David Zeisberger

1721-1808. Moravian missionary to American Indians* for sixty-three years. Born in Zauchtenthal, Moravia, he was five when the family fled to Herrnhut* in Saxony. In 1736 the parents joined the Moravian colony in Georgia, David following two years later. In 1745, after moving to Pennsylvania, he began his missionary work with such acceptance that the Six Nations made him a sachem and “keeper of their archives.” His greatest work, however, was with the Delawares and demonstrates the frustrations of Indian missions; persecuted in Pennsylvania, in 1772 they migrated to Ohio, where their settlements were destroyed in the Revolution. Particularly shocking was the massacre at Gnadenhütten in 1782 by colonial militia. Zeisberger accompanied his Indians to Michigan and finally to Canada, where he founded Fairfield. In 1798 Congress restored the Indians' land, so he returned to Ohio and built Goshen.