Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dear Diary: Jakob Novak of Schoenbrunn Village

Dear Diary:

In the words of Jakob Novak

(Children of the Shawnee: Lies and Deceit)

My heart is heavy with concern for my best friend, Henry "Hank" Wagner. His Shawnee name was Hawk Song Watching from the Sky. He came to us over a year ago with his dead wife's body. Brother David had married the Christian Delaware, Sarah Light, to Hawk Song with hope that she would be able to convert the Shawnee to Christianity. We had heard the rumors about the brutality of the Shawnee people. They are a vicious, militaristic people. Some of us believed Sarah's life was in jeopardy the day she married Hawk Song. Others, mainly the natives, believed the Shawnee would protect her because they honor the Delaware. When Hank brought her body to Schoenbrunn, many of us believed the Shawnee had murdered her. Yet, Hank had been shot in the hip. Our physician, Betsy Schmitt, tended to his wounds. While he was recovering he informed us of the massacre and how he had tried to save his wife and unborn child. 

Hank was so heartbroken he didn't want to return to the Shawnee. He had declared he wanted to learn more about being a Christian. I was charged with being his mentor. I taught Hank how to become a blacksmith, read in German, and act with Christian morals. He even gave us his bear shaped totem that was supposed to keep him healthy. He was baptized Henry Wagner but likes to use the name Hank. Hank married Betsy. He has a new life with her and among the Moravians. Yet, now his brother, mother and stepfather have appeared at Schroenbrunn. I don't know what to think. His brother is very ill with an infection. Betsy has been attending to him but Hank doesn't want to visit upon his younger sibling. Brother David says we have to be gracious to Hank's brother because he is a Shawnee chief. I only hope whatever stands between the two men can be overcome so we might be able to Christianize the Shawnee.

Jakob Novak

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