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Bethel Indian Town

Home
Archaeological Pitfalls at Bethel
Historical Proof of Bethel's Location
National Register Nomination
Help Preserve Bethel
David Brainerd's Early Work
From Crosswicks to Bethel
Bethel's Role in the French & Indian War
Bethel in 1752
Documents from the Friends Indian Committee
The New Jersey Association for helping the Indians
Crosswicks Treaty of 1756 & Native Men in Military Service
From Bethel to Brotherton
The Search for Bethel
William Tennent & the Move to Brotherton
Proof of Wigwam Brook's Headwaters
Miscellaneous Notes
Books for Sale
Guest Book

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Brainerd's Mission Among the Delaware Indians

The Indians have, every year, since the commencement of the war, enlisted into the king’s service far beyond their proportion; and generally more or less, every campaign, have died in the army…In 1757, we lost near twenty, taken captive at Fort William Henry…our number is greatly reduced

Immortalized in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, the story of Native American involvement in fall of Fort William Henry has often focused on the role of the Stockbridge Mohicans and other New England tribes serving with Roger’s Rangers.  In his letter to the widow of Colonel Elisha Williams, former rector of Yale and intimate of Jonathan Edwards, however, Indian missionary John Brainerd (brother and successor to David)  referred not to the Stockbridge Indians but rather to the vital and often overlooked Delaware Indian community of Bethel, New Jersey.  Bethel was often simply referred to as the "Indian Town."

 

The status of Bethel in the history of the Delaware Indians and colonial America is a piece of the larger mosaic of Indian-white relations for this era, and illustrative of the intricate and complicated relationship among Native communities, Christian missionaries, and colonists.  Bethel was an important intermediary step between David Brainerd’s watershed missionary work at Crosswicks and the ultimate establishment of the Brotherton Reservation in Burlington County by 1760.  For nearly fourteen years, hundreds of Delaware Indians lived in a community located along the Manalapan River of central New Jersey in what is now Monroe Township, Middlesex County.  The community consisted of approximately forty homes, a church and a schoolhouse, and it was one of the largest villages of colonial New Jersey.

 

This site is dedicated to fostering the a better understanding of the Bethel Mission and its role during the French & Indian War.

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David Brainerd, Missionary

American Indian Historical Research

For information on Brotherton & Weekping

For information on Weequehela & Spotswood, NJ

For information on the Gnadenhutten Massacre

For information on the Indian Company of 1778