Burial place of Indian Martyrs at Gnadenhutten   Save
Ohio Guide Collection
Description: Dated ca. 1935-1940, this is a photograph of a plaque which reads "Burial Place of Remains of Indian Martyrs. 1782--1798." In the nine-acre plot at Gnadenhutten, German for "Tents of Grace," is a stone monument commemorating the 96 Christian American Indians massacred in 1872 by white men. They are buried in the mound inside the park. After David Zeisberger had established Moravian missions for the Indians at Schoenbrunn, a group of Christian Indians led by Joshua, a Mohican elder, came in 1772 and founded Gnadenhutten. Surrounded by American Indian groups, a ring of British forts on the west, and freebooters in nearby settlements, the little community held on until 1781 when a white renegade, Elliott, and Delware (Lenape) chiefs, Captain Pipe and Half-King, forced the American Indians at Gnadenhutten to move to the Sandusky plains. The winter was severe and their meager supplies ran low. In February of the following year, a large group returned to the Tuscarawas valley to salvage what they could of the crops remaining in the fields. At the same time, a punitive expedition under Captain David Williamson left Pennsylvania for Gnadenhutten, arriving on March 7, the day before the American Indians were to return to Sandusky. Feigning friendship, the soldiers easily succeeded in disarming the men, and imprisoned them in one building, placing the women and children in another. The American Indians spend the night in prayer, while the militiamen got drunk. At dawn, the executions began. One soldier felled fourteen American Indians before he relinquished his tomahawk. Gnadenhutten was pillaged and burned. Two American Indian boys who had been scalped escaped to Schoenbrunn to warn their fellow Christians. This heinous massacre further aroused Ohio natives against the white Americans. This photograph is one of the many visual materials collected for use in the Ohio Guide. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration by executive order to create jobs for the large numbers of unemployed laborers, as well as artists, musicians, actors, and writers. The Federal Arts Program, a sector of the Works Progress Administration, included the Federal Writers’ Project, one of the primary goals of which was to complete the America Guide series, a series of guidebooks for each state which included state history, art, architecture, music, literature, and points of interest to the major cities and tours throughout the state. Work on the Ohio Guide began in 1935 with the publication of several pamphlets and brochures. The Reorganization Act of 1939 consolidated the Works Progress Administration and other agencies into the Federal Works Administration, and the Federal Writers’ Project became the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio. The final product was published in 1940 and went through several editions. The Ohio Guide Collection consists of 4,769 photographs collected for use in Ohio Guide and other publications of the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio from 1935-1939. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: SA1039AV_B15F01_021
Subjects: American Indians in Ohio; American Indian history; Tuscarawas County (Ohio); Gnadenhutten (Ohio); Gnadenhutten Massacre, Gnadenhutten, Ohio, 1782
Places: Gnadenhutten (Ohio); Tuscarawas (Ohio)