Posted by Elaine on March 08, 1998 at 17:57:29:
In light of Bill's query regarding the Moravians of Bethlehem claim that one Indian named Tschoop (buried in God's Acre Cemetery) was the real Uncas, I did a bit of research. What I found out is interesting. It turns out that Tschoop was a Mohican chief from Dutchess County, New York. Dutchess is in the Hudson Valley, historical region of The Last of the Mohicans. More importantly..... it's where Rich and I lived for years before moving to movie Mohicanland! Tschoop's village was in my former back yard.
In 1740, Tschoop and another Mohican chief, Shahash, invited Moravian missionary Christian Henry Rauch to Dutchess County to preach. He did, and the two chiefs were converted to the Moravian faith. One of the first Moravian missionary settlements was thus established at Shekemeko (present day Pine Plains, NY). Shahash later went to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where another Moravian settlement was established. Tschoop may have removed to Bethlehem as well, as Shekemeko was attacked and harassed repeatedly by Calvinist neighbors and colonial officials. The Mohicans and Moravians both were ever suspected of harboring French sympathies. The Mohicans were known to look favorably upon the Jesuits, who had left a positive influence upon the Mohicans. Ironically, the Jesuit influence indirectly led to the Mohicans and Delaware being hospitable and interested in the Moravians. The Moravians were under suspicion because they were not Calvinists and were viewed as being "too Catholick", which was not merely a stigma in the English colonies, but a crime!
Tschoop's name was Mohican, he later took the Christian name John.
To read a bit more on the history of the Mohicans during the colonial period, and the relentless harassment against Moravians (and Catholics) in the region, go to our History Section for the "Mohicans.... Children of the Delaware". For an interesting history of Dutchess County, the Mohicans, and the Moravian missionaries, go to the Hope Farm Press link below.
We'll continue to research this Tschoop/Uncas connection. It's fascinating. And to think Uncas and Shekemeko were so close to our former home.........................
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