Johanna Maria Heckewelder Letter and Autograph

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Johanna Maria Heckewelder Letter and Autograph


United States -- History --Ohio Women--Military Ohio--Religion in Ohio--Civil War


This letter and autograph were written by Johanna Maria Heckewelder, the daughter of Moravian missionaries, who in 1781 became the first white female born in Ohio. The Moravians traveled to Ohio before it became a state to convert the Delaware Indians to Christianity. Heckewelder wrote the letter for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission, which provided medical assistance and supplies to soldiers during the Civil War. She was 83 years old when the letter was written. She provides a brief narrative of her life and closes the letter with the words, "wishing you success to your noble enterprise for the poor Soldiers." The letter and autograph are four pages and measure 4.5" x 7.5" (11.43 x 19.05 cm).


Heckewelder, Johanna Maria


Ohio Historical Society; Unpublished material (archives/manuscripts); VFM 63


February 22, 1864


Nick Kelly


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Salem (Ohio)
Tuscarawas County (OH)

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Page 1:

[illegible] Feb. 22d [d superscript] 1864

Dear Sir,
According to your request, I send you my Autograph ect. In the latter part of the last century. [illegible] the beginning of the present persons from Penn to thes [sic] States & moved to Ohio, the Muskingum, farmers & mechanicks [sic]. I was born as you will know the 16th day of April in the year 1781 in Salem, an Indian missionary Station, when nearly 5 months old, was captured by [illegible] Indians, & carried to Upper Sandusky, where we all remained till in the spring following. We them removed to Detroit namely the missionaries with their families, lived at the latter place till in August, & then removed to some land
belonging to the Chippowgs [sic], 30 miles above
Detroit on the river Huron, formed a settlement
here & called it [superscript] new Gnadenhutten,& here I lived till In as four years old, at which time I
travelled [sic] under the care of an aged missionary couple [written above missionary] who retired to Bethlehem & placed in the school there. [illegible] this journey which lasted from the 16th [th superscript] of May, to the 8th of July we endured

Page 2:

hardships & privations not to be described when camping in the woods, we were obliged to make fire all night to keep off the wolves, who were howling around us. [illegible] times we were [carrot mark] had to [above carrot mark] walk & the good old missionary Young man in whoose care I was, often told me [written superscript] that he frequently carried me for miles on his back. I am sorry I could not give you all the information you are desirous to have, but writing at my advanced age is such a severe trial for me, that I have now given it up entirely, as this will probably be the last letter that I shall write. wishing you success to your noble enterprise for the poor Soldiers, I am respectfully yours
Johanna Maria Heckewelder

Page 3

Johanna Maria Heckewelder

Page 4

H A [illegible]


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Heckewelder, Johanna Maria, "Johanna Maria Heckewelder Letter and Autograph," in Ohio Civil War 150 | Collections & Exhibits, Item #1879, (accessed April 30, 2017).

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