The Moravians in Georgia by Adelaide L. Fries - HTML preview
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Chapter 3. The First Year in GeorgiaThe Voyage.
In the year 1735 a voyage across the Atlantic was a very different thing from what it is in this year of grace 1904. To-day a mighty steamship equipped with powerful engines, plows its way across the billows with little regard for wind and weather, bearing thousands of passengers, many of whom are given all the luxury that space permits, a table that equals any provided by the best hotels ashore, and attendance that is unsurpassed. Then weeks were consumed in the mere effort to get away from the British Isles, the breeze sometimes permitting the small sailing vessels to slip from one port to another, and then holding them prisoner for days before another mile could be gained. Even the most aristocratic voyager was forced to be content with accommodations and fare little better than that supplied to a modern steerage passenger, and those who could afford it took with them a private stock of provisions to supplement the ship's table.
And yet the spell of adventure or philanthropy, gain or religion, was strong upon the souls of men, and thousands sought the New World, where their imagination saw the realization of all their dreams. Bravely they crossed the fathomless deep which heaved beneath them, cutting them off so absolutely from the loved ones left at home, from the wise counsels of those on whom they were accustomed to depend, and from the strong arm of the Government under whose promised protection they sailed, to work out their own salvation in a country where each man claimed to be a law unto himself, and where years were to pass before Experience had once more taught the lesson that real freedom was to be gained only through a general recognition of the rights of others.
On the 3rd of February, 1735, the Moravians arose early in their London lodging house, prayed heartily together, and then prepared to go aboard their vessel, "The Two Brothers", Capt. Thomson, where the Trustees wished to see all who intended to sail on her. A parting visit was paid to Gen. Oglethorpe, who presented them with a hamper of wine, and gave them his best wishes. After the review on the boat Spangenberg and Nitschmann returned with Mr. Vernon to London to attend to some last matters, while the ship proceeded to Gravesend for her supply of water, where Spangenberg rejoined her a few days later. On the 25th of February they passed the Azores, and disembarked at Savannah, April 8th, having been nine and a half weeks on shipboard.
The story of those nine weeks is simply, but graphically, told in the diary sent back to Herrnhut. Scarcely had they lifted anchor when the Moravians began to arrange their days, that they might not be idly wasted. In Herrnhut it was customary to divide the twenty-four hours among several members of the Church, so that night and day a continuous stream of prayer and praise arose to the throne of God, and the same plan was now adopted, with the understanding that when sea-sickness overtook the company, and they were weak and ill, no time limit should be fixed for the devotions of any, but one man should pass the duty to another as circumstances required!
Other arrangements are recorded later, when, having grown accustomed to ship life, they sought additional means of grace. In the early morning, before the other passengers were up, the Moravians gathered on deck to hold a service of prayer; in the afternoon much time was given to Bible reading; and in the evening hymns were sung that bore on the text that had been given in the morning. Spangenberg, Toeltschig, and Seifert, in the order named, were the recognized leaders of the party, but realizing that men might journey together, and live together, and still know each other only superficially, it was agreed that each of the ten in turn should on successive days speak to every one of his brethren face to face and heart to heart. That there might be no confusion, two were appointed to bring the food to the company at regular times, and see that it was properly served, the following being "the daily Allowance of Provisions to the Passengers on board the "Two Brothers", Captain William Thomson, for the Town of Savannah in Georgia.
"On the four beef-days in each week for every mess of five heads (computing a head 12 years old, and under 12 two for one, and under 7 three for one, and under 2 not computed), 4 lbs. of beef and 2-1/2 lbs. of flour, and 1/2 lb. of plums."On the two pork days in each week for said mess, 5 lbs. of pork and 2-1/2 pints of peas. "And on the fish day in each week for said mess, 2-1/2 lbs. of fish and 1/2 lb. of butter. "The whole at 16 ounces to the pound. "And allow each head 7 lbs. of bread, of 14 ounces to the pound, by the week. "And 3 pints of beer, and 2 quarts of water (whereof one of the quarts for drinking), each head by the day for the space of a month. "And a gallon of water (whereof two quarts for drinking) each head, by the day after, during their being on their Passage."
Another Moravian was chosen as nurse of the company, although it happened at least once that he was incapacitated, for every man in the party was sick except Spangenberg, who was a capital sailor, and not affected by rough weather. His endurance was severely tested too, for while the breeze at times was so light that they unitedly prayed for wind, "thinking that the sea was not their proper element, for from the earth God had made them, and on the earth He had work for them to do," at other times storms broke upon them and waves swept the decks, filling them with awe, though not with fear. "The wind was high, the waves great, we were happy that we have a Saviour who would never show us malice; especially were we full of joy that we had a witness in our hearts that it was for a pure purpose we sailed to Georgia," -- so runs the quaint record of one tempestuous day.
A more poetic expression of the same thought is given by Spangenberg in a poem written during the voyage, and sent home to David Nitschmann to be set to the music of some "Danish Melody" known to them both. There is a beauty of rhythm in the original which the English cannot reproduce, as though the writer had caught the cadence of the waves, on some bright day when the ship "went softly" after a season of heavy storm.
"Gute Liebe, deine Triebe Zuenden unsre Triebe an,
Dir zu leben, dir zu geben,
Was ein Mensch dir geben kann;
Denn dein Leben, ist, zu geben
Fried' und Segen aus der Hoeh.
Und das Kraenken zu versenken
In die ungeheure See.
"Herr wir waren von den Schaaren Deiner Schaeflein abgetrennt;
Und wir liefen zu den Tiefen,
Da das Schwefelfeuer brennt,
Und dein Herze brach vor Schmerze,
Ueber unsern Jammerstand;
O wie liefst du! O wie riefst du!
Bist du uns zu dir gewandt.
"Als die Klarheit deiner Wahrheit Unsern ganzen Geist durchgoss,
Und von deinen Liebesscheinen
Unser ganzes Herz zerfloss,
O wie regte und bewegte
Dieses deine Liebesbrust,
Uns zu hegen und zu pflegen,
Bis zur suessen Himmelslust.
"Dein Erbarmen wird uns Armen, Alle Tage wieder neu,
Mit was suessen Liebeskuessen
Zeigst du deine Muttertreu.
O wie heilig und wie treulich
Leitest du dein Eigentum;
O der Gnaden dass wir Maden
Werden deine Kron' und Ruhm.
"Wir empfehlen unsre Seelen Deinem Aug' und Herz und Hand,
Denn wir werden nur auf Erden
Wallen nach dem Vaterland.
O gieb Gnade auf dem Pfade,
Der zum Reich durch Leiden fuehrt,
Ohn' Verweilen fortzueilen
Bis uns deine Krone ziert.
"Unser Wille bleibe stille Wenn es noch so widrig geht;
Lass nur brausen, wueten, sausen,
Was von Nord und Osten weht.
Lass nur stuermen, lass sich tuermen
Alle Fluthen aus dem See,
Du erblickest und erquickest
Deine Kinder aus der Hoeh'."
(Love Divine, may Thy sweet power Lead us all for Thee to live,
And with willing hearts to give Thee
What to Thee a man can give;
For from heaven Thou dost give us
Peace and blessing, full and free,
And our miseries dost bury
In the vast, unfathomed sea.
Lord, our wayward steps had led us Far from Thy safe-guarded fold,
As we hastened toward the darkness
Where the sulphurous vapors rolled;
And Thy kind heart throbbed with pity,
Our distress and woe to see,
Thou didst hasten, Thou didst call us,
Till we turned our steps to Thee.
As Thy Truth's convincing clearness Filled our spirits from above,
And our stubborn hearts were melted
By the fervor of Thy love,
O Thy loving heart was moved
Us Thy righteous laws to teach,
Us to guide, protect and cherish
Till Thy heaven we should reach.
Without merit we, yet mercy Each returning day doth bless
With the tokens of Thy goodness,
Pledges of Thy faithfulness.
O how surely and securely
Dost Thou lead and guard Thine own;
O what wonderous grace that mortals
May add lustre to Thy throne.
In our souls we feel the presence Of Thine eye and heart and hand,
As we here on earth as pilgrims
Journey toward the Fatherland.
O give grace, that on the pathway,
Which through trial leads to heaven,
Without faltering we may hasten
Till to each Thy crown is given.
Though our path be set with danger Nothing shall our spirits shake,
Winds may rage and roar and whistle,
Storms from North and East may break,
Waves may roll and leap and thunder
On a dark and threatening sea,
Thou dost ever watch Thy children,
And their strength and peace wilt be.)
Before the vessel sailed the Trustees had followed up their request to Spangenberg by requiring the forty Swiss emigrants to promise submission to his authority, and consequently numerous efforts were made to be of service to them. It was disappointing work, in a way, for attempts to give them religious instruction were met with utter indifference, but their material needs were many. There was a great deal of sickness among them, and four died, being buried hastily, and without ceremony. The Moravians themselves were not exempt, several being dangerously ill at times, even Spangenberg was prostrated, from having, he supposed, stayed too long on deck in the night air, tempted thereto by the beauty of a calm night in a southern latitude. But having work to do among the Swiss on the following day, he roused himself, and soon became better. Two of the Moravians were appointed nurses for the sick Swiss, and by the use of the medicine provided by the Trustees, supplemented by unwearying personal attention, they were made as comfortable as possible.
Nor were the crew forgotten. From the day when the Moravians helped lift the anchor as they sailed from the coast of Dover, they busied themselves in the work of the ship, always obliging, always helpful, until the sailors came to trust them absolutely, "even with the keys to their lockers." When the cook was suddenly taken sick they nursed him carefully, and then appointed two of their number to carry wood and water for him until his strength returned, and it is no wonder that such accommodating passengers were well regarded.
Captain Thomson was disposed to favor them, but when they realized that they were receiving a larger share of food and drink than went to the Swiss, they courteously declined, fearing it would breed jealousy. His kindly feeling, however, continued, and when Toeltschig was ill he brought a freshly killed fowl from which to make nourishing broth, and on another occasion, after a severe attack of sea-sickness, they all derived much benefit from some strong beer which he urged upon them.
There were a few cabin passengers on the ship, and on one occasion Spangenberg was invited to dine with them, but their light jesting was distasteful to him, and the acquaintance was not pursued.Making a Start.
The vessel entered the Savannah River, April 6th, and the Captain, taking Spangenberg and Toeltschig into his small boat, went ahead to the town of Savannah, the capital of Georgia, now the home of about six hundred people. Spangenberg had a letter of introduction to Mr. Causton, who received him and his companion in a friendly fashion, entertained them at supper, and kept them over night. Mr. Causton was one of the three magistrates charged with all civil and criminal jurisdiction in Savannah, and his position as keeper of the Store, from which all provisions promised by the Trustees were dispensed, gave him such additional power that he was really the dictator of Savannah, ruling so absolutely that the people finally rebelled, and in 1738 secured his dismissal from office. On his return to England in 1739, he found great difficulty in trying to explain his accounts to the Trustees, was sent back to Georgia to procure some needed papers, died on the passage over, and was buried in the ocean. His treatment of the Moravians was characteristic, for he was courtesy itself to the new-comers who had money to spend, inconsiderate when hard times came, deaf to appeals for settlement of certain vexing questions, and harsh when their wills were opposed to his.
The next morning, before sunrise, Spangenberg and Toeltschig went apart into the woods, fell upon their knees, and thanked the Lord that He had brought them hither in safety. The day was spent in gaining information as to the customs of the place, Mr. Causton again claiming them as his guests at dinner, and in the evening they accepted the invitation of a merchant to supper. As they ate, the report of a cannon announced the arrival of their vessel, and Toeltschig went to spend the night aboard, Spangenberg remaining on shore to push the preparation for the reception of the company.
Early on the following morning, April 8th, he had their town lots assigned, (Nos. 3 and 4 Second Tything, Anson Ward), in order that their baggage might be brought directly to their own property, for he had found that lodgings in the town were very dear, and decided that a small cabin should be built at once and a house as soon as possible. Going then to the ship he guided the company to their new home, and the entire day was consumed in moving their belongings to the town, as it was some distance, and everything had to be carried by hand to the little hut which was hastily erected and roofed over with sacking. Evening came before they had really finished the arrangement of their possessions, but before they prepared and shared their evening meal, they humbly knelt and thanked God for His mercies, discussed the Bible text for the day, and joined in several familiar hymns. A New York merchant stopped and asked them to sing one of his favorites, which was done, and an Indian who had joined them near the river and followed them home, stayed through the service, and at parting beckoned them to come and visit him. Despite their fatigue, the "Hourly Intercession" was observed throughout the night, their slumbers rendered more peaceful by the knowledge that one and another in turn was watching and praying beside them.
On the following day two more Indians visited the Moravians. Their faces were adorned with streaks of red paint, and they seemed very friendly, rejoiced over the gift of two pewter mugs, and on leaving made signs that some one should go with them, an invitation that could not then be accepted.
The 10th of April, the first Sunday in America, Spangenberg attended service in the English Church, and heard a sermon on the text, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good," well fitted to be the watchword of the Moravian settlers in the trials that were before them.
No unpleasant presentiments, however, troubled them, as they went busily about their work during the next weeks. Mr. Causton was very pleasant to them, selling them provisions at cost, offering them credit at the store, and promising Spangenberg a list of such Indian words as he had been able to learn and write down. He also introduced him to Tomochichi, the Indian Chief, and to John Musgrove, who had a successful trading house near the town. Musgrove had married Mary, an Indian princess of the Uchees, who had great influence with all the neighboring tribes. At a later time, through the machinations of her third husband, she made much trouble in Georgia, but during the earlier years of the Colony she was the true friend of the white settlers, frequently acting as Interpreter in their conferences with the Indians, and doing much to make and keep the bond of peace between the two races.
On the 11th of April the five acre garden belonging to Spangenberg was surveyed, and work was immediately begun there, as it was just the season for planting corn. Nine days later Nitschmann's garden was laid out aside of Spangenberg's. By the 14th the cabin on Spangenberg's town lot was finished. It was twenty feet long, ten feet wide, and fourteen feet high, with a little loft where they slept, their goods, with a table and benches being in the room below. At daybreak they rose, sang a hymn, and prayed together, breakfasted at eight o'clock, the daily text being read aloud, then worked until half past eleven, when they dined and read the Bible. More work, an evening prayer service, and such conference as was needed that each might engage in the next day's labor to the best advantage, prepared them for their well-earned repose.
With this simple program steadily carried out, much was accomplished. A fence was built around a small kitchen-garden on their town property, and a chicken-yard was enclosed, while the neighbors came to look on and opine "that the Moravians had done more in a week than their people in two years." As the gardens (the five acre lots) lay at some distance from Savannah, a hut was built there, to serve as a shelter against sun and rain, a heavy storm having chased them home one day soon after their arrival.
Either from the noonday heat, or other conditions to which they were not yet acclimated, Gotthard Demuth and George Haberland became seriously ill, causing Spangenberg much anxiety, for he did not feel at liberty to send for a physician, as they could not afford to pay for medicine. So resort was had to bleeding, then an approved practice, and to such medicine as remained from their voyage, and Rose was fortunate enough to shoot a grouse, which gave them some much needed palatable meat and broth. Perhaps the most serious case was Gottfried Haberecht's, who suffered for several days with fever resulting from a cut on his leg. Finally oak-leaves were heated and bound about the limb, which induced free perspiration and quickly relieved him, so that he was able to return to work!
A day was appointed on which Spangenberg and several others were to ride out into the country to select the five hundred acre tract granted to Count Zinzendorf, and the additional two hundred acres which the Trustees had promised to hold in reserve, and grant to the Count's "servants" whenever he should request it, but there was rumor of a raid by hostile Indians, under Spanish influence, so the expedition had to be postponed, with the promise, however, that it should be made as soon as possible.
By the close of the third week in Georgia the invalids were better, and matters were in such a shape that the Moravians resolved "that on each Saturday work should stop early, and every Sunday should be a real day of rest." As an immediate beginning, they on Saturday evening united in a Lovefeast, where "we recalled much loving-kindness which God has shown us hitherto; Toeltschig washed the feet of the Brethren; we remained together until very late, and were truly blessed."Aim and Attainment. When the "first company" left Herrnhut for London and the New World, they took with them Count Zinzendorf's formal "Instructions" for the conduct of their affairs:
"I shall not attempt to tell you what you are to do from day to day. I know that in many ways Love will lead you, prepare the way, and point out your path. I shall only bid you remember the principles and customs of our Congregation, in which, if you stand fast, you will do well. Your one aim will be to establish a little place near the heathen where you may gather together the dispersed in Israel, patiently win back the wayward, and instruct the heathen tribes.
"You have and will ask nothing more than the opportunity to attain this end through your own labors, but you will request free transportation for yourselves and those who will follow you, -- if they receive your present small number the Lord will send you more."If you should be tempted to injure any work of the Lord for my sake, refrain from doing it, remembering that I am under a gracious guardianship which nothing can disturb.
"You will take absolutely no part in the Spangenberg-Halle controversy; you know the mind of the Congregation regarding it. If you find people prejudiced against you leave it to Him who has bidden you go to Georgia. Enter into no disputes, but, if questions are asked, give the history of the Congregation, being careful not to censure our opposers, and saying, which is true, that the Congregation at Herrnhut gives them little heed. Entire freedom of conscience must be granted you, but there may be points which you can yield without injuring the cause of Christ, -- if so you will find them in due time.
"You must live alone, establishing your own little corner, where your customs will irritate no one; and as soon as you are settled an ordained minister will be sent you, out of consideration for the scruples of the Salzburgers, although our Brethren in other Colonies are served by laymen, as permitted by our ancient constitution.
"God willing, I shall soon follow you, and only wait until He opens the way for me. Our dear Elder (Spangenberg) will quickly return from America, and in his absence I commit you to the mighty grace of God.Your brother and servant, Lewis Count v. Zinzendorf. "At this time one of the Elders at Herrnhut. November 27th, 1734. "`He everywhere hath way, And all things serve His might, etc.'"
That these sensible and liberal instructions were not fully carried out is at once apparent, especially in the two points of free transportation and settlement in a quiet, secluded spot. The inability of the Trustees to grant their request for the first, burdened the Moravian colonists with what was, under the circumstances, a heavy debt, while the location of Zinzendorf's five hundred acre tract was responsible for their failure in attaining the second.
When Gen. Oglethorpe planned the fortifications and defense of Savannah in 1733, he decided to erect a small fort on the Ogeechee River, some miles south, in order to command one of the trails by which the Indians had been accustomed to invade Carolina. This "Fort Argyle" was garrisoned with a detachment of rangers, and ten families were sent from Savannah to cultivate the adjacent land. The tract selected in London for Count Zinzendorf, was to lie on the Ogeechee, near Fort Argyle, an excellent place from which to reach the Indians in times of peace, but the worst possible location for noncombatants when war was threatening.
Spangenberg urged the survey of the five hundred acre tract as often and as strongly as he dared, but from various causes, chiefly rumors of Indian incursions, the expedition was deferred until Aug. 22nd, when Spangenberg, Toeltschig, Riedel, Seifert, Rose, Michael Haberland, and Mr. Johnson, the Trustees' surveyor, prepared to start on their toilsome journey, going by boat, instead of attempting to follow the circuitous, ill-marked road across the country, impassable to pedestrians, though used to some extent by horsemen. At one o'clock in the morning of Aug. 23rd the seven men embarked, taking advantage of the ebbing tide, and made their way down the Savannah River. It was very dark, the Moravians were unaccustomed to rowing, and Mr. Johnson, who steered, went to sleep time after time, so when they accidentally came across a ship riding at anchor they decided to stay by her and wait for the day. When dawn broke they hastened on to Thunderbolt, where a fort had been built, and some good land cleared, and there they found two Indians, who claimed to know the country, and agreed to go with them as pilots. Toward evening they reached Seituah*, where a stockade was being built as a protection against the Indians, and the night was spent with a Captain Wargessen (Ferguson), who, with several soldiers, was out in a scout boat watching the movements of the Indians and Spaniards in that neighborhood.
* On Skidaway Island, exact site unknown.
The next day they made their way among the islands until they reached the mouth of the Ogeechee, up which they turned, but night overtook them, and they were forced to drop their anchor. The Indians had been left behind somewhere, and with the return of day it became necessary to retrace their course for some hours in order to learn where they were. That night was spent at Sterling's Bluff, with the Scotch who had settled upon it, and the next morning they proceeded to Fort Argyle. As they rowed up the river, a bear left one of the islands, and swam across to the main land. "He was better to us than we to him, for Peter shot at him twice when he came near us, but he left us in peace and went his way!"
The following morning Spangenberg and Johnson, accompanied by the Lieutenant from Fort Argyle and several of his rangers, rode out to inspect the land selected for the Moravians. The horses were accustomed to service against the Indians, and went at full gallop, pausing not for winding paths or fallen trees, and the University-bred man of Germany expected momentarily to have his neck broken, but nothing happened, and after looking over the tract they returned to Fort Argyle.
Despite the exertions of the morning Spangenberg then manned his boat, and started up the river to visit an Indian town, where he hoped to find Tomochichi. Much floating timber rendered the trip dangerous and tedious, and it was not until early Sunday morning that they reached their destination, only to find the place deserted, as the band had left a few days before for a hunting expedition, and, if fortune favored them, for a brush with the Spanish Indians, with whom they had a perpetual feud. Soon Johnson appeared, guided by some of the rangers, who, after a hearty meal with the Moravians, returned to the Fort, Johnson remaining behind.
Monday morning, August 29th, before the sun rose, the party repaired to the Moravian tract, which Johnson surveyed, the Moravians acting as chain-carriers. Spangenberg was much pleased with the tract. It had a half mile frontage on the Ogeechee, extended two miles back into the forest, and gave a good variety of land, some low and damp for the cultivation of rice, sandy soil covered with grass for pasturage, and dry uplands suitable for corn and vegetables. A rapid stream furnished an abundance of pure water, and site for a mill, while the thick growth of timber guaranteed a supply of material for houses and boats. Near the river rose a high hill, where it had once been the intention to build a fort, and a house had really been erected. This the Indians burned, and later another site had been chosen for Fort Argyle, but the place retained the name of "Old Fort", and the hill would serve as the location for the Moravian dwelling.
Indian tribes which were friendly to the English lived at no great distance, and the trail to Savannah and Ebenezer led directly by Old Fort, while the opening of two roads would bring both those towns within a four hour's ride of the settlement.
Well content, therefore, with their new acquisition, the Moravians returned to Fort Argyle, whence Johnson rode back to Savannah, leaving them to follow with the boat. At the mouth of the Ogeechee they encountered a severe storm, against which they could make little headway, try as they would. Their anchor was too light to hold against the current, and there was a marsh on one bank and rocks on the other, but at last, after nightfall, in the face of a terrific thunder storm, they forced their way to a place where they could land, and where they passed the rest of the night, enduring as best they could the heavy rain, and the attack of insects, against neither of which they were able to protect themselves. "This place takes its name, -- `Rotten-possum', -- from an animal frequently found here, which they call a Possum. I am told that it has a double belly, and that if pursued it puts its young into one belly, runs up a tree until it reaches a limb, springs out on that until it is among the leaves, and then lays itself across the branch with one belly on each side, and so hides itself, and saves its life!" The rest of the journey was uneventful, and on Friday morning, September 2nd, they reached Savannah, having been absent ten days.
It seems a great pity that the Moravians were unable to establish themselves on this tract, where their industry would soon have made an oasis in the wilderness, but one thing after the other interfered, and the "second company" which arrived early in the following year, found them still at Savannah.
In Savannah matters moved toward a fair degree of prosperity for the Moravians. About four acres of Spangenberg's garden were cleared in time for the first summer's crop of corn, which yielded them sixty bushels. They also raised some beans, which came to maturity at a time when provisions and funds were very low, so helping them greatly.
The two farm lots were laid out during the summer, Spangenberg assisting with the survey. By the close of the year twenty-six acres had been cleared, -- on the uplands this meant the felling of trees, and gradual removal of stumps as time permitted, but on the rice lands it meant far more. The great reeds, ten to twelve feet high, grew so thick that a man could scarcely set foot between them, and in cutting them down it was necessary to go "knee-deep" below the surface of the ground, and then the roots were so intertwined that it was difficult to pull them out.
Every acre of land that was cleared and planted had to be securely fenced in, for cattle roamed in the woods, and ruined unprotected crops. Indeed, the colonists in Georgia derived little benefit from their cattle, which ran at large, and when a few were wanted for beef or for domestic purposes, they were hunted and driven in. The Moravians had to wait until midsummer before they could get their allotment, and then they received a cow and calf, six hogs and five pigs, with the promise of more. Before the others came the cows had again escaped to the woods, and the swine had been drowned!
In July Spangenberg wrote to Herrnhut that he had given his fifty acres of land, including the town lot, to the Moravian Congregation at Savannah, and that he would at once apply to the Trustees to vest the title in that body, and if he left Georgia before this was accomplished he would give a full Power of Attorney to Toeltschig. From the first his land had been used as the common property of the party, and he desired that the nine men, who, with him, were bound to the repayment of the 60 Pounds, borrowed from the Trustees, should have the use of it until that obligation was met, and then it should be used as the Savannah Congregation thought best.
Nitschmann's land seems to have been held in a different way, although granted at the same time, and under similar circumstances. July 11th, Spangenberg sent him a detailed description of the town and garden lots, explaining the advantages and difficulties of cultivation, suggesting several methods by which it could be done, and giving the approximate cost, urging that instructions be sent as to his wishes. Later he wrote that the company had decided not to wait for Nitschmann's reply, but to clear the garden on the terms usual in Georgia, e.g., that the man who cleared a piece of ground held it rent free for seven years, when it reverted to the owner. This had been done, and the garden was ready to plant and fence, and if Nitschmann approved they intended to clear the farm, and would build a small house on the town lot. Zinzendorf had suggested that negroes be employed on Nitschmann's land, but at that time slavery was prohibited in Georgia, and any negroes who ran away from Carolina were at once returned to their masters.
The two farms lay side by side about four miles from Savannah, the gardens, also adjoining, were about two miles from town, so it was necessary to build cabins at both places, as shelters from sun and storm, which the settlers found equally trying. Two additional cabins had been built in Savannah on Spangenberg's lot, and by the end of the year a house, thirty-four by eighteen feet in size, was under roof, though not yet finished. This gave an abundance of room, not only for themselves, but for the second company to whose arrival they were looking forward with such eagerness.
When this reinforcement came they hoped to move to Zinzendorf's tract, and then, as soon as they could be spared, Demuth, Haberecht, Waschke and the two Haberlands wished to claim the twenty acres apiece which the Trustees had promised to the Count's "servants". Riedel was of the same mind, but he did not live to see the arrival of the second company. Some months after reaching Georgia, he was dangerously ill with fever, but passed the crisis successfully, and recovered his full strength. He was one of the party who went to survey Zinzendorf's tract, but was taken sick again three days after the boat left Savannah, and by the time they returned he was obliged to go to bed, and soon became delirious. The other Moravians were greatly distressed, but could do nothing except nurse him carefully and pray for him earnestly, and toward the end his mind cleared, though his body had lost the power to recuperate. He died on the 30th of September, the first Moravian to "fall asleep" in the United States, though others had given up their lives for the mission work in the West Indies. His spiritual condition had at times caused much concern to Toeltschig, who was especially charged with the religious welfare of the first company, many of whom had been under his care in Germany, but in the main he had been an earnest man, a willing and industrious partaker in the common toil, and his death caused much regret. The burial customs in Savannah included the ringing of bells, a funeral sermon, and a volley of musketry, but learning that these ceremonies were not obligatory the Moravians declined the offer of the citizens to so honor their Brother, and laid him to rest in the Savannah cemetery with a simple service of hymns and prayer.
As they were robing Riedel for his burial, a young man came to the door, and asked if he could not make them some pewter spoons. In the conversations that followed it developed that he was a native of Switzerland, the son of a physician, and after his father's death he had sailed for Pennsylvania, intending there to begin the practice of medicine. But his fellow-passengers stole his books and everything he had, he was unable to pay for his transportation, and forced to sell his service for seven years as a redemptioner. At the end of five years he had become quite ill, and his master, having waited six months for his recovery, heartlessly turned him out, to live or die as the case might be. Instead of dying, his strength returned, and then his former master demanded 10 Pounds Pennsylvania currency, for his unexpired term, although only 5 Pounds had been paid for him, and he had served five years. The young man was obliged to promise to pay this, and Spangenberg encouraged him to push his spoon-making, in order to do it as speedily as possible. Meanwhile the Moravians were so much pleased with his appearance and speech, that they agreed to receive him into their company for as long as he chose to stay, and John Regnier soon became an important factor in their comfort. Spiritually he was somewhat at sea. At one time he had desired to be a hermit, and then he had drifted from one sect to another, seeking something which he could not find, but acquiring a medley of odd customs. Spangenberg advised him to turn his thoughts from men to God, learning from Him "what was better and higher, Faith, Love, Hope, etc.", and under the Moravian influence he gradually laid aside his unwise fancies, giving them encouragement to believe that he would eventually come into the clearer light, as they knew it.
In material things John Regnier was of great assistance, owing to his ability to turn his hand to almost anything. The shoes of the party were badly torn, but though they had brought leather and tools from England none of them knew the cobbler's trade. John Regnier had never made a shoe, but he took it up, and soon provided for them all, and then he mended their clothing, and added new garments. He also showed much aptitude for nursing, and Spangenberg put him in charge of several cases. A man from a neighboring village sent word that he had severed an artery and could not check the bleeding, and asked for help. Regnier went to him, and was so successful in his treatment that in two weeks the man was entirely restored. Some one discovered a poor Scotchman, dying with dropsy, lying utterly neglected upon the floor of a miserable hut, and appeal was made to the Moravians to take him and care for him. They did so, moving him to one of their cabins, where they made him a bed, and Regnier nursed him until death ended his sufferings. Another man had high fever, and no friends, and him also the Moravians took, and cared for, the Trustee's agent furnishing food and medicine for the sick, but offering no recompense for the care they received.
Indeed, as the months passed by, the Moravians established a reputation for charity and for hospitality. Not only had they kept free of dispute with the Salzburgers, but the friendliest relations existed, and the Moravian cabins were always open to them when they came to Savannah. Nor were they slow to avail themselves of the kindness. Gronau and Bolzius often lodged with them, and others came in groups of nine or ten to spend the night. During the evening stories would be exchanged as to their circumstances in the home lands, and their reasons for leaving there, and then sometimes the hosts would spread hay upon the floor for their guests, at other times give up their own beds, and themselves sleep upon the floor.
With their nearer neighbors in Savannah, they were also upon cordial terms, though they found few who cared for religious things. The Jews were particularly courteous to them, inviting Spangenberg into their Synagogue, and bringing gifts of meat and fish on several occasions when help was sorely needed on account of the illness of some of their number,
-- for Riedel was not the only one who was seriously ill, though no others died. All the conditions in Georgia were so different from what they were accustomed to in Germany that it took them some time to adapt themselves, and longer to become really acclimated, and they noticed that the same was true of all new-comers. All of the Moravians were sick in turn, many suffering from frosted feet, probably injured on the voyage over, but Spangenberg, Toeltschig, Haberecht and Demuth were dangerously ill. Nearly all of the medicine brought from Europe was gone, and what they could get in Savannah was expensive and they did not understand how to use it, so they were forced to depend on careful nursing and simple remedies. Turpentine could easily be secured from the pines, Spangenberg found an herb which he took to be camomile, which had a satisfactory effect, and with the coming of the cooler autumn weather most of the party recovered their health.
Probably the food was partly responsible for their troubles, though they tried to be careful, and cooked everything thoroughly. Rice and salt-meat were their chief articles of diet, for bread cost so much that they soon gave it up entirely, substituting cornmeal mush, and butter was so dear as to be entirely out of the question. During the summer months which preceded the harvest, they could get neither corn, rice nor beans at the store, so lived on mush, salt-meat, and the beans they themselves had planted. Fresh meat was a great treat, particularly when it enabled them to prepare nourishing broth for their sick, and once Rose shot a stag, giving them several good meals, but this happened so seldom as to do little toward varying the monotony of their fare.
Drinking water was held to be responsible for the swollen feet and nausea from which many of them suffered, so they made a kind of sassafras beer, which proved palatable and healthful, and used it until they had become accustomed to the climate, when they were able to drink the water.
When the Moravians came to Georgia they brought with them a little ready money, the gift of English friends, and their cash payments secured them good credit at the Trustees' store. Other merchants sought their patronage, but they decided to run an account at one place only, and thought Mr. Causton, as the Trustees' agent, would give them the most liberal treatment. Their hardest time financially, as well as regarding health, was during the summer, when credit came to be accorded grudgingly, and finally Spangenberg, personally, borrowed 15 Pounds sterling, and applied it on their account, which restored their standing in Mr. Causton's eyes. On Feb. 8th, 1736, they decided to buy enough corn, rice and salt-meat to last until harvest, having learned by sad experience how very dear these necessities were later in the year. Very little work had been done which brought in ready money, for their time had been fully occupied in building their house and clearing the land, but all things were prepared for the coming of the second company, with whose assistance they expected to accomplish much. In February the two carpenters were engaged to build a house for Mr. Wagner, a Swiss gentleman who had recently arrived, and rented one of the Moravian cabins temporarily, and this was the beginning of a considerable degree of activity.
The intercourse of the Moravians with the other residents of Savannah was much impeded by their ignorance of the English language, and it occurred to Spangenberg that it might be a good thing to take an English boy, have him bound to them according to custom, and let them learn English by having to speak to him. About July a case came to his knowledge that roused all his sympathies, and at the same time afforded a good opportunity to try his plan. "I have taken a four-year-old English boy into our family. He was born in Charlestown, but somehow found his way to Savannah. His father was hanged, for murder I have heard, and his mother has married another man, and abandoned the child. A woman here took charge of him, but treated him most cruelly. Once she became angry with him, took a firebrand, and beat him until half his body was burned; another time she bound him, and then slashed him with a knife across the back, and might have injured him still more if a man had not come by and rescued him. The magistrates then gave him to other people, but they did not take care of him, and hearing that he was a bright child, I decided to offer to take him. The Magistrates gladly agreed, and will write to his relatives in Charlestown, and if they do not claim him he will be bound to us. He is already proving useful to the Brethren, as he speaks English to them, and they are rapidly learning to speak and to understand. I am sending him to an English school, as I would rather he would not learn German, but being bright he is learning a good deal of it from the Brethren."
On October 31st a widow and her seven-year-old son were received into their household. The woman was in destitute circumstances, and anxious to work, so after four weeks' trial she was installed as maid, and promised $14.00 a year wages. She proved to be quiet and industrious, but not very bright. On Dec. 17th another boy, six years old, was taken, his mother being dead, and his father a day-laborer who could not care for him.
Of the Indians the Moravians had seen a good deal, but no start had been made toward teaching them, except that some of their words had been learned. Spangenberg decided that the only way to master their language would be to go and live among them, and this Rose professed himself willing to do as soon as he could be spared. With Tomochichi they were much pleased. "He is a grave, wise man, resembling one of the old Philosophers, though with him it is natural, not acquired. Were he among a hundred Indians, all clothed alike, one would point him out and say, `that is the king.'" When the Indians came to the Moravian cabins they were courteously received, and supplied with food and drink, often remaining as silent listeners at the evening service. In turn their good will took the form of a gift of grouse or dried venison, which the Moravians gratefully received.
The English were very anxious to keep the friendship of these Indians, on whom much of their safety depended, and when one of the nations came five or six hundred miles to renew a treaty with them, they planned a spectacle which would at once please and impress them. All the settlers were put under arms, and led out to meet them, saluting them with a volley of musketry. With great pomp they were conducted into the town, presented with guns, clothing, etc., and then, through an interpreter, they were assured of the good will and faith of the English, and urged to be true to the treaty, and protect the settlement against those Indian tribes who were under French and Spanish influence.
Spangenberg was ordered out with the others, but excused himself on the ground of weakness from his recent illness, and when the officials offered to depart from their custom, and allow one of Zinzendorf's "servants" to take his place, he explained that the Moravians did not understand English, and knew nothing of military manoeuvres. During the first year the question of military service was not sufficiently prominent to cause real uneasiness, but Spangenberg foresaw trouble, and wrote to Herrnhut, urging that the matter be given serious consideration.
When the Moravians passed through London they had fully explained their position to Gen. Oglethorpe, who promised them exemption, but they had no written order from the Trustees to show to the local officials, and not even a copy of the letter in which reference to the subject was made. As Count Zinzendorf's "servants" nine of them were ineligible, but Spangenberg, as a free-holder, was expected to take part in the weekly drill, which he quietly refused to do.
All free-holders were likewise expected to take their turn in the Watch, composed of ten men, who patrolled the town by night and day. Spangenberg admitted that the Watch was necessary and proper, but decided that he had better not take a personal share in it, other than by hiring some one to take his place, which was permitted. As the turn came every seventeen days, and a man expected fifty cents for day and one dollar for night duty each time, this was expensive, doubly so because the officers demanded a substitute for the absent Nitschmann also. Twice had Spangenberg been before the Court, attempting to have the matter adjusted, but he found that this, like many other things, could not be settled until Gen. Oglethorpe came. "All men wait for Gen. Oglethorpe, it is impossible to describe how they long for him." The Salzburgers especially wished for him, for they did not like the place where they had settled, and wanted permission to move to a more favorable location which they had chosen.
On the 14th of February, 1736, Capt. Thomson arrived, bringing letters from England, and one to Spangenberg announced that the second company of Moravians was on the way and might soon be expected. At three o'clock in the morning of February 17th, the town was roused by the sound of bells and drums. Thinking it meant fire, the Moravians rushed out, but learned that Gen. Oglethorpe's ship had reached Tybee, and the people were awakened to welcome him. Full of interest to learn whether the second company was with him the Moravians paused for a hasty meal before going to meet the ship, when to their great joy Bishop Nitschmann appeared before them, "and his face was to us as the face of an Angel!"
Chapter 4. ReinforcementsThe "Second Company".
Before David Nitschmann, the "Hausmeister", left London, after the sailing of the first Moravian company for Georgia, he presented to the Trustees a series of propositions, the acceptance of which would open the way for a large increase of Moravian emigration. The proposals were, in brief, that the Trustees should give credit to the Moravians to the extent of 500 Pounds sterling, which, deducting the 60 Pounds advanced to the first company, would provide passage money and a year's provision for fifty-five more of Count Zinzendorf's "servants", the loan to be repaid, without interest, in five years, and to bear interest at the usual rate if payment was longer deferred. He also suggested that the money, when repaid, should be again advanced for a like purpose.In addition he requested that each man of twenty-one years, or over, should be granted fifty acres near Count Zinzendorf's tract.
The Trustees were pleased to approve of these proposals, and promised the desired credit, with the further favor that if the debt was not paid within five years it should draw interest at eight per cent. only, instead of ten per cent., the customary rate in South Carolina.
During the summer, therefore, a second company prepared to follow the pioneers to the New World. On the 5th of August, 1735, two parties left Herrnhut, one consisting of three young men, and the other of thirteen men, women and children, who were joined at Leipzig by Jonas Korte, who went with them to London. On August 8th, five more persons left Herrnhut, under the leadership of David Nitschmann, the Bishop, who was to take the second company to Georgia, organize their congregation, and ordain their pastor.
This David Nitschmann, a carpenter by trade, was a companion of David Nitschmann, the "Hausmeister", and John Toeltschig, when they left Moravia in the hope of reestablishing the Unitas Fratrum, and with them settled at Herrnhut, and became one of the influential members of the community. When missionaries were to be sent to the Danish West Indies, Nitschmann and Leonard Dober went on foot to Copenhagen (August 21st, 1732), and sailed from there, Nitschmann paying their way by his work as ship's carpenter. By the same handicraft he supported himself and his companion for four months on the island of St. Thomas, where they preached to the negro slaves, and then, according to previous arrangement, he left Dober to continue the work, and returned to Germany. In 1735, it was decided that Bishop Jablonski, of Berlin, and Bishop Sitkovius, of Poland, who represented the Episcopate of the ancient Unitas Fratrum, should consecrate one of the members of the renewed Unitas Fratrum at Herrnhut, linking the Church of the Fathers with that of their descendents, and enabling the latter to send to the Mission field ministers whose ordination could not be questioned by other denominations, or by the civil authorities. David Nitschmann, then one of the Elders at Herrnhut, was chosen to receive consecration, the service being performed, March 13th, by Bishop Jablonski, with the written concurrence of Bishop Sitkovius.
The three parties from Herrnhut met at Magdeburg on August 13th, proceeding from there to Hamburg by boat, and at Altona, the sea-port of Hamburg, they found ten more colonists who had preceded them. Here also they were joined by Christian Adolph von Hermsdorf, who went with them to Georgia as "a volunteer". Apparently Lieutenant Hermsdorf wanted the position of Zinzendorf's Agent in Georgia, for the Count wrote to him on the 19th of August, agreeing that he should go with the Moravians, at their expense, but saying that if he desired office he must first prove himself worthy of it by service with and for the others, even as the Count had always done. If the reports from Georgia justified it, the Count promised to send him proper powers later, and to find a good opportunity for his wife to follow him. Rosina Schwarz and her child, who had come with them to Hamburg to meet her husband, returned with him to their home in Holstein; and on account of Rosina Neubert's serious illness, she and her husband reluctantly agreed to leave the company, and wait for another opportunity to go to Georgia. In 1742 they carried out their intention of emigrating to America, though it was to Pennsylvania, and not to Georgia.The "second company", therefore, consisted of twenty-five persons:
David Nitschmann, the Bishop. Christian Adolph von Hermsdorf, a volunteer. John Andrew Dober, a potter. David Zeisberger. David Tanneberger, a shoemaker. John Tanneberger, son of David, a boy of ten years. George Neisser. Augustin Neisser, a young lad, brother of George. Henry Roscher, a linen-weaver. David Jag. John Michael Meyer, a tailor. Jacob Frank. John Martin Mack. Matthias Seybold, a farmer. Gottlieb Demuth. John Boehner, a carpenter. Matthias Boehnisch. Maria Catherine Dober, wife of John Andrew Dober. Rosina Zeisberger, wife of David Zeisberger. Judith Toeltschig, Catherine Riedel, Rosina Haberecht, Regina Demuth,
going to join their husbands already in Georgia. Anna Waschke, a widow, to join her son. Juliana Jaeschke, a seamstress.*
* Fifteen of these colonists were originally from Moravia and Bohemia.
During an enforced stay of three weeks at Altona, the Moravians experienced much kindness, especially at the hands of Korte and his family, and Mrs. Weintraube, the daughter of a Mennonite preacher, who had come from her home in London on a visit to her father. By this time the Moravian settlement at Herrnhut was coming to be well and favorably known in Holland, and every visit won new friends, many of whom came into organic fellowship with them. A few years later, when the Unitas Fratrum was confronted by a great financial crisis, it was largely the loyalty and liberality of the Dutch members that enabled it to reach a position of safety.
On the 9th of September, the company went aboard an English boat, homeward bound, but contrary winds held them in port until the 13th, and it was not until Sunday, Oct. 2nd, that they reached London, after a long and stormy crossing, which gave many of them their first experience of sea-sickness.
Nitschmann and Korte at once went ashore to report their arrival to Secretary Verelst, and on Monday a house was rented, and the twenty-five colonists and Jonas Korte moved into it, to wait for the sailing of Gen. Oglethorpe's ship, the General having offered them berths on his own vessel. The General was out of town when they reached London, but called on Monday evening, and showed them every kindness, -- "Oglethorpe is indeed our good friend, and cares for us like a father."
Nitschmann found a good deal of difficulty on account of the language, for he could not speak Latin, as Spangenberg had done, and knew no English, so that all of his conversations with Oglethorpe had to be carried on through an interpreter; nevertheless a number of important points were fully discussed.
On the question of military service he could reach no definite and satisfactory conclusion, and thought it a great pity that there had not been a perfect mutual understanding between Zinzendorf and the Trustees before the first company sailed. That Zinzendorf's "servants" should be free from military service was admitted by all, but Oglethorpe thought three men must be furnished to represent Zinzendorf, Spangenberg and Nitschmann (the Hausmeister), the three free-holders, and suggested that Lieutenant Hermsdorf might take one place. Nitschmann said that would not do, that the Moravians "could not and would not fight," and there the matter rested. Nitschmann wrote to Zinzendorf, begging him to come to London, and interview the Trustees, but advised that he wait for Oglethorpe's return from Georgia some nine months later.
On this account the members of the second company agreed that it would be better for them not to accept land individually, but to go, as the others had done, as Zinzendorf's "servants", to work on his tract. Oglethorpe suggested that an additional five hundred acres should be requested for Count Zinzendorf's son, and Nitschmann referred the proposal to the authorities at Herrnhut. In regard to the five hundred acre tract already granted, the General said that it had been located near the Indians, at the Moravians' request, but that settlers there would be in no danger, for the Indians were at peace with the English, there was a fort near by, and besides he intended to place a colony of Salzburgers fifty miles further south, when the Moravians would be, not on the border but in the center of Georgia.
Gen. Oglethorpe assured Nitschmann that there would be no trouble regarding the transfer of title to the Georgia lands, for while, for weighty reasons, the grants had been made in tail male, there was no intention, on the part of the Trustees, to use this as a pretext for regaining the land, and if there was no male heir, a brother, or failing this, a friend, might take the title. (In 1739 the law entailing property in Georgia was modified to meet this view, and after 1750, all grants were made in fee simple.) He also explained that the obligation to plant a certain number of mulberry trees per acre, or forfeit the land, was intended to spur lazy colonists, and would not be enforced in the case of the Moravians.
Nitschmann told Gen. Oglethorpe of the wives and children who had been left in Herrnhut, and suggested the advisability of establishing an English School for them, that they might be better fitted for life in Georgia. Oglethorpe liked the idea, and, after due consideration, suggested that some one in Herrnhut who spoke French or Latin, preferably the latter, should be named as Count Zinzendorf's Agent, to handle funds for the English school, and to accompany later companies of Georgia colonists as far as London, his expenses to be paid by the Trustees. Of this the Trustees approved, and donated 40 Pounds sterling, partly for Nitschmann's use in London, and the balance, -- about 4 Pounds it proved to be, -- for the Herrnhut school. An English gentleman also gave them 32 Pounds, with the proviso that within four years they in turn would give an equal amount to the needy, which Nitschmann readily agreed should be done.
Various other gifts must have been received, for when the company sailed, Nitschmann reported to Count Zinzendorf that, without counting a considerable amount which Korte had generously expended on their behalf, they had received 115 Pounds in London, and had spent 113 Pounds. "This will seem much to you, but when you look over the accounts, and consider the number of people, and how dear everything is, you will understand." Unfortunately the colonists had left Herrnhut without a sufficient quantity of warm clothing, thinking that it would not be needed, but letters from Georgia gave them quite new ideas of the climate there, and they were forced to supply themselves in London, though at double what it would have cost in Germany.
In addition to these expenditures, the second company borrowed from the Trustees the funds for their passage to Georgia, and a year's provision there, binding themselves jointly and severally to repay the money, the bond, dated Oct. 26th, 1735, being for the sum of 453 Pounds 7 Shillings 6 Pence, double the amount of the actual debt. This included
Passage for 16 men, 8 women and 1 boy,
25 persons, 24-1/2 "heads". Pounds 122: 10: 0
25 sets of bed-clothes. 6: 5: 0
1 year's provisions in Georgia,
being 12 bushels Indian Corn,
100 lbs. Meat, 30 lbs. Butter,
1 bushel Salt, 27 lbs. Cheese,
per head. 64: 6: 3
Advanced in London for necessaries. 33: 12: 6
----------------- Pounds 226: 13: 9
This was to be repaid in five years, drawing eight per cent. interest after three years, further security to be given within twelve months if requested by the Trustees or their Agent; and any provisions not used to be credited on their account.
In the matter of forming new acquaintances in London, the second company was far less active than the first had been, Spangenberg's standing and education having given him access to many people, attracting their attention to his companions. The second company profited by the friends he had made, Mr. Wynantz especially devoting himself to their service, and while Nitschmann and his associates did not reach many new people, they inspired the respect and confidence of those whom Spangenberg had introduced to the Moravian Church, and so strengthened its cause. A carpenter from Wittenberg, Vollmar by name, who was attracted to them, requested permission to go to Georgia with them, although not at their expense, and to this they agreed. A number of Salzburgers who were to go to Georgia with General Oglethorpe, though not on the same ship, were under the leadership of the young Baron von Reck with whom Zinzendorf had corresponded during the early stages of the Moravian negotiations, and the Baron called on the second company several times, offered to assist them in any way in his power, and expressed the wish that the Moravians and Salzburgers could live together in Georgia. Nitschmann doubted the wisdom of the plan, but courteously agreed to refer it to Zinzendorf, who, however, refused his sanction.
On the 12th of October, the Moravians went aboard Gen. Oglethorpe's ship, the `Simmonds', Capt. Cornish, where they were told to select the cabins they preferred, being given preference over the English colonists who were going. The cabins contained bare bunks, which could be closed when not in use, arranged in groups of five, -- three below and two above, -- the five persons occupying them also eating together. The Moravians chose their places in the center of the ship, on either side of the main mast, where the ventilation was best, and there would be most fresh air when they reached warmer latitudes. "The number of people on the ship is rather large, for we are altogether one hundred and fifty who are going to Georgia, but besides ourselves they are all Englishmen." "Many of them are like wild animals, but we have resolved in all things to act as the children of God, giving offence to no one, that our purpose be not misconstrued."
After seeing his companions comfortably settled on the vessel, Nitschmann returned to his numerous tasks in London. On the 24th, he came back to the ship, accompanied by Korte, who bade them an affectionate farewell. By the 27th all of the passengers, including Gen. Oglethorpe, were on board, but it was not until the afternoon of October 31st, that the `Simmonds' sailed from Gravesend.Four Journals.
On the `Simmonds', as she sailed slowly down the Thames on her way to Georgia, there were four Englishmen, with whom the Moravians were to become well acquainted, who were to influence and be influenced by them, and through whom a great change was to come into the religious history of England. These were John and Charles Wesley, Benjamin Ingham and Charles Delamotte. The Wesleys were sons of Samuel Wesley, a clergyman of the Church of England, and while at the University of Oxford they, with two companions, had formed a little society for religious improvement, and by their strict and methodical habits gained the name of "Methodists"; both brothers had taken orders in the English Church, and were on their way to Georgia, John to serve as rector at Savannah, and Charles as Gen. Oglethorpe's private secretary. Benjamin Ingham was born in Yorkshire, and met the Wesleys at Oxford, where he joined their Methodist society. He, too, had been ordained in the English Church, and now, at the age of twentythree, had yielded to John Wesley's persuasions, and agreed to go with him "to the Indians". Charles Delamotte, the son of a London merchant, met the Wesleys at the home of James Hutton, shortly before they sailed for Georgia, and was so much impressed by them, and by their object in seeking the New World, that he decided "to leave the world, and give himself up entirely to God," and go with them.
For the greater part of his life John Wesley kept a Journal, extracts from which were given to the public from time to time, and Benjamin Ingham's account of the voyage to Georgia was also printed, so that the story of those weeks is quite well known. Nevertheless, something of interest may be gained by comparing these two Journals with the Diaries kept by David Nitschmann, Bishop of the Moravians, and John Andrew Dober, one of the second company.
To avoid confusion it should be noted that the difference of eleven days in the dates is only apparent, not real, for the Englishmen used the old style calendar, the Germans employed the modern one. In 46 B. C. the Roman Calendar had gained two months on the actual seasons, and a more accurate calculation resulted in the adoption of the socalled "Julian Calendar" (prepared at the request of Julius Caesar), the two missing months being inserted between November and December in that "year of confusion". By 1582, however, the Julian Calendar had fallen ten days behind the seasons, so another calculation was made, and Pope Gregory XIII abolished the Julian Calendar in all Catholic countries, dropped the dates of ten days from that year, and established the "reformed", or "Gregorian Calendar". This was adopted in Catholic Germany, in 1583, in Protestant Germany and Holland, in 1700, but in England not until 1752, by which time the difference had increased to eleven days. Following the ancient Jewish custom the Year, for many centuries, began with the 25th of March, but public sentiment came to favor the 1st of January as the more appropriate date, and it was gradually adopted. In England, however, the legal year continued to begin with March 25th, until 1752, although many people were either using the newer fashion, or indicating both, and a date might be correctly written in four ways, e.g. January 10th, 1734, old style, legal, January 10th, 1734-5, or January 10th, 1735, old style, popular, and January 21st, 1735, new style, the last agreeing with the calendar now in general use.
Bishop Nitschmann gives the outline of their religious services on almost every day, and in the translation which follows these are generally omitted; in the same way some paragraphs are left out of the Wesley Journal. Extracts from Dober's and Ingham's Journals are inserted when they give facts not otherwise noted.
(We have all given ourselves to the Lord, and pray that the Saviour may comfort our hearts with joy, and that we may attain our object, namely, to call the heathen, to become acquainted with those whom we have not known and who know us not, and to worship the name of the Lord. -- Letter of Oct. 28.)====== 25 Oct. 1735. John Wesley's Journal. Oct. 14th, 1735, (O. S.) Tuesday.
Mr. Benjamin Ingham, of Queen's College, Oxford, Mr. Charles Delamotte, son of a merchant in London, who had offered himself some days before, my brother Charles Wesley, and myself, took boat for Gravesend, in order to embark for Georgia. Our end in leaving our native country was not to avoid want, (God having given us plenty of temporal blessings,) nor to gain the dung or dross of riches or honor; but singly this, -- to save our souls, to live wholly to the glory of God. In the afternoon we found the `Simmonds' off Gravesend, and immediately went on board.
(We had two cabins allotted us in the forecastle; I and Mr. Delamotte having the first, and Messrs. Wesley the other. Theirs was made pretty large, so that we could all meet together to read or pray in it. This part of the ship was assigned to us by Mr. Oglethorpe, as being most convenient for privacy. -- Ingham's Journal.)====== 27 Oct. 1735. Nitschmann. Oct. 27th.
Bled Mrs. Toeltschig and Mrs. Zeisberger. On deck one man was knocked down by another, striking his head on the deck so as to stun him. In the evening we held our song service at the same hour that the English had theirs. I spoke with Mr. Oglethorpe and the two English clergymen, who asked concerning our ordination and our faith. Mr. Oglethorpe said he would be as our father, if we would permit it.====== 28 Oct. 1735. Nitschmann. Oct. 28th.
At our prayer-meeting considered Eph. 1, how our election may be made sure; I also wrote to the Congregation at Herrnhut. Mrs. Zeisberger was sick, and Mr. Oglethorpe concerned himself about her comfort.---- Wesley. Oct. 17th. I began to learn German in order to converse with the Germans, six and twenty* of whom we had on board.
* Twenty-five Moravians and the Wittenberg carpenter.
We decided who should attend to various duties during the voyage, and held our "Band" meetings. (The "Bands" were small groups, closely associated for mutual religious improvement.) An English boy fell overboard, but was rescued by a sailor.====== 31 Oct. 1735. Nitschmann. Oct. 31st. In the afternoon we sailed twelve miles from Gravesend. ---- Wesley. Oct. 20th, Monday.
Believing the denying ourselves, even in the smallest instances, might, by the blessing of God, be helpful to us, we wholly left off the use of flesh and wine, and confined ourselves to vegetable food, -- chiefly rice and biscuit. In the afternoon, David Nitschmann, Bishop of the Germans, and two others, began to learn English. O may we be, not only of one tongue, but of one mind and of one heart.
====== 1 Nov. 1735.
The English clergyman began to spend an hour teaching us English. In the early service we read concerning new life in the soul; the preceding night was blessed to me, and the Saviour was near. At the evening service we spoke of earnest prayer and its answer.
(David Nitschmann, in the presence of all the members, formally installed certain of our members in office, -- David Tanneberger as overseer, Dober as teacher and monitor, Seybold as nurse for the brethren, and Mrs. Dober as nurse for the sisters. -- Dober's Diary.)(We have arranged that one of us shall watch each night, of which Mr. Oglethorpe approves. -- Letter of Oct. 18th.) ---- Wesley. Oct. 21st.
We sailed from Gravesend. When we were past about half the Goodwin Sands the wind suddenly failed. Had the calm continued till ebb, the ship had probably been lost. But the gale sprung up again in an hour, and carried us into the Downs.
We now began to be a little regular. Our common way of living was this: From four in the morning till five, each of us used private prayer. From five to seven we read the Bible together, carefully comparing it (that we might not lean to our own understanding) with the writings of the earliest ages. At seven we breakfasted. At eight were the public prayers. From nine to twelve I usually learned German and Mr. Delamotte Greek. My brother writ sermons, and Mr. Ingham instructed the children. At twelve we met to give an account to one another what we had done since our last meeting, and what we designed to do before our next. About one we dined. The time from dinner to four, we spent in reading to those whom each of us had taken in charge, or in speaking to them severally, as need required. At four were the Evening Prayers; when either the Second Lesson was explained (as it always was in the morning,) or the children were catechised, and instructed before the congregation. From five to six we again used private prayer. From six to seven I read in our cabin to two or three of the passengers, (of whom there were about eighty English on board), and each of my brethren to a few more in theirs. At seven I joined with the Germans in their public service; while Mr. Ingham was reading between the decks to as many as desired to hear. At eight we met again, to exhort and instruct one another. Between nine and ten we went to bed, where neither the roaring of the sea, nor the motion of the ship, could take away the refreshing sleep which God gave us.
Nitschmann. Nov. 2nd.
We sailed further. In the early prayer service we considered Eph. 4, the unity of the Spirit, and the means of preserving the bond of peace. In the song service many points of doctrine were discussed with the English clergyman, also the decline and loss of power.====== 3 Nov. 1735. Nitschmann. Nov. 3rd. A dense fog and unpleasant weather, so we lay still at anchor. ====== 4 Nov. 1735. Nitschmann. Nov. 4th. I visited the other ship, (the `London Merchant', Capt. Thomas) where the so-called Salzburgers are. I spend most of my time studying English. ---- Wesley. Oct. 24th.
Having a rolling sea, most of the passengers found the effects of it. Mr. Delamotte was exceeding sick for several days, Mr. Ingham for about half an hour. My brother's head ached much. Hitherto it has pleased God the sea has not disordered me at all.
During our stay in the Downs, some or other of us went, as often as we had opportunity, on board the ship that sailed in company with us, where also many were glad to join in prayer and hearing the word.====== 5 Nov. 1735. Nitschmann. Nov. 5th. We prayed for the Congregation at Herrnhut, and also that we might be one with it in spirit. In the evening we spoke of the Lord's protection, how good it is.
There is no room for fear, The world may shake and quiver,
The elements may rage,
The firmament may shiver,
We are safe-guarded.
Nitschmann. Nov. 8th.
We sailed out of the Downs. At eleven at night I was waked by a great noise. I soon found there was no danger. But the bare apprehension of it gave me a lively conviction what manner of men those ought to be, who are every moment on the brink of eternity.====== 12 Nov. 1735. Nitschmann. Nov. 12th. (This afternoon we came near Portsmouth, and anchored. Today Dober began to study English, and learned the Lord's Prayer. -- Dober's Diary.) ---- Wesley. Nov. 1st, Saturday.
We came to St. Helen's harbour, and the next day into Cowes road. The wind was fair, but we waited for the man-of-war which was to sail with us. This was a happy opportunity of instructing our fellow travellers. May He whose seed we sow, give it the increase!====== 13 Nov. 1735. Nitschmann. Nov. 13th.
Hermsdorf visits Baron von Reck. We lay at anchor at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, and some of us landed. I went with Baron von Reck to Newport, one mile distant, it is a beautiful place. I conversed with Baron von Reck about the Lord's Prayer.====== 18 Nov. 1735. Nitschmann. Nov. 18th.
A great storm. To me the time is precious, and passes too swiftly. It is as though we were in the midst of wild beasts, which are bound and cannot harm us. We know the Saviour stands by us, and strengthens us through the Holy Ghost.====== 20 Nov. 1735. Nitschmann. Nov. 20th. One older and two young Englishmen were whipped for stealing. ====== 21 Nov. 1735. Nitschmann. Nov. 21st.
Conversed with Mr. Oglethorpe about our ordination, Baron von Reck acting as interpreter. He was well pleased when I explained our view, and that we did not think a Bishop must be a great lord as among the Catholics. He offered to give us anything we wished, but I told him we needed nothing.====== 23 Nov. 1735. Nitschmann. Nov. 23rd. The Man-of-war (`Hawk', Capt. Gascoine) joined us. A boy was beaten, and sent away from the ship. ====== 25 Nov. 1735. Nitschmann. Nov. 25th.
Spoke with Mr. Oglethorpe about Boehner and George Neisser, who are sick and must go ashore for treatment. Boehner has a sore arm, and Neisser a sore foot. An English friend gave us a guinea to buy some things we need.
In the evening I prayed for a good wind, since we do not wish to lie in one place and be of no use.
The wind was good, we thanked God and sailed about eight o'clock. Not long after the wind fell, and we anchored, but I could not believe that we were not to go. The wind rose again, and we sailed nine miles.---- Wesley. Nov. 20th.
We fell down Yarmouth road, but the next day were forced back to Cowes. During our stay here there were several storms, in one of which two ships in Yarmouth roads were lost.The continuance of the contrary winds gave my brother an opportunity of complying with the desire of the minister of Cowes, and preaching there three or four times. ====== 2 Dec. 1735. Nitschmann. Dec. 2nd. About two o'clock we returned to Cowes. ====== 3 Dec. 1735. Nitschmann. Dec. 3rd.
The women went ashore to wash our clothes. The others went with them, because we do not wish to annoy any one, and desired to be alone that we might celebrate the Lord's Supper. I could not leave the ship, but was with them in spirit.====== 4 Dec. 1735. Nitschmann. Dec. 4th.
(Nitschmann and Dober spoke with several of the Brethren concerning their spiritual condition. In the evening a storm sprang up which continued most of the night. Mr. Oglethorpe is ill, which reminds us to pray for him, and the English preacher, John Wesley, has promised to do the same. This preacher loses no opportunity to be present at our song service; he spares no pains to perform the duties of his office and he likes us. We wish we could converse freely with him, so that we could more carefully explain the way of God to him. -- Dober's Diary.)---- Wesley. Nov. 23rd, Sunday. At night I was waked by the tossing of the ship, and roaring of the wind, and plainly showed I was unfit, for I was unwilling to die. ====== 7 Dec. 1735. Nitschmann. Dec. 7th. A great storm, and we thanked God that we were in a safe harbor. ====== 10 Dec. 1735. Nitschmann. Dec. 10th.
All hands summoned to lift the anchor. Mr. Oglethorpe called me, took me by the hand, led me into the cabin, and gave me 1 Pound for the Brethren. Later the wind was again contrary, and we had to lie still.====== 18 Dec. 1735. Nitschmann. Dec. 18th. We lifted the anchor at three o'clock, but as we got under sail the wind changed again. We must stay still, but what the Lord intends we do not know. ---- Wesley. Dec. 7th, Sunday. Finding nature did not require such frequent supplies as we had been accustomed to, we agreed to leave off suppers; from doing which we have hitherto found no inconvenience. ====== 21 Dec. 1735. Nitschmann. Dec. 21st.
An east wind sprang up, and with the help of God we sailed at nine o'clock from Cowes, where we had been for five weeks and three days.
When we reached the open sea many became sea-sick. There was so much to be done that we could not hold our prayer-meeting, for our people help in all the work, and therefore the sailors treat us well, no matter what they think of us in their hearts. In the evening our song service was much blessed.
(With us went two ships, the man-of-war, and that which carried Baron von Reck and his Salzburgers. Two of the Salzburgers were on shore, and were left behind when the ship sailed, whereat their wives and children who were on board, were sorely grieved. -Dober's Diary.)---- Wesley. Dec. 10th, Wednesday.
We sailed from Cowes, and in the afternoon passed the Needles. From this day to the fourteenth being in the Bay of Biscay, the sea was very rough. Mr. Delamotte and others were more sick than ever; Mr. Ingham a little; I not at all. But the fourteenth being a calm day, most of the sick were cured at once.====== 22 Dec. 1735. Nitschmann. Dec. 22nd. The wind was east, and we sailed nine miles an hour, but were all very sea-sick. ====== 23 Dec. 1735. Wesley. Dec. 12th. (In the forenoon we left the man-of-war, he not being able to sail as fast as our ships. -Ingham's Journal.) ====== 25 Dec. 1735. Nitschmann. Dec. 25th. As this was Christmas Day we read Matt. 8 in our prayer service. The wind had died down, everyone felt much better, and it was a beautiful day. ====== 27 Dec. 1735. Nitschmann. Dec. 27th.
At midnight there was a great storm, and the waves broke over the ship; the middle hatch was open, and the water poured in, running into our cabin, so that we had to take everything out of them until we could dry them.
====== 30 Dec. 1735.
(Messrs. Wesley and I, with Mr. Oglethorpe's approbation, undertook to visit, each of us, a part of the ship, and daily to provide the sick people with water-gruel, and such other things as were necessary for them. -- Ingham's Journal.)====== 1 Jan. 1736. Nitschmann. Jan. 1, 1736. It was New Year's Day, and Mr. Oglethorpe's birthday.
(Br. Nitschmann asked us to select a number of verses, wrote them out and presented them as a birthday greeting to Mr. Oglethorpe. It was a beautiful day, warm and calm. -Dober's Diary.)---- Wesley. Dec. 21st, Sunday. We had fifteen communicants, which was our usual number on Sundays.
(This being Mr. Oglethorpe's birthday, he gave a sheep and wine to the people, which, with the smoothness of the sea, and the serenity of the sky, so enlivened them that they perfectly recovered from their sea-sickness.On Christmas Day, also, Mr. Oglethorpe gave a hog and wine to the people. -- Ingham's Journal.) ====== 5 Jan. 1736. Nitschmann. Jan. 5th.
(To-day, according to the old style, Christmas was celebrated on our ship. Br. Nitschmann spoke on the words, "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given." -- Dober's Diary.)====== 9 Jan. 1736. Wesley. Dec. 29th.
(We are now past the latitude of twenty-five degrees, and are got into what they call the Trade winds, which blow much the same way all the year round. The air is balmy, soft, and sweet. The ship glides smoothly and quietly along. The nights are mild and pleasant, being beautifully adorned with the shining hosts of stars,"Forever singing as they shine, The Hand that made us is divine." -- Ingham's Journal.) ====== 10 Jan. 1736. Nitschmann. Jan. 10th.
(We have been running for several days with the Trade winds. Here the day is two hours longer than it is in Germany at this season. The sailors wished to adhere to their custom of initiating those who crossed the Tropic of Cancer for the first time, but Gen. Oglethorpe forbade it. The weak, the children, and the sick, are well cared for, so that the nine months' old child receives an egg and some goat's milk every day. -- Dober's Diary.)====== 12 Jan. 1736. Nitschmann. Jan. 12th. To-day, according to the old style, we celebrated the New Year. ====== 20 Jan. 1736. Nitschmann. Jan. 20th.
An English clergyman asked us how often we celebrated the Lord's Supper, saying that he thought it a sacrifice which consecrated and improved the life. We told him our view; he said he would like to visit Herrnhut.(We re-crossed the Tropic of Cancer. -- Dober's Diary.) ====== 21 Jan. 1736. Nitschmann. Jan. 21st. (We are still in the Trade wind, and sail swiftly and steadily.) We cannot thank God enough that we are all well, only Mrs. Demuth is always sea-sick when the wind rises. ====== 23 Jan. 1736. Nitschmann. Jan. 23rd. We saw a ship. ---- Wesley. Jan. 12th, 1736. (I began to write out the English Dictionary in order to learn the Indian tongue. -- Ingham's Journal.) ====== 26 Jan. 1736. Wesley. Jan. 15th.
Complaint being made to Mr. Oglethorpe of the unequal distribution of the water among the passengers, he appointed new officers to take charge of it. At this the old ones and their friends were highly exasperated against us, to whom they imputed the change. But "the fierceness of man shall turn to thy praise."====== 27 Jan. 1736. Nitschmann. Jan. 27th.
(As there was little good water left the passengers were given poor water, but when Oglethorpe heard of it, he ordered that all, in the Cabin and outside, should be treated alike, as long as the good water lasted. Mr. Oglethorpe and the preacher, John Wesley, are very careful of the passengers' welfare; the latter shows himself full of love for us. -- Dober's Diary.)====== 28 Jan. 1736. Nitschmann. Jan. 28th.
There was a great storm, the waves went over the ship, and poured into it. Then many who knew not God were frightened, but we were of good cheer, and trusted in the Lord who does all things well. Roscher and Mack are good sailors and not afraid of anything.---- Wesley. Jan. 17th, Saturday.
Many people were very impatient at the contrary wind. At seven in the evening they were quieted by a storm. It rose higher and higher till nine. About nine the sea broke over us from stem to stern; burst through the windows of the state cabin, where three or four of us were, and covered us all over, though a bureau sheltered me from the main shock. About eleven I lay down in the great cabin, and in a short time fell asleep, though very uncertain whether I should wake alive, and much ashamed of my unwillingness to die. O how pure in heart must he be, who would rejoice to appear before God at a moment's warning! Toward morning "He rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm."====== 29 Jan. 1736. Nitschmann. Jan. 29th.
We read the 13th chapter of Mark at our early prayer service. The weather was a little better, but the wind was contrary. We also saw a ship which was sailing northeast. In the evening we read the ninety-eighth Psalm, the Lord was with us and we were blessed.---- Wesley. Jan. 18th, Sunday.
We returned thanks to God for our deliverance, of which a few appeared duly sensible. But the rest (among whom were most of the sailors) denied we had been in any danger. I could not have believed that so little good would have been done by the terror they were in before. But it cannot be that they should long obey God from fear, who are deaf to the motives of love.====== 1 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 1st.
The weather was fine, and there was no wind until ten o'clock, when it came from the right quarter. In addition to our usual allowance the Captain sent us fresh meat, which he has done thrice already, and we do not altogether like it, for we are content with what we have, and do not desire more.====== 3 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 3rd. There was a great storm, which lasted all night. ---- Wesley. Jan. 23rd, Friday.
In the evening another storm began. In the morning it increased, so that they were forced to let the ship drive. I could not but say to myself, "How is it that thou hast no faith?" being still unwilling to die. About one in the afternoon, almost as soon as I had stepped out of the great cabin door, the sea did not break as usual, but came with a smooth full tide over the side of the ship. I was vaulted over with water in a moment, and so stunned, that I scarce expected to lift up my head again, till the sea should give up her dead. But thanks be to God, I received no hurt at all. About noon our third storm began.====== 4 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 4th. The storm lasted all day, and the waves often swept over the ship. The storm rudder was lashed fast, and so we were driven. ====== 5 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 5th.
In the early morning we had a fairly good breeze, but about ten o'clock, a storm rose, of such violence that the wind seemed to blow from all four quarters at once, and we were in danger of being overpowered. The waves were like mountains; the rudder was lashed fast, only one sail was spread, and we drove on, only the Lord knew whither. But we did not let it prevent us from holding our song service. The text given to us was Psalm 115:14, which assured us that we were blessed of God, -- may He ever bless us more and more. During the service the ship was covered with a great wave, which poured in upon us, and on the deck there was a great cry that the wind had split the one sail which was spread. There was great fright among the people who have no God; the English clergyman was much aroused, ran to them, and preached repentance, saying among other things that they could now see the difference. I was content, for our lives are in God's hands, and He does what He will; among us there was no fear, for the Lord helped us.
(There was a terrible storm which lasted till midnight. During the song service a great wave struck the ship with a noise like the roar of a cannon. The wind tore the strong new sail in two; the people, especially the English women, screamed and wept; the preacher Wesley, who is always with us in our song service, cried out against the English, "Now man can see who has a God, and who has none." During the last eight days we have had so much contrary wind, and so many storms that we could not approach the land, though we were near it several times. -- Dober's Diary.)---- Wesley. Jan. 25th, Sunday.
At noon our third storm began. At four it was more violent than before. The winds roared round about us, and whistled as distinctly as if it had been a human voice. The ship not only rocked to and fro with the utmost violence, but shook and jarred with so unequal, grating, a motion, that one could not but with great difficulty keep one's hold of anything, nor stand a moment without it. Every ten minutes came a shock against the stern or side of the ship, which one would think should dash the planks to pieces.
We spent two or three hours after prayers, in conversing suitably to the occasion, confirming one another in a calm submission to the wise, holy, gracious will of God. And now a storm did not appear so terrible as before. Blessed be the God of all consolation!
At seven I went to the Germans; I had long before observed the great seriousness of their behaviour. Of their humility they had given a continual proof, by performing those servile offices for the other passengers, which none of the English would undertake; for which they desired, and would receive no pay, saying "It was good for their proud hearts," and "their loving Saviour had done more for them." And every day had given them occasion of showing a meekness, which no injury could move. If they were pushed, struck, or thrown down, they rose again and went away; but no complaint was found in their mouth. There was now an opportunity of trying whether they were delivered from the spirit of fear, as well as from that of pride, anger, and revenge. In the midst of the psalm wherewith their service began, the sea broke over, split the mainsail in pieces, covered the ship, and poured in between the decks, as if the great deep had already swallowed us up. A terrible screaming began among the English. The Germans calmly sung on. I asked one of them afterward, "Were you not afraid?" He answered, "I thank God, no." I asked, "But were not your women and children afraid?" He replied mildly, "No; our women and children are not afraid to die."
From them I went to their crying, trembling neighbors, and pointed out to them the difference in the hour of trial, between him that feareth God, and him that feareth Him not. At twelve the wind fell. This was the most glorious day which I have hitherto seen.====== 6 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 6th.
(The oldest sailors say they have never seen so fierce a storm as the one we had last night. The wind came from all sides at once, lifted the water from the sea, bore it through the air and cast it on the other ship, where Baron von Reck and the Salzburgers were, and so flooded it that twelve persons were kept at the pumps all night. -- Dober's Diary.)---- Wesley. Jan. 26th.
We enjoyed the calm. I can conceive no difference comparable to that between a smooth and a rough sea, except that which is between a mind calmed by the love of God, and one torn up by the storms of earthly passion.
(There was a calm, and very fine weather, so that a boat could be lowered to visit the other ship. -- Dober's Diary.)
(Being a calm day, I went on board the other ship, read prayers, and visited the people. At my return I acquainted Mr. Oglethorpe with their state, and he sent them such things as they needed. -- Ingham's Journal.)====== 9 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 9th. (The wind was again favorable to us, but there was much lightning. -- Dober's Diary.) ---- Wesley. Jan. 29th.
About seven in the evening we fell in with the skirts of a hurricane. The rain as well as the wind was extremely violent. The sky was so dark in a moment, that the sailors could not so much as see the ropes, or set about furling the sails. The ship must, in all probability, have overset, had not the wind fell as suddenly as it rose.====== 10 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 10th. The whole day was stormy, and all night the waves broke over the ship. ---- Wesley. Jan. 30th. We had another storm, which did us no other harm than splitting the foresail. Our bed being wet, I laid me down on the floor and slept sound till morning. ====== 12 Feb. 1736.
Nitschmann. Feb. 12th. (We were obliged to drift, because we did not know how far we were from land. About noon we sighted three ships, sailed toward them, and saw they were English; our sailors lowered the boat, we wrote in haste, and sent letters to Herrnhut. The ships came from Charlestown, and told us we were thirty hours' run from Georgia. -- Dober's Diary.)---- Wesley. Feb. 1st, Sunday.
(Three sails appearing, we made up toward them, and got what letters we could write, in hopes some of them might be bound for England. One of them, that was bound for London, made towards us, and we put our letters on board her. -- Ingham's Journal.)====== 13 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 13th.
To-day we had another storm, and twice saw the ocean not far from us, drawn up like smoke, so that the water reached up to the clouds, and the ship would have been in great danger if it had struck us.====== 14 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 14th. Soundings toward evening showed twenty-eight fathoms of water, and we hope to see land to-morrow. ====== 15 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 15th.
About two o'clock we saw land. I climbed the mast, and poured out my heart to God, thanking Him, and praying that He would care for us in our new home. We anchored for the night.---- Wesley. Feb. 4th, Wednesday.
About noon the trees were visible from the mast, and in the afternoon from the main deck. In the Evening Lesson were these words, "A great door, and effectual, is opened," O let no one shut it!
It was a beautiful day, and the land looked very fair. At two o'clock we reached Tybee, and were all very happy. The song service was blessed, and we thanked God with prayer and praise.
Between two and three in the afternoon God brought us all safe into the Savannah River. We cast anchor near Tybee Island, where the grove of pines, running along the shore, made an agreeable prospect, showing, as it were, the bloom of spring in the depths of winter.====== 17 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 17th.
I went on shore with Mr. Oglethorpe, and we together fell on our knees and thanked God, and then took a boat to Savannah. I went at once to the Brethren, and we rejoiced to meet again. I found the Brethren well, and looked with wonder at what they had accomplished, went with Toeltschig and Spangenberg to the garden, and also received letters from Herrnhut. Spangenberg had to go immediately to Mr. Oglethorpe to discuss many things with him.---- Wesley. Feb. 6th, Friday.
About eight in the morning we first set foot on American ground. It was a small, uninhabited island, (Peeper Island), over against Tybee. Mr. Oglethorpe led us to a rising ground, where we all kneeled down to give thanks. He then took boat for Savannah. When the rest of the people were come on shore, we called our little flock together to prayers. Several parts of the Second Lesson (Mark 6) were wonderfully suited to the occasion.====== 18 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 18th.
(About six o'clock in the evening, Br. Spangenberg came from Savannah to us, which made us very glad and thankful. He told us of the death of Br. Riedel, and held the song service, praying and thanking God for having brought us together again. -- Dober's Diary.)
Mr. Oglethorpe returned from Savannah with Mr. Spangenberg, one of the pastors of the Germans. I soon found what spirit he was of; and asked his advice with regard to my own conduct.====== 19 & 20 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 19th and 20th. (We waited for the small vessel that was to come for us. Br. Spangenberg held the prayer and song services. -- Dober's Diary.) ---- Wesley. Feb. 9th. I asked Mr. Spangenberg many questions, both concerning himself and the church at Herrnhut. ====== 21 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 21st. (The small vessel came; we had much rain, and the wind was so strong against us that we had to spend the night on the transport. -- Dober's Diary.) ====== 22 Feb. 1736. Nitschmann. Feb. 22nd.
(In the afternoon we reached Savannah, where we were lodged in the house which the Brethren who came a year ago have built in the town. The Lord has done all things well, and has turned to our good all that has befallen us, even when we did not understand His way, and has laid His blessing upon our journey, -- thanks be unto Him. -- Dober's Diary.)====== 27 Feb. 1736. Wesley. Feb. 16th. Mr. Oglethorpe set out for the new settlement on the Altamahaw River. He took with him fifty men, besides Mr. Ingham, Mr. Hermsdorf, and three Indians. ====== 6 Mar. 1736. Wesley. Feb. 24th, Tuesday. Mr. Oglethorpe returned. The day following I took my leave of most of the passengers of the ship. In the evening I went to Savannah. ====== Organization.
The arrival of the "second company" was a marked event in the eyes of the Moravians already settled at Savannah. Hitherto all had been preparation, and labor had seemed less arduous and privations less severe because they were smoothing the path for those who were to follow, and it was with well-earned satisfaction that wives and friends were lodged in the new house, taken to the garden and the farm, and introduced to acquaintances in the town. No doubt poor Catherine Riedel's heart ached with loneliness, and her tears flowed fast, when, at the close of that long and stormy voyage, she heard of her husband's death, and stood beside his grave in the Savannah cemetery; -- but there was little time for grieving in the press of matters that required attention, for Spangenberg's long visit was now to end, Nitschmann was to remain only until the organization of the Congregation was complete, and there was much to be done before these two able leaders took their departure.
Scarcely had Bishop Nitschmann greeted the members of the "first company" in the dawn of Feb. 17th, 1736, when Spangenberg and Toeltschig took him to the garden two miles distant, that they might have a private and undisturbed conference. All too soon, however, word was brought that Gen. Oglethorpe wanted to see Spangenberg at once, so they retraced their steps, and Spangenberg received a hearty greeting from the General, and many compliments on what he and his party had accomplished. There is no record of the conversations among the Moravians on that day, but they are not difficult to imagine, for the news from home and from the mission fields on the one side, and the problems and prospects in Georgia on the other, would furnish topics which many days could not exhaust.
That evening Spangenberg again called on Gen. Oglethorpe, who gave orders that a boat should take him next day to Tybee, where the ship lay at anchor, with all her passengers aboard. He also told Spangenberg about the English preacher whom he had brought over, and made inquiries about Nitschmann's position, asking that the explanation be repeated to the English preacher, who was also interested in him.
The following day Spangenberg waited upon Gen. Oglethorpe to ask about Hermsdorf, as he heard the General had promised to take him to the Altamaha, where a new town was to be built. He also begged Oglethorpe to help him arrange his departure for Pennsylvania as soon as possible, which the General agreed to do.
About six o'clock that evening Spangenberg reached the ship at Tybee, and was warmly welcomed by the Moravians, and at their song service he met the much-talked-of English preacher, John Wesley. The two men liked each other at the first glance; Wesley wrote in his Journal, "I soon found what spirit he was of, and asked his advice in regard to my own conduct," while Spangenberg paralleled this in his Diary with the remark, "He told me how it was with him, and I saw that true Grace dwelt in and governed him."
During the two days which elapsed before the transport came to take the Moravians from the ship, Wesley and Spangenberg had several long conversations, each recording the points that struck him most, but without comment. These discussions regarding doctrine and practice were renewed at intervals during the remainder of Spangenberg's stay in Savannah, and the young Englishman showed himself eager to learn the Indian language so that he might preach to the natives, generous in his offers to share his advantages of study with the Moravians, and above all determined to enforce the letter of the ecclesiastical law, as he understood it, in his new parish. He thought "it would be well if two of the Moravian women would dedicate themselves to the Indian service, and at once begin to study the language," and "as the early Church employed deaconesses, it would be profitable if these women were ordained to their office." He was also convinced "that the apostolic custom of baptism by immersion ought to be observed in Georgia." "He bound himself to no sect, but took the ground that a man ought to study the Bible and the writings of the Church Fathers of the first three centuries, accepting what agreed with these two sources, and rejecting all else." He requested the Moravians to use the Lord's Prayer at all their public services, "since this is acknowledged to have been the custom of the early Church," and since that early Church celebrated the Holy Communion every day, he thought it necessary that all members should partake at least on every Sunday. "He also had his thoughts concerning Fast days." Spangenberg promised to lay these matters before the congregation, but so far as Fast days were concerned, he said that while he would observe them as a matter of conscience if he belonged to a Church which required them, he doubted the wisdom of forcing them upon a Church in which they were not obligatory.
On the 21st, the periagua ("so they call a rather deep, large boat") came to take the Moravians to Savannah, but it was necessary to call at the other ship, as some of their baggage had been brought in that vessel. Spangenberg went ahead, and found that for some reason the baggage could not be taken off that day. He was pleasantly received by "the younger" Reck, but the Baron was absent, having gone to see the site to which the Salzburgers wished to move their settlement, Gen. Oglethorpe having given his permission. About the time the periagua arrived, a heavy rain came up, and fearing the effect on the new-comers, Spangenberg obtained permission to take them into the cabin. When ten o'clock came they decided to wait no longer, and started for Savannah, with the result that they spent the entire night in the rain, in an open boat, and then had passed but half way up the river! Early in the morning Spangenberg took two men and his small boat and went ahead, stopping at Capt. Thomson's ship to get some things Korte had sent them from London. They reached Savannah in the afternoon, and before daybreak on Thursday, Feb. 23rd, the periagua at last landed its passengers at Savannah. That evening Spangenberg returned with Oglethorpe to the ship, that various important matters might be more fully discussed. They agreed, (1) that the five hundred acres already surveyed for Zinzendorf should be retained, and settled, but that it would be wise to take an additional five hundred acres of more fertile land nearer Savannah, where it would be more accessible, the grant to be made to Christian Ludwig von Zinzendorf, the Count's eldest son; (2) that no Moravian could accept a fifty acre tract without pledging himself to military service, but land could be secured for a number of them at the rate of twenty acres apiece, without this obligation. This land could be selected near Zinzendorf's estate, the town to be built on the Count's property. If any wished to leave the Moravian Congregation, he should receive twenty acres elsewhere for himself. (3) Non-Moravians, like John Regnier, might live with them on the same conditions. (4) If one of the Moravians died without male issue, the Congregation should name his successor in the title to the land. (5) The promised cattle should still be given.
It was further arranged that Spangenberg should continue to hold the title to his fifty acres, but with the understanding that it was in trust for the Congregation; the same to apply to Nitschmann's land, if desired.
On the 25th and 26th, a number of Indians visited the ship, being received with much ceremony. "King" Tomochichi, and others, Spangenberg had often seen, and they were formally presented to Mr. Wesley, of whom they had heard, and to whom they gave a flask of honey and a flask of milk, with the wish that "the Great Word might be to them as milk and honey." Tomochichi told of his efforts to keep peace among the tribes, in the face of rumors that the English meant to enslave them all, and of his success so far, but he feared the Indians were not in a frame of mind to give much heed to the Gospel message. Still he welcomed the attempt, and would give what aid he could, advising that the missionaries learn the Indian tongue, and that they should not baptize, -- as the Spanish did, -- until the people were instructed and truly converted.
On Feb. 27th, General Oglethorpe started for the Altamaha. His journey to Georgia on this occasion had been principally to protect the southern borders of the colony by establishing two new towns on the frontier, and erecting several forts near by. One company, which sailed direct from Scotland, had landed in January, and begun a settlement at New Inverness, on the north bank of the Altamaha, and a second was now to be established on St. Simon Island, and was to be called Frederica. Oglethorpe had expected to take the Salzburgers who came on the `London Merchant', to the southward with him, but nearly all of them decided that they preferred to join those of their number who were preparing to move to New Ebenezer, and the General did not insist, contenting himself with his English soldiers.
A periagua had been started a little in advance of the sloop which bore the provisions, arms, ammunition, and tools, and in the evening Gen. Oglethorpe followed in a swift, ten-oared boat, called, -- from the service in which it was often employed, -- a scout boat.
With the General went Mr. Ingham, and Lieut. Hermsdorf. The latter assured Spangenberg that he had really meant little more than to compliment the General on the occasion when he remarked "that he would ask nothing better than to follow him through bush and valley, and see him carry out his wise designs," that he did not know at that time that Oglethorpe was going to the Altamaha, nor how far away the Altamaha was. But Spangenberg gravely told him that Gen. Oglethorpe had taken his word as that of an honest man, and that he would not attempt to hold him back, only he wished him to so demean himself as to bring credit and not shame to Zinzendorf and the Moravians, to whom he was at liberty to return when he desired. Hermsdorf, therefore, went with Oglethorpe and his fifty men, was made a Captain and was given a position of importance in superintending the erection of the necessary fortifications on St. Simon.
Benjamin Ingham's visit to Frederica proved to be his first unpleasant experience in the New World. Like John Wesley, he came with the strictest ideas of Sabbath observance, etc., and as one said, in answer to a reproof, "these were new laws in America." The effect may be summed up in his own words: "My chief business was daily to visit the people, to take care of those that were sick, and to supply them with the best things we had. For a few days at the first, I had everybody's good word; but when they found I watched narrowly over them, and reproved them sharply for their faults, immediately the scene changed. Instead of blessing, came cursing, and my love and kindness were repaid with hatred and ill-will."
Oglethorpe remained on the Altamaha but a few days, and then returned to Savannah for the rest of his colonists. Meanwhile the Moravian Congregation was being fully organized. During Spangenberg's visit to Oglethorpe on his vessel, the Moravians, including Bishop Nitschmann, met together, and John Toeltschig was elected manager (Vorsteher), Gottfried Haberecht, monitor (Ermahner), and Gotthard Demuth to perform various minor duties (Diener). The name of the nurse (Krankenwaerter) is not given, but he was probably John Regnier, who acted as physician, not only for the Moravians, but for many of their poorer neighbors. Andrew Dober was associated with Toeltschig in the management of the finances, and all of these men were solemnly inducted into office, it being the custom to give a kind of specialized ordination even for positions not commonly considered ministerial.
Three "Bands" were formed among the men, -- smaller companies associated for religious improvement, each Band electing a leader charged with special oversight of the members. There was one among the married men, one among the unmarried men who were communicants, and another for the unmarried non-communicants, Toeltschig, Seifert and Rose being the leaders. The women were organized in like manner, though being few in number there was probably but one Band among them, under Mrs. Toeltschig who had been appointed Elderess before leaving Herrnhut. There is no reference to the celebration of the Holy Communion by the first company during their months of preparation in Savannah, nor had opportunity been given to the second company since they left the English coast, but now, with Bishop Nitschmann to preside, they were able to partake together, finding much blessing therein. They resolved in the future to commune every two weeks, but soon formed the habit, perhaps under Wesley's influence, of coming to the Lord's Table every Sunday.
When Spangenberg returned to them, a conference was held each evening, and on Sunday they had a Lovefeast, especially for those who had been selected to superintend the material and spiritual affairs of the Congregation.
On the 1st of March, John and Charles Wesley called on them, and on the 6th, Charles Wesley came again, and "opened his heart" to them. The Diary calls him "an awakened but flighty man," who had come as Gov. Oglethorpe's secretary, and was now about to go to Frederica as pastor of that turbulent flock. From him Spangenberg learned of Oglethorpe's return from Altamaha, and accompanied by Nitschmann went with him to the ship, where the Wesleys were still living. Two days were spent with Oglethorpe, who promised to give them ground containing a good bed of clay, where they could make brick, which should be sold to the Trustees' agent at 15 shillings per 1,000, two-thirds of the price to be applied on their debt, and one-third to be paid them in cash. Moreover several English boys should be apprenticed to them to learn the trade. Hemp and flax seed should also be given them, and he urged them to weave the linen, for they had men who understood the art, and cloth was scarce and dear in Georgia. He also advised them to buy oxen to use in cultivating their land; and said that they should have one-third of the grape-vines he had brought over with him, another portion was to be given to Tomochichi, the remainder to be planted in his own garden.
On the 8th, Spangenberg and Nitschmann returned to Savannah, and with Andrew Dober and John Wesley, (who had now moved from the ship,) proceeded up the river to Mrs. Musgrove's, about five miles distant. Wesley wished to select a site for a small house, which Oglethorpe had promised to build for him, where he and his companions might live while they were studying the Indian language, under Mrs. Musgrove's direction. Nitschmann wanted to visit and talk with the Indian "King", Tomochichi, and Dober was trying to find some clay suitable for pottery. The following day they returned to Savannah, and Mr. Wesley and Mr. Delamotte took up their abode with the Moravians, as Mr. Quincy, Wesley's predecessor in the Savannah pastorate, had not yet vacated his house. Wesley writes, "We had now an opportunity, day by day, of observing their whole behaviour. For we were in one room with them from morning to night, unless for the little time I spent in walking. They were always employed, always cheerful themselves, and in good humor with one another; they had put away all anger, and strife, and wrath, and bitterness, and clamor, and evil speaking; they walked worthy of the vocation wherewith they were called, and adorned the Gospel of our Lord in all things." The impression thus made upon John Wesley was lasting, and even during the subsequent years in England, when differences of every kind arose between him and the Moravians, and his Journal is full of bitter denunciations of doctrines and practices which he did not understand, and with which he was not in sympathy, he now and again interrupts himself to declare, "I can not speak of them but with tender affection, were it only for the benefits I have received from them."
An event which occurred on March 10th, is of more than local interest, in that it is the first unquestioned instance of the exercise of episcopal functions in the United States. Prior to this, and for a number of years later, clergymen of the Church of England, and English-speaking Catholic priests, were ordained in the Old World, before coming to the New, remaining under the control of the Bishop and of the Vicar Apostolic of London, while the Spanish Catholics were under the Suffragan of Santiago de Cuba, and the French Catholics under the Bishop of Quebec. Tradition mentions the secret consecration of two Bishops of Pennsylvania before this time, but its authenticity is doubted, and the two men did not exercise any episcopal powers. Therefore when Bishop Nitschmann came to Georgia, and in the presence of the Moravian Congregation at Savannah ordained one of their number to be their pastor, he was unconsciously doing one of the "first things" which are so interesting to every lover of history.Whenever it was possible the Moravians spent Saturday afternoon and evening in rest, prayer, and conference, and on this occasion four services were held at short intervals.
At the first service the singing of a hymn was followed by the reading of Psalm 84, a discourse thereon, and prayer. The second was devoted to reading letters from Germany, and some discussion as to Hermsdorf and his relation to the Congregation. The third service was the important one, and the following account was recorded in the Diary. "When we re-assembled the question: `Must not our Congregation have a Chief Elder (Aeltester)?' was presented for discussion. All thought it necessary, and were unanimous in their choice of Anton Seifert, and no other was even suggested. While his name was being considered, he was sent from the room, and when he had been recalled, we sang a hymn, and Nitschmann and Toeltschig led the Congregation in most earnest prayer. Then Nitschmann delivered an earnest charge, setting before him the importance of his office, which made him the foremost member of the Congregation, especially in times of danger, for in the early Church, as well as among our forefathers in Moravia, the bishops were ever the first victims. He was asked if he would freely and willingly give up his life for the Congregation and the Lord Jesus. He answered, `Yes.' Then he was reminded of the evil which arose when bishops, seeing their power in a Congregation, began to exalt themselves, and to make outward show of their pre-eminence. He was asked whether he would recognize as evil, abjure, and at once suppress any inclination he might feel toward pride in his position as Chief Elder, and his larger authority. He answered with a grave and thoughtful `Yes.' Then our Nitschmann prayed over him earnestly, and ordained him to his office with the laying on of hands. Nitschmann was uncommonly aroused and happy, but Anton Seifert was very humble and quiet." John Wesley, who was present, wrote "The great simplicity, as well as solemnity, of the whole, almost made me forget the seventeen hundred years between, and imagine myself in one of those assemblies where form and state were not; but Paul the tent-maker, or Peter the fisherman, presided; yet with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power."
Both Wesley and Benjamin Ingham refer to Seifert as a "bishop", which is a mistake, though a natural one. Wesley was present at the ordination, and heard the charge, with example and warning drawn from the actions of earlier bishops; while Ingham, in the course of several long conversations with Toeltschig concerning the Moravian Episcopate and Seifert's ordination, asked "is Anton a bishop?" and was answered, "yes, FOR OUR CONGREGATION." This was in view of the fact that Bishop Nitschmann, in ordaining Seifert, had empowered him to delegate another member to hold the Communion, baptize, or perform the marriage ceremony in case of his sickness or necessary absence. At that time the Moravian Church was just beginning to form her own ministry, the ranks of Deacon, Presbyter and Bishop were not fully organized, and the definite system was only established by the Tenth General Synod of the Church in 1745. The exigencies of the case required large powers for a man serving in an isolated field, and they were given him, but strictly speaking, Seifert was only ordained a Deacon, and never was consecrated Bishop.The fourth and last service of the day was given up to song, a discourse, and prayer.
On Sunday, March 11th, after morning prayers, Wesley went to Tybee for an interview with General Oglethorpe. At a general gathering of the Moravians later in the day, the second chapter of Acts was read, with special reference to the last four verses, and the description of the first congregation of Christ's followers, when "all that believed were together, and had all things common," was taken as the pattern of their "Gemeinschaft". This plan, which had already been tested during the first year, proved so advantageous that it was later adopted by other American Moravian settlements, being largely responsible for their rapid growth during their early years, though in each case there came a time when it hindered further progress, and was therefore abandoned. In religious matters, the organization of the Savannah Congregation had been modeled after that at Herrnhut, so far as possible, but in material things the circumstances were very different. At Herrnhut the estates of Count Zinzendorf, under the able supervision of the Countess, were made to pay practically all the general Church expenses, and many of the members were in the service of the Saxon nobleman, Nicholas Lewis, Count Zinzendorf, in various humble positions, even while in the Church he divested himself of his rank and fraternized with them as social equals. But the men who emigrated to Georgia had undertaken to support themselves and carry on a mission work, and Spangenberg, with his keen insight, grasped the idea that a common purpose warranted a community of service, the labor of all for the benefit of all, with every duty, no matter how menial, done as unto the Lord, whom they all, in varying degrees, acknowledged as their Master. Later, in Bethlehem, Pa., with a larger number of colonists, and wider interests to be subserved, Spangenberg again introduced the plan, and elaborated it into a more or less intricate system, which is described in a clear and interesting manner in "A History of Bethlehem", by Rt. Rev. J. Mortimer Levering, which has recently been published.
Not only on account of its successor the "Oeconomie", at Bethlehem, and others copied therefrom, but in view of the various modern attempts which have been and are still being made to demonstrate that the action of the early Church at Jerusalem can be duplicated and made financially successful, it is worth while to rescue the resolutions of the Moravian Congregation at Savannah from the oblivion of the manuscript Diary, in which they have been so long concealed, noting the claim that this was the first time since Apostolic days, that a Congregation had formed itself into such a "Society", -- a "Gemeinschaft".
"In our gathering we read Acts 2, and spoke of the `Gemeinschaft', for we are planning to work, to sow and reap, and to suffer with one another. This will be very useful, for many a man who has not understood or exerted himself, will by this means see himself and be led to improve. Others also will see from it that we love each other, and will glorify the Father in Heaven. There has been no "society" like that at Jerusalem, but at this present time it becomes necessary, for material reasons. Were we only individuals all would fear to give one of us credit, for they would think, `he might die', but nothing will be denied the `Society', for each stands for the other. Each member must work diligently, since he does not labor for himself alone but for his brethren, and this will prevent much laziness. No one must rely on the fact that he understands a handicraft, and so on, for there is a curse on him who relies on human skill and forgets the Divine power. No one will be pressed to give to the `Society' any property which has hitherto belonged to him. -- Each person present was asked if he had any remarks to make, but there were no objections raised. Moreover the brethren were told that if one should fall so low that he not only withdrew himself from the brethren, but was guilty of gross sin, he would be forced to work for another master until he had earned enough to pay his transportation here and back again, for we would not willingly permit such a man to remain in the land as an offence to the Indians."
It is interesting to observe that care for the poor Indians is the argument given for the course to be pursued in dealing with a recreant member! They had come to preach the Gospel to the Indians, and did not propose that evil should be learned through fault of theirs.
At his earnest request, John Regnier was now admitted to the "Society", his presence among them so far having been without distinct agreement as to his standing. This did not make him a communicant member of the Church, simply put him on a par with the other non-communicants, of whom there were quite a number in the Congregation.
In the evening Anton Seifert, so recently ordained Chief Elder, or pastor, of the Congregation, officiated for the first time at a Confirmation service, the candidate being Jacob Frank. He had been in poor health when the second company left Germany, and Count Zinzendorf had advised him not to go, but his heart was set on it, and he would not be persuaded. He grew worse during the voyage and was now very ill with dropsy, but in such a beautiful Christian spirit that no one could deny his wish for full membership in the Church. Having given satisfactory answers to the searching questions put to him, the blessing was laid upon his head, and he expressed so great a desire to partake of the Lord's Supper that his request was immediately granted, the Elders and Helpers (Helfer) communing with him. Two or three days later he asked Spangenberg to write his will, and then his strength gradually failed, until on March 19th, he "passed to the Lord", leaving to his associates the remembrance of his willing and happy departure.
The term "Helpers" was used to express in a general way all those, both men and women, who were charged with the spiritual and temporal affairs of the Congregation. Many of the words employed as official titles by the Moravians were given a specialized significance which makes it difficult to find an exact English equivalent for them, though they are always apt when the meaning is understood. Perhaps the best example of this is "Diener", which means "servant", according to the dictionary, and was used to designate those who "served" the Congregation in various ways. Until quite recently a Lovefeast, held annually in Salem, N. C., for members of Church Boards, Sunday-School Teachers, Church Choir, Ushers, etc. was familiarly known as "the Servants' Lovefeast", a direct inheritance from the earlier days. It is now more commonly called "the Workers' Lovefeast", an attempt to unite "Helper" and "Diener" in a term understood by all.
At a "Helpers' Conference" held on March 13th, it was decided to have nothing more to do with Vollmar, the Wittenberg carpenter, who had crossed with the second company, had proved false and malicious, and had now joined Herr von Reck's party without the consent of the Moravians. More important, however, than the Vollmar affair, was the proposed departure of Spangenberg for Pennsylvania. Most faithfully had he fulfilled his commission to take the first company of Moravians to Georgia, and settle them there, patiently had he labored for and with them during their days of greatest toil and privation, controlling his own desire to keep his promise and go to the Schwenkfelders, who were complaining with some bitterness of his broken faith; but now his task was ended, the Savannah Congregation was ready to be thrown on its own resources, Gen. Oglethorpe had provided him with letters of introduction, and the "lot" said, "Let him go, for the Lord is with him."
Final questions were asked and answered, Spangenberg's Commission was delivered to him, and then Bishop Nitschmann "laid his blessing upon" him. In the Lutheran Church, to which he belonged before he joined the Moravians, Spangenberg had been an accredited minister of the Gospel. The Church of England refused to acknowledge the validity of Lutheran ordination, because that Church had no Episcopate, but the Moravians, influenced by Count Zinzendorf, himself a Lutheran by birth, broad-minded, liberal, and devout, did not hesitate to fraternize with the Lutherans, or even to accept the Sacraments at the hands of Pastor Rothe, in charge of the Parish Church of Berthelsdorf. At the same time they prized the Episcopate lately transferred to them from the ancient Unitas Fratrum, and while continuing in free fellowship with Christians of all denominational names, they now intended to so ordain their own ministry that no church could question it. When the three grades were established in 1745, a license to preach granted by the Lutheran Church was considered equivalent to the rank of Deacon, ordination in the Moravian Church making the minister a Presbyter.
Now fully equipped for his mission to the English Colony of Pennsylvania, Spangenberg left Savannah on March 15th, going on Capt. Dunbar's ship to Port Royal, where he lodged with a man who was born in Europe, his wife in Africa, their child in Asia, and they were all now living in America! From Port Royal he went by land almost to Charlestown, the last short distance being in a chance boat, and from Charlestown he sailed to New York. From there he proceeded to Philadelphia, and to the Schwenkfelders, making his home with Christopher Wiegner on his farm in the Skippack woods, where George Boehnisch was also living. Spangenberg worked on the farm that he might not be a burden to his host, and might meet the neighbors in a familiar way, meanwhile making numerous acquaintances, and gaining much valuable information.
Bishop Nitschmann remained in Savannah until March 26th, when he sailed to Charlestown. There he was detained ten days waiting for a northbound ship, and employed the time in delivering several letters of introduction, and learning all he could about Carolina, and the conditions there. On the 28th of April he reached New York, and left on the 9th of May for Philadelphia, going partly by boat, and partly on foot, reaching there on the 13th. Six weeks he and Spangenberg spent together, visiting many neighborhoods, and informing themselves as to the religious and material outlook in Pennsylvania, and then Nitschmann sailed for Germany.
His report gave a new turn to the American plans, for both he and Spangenberg were much pleased with Pennsylvania. Quite a number of the settlers seemed open to the idea of mutual aid in the spiritual life, material conditions were very different from those in Georgia and better suited to the Moravian needs, the Quaker Governor was not likely to force military service upon people who held the same theories as himself in regard to warfare, and there were large tribes of Indians within easy reach, to whom the Gospel might be preached. As troubles thickened in Savannah, therefore, the heads of the Church at Herrnhut began to look toward Pennsylvania, and ultimately sent thither the larger companies originally destined for Georgia.In August, Spangenberg went to visit the Moravian Mission on the island of St. Thomas, returning to Pennsylvania in November, where he remained until the following year.
Chapter 5. The Second Year in GeorgiaThe English Clergymen.
The same day that Bishop Nitschmann left Savannah, John Wesley moved into the parsonage which had just been vacated by his predecessor, Mr. Quincy. A week earlier he had entered upon his ministry at Savannah, being met by so large and attentive an audience that he was much encouraged, and began with zeal to perform his pastoral duties. He was the third Rector of the Savannah Parish, the Rev. Henry Herbert having been the first, and he preached in a rude chapel built on the lot reserved for a house of worship in the original plan of Savannah, -- the site of the present Christ Church.
The first word of discouragement was brought by Ingham, who returned from Frederica on April 10th, with a message from Charles Wesley begging his brother to come to his relief. He told a woeful story of persecution by the settlers, and injustice from Oglethorpe to Charles Wesley, all undeserved, as Oglethorpe freely admitted when he threw off the weight of suspicion laid upon his mind by malicious slanderers, and sought an interview with his young secretary, in which much was explained and forgiven. But poor Charles was in great straits when he sent Ingham to Savannah, sick, slighted, and abused, deprived even of the necessaries of life, and so cast down that on one occasion he exclaimed, "Thanks be to God, it is not yet made a capital offence to give me a morsel of bread!"
Wesley obeyed the summons, taking Delamotte with him, Ingham caring for the Church and Delamotte's school during their absence. There were poor school facilities in Savannah prior to Delamotte's arrival, and he at once saw the need, and devoted himself to it. Delamotte seems to have been a quiet man, who took little share in the aggressive work of his companions, and consequently escaped the abuse which was heaped upon them.
On April 22nd, Ingham sent an invitation to Toeltschig to visit him, and this was the beginning of a close personal friendship which lasted for the rest of their lives, and of such a constant intercourse between Ingham and the Moravian Church, that he is often supposed to have become a member of it, though he really never severed his connection with the Church of England. Toeltschig speaks of him as "a very young man, about 24 or 25 years of age, who has many good impulses in his soul, and is much awakened." He had come to Georgia for the sole purpose of bearing the Gospel message to the Indians, and it was through him that the Moravians were finally able to begin their missionary work.
When Wesley and Delamotte returned from Frederica, the former resumed his association with the Moravians, continuing to join in their Sunday evening service, and translating some of their hymns into English.
In May two questions were asked of Toeltschig, upon the answering of which there depended more than any one imagined. The Diary says, -- "The 20th, was Sunday. -- Mr. Ingham asked if we could not recognize and receive him as our brother; to which I replied, that he did not know us well enough, nor we him, we must first understand each other better. On the 21st, Mr. Wesley spoke with me, and asked me the selfsame question. I said to him that we had seen much of him day by day, and that it was true that he loved us and we loved him, but that we did not so quickly admit any one into our Congregation." Then at his request Toeltschig outlined the Moravian view of conversion, and the requisites for church-membership.
A few days later Charles Wesley unexpectedly returned from Frederica, and Oglethorpe sent word that either John Wesley or Ingham should come down in his place. The latter was by no means anxious to go, -- his former experience had not been agreeable, but the reason he gave the Moravians was that a number of Indian traders were soon to visit Savannah, and he was very anxious to see them. They advised him to be guided by John Wesley's wish, which he agreed to do, and then found that Wesley had decided to go himself.
During the weeks that followed, Ingham and Charles Wesley were frequently with Toeltschig, who answered as best he could their many questions regarding the history of the Moravian Episcopate, a matter of vital importance to a strict member of the Church of England who was thinking of allying himself with them. Everything they heard confirmed Ingham in his intention, and when John Wesley returned in July he and Ingham again made application "to be received as brethren in our Congregation, and to go with us to the Lord's Table. We entirely refused to admit them into the Congregation, and I (Toeltschig) gave them the reasons therefor: (1) That we did not know them well enough; (2) and that they perhaps did not know us well enough, both things which we considered highly important; and (3) that their circumstances and situation were such that it would be difficult if not impossible for them to comply with the requirements of such admission." The promises expected from a Confirmand, -- to which they also must have bound themselves, -- are thus summarized. "To give body and soul to the Lord now and forever; to devote and dedicate himself to the service of the Unity, according to the grace and gifts bestowed on him by the Saviour; and willingly to submit to the discipline and regulations which the Unity has established for the welfare and improvement of souls." Could these two men, in the zeal and vigor of their youth, honestly have made these promises, the Moravian Church would have gained two invaluable co-workers, but they seem to have accepted Toeltschig's argument as conclusive, and dropped the matter, with no ill-will or disturbance of the existing pleasant relations.
Concerning the Communion "we assured them that we loved them, and would welcome them as honored guests at the Lord's Supper, for we believed that they loved the Lord." This invitation, however, the young clergymen would not accept.
On the 6th of August, Charles Wesley left for England, bearing dispatches to the Trustees, and with the hope of interesting others in the evangelizing of the Indians. He meant himself to return to Georgia, but feeble health prevented, and he resigned his office as Secretary to Gen. Oglethorpe the following May. His brother John accompanied him to Charlestown, and then went to Frederica to deliver certain letters to Gen. Oglethorpe. He found there was "less and less prospect of doing good at Frederica, many there being extremely zealous, and indefatigably diligent to prevent it," his opposers even attempting personal violence. One "lady" tried to shoot him, and when he seized her hands and took away her pistol, she maliciously bit a great piece out of his arm. Still he made two more visits to the place, and then in "utter despair of doing good there," took his final leave of Frederica.Work Among the Indians.
When the Moravians adopted the conversion of the Indians as their main object for settling in America, they were greatly influenced by the attractive descriptions of the "wild people" which were being published. In a "Report", ascribed to Gen. Oglethorpe, it is stated that "nothing is lacking for their conversion to the Christian faith except a knowledge of their language, for they already have an admirable conception of `morals', and their conduct agrees perfectly therewith. They have a horror of adultery, and disapprove of polygamy. Thieving is unknown to them. Murder is considered an abominable crime, and no one may be killed except an enemy, when they esteem it a virtue." This, like too many a description written then and now to exploit a colonizing scheme, was far too good to be true. The Indians proved apt learners, but of the vices rather than the virtues of the English, and drunkenness with all its attendant evils, was quickly introduced. Afraid of their dusky neighbors, anxious to keep on good terms with them, distrusting their loyalty to the English under the bribes offered by French and Spanish, the Government tried to limit the intercourse between the Indians and the settlers as much as possible, treating the former as honored guests whenever they came to Savannah, but forbidding the latter to go to them without special permit in times of peace, and not at all in time of war.
When the Moravians came the restlessness which presaged war was stirring among the tribes, becoming more and more pronounced, and one of the Indian Chiefs said frankly, "Now our enemies are all about us, and we can do nothing but fight, but if the Beloved Ones should ever give us to be at peace, then we would hear the Great Word."
Tomochichi, indeed, bade the missionaries welcome, and promised to do all in his power to gain admission for them into all parts of his nation, but the time was not ripe, nor was his influence equal to his good-will. Though called a "king", he was only chief of a small tribe living some four or five miles from Savannah, part of the Creek Confederacy, which was composed of a number of remnants, gradually merged into one "nation". The "Upper Creeks" lived about the head waters of the creeks from which they took their name, and the "Lower Creeks", including Tomochichi's people, were nearer the sea-coast. Ingham, whose heart was set on the Indian work, was at first very anxious to go to the Cherokees, who lived near the mountains, at a considerable distance from Savannah, having been told that they had a desire to hear the "Great Word". On April 22nd, he spoke of his wish to Toeltschig, inviting Seifert and, if they chose, another Moravian to join him in the work. It was the best opportunity that had yet offered, and Seifert wanted to go to the Indians, having already studied their language as best he could, but they hesitated to undertake the work conjointly with Ingham. After some time the Cherokee plan was abandoned. Oglethorpe objected on account of the danger that they would be intercepted and killed, it being a fourteen day land journey to reach the Cherokee country, and he positively refused to let John Wesley go because that would leave Savannah without a minister. Toeltschig says Wesley's interest in the Indian work failed, and another writer says he gave up the work because he could not learn the Indian language, but Wesley lays all the blame on Oglethorpe.
In January, 1737, the question of going to the Upper Creeks was submitted to the "lot", and the Moravians were bidden to wait for another opening. Meanwhile an actual beginning had been made among the Lower Creeks. On the 7th of May, Ingham and John Wesley went up the river to the home of Mrs. Musgrove, the half-breed woman who at this time was of such great use as interpreter and mediator between the Indians and the English. Arrangements were made by which Ingham should spend three days of each week with her, teaching her children to read in exchange for instruction in the Indian language. The other three or four days were to be spent in Savannah, communicating to Wesley the knowledge he had acquired, Anton Seifert sharing in the lessons.
On the 19th of June, the Moravians held a meeting to determine whether the time had come for them to take up the Indian work in earnest. The "lot" was appealed to, and the answer being that the language should be learned, Seifert, George Neisser and John Boehner were appointed to make diligent use of Ingham's instructions. The frequent visits of Tomochichi and his people to Savannah gave them an opportunity to practice speaking, for the Moravian house was always open to the red men, and food and drink were theirs at any time of day, a fact of which the visitors were not slow to take advantage.
The "lot" had so great an influence on the progress of affairs in the Moravian Congregation at Savannah from this time on that it is necessary to understand how the institution was regarded. The use of the lot was common in Old Testament days; and in the New Testament it is recorded that when an apostle was to be chosen to take the place of the traitor, Judas, the lot decided between two men who had been selected as in every way suited for the place. Following this example the members of the ancient Unitas Fratrum used the lot in the selection of their first ministers, and the Renewed Church did the same when the first elders were elected at Herrnhut in 1727. It was no uncommon practice in Germany, where many persons who desired special guidance resorted to it more or less freely, and Count Zinzendorf, among the rest, had used it from his youth up. Gradually it came into general use among the Moravians, and at a later period in their history had its definite place in their system of government, though the outside public never fully understood it, and still holds erroneous views, despite the plain statements that have been made. By degrees its use became more and more restricted, and has been long since entirely abolished.
In its perfection the lot was simply this, -- human intellect solving a problem so far as earnest study and careful deliberation could go, and then, if the issue was still in doubt, a direct appeal for Divine guidance, in perfect faith that the Lord would plainly answer his servants, who were seeking to do his will. This standard was not always maintained, but the leaders of the Moravian Congregation in Savannah had the early, absolute, belief that God spoke to them through the lot, and felt themselves bound to implicit obedience to its dictates. Their custom was to write two words or sentences on separate slips, representing the two possible answers to their question, and after earnest prayer to draw one slip, and then act accordingly. Sometimes a third slip, a blank, was added, and if that was drawn it signified that no action should be taken until another time, and after further consideration.
Some time in July, Peter Rose and his wife, (the widow Riedel) went to live among the Lower Creeks, giving all their time to learning the language, and teaching what they could about religion.
On August 9th, Mr. Ingham went to the Moravians with a new plan. Gen. Oglethorpe had agreed to build a schoolhouse for Indian children, near Tomochichi's village, with the idea that it would give opportunity also to reach the older men and women with the Gospel message. The house was to contain three rooms, one for Ingham, one for the Moravian missionaries, and one to be used for the school, and it was suggested that the Moravians undertake the erection of the building, the Trustees' fund to pay them for their labor. The proposition was gladly accepted, and preparations were at once made to send the necessary workmen.
On Monday, the 13th, Toeltschig and five others went to the spot which had been selected for the Indian Schoolhouse, usually called `Irene'. The site of this schoolhouse has been considered uncertain, but a short manuscript account of "the Mission among the Indians in America", preserved in the Herrnhut Archives, says distinctly that it stood "a mile above the town (of Savannah) on an island in the Savannah River which was occupied by the Creeks."
When the carpenters arrived the first act was to unite in prayer for a blessing on their work, and then they began to fell trees and cut down bushes, clearing the ground for the hut in which they were to live while building the schoolhouse. The hut was placed on the grave of an Indian chief. "The Indians are accustomed to bury their chiefs on the spot where they died, to heap a mound some 24 feet high above them, to mourn them for a while, and then to abandon the spot," and this little elevation was a favorable site for their hut. Until the hut was finished the men lodged with the Indians, Tomochichi himself taking charge of their belongings. Toeltschig returned the same day to Savannah, going back later with a supply of provisions. The Indians made them heartily welcome to their neighborhood, and the Moravians, even in the midst of their building operations, began to teach them the English alphabet, at the same time putting forth every effort to learn the Indian tongue, in which Rose was rapidly becoming proficient.
By the 20th of September the schoolhouse was finished, and Ingham and the Moravians held a conference to plan the future work, and decide what duties each should assume, as he proposed to move thither at once, and, with the approval of the lot, Rose and his wife were to do the same. Morning and evening they were to read the English Bible, accompanied by silent prayer; morning, mid-day and evening an hour was to be given to the study of the Indian language; and Rose and his wife were to have an hour for their private devotions. Mrs. Rose was to teach the Indian girls to read, and the boys, who had already begun to read, were to be taught to write. In their remaining time they were to clear and plant some land, that they might not be too long dependent on the Congregation at Savannah, and on the friendly Indians, who were giving them much.
The next day Mr. and Mrs. Toeltschig escorted Rose and his wife to their new home, and at Ingham's request united with them in a little prayer service. Four days later fourteen of the Moravians went to the schoolhouse, which was solemnly consecrated by Seifert, the Chief Elder. That evening, in Savannah, Rose and his wife were formally set apart for their missionary work, and the next day they returned to "Irene", as the school was called, to enter upon their duties.
At first everything was encouraging. The children learned readily, not only to read but some to write; they committed to memory many passages of Scripture, and took special delight in the hymns they were taught to sing.
The older Indians looked on with wonder and approval, which stimulated the missionaries to new zeal in mastering the language, and in taking every opportunity to make the "Great Word" known to them. Zinzendorf wrote a letter from Herrnhut to Tomochichi, commending his interest in their message, and urging its full acceptance upon him; the Indians gave some five acres of land for a garden, which Rose cleared and planted, and everything looked promising, until the influence of the Spanish war rumor was felt. True to their nature, the fighting spirit of the Indians rose within them, and they took the war-path against the Spanish, for the sake of their English allies, and perhaps more for the pure love of strife. Then Ingham decided to go to England for reinforcements, and Rose was left in charge of the work. He seems to have been a wellmeaning man, and much beloved by the Indians, but he was not a man of much mental strength or executive ability, and the Congregation at Savannah soon decided that he and his wife should be recalled until the way opened for one or more of the others to go back to Irene with him.The "Society". In their personal affairs the Moravians were experiencing the usual mingling of light and shadow.
Dober's effort to make pottery was a failure, for lack of proper clay, but through Gen. Oglethorpe's kindness a good deal of carpenter's work was given to them. They built a house for Tomochichi at his village, and a house in Savannah, both in the style of the Moravian house, and another town house in English fashion, as well as the Indian school, a large share of their wages being applied on account, so that their debt was gradually reduced, and their credit sustained.
Their manner of living remained very simple. Morning and evening prayers began and ended their days of toil, the company being divided, part living at the garden, and part in town during the week, all gathering in the town-house for Sunday's rest and worship. When the weather was very warm the morning Bible reading was postponed until the noon hour, that advantage might be taken of the cooler air for active labor. Once a month a general conference was held on Saturday evening, with others as needed, so that all might do the work for which they were best fitted, and which was most necessary at the time. "Who worked much gave much, who worked less gave less, who did not work because he was sick or weak gave nothing into the common fund; but when they needed food, or drink, or clothing, or other necessary thing, one was as another."
On the 3rd of April, Matthias Seybold asked to be received into the communicant Congregation, which was done on the 5th of May, and he shared in the Lord's Supper for the first time June 3rd. John Boehner also was confirmed on January 12th of the following year.
On the 11th of November two little girls, Anna and Comfort, were added to their household. The mother had recently died, and the father offered to pay the Moravians for taking care of them, but they preferred to have them bound, so they could not be taken away just when they had begun to learn, and so it was arranged. On the 28th, a man from Ebenezer brought his son, and apprenticed him to Tanneberger, the shoemaker.
The dark side of the picture arose from two causes, ill health, and matrimonial affairs. There was a great deal of sickness throughout Georgia that summer, and the second company became acclimated through the same distressing process that the first had found so hard to bear. Mrs. Dober, Mrs. Waschke, Mrs. Toeltschig, Gottlieb Demuth, John Boehner and others were sick at various times, and David Jag cut his foot so severely that he was unable to use it for four months. Nor was this the worst, for three more of their number died. Roscher was sick when he reached Savannah, with consumption, it was supposed, but Regnier suspected that this was not all, and when Roscher died, March 30th, he secured permission to make an autopsy, in which he was assisted by John Wesley. The examination showed a large hematoma in the left wall of the abdomen, and other complications. The records say, "we have no cause to grieve over his departure, for he was a good soul," and died in peace.
The next to pass away was Mrs. Haberecht. Her health began to fail the latter part of March, but she did not become seriously ill until the 26th of May, when she returned from the farm, where she and others had been employed, and told her friends that the Saviour had called her, and her end was near. With joy and peace she waited for the summons, which was delayed for some time, though on several occasions her death seemed only a matter of hours. On the 16th of June she shared with the others in the celebration of the Communion, and on the following evening "went to the Saviour".
Matthias Boehnisch's illness was of short duration, lasting only from the 27th of September to the 3rd of October. He had had a severe fall on the ship coming over, from which he continued to suffer, and now a hard blow on the chest injured him mortally. Some of his companions found it hard to understand why he should be taken, for he was a good man, who gave promise of much usefulness in the Lord's service. It is an old question, often asked and never fully answered, but Boehnisch, conscious almost to the last, was perfectly willing to go, and his associates felt that the influence of his life "would be a seed, which would bear fruit" in others.
It was a serious mistake that sent Juliana Jaeschke to Savannah with the second company. A seamstress was badly needed, and had she been so minded she might have been very useful, but in a list giving very briefly the standing of each one in the "Society", it is curtly stated that she was "ill-mannered, and obstructing everything." Soon after her arrival it was suggested that she marry Peter Rose, but the lot forbade and he found a much better helpmeet in the widow of Friedrich Riedel. Waschke thought he would like to marry Juliana, but she refused, even though Bishop Nitschmann, Mr. and Mrs. Toeltschig pled with her. Her preference was for George Haberland, and the result was an uncomfortable state of affairs, which disturbed the leaders of the "Society" not a little, for living as they did as one large family it meant constant friction on all sides. They did not know whether to force Juliana to submit to their authority, (as a member of the "Society" she had pledged herself to obedience to the duly elected officers), or whether they should wait and hope for a better frame of mind. At last they referred it to the lot, which read "Juliana shall not marry any one yet." This settled the question for the time being, but did not improve the spirit of the parties concerned. A few of the others were homesick, and lost interest in their work and the cause for which they had come over. Hermsdorf returned from Frederica, sick and depressed, and was kindly received by the Moravians in Savannah, though their first favorable impression of him had been lost on the voyage across the Atlantic, when he complained of the fare, and lay in bed most of the time.
The leaders of the party, trying to pacify the discontented, comfort the sick, and strengthen those that were left as one and another was called away; planning the daily routine to the best advantage so that they might repay their debt, and still have the necessaries of life for their large company; seeking to teach and convert the Indians, and help the poor about them; -- these leaders were further tried by the non-arrival of answers to the letters sent to Germany. Feeling that they MUST know the will of those at home if they were to be able successfully to continue their work, they at last decided to send a messenger to Count Zinzendorf, and the lot designated Andrew Dober.
A ship was lying at anchor, ready to take Gen. Oglethorpe to England, and he readily agreed to take Dober and wife with him, and on December 2nd, they embarked, Dober carrying a number of letters and papers. Mrs. Dober was quite ill when they left, but rapidly improved in the sea breezes. January 20th, the ship reached London, and Mr. and Mrs. Dober went at once to Mr. Weintraube, who was to forward the letters to Herrnhut. As they were talking Bishop Nitschmann walked in, to their mutual great astonishment. He reported that Count Zinzendorf had just arrived in London, and had sent to inquire for letters, so those brought from Georgia were at once delivered. Zinzendorf rented a house, the Countess arrived a few days later, and Dober and wife remained in his service during the seven weeks of his stay.
The Count's object in visiting London at this time was fourfold: to confer with the Georgia Trustees about the Moravians in Savannah; to extend acquaintances among the Germans in London and do religious work among them; to discuss the Episcopate of the Unitas Fratrum with Archbishop Potter of Canterbury; and if possible to revive the "Order of the Mustard Seed". This order had been established by Zinzendorf and several companions in their early boyhood, and grew with their growth, numbering many famous men in its ranks, and it is worthy of note that even in its boyish form it contained the germs of that zeal for missions which was such a dominant feature of the Count's manhood.
Archbishop Potter not only fully acknowledged the validity of the Unity's Episcopate, but urged Zinzendorf himself to accept consecration at the hands of Jablonski and David Nitschmann, and encouraged by him Zinzendorf was consecrated bishop at Berlin, May 20th, 1737.
The Count held frequent services during his stay in London, and before he left a society of ten members had been formed among the Germans, with a few simple regulations, their object being "in simplicity to look to these three things: -- to be saved by the blood of Christ; to become holy, or be sanctified by the blood of Christ; to love one another heartily."
With the Trustees it was agreed: "That the Count's men" might remain for two years longer at Savannah, without cultivating the five hundred acre tract, "and be exempt from all forfeitures arising from such non-cultivation;" but if they chose they might move to the tract any time during the two years. They might go to Tomochichi's Indians whenever they saw fit and he consented. Other Indians could not be visited in time of war, but in peace four Moravians should be licensed to go to them, on the same footing as the English ministers. Those living with Tomochichi were not included in this number. "As the Moravian Church is believed to be orthodox and apostolic" no one should interfere with their preaching the Gospel, or prevent the Indians from attending their services in Savannah, or elsewhere. The title to their five hundred acre tract was secured to the Moravians, even in case the Count's male line should become extinct.
Reference to military service is conspicuous by its absence, and at the very time that these resolutions were being framed, assurance on that one point was being desperately needed in Savannah.Rumors of War.
In February, 1737, that which Spangenberg had feared came upon the Moravians, -- military service was peremptorily demanded of them, the occasion being a fresh alarm of Spanish incursions.
The feud between the colonists of Spain and England was of long standing, dating back to rival claims to the New World by right of discovery. The English asserted that through the Cabots they had a right to the greater part of North America, and a grant to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, in 1663, named the 31 degree of latitude as the southern boundary. Another patent two years later set the line at the 29 degree, but that availed nothing as it included the northern part of Florida, where the Spanish were already settled in considerable numbers.
No other nation questioned the English claim to the sea-board as far as the 31 degree, which was well south of the Altamaha, but the Spanish greatly resented the settlements in Carolina, as encroaching on their territory, though successive treaties between the two Governments had virtually acknowledged the English rights. With the two nations nominally at peace, the Spanish incited the Indians to deeds of violence, encouraged insurrection among the negro slaves, welcomed those who ran away, and enlisted them in their army. Now and then the Governor of Carolina would send a force, which would subdue them for a time, but the constant uncertainty made Carolina welcome the Georgia colony as a protection to her borders.
The settlement of Georgia gave further offense to Spain, and her subjects in Florida burned to exterminate the intruders, as they considered them, though nothing was done so long as operations were confined to the Savannah River. But when towns and forts were planned and begun on the Altamaha their opposition became more outspoken. Oglethorpe did all he could to preserve peace without retreating from his position, and in Oct. 1736, he concluded a treaty with the Governor of St. Augustine.
Only too soon it became apparent that this treaty would not be respected, for the CaptainGeneral of Cuba disapproved, and Oglethorpe sailed for England, in November, to urge the immediate and sufficient fortification of the frontier. The Trustees and the Government approved of the course he had pursued, but Spain recalled and executed the Governor of St. Augustine, for presuming to make such a treaty, and so plainly showed her intention to make war on Georgia that the English Government authorized Oglethorpe to raise a regiment for service there, and in July, 1738, he sailed for America, commissioned to take command of all the military forces of Carolina and Georgia, and protect the colonies.
During the nineteen months of his absence, the Georgia colonists were in a continual state of uneasiness, which now and then became sheer panic at some especially plausible report of imminent danger.
On February 17th, 1737, Mr. Causton received a letter from Charlestown, in which the Governor informed him that he had news of the approach of the Spaniards, and Savannah at once became excited, and prepared for defence. On the 20th, officers went through the town, taking the names of all who could bear arms, freeholders and servants alike. Three of them came to the Moravian house and requested names from Toeltschig. He answered "there was no one among them who could bear arms, and he would get no names from them." They said, "it was remarkable that in a house full of strong men none could bear arms, -- he should hurry and give them the names, they could not wait." Toeltschig answered, "if they wanted to go no one would stop them, there would be no names given." They threatened to tell Mr. Causton, Toeltschig approved, and said he would do the same, and they angrily left the house.Ingham accompanied Toeltschig to Mr. Causton, who at once began to argue the matter, and a spirited debate ensued, of which the following is a resume. Causton. "Everybody must go to the war and fight for his own safety, and if you will not join the army the townspeople will burn down your house, and will kill you all." Toeltschig. "That may happen, but we can not help it, it is against our conscience to fight."
Causton. "If you do not mean to fight you had better go and hide in the woods, out of sight of the people, or it will be the worse for you; and you had better go before the enemy comes, for then it will be too late to escape, the townspeople will certainly kill you."Toeltschig. "You forget that Gen. Oglethorpe promised us exemption from military service, and we claim the liberty he pledged."
Causton. "If the Count, and the Trustees and the King himself had agreed on that in London it would count for nothing here, if war comes it will be FIGHT OR DIE. If I were an officer on a march and met people who would not join me, I would shoot them with my own hand, and you can expect no other treatment from the officers here."Toeltschig. "We are all servants, and can not legally be impressed."
Causton. "If the Count himself were here he would have to take his gun on his shoulder, and all his servants with him. If he were living on his estate at Old Fort it would make no difference, for the order of the Magistrates must be obeyed. If the English, to whom the country belongs must fight, shall others go free?"
Toeltschig finally yielded so far as to tell him the number of men in their company, "it could do no harm for we could be counted any day," but their names were resolutely withheld, and service firmly refused.
Then the townspeople took up the cry. Should they fight for these strangers who would not do their share toward defending the land? They would mob and kill them first! They only injured the colony at any rate, for they worked so cheaply that they lowered the scale of wages; and besides they received money from many people, for their services, but spent none because they made everything they needed for themselves!
Still the Moravians stood firm in their position, indeed they could do nothing else without stultifying themselves. The instructions from Zinzendorf and the leaders of the Church at Herrnhut, with the approval of the lot, were definite, -- they should take no part in military affairs, but might pay any fines incurred by refusal. To Oglethorpe and to the Trustees they had explained their scruples, making freedom of conscience an essential consideration of their settling in Georgia, and from them they had received assurances that only freeholders were liable to military duty. Therefore they had claimed no land as individuals, but had been content to live, and labor, and be called "servants", paying each week for men to serve in the night watch, in place of the absent owners of the two town lots. In Savannah their views were well known, and to yield to orders from a Magistrate, who openly declared that promises made by the Trustees, who had put him in office, were not worth regarding, and who threatened them with mob violence, would have been to brand themselves as cowards, unworthy members of a Church which had outlived such dire persecution as that which overthrew the ancient Unitas Fratrum, and recreant to their own early faith, which had led them to abandon homes and kindred in Moravia, and seek liberty of conscience in another kingdom. That Georgia needed armed men to protect her from the Spaniards was true, but equally so she needed quiet courage, steady industry, strict honesty, and pious lives to develop her resources, keep peace with her Indian neighbors, and win the respect of the world, but these traits were hardly recognized as coin current by the frightened, jealous men who clamored against the Moravians.
On the 28th, it was demanded that the Moravians help haul wood to the fort which was being built. They replied that their wagon and oxen were at the officers' service without hire, and that they would feed the animals, but personally they could take no share in the work. This angered the people again, and several of the members began to wonder whether they might perhaps comply so far as to assist, as a matter of friendship, in hewing logs for the fort, refusing the wages paid to others. The lot was tried, and absolutely forbade it, which was well, for it developed that the people were watching for their answer, having agreed that if they helped on the fort it would be a proof that they COULD do what they chose, and were simply hiding behind an excuse in refusing to fight.
But the tension was not relaxed, and on the 2nd of March, the Moravians met to decide on their further course. Should they keep quiet, and wait for times to change, or should they go away? It was referred to the lot, and the paper drawn read "GO OUT FROM AMONG THEM." This meant not merely from the city, but from the province, for Mr. Causton had told them that they would be subject to the same requirements if they were living in the adjoining country.
On the strength of this they wrote a letter to Mr. Causton, rehearsing their motives in coming to Georgia, and the promises made them, reiterating their claim for liberty of conscience, and concluding, "But if this can not be allowed us, if our remaining here be burdensome to the people, as we already perceive it begins to be, we are willing, with the approbation of the Magistrate, to remove from this place; by this means any tumult that might ensue on our account will be avoided, and occasion of offense cut off from those who now reproach us that they are obliged to fight for us."
When it came to this point Mr. Causton found himself by no means anxious to drive away some thirty of his best settlers, who stood well with Oglethorpe and the Trustees, and had given him all their trade for supplies, so he began to temporize. "They trusted in God, and he really did not think their house would be burned over their heads." Toeltschig said that was the least part of it, they had come for freedom, and now attempts were made to force them to act contrary to the dictates of their consciences. Then he declared that he had no power in the matter of their leaving, that must be settled between the Count, the Trustees, and themselves, but he could not permit them to go until he received an order from the Trustees. Meanwhile he would do what he could to quiet the people's dissatisfaction with them.
As their debt to the Trustees was not yet fully paid, Causton's refusal bound them in Savannah for the time being, according to their bond, so they had to turn elsewhere for help. Early in February, they had heard of Spangenberg's return to Pennsylvania from his visit to St. Thomas, and had written to ask him to come and help them for a while, but being busy with other things he did not go. On the 5th of March, Ingham suggested that he and one of their number should go to England to the Trustees. They thought it over and decided that George Neisser should go with him as far as Pennsylvania, where the case should be laid before Spangenberg, with the request that he go to London, arrange matters with the Trustees, and get permission for them to leave Georgia. Ingham was going, with the approval of Wesley and Delamotte, to try and bring over some of their friends to help in the work of evangelizing the Province.A ship was ready to sail for Pennsylvania on the 9th, so Ingham and Neisser took passage on her, and sailed, as the event proved, never to return.