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TitleTo Live upon Hope: Mohicans and Missionaries in the Eighteenth-Century Northeast
LanguageEnglish
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Table of Contents
                            Cover
To Live upon Hope: Mohicans and Missionaries in the Eighteenth-Century Northeast
©
Contents
Maps and Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction Indian and Christian
Part I: Hope
	The River God and the Lieutenant
	Covenants, Contracts, and the Founding of Stockbridge
Part II: Renewal
	The Chief and the Orator
	Moravian Missionaries of the Blood
	Mohican Men and Jesus as Manitou
Part III: Preservation
	The Village Matriarch and the Young Mother
	Mohican Women and the Community of the Blood
Part IV: Persecution
	The Dying Chief and the Accidental Missionary
	Indian and White Bodies Politic at Stockbridge
Conclusion
	Irony and Identity
	The Cooper and the Sachem
	Epilogue: Real and Ideal Indians
Abbreviations
Notes
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 166

1�0 Part III: Preservation

grandmother, which was “made of leather in the shape of a man and
adorned with wampum.”18

For each Esther or Ruth who managed to secure some economic stabil-
ity for herself, there were many women who struggled constantly against
poverty. The challenges faced by Lea, a young woman from Pachgatgoch,
would not have been uncommon to many native women. With three young
children to care for and just days from giving birth to a fourth, Lea was
abandoned by her husband. Nine months later, she was setting off to work
in the woods, presumably collecting materials to make mats or brooms, be-
cause all of her corn had gone to pay her debts. That spring she received
several supplies of corn from missionary Mack, but this could do little to
alleviate her other problems: she was berated and struck by a neighbor, and
on another occasion she was beaten by drunken men. Worst of all, when a
merchant from nearby Woodbury came to collect on Lea’s debts and she
could not pay him, he seized two of her children and sold them into service
to a neighboring white family. An effort was made by a party of Pachgatgoch
residents to retrieve the children, but apparently without success.19

The Moravian sources provide evidence of women’s subjective experi-
ences of these changes: they are full of Indian women’s expressions of feel-
ing powerless, weak, and in need of sustenance and cleansing. Moravian
descriptions of Mohican women’s practice of Christianity are particularly re-
vealing, for they provide evidence of a community in flux and the declining
status of women. They also reveal the spiritual creativity of Mohican women
as they adapted Christian practice to reclaim control over their lives. At
first glance, Mohican women’s expressions might seem simply to mimic
European Moravian religious expression or to be a result of missionary li-
cense. But when these sources are read keeping in mind what we know of
inherited Mohican culture, they emerge in an entirely new light. Christian
practice enabled Mohican women to claim new sources of spiritual power
when others were unavailable to them. This is especially clear when we read
women’s statements about their experience of communion in light of the
rituals of the “mourning war.”

The women of Shekomeko dictated scores of letters to the missionaries
to be carried to loved ones in other communities. These letters reveal a per-
vasive sense of vulnerability and an inability to live the lives that the women
wished. The letters often included an expression of desire for the blood of
the Savior. Leaving aside for the moment what these women understood by
“the blood of the Savior,” their longing for ritual practice suggests that they
understood their condition as a spiritual problem. For example, Jonas’s
wife (later baptized Bathsheba) confessed to her husband: “I have such a
wicked heart, that I must always do evil even when I don’t want to.”20 An-
other woman lamented that she felt she was unable to do the right thing, so

Page 167

Mohican Women and the Community of the Blood 1�1

she “wished she could taste the blood of the savior in her heart.”21 Similarly,
Martha sent her greetings to her husband, Johannes (Tschoop), who was in
Bethlehem at the time, confessing that her heart was bound to evil things
and hoping that the Savior would “help that I can get another heart.”22

These letters could be read as evidence that the women had internalized
white colonial attitudes of Indian inferiority. Yet the letters do not so much
express the displacement of native by European values as suggest the psy-
chic suffering experienced by so many women when they were unable to
live up to the cultural values that they embraced. They turned to Christian
practice in the hope that they could gain the spiritual and physical strength
they needed to be good women in their roles as mothers, wives, and com-
munity members.

Women were often drawn to Christian practice after they witnessed the
transformation other women experienced, women who attributed that
transformation to the power of Jesus’s blood. When Isaac’s sister visited the
Shekomeko congregation and observed what she thought was a dramatic
transformation, she too longed to experience the blood of the Savior.23 The
Bethlehem diarist recorded similar expressions from Delaware and Mohi-
can women visiting Gnadenhütten. One Delaware woman reported that she
knew little about Christianity before she visited Gnadenhütten, but now
she heard how “she might get free from Sin and be saved; and now her
Heart long’d much after that Blood.” She and her husband were soon bap-
tized. Also baptized that day was a thirteen-year-old Mohican girl who had
recently arrived in town. The girl reported that “she could not bear any lon-
ger to be without our Saviors Blood and that particularly since she had seen
Sophia . . . baptis’d in Gnadenhutten her heart long’d Day and Night after
that Blood.”24 Women encouraged other women to turn to the blood and
wounds for whatever help they needed. For example, Ziporra urged Mar-
tha that “she should stay close to the wounds so that she would get all that
she needed.”25 Abraham and Sarah’s daughter-in-law had been baptized in
Stockbridge yet requested that the Moravians baptize her again, because
“she had not felt or got anything” from her first baptism.26 Women often
felt empowered by their Christian practice, and they struggled to retain that
feeling.

To many women of Shekomeko, the Moravian Savior was experienced
as a powerful agent of change in their difficult lives. A hymn composed
by Bathsheba and her husband reads simply: “You have sacrificed yourself.
Let us be a little bee, so that we drink the juice of the bloody wounds so
that we grow and become strong.”27 Justina similarly found strength in the
Moravian Savior. In a dictated note, she confessed her weakness but also
her thankfulness “to my Savior that he has been pleased to give me new
Strength.”28 When circumstances called for extra reserves of strength and

Page 331

Index �1�

Rauh, Jannetje. See Mack, Jannetje Rauh
Rauh, Johannes, 71–72
Rebecca (Isaac’s wife), 76, 115, 135, 148,

165, 169 –70, 291 n74
reciprocity, 43, 79
religious identities, 6, 10 –11, 48, 188 – 90,

195 – 96, 229. See also Anglo-Protestants;
Mohican religion; Moravians

Renewed Unity of the Brethren. See
Moravians

revitalization movements, 6, 10, 76, 234,
238 –39, 243

revival movements. See Protestant
evangelical awakenings

Revolutionary War, 236 –37
Richter, Daniel, 107– 8, 152
River Indian Confederacy, 36 –39, 190
Ruth (Boaz’s wife), 148 – 49, 154, 158,

165 – 66, 177

Sachems, 23
St. Francis Indians. See Abenakis: St. Francis
salvation, views of: Anglo-Protestant, 47, 82,

200; Edwards on, 215 –16; Mohican, 127;
Moravian, 82, 87, 127

Sarah (Abraham’s wife), 76 –78, 135 – 40,
152, 155, 169 –70, 236

Sarah (David’s wife), 169
Sarah ( Jonathan’s wife), 157
Satan. See evil, beliefs about
Scaticook (Conn.). See Pachgatgoch
Schaghticoke Indians, 40 – 42, 193
Scottish Society for the Propagation of

Christian Knowledge, 32
Seim. See Isaac
Seneca Prophet (Handsome Lake), 95, 243
Sensemann, Joachim, 89, 176 –78, 204 – 5,

272 n36
Sergeant, Abigail Williams. See Dwight,

Abigail Williams Sergeant
Sergeant, John: boarding school proposed

by, 60 – 62, 209; courtships and marriage
of, 57– 59; death of, 175; missionary
activities/duties of, 26, 28 –29, 35, 37,
45 – 52, 57– 63, 69, 191; model families
proposal by, 53, 59, 226; Mohawk
negotiations and, 211; on Mohican
rituals/practices, 49 – 50, 119 –20, 122;
Moravians and, 196 – 97, 199 –201, 206;
ordination of, 29, 35, 40, 44 – 45; quotes

from, 195; on racial boundaries, 62– 63,
186; Stockbridge, founding of, and, 53,
57– 63; as teacher, 34; travels of, 190,
192– 93, 197, 211, 274 n60

Sergeant, John, Jr., 221
Shabash. See Abraham
Shamokin (Pa.), 83
Shaw, Joseph, 89, 167, 203 – 5
Shawnee Indians, 2, 83, 129 –30, 191– 93,

236 –37
Shawnee Prophet (Tenskwatawa), 76, 95,

234, 238 –39, 243
Sheffield (Mass.), 29
Shekomeko mission (N. Y.), 11–12, 229;

exodus from, 2, 230, 234 –35; leadership of,
89 – 90, 92, 116, 135; maps of, �, 160, 1�1

“Sifting Time,” 98
Silverman, David, 10
Skatekook (Umpachenee’s village) (Mass.),

49, 258 n18
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel,

297 n24
Spangenberg, August, 86, 88 – 89, 99, 130
Spangenberg, Maria, 138, 142
speakers, tribal, 23, 125
spirits. See manitou
Stevens, Laura, 10
Stiles, Ezra, 209
Stockbridge Indians, identity as, 63, 187– 88,

190, 195, 222, 228 –29
Stockbridge mission (Mass.), �, 11–12;

alcohol problem in, 113; boarding
school at, 60 – 62, 208 – 9; exodus from, 2,
210 –11, 228, 240, 299 n48; founding of,
1, 32– 43, 51, 53 – 64, 190, 207; growth of,
191; as land-for-gospel bargain, 27–29;
mission houses of, 13, 50, 60, �1; model
English families in, 29, 53, 56 – 57, 59,
226; Moravian contacts with, 175, 188,
196 –200; transition to New England
town status of, 186, 227

Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans, 3,
228, 247

Stoddard, John, 18 –21; Deerfield,
negotiations at and, 36, 40;
lands-for-gospel bargains and, 26, 27–28,
32–33, 53; Stockbridge, founding of,
and, 17–18, 26, 53 – 54, 56 – 57

Stoddard, Solomon, 18 –21, 183, 208
sweat lodges, 127, 155

Page 332

�1� Index

Tatemy, Moses, 94 – 95
Tennent, Gilbert, 5, 196, 201, 206
Tenskwatawa. See Shawnee Prophet
Thomas, 120
torture. See warfare and torture rituals,

Mohican
trade, 3, 24 –26, 94
Tschoop. See Johannes

Umpachenee, 21, 23, 210; alcohol abuse
and, 60, 197; baptism of, 48 – 49;
Deerfield, negotiations at and, 33 –36,
38 –39, 42– 43, 51, 190, 207; diplomatic
missions of, 52, 176, 190; English alliance
and, 197; excommunication of, 197,
291 n80; illness and death of, 175 –76,
178, 180; lands-for-gospel bargains and,
26, 28; marriages of, 21, 163; Moravian
contacts and, 176, 197– 99; proselytizing
of, 52; Stockbridge, founding of, and,
17–18, 26, 52– 53, 56, 60, 63

Umpeatkow, Paul, 176, 178, 199, 210
Unitas Fratrum (Unity of the Brethren), 85.

See also Moravians
Unkamug, 56

van der Donck, Adriaen, 107, 109, 119 –20,
123 –24, 153 – 55, 160

van Guilder, John, 199 –200
visions. See dreams and visions

Wallace, Paul, 92
Wampanoags, 10
wampum, 147– 49
Wappinger Indians, 193
warfare and torture rituals, Indian, 107– 8,

152– 53
War of Spanish Succession. See Queen

Anne’s War
Waunahkqtokaher. See Wnahktukook
Wautaunukumeett (chief ), 191
Wauwaumpequunaut, John, 220
Weber, Max, 274 n66
Wechquadnach (Mohican village, Conn.),

190, 220, 283 n10, 295 n6
Weiser, Conrad, 83, 274 n57

Western Indian confederacy, 241
Whitefield, George, 93
White River settlements (Ind.), 237, 245 – 46
Wilhelm, 177
Williams, Abigail. See Dwight, Abigail

Williams Sergeant
Williams, Ephraim, 57, 59 – 60, 208 –10
Williams, Ephraim, Jr., 209
Williams, Eunice, 19, 263 n55
Williams, Israel, 40
Williams, John, 19
Williams, Roger, 87
Williams, Stephen, 19, 36 –38, 41, 46, 191
Williamson, David, 237
Winiarski, Douglas, 10
Winthrop, John, 30
Wnahktukook (Konkapot’s village, Mass.),

35, 38, 49
Woapicamikunk (Ind.), 237, 242– 43
women, Mohican: alcohol abuse and,

115, 145, 162; community, concept
of, and, 139, 167–71; connections
with missionary women and, 89,
167– 69; domestic harmony stresses
and, 160, 162– 66; family and,
156 – 57, 160; hospitality roles of,
148; husbandry/agricultural roles
of, 69, 147, 149; leadership lineages
through, 23, 129, 147– 48; poverty of,
150; preservation/protection, use of
Christianity for, by, 139, 153 – 60, 162– 67;
response to Christianity by, 7, 145 – 47,
150 – 51, 229; status/power roles of, 146,
147– 53, 169 –70; warfare/torture roles of,
107, 152– 53

Woodbridge, Timothy, 26, 35, 57, 120,
209 –10, 227, 263 n49, 265 n84

Wyandot (Half-King), 237

Zacheus, 111, 165
Zeisberger, David, 91, 231, 237
Zinzendorf, Ludwig von, 84 – 85;

ecumenical project of, 72–74; theology
of, 87– 88, 96, 98 – 99, 112, 127–28; visits
to Shekomeko of, 92, 116, 135

Zippora, 151, 158

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