David Zeisberger, a Moravian missionary, born at Zauchtenthal, in Moravia, April 11, 1721, died at Goshen, Tuscarawas co., Ohio, Nov. 17, 1808. He was educated by the Moravians in Saxony, and afterward lived at their settlement of Nerrendyk, Holland. Thence he went to England, and was aided by Gen. Oglethorpe in joining his parents, who had several years before emigrated to Georgia. He went to the north in 1740, and was one of the founders of the Moravian colony of Bethlehem, Pa. Soon afterward he became a missionary to the Indians, and labored among the Delawares at Shamokin, Pa., and the Iroquois at Onondaga, till after the breaking out of war in 1754. On the return of peace after the conspiracy of Pontiac, he led the remnant of the Christian Indians, who had found a refuge in Philadelphia, to Wyalusing on the Susquehanna, in Bradford co., Pa. In 1767 he established a church among the Monseys on the Alleghany, in what is now Venango co. In 1772 he penetrated the wilderness still further, explored the Muskingum region, and laid out a town, Schoenbrunn, on the Tuscarawas, about 10 m. from the present Canal Dover, Ohio. In time he was joined by all the Moravian Indians of Pennsylvania. Two more visages were built, and other missionaries were employed.

In 1781 a body of Wyandot warriors, instigated by the British commandant at Detroit, broke up these settlements and compelled the Christian Indians to remove to Sandusky. Zeisberger and his assistants were grossly maltreated. In March, 1782, 96 of his flock, men, women, and children, who had gone from Sandusky to their former homes to gather their corn, were treacherously murdered at Gnadenhutten by a party of the white settlers. This was a death blow to the Moravian mission among the Indians. Most of the converts dispersed; with a small remnant Zeisberger went to the Clinton river, and built an Indian town, in what is now the state of Michigan. In 1786, at the head of his little band, he went back to the S. shores of Lake Erie, and in 1787 began a new settlement, which he called New Salem, one mile from the lake (now in Huron co., Ohio); but in 1791 the hostility of other Indians obliged them to emigrate to Canada, where they founded Fairfield, on the river Thames. In 1798, congress having granted to the Moravian Indians the tract of land in the valley of the Tuscarawas upon which they had formerly been settled, Zeisberger returned with some of his converts, and established a new station, to which he gave the name of Goshen. There he preached until the close of his life.

His published works are: a Delaware and English spelling book (Philadelphia, 1776); a collection of hymns in Delaware (1803);. "Sermons to Children," in Delaware (1803); a "Harmony of the Four Gospels," in Delaware (New York, 1821); and an essay on Delaware conjugation, in Vater's Anolekten der SprachTcunde (Leipsic, 1821). Other important works of his relating to the Indian languages remain in manuscript; among the rest a Delaware grammar and dictionary, in the library of Harvard university, and an Iroquois dictionary, deposited in the library of the American philosophical society at Philadelphia. - See "Life and Times of David Zeisberger," by Edmund Alexander de Schweinitz (Philadelphia, 1870), and John Heckewelder's " Narrative of the Missions among the Delaware and Mohegan Indians" (Philadelphia, 1820).