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Can't see anything and the link doesn't work for me. Most of us used to use Photobucket, but they've really screwed us, lately--charging crazy prices for what used to be free of charge. Anyway, I've started using Flickr and posting their links to pictures. I don't know how to embed them in a post, here.
Click the link below to to to a 'letter to the editor' of the Herald-Star Newspaper by Rev. Werner Lange who attended the Remembrance at the Park in Gnaddenhutten on March 8th. It contains one typo, he says the massacre occurred 226 years ago and it was 236 years ago. He definitely knows the difference. He was quite outspoken about the atrocity and he gives a good account of what was actually being lived out by the Delaware and the Moravians. He has also agreed to help in any way he can to erect a cross at this site, which he maintains, is long overdue.
http://www.heraldstaronline.com/opinion … -realized/
Another effort by the Rev. Werner Lange, with all our thanks!
Dear Cleveland Indians staff,
As you may know, March 8th marked the 236th anniversary of the brutal massacre of 96 pacifist Christian Native Americans in Gnadenhutten (â€œSanctuaries of Graceï¿½ ), a sacred site just about 100 miles south of Progressive Field.
At yesterdayâ€™s moving commemoration of that American tragedy, Lenape Native American representatives announced plans to at least dignify this historic site with placement of a large cross by the mound containing the corpses of the slaughtered Indians.
As a corporation which has reaped enormous financial benefits from the marketing of the insulting â€œChief Wahooï¿½ symbol and name â€œIndiansï¿½ , you are strongly encouraged to contribute to this important effort. Please contact the coordinator of the
Gnadenhutten Museum and/or the pastor of the Gnadenhutten Moravian Church for further details about how you can assist making the erection of a dignified cross at this site a reality. Please also share this message with the appropriate decision makers.
Rev. Dr. Werner Lange
Based on the suggestion of Rev. Werner Lange, here is my effort to contact the Cleveland Indians Charities group.
My name is Gerard Heath. I am a current member of the Moravian Band of the Delaware Indians, now known as the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown.
March 8th 2018, was the 236th anniversary of the Gnadenhutten Massacre of the Moravian Delaware Indians. If you do not know, Gnadenhutten is the oldest existing settlement in the state of Ohio. The remains of these 96 Christian Indians lay exposed to the forest animals and the weather for over 15 years before being piled in a mass grave called the Burial Mound for the Christian Indian Martyrs. The Ohio Historical Society erected a marker at the site that calls the Gnadenhutten Massacre of March 8th 1782 a National Day of Shame.
My great great grandfather, Christian Moses Stonefish, dedicated the obelisk that stands in the Gnadenhutten Historical Park, erected as a memorial in 1872, and it is my family interred in that burial mound. It is for this reason I am trying to raise awareness of the day and to raise funds to erect a Christian Cross at the burial mound and erect wrought iron fencing around other appropriate areas in the park.
We are thankful that Chief Wahoo is being removed from your uniforms next year but I would like you to go one step further. As a show of good faith, and in an effort to make amends, it would be a great public relations effort if the Cleveland Indians donated the money to erect the cross and wrought iron fencing.
I have gone over your website, particularly your 'Diversity Advisory Board' section and was disappointed to see many minority groups represented such as the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, the National Black MBA Association, the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission, and others but no representation from the Native American community. I am also sure that this is something you want to resolve and if I can help in any way, please let me know.
Follow this link to a YouTube video that tells the story of the massacre and speaks to my request to erect a Christian Cross.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg0-ME64L64&t=1s A Cross for Gnadenhutten
Please contact me for details about the site or the massacre and how the Cleveland Indians can get involved in preserving and promoting this sacred site.
Tax deductible deductions can be sent to:
The Gnadenhutten Historical Society - Christian Cross Project
c/o John Heil
156 Spring St.
Gnadenhutten, Ohio 44629
Thank you for considering my request and may God bless you for your support of these Wilderness Christians.
Today is June 21st and I am sitting in a campground near Gnadenhutten, Ohio. It has been over 3 months since my last post after the Remembrance at the Park held on March 8th, the anniversary date of the Gnadenhutten massacre, and I am here to begin the process of installing a cross at the burial mound.
I met with the Tribal Council at Moraviantown on May 16th to discuss the cross, some human remains at the park, and the possibility of the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown getting involved in the effort of the Ohio Historical Connection to interpret the massacre site for visitors.
While I wait for the tribe to respond, I intend to take the bull by the horns and begin the installation process. Over $5k has been raised for the cross and I will begin to spend that money preparing the site for the installation. I have to establish a respectable perimeter around the mound, and see about getting a foundation poured to receive the cross when finished.
If anything of note occurs over the next few days while I am at the park, I will post it here as there seems to be a silent interest in this endeavor on this forum. Since March 8th, there have been almost 20,000 reads on this thread.
For those interested in this thread, you should also pay attention to the other thread on this History page titled, "The first treaty between the US and an Indian nation still matters." I maintain that the Gnadenhutten Massacre was due to the Delaware signing the Fort Pitt Treaty and being promised entry into the new United States as the 14th state. The Delaware held up their end of the treaty and the United States broke that treaty as well as every other treaty they ever had with an Indian Nation.
Follow that thread as well as I develop that thought.
Getting dark and the mosquitoes are beginning to bite around the campsite so I will put it away for now. More to come.
Today is June 24th, St. John's Day, and I have been at the Gnadenhutten Historical Park & Museum for the last two days. I'm camping nearby and coming to the park each day to volunteer my services around the place and I have had the opportunity to meet many fine people.
I was very happy to see, upon my arrival, that the efforts have already begun to establish a respectable perimeter around the mound to keep drivers and pedestrians back about 10' from the base of the mound. The sidewalk that actually touched the burial mound has been removed and grass is growing to fill in where the sidewalk was and drivers have been moved back and grass is filling in on all sides. Previously, gravel touched the mound on two sides and has been replaced by green grass and it looks great, a 100% turnaround since my last visit. My thanks and gratitude go out to all the folks in Gnadenhutten who made this happen, particularly John Heil, curator of the museum who works tirelessly at the park daily as a volunteer!
We have been working for the last two days tearing out cabinets and sinks in the concession area and replacing them with updated fixtures. In the process, we discovered that the wiring was sub par and not up to code so we fixed that at the same time. I'll be here for a day or two more to get the concession area refurbished but that is not the story I want to tell. The story I find interesting at this place is the visitors that come daily to walk around the park and tour the museum and the cabins where the massacre took place.
On Saturday, it fell to me to help out at the museum and lead a few tours around the grounds. This was a great experience to actually talk to the visitors and learn what they know, and do not know, about the Gnadenhutten Massacre. One of the line items I put before the Delaware Nation Tribal Council on May 16th was the need for interpretive signage, at least, around the park so visitors can read and know what occurred there. To a person, they were fascinated, and horrified, by the tale told about the massacre of these gentle Christian souls and they were surprised that there was no information available to visitors out in the park.
The most surprising visitor that came to the park while I was working was Chief Denise Stonefish from the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me as she approached me and said, "Hello Gerard, nice to see you again." After both of us expressing surprise to find each other at the park at the same time we had a discussion about why she was there. She was around the area on personal business and decided to come over to the park to look over the various line items I left with the council in May to make her own determination. As we spoke, a car pulled up over the grass and right up to the chain barrier erected to keep people from actually driving up on the burial mound. She got to see first hand what the problem was and thought that the perimeter needed to be established sooner rather than later.
Each night before retiring I build a fire near the mound and make a tobacco offering and pray that the next steps are carefully taken to erect a cross at the burial mound. I call it 'smudging the mound'. I place two bricks side by side at the base of the mound, upwind, and then place a piece of burning wood on the bricks so as not to burn the grass, and finally I place four twists of tobacco on the burning embers and the tobacco smoke rolls over the mound. To my surprise, it actually acted like a lawn sprinkler with the wind shifting and spreading smoke over the mound from side to side. The smoke seemed to hug the mound as it went up the mound and down the other side before being blown away and the odor carried to the Creator. To be the only one in the park at midnight performing this Midsummer Night ritual was awesome in every sense of the word!
Today is another day and as I begin pulling wire, I look forward to what comes next.
You are most welcome!
It is now Monday morning and I'm looking out past the burial mound towards the obelisk and the reconstructed cabins where the massacre took place as I load my vehicle to head for home. The electrician got called away yesterday and as a result I spent the bulk of the day trimming trees and carrying brush. The place looks great!
I feel much progress was made toward the installation of a cross at the burial mound, of course not as much as I would have liked, but things are falling into place.
It is my hope and prayer that the visit of Chief Denise Stonefish this past weekend will lead to the involvement of the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown in doing a Lenape interpretation of this site aided by the Ohio Historical Connection.
Pioneer Days in Gnadenhutten August 3-5 2018
It has been nearly two weeks since I attended the annual Pioneer Days celebration in Gnadenhutten, Ohio. It was the first time I have attended this event as it is celebrating a space in time that occurred long after the Moravian Delaware had a presence there. The times depicted are circa 1840 and the Moravian Indian Massacre, ending our presence there, took place in 1782.
Regardless, when I was invited by John Heil, curator of the Gnadenhutten Historical Park & Museum, to come and say a few words to the campers and attendees about the Cross for Gnadenhutten Project, I accepted and did attend Saturday and Sunday. John has done so much for the Cross Project and as a volunteer at this sacred site, I was happy to do anything I could for the main fundraising effort of the year. The good news is that this year the museum and park raised more money than any year in the past!
There were some unique aspects to this years Pioneer Days. For the first time there was a Moravian Delaware Indian presence and a Moravian Church presence roaming the grounds. Also, and perhaps historic, on Sunday morning a Moravian pastor, Darrell Johnson (no relation to Theresa), once more gave a sermon and held a traditional Love Feast at the site of the original chapel, with a Moravian Delaware Indian sitting in the pews. The singularity of the moment did not escape me.
Other unique aspects were that Theresa Johnson of the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown was also invited to speak to the crowd about her ancestors relationship to the park and the burial mound. Theresa also donated a native made sweet grass basket that sold for $275.00 at the Pioneer Day Crock Auction.
A particularly special moment for me was a visit to the park on Saturday by Ms. Nancy Hoffman and her daughter who drove from Pennsylvania to hand deliver a generous donation for the Cross for Gnadenhutten fund. Nancy introduced herself to me as the 5th great granddaughter of Moravian Missionary Johannes Roth who actually preached in the chapel at Gnadenhutten and was a missionary at the time of the massacre. She was very happy to hear about the Cross Project and said it is a natural for a monument and is long overdue.
It was nice to meet Theresa Johnson who is passionate about the burial mound and the park. We are hoping to convince her and her sister to come to the Remembrance at the Park next March 8, 2019 and sing Amazing Grace in Lenape accompanied by a native flute. Each year this event grows, and will continue to grow.
Maybe next year, there will be a Cross for Gnadenhutten casting it's shadow on the burial mound.
The Cross for Gnadenhutten Rises!
It gives me great pleasure to announce on this site that on Friday, November 16, 2018, the foundation was laid for the Cross for Gnadenhutten. I began the discussion here over 8 years ago, on this thread, talking about erecting a cross as a monument for the 96 Delaware Christian Indians massacred at the site on March 8, 1782.
Great care was taken by the group that came together that morning to excavate a singular hole 18" square by 48" deep to set a 4 1/2" diameter pole in concrete. The cross will be mounted on that pole when the concrete is cured. Due to the proximity of the burial mound, about 30 feet, and being on the site of the original village of Gnadenhutten, the dirt was removed with a trowel, layer by layer by Professor Cole. The soil was then sifted and bagged for further analysis. No artifact of any kind was observed.
The group was made up of John Heil, curator of the Gnadenhutten Historical Park & Museum, Robert Cook, Professor of Anthropology at the Ohio State University, Emma, a grad student from OSU, Robert Pollina, designer of the cross, Paul Pennock of the Woodworkers of Central Ohio whose group is building the cross, and me, Gerard Heath of the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown. In addition, Tom Miller from Gnadenhutten provided the pole, the concrete and the mixer and the labor to install all that was needed. Many thanks go out to this group for their excellent work.
I also would like to thank the many readers of this forum that have donated much of the needed funds for the Cross for Gnadenhutten Project at the Historical Park. Forgive me if I mention one more time that donations to the project are tax deductible and can be sent to:
The Gnadenhutten Historical Society - Christian Cross Project
c/o John Heil
156 Spring St.
Gnadenhutten, Ohio 44629
So what does this mean? It means that we were able to get the foundation in the ground before it froze and because we accomplished that, it also means that the Cross for Gnadenhutten will be in place and dedicated on March 8, 2019 when we meet at the burial mound for the annual Remembrance at the Park.
Mark that day and plan to join us. This year will be historic.
The Dedication of the Cross for Gnadenhutten is Friday, March 8th 2019 at 9 am
At long last, I write today to invite all who read this post to the Dedication Service at the Cross for Gnadenhutten on Friday morning at 9 am. Many people will come to the Gnadenhutten Historical Park & Museum that morning to honor and remember the 96 Christian Indians, men women and children, that were massacred by Pennsylvania Militiamen 237 years ago on March 8th 1782.
Chief Denise Stonefish of the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown, Ontario has been invited as well as the Tribal Council but no response as to whether or not they will come. The Delaware Nation in Bartlesville, Oklahoma have also been notified of the event and an invitation extended to them as well.
In attendance and giving remarks, in addition to myself, are Theresa Johnson from Moraviantown and John Heil, curator of the Gnadenhutten Historical Park and Museum. Actors from the Trumpet in the Land production from nearby Schoenbrunn will do a small reenactment of the removal of the Christian Indians to Captives Town prior to the massacre. At my request, they will not reenact the massacre as they do in their summertime productions.
In attendance will be the same group from the Ohio History Connection that attended last year and are working to interpret the site from a Moravian Delaware perspective. Local pastors that will give the benediction and Theresa Johnson is providing a Lenape version of Amazing Grace performed by herself and her friends and relatives. Should be a moving experience to hear a Christian hymn sung, in the language of the Lenape, at this site for the first time in 237 years.
This is to be a small informal dedication service to be held outdoors near the cross at the burial mound. It will be followed up with coffee, hot chocolate and donuts in the museum during a question and answer period for anyone wanting to learn more from the participants.
I will follow up with a post to the forum shortly after the service summarizing all that took place so if you are interested in the event but cannot make it to the park, stop back after March 8th to learn how it went.
All are invited and welcome.
DAY OF REMEMBRANCE HELD AT GNADENHUTTEN
By Mary Krocker / Times-Reporter correspondent
Posted Mar 8, 2019 at 2:01 PM
https://www.timesreporter.com/news/2019 … adenhutten
[Video and photographs at the link--including one of our member, Newallike (Gerard Heath), who is responsible for initiating this project and continuing to oversee it.]
GNADENHUTTEN Despite Friday morningâ€™s cold temperatures, there was a large attendance at the annual Day of Remembrance service. It was held on the village museum grounds in memory of the 96 Christian Indians buried there.
The Indians were slaughtered on March 8, 1782, by a group of Pennsylvania militiamen. Although the militiamen claimed they were seeking revenge for Indian raids on their frontier settlements, the Indians they murdered had played no role in any attack.
Village Mayor John Heil welcomed those attending, including a group of Delaware Indians from Canada and history students from Indian Valley High. He explained that history was affected by the good relationship of the Delawares at Gnadenhutten and the early white settlers.
A large wooden cross at the site, constructed and erected by members of the Woodworkers of Ohio, also was dedicated. It was noted the cross was constructed of cedar because it is a wood considered special by the Delawares.
Among those attending from Canada were Therese Johnson and her husband Larry of Moraviantown, Ontario. The couple also brought their two great-grandsons, Philip and Kayson Dontator of the Oneida Reserve in Canada, to the event.
Therese became tearful when she spoke about visiting Gnadenhutten, where some of her ancestors are buried, about 20 times over the years. Larry also placed a small burning vessel of tobacco under the cross and the couple sprinkled tobacco at the gravesite, which is an Indian tradition.
Larry also accompanied a musical recording on a small hand-held drum and flute music also was featured. A recording of the hymn, Amazing Grace, was presented in the Lenape language.
Two short scenes from â€œTrumpet in the Land" were also presented.
Following the service, coffee and donuts were served inside the museum.
Wonderful photos! Someday I'll get there, thanks for posting that.
Remarks by Gerard F. Heath at the Cross for Gnadenhutten Dedication Ceremony held March 8th, 2019
As all can see from the article thoughtfully posted by Sschkaak, the event was well attended and thought provoking. Last Friday, and continuing through to today, I am being asked, "Why a Cross at Gnadenhutten, given the history of the church and the native nations?"
I have been attempting to edit the video shot at the event, with little luck. I will persist and get it done but I'm afraid the quality is not going to be that good and it will not put our best foot forward. In the meantime, I will post the narrative of my remarks regarding the erection of a cross and not another native symbol. Much more was said that day and I will post 3 of 4 separate videos so others can see and hear Larry Johnson drum and sing his song and hear Theresa Johnson's heartfelt remarks at the Burial Mound.
Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and honor the memory of the indigenous nations upon whose land we now stand. Rheena
Dennison will help us do this by an offering of tobacco for the Shawnee, for the Lenape, the Odawa, the Miami, and the Wyandot, to name some of them.
Thank you Rheena.
My name is Gerard Heath. I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada though I have always lived in the states. I hold First Nations Status in
Canada, and my band affiliation is with the Lenape people who are commonly known as the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown in Ontario, Canada. For the
Lenape from Moraviantown in attendance, my mother is Eva Pauline Martin and my grandmother was Lillian Mae Stonefish. My ancestor, Christian Moses
Stonefish dedicated the obelisk you see behind me 90 years after the Gnadenhutten Massacre.
As I begin my remarks, I want to be clear. I am a member of the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown, but I do not live on the reserve, and I do not speak for
them. The following words and thoughts are my own.
I want to state at the outset, before we talk about the Cross Project and other modifications being considered for the Park, my position on erecting a cross at
this burial mound, this holy and sacred place, in spite of the controversial history between the church and native peoples.
I know full well the history. I know about the popes in the Catholic Church that issued the Holy Orders, the Papal Bulls, that declared any newly discovered
lands, by people like Christopher Columbus, to be claimed for the church. These Papal Bulls, orders to the explorers, came to be known as the Doctrines of
Discovery. The Doctrines stated that, any persons found, if not Christians, were to be considered as â€˜occupiersâ€™ of the land, not owners of the land.
Like a squirrel occupies the land.
Like a deer occupies the land.
We were clearly classified as â€˜less than humanâ€™, to be managed. I know this.
I know the history of the boarding schools run by the church. I know of the unspeakable abuse to native peoples for such simple things as speaking their own
language. For this, they would have dry ice applied to their tongues and the flesh ripped from them. I know this.
I know all these things, and more, and yet I stand here today to dedicate a cross. The cross, the most visible sign of the perpetrators of these crimes against
the native nations. And so, I have asked myself the same question many others are asking. Why a cross? Why not some type of symbol with a native
connotation? These are good questions. I have what I feel is a good answer. At least itâ€™s the answer that has allowed me, in good conscience, to continue to
see this project through to the end that you now see.
The cross stands in Gnadenhutten.
And so, let it be known, as we stand here this morning, that this cross does not represent a religious organization of any denomination.
This cross stands here as the cross of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that these 96 Christian natives died believing in. They saw in the cross, their salvation.
The salvation that would be required suddenly, 237 years ago this morning, at the hands of the Pennsylvania Militiamen.
These gentle Christian souls spent the night before their murder praying and singing hymns at the foot of that cross.
Can there be a more apropos symbol to place at this burial mound where they all are buried together? In my opinion, it is altogether fitting and proper that
these Lenape souls await the resurrection they know is coming, at the foot of their beloved cross.
I want to thank you all for coming out this morning to honor the memory of these Christian Indians. As you listen to the Lenape version of Amazing Grace
recorded by Theresa Johnson and her friends and relatives, hold it in your minds, that the last time Christian hymns in Lenape were heard at this place was
237 years ago, last night.
My name is Gerard Heath. These are my words.
Videos of the Dedication Ceremony of the Cross for Gnadenhutten are on YouTube
For readers of this thread that could not make it to Gnadenhutten on March 8th, 2019 to participate in the Dedication of the Cross for Gnadenhutten, you can go to the YouTube page created to help raise the money for the cross. There you will find the full 44 minute program, start to finish, and shorter clips of events and speakers.
I will be continuing to populate the page as I receive and edit photos and videos. The quality and sound are not the greatest, but we didn't even decide to film it until 5 minutes before we began the program.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqX1hq … P4-cnF1lwg
Click the link above to view the videos.
Thanks to all for your support and assistance.
Thank you for posting this Tree Hugger!
I logged in to see if I could figure out how to post it myself, and there it was. Many thanks.
It has been on my mind to begin the annual conversation here to let everyone know about this year's event but I won't know for a few days all who will be participating.
If any are interested, know that all are invited to attend and I will post the final schedule of events soon.
You're welcome. I'm looking forward to updates.
Remembrance Day 2020 Gnadenhutten, Ohio March 8-9, 2020
As all can see from the flyer graciously posted by Tree Hugger, this year's observance falls on a Sunday for the first time since we have been meeting on March 8th. Consequently, there will be a two day observance. Sunday is more private though all are welcome. There will be no speakers or ceremony planned at this time but this could change as I feel there will be local native people on hand to meet and greet any visitors on Sunday.
John Heil, Mayor of Gnadenhutten and Curator of the Gnadenhutten Historical Park & Museum and I decided to move the public observance of the Gnadenhutten Massacre to Monday the 9th so the local high school classes can attend the ceremony. Instead of attending class that day, I will be lecturing the two American History classes for the Indian Valley High School in the museum, or at the Burial Mound, weather permitting. This will be the third year doing this for the school and well worth moving the observance so the students can hear a native version of their history. Frankly, this is the high point of my day. "I believe the children are the future, teach them well, and let them lead the way." I think there's a song in there! I digress.
I would like to thank Steven Newcomb and his production company, 38 Plus 2 Productions, LLC, for their generous donation of two copies of The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code for use in my lectures. One copy will be given to the museum to show visitors year round, and the other copy is for the American Histoy Department of the Indian Valley High School for curriculum use. This documentary is based on Steven's book, Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Chrisitian Discovery.
In addition to the lectures, I will address the crowd not related to the high school. They will also hear the native version of events surrounding the Gnadenhutten Massacre and an intoduction to how the Doctrine of Discovery should be used to abrogate the Treaty of Fort Pitt and provide representation in the US Congress for the Indian Nations, with a Delaware Indian in the seat, as provided in Artice 6. I have actually talked to Steven Newcomb about this and he listened patiently, without responding. He doesn't know me well enough yet to know I'm serious.
Theresa and Larry Johnson from Moraviantown will once again attend. Theresa will address the crowd about her family links to the victims of the massacre and Larry will bring his drum and sing a song. The players from Trumpet in the Land will also be there and do dramatic readings as they did last year.
I really don't know what to expect but I do know this event has grown larger every year and I think with the help of many spreading the word by circulating the flyer, this year could be well attended. It should be mentioned, and I want to thank Curtis Zunigha of the Delaware Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma for carrying our flyer on the banner of their website for the last week.
If there is anything substantive to add before the program next weekend, I will post here again.
All are welcome to attend this years event and I hope to see you there.
Seize the day.
Change the narrative.
Control the narrative.
Yes, hopefully but do not want to speak for others. Thanks, I could have been more clear.
Posted below is a news article about the Day of Remembrance 2020 held in Gnadenhutten, Ohio March 8-9m 2020.
I will be posting a summary of the day with much the news did not cover as soon as I can.
Suffice it to say, it was a wonderful day, exceeding all expectations.
Day of Remembrance highlights Moravian Delaware perspective
Gerard Heath is happy to be a high school history teacher for the day when students from Indian Valley High School visit the Day of Remembrance at the Gnadenhutten Historical Park. The students have been in attendance at the ceremony and throughout the day for the past three years.
This year marked the 238th anniversary of the Gnadenhutten Massacre, where 96 Christian Delaware Native Americans were killed on March 8, 1782, by the Pennsylvania Militia. The memorial service was held on March 9 so the students could attend.
“I look forward to giving them a slant on history I know they haven’t heard. They’ll hear a Native slant on American History. It’s important, especially since this is their town and such an unbelievable thing happened here, said Heath, a member of the Delaware Nation. “It’s necessary that people remember. Education is the key. These things happen, and they will continue to happen without education.
Heath has been coming to Gnadenhutten for the past 10 years to honor his ancestors after he read a book by Elma Gray called “Wilderness Christians: The Moravian Mission to the Delaware Indians.
“What happened 238 years ago yesterday, the Pennsylvania Militia men came riding into town on a revenge mission, Heath said. “They thought that these native people had killed other people, which they had not. They were pacifists, and the people who killed them knew it, but that didn’t matter.
The militia told the natives they were going to be taken to Fort Pitt for protection, and the natives gave up their weapons as a sign of good faith.
“As soon as that happened, the treachery was revealed, and they told them that they were going to kill them the next day, Heath said. “In the cabins you see behind me, they spent the night praying and singing hymns, knowing that when the sun rose, they would be sent to the Creator.
The scene could not have been more gruesome. When sunrise came, the Natives were killed with a wooden Cooper’s mallet to save ammunition before the victims were scalped.
“Then they set fire to the buildings, Heath said. “I want you to imagine just for a moment 238 years ago everything behind me was on fire and 96 men, women and children are laying in the grass dead.
It would be 15 years before the victims were given a burial by Rev. John Heckewelder. “He gathered them up and put them in this mound that you see before me. This is my family, how direct we don’t know, but it’s all family. People of the same names are still in Canada that were here at that time, Heath said.
Christian Moses Stonefish, a multiple-great-grandfather of Heath, dedicated the obelisk memorial at the Gnadenhutten Memorial Park 90 years after the massacre when he traveled from Canada to the village, and 147 years afterward in 2019, Heath was pleased to dedicate a large wooden cross that stands near the burial mound.
Heath is supporting a project to redesign the area to cordon off the mound and cross area with fencing, moving a parking lot away from the mound to make it more private. There also are plans to cordon off the cabin area where the massacre took place.
“When you walk into the area, you’ll have to walk through an opening. You’ll get the sense that something is different about this area. We are going to interpret the park from the Moravian Delaware perspective, Heath said.
Tax-deductible contributions may be made by marking the donations for the cross project and sending to John Heil, 156 Spring St., Gnadenhutten, OH 44629. Make checks payable to the Gnadenhutten Museum.
Heath is grateful for the help of the Gnadenhutten Museum’s volunteer curator. “John Heil has been an exceptional friend to the Delaware people. He’s making sure this day and these people are remembered, he said.
Chief Denise Stonefish of the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown, Canada opened the program in the Lenape language to start the memorial service and then repeated it in English.
“We give thanks to the Creator for giving us this day. We give thanks to the Earth whose back we are on for as long as we are here. Help us to speak the truth and to walk a good path in the light as long as we live, Stonefish said.
Stonefish later distributed tobacco, which is meaningful to the Delaware, and encouraged visitors to say a prayer and place the tobacco on the mound.
Theresa Johnson of Moraviantown, Canada also spoke to the crowd. She and her husband Larry came to the area the first time about 20 years ago to see where their ancestors lived.
“I was shocked because I had been working on my family tree. My family is there. I have an uncle, grandfather and cousins buried there. I just broke down and cried, she said, adding she and her husband have committed to coming back every year for the memorial.
Joe Bonamico, a 40-year member of the outdoor drama, "Trumpet in the Land," which tells the story of the Moravians and Delaware people, read some passages from the show’s script that illustrated the spirit of cooperation between the Delaware and the Moravian missionaries.
“I would be remiss if I did not recognize the strength and intestinal fortitude that these brave men and women showed to the world on that day," Bonamico said. “What the Delaware ancestors sacrificed when they stood here that day and believed in is without parallel.
“None of us know how strong our faith is until it is tested. What the Delaware achieved here at Gnadenhutten is a powerful and illuminating beacon to learn from and to follow. The Delaware here at Gnadenhutten gave us the strongest example of valor that has been seen to date, Bonamico said.
Two moving performances completed the program. Larry Wonderley of Midvale played a wooden Native American flute, and Larry Johnson played a drum and sang a song in memory of the victims.
The program was meaningful for all who attended. “A lot of our people don’t know our history. That is something our community is trying to change to let our young people know who they are and where they came from. You can’t move forward until you know where you have been, Stonefish said.
https://thebargainhunter.com/news/featu … erspective
I am busy editing the various videos of the speakers and events from the Day of Remembrance 2020 at Gnadenhutten, Ohio March 8-9, 2020 so the summary is still forthcoming. In the meantime, you can visit the Facebook page for Robert Girard where the remarks are easier to upload and view. More will be coming, including the American History classes taught that day.
If you would like to view the remarks, click this link: https://www.facebook.com/robert.girard.56614