Monday, March 14, 2011

The Mohicans of Pachgatgoch: As told by Moravian Missionaries

The diaries of thirteen Moravian missionaries were recently translated (from German) into English. These translated diaries, along with a 73-page introduction, six appendices, and various other sections, were published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2009 under the title Gideon's People: Being a Chronicle of an American Indian Community in Colonial Connecticut and the Moravian Missionaries Who Served There. Corinna Daily-Starna and William A. Starna translated and edited the nearly 700 pages that make up a two volume set.

As far as the blogoshere is concerned, I've been beaten to the punch on this one. A Febrary 19, 2010 post to the Religion in American History blog by Linford D. Fisher was titled "The View from Pachgotgoch (or, Why Moravians Are Still Sexy)".

If Linford Fisher's post wasn't enough to convince you to read all 690-plus pages of Gideon's People, I'll just have to tell you a few other things about it.

Q: Who was Gideon?
A: Gideon was the headman of the village of Pachgatgoch, a unique community in the sense that it was a community of Christian Indians not organized by the missionaries (this is explained in the introduction, page 60).

Q: Is there any data in this book that I can use for genealogy?
A: Any of the Appendices might be helpful to you. they are, as follows:
Appendix 1 --> page 437: Catalogus of the Indian Congregation in Pachgatgoch
Appendix 2 --> page 447: Names Compoiled by Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg
Appendix 3 --> page 451: Catalogus of Baptized and Unbaptized Indians in Pachgatgoch
Appendix 4 --> page 461: Lists and Correspondence
Appendix 5 --> page 523: Biographical List; and
Appendix 6 --> page 537: the Gazatteer (a list of geographical names)