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Indiana’s Timeless Tales - The Indiana Territory - Book 1
April 24, 1801 - Moravian Missionaries Reach Future Site of Brookville
The current of the Whitewater was even more powerful than that of the Miami. This slowed the progress of the missionaries and their companions considerably, as they made only six miles the first day. This would have been at a point somewhere south of current West Harrison, Indiana.
Dining on Bear
They spent a full day at this site. A nearby resident shot a bear, which he gave to the missionaries and their party. Sister Kluge fried the meat over a campfire. They found the meat of the fat animal quite good. A party of the White River Lenape visited them at this spot.
Purchasing a Cow
During their short stay at this site they purchased a cow and a heifer and her calf to take with them. Residents told them that they should buy the cow before they reached Indian country, as there a cow in poor condition would cost them $40 or more. They purchased their cow for $13. On the morning of the 17th of April, the party departed, this time traveling in separate companies.
They had sold two of their canoes, so part of the party traveled upstream in the remaining 3. The remainder of the expedition traveled along the bank of the Whitewater driving the cattle along as they went. Over the next couple of days they managed to make contact with a Lenape family camping near the river that lived at Woapicamikunk. The Indians told the missionaries that they were about a 3 day ride by horseback from Woapicamikunk. They agreed to take a message back to the chiefs of that village that the missionaries were in the area and would arrive in several days. They also told them to remind the chiefs that they had promised to provide horses for the Moravian party, as they would be unable to proceed much more than 20 miles by water and that they would need horses. The Lenape departed, bearing the message and the Moravian party proceeded on.
Arrival at the Forks
They arrived at the forks of the East and West Branches of the Whitewater River, the future site of Brookville, Indiana, on April 24, 1801. The Moravian party set up camp near the trail that led west towards Woapicamikunk, and still about 100 miles to go to reach their goal.