Heckewelder spent the rest of his life as a missionary among the Delaware at a crucial period of their history, while they were progressively being driven from their lands in Pennsylvania into Ohio, and eventually to Ontario. His book, History, Manners, and Customs of the Indian Nations, which published in 1818, is a classic work that offers readers and historians insights into the history and lives of the Delaware even today. I own a copy of it myself and am using it to do research for my historical series.
|Moravian Baptism of Indian Converts|
After the French and Indian War, the colonists in Pennsylvania were hostile toward all Indians because of the devastating raids they had suffered. English settlers and soldiers also continued to move into the lands west of the Allegheny Mountains claimed by the Indians, pushing the original inhabitants ever farther west. In the early 1760s a Delaware prophet named Neolin came to prominence. He told of a vision in which the Master of Life had commanded him to call the Indians to abandon the ways of the Whites and cast them out of the Ohio lands, which he had given to them. Only then would they gain the blessing of the Master of Life, and he would restore their power and prosperity. In 1763, under the influence of this teaching, many of the tribes renewed their attacks against the English, led by the Ottawa leader Pontiac and the Seneca leader Guyasuta in a war that came to be known as Pontiac’s War. The Moravian missionaries and their Indian converts, who like the Quakers and Amish were nonresistant, found themselves under suspicion—and often attack—by both the English and the Indians.
~~~J. M. Hochstetler is the daughter of Mennonite farmers and a lifelong student of history. She is also an author, editor, and publisher. Northkill, Book 1 of the Northkill Amish Series, won ForeWord Magazine’s 2014 INDYFAB Book of the Year Bronze Award for historical fiction. Book 2, The Return, releases in April 2017. Her American Patriot Series is the only comprehensive historical fiction series on the American Revolution. One Holy Night, a contemporary retelling of the Christmas story, was the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year.