Moravian Diary Entries

Contributed by Annette Bramblett

The following data were taken from the loose papers in the Historical Society’s Garland Bagley Collection. It is believed that the material herein was obtained by Garland Bagley from translations in the Georgia Department of Archives and History.

Moravian Diary from Springplace. Jan. to Dec. 31, 1808

January

2. Elizabeth and Ione Bagby moved in with their meager possessions. They stayed at Vann’s during his absence. Mrs. Vann had favored it. For the sake of their father, we decided to make room for them when Vann returned. They are rooming with the Gambolds.

3. Six Negroes attended our service. Byhan asked Clement Vann to assist in a search for our swine.

12. Chiefs Killjoly and The Ridge visited us. They were very friendly and they visited our school. They told us that they wished that they might be young again and attend our school. They remained for the singing hour of the children at which Sister Gambold sat on the bench with the children and led the singing. The Indians listened in deep reverence. After the singing the children told them the story of Christ. To this one of them responded saying that it must be true for Mr. Geiger had told them the same thing.

16. (This is the best I could make out. Since there was some connection with I decided to do the best I could with this entry.) A woman with us whose husband is at Vann’s refused to leave until he came. On his arrival he said that Vann raged and stormed but did him no harm, but he did abuse his already badly abused wife. He drove her, all the Indians, whites and Negroes from the house at the point of a gun. Then the man accidentally wounded by him sought refuge at Hall’s. Isaac Martin led him there and we loaned them a horse to carry them to Lem Vann’s.

23. We received the first letter from Burkhard and Patersen since they left Springplace. They are well and happy and will soon be able to move into their own house.

30. Thomas Bagley, a student, said that Vann had asked him to take Mr. Rice to Georgia.

February

1. The Indian Cumberland was at school and seemed attentive, in fact, so much so that we were afraid we would be unable to get rid of him. He departed after school but soon returned to tell us that the river was so high that he could not cross. We made the best of it and kept him for the night. Our surmise was correct that he wanted to spend some time with us. He told us that he loved us and if we loved him he would like to stay here for some time. Our answer was that we loved him and all the Indians but that we were unable to keep him for a long time, for if we had enough food for ourselves and others the chiefs would demand that we accept more students. He left the next morning with another Indian but promised to return in summer.

7. Byhan went to McNair’s to fetch the bushel of salt which Mr. Kotognaske had promised to deliver. He returned in the evening. An Indian attended our evening service and was most attentive. It is amazing to see how reverent and attentive they are. They fold their hands as soon as they enter and listen in deep devotion as though they understood all that was said.

14. Our dear Mrs. Vann attended our prayer service. In speaking with her, her eyes frequently fill with tears that roll down her cheeks.

15. Planted 45 apple trees so that now we have 60. In time we hope to have a lovely orchard, which is most unusual in this part of the country.

23. The Brethren went to Hall’s to have their garden tools repaired. They furnished the charcoal. To finish before night, they helped with the blacksmithing.

28. Halls left the neighborhood today.

March

5. At her request the children spent the day at Mother Vann’s. In the evening The Flea came and spent the night.

6. After breakfast he went to Nancy Falling’s on business.

7. He returned and told us that more and more pressure was being exerted by the whites to get the Indian lands.

10. We received a letter from our student Thomas Bagley in Georgia.

April

14. James Chisholm brought a packet of letters for us from Bethlehem.

24. A severe storm is described. Hail the size of birds’ eggs came down the chimney and were blown to the opposite wall. At Hiwassee the hailstones were as large as an infant’s head. Pigs and even Hildebrand’s horse was killed. Bark was stripped from trees and hail penetrated the clapboards of houses. The damage simply is impossible to describe.

31. Vann invited our children to attend a ball game at his place. We disliked the idea but could not afford to prevent their going in spite of our misgivings. All our excuses were for naught. When at dusk our poor children returned, two of them were drunk, but the rest were still sober though they had drunk whiskey.

June

4. Grace, who had invited the children to visit her, returned with them. Meantime Mary Vann came with a message from her father inviting the children to attend a ball game. We asked to be excused because it was too late in the evening. She then said that Tony’s father had come. We then permitted him and his two relatives, John and George, to go with Tony but kept Dick and Rufus at home. We then commended the three poor children to the care of the Savior. To this Grace gave assent. She told us that the Negroes had not attended our services for some time because we were Dutch and therefore they were unable to understand us. They had come recently because she had urged them to.

5. We found all the children had returned from Vann’s. They said that Vann had wanted them to spend the night, but hey had refused and they had refused his offer of whiskey. Toward dusk several Negro families came to attend our service. Among them was Chief Bead Eye and Black George and the Hawk. The latter spent some time at Vann’s. They told us they knew the purpose of our mission and were sorry they were unable to converse with us but that the children would be able to bring the message to the Nation. They said that they came because the children had invited them and said that we had good meetings. After singing for them, the children told them about the Savior.

6. Our springhouse was entered by the roof. Fresh beef, which we had purchased at Vann’s, and the new table cloth with which it was covered and a roll of butter was taken. Byhan went to Nancy Falling, now Mrs. George Harlon, on business.

8. The springhouse was again entered and a whole crock of butter had vanished. This was particularly unfortunate because we and Vann were short of milk.

12. Had a friendly call by Mother Vann. After lunch with us she departed.

16. Vann sent his son Joseph to attend school with Mr. Paris’ son at Estanally. Mr. Murphy is teacher.

23. Byhan went to McNairs to purchase the salt, sugar and coffee which he had ordered. It rained so hard that he was soaked to the skin and was obliged to walk home.

26. The Mulatto David and his wife and Adam from our old place came to cut our wheat. Grace and her youngest sister helped us with the house work. The three stayed for our prayer meeting. Also in attendance were Mrs. Vann and Mrs. Chas. Hicks.

July

7. Mr. Bagby from Duck River came to pick up the tools he had left with us a year ago.

8. Finished mowing the oats. Mr. McNair, Vann’s blacksmith, helped us.

9. Mr. Bagby returned to say that he would like to return his daughters to our school. He said that he wanted to go to an Indian country where [he] might be permitted to marry an Indian. We told him that we were sorry that we could give him no immediate answer. We were sorry for the poor girls and if we could be positive that by taking his daughters we might get him off our necks we might take them.

10. Mrs. Vann attended Byhan’s service. At the close of the meeting she expressed regret for being late.

12. Jaroadi’s parents visited school. We asked them to help us get rid of a feeble minded Indian woman who had been here since Sunday. She refused to go with them because a man was in the company. We were all sorry for her, especially the children.

13. A traveler who appeared to be in trouble stopped in a severe storm. We were told that his horses had gotten away from them into the woods and that he and his family were camped between here and Vann’s. The Brethren soon visited them and brought them a ham of venison and potatoes.

17. Grace and seven other Negroes attended the preaching. Toward the end of the service Mary Vann’s mother came to tell us that she intended to take Mary home with her, though Vann was not home.

18. We were glad to hear that the travelers near here were leaving. For several weeks they had greatly inconvenienced us. We were glad to hear that Vann’s mill was again operating, for we had been obliged to grind the corn we needed by hand.

19. Our clapboard house abutting Byhan’s was broken into and a heavy crate of honey, the bee hive we kept in the house, had disappeared. We could find no trace of the thieves.

 

August

13. We were told by the children that an Indian who came to sell us wax was the one who had stolen it from us. The other one was then in the neighborhood selling honey.

14. Mr. Conklin, Major Anderson’s overseer, attended our afternoon service.

15. We were glad to hear from our former pupils, the Bagby sisters. They said that they were far better satisfied with us than they now were at the school they were attending at Hightower.

16. A baby girl was born to the Byhan’s.

17. Our friend, Mr. Strother, and a man from Georgia came to see us. They brought us letters which they had picked up for us at Athens. They were from Burkhard and Petersen, Creek missionaries.

18. The Ridge, his brother and another Indian visited us. Ridge again requested us to take one of his children. We were sorry that we were unable to do so, and when we proposed that he board and room the child with his friend Vann he refused to. He asked us for medicinal herbs for his wife and children. We were glad to accommodate him.

20. Mr. Avory Vann and Squire Reed from Hightower visited us. Toward evening, Chuleoa came to take Tony, their son, to the annual Green Corn dance.

21. Christened Byhan’s daughter, Rebecca Elizabeth. In the evening one named Woods who lives in nearby Turkeytown asked lodging for the rest of the night and left in the morning.

22. Mr.[?] Vann, her mother and the aged Mrs. Brown visited us.

 

September

3. This year we had only enough peaches for six bushels of dried peaches.

11. Grace, Hannah and three Negro children attended our service. Two travelers came for lodging. They refused to go though we told them that we had decided no longer to take white lodgers as we considered it our duty to safeguard the Indian children from harm and offense by the whites. This was the result of an earlier experience with two white lodgers who cursed and talked abusively of Indians in the presence of the children.

16. This morning we were horrified to find that old and young wolves had raided our pen and that they had devoured a calf which belonged to Mr. Vann.

23. Joseph Vann returned to school because the schoolmaster Paris had gone and no substitute teacher could be found.

 

October

1. We heard that Caty’s end was near so Gambolds went to see her and found Mrs. Vann at her bedside and with her were the Negresses Grace, Sally, Minda and our Pleasant. At Mrs. Van’s request, we allowed our Pleasant to remain with Caty over night.

6. A traveler, William Campbell, came. He was so exhausted that we could not refuse him lodging for the night.

12. We were favored by a friendly visit from Chas. Hicks and his son. Sister Gambold visited Caty and found her very weak but cheerful and hopeful. During a severe storm one named Samuel Hopkins stopped for lodging. We took care of him as best we could.

31. We thanked God for the event of this day 291 years ago. (Luther tacked his 95 thesis to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, celebrated by the Lutherans as Reformation Day.)

 

November

The grandfather of John and Chief Bead Eye asked for something to eat. In the afternoon Chief Bark, Tom Petit and two other Indians came. After eating, they went to Vann’s. Bark returned with his half brother, John Beamer, and another Indian for dinner. Bark spent the night.

3. Bark stayed for breakfast and dinner and then left for home.

7. We heard that Caty had passed away. Vann asked Byhan to make a casket for her, which he did. (She had been sick for quite some time. During all of her illness the missionaries visited her regularly and ministered to her spiritual needs.)

9. At the request of Mrs. Vann, Gambold conducted the funeral service. At her request they contemplated burying her at the side of her cabin, but Vann ordered that she be laid to rest where three criminals had been executed and buried three years ago. Many tears were shed for the deceased and particularly by Mrs. Vann. The school children were deeply moved.

25. Mother Vann visited us and brought us a present of a large portion of beef.

We finished heightening the fence between Vann’s and our place. Vann loaned us several Negroes to do the job. After finishing we were pleasantly surprised by a visit of John Gambold from Salem.

 

December

13. Mr. Bagby came and brought us a letter from his daughters. In it they thanked us for what we had told them about the Savior and expressed a desire to again attend our school. Since their father said nothing about it, we remained silent.

The Flea from Coosawatee returned and said that his wife wished to spend the holidays with us.

15. Dick’s parents and a bit later Chas. McDonald and wife came with their son Jonathan, who had been home on a visit. They also brought their grandson for school. We now have 11 pupils. In the afternoon chief the Bird came to attend our evening devotional.

24. We were sorry that The Flea and his wife were unable to come. Vann’s unexpected return from Charleston prevented his wife from attending the Christmas Eve service. Nevertheless we had a fair attendance. In all, 23 present, five Brethren and Sisters, Byhan and his two children, 11 pupils, a Negress and her child, Grace and her husband, Jacob and an Indian girl.

This was the first time that Joseph Vann attended the meeting. His father wanted to take him along to Charleston. In spite of the fact that new clothes had been made for him for the occasion, he begged off for fear that he might not be back for the occasion.

25. The Christmas service was attended by Grace and her three children and two Negro children and of course the school children. After the service, Christmas presents received from Salem were distributed. Chief Killjoly and his two sons also attended. Many Indians visited us because Vann had invited the chiefs for a Talk. The talk had to be delayed because of floods which had detained some of the chiefs. We were unable to hold an evening service because of the commotion caused by the Indians who were gathered in front of Vann’s for a dance.

26. We were surrounded by Indians and were obliged to cook broth until late in the evening. The night was terrible with Indians everywhere. Our kitchen and school house full of them. They shouted and danced and were so noisy that we could not sleep. Some pounded on Byhan’s door and demanded whiskey and cursed each other in the English language.

26. Our friend Mr. Strother and two other traders arrived in the evening. We were obliged to lodge them in our workshop. They seemed well satisfied with the makeshift arrangement.

27. A day of drinking and confusion. The chiefs decided to give the whites, who were serving no useful purpose among the Nation, 30 days to leave. Should they fail to do so, their houses would be burned and they would be driven out.

From Cherokee Mission Diary

Jan. 1, 1809 - December 31, 1809

January

2. Chuleoa, who spent the night with us, had returned from the Creek country. He had not seen our Brethren there. On his journey he had seen many wolves which had killed some persons and many animals.

15. We experienced a severe storm which ripped off half the roof of Gambold’s house and the rain which followed drenched the rooms.

23. We enrolled two new pupils, the children of Vann’s overseer, Mr. Saphaniah Coody. They are Peninnah, age 10, and Archibald, age 7.

 

February

8. In spite of his son Joseph’s protest, Vann insisted that he leave school and go with him on a particular mission. The boy wept for he did not want to leave school. We hated to see him go because of the loss of time at school and the difficulties he might encounter. His father and number of Indians who accompanied him were on a mission to mete out punishment on Indians guilty of theft.

10. We finished hauling logs for building the school house and began blocking it up.

19. Twenty-eight persons attended our service. Among them were Mrs. Coody and her children and also the Negress Grace.

21. We received the startling news of the murder of Mr. Vann. Here and there he and his had punished Indians for stealing. When one of them refused to surrender, Vann ordered him to be shot. For a few days thereafter Vann stopped at the tavern of a half-breed, Tom Buffington, about 56 miles from here. While there he drank heavily and became involved in altercations with some of his friends for whom he had taken a violent dislike. He feuded with them, was most abusive, and made violent threats.

Toward midnight Vann stepped out of the tavern and stood out before the open door, when suddenly a shot was fired from without which pierced his heart. He fell lifeless to the floor without the perpetrator being seen. After hearing the shot, Joseph, his son, and a Negro rapidly gathered up the belongings of father and son, including Vann’s “packetbook” with a considerable amount of cash and valuable bank notes. Wrapped in a blanket, Joseph, with the Negro, fled to his father’s plantation on the Chattahoochee River 13 miles from Buffington’s Tavern.

Thus ended the life of one who was feared by many and loved by few in the 41st year of his life. No one knows how deeply this crime depressed us and made us appreciate the forbearance of a merciful God for his children. For Vann had been an instrument in the hand of God for establishing our mission in this Nation. Never in his wildest orgies had he attempted to harm us. We could not but commend his soul to God’s mercy. Almost frightened to death, Mrs. Vann and her parents-in-law fled to Buffington’s at the crack of dawn. Mr. McNair, Vann’s son-in-law, and his wife spent the night with us.

23. Mrs. Vann and her company returned home. Immediately the four of us went to express our sympathy, but because of the noise and wailing in the house, we were not able to speak with them. We did, however, hear from others that before they arrived at Buffington’s, Vann had been buried in the woods not far from the road.

24. Early this morning our friend Charles Hicks came and told us in a fatherly manner not to worry for the future because we had lost the patron of our school, Mr. Vann. He promised to speak for our school at the next council meeting and that he would defend us with the chiefs against all adversaries.

We heard that our pupil Joseph Vann had returned home. In the evening, Messrs. Clem Vann from Terrill, Vann’s storekeeper at the Chattahoochee, came to see Gambold regarding matters pertaining to Vann’s business. They requested that he help them examine Vann’s papers.

25. He went early to Vann’s and returned in the afternoon.

26. Mr. and Mrs. Coody attended our service.

 

March

2. Major Anderson arrived this morning to take his son home, who had been with us for the past year. We had written his parents that it might be best that he be taken home, for it seemed that he was unable to make the progress he should in school with Indian children. We had accepted him more or less on a trial basis not knowing how a white child might get along. Major Anderson and a certain Col. Smith spent the night with us.

3. Major Anderson assembled the children and after listening to their reading and prayer, he asked each to choose his favorite song and then they sang it. He then examined their penmanship books, took leave of us and thanked [us] for the kindness which we had shown his son, Rufus. The lad wept bitterly for having to leave.

4. Since Vann’s death, his Negroes have proved themselves unmanageable. They seem utterly confused. The ones who asked our advice were told faithfully to continue their former tasks as they would have done were their former master still alive.

We found it most difficult to talk with Mrs. Vann, for every time we attempted to speak with her, she could not speak for crying. While with her, her mother-in-law came quite unexpectedly. She had moved into the Vann house for several weeks. She misinterpreted Br. Gambold’s words and spoke abusively to him, declared that they were Indians and that our teachings were foreign to them. Nothing could be done with her and in the presence of the Negroes she said that our visits were designed to obtain some of Vann’s money. She then threatened that the pupils whom her son had taken to board would no longer be looked after by her daughter-in-law. We, in our hearts, commended her to the Savior, for the poor woman knew not what she was saying.

5. Charles McDonald and his wife came to take home their son. They had been told that we wished to be rid of the neighborhood children and that they had complained that they were not getting enough to eat. Our eyes and those of father and son were filled with tears. We hated to lose the promising pupil, Jonathan.

11. This morning two half Indians, Msrs. Paris and Cick Reene and the executor of Vann’s, Mr. Layton Miller, asked Gambold to help them with the matter of his will as they could neither read nor write.

13. We were glad to hear from our Brethren Burkhard and Petersen in the Creek country. Their setters had been held at Athens in the Post Office since the end of September.

17. Gambold returned from Vann’s where he had been since last Monday working with the executors for Vann. Once Mrs. Vann and her mother-in-law regained their composure, they showed remorse for their demonstration toward us. The executors asked Gambold to take home what cash Vann had left for safekeeping.

18. In the afternoon Jenny, Clem Vann’s sister, came accompanied by a sister of old Mrs. Vann’s mother.

 

April

1. Early the Indian Chiguaki set out for home. This old, honest Indian loves us very much and enjoys coming and hearing his grandson speak of God and of good things. However, the words of his grandson seem to make little impression on the grandfather.

2. Easter. Attendants at our joyful service were Mrs. Vann, her little sister and mother, Mrs. Van’s sister Polly, who had been here yesterday, old Mother Vann and Mr. and Mrs. Coody. Mother Vann was exceptionally friendly and did all she could to show us that she wanted us to forget the unfortunate incident of some time ago. We went out of our way to show that we bore no malice and considered her our friend. Attending the afternoon service, in addition to the above, were 10 Negroes.

4. Isabell Brown, who has come to Mrs. Vann to live, has entered our school. In the past she attended the school of Mr. Deikman and later that of Mr. Weir.

5. We received letters from our Brethren at Bethlehem and from our friends Col. Meigs and Major Anderson. They had spoken with officials of the government in Washington and had received $100.00 for our school from the Sec. of War.

9. A Negro boy came today to tell us that Betty at our old place was at death’s door. Sister Gambold, accompanied by Mrs. Vann, went to see her but found her unconscious. On their way home Sister Gambold was very gratified to hear a heartwarming declaration by Mrs. Vann, who said that she wished for a closer and more friendly relationship with us. She then said, “I lack the words to know how to express my feeling toward you, but this is certain: I am convinced that I could not have endured what happened if I had not had you to stand by me. I do thank you with all my heart. I am unworthy and too ignorant for the fellowship with you which I so much desire.” Sister Gambold told her that Christ had come to heal the wounds of one who feels as she does. Mrs. Vann then requested as she had on previous occasions, that we not feel hard toward her for what had happened in the time of her profound grief. She had no part in it and that it grieved her deeply that she was unable to say anything in our defense at the time, and that the abuse heaped on us saddened her greatly. She concluded by saying that her mother-in-law was ashamed and that she hoped it in no way would cause a breach in our friendship. Str. Gambold assured her that we had forgiven them long ago.

May

1. We were pleased to hear from our Brethren in the Creek country.

11. Mrs. Vann attended our early morning Ascension Day service.

13. Two young Indians, members of the Light Horse Company, stopped and stayed so long that we feared that we would be unable to hold our regular evening devotional. They finally left for the company camp in our neighborhood.

14. Ten from the Light Horse Camp came. They were friendly and spoke of their deeds. They told that they had punished many thieves, one of them a white man.

17. We again heard from Br. Burkhard and Petersen.

21. Pentacost. In spite of the hard rain after a long dry spell, David, Minda, Jacob, Grace and their sister Lynda attended our service. Mr. Vann’s storekeeper from Chattahoochee and Mr. Terrill were also present. In the afternoon Joseph Crutchfield from Georgia attended our service.

24. Mr. Peter Hildebrand from Hiwassee spent the night with us.

28. Yesterday many of the Indians who had attended the Talk at Charles Hicks’ visited us. The old ones were very friendly. One, an old warrior, had been a white prisoner for some time. Another, when he saw the children, extended his hands to them and exclaimed _____,_____, an expression which is only to an intimate friend. Several whites and half Indians came to see Gambold about matters which pertained to Vann’s estate. Others were James Brown, Vann’s brother-in-law, and Mr. McNair, who had been appointed administrator of the Vann estate after the assignment had been relinquished by Messrs. Paris and Dick Rowe.

29. Many hungry Indians who returned from the council meeting stopped for something to eat. Three of them were our friend Chuleoa, his wife, daughter and granddaughter. They were ill from hunger. All of them thanked us, something very unusual with the Indians.

30. Mr. Brown, administrator, took with him our pupil Joseph Vann home with him to look after his rearing.

 

June

Nothing of importance.

July

23. We admitted Alice Story, age 12, to our school. She is the niece of Mrs. McDonald, who appears to be a very sensible woman.

August

8. Mr. McNair and Major Bryan from Tennessee visited us. With them was Anthony ___, a German from Virginia who was born in Pa. [who] came to buy cattle.

19. George Vann, who has been with us while visiting with his guardians, went to Georgia with them.

20. We entertained our dear friend Mrs. Vann for her birthday. Sometime ago she had impressed on her stepfather, Mr. Brown, that he was to see to it that she be with us for her birthday. At the break of dawn, she came clothed in white and as happy as a child. As soon as she entered the door, her eyes filled with tears. Upon her arrival, we sang several verses of a song for her appropriate to the occasion. Then Br. Gambold handed her a plaque decorated with flowers on which he had inscribed words which applied especially to her recent experience, in which he wished her many happy returns of the day.

Soon thereafter the children entertained her with a love feast and sang birthday songs for her. The song service of Mr. Byhan was attended by Mother Vann and Mr. (Bowens?) from Tenn., a worker at the mill on Vann’s old place. In the afternoon, Major Bryan, Mrs. Kratzer and a number of Negroes attended the preaching of Br. Gambold. Late that evening we accompanied Mrs. Vann and her mother-in-law to their homes. Both of them were greatly pleased over the occasion. Mrs. Vann said that this was the first birthday party she had ever had in all of her life, and that as long as she lived this occasion would remain a fond memory. She then added, “I will never forget the feeling of redeeming grace which I lived this entire day, no never.” In tears we thanked our Savior for the divine grace He had bestowed upon this beloved person for God must for some time have looked upon this person as an object of His divine grace to whom he had revealed himself on this eventful occasion. We again with thanks commended her to his abiding peace, which he alone is able to bestow.

25. Gambold and Mrs. Vann set out together today. He was bound for Hiwassee and she for Chattanooga to visit her mother. We agreed to look after her sister Ibby in her absence.

28. Chiguaki came to find out whether the rumor, spread by George Vann, that we were going to close our school was true. He was pleased to find it was still open and that we had no intention of closing it.

31. On his return, Dr. Gambold brought a packet of letters and a gift of three Bibles, six other useful books and 12 spellers for our school from Mr. Meigs. With the books he enclosed $100.00 from the Sec. of War for the School.

 

September

10. Toward evening a Mr. Stone, who had lived at Vann’s for the past year and claimed to be a Dr., asked for lodging.

18. Fortunately Vann’s mill had been repaired in order that we were able to grind our wheat.

24. Mrs. ___ came for an early visit and remained for the sermon. Attending our afternoon service were three Negroes, a young Indian named Thomas, and his brother from Sumacktown. Thomas had been taken by whites when three years of age and given some schooling.

 

October

16. Many friends of the Nation visited us. Among them was Chas. Hicks.

18. In the evening a Dr. Murry from Augusta spent the night with us. Col. Meigs had recommended us to him.

20. John’s uncle (Lordeldiki?) came with other Indians to attend a Talk in this area. Five of them spent the night with us.

21. More Indians came for the Talk. One of them was Dick’s father.

29. Mrs. Vann and her old mother Brown, who had arrived yesterday, attended our singing and sermon.

 

November

1. Mrs. Vann and her two younger sisters were present at our service.

16. Our friend, Mrs. McDonald, her granddaughter, Lizy Ross, daughter-in law Sally, and a younger sister of Mrs. Vann visited us.

 

December

We and our children visited Mrs. Vann in her new home for the first time and remained until the evening. She was no longer satisfied to live in the old home and requested the administrators to build her a new home a mile from here at a place where Mr. Hall, the blacksmith, has lived. Though they hated to see her leave the old estate, they could not refuse her. They had the old store house of Vann wrecked and used the lumber for building the new cabin. She was delighted to move in on December 23. With tears in her eyes, she said that she was surprised over the swift action of the administrators. In the cabin a real Biblical atmosphere of joy and peace seems to prevail. When we sang the song “I Will Rejoice in God my Savior,” Mrs. joined in with a loud voice. We helped her arrange some things in her new home. A brush fire interrupted the affair as the Brethren went out to help extinguish it. No damage was done, but it did prevent our holding a meeting. We returned home late at night.

31. In the afternoon Br. Byhan conducted a song service. Toward evening Mrs. Vann and her two little sisters came. At the service Br. Gambold spoke in words fitting the occasion. He dwelt upon the blessing which God had bestowed upon the cabin and gave thanks to Him. A religious discussion followed. We concluded this last day of the year with a song of thanksgiving to God, who in a most mysterious manner, had guided our dear Mrs. Vann and given her strength, money, comfort and joy. But above everything had revealed Himself to her. She spent the night with us.