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In Their Own Words

November 09, 1737

Meeting with Venerable Indian Recorded

From Ebenezer north of Savannah, Salzburger minister Johann Martin Boltzius wrote in his journal:

“Last night we had a thunder storm with lightning and rain, which, however, did not last long and was not so violent as in summer. At this time, it serves as a foreboding of a severe winter and much rainy weather. An Indian borrowed a lancet from us to bleed a sick old Indian, who has been here for several days. Because this Indian knew some English, I asked him about his age; but he could not tell me anything certain, he could only say that he had lived for a long time and that he was already living when this or that happened in the country. Since he can no longer make his living in the forest, he is supported by his son-in-law, who is with him in our place. In the old man I found such a great natural honesty and a patient and quiet resignation in his sickness and poverty that I had to marvel. Without a doubt such a heathen would put to shame many Christians, who, despite the light of the gospel, have not come so far as this old man and probably others like him have come by natural strength. The other, who bled him, admitted he had learned to curse and swear as long as he was among white people, otherwise he had never found such improper things among the Indians. I gave them both something to eat and drink.”

Source: George Fenwick Jones and Renate Wilson (trans. and ed.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America … Edited by Samuel Urlsperger, Vol. 4, 1737 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1976), p. 193.