A community of Women: Cherokees and Moravians in the Early Nineteenth Century



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A Community of Women: Cherokees and Moravians in the Early Nineteenth Century

While traveling back and forth to Washington in the 1830s Cherokee delegations often stopped at the Moravian community of Salem in North Carolina, founded by the pietistic United Brethren in 1766. The arrival of one group in front of the imposing buildings of the German town prompted Jane Ross, a Cherokee student at the Moravians’ academy for young women, “ to go down and greet them individually, giving her father’s name and her own name.”1 The request immediately came: “Would not the Chief’s daughter give them some bread?” Jane asked the principal of the school to provide food, and the community responded with a “substantial and comfortable meal.”2 The simple act of sharing food with travelers represents the intersection of two cultural traditions, one Cherokee and the other Moravian. On many issues, Cherokee and Moravian views diverged, but on some, ranging from hospitality to the value of community, there was enough common ground for them to build strong relationships that lasted decades and linked generations. In particular, the relationships that formed between Cherokee and Moravian women transcended ethnicity and bound them together in a community of women. In both societies women worked together gardening and gathering, cooking and housekeeping and making clothes, caring for the sick, and raising children. Most scholars focus on the cultural differences of missionaries and Native people in the early nineteenth century. The differences are undeniable. Yet, this focus obscures the similarities that existed between these two groups of women who found not just cultural differences in one another, but also comfortable familiarity in the pattern of their lives. When several Cherokee women joined the United Brethren, they formed a sisterhood with Moravian women rooted in shared faith, as well as work, that enabled them to entrust their daughters to the care of Moravian Sisters.

The Moravians were a small German-speaking pacifistic religious group from Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland. They came from Europe first to Savannah, Georgia, in 1735, then to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and from there to the Wachovia settlement in North Carolina where the community of Salem developed into the central commercial town. They sought to live in congregational communities separate from their neighbors. Moravians did not hold land individually, in their towns; the church owned the land and leased it to its members.3 Unlike most English-speaking Americans of the day, these Moravians cared little for wealth, political influence, or expansionism.4 Because they believed the Scriptures contained truths and laws that an individual must read to understand, Moravians made education central to their congregational life. Although most Moravians were artisans and not highly educated, their leaders had attended the important universities in Europe, and they created a standard for education above that common for the day.5 The reputation of their schools extended beyond their community and non-Moravians in the area surrounding Salem sought admission for their daughters to the Girls’ School that began in 1772. The Moravians agreed to accept the daughters of outsiders, and they constructed a building to house them.6 The school soon became known as the Girls’ Boarding School, and the tuition it generated became a significant source of income.

Both personal spiritual experience and the desire to spread God’s word to the Indians motivated the Moravians. They sought to live among the Indians and teach their converts through example as well as in the churches and schools they constructed.7 Abraham Steiner and Frederic de Schweinitz attended the Cherokee Council in October 1800, and, with the support of two influential Cherokees, James Vann and Charles Hicks, the Moravians obtained permission from the Council to establish a mission among them. Neither Vann, Hicks, nor other Cherokees exhibited interest in Christianity, but they valued the Moravians’ willingness to open a school and teach their children. In 1801 the Moravians began the mission at Springplace, adjacent to James Vann’s plantation in what is today North Georgia.8

Moravian missionary women and the women of the Cherokee Nation encountered each other for the first time at the Springplace Mission. Adhering to a hospitality ethic the women in the Vann household and on the Vann plantation welcomed their new neighbors. James Vann had married a number of times, and at least three of his wives were sisters.9 His wives and their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and children often visited the mission. Nancy, Vann’s sister, and his mother, whom the missionaries called Old Mother Vann, also lived on the plantation. At first Mother Vann did not hold the missionaries in high esteem because, she once complained they only knew how to talk about the Savior.10 As time passed, however, her views softened. Other members of the Vann family embraced the mission with more enthusiasm. James Vann’s youngest daughter Sally was the first student at the mission; she received instruction one hour a day while living with Vann’s sister.11 After Vann’s death, Peggy Scott Vann, his widow, became the mission’s first convert.12

The Vann family was wealthy, and although they adhered to many traditional Cherokee practices such as polygamy, they had considerable familiarity with Euro-American ways. Like other elite Cherokees, James Vann acquired his fortune through commerce and agriculture, and he cultivated his extensive acreage with African-American slaves. In 1805 James Vann built an elegant red brick mansion with white columns, and he furnished it in Euro-American style. The Vanns, no doubt, seemed reassuringly familiar to the Moravians in many ways. Shared ideas about appropriate housing, furnishings, and dress expanded to include a tangible material culture that linked the Cherokee and Moravian women.

The mission purchased, or received as gifts, goods that Cherokee women traditionally grew, gathered, or made such as corn, welch hens, chestnuts, syrup, salt, pipes, baskets, pottery, and other native household goods and crafts.13 Therefore, on a material level, women formed an early bond with the Moravians that gradually incorporated them into the Cherokee community in which they lived. The Moravians soon discovered that the material culture reflected remarkably similar patterns of life.

In Cherokee and Moravian societies men and women lived in two separate worlds. In both societies, men and women had different tasks. Traditionally, women produced and preserved food in Cherokee society, while men hunted.14 The Cherokee myth of Selu and Kana’ti delineated women’s responsibility for the production of corn and other foodstuffs, on which their economic and political power partially rested.15 As game declined in the late eighteenth century men opened stores and taverns, operated toll roads and ferries, herded livestock, and participated in commercial agriculture with the use of slave labor. Women continued to engage in subsistence agriculture, to gather wild foods stuffs, to prepare food, and to make most household goods.

Similarly, division of labor between men and women began almost at birth in Moravian communities. The Moravians lived in highly organized choirs that separated men and women both socially and economically. In Salem the women directed and worked in the cultivation of large gardens and fields that provided food for the community. The catalogue of the choirs of Single Sisters and Older Girls in Salem in 1786 lists the occupation of the Sisters, one-third of whom were “trained for house and field.”16 Women also cared for and taught children, prepared food, and sewed. Moravian men conducted trade, ran the brewery and the dye shop, and practiced the many trades of the artisan community.17 Both Cherokee and Moravian men and women had clearly defined work specific to their gender, and each gender enjoyed a distinct arena of power grounded in the division of labor.

Because of the similarity in the division of labor, Cherokee men appreciated the enormous amount of labor required of missionary women. This understanding helped resolve a dispute with the Moravians. Missionaries were unable to teach and provide board for seven young scholars to attend the mission school, as they originally had agreed, and wanted to accept only four. The Cherokee Council insisted that the Moravians fulfill their agreement. Chief Chuleoa told the Moravian missionary, Abraham Steiner, that “the food can’t amount to much, our children only need corn; that’s what they’re used to, and it does after all, grow.” Steiner replied that the problem was not just growing the corn, but the “labor” of grinding corn and making bread.18 This explanation appeased Chuleoa, who probably assumed that the “labor” involved the pounding of corn with mortar and pestle, like Cherokee women. Even though Moravians used millstones to grind grain, a chore assigned to men, Chuleoa was correct that the children’s board was within the domain of women where men had little power.

Like Cherokee women, Moravian women traditionally worked in the fields and gardens to supply food for their communities.19 Cherokee women soon discovered that at least one Moravian woman understood and appreciated their special connection to the plant world. Anna Rosina Gambold’s avid involvement in gardening and gathering became apparent soon after she arrived at the Springplace mission.20 She quickly enlarged the existing garden and added an additional one.21 Anna Rosina plotted her botanical garden along Linnaean lines. Elias Cornelius, a visitor to Springplace in 1817, described the garden: “For some distance around, the land was cleared, and . . . in the highest state of cultivation . . . Mrs. G. is quite a botanist, and has a very good garden of plants, both ornamental and medicinal.”22

The sheer volume of Anna Rosina’s samples suggests a collaborative enterprise. In 1818 Anna Rosina sent Rev. Henry Steinhauer between 12,000 and 14,000 specimens of dried plants, almost 100 packets of seeds, and several minerals from the Cherokee Nation. Steinhauer estimated that, under the most favorable conditions, the gathering took six months of “undivided attention,” which Anna Rosina could hardly have afforded.23 Almost certainly, she had help.24 Gathering remained important to the Cherokee women in the nineteenth century, and Native and Moravian women probably searched the woods and river banks for wild plants, seeds, leaves, roots, and nuts. Anna Rosina published an article on plants found in the Cherokee Nation near the Connasarga River in the American Journal of Science and Arts. Daniel McKinley, biographer of Anna Rosina, concluded that, “these were plants that she was told by the Cherokees that they used as sources of medicines, foods, dyes, and fibers.”25 The list from the Journal included plants that Native women used for dying baskets, making spoons, and flavoring foods. Her descriptions of their uses imply considerable collaboration with her Cherokee neighbors: “Allium.– The Indians are fond of, for culinary purposes. Angelica.– The same. Cercis canadensis.– Children are fond of eating the blossom. Ilex.– Of the wood, spoons are made. The berries of service in colics. Sanguinaria canadensis.– The root is used for the red die [sic] in basket making.”26

Some of the information in Anna Rosina’s published list points to the connection between acquired botanical knowledge and shared experiences. One notation in particular, reflects a specific event that appears in the historical record. The entry read, “Calycanthus floridus.– The roots are used as (though very strong) emetics. The seeds to poison wolves.”27 In 1824 the smoke from controlled burns in the forest drove wolves into the “neighborhood of the mission and one Indian woman was torn up by them.”28 Cherokee women used fire to clear fields or burn underbrush so they could collect nuts in the fall, but the fire sometimes forced wild animals into populated areas. The women killed fleeing wolves by poisoning them with seeds. Cherokee women had shared this technique with Anna Rosina before the tragedy of 1824, when the practice apparently failed, but the notation and the event firmly connect Anna Rosina’s academic exercise to Cherokee experience.

In addition to teaching the missionaries, the Cherokee women learned from them. Although women traditionally had constructed clothing from skins using needles made of bone and thread of sinew, they no longer wore skins when the Moravians arrived, and they were eager to adapt their traditional role as seamstresses to textiles.29 Peggy Vann and her sister asked the missionaries’ wives to teach them how to sew in 1801, and in exchange for the sewing lessons, the Indian women stayed with Sister Dorothea Byhan while her husband was away.30 Reciprocity, an important value in both societies, made it easy for the women to exchange favors. In the fall of 1819, when missionaries and Peggy Vann gave refuge to Keren-Happuch Sandford Turner Haskins, an abused Indian woman, the woman repaid their kindness by sewing, spinning, and weaving.31 In 1821, Old Mother Vann, whose attitude toward the missionaries had softened, sent her “Negro” woman Betsy for a week to help Sister Gertraud Schmidt with washing and scrubbing.32 The death of Sister Anna Rosina Gambold had left the mission short of help, and Vann wanted to assist the missionaries during this time of loss. Furthermore, as head of a large family, she understood the amount of work involved in boarding and teaching the children at the mission school.

Numerous Cherokee women less prosperous and prominent than the Vann women were a part of the community at Springplace. They visited and worked together for brief or extended periods of time. Parents often visited their children who lived at the mission or in nearby homes while attending school. Some parents remained at the mission for several days and attended services. They got to know these Moravian women with whom their children studied and stayed. Missionaries understood that the mother and her family determined the children’s care and education. Even though fathers often brought children to the mission to school or came to take them home, the child would be unlikely to remain if the mother of a child did not agree to the child attending school.33

One did not need to convert to Christianity for acceptance in this community of women, a number of the Vann women, for example, never converted. To participate fully in the spiritual family of the Moravians, however, one had to become a communicant member. To gain membership in the Moravians’ spiritual family, a man or woman had to have a religious experience, then copious instruction was given by the missionaries, and then the name of the candidate for baptism was submitted to the lot.34 If the response of the lot was positive, the person received more instruction and baptism. After still further instruction and close observation, the religious community finally admitted the candidate to partake of communion.35 Moravians believed literally that through Christ’s blood, sacramentally taken during communion, a person changed and joined in a spiritual kinship.

Becoming a communicant member of the Moravian congregation at Springplace made a woman the “sister” of the missionaries, a concept that resonated deeply with Cherokee women. Missionaries used the kinship terms “sister” and “brother” when addressing someone with whom they shared a spiritual kinship. Cherokees also used kin terms to describe relationships.36 Cherokee women linked the Moravian women to their kin network, and gradually they came to trust them with their children. The mother of a Cherokee child named Nicky came to the mission when she heard that her son was deathly ill. She “was completely astonished and beside herself with joy when he ran to meet her when he saw her coming. He was completely healthy and fit. Upon this occasion she assured Sister Gertraud Schmidt that she loved her like her own daughter and that she always felt well when she was here.”37 That she “felt well” when she was at the mission demonstrates that in this community of women she perhaps felt the same comfort as she did with members of her own lineage or clan. When Nicky’s mother told Sister Gertraud Schmidt that she “loved her like her own daughter,” she likened the relationship to be the strongest possible Cherokee tie, that of mother and daughter. This kin tie implied the responsibility of caring for the children as though they were her own, and the use of kin terms confirmed that Sister Gertraud Schmidt was fulfilling her obligation.

In their matrilineal system, Cherokees recognized as “brothers” and “sisters” individuals who did not share their biological parents but who belonged to their clan and generation. The Moravians had some understanding of the kin rules that forbade one to marry someone in her clan. Anna Rosina wrote that two men came to live near Peggy Vann after the death of James Vann. The men were not her biological brothers but her clan brothers. Both missionaries and Cherokees accepted these men as kin and protectors of Peggy rather than potential husbands. Clans also adopted members who became the equals of those whose affiliation derived from birth.38

Cherokees marked adoptions and other special events with ceremonies, and so when the Moravians baptized new members and accepted them into their family of communicants the solemn ritual must have seemed appropriate.39 Old Mother Vann’s baptism service, for example, took place in the barn at Springplace since the church would not hold the sixty people in attendance. While the children sang, she entered the barn dressed in white, the color the Cherokees associated with peace and prosperity, her “spiritual sisters,” Peggy Vann Crutchfield and Anna Rosina Gambold, walking by her side, accompanying her into their spiritual family.40

Although Cherokee women joined the mission church at Springplace, they continued to observe many Cherokee practices. Even after her conversion Peggy Vann Crutchfield hired a conjuror to treat one of her sick slaves and predict the outcome of the slave’s illness by dropping beads into a container of water.41 Crutchfield also maintained an intense interest in Cherokee affairs, and she was one of the most respected women in the Cherokee Nation. She participated in a women’s council that petitioned the National Council through Charles Hicks in 1818 to continue the practice of holding land in common and to halt further cessions of Cherokee land. On the way home from the Council she stopped by Springplace. With anguish, Sister Crutchfield described the trials of her people and told Anna Rosina Gambold and other missionaries about the petition.42 Moravian women knew well the importance of commonly held land, for they, like the Cherokees held land in common and lived in communities where the community not the individual came first.

Gambold and Crutchfield shared with each other the occurrences of their lives for more than a decade. During the final days of Sister Peggy Vann Crutchfield’s life, Sister Gambold took her dear friend into the mission to care for her.43 The Moravians held communion several times beside her bed before her death. More than a hundred attended her funeral at Springplace. Less than four months later Sister Gambold also died, and the Moravians buried her beside Sister Crutchfield. Edmund Schwarze, author of the classic work on Moravian missions to the Cherokees, described the fictive kin relationship of these women when he wrote of the burial of Anna Rosina Gambold: “Beside her Cherokee Sister, whom she loved as her own flesh and blood, was she tenderly bedded in the Springplace graveyard.”44 Cherokees probably would have understood the relationship in the same way.

The death of these two stalwarts of the Springplace mission did not mark the end of a Cherokee and Moravian community of women. Instead, their passing signaled a strengthening bond that linked generations of Moravians and Cherokees and brought young Cherokee women to Salem to complete their education. The Moravian women who served in the Cherokee missions over the years were part of the Moravian choirs and school, and they facilitated the enrollment of Cherokee girls in the boarding school. In 1823 the Girls’ Boarding School admitted Mary and Martha McNair, the daughters of Delila Vann McNair and granddaughters of James Vann.45 The Salem diary explained that Delila “is a member of the little Cherokee congregation at Springplace,” a description that places her squarely in the religious community of women at the Springplace mission.46 In years to come the granddaughter of Delila also attended the Girls’ Boarding School, as did other girls from the extended family of Delila’s daughters.47

The women missionaries at Springplace knew the teachers and administrators of the boarding school in Salem, and their influence to secure admission to the school for their Cherokee Sisters’ children cannot be understated. The Ridge family provides an example. In 1824 Major Ridge, a prominent headman, applied for the admission of his daughter to the Girls’ Boarding School. The school rejected her admission. Neither the missionaries nor the Single Sisters were as prosperous as many of the families whose children attended the Boarding School, so the students’ ability to pay for their schooling concerned the Moravians in Salem and the mission.48 The correspondence between the missionaries in the branch mission at Oochgelogy, the original mission at Springplace, and the school in Salem concerning Sally’s admittance revealed not only that Brother Schmidt opposed “dragging the Indians out of the Country,” but also that Brothers Gambold and Schmidt, missionaries in the Cherokee Nation, both doubted Major Ridge’s ability to pay.49 Two years after rejecting her father’s request, however, the boarding school in Salem accepted Sally Ridge.50 Frances Griffin, in her history of the boarding school, speculated that this time Susanna Ridge, a communicant, had applied for her daughter’s admission and the Brethren did not feel they could turn down a member of their own faith.51 Here was a Cherokee “Sister” asking that her daughter be accepted into the community of women that extended from the Cherokee Nation to North Carolina.52 Furthermore, Susanna Ridge had property of her own, and she may have been able to pay the tuition, a circumstance that would have eased the decision.53

While their daughters were enrolled in school Delila McNair and Susanna Ridge visited Salem, at different times, in order to attend examinations.54 Susanna Ridge, “a quite intelligent woman in her own right,” watched her daughter perform in the examination. An account of Susanna’s attendance has survived: “She wore a man’s fur hat without ornament and dressed very plainly although neatly, but it was observed that the white ladies in their silks and satins left the seat of honor beside the principal on the front row for her.”55 Susanna probably looked more like the Moravian women, who dressed simply, than the society matrons in “silks and satins.” The connection of the Cherokee women to the Moravians ran deeper than superficial appearances, however, for they belonged to the same family and to a community of women born of shared values and experiences.

Together these women had found a common ground on which they shared gardening, gathering, and sewing. They cared for one another in times of sickness, death, and distress, and they united in educating their children. Communicant membership strengthened the cross-cultural bond, and Native women found familiarity in this Sisterhood.

In 1915, a photograph of Jane Ross Nave, the girl who had greeted the Cherokee delegation in 1830, appeared in the The Academy, a publication of the Girls’ Boarding School, along with an article by Sara Vogler, who was a teacher at the Girls’ Boarding School and the daughter of missionaries to the Cherokee. She described the experience of Springplace by saying, “yet here was laid the foundation of a friendship which, for many a year has existed between the Moravians and the Cherokee Indians. It was this acquaintance that brought a number of Indian girls to Salem Academy.”56 A common ground does not deny differences: indeed, Cherokees and Moravians must have found many aspects of each other’s culture unfathomable. The tendency of their contemporaries as well as modern scholars to focus on difference, however, has obscured the remarkable relationship that developed between a group of Cherokee women and German religious refugees in early nineteenth century America.




1Jane Ross, the daughter of Quatie and Chief John Ross, attended the Girls’ Boarding School from 12 June 1835 until 6 July 1838. Student card in Salem College Library vault, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Gary E. Moulton, John Ross, Cherokee Chief (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1978), 73.

2J. B. Lienbach, “Some Recollections of the School Before and Since the Civil War,” The Academy 28 (March 1905): 4141, 4142.

3Daniel Crews, Faith and Tears: The Moravian Mission among the Cherokee (Winston-Salem: Moravian Archives, 2000), 42, n.1; Jerry Surratt, “From Theocracy to Voluntary Church and Secularized Community: A Study of the Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, 1772-1860” (Ph.D. diss., Emory University, 1968), 5.

4William G. McLoughlin, Cherokees and Missionaries, 1789-1839 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984), 36.

5 Frances Griffin, Less Time for Meddling: A History of Salem Academy and College, 1772-1866 (Winston-Salem: Blair, 1979), 6.

6Griffin, Less Time, 4.

7 The classic history of the Moravian missions among the Southeastern Indians is Edmund Schwarze, History of the Moravian Missions Among Southern Indian Tribes of the United States (Bethlehem: Times Publishing Company, 1923).

8Three accounts of the founding of Springplace Mission are: Crews, Faith and Tears, 1-5; McLoughlin, Cherokees and Missionaries, 35-53; Schwarze, History of Missions, 32-82.

9Peggy Scott Vann and her sisters Molly Polly Scott and Elizabeth Scott all married James Vann. Polygamy was widely practiced among Indians in the Southeast and often the wives were sisters. Charles Hudson, The Southeastern Indians (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1976, reprint 1994), 199.

10Springplace Diary, 4 March 1809, Moravian Archives, Winston-Salem, N.C. (hereafter MAS).

11 Springplace Diary, 25 March1802, MAS.

12 Springplace Diary,16 June 1810, MAS; Charles Hicks, her uncle, is the second convert. Springplace Diary, 16 April 1813, MAS; Peggy’s second husband, Joseph Crutchfield, joins after their marriage. These three are the only members of the Moravian mission until 1819.

13Springplace Diary, 13 April 1821, MAS; For a complete account of baskets from the Springplace mission, see Sara H. Hill, “Weaving History: Cherokee Baskets from the Springplace Mission,” William and Mary Quarterly, (Jan.1996):115-134.

14Louis-Philippe, Diary of My Travels in American: Louis-Philippe, King of France, 1830-1848, trans. Stephen Becker (New York: Delacorte Press, 1977), 73; Henry Timberlake, Lieut. Henry Timberlake’s Memoirs 1756-1765, ed. Samuel Cole Williams (Johnson City: Tennessee: Watauga Press, 1927), 68.

15Laura F. Klein and Lillian A. Ackerman, eds., Women and Power in Native North America (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995); Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998),13-15.

16Adelaide L. Fries, trans. and ed. Records of the Moravians in North Carolina 5 (Raleigh: State Dept. of Archives and History, 1941): 2394, 2395.

17Surratt, “Theocracy to Church," 99, 100.

18Springplace Diary, 27 Aug. 1803, MAS.

19In 1771, before the Single Sisters moved from Bethabara to Salem they came to Salem to prepare their gardens. By 1772 the first Single Sisters came from Bethabara to live permanently in Salem. The Salem Diary records that in February 1771, immediately after finding their home in the Gemein Hause, “they began to dig their garden, so that it might be ready for planting.” Fries, 2 Records, 671, 672. See also, Fries, 5 Records, 2394, 2395.

20Anna Rosina Gambold came to the mission at Springplace, Georgia in 1805 and lived among the Cherokees there until her death in 1821. The best source for Anna Rosina’s life, especially her botanical interest, is Daniel McKinley, “Anna Rosina (Kliest) Gambold (1765-1821), Moravian Missionary to the Cherokees, With Special Reference to Her Botanical Interest,” Transactions of the Moravian Historical Society 28 (1994): 59-99.

21Kenneth G. Hamilton, ed. and trans. “Minutes of the Mission Conference Held in Springplace,” Atlanta Historical Bulletin 15 (1970): 39.

22Elias Cornelius was a 1813 graduate of Yale, an evangelical minister connected with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and a mineralogist. McKinley, “Anna Rosina,” 59, 87 n. 4; Gambold’s teaching abilities impressed Cornelius since he suggests that John Ridge and Buck Watie, two of her former students, be allowed to attend the Mission School at Cornwall, Connecticut. Thurman Wilkins, Cherokee Tragedy: The Ridge Family and the Decimation of a People (Norman: Oklahoma Press, 1986), 111, 112.

23Rev. Henry Steinhauer was a distant relative of John Gambold and came to Pennsylvania to be the principal of the Seminary for Girls in Bethlehem in 1816. McKinley, “Anna Rosina,” 90 n.21.

24 Perdue emphasizes the gathering of Cherokee women saying, “Cherokee women were prodigious gatherers.” Perdue, Women, 20; John Whitthoft, “An Early Cherokee Ethnobotanical Note,” Journal of Washington Academy of Sciences, 39 (1947), 73-75.

25McKinley, “Anna Rosina,” 60.

26Anna Rosina Gambold, “Plants of Cherokee Country,” American Journal of Science and Arts 1 (1819): 245-251.

27Gambold, “Plants,” 250, 251.

28Schwarze, History of Missions, 174.

29Perdue describes Cherokee women’s sewing. Perdue, Women, 22.

30Springplace Diary, 20 December 1801, MAS; Springplace Diary, 4 January 1801, MAS.

31Schwarze, History of Missions, 128.

32Springplace Diary, 25 April 1821, MAS.

33Wilkins, Tragedy, 114; Numerous examples of a Cherokee mother’s control of the children’s education exist in the diaries. For an example, see Springplace Diary, 23 March 1804, MAS.

34 The lot was frequently used by Moravians to determine the Lord’s guidance. Before a decision was made slips of paper were drawn. The papers contained three choices: yes, no, or wait. Daniel Crews, Moravian Meanings: a Glossary of Historical Terms of the Church, Southern Province (Winston-Salem: Moravian Archives, 1992), 18.

35For a more detailed description of the process of communicant membership at the mission, see Hamilton, Minutes, 42, 44, 45; Schwarze, History of Missions, 103.

36Perdue, Women, 46.

37Springplace Diary, 13 April 1821, MAS; Springplace Diary, 30 May 1821, MAS. To reciprocate for Sister Gertraud Schmidt’s care for Nicky, his mother gave sister Gertraud baskets and Brother Schmidt a delicate pipe bowl which she made.

38For a more complete explanation of kinship systems of the Cherokees, see Perdue Women, 41-59; Gambolds to Rev. John Herbst, 10 November 1810, MAS.

39Cherokee women made decisions on adoption in their society. Perdue, Women, 54, 69.

40Springplace Diary, 14 March 1819, MAS.

41 Schwarze, History of Missions, 121, 122.

42 Peggy Vann’s Uncle, Chief Charles Hicks, read the Cherokee Women’s Petition to the Council in 1818. This document is the women’s plea not to sell more Cherokee land and to continue to hold Cherokee land in common. They used kinship terms to strengthen their argument by addressing their plea as the “Mothers” of the Nation of “Beloved Children.” In a letter to Salem Anna Rosina included a copy of the petition. John and Anna Rosina Gambold to Jacob Van Vleck, 17 July 1818, MAS; A published copy of this document can be found in, Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green, eds., The Cherokee Removal: A Brief History with Documents (Boston: St. Martins Press, 1995), 125. The notation of the event is in the Springplace Diary, 1 July 1818, MAS.

43Springplace Diary, September 1820, MAS.

44Schwarze, History of the Missions, 142, 143.

45Mary and Martha McNair attended the Girls’ Boarding School from 13 February1823 until 23 May 1825. Student card in Salem College Library vault, Winston-Salem, N.C.

46In the diary written by the minister at Salem, Andrew Bernade, on the day the McNair sisters arrived, records that their mother is a member of the Cherokee congregation at Springplace. Fries, 8 Records, 3621.

47Delila Mcnair’s great granddaughter, Albina Rogers attended the Girls’ Boarding School from 9 November 1839 until 30 October 1843. Student cards in Salem College Library vault, Winston-Salem, N.C.

48The cost of educating children was also a problem to the missionaries. John Gambold’s second wife, Anna Maria Schulz, agreed to marry him if the church would educate her two daughters who remained in Salem when she and John Gambold moved to Oochgelogy in 1823.

49J.R. Schmidt to Andrew Benade, 16 February 1824, MAS.

50Sara “Sally” Ridge came to the Boarding School on 26 December 1826 and left 23 May1829. Student card in Salem College Library vault, Winston-Salem, N.C.

51Griffin, Less Time, 165, 166.

52Andrew Bernade the minister of the congregation during this period records in the diary of the Salem congregation that Susanna Ridge is a communicant member of Springplace. Adelaide L. Fries and Douglas L. Rights, trans. and ed. Records of the Moravians in North Carolina 8 (Raleigh: State Dept. of Archives and History, 1954): 3771.

53Perdue, Women, 152, Ard Hoyt, a missionary from the nearby Brainerd mission, an interdenominational group largely Presbyterian and Congregationalist, earlier had assured the American Board in Boston of Susanna Ridge’s sister-in-law’s ability to repay money from the sale of her livestock for her son’s expenses.

54Fries, 8 Records, 3738.

55Eliza Vierling Kremer, “Bits of Old Salem Gossip.” The hand written account can be found in the Salem College Archives, Winston-Salem, N.C.

56 Sara A. Vogler, The Academy 39 (Nov. 1915): 6525. Sara Vogler was the daughter of Miles and Sophia Dorothea Ruede Vogler. They were missionaries to the Cherokee before and after Removal. Her mother, Sophia, taught at the Girls’ Boarding School and was the favorite teacher of Jane Ross Nave. The correspondence of Sophia and Jane continued until Sophia died in1888.



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