The Mystery of Peggy (Margaret Ann) Scott Vann Crutchfield’s Moravian Memoir
The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story contains a transcription of the religious memoir of Peggy Scott Vann (also known as Margaret Ann Crutchfield), mistress of the Diamond Hill plantation and wife of James Vann. As the first convert to the Moravian faith in the Cherokee nation, Peggy should have written, or had written for her, a religious biography called a “Memoir.” However, archivists expected that a memoir had never existed for Peggy Vann because no such text had been found. During the course of researching my book about the Vann plantation, I was lucky (and thrilled) to find a duplicate version of the mysterious memoir in an abolitionist’s edited volume about people of color. I am even more thrilled to share the news that the historian James A. Crutchfield recently contacted me to say that he has a copy of the original version of the text. He purchased it at a used bookstore many years ago, drawn by the name of the author. To date Jim Crutchfield has located only one other copy in U.S. libraries at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
The original text was titled Memoir of Margaret Ann Crutchfield: the First Convert from the Cherokee Nation, at the missionary settlement of the United Brethren, called Spring Place. With Jim Crutchfield’s permission and with thanks for his generosity and scanning effort, two images of the text are posted below. To learn more about Jim Crutchfield’s work, come visit his author’s page.
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