Must they be removed? Or can they remain in their ancestral land?That is the great question confronting the Cherokee Nation and forming the backdrop to volume 5 of Records of the Moravians among the Cherokees. Subtitled The Anna Rosina Years, Part 3: Farewell to Sister Gambold, volume 5 spans the years 1817 to 1821, years of great change within the Cherokee Nation and the end of an era at the Moravians’ Springplace mission. Increasingly the Cherokees see the need to adopt new ways. Long gone is the hunter-gatherer way of life, supplanted by farming for livelihood. A new town, soon to be called New Echota, is begun as the “permanent seat of government,” and Abraham Steiner, the Moravians’ “Apostle to the Cherokees,” is invited to consecrate the council house. And throughout the Nation an awakening has begun, as more and more Cherokees open their hearts to the preaching of missionaries among them.At the Moravians’ little Springplace mission, Br. John and Sr. Anna Rosina Gambold have toiled since 1805 and have only two converts for all their labor. But now they too share in the awakening, and a second station, at Oochgeelogy, is proposed. The Springplace school also prospers, and Sr. Gambold sees four of her “brown pupils” go to Cornwall in Connecticut for further education to become the next generation of leaders of the Cherokee Nation.But then tragedy strikes. Margaret Ann Scott Crutchfield — Sr. Peggy, widow of the notorious Chief James Vann — the “first-fruit” of the Cherokee Nation at Springplace, passes away. And then it’s Sr. Gambold’s turn, and like her husband John, we are left to stand weeping at the grave of our “unforgettable Anna Rosel.”With major financial support from the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of the Cherokees, Records: Cherokees will next turn to the series of volumes subtitled March to Removal.
About the Author
C. Daniel Crews, an ordained minister and Archivist of the Moravian Church, Southern Province, is the author of several publications on Moravian history and theology.
Richard W. Starbuck was born and raised in the Moravian Church. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College and worked for twelve years as a writer and editor for the Winston-SalemJournal and Sentinel newspapers. In 1986 he joined the Moravian Archives, where he has been instrumental in editing numerous works for publication in print and on the Internet. He is the coauthor of With Courage for the Future: The Story of the Moravian Church, Southern Province and editor of eight volumes of Records of the Moravians among the Cherokees. Starbuck was appointed and briefly served as the Archivist of the Moravian Church, Southern Province, before retiring in 2017.