Original Document
Original Document
David Zeisberger's Burial Notes on an Indian Convert, 1801.

David Zeisberger (1721-1808) often recorded brief biographies of his Indian converts at the time of their burials. One such biography was for Sophia, whose life followed the westward migration patterns of the Moravian Delaware during the era of the American Revolution.

Burial 7
Sophia, the Elder, wife of Josua, Jr., and daughter of John Papunhank

Goshen diary, Monday February 2, 1801

In the afternoon, after a short discourse by Brother Zeisberger, was the funeral of Sophia, the wife of Josua, who departed to our Saviour yesterday morning, after a lingering illness. She was the daughter of the celebrated Indian moralist and preacher John Papunhank, who was the first Indian that was baptized by Brother Zeisberger on the Susquehanna. In the year 1764, she was with the Indian congregation in the barracks in Philadelphia, where she was baptized by the late Brother Schmick, 11 June the same year, and soon after married the present widower by whom she had ten children. Two of her upgrown daughters were killed in Gnadenhutten, at the well known massacre, one son and two daughters are still alive and are residents here. After the dispersion of the Indian congregation at Sandusky, she was one of the first who came to live with the missionaries at new Gnadenhutten. She was a useful assistant in the work of the Lord, and had a peculiar talent in speaking with new people from among the heathens, who were concerned for their salvation.

Credit: Earl P. Olmstead, Blackcoats among the Delaware: David Zeisberger on the Ohio Frontier (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1991), 181.
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