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Joseph Romig to George W. Martin

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Wigwam, Colorado

May 27. 1910

 

Geo. W. Martin

Secty State Hist. Society

Topeka, Kans.

 

Dear Sir, - Yours of the 21st was forwarded to me from Independence Kansas.  Your inquiries not covered by my Sketch respecting those people but the article seems to have stimulated inquiry   In replying it is almost necessary to make a brief historical statement. . . . . There were four stations in Ohio on the Tuscarawes river (once called Muskingum) in Tuscarawes County:  Shoenbrun, near New Philadelphia, Then South was Goshen*, Guaden huetten, and Lichtenan or Salem.   That is my native home and I have visited all of the places except Salem.  Zeisberger lies buried at Goshen with a small monument over his grave.  He was missionary among the Indians for sixty years, and The Life and Times of David Zeisberger, by bishop Edmund de Schweinitz is a volume well worth being in any historical library.  It is a volume of 500 pages with copious marginal references to authorities  The result of research in 3000 pages in Zeisberger’s Diary cost $5 00 – Moravian Book Store, Bethlehem Penn.)

 

To refer to the historical facts of the past. The Munsees or more properly then called “Christian Indians” in Ohio were located between two fires.  The British frontier was at Detroit and the American frontier was at Pittsburg and Wheeling.  Because the Christian Indians would not join in war with the other indians against the Americans in the

 

*It may be Goshen was not founded until after 1781 as that was the final Station after the exodus to Canada and a return of part of the people.

 

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Revolutionary War the British suspected them of being in simpathy with the Americans.  In the autumn of 1781 the British sent a detachment of soldiers and Indians and took the Christian Indians and their missionaries prisoners and carried them to Northern Ohio where they left them to care for themselves without shelter or supplies.  In the Spring of 1782 a delegation of these Indians returned to Guaden huetten to get supplies and to gather in the remainder of their outstanding corn.  While doing so the American Melitia under Col. Williamson came upon them.  Then occurred the massacre referred to March 8, 1782.  The Christian Indians finally located with their Missionaries at Fairfield Canada on the Thems river.  Here some of them (about 300 if I mistake not) have resided ever since.  But Zeis ber with some of those people returned to Ohio to re establish their mission which they did at Goshen But because of the influence and aggressiveness of the whites these Goshen Indians removed, as F. W. Hodge says with the Delewares to Kansas. - - In 1837 some of the Indians at Fairfield Canada decided to return to the States.  With one of their missionary Vogler they crossed the Detroit river and went to Green Bay where they tarried with the Stockbridges for a while, then crossing Wisconsin they descended the Missippi, Crossed the State of Missouri arriving at West Port Landing (now Kans City Mo) on the 28 or 29th of October. - -  By invitation of the Delewares they located on the Deleware lands at Muncey where they resided about twelve years.  However part of these Munsees tarried at Green Bay

 

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until the following year when they too came to Kansas. - - I was familiar with quite a number of these immigrant Munsees and some Stockbridges and these Subjects were familiar talk with us.  Missionary Vogler soon returned to Canada, and other Missionaries took his place, but I cannot give their order or all of their names.  Amongst these were Mickseh, Luckenbach, H. Bachman, G. F. Oehler and D. J. Smith.

 

The Station at Munsey in church records is always called Westfield.  There is an Indian Cemetery there where lies buried Mrs. G. F. Oehler and probably Mickseh.  Last September 1910 an aged Munsee went there and located and identified Mrs. Oehlers grave.

 

The Delewares then sold this tract of land to the Wyandottes necessitating a removal of the Munsees.  Hence their purchase and location near to Leavenworth – which you say is now the location of the Soldiers Home.  But the proximity of the new city Leavenworth and the military Fort was uncongenial to the moral and material well being of these Indians.  Hence their removal to Franklin County in 1859 after a stay of some ten years.  In all from first arrival in 1837 to 1859 twenty twoyears.  About 12 ys at Muncey and 10 at Leavenworth.

 

Thus you see the connecting links between Ohio Canada and Kansas.

 

[My information is in the main correct.  I had the church records – not the Diary – dating back to 1738 with entries by Zeisberger himself.  But a few years ago I sent the three books

 

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[to the Moravian Historical Society at Bethlehem Penn.  As to the Friedenstadt referred to by Connelly and Hodge I cannot tell.  No doubt “Zeisberger” would tell, but I have not my volume at hand.  A card to Revd Paul de Schweinitz, Bethlehem Pa. would soon bring the desired information.

 

There is but one of the old Munsees now living Ignatius Caleb now 74. – born in Canada 1836.  A few years ago Sebilla Elliott died at the age of 91.  At the migration from Canada she was 21.  Her daughter Josephine, now Mrs. John Plake (Ottawa) often narrated or interpreted Elliott.  You see thus my opportunities for information were very good.

 

I might yet mention, historically, not given in my Sketch that the Missionaries who succeeded me from 1871-1900 were Revds Levi Ricksecker, eight years, C. R. Kinsey Six years, Charles Steimfort fourteen years, and I followed again from 1900 to 1905, five years. 

 

As I indicated on your letter “McCoonse” is correct, and not “Mc Coouse.”

 

I might mention historically that at Guaden huetten Ohio is a monument – a granit-shaft 30 feet high erected to the memory of the Massacred Christian Indians.

 

Fifty years ago I met at Bethlehem Pa. Mrs. Heckewelder Horsfield who was the daughter of Missionary Heckewelder, Collegue of Zeisberger.  Mrs. – Heckewelder-Horsfield was said to have been the second white child born in Ohio, and at the time of their forced removal to northern Ohio –(over)

 

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1781 she was but a few days old and was carried on the back of a squaw while her mother was obliged to ride horse back.

 

please excuse prolixity.  But as I am a connecting link – and one of the last between the past and the present I cannot help but be reminiscient for the benefit and interest of the future.

 

Yours respectfully

 

Jos. Romig

Wigwam

Colorado.   

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