Excerpts from the book The Moravian Springplace Mission to the Cherokees, by Rowena McClinton, University of Nebraska Press, 2007. [The work is a two-volumed, annotated translation of the diary originally written in German by Moravian missionaries Anna Rosina Gambold and John Gambold, her husband, between 1805 and 1821. Springplace, or Spring Place, was established by Moravian missionaries in 1801 in northern Georgia. The Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) is a Protestant Pietist denomination originally founded in Moravia and continued by refugees in Germany. In the 18th century, Moravians established a colony in Bethlehem, PA, and later others at Bethabara, Bethania, and Salem, NC. The Gambolds were missionaries of German origin.]
1. Volume 1 (1805-1813):
--“On the 18th [of July 1810] Mr. Wallace, from whom we received the wheat flour some weeks ago, came to our place on his return journey from Georgia. Oh, how happy we were that we were in a position ourselves, through help that arrived from Salem with the last packet, to pay this well-meaning man, who had offered his further service to us.” (p. 371)
--“On the 9th [of July 1811] Mr. Matthew Wallace from Tennessee stopped in at our place. He is the one who helped us with a nice quantity of flour last year when we were in the greatest distress; we accepted it as sent to us directly from the hand of God. He brought us a gift, a little sack of excellent flour, from his wife, out of recognition, as he had us told, because we had given her husband a piece of bread for his journey last year.
“This gift came to us once again at just the right time, as our supply of flour was almost at an end, and our new wheat has not yet been thrashed. Mr. Wallace had a boy with him; a soldier’s son, he was about fifteen years old. He and his wife had taken him in as their child, because they do not have any of their own children. They have raised him from the time he was small. They seemed to be religious people. In various ways Mr. Wallace offered us his service, which we accepted with thanks. However, he only drives to Georgia once each year and this only for the needs of his family. At this opportunity we ordered some small household items from him.” (p. 440)
--“On the 2nd [of August 1811] Mr. Wallace arrived at our place again and as a courtesy to us gave us several pounds of coffee since we drank the last at breakfast this morning and our okra harvest is not in yet. We accepted this help also as from the hand of God with many thanks.
“Mr. Wallace told us early on the 3rd that his adopted son had expressed a desire to stay with us because the well-mannered behavior of our children really pleases him, as indeed does everything that he sees and hears here. It really hurt us not to be able to admit him, since at the current time, it might especially make for a great offense if we accepted children of white people. Mr. Wallace agreed with us and cordially took leave.” (p. 443)
--“On the 27th [of July 1812] a young, very well dressed man from Tennessee came here. His name is Samuel Houston [i.e., the Sam Houston whose sister would later become Matthew Wallace’s second wife and who himself would be elected governor of TN and of TX] and he brought a letter of recommendation from Mr. Matthew Wallace, in which his request to be allowed to stay for some time to profit in some school knowledge was supported. His whole behavior was very charming, and in further conversation we learned that his salvation lies close to his heart and that he would most like to live hidden and away from the noise of the world. When we explained that we were only here for the Indians and could not take any white people for instruction, he decided to travel on to Georgia to see if there was something for him there. Brother Gambold recommended him in a letter to Dr. Brown in Athens, and because the wagon in which he had come here had not stayed here, early on the 28th we had our Dick take him to it on horse.” (p. 495).
--“On Sunday the 6th [of September 1812], our Susan Fields’s mother, Jenny Brown, attended the Singstunde as well as the sermon from the gospel for Sunday. She has been visiting here since Friday. Mr. Matthew Wallace from Tennessee, who was driving to Augusta, offered us his service if we had anything to order from there. We gratefully accepted this.” (p. 499)
--“On Saturday the 3rd [of October 1812], our friend Mr. Matthew Wallace of Tennessee, who brought us various necessities from Georgia with his wagon, arrived here with a company of other drivers and a number of travelers this afternoon. Because of all the business we found it necessary to postpone Holy Communion until the following day. (p. 502)
--“On Sunday the 4th [of October 1812], when the drivers left here in the morning, Mr. Wallace, who had already been overcome by strong colon pains yesterday, was so sick that he could not travel. At our persuasion he gave his wagon to the drivers and went to rest in our house. Brother Joseph Gambold took over his care, and the rest of us went with our children to Mountjoy, where Brother John Gambold baptized the little daughter born to the Negro woman Candace on August 29th with the name Virginia. . . .
“Early in the day on the 5th our Ruth went home with her mother on a visit. Today, to our joy, Mr. Wallace was well enough recovered that he could leave at noon. “ (p. 503)
--“At noon [on the 28th of January 1813] William Connor, the adopted son of our friend Matthew Wallace, arrived here from Tennessee with his wagon and a very poor family of seven people, whom he had taken in on the way. We made a meal for everyone and tried to lodge the indigent family, who were on a journey to Georgia, in an old cabin on the Vann estate for the time being until an opportunity for them to go on might present itself. For their maintenance there, we gave them a good quantity of meat. . . .
“Early in the day on the 29th, William Connor lef t us, as well as Mr. Wallace’s Negro, who arrived here in his company yesterday. With them we sent a packet of letters to Maryville [i.e., in Blount Co., TN]. . . .” (p. 517)
--“On the 10th [of May 1813] we had the joy of seeing our friend Mr. Matthew Wallace from Tennessee here again after a long absence. Through him we received a barrel of wheat flour, which was very welcome to us since we have not been able to find any to purchase since last summer. There were also five drivers with their wagons in Mr. Wallace’s company. We happily provided them with hospitality. . . .” (p. 537)
2. Volume 2 (1814-1821)
--“On the 5th [of October 1815] Mr. Uttar arrived here. From his neighborhood he brought news of unusual number of deaths in a short time. Among these was the wife of our friend Matthew Wallace [i.e., Rachel Elizabeth McGhee]. “ (p. 85)
--“On the 11th [of May 1818] we received a friendly visit from our old friend Mr. Matthew Wallace from Tennessee. He ate with us at noon, as did Mr. George Harlan on the 13th ; we sent a packet of letters to Colonel Meigs [i.e., Col. Return Jonathan Meigs, the U.S. agent to the Cherokees].”
--“Very early [on the 29th of May 1820] the wife of our friend Mr. Matthew Wallace from Tennessee [presumably Mary Houston, his second wife] arrived here in the company of Misses Russell and McCartney for a visit. Some years ago she was very deeply awakened and we had pleasant conversations with each other until afternoon. Today there was very warm weather.
“On the 30th our friend Mr. Matthew Wallace also visited us. He is very interested in the beautiful work of God among the Cherokees, and since he knew various things about our dear faithful ones in their former condition, he could do nothing but cry out in astonishment, ‘That is a miracle of God!’ Finally a welcome rain began and continued the whole day.” (p. 361)