The New Madrid earthquakes of 1811–1812 provide a window of cultural opening, religious interchange, and deep emotional bonding among traditional Cherokee people and Moravian missionaries of the Springplace Mission during the most heated period of white encroachment prior to the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This article first examines the state of Cherokee and Moravian negotiations in the decades surrounding the agreement of the Moravian Springplace Mission located in North Georgia's Cherokee Nation. The article suggests that the New Madrid earthquakes brought about significantly positive social and religious exchanges between the long-term missionaries Anna Rosina and John Gambold, and critical leaders of the Cherokee Nation such as Peggy Vann and Chief Charles Hicks. Through an analysis of the detailed Springplace diary kept during the years 1805–1813, this close reading of cross-cultural relations reveals authentic understanding and friendship only moments before the forced exodus of the Cherokee Nation to the Trail of Tears.

You do not currently have access to this content.