessons to learn from and too few people today even seem to know about them, let alone learn anything from them, so any attempt to bring history to life for people has to be applauded.

Old Knudsen said...

A lot of people read history but forget these were living and breathing people, not enough walking in the shoes of others in this world. I'm glad the history bug is catchy.

Gaijin Girl said...

It's so sad that recounts of most historical events involve violence, control and power. Humanity just doesn't learn.

Having said that, thanks for the look into the history of your area. Very interesting indeed.

dive said...

Yes. More please, Robyn.

Sassy Sundry said...

I've heard about the activities of the Moravians during the Revolution. Great post!

RICH said...

just thought I would stop by and see what my favoite blooger pal was up to. Thanks for that bit of history Robyn. I'm a lover of history and interesting historical facts etc.

Ame said...

Aw, that's just sad Robyn...I don't think I wanna go to the UK now! ;)

lynn said...

Very sad, Robyn.

Gina said...

Thanks for sharing that bit of history, Robyn. And yes, that was me that voted for your chapter! :)