Martyrs and messengers
Benjamin Franklin and the American frontier, the Moravians, and the nature of reason
in Colonial frontiers
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In America, in November 1755, two of their settlements, Gnadenhueten and Mahoni, had become a battleground in the Anglo French war over possession of the continent. Before leaving for Gnadenhueten Benjamin Franklin had stayed at the Moravian settlement at Bethlehem. The Moravians at Gracehall knew that the walls of their particular circumscription had an internal and external component. Upon the ashes of Moravian 'wood', their fold for the faithful breached by the heathen, Benjamin erected a forest of palisades. Upon reflection, Franklin's pragmatics had the Moravians at Bethlehem less deceivers of Parliament and more practitioners of a new sensibility, in which, 'common sense aided by present danger' overwhelmed 'whimsical opinions'. The Moravians inhabited frontiers with their circles of connectedness; they occupied spaces on the edges of Christ's land.

Colonial frontiers

Indigenous–European Encounters in Settler Societies

Editor: Lynette Russell



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