Ettwein, John

Ettwein, John a distinguished divine of the Moravian Church, was born June 29, 1721, at Freudenstadt, Wurtemberg. In 1754 he came to America, where for nearly half a century he labored as an evangelist, as a member of the executive board, and finally as a bishop, to which latter office he was appointed in 1784. He traveled thousands of miles, often afoot, and preached the Gospel in eleven of the original thirteen colonies, as also in what is now the State of Ohio, to white people, negroes, and Indians. In 1772 he was the leader of the Christian Indians on their exodus from the Susquehanna country in Pennsylvania to the Tuscarawas in Ohio, exposing himself to great hardships and dangers. During the Revolutionary War he was in frequent intercourse and correspondence with Washington and several members of Congress; and when the general hospital of the American army was transferred to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he devoted himself with singular disinterestedness to the spiritual wants of the sick, in spite of his many other duties. To him, too, must be ascribed the honor of originating, in 1787, "the Society of the United Brethren for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen," which still exists, and now has a large funded capital, and to which Congress made a grant of several townships on the Tuscarawas, in trust for the Christian Indians. He died January 2, 1802. (E. de S.)

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