Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Moravians - My Homeroom's Turn Post 4 of 4

          Part 1 - Early Settlement & the Walking Purchase by Tia Tyson

          On March 4, 1681, William Penn was granted a charter by Charles II to wilderness land in America.  The King of England owed Penn's father money and this land was repayment for the debt.  Penn wanted to provide a place where Quakers and people of other faiths could have religious freedom.  They were to name the new colony Sylvania and added Penn which means Penn's woods. Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf helped organize a group to live first in Georgia in 1735.  The Moravian Church which was founded in 1457.  They moved to Pennsylvania in 1740.  He wanted to convert the Indians but they became hostile and Zinzendorf was persecuted and nearly killed three times.  The colonists had many problems in the new world.  In 1737 Thomas Penn, one of William's son now in control of the colony and eager for more land, made an agreement with the Indians to sell Penn as much land as "a man could walk in a day and a half" starting at the Junction of the Delaware and Lehigh River.  The Indians claimed the white men cheated by using the three fastest runners in the colony.  Thomas Penn along with some Natives walked 40 miles to see how much land they could cover in a day and a half.  He did gain 1,500 square miles of hunting land.  Another setback to the settler-Native relationship happened when a smallpox  epidemic broke out and many people died. The French and Indian War started in 1754 because both the French and British claimed they owned the same land and wanted it for fishing and fur trade.

Part 2 - Moravians by Cassidy Yackinicz

William Penn started the "Holy Experiment" in 1643.  This was because of his firm Quaker beliefs and his desire to start a colony based on them.  Penn said, "I desire, that we may always live with each other as neighbors and friends."  Native Americans and other people from different religions and cultures could join the colony.  He also said, "People from different nations could live together in peace with others."  Soon, Penn determined his colony would be sufficient.  This was Penn's dream, however, you could say that eventually, eleven people in Lehighton would die for their religion.

Back in Europe was a man known as Count Nicholas Von Zinzendorf who was being persecuted for his beliefs.  He opened up his vast estate to allow other Moravians to live without fear.  Eventually, he came to America and lived among the Natives.  In 1736, an order of banishment was placed against him.

The Moravians first went to Georgia in 1735 and left there for Pennsylvania about 5 years later.  They first started Nazareth, then Bethlehem, and by about 1744 started Lehighton, then named "Gnadenhutten."  This was on land taken during the "Walking Purchase" of 1737 and later a smallpox epidemic spread through these settlements, killing eighteen Indians at Gnadenhutten alone.

The Moravians went to Gnadenhutten with the hope they could start a longer mission in the Susquehanna Valley.  Zinzendorf almost died three times.  The Moravians tried to convert the Natives to Christianity.  Things were going well, but something bad was going to happen there.  Some Moravians stayed while others left to go to Weissport or "New Gnadenhutten."  

Though many Natives lived and trusted the Moravians and converted to Christianity, there were some bent on going on the Warpath.

Part 3 – The Massacre – by Natalie Morris
One of two trips to ascertain the location of Ben Franklin's Fort Allen in Weissport.  
On November 24, 1755, in Gnadenhutten PA (current Lehighton), there was a 
massacre.  Twelve Shawnee Indians came and tried to kill fifteen Moravians.  Ten were murdered, shot and scalped.  There were five survivors, but one, Susan Nitschmann died of her wounds six months later. 

          It all started that night when Joachim Senseman remembered that the door to the meeting house was left open (Senseman was another one of the survivors.)  When he went to lock it, not knowing that the massacre was happening.  He, along with Joseph Sturgis, Susan and George Partsch and Peter Worbas.  Sturgis and Susan Partsch escaped by jumping out the window.  George Fabricius wasn’t so lucky.  He stumbled, was caught and scalped.

A couple of months before that on July 9, 1755, the French and Indians ambushed General Braddock’s troops leaving the Pennsylvania Frontier without protection.  The French took advantage of the situation by urging the Indians to reclaim the land the white settlers had taken away from them.

That tragic day the settlers were finishing up their evening meal, when the dogs started barking, warning them that strangers were approaching.  They thought they were just the militia coming in for the night.  Within seconds voices and footsteps were heard. 

Martin Nitschmann opened the door and gazed into the painted faces and was shot on the spot.  Then they started shooting in the house, eight of the fifteen made it to the attic.  Some were shot and scalped.  The rest burned inside the attic.

The next day, the remains were found among the ashes and were buried on the nearby hilltop in a peaceful grave behind the house which is today the Lehighton Cemetery.  Today a wooden plaque at the corner of 4th and Bridge Streets in Lehighton marks the site of the massacre.

Part 4 – Protecting the Frontier by Abigail Hoppes

            It all started when the British and the French crossed paths. They were fighting over who owned land that they both thought were theirs. The British sent George Washington who was not yet president, to deliver a letter to the French that stated that the land they were on belonged to them. Their response was not what they had hoped. 

The French did not want to leave. This time Washington came for the French with 150 soldiers, to build a British fort where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers crossed. But the French were a step ahead, already building one. Washington and his soldiers attacked and defeated a group of French soldiers, and the French did the same back. This marked the beginning of the French and Indian war.

          As the war went on, the French had sided with the Iroquois and gave them weapons so they could attack the British. This caused the British to build Fort Allen. The British had large amounts of open frontier to attack by angry Indians. The governor chose Ben Franklin, and James Hamilton to be in charge of building it. They and 100 men in all were done building the fort in a week. A 16 foot well was dug to furnish water. The fort was named Fort Allen after William Allen who planned the city of Allentown.

          When the war finally ended in 1763 after the Iroquois turned to the British side. And Britten sent more men to fight. The British had won! The Treaty of Paris was signed ending the war for good. Britten took over most of New Spain, and the Spanish took control of everything west of the Mississippi.

          The Native Americans were not happy. They had hoped to gain land and power by being on the winning side. A Ottawa leader named Pontiac was very, very upset. He gathered together a group of Natives together to attack the British fort, and settlements. It became known as Pontiac’s Rebellion. The British wanted no more fighting. The proclamation of 1763 gave the Natives all the land west of the Appalachian Mountains. They hoped that giving the Natives all that land would stop the fighting.

Part 5 – Pontiac’s Rebellion by Devin Greene

Pontiac, an Ottawa Indian chief, had his tribe revolt against the British in 1763 because he thought they just wanted to wipe them out.  Other tribes joined and they attacked forts and settlements along the Ohio River Valley and around the Great Lakes.  Pontiac won many battles before he was stopped.  British King George III issued a “Proclamation of 1763” because he was afraid of fighting with the Indians on land they won from the French.  It said that no one could move any further west than the Appalachian Mountains.  It was hoped this would keep the peace.  However colonists who wanted more land now became more upset with the King and began opposing British rule. 

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