Records of the Moravians among the Cherokees are the only account of daily life in the Cherokee Nation spanning from the beginning of the mission in 1801 through the Trail of Tears in 1838 to the Civil War and beyond. In diaries, letters, and reports, the missionaries noted the events, momentous as well as routine, that affected them and the Cherokee people. The Moravian Archives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is compiling Records of the Moravians among the Cherokees with generous support by the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokees. In all, the project gives a fascinating insight into a truly tragic and heroic period of our nation’s history.
The volumes of Records of the Moravians among the Cherokees:
Volume 1, 1752-1802: Early Contact and the Establishment of the First Mission. Published April 2010; 400 pages; maps; pictures; glossary and expanded index: Following decades of exploratory meetings, Cherokee chiefs permit Moravian missionaries to “make an experiment” to “instruct us and our children.” And with little fanfare the Springplace mission is begun on July 13, 1801.
Volume 2, 1802-1805: Beginnings of the Mission and Establishment of the School. Published January 2011: 435 pages; pictures; writers’ signatures; glossary-index: Moravian missionaries have come into the Cherokee Nation to begin a mission. The Cherokees want a school for their children. Can a compromise be reached, or must the Moravians “return”?
Volume 3, 1805-1810: The Anna Rosina Years, Part 1: Success in School and Mission. Published October 2011: 599 pages; map; pictures; thumbnail pictures of Cherokee names and words; glossary-index; the Lord’s Prayer in Cherokee: With arrival of John and Anna Rosina Gambold, the Moravian mission at Springplace takes on new life. The Moravians’ benefactor, Chief James Vann, is murdered, but the mission gains its first member in the Cherokee Nation.
Volume 4, 1810-1816: The Anna Rosina Years, Part 2: Warfare on the Horizon. Published August 2012: 615 pages; thumbnail pictures of Cherokee names and words; glossary-index: Earthquakes seem to usher in a period of upheaval stretching from the Creeks in Alabama to Tecumseh in Canada to Napoleon in Europe. Meanwhile, Anna Rosina and her husband John Gambold carry on alone with their students, and a respected Cherokee chief joins the little Moravian mission called Springplace.
Volume 5, 1817-1821: The Anna Rosina Years, Part 3: Farewell to Sister Gambold. Coming fall 2012: 631 pages; maps; pictures; thumbnail pictures of Cherokee names and words; glossary-index: Anna Rosina sees her scholars off to school in New England. Then just as a second mission station is being established, she is “called home.” This volume includes Br. Abraham Steiner’s 13-page vocabulary of Cherokee words and the Moravians’ “Catalogue of Scholars,” 1804-1821.
Volume 6, 1821-1827: March to Removal, Part 1: Safe in Ancestral Homeland. Published July 2015: 543 pages; a poetic line; pencil sketch of Oochgeelogy; thumbnail pictures of Cherokee names and words; glossary-index: As the Cherokees build their nation’s capital and adopt a syllabary for printing their language, the Moravians renew their mission work at two stations, Springplace and Oochgeelogy.
Volume 7, 1825-1827: March to Removal, Part 2: Death in the Land and Mission. Published August 2017: 511 pages; portrait of Sally Ridge; list of church members; thumbnail pictures of Cherokee names and words; glossary-index: Thanks to the genius of Sequoyah, Cherokees young and old are now able to write their language. Seeing this, Moravians advise themselves to learn the syllabary. But then, in short order, old Chief Pathkiller, the Moravians’ Charles Renatus Hicks, and lastly Br. John Gambold pass away.
Volume 8, 1828-1830: March to Removal, Part 3: In Their Own Voice — ‘Power to Remove.’ Published April 2018: 522 pages; Church Litany printed in Cherokee syllabary; thumbnail pictures of quotes and Cherokee names; glossary-index: As a younger generation steps into leadership of the Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper begins publication, gold is discovered and the State of Georgia asserts its jurisdiction over Cherokee land.
Volume 9, 1830-1833: March to Removal, Part 4: ‘They shall not be forsaken.’ Published October 2019: 507 pages; thumbnail pictures of quotes and Cherokee names; glossary-index: The process begins of establishing Georgia law in the Cherokee Nation despite Supreme Court ruling otherwise. Among the casualties are the Moravians’ Oochgeelogy and Springplace missions.
Volume 10, 1834-1838: March to Removal, Part 5: ‘This is not my home any more.’ Published December 2020. 498 pages; map; translators and transcribers; “Catalogue of Scholars,” 1821-1838; mileage lists to Salem, Springplace; Resolution of the Cherokee Council; pictures of quotes and Cherokee names; glossary-index: An unwanted treaty sets the Cherokee Nation on the Trail of Tears. The Moravian missionaries prepare to precede the Removal to meet again in new land.
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