Thursday, February 2, 2017

Unsung Heroes of the Colonial Wars

Missionaries were truly the unsung heroes of the colonial wars. Often traveling alone, they acted as emissaries and negotiators as well as spreading the word of God. All this was undertaken at great personal risk, for death by torture awaited those who didn't connect with the Indians. 
The above painting by Robert Griffing called "Welcome to Logstown", depicts the arrival of a missionary in the midst of an Indian village creating quite a stir. 
This scene would have been repeated during the French & Indian War, in 1758, when Moravian missionary Christian Frederick Post arrived in villages and councils to negotiate for General Forbes, trying to convince the Indians to abandon their long-time French allies. Post spoke several Indian languages and had circulated among them for years. Even with those advantages, this was one risky undertaking. A single misstep among the Indians would have been fatal. The French would have gladly killed him, but that might have enraged the Indians. They had to wait it out. Post was successful in his efforts, which seriously degraded French military operations and paved the way for victory at Fort Duquesne. 
General Forbes later wrote, "Post was worth another regiment of men".


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