Zinzendorf's Journey to Shamokin and Wyoming

From September 21 to November 8, 1742, Count Zinzendorf journeyed north of the Blue Mountains to the Native communities of Shamokin and Wyoming. As he traveled, he kept a diary recording his impressions of the people and places he encountered. He was also at work on the 11th and 12th supplements of the main Moravian hymnal, the Herrnhuter Gesangbuch. In true Moravian fashion, he improvised several hymns along his journey. These hymns were later included in the hymnal supplements, quickly becoming powerful sonic records that introduced Pennsylvania's people and places to a pan-Moravian audience across the Atlantic World.


Zinzendorf's "Pennsylvania hymns" have never been studied, despite their importance as records of early encounters between Moravian missionaries and Native peoples, so it has become a mission of the Moravian Soundscapes team to record and make them available via the interactive sound map below.

The sound map contains three types of mapping points: the blue points represent Native communities along the paths traveled by Zinzendorf: the Shamokin and Great Warrior's Paths. The green points represent places visited by Zinzendorf from September to November, 1742, and contain entries from his travel diary. The 5 red points contain sound recordings, texts, and rehearsal scores for hymns sung or written in these locations by Zinzendorf (Brother Bürstler's House, Sikihillehocken, Ludwig's Rest, Zinzendorf’s Camp, Wajomick). Zoom in to see all mapping points, and click on "more info" to listen to sound recordings and view diary entries. To review Zinzendorf's trip to Shamokin and Wyoming within the context of his stay in Pennsylvania, see the timeline, "Zinzendorf's Pennsylvania Journey, 1741-1743."

NB: The COVID pandemic has alas put a hold on our work to record the four hymns, The wonderful choir that met to rehearse and record them in March 2020, has disbanded for the present. But, we are hopeful that we will be able to sing together again soon. In the meantime, the red mapping points contain the rehearsal scores for the hymns and also MIDI recordings.

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