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The Moravian Springplace Mission to the Cherokees, Abridged Edition

Edited and with an introduction by Rowena McClinton

Publication Year: 2010

In 1801 the Moravians, a Pietist German-speaking group from Central Europe, founded the Springplace Mission at a site in present-day northwestern Georgia. The Moravians remained among the Cherokees for more than thirty years, longer than any other Christian group. John and Anna Rosina Gambold served at the mission from 1805 until Anna’s death in 1821. Anna, the principal author of the diaries, chronicles the intimate details of Cherokee daily life for seventeen years. Anna describes mission life and what she heard and saw at Springplace: food preparation and consumption, transactions pertaining to land, Cherokee body ornaments, conjuring, Cherokee law and punishment, Green Corn ceremonies, ball play, and matriarchal and marriage traditions. She similarly recounts stories she heard about rainmaking, the origins of the Cherokee people, and how she herself conversed with curious Cherokees about Christian images and fixtures. She also recalls earthquakes, conversions, notable visitors, annuity distributions, and illnesses. This abridged edition offers selected excerpts from the definitive edition of the Springplace diary, enabling significant themes and events of Cherokee culture and history to emerge. Anna’s carefully recorded observations reveal the Cherokees’ worldview and allow readers a glimpse into a time of change and upheaval for the tribe.

Published by: University of Nebraska Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

Maps

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pp. xi-

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Series Editors’ Preface

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pp. xiii-xiv

The Moravians, a pietistic German sect who settled in piedmont North Carolina in the mid-eighteenth century, conducted the fi rst sustained Christian missionary work among the Cherokees. The mission’s most dynamic years were those when John and Anna Rosina Gambold provided its leadership. The Gambold years correspond to a period of enor-...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvii

Many persons made suggestions and assisted me in the publication of The Moravian Springplace Mission to the Cherokees, Abridged Edition. Past acquisitions editor and director of the University of Nebraska Press Gary Dunham, now of Albany, New York, recommended that I write a thematic abridgment of the Moravian Springplace Mission to the Cherokees...

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Editorial Policy

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pp. xix-xxi

This abridgment of The Moravian Springplace Mission to the Cherokees, 1805–1821, is a representative compilation of Anna Rosina Gambold’s written observations extracted from the recently published two-volume edition. Anna Rosina Gambold was the principal writer from October 1, 1805, to June 30, 1820, but other missionaries wrote from time to time:...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-11

This abridgment of the two-volume Moravian Springplace Mission to the Cherokees illuminates the careful observations of Anna Rosina née Kliest Gambold, Moravian missionary to the Cherokees from 1805 to 1821. Recorded almost daily, the narratives are extracted from the two volumes of The Moravian Springplace Mission to the Cherokees, 1805–1813...

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1. Significant Events and Themesat Springplace Mission between1805 and 1821

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pp. 13-63

An imported enterprise, Springplace Mission not only mirrored western values but also showed how those very values intersected with and affected Cherokee sensibility. Though Anna Rosina’s prime duty was to train Cherokee children in the “arts of civilization,” the internal mission discourse ultimately reflected the intensity of disparate cultural contacts. The physicality of place allowed common ground where Cherokees and missionaries interacted and conversed.

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2. Continuity of Traditional Cherokee Cultural Traits

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pp. 64-113

Anna Rosina Gambold recorded matters pertaining to the Cherokees’ concept of land, Cherokee body ornaments, food preparation and consumption, conjuring, Cherokee law and punishment, and matriarchal and marriage traditions. Further, she recorded stories the missionaries had heard about rainmaking and about the origins of the Cherokee people, and she conversed...

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Epilogue

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pp. 115-116

As Cherokees transcended the deceits and vagaries of the Early Republic’s assimilation or “civilization” Indian policies, they became increasingly under pressure to cede land in the East and move west. One Cherokee family, the Ridges, was extraordinarily affected by the “civilization program.” As noted earlier, John Ridge wrote to President James Monroe...

Notes

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pp. 117-157


E-ISBN-13: 9780803234390
E-ISBN-10: 0803234392
Print-ISBN-13: 9780803220959
Print-ISBN-10: 0803220952

Page Count: 184
Illustrations: 1 illustration, 2 maps
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Indians of the Southeast

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Subject Headings

  • Springplace Mission (Ga.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
  • Missionaries -- Georgia -- Spring Place -- Diaries.
  • Moravians -- Missions -- Georgia -- Spring Place -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
  • Cherokee Indians -- Georgia -- Spring Place -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
  • Indian school children -- Georgia -- Spring Place -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
  • Gambold, John, ca. 1761-1827 -- Diaries.
  • Gambold, Anna Rosina, d. 1821 -- Diaries.
  • Moravians -- Georgia -- Spring Place -- Diaries.
  • Spring Place (Ga.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
  • Cherokee Indians -- Missions -- Georgia -- Spring Place -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
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