Fourth Generation - My line of VT descent.

Van Tassel Family History Homepage

"A Pedigree Partly Indian, Partly Batavian"

My Van Tassel Line of Descent

The Fourth Generation:

Theodore4 Van Tassel (Theodorus3, Jacob2, Jan Cornelissen1 Van Texel, Cornelius JansenI)

Born:  1760.  

Died:  June 27, 1832.

Married:  Mary Ransom Bush.

Notes for Theodore Van Tassel - Married Mary Ransom Bush (originally recorded Brush) born 1765, died 1823. Theodore lived at or near East Durham, Greene County, N.Y. where his children were born. He moved in 1818 with Abraham [Abram], Ransom and his daughter to Mayville, New York, where his wife died. In 1825 he went to live with his som Ransom at Drummondsville or Lundy's Lane, Canada, where he died. Now the descendents of Henry and Theodore speak of the burning of the house and the loss of the family Bible; undoubtedly the house of Theodorus.

[Source: VT family history, by Daniel VT]

Children of Theodore Van Tassel and Mary Bush are:

1. Theodore5 Van Tassel

Born:  April 05, 1784.

Died:  January 13, 1833.

Married: Mary Holmes.

Notes for Theodore Van Tassel - Theodore was born, lived and died at East Durham, Green County, N. Y. where he was a farmer.

2. Isaac Van Tassel.

Born: April 7, 17911, Durham, Greene Co., N.Y.

Died:  March 02, 1849, Plain, Wood Co., Ohio.

Married:   Lucia Badger - Sept. 17, 1822, Ashtabula County, Ohio.

Born: Jan 19, 1794, daughter of Rev. Joseph Badger1.

Notes for Isaac Van Tassel -

*1 The first public school within the present limits of Syracuse [N.Y], and in the town of Salina, was probably District No. I, now the Salina School, situated in the First Ward. The date of its organization we have not been able to ascertain, but the schoolhouse was built in 1805.....Some reminiscences are related of this schoolhouse are worth recording. At an early day some rough young men and boys were taught here. There was a preacher by the name of Isaac Van Tassel, a pious man, from Onondaga Hollow, who was determined to become a minister and had asked the Presbytery to educate him, but they had refused to do so on account of a certain impediment in his speech. However, he said he would preach, and finally did preach, becoming a missionary to the Maumee Indians. Under his adminstration, a plot had been formed to resist his authority. He had punished a young man for swearing. This led to insurrection and revolt. Five or six banded together to put him out of the school. He had some intimation of what was going on, and as he left the house in the morning he said to Mrs. Dioclesian Alvord, with whom he boarded: "You need not be surprised to see me home earlier than usual," and then explained to her his apprehensions. He left, and upon going to his room to put it in order, she found the bible open to the passage marked: "Rid me and deliver me from the hand of strange children." His prayer was answered. At noon he informed Mrs. Alvord that Dean Richmond, who had been drawn into the plot, came forward and in a manly way confessed and apologized for the whole transaction. She predicted that he would come to something, which was verified in the well known future career of this distinguished politician. Mr. Van Tassel, also, was afterwards a successful missionary, and died among the Maumee Indians about 1847.
*1Clayton, W. W., History of Onondaga County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers, Syracuse, N.Y.: D. Mason, 1878, pg. 143

For a detailed sketch of daily life on the Maumee Mission, Rev. Isaac Van Tassel and the life of First Americans in the Maumee area, see:Historical Collections of Ohio: An Encyclopedia of the State


1826 - The Missionary Herald for the month of April 1826, furnishes, from a report to which Mr. Swift refers, some important information relative to the Indian school at Maumee.  A part of it is as follows: “The number of scholars in the school is thirty-one, of whom seventeen are boys.  Six of the pupils are from the Chippeway tribe, nine are Wyandots, three Potawatomies, four Ottawas, four Miamies, four Shawnees, and one Munsee.  Their ages are from seven to twenty-two; one, however, is twenty-seven.  Twenty can read the Bible, thirteen write, five are studying arithmetic, four geography, and three grammer.”  A part of a letter is then given from Mr. Van Tassel, the teacher of the school, of which the following are extracts:--“Before I came here, I had taught school several years, and I can assure you sir, that these scholars excel in writing any white children I ever taught.  In short, the children are all making such progress in their studies as affords a high degree of satisfaction to their instructors, and we presume that our patrons and Christian friends witness their docility, their submission to authority, and the eagerness with which they listen to instruction drawn from the Bible, they would not feel as if they were laboring in vain, or spending their money for naught.  For a few weeks past, the scholars have been exercising their talents in writing composition, and they frequently hand billets to their teacher and other members of the family.”  Copies of three of these billets are then given, after which the teacher adds—“Many more equally good have been handed in, but these will be sufficient to give a specimen of their improvement and show you the state of their minds.  They all appear united, cheerful, and happy—as much or more so than could reasonably be expected, while they are destitute of the benign religion of Jesus.  O if they could all enjoy this, we should have a little paradise here below.  For this we pray, and for this we beg a special interest in your prayers to Almighty God, with whom is the residue of the Spirit.” [Source: A Historical Sketch Or Compendious View of Domestic and Foreign Missions in the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America , Ashbel Green, DD., Philadelphia, William S. Martien, 1838, pp 73-75.]

1827- Maumee.--Isaac Van Tassel, Teacher and Licensed Preacher, Mrs. Van Tassel. The school contains 16 scholars.
*THe Baptist Missionary Magazine, Volumes 7-8, 1827.

-Situated in Wood county, Ohio, about 30 milies from the mouth of Maumee river, which empties into the upper end of lake Erie.
-Mr. Isaac Van Tassel, Teacher and Licensed Preacher; Mrs. Van Tassel. Miss Sarah Withrow, Miss Hannah Riggs, Assistants.
-The school has received, since its commencemtn, about 70 pupils, of whom more than 30 staid but a short time, and were not essentially benefitted. Thirty-seven remained long enough to make useful acquisitions. Of these, but two are known to have relapsed into savage life. Seven became hopefully pious while at school, and now preserve a Christian character. Two of them, Hiram Thiebault and Lewis King, are connected with the station. Hiram and his brother Sidney labor upon the mission farm, with a good degree of judgment, and an uncommon share of public spirit. The school, after having been necessarily suspended, was resumed last November. It has since consisted of but thirteen pupils, under the care of Miss Riggs.
-This station was visited last June by Mr. Greene, on his return from the west. He found the farm to be a valuable and inviting one, finely situated on the river. It might be made very productive, if an active, public-spirited farmer could be sent thither. In this case, and if an enterprising teacher could also be obtained, a flourishing school might be supported, at a comparatively small expense.
-The remnants of trives scattered about, and living on small reservation, are generally in a more humiliating condition, than were their ancestors. They are surrounded by corrupting and fraudulent white men, and are themselves debased and disheartened. There are, however, some encouraging indications, in regard even to these.
-Mr. Van Tassel stated in a communication made last fall, that the Ottawa chiefs had determined in council, that aredent spirits should not be used, except as a medicine; and that men should be appointed to destroy any whiskey brought into a reservation, whether by a white man, or an Indian. It would seem, that there has been some improvement in practice, as in well as theory. The quantity of corn raised byt he Indians near the station has been greatly increasing of late. Some of the leading men are building comfortable houses, and aspiring to a more elevated condition, than they have ever before enjoyed. They have frequently visited the station to observe what was done by the teachers, and to ascertain the great object, which the missionaries have in view.
-The station has been deemed sickly, especially by the mission family; and doubtless it is exposed to autumnal fevers. But neither the sickness, nor the mortality, warrants the opinion, that the place is more unhealthy than the neighboring country, nor than the missionary stations of Brainerd, Elliot, Mayhew, Diwght, Union, and Harmony.

1829-Vol. XIII. Mission At Maumee, Ohio. Rev. Isaac Van Tassel, Missionary; Mrs Van Tassel, Miss Sarah Withrow, Miss Hannah Riggs, Assistants.
-In the course of last autumn, the family suffered much from sickness; and Mr. Van Tassel was apparently brought near to death. He was gradually restored, hoever; though the concerns of the station must have been somewhat embarrassed, as a consequence of his not being able to attend them.
-The school consisted of 23 pupils in the winter, and a teacher was hired a part of the year to instruct them. His name was Henry McElrath. The Indian children made good proficiency under his tuition.
-It seems exceedingly desirable to get access to the minds of the Indians, in this neighborhood, by means of their own language. This has not yet been practicable to any considerable extent. No good interpreter is a thand; and no missionary is acquainted with the Ottawa dialect.
-Mr. Van Tassel was ordained as a missionary and evangelist, at the meeting of the Huron Presbytery, in April. He is very anxious to visit the various settlements of Indians, and to make known the Gospel to them. He pleads earnestly for such an enlargement of the mission, as will enable him to make excursions of one, two, and three weeks each, for the sake of teaching the natives, at their own houses, the grea things which are revealed in the Scriptures. In case of such labors being undertaken, he would be attended by a competent interpreter, if such an one could be procured.
*Report of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, by American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, October 1829.

-On the Maumee river--1 station, near the Ottawa reservations, 20 miles from lake Erie.
-Maumee--Rev. Isaac Van Tassel, Missionary; Mrs. Van Tassel; Sarah Withrow; Hannah Riggs. A man has been hired to teach the school a part of the year.
-The school contains 23 scholars. Considerable evangelical labor has been performed among the Ottawas, and in the neighboring white settlements, with the appearance of success.--One young Indian woman has been admitted to the church during the year. Six or eight others are members, or hopefully pious.
Vol. XIV. - Mr. Marsh, destined to the statoin near Green Bay, as mentioned in the report of that station, spent the last winter here, rendering very reasonable and efficient aid to Mr. Van Tassel. A considerable portion of their labors were directed to the white settlers in the vicinity of the station, and not without some success. A church organized many yars ago, but much scattered, the Lord's Supper not having been administered for six years, was gathered and strengthened.
-Some seriousness has prevailed in the school; and a teacher, who was hired for a part of the year, became hopefully pious while at the station. The number of scholars druing the early part of the year was 28. It has not been mentioned since. The pupils have generally been obedient and studious, and made good progress.
-Mr. and Mrs. Van Tassel have devoted considerable time to the study of the Ottawa language, a dialect of the Chippeway, spoken very extensively among the Indians in the northwest. They have prepared translations of the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments, with a few hymns and spelling lessons, which have been printed at Hudson, Ohio. The orthography of Mr. Pickering is used; and it is hoped that some of the Indians may learn to read their own language.

*The Missionary Herald, Volume 26, 1830.

1831-Mission at Maumee. Isaac Van Tassel, Missionary; Mrs. Van Tassel; Miss Sarah Withrow and Miss Hannah Riggs, Assistants.
-During a part of the year Mr. Sidney E. Brewster, from Geauga county, Ohio, has resided at the station and greatly assisted Mr. Van Tassel in his labors. This ahs enabled the latter to spend a large portion of his time with the Indians. He has visited the several reservation, giving religious instruction, and urging them to avail themselves of the advantages offered for educating their children. In respect to the Indians on two other reservation, he felt much encouraged. On a third a teacher was received, and a small school collected.
-The school at the station has been taught a part of the year by a hired teacher, and in January contained twenty pupils, who were doing well.
The mission farm, belonging to the Board, and adjoining the Indian reservation is large, and when well cultivated, is very productive.
-It is understood that the remnant of trives, residing on the reservations near this mission, have been induced to sell their lands, and are expected soon to remove we know not whither. Should this treaty be ratified, and the removal of the Indians be effected, the mission must, of course, be broken up.
-The situation and prospects of Indian tribes, settled on reservations in the northwest part of the state of Ohio, may be learned from the following communications:
June 10, 1831. Opening of a School among the Shawnees.
"I have of late spend most of my time among the Indians that are scattered in this wilderness, and I have seen the fruits of human depravity exhibited in a great variety of ways. I have also seen wretchedness and poverty enough. The Indians are generally debased by their intercourse with a certain class of whites, who get their living, such as it is, out of the Indians; and they are impoverished by the free use of arednt spirits which is constantly brought among them. Consequently with the most faithful and diligent efforts their progress toward civilization and Christianity must be slow.
-"I have visited the Shawnees residing at Wauppaughkannetta, about seventy miles south of us. They have frequently urged us to go and establish a school among them. Last winter the requested us to send them a teacher and promised they would board her, and support their own children. Miss Newell offered to go. The other members of the family felt so much the importance of their having a school, and that without delay, that we concluded to take Miss Newell through the wilderness on horse-back, for their is no road, except an Indian trail. I preached to the Shawnees, and laid before them the subject of the school. They gave good attention, and said there were glad to have an opportunity to educate their children. The Indians here are settled on their farms, and live so sparse that very few can be benefitted. They are very anxious to have a boarding school established in the centre of their reserve, which is twelve miles square. Several societies or congregations towards the south part of the state have offered their united efforts in support of one. I believe it yet will be accomplished. Miss Newell has commenced a smalls school.

-Council for effecting their Removal.
-"The prospect of doing good at this place was soon after blighted by an attempt to purchase their land, and induce the Indians to remove to a country west of the Mississippi river. The agent, who was commissioned to conduct this negociation [sic.], after rehearsing to the Shawnees the fate of teh Cherokees, and stating these were the last proposals the government of the United States would ever make to them, and presenting various other motives, at last obtained their assent to the proposed treaty. Miss Newell, who was present at the council, and witnessed all the proceedings, gives the following account of the distressing despondency manifested by the headmen:
-June 29, 1831. "One of the chiefs said it was a tough, hard case, to give his people up to come under state laws without being permitted to vote, or having their civil oaths regarded before a magistrate; it would be as bad as to give themselves up to have their throats cut; for he could easily conceive of their being driven to desperation, and immediately committing outrage that would bring them to the gallows; and it was a tough, hard case, to decide to go; but as there was no alternative, they had better be reconciled to go. I believe they have tried to keep up each other's spirits, and exhort each other to unanimity of feeling upon the subject. Their minds appear constantly to be in a state of excitement. Oh! that they might like their brethren at the south, be directed by the Holy Spirit to seek that rest which remaineth for the people of God. All business seems to be suspended, and they act as we might expect them to, if the final day of doom had come.
-"The old men sat in council, looking each other in the face, and mourning over their fate from Monday morning until Tuesday night. They sat and talked all night long, and parted with no better state of feeling than when they came together. They think their prospect of earthly good is blasted forever. They say they have nothing to hope for here, or beond the Mississippi either. They had thought for years past, that there would be no hope for them; only by their conduct pleasing the white people so well, that they would not wish them to move away. This they had endeavored to do, had made up their minds to encourage schools, attend to agriculture, and examine the religion of the bible; but they now saw it would be all in vain. Those Indians that had learning, and had received the religion of white people, were all hated and despised alike, and were now invited to take up their lot together. They said the president had offered to build them schoolhouses and a meetinghouse beyond the Mississippi; but if they went, they should abandon the whole, build their own council house, and worship the great spirit in their own way.
-Labors among the Ottawas.
"In the same tour we visited a party of the Ottawas, who were settled on the Blanchard's fork of the Maumee, about forty miles south of us. Here we spent two Sabbaths, and were much gratified, and encouraged respecting this party. On account of their distance from us, and the weak state of the mission, very little has been done for them. They expressed a wish that we could send some person here to teach them to cultivate their land, and set up a little school to instruct their children. They say they dislike to send them so far from home. On the whole, respecting this and the clan that live near the station we feel greatly encouraged. These taken together, compose nearly half the Ottawas in the vicinity. These have not taken a decided and open stand in favor of the school, because they fear those who live at the mouth of the Maumee. The French Catholics are settled among the latter, and are very bitter enemies to the school, and opposed to all improvement. The chiefs here said, that if the others would use nothing but their tongues, they would not regard it, but they would not hesitate to use the tomahawk. Mr. Van Tassel proceeds to state what improvements he had observed among the Indians near the station:
September 29, 1831. From what little I had labored among the Indians since last spring, we felt encouraged to hope that something might be effected. Two clans, including nearly half the Ottawas in this vicinity, had begun to see and feel the importance of educating their children, and had come to the decision that they would turn their attention more to the cultivation of the soil. They had obtained farming utensils, and actually made arrangements to put in a crop of wheat this fall. They have now more corn, potatoes, beans, and other vegetables than they have ever raised in any season before. Termperance was gaining some ground among them, and their minds were in some measure better prepared to receive moral instruction.
-But after the negociation with the SHawnees had been completed, overtures of a similar character were made by the same agent to the Ottawas. At the first council of the Indians held for this purpose, they appeared determined to retain their land and remain where they were, and decidedly refused the offers made them. Another council was, however, called, and after having been continued a number of days, a portion of the Indians were induced to assemble in general council on the Sabbath, and sign a treaty, by which they sold all their land in Ohio. Many protested against the treaty, but without effect.

-"At the time of the treaty, they prevailed on about half of those at Blanchard's Fork and a small party on the Oglaze to go west of the Mississippi; in all about fifty men. The others refued to go, and will probably remain here for the present. I have been among them some since the treaty; and since they have had time to reflect upon what they have done, they appear to be very much cast down. What is in reserve for the poor Indians we cannot now foresee. But when I reflect that God is just, I tremble in view of those awful judgments that must await our beloved country. Since the treaty, some of the Indians have said they will never leave this country; if they can find no place to stay, they will spend the rest of their days in walking up and down the Maumee, mourning over the wretched state of their people. Some have said they would place themselves under our protection, and stay by us as long as we remain.
-"We have recieved one new scholar since the treaty. He is a chief's son, about four years old. The school now numbers 13 Indian children and five whites; the last pay for their board and tuition. Three of mixed blood and one full Indian have been absent some time. We do not expect they will return.
-"Since the commotion, we have been hesitating what course to take as to the future operations of the missions. To disband and say to these children, some of whom are very promising, return back to the forest, would be truly painful. But to continue a small school, when the door to future and more extensive usefulness is closed, we could not conceive to be the path that duty required. Since, however, the greater part of the Indians are disposed to remain, we have concluded to wiat til lwe can ascertain more clearly what course Providence will direct.
-"Since the treaty, we have been making renewd and more vigorous efforts, in conjunction with some influential men in the country to induce the traders, if possible, to discontinue the traffic in ardent spirits entirely. But we have not succeeded. They have all, however, gone so far as to say, that they would not sell directly or indirectly to the Indians.

*The Missionary Herald at Home and Abroad. Vol. 27-28. 1831.

1832- Maumee, a station of the A. B. C. F. M. in Wood Co. Ohio, about 30 m. from the mouth of Maumee R. which empties in the upper end of lake Erie. It was commenced by Western Missionary Society, transferred to the U. F. M. S. and in 1827 to the A. B. C. F. M. The Indians are Otawas, about 800 in number. Their land is in five reservations, and comprises 66,560 acres. Isaac Van Tassel, missionary, Mrs Van Tassel; Misses Sarah Withrow and Hannah Riggs, assistants. Mr. Van Tassel gives the following view of the mission:
April 3, 1832. "As it respects the concerns of this station, the family are enjoying good health, living in peace and harmony, and all manifest a disposition to press forward in the path of duty. I have visited the Indians some, while scattered on their hunting grounds in the course of the winter; but not so much as I intended, on account of the unfavorable season for traveling in the wilderness.
"When at home, I preach every Sabbath at the station, attend the Sabbath school and Bible-class. The congregation is gradually increasing, and there is uniformly good attention. There has recently been two additions to this little church, one by letter and one by examination. At times we have had some tokens of the Lord's presence; so that we were encouraged to hope for a revival; but, as often before, these seasons have passed like the early cloud and morning dew.
-"In my last, I wrote you that some of the Indians had agreed to go west of the Mississippi. I think now they will settle down with the others, and remain till the rest of their land is taken from them. They are more willing to receive instruction. Three new scholars have been added to the school, and several more have agreed to send their children this spring.
-"Within two or three weeks, the Indians will return again to their villages. After this, myself and wife intend to spend our time almost exclusively among them."
-On the 27th of June Mr. Van Tassel states, that the school contained 31 Indian children-14 boys, from three to fifteen years of age, and 17 girls, from five to twenty years old. Ten of the scholars were studying arithmetic and geography, twelve were attending to writing, and fifteen were able to read in the Bible. The pupils were cheerful, obedient, and moral; and the cause of temperance was gaining ground, both among the Indians and white settlers in the neighborhood.
[Source: The Missionary Gazetteer; Comprising a Geographical and Statistical Account of the Various Stations of the American and Foreign Protestant Missionary Societies With Their Progress in Evangelization and Civilization, B. B. Edwards, Boston, Published by William Hyde & Co. 1832
-Begun in 1822: one station, one missionary, and one male and three females assistants. Isaac Van Tassel, Missionary; Mrs Van Tassel; Sidney E. Brewster, Farmer; Mrs Brewster; Miss Hannah Riggs, Teacher.
-Miss WIthrow, heretofore mentioned as an assistant at this station, was married to Mr. Brewster early last summer. The school has been taught a considerable part of the yaer by a hired teacher, who left the station a few months since.
-During the last year, Mr. Van Tassel has spent more time than usual among the Indians, and has found, in the attention of the Indians to his instructions, considerable encouragement.
-The school contains about 20 pupils who were boarded at the station.
-These Indians have recently been induced to sell their lands, and are expected to remove west of the Mississippi river.
-Maumee- It was stated a year ago that the Indians had sold their three reservation lying in the state of Ohio, containing about fifty thousand acres, and that it was expected they would remove from that part of the country, and the mission be speedily broken up. Few or none, however, have yet removed. As a body, they seem wholly disinclined to change their residence, and much dejected in view of their condition and prospects. "Some have said they will never leave their country. If they can find no place to stay, they will spend the rest of their days in walking up and down the Maumee, mourning over the wretched state of their people."
-During the year the school at this station has somewhat increased. In October there wee thirteen scholars; during the winter the average number was about eighteen, and in June there were thirty-one; of whom fourteen were boys, and seventeen girls.
-Some seriousness has prevailed among the scholars in the school, and the adult Indians have been more disposed to listen to instruction than heretofore; fifteen or twenty of them now steadily attend the Sabbath meetings at the mission house. Mr. Van Tassel also preaches once on the Sabbath at the Indian village near the station. A considerable number of white people attend the meetings on the Sabbath. Two persons have been admitted to the church.
-Five hundred copies of an elementary book in the Ottawa language, prepared by Mr. Van Tassel, have been printed. The work contains 28 pages.

*Missionary Herald for the year 1832, Boston, Printed by Crocker and Brewster.

1833- MISSION AT MAUMEE. Isaac Van Tassel, Missionary; Mrs. Van Tassel; William Culver, Teacher.
-Mr. Sidney L. Brewster, who had labored at the station as a farmer more than two years, was compelled to leave it in June last, o naccount of impaired health. Miss Rebecca Newell and Miss Hannah Riggs, have also, during the past summer, been released from the further service of the Board, partly on account of impaired health, and partly because the circumstances of the mission did not require their aid.
-Last fall the Ottawa Indians residing on the Maumee river sold the only tract of land remaining in their possession to the United States; by which act this unhappy remnant, embracing 600 or 700 persons, are left wholly destitute of country or home except a few small reservations retained by the principal men. They still persist in refusing to accept a country west of the Mississippi river, and though strongly urged to removed thither, very few have yet consented. At the suggestion of Mr. Van Tassel, the Committee authorized him to offer to them the use of a portion of the mission lands, which amount to 600 to 700 acres, provided they would erect buildings and open fields upon them, abandon their unsettled mode of life and the use of intoxicating liquors, and would avail themselves of the advantages offered for obtaining religious instruction and educating their children.
-They have, however, with the exception of ten or twelve families, treated this offer with much indifference. Their present condition, with no fixed place of residence, and exposed to almost every species of temptation form the surrounding white settlers, who are pressing in upon them, is nearly as unfavorable as possible to their improvement in any respect. Should no favorable change take place before the ensuing spring, it will probably be expedient to discontinue the mission. It was commenced in November 1822.
-School.--The boarding school has been continued at the station more than ten years, the number of pupils varying from fifteen to forty. The whole number educated at the school, since its commencement in February 1823, is about ninety; about thirty of whom have acquired an education adequate to the transaction of the ordinary business of life, and are now generally engaged in respectable employments and exerting a salutary influence. The school now embraces thirty-one pupils--eighteen boys and thirteen girls--thirteen full Indians seventeen mixed blood and one white. All are boarded and most of them clothed at the expense of the mission. They generally make good proficiency in their studies. A Sabbath school at the station, embraces the children of the school adn a few white children and youths from the neighborhood.
-Church.--The mission church was organized, in March 1823; to which twenty-four persons have since been added, of whom eighteen were recieved on profession of their faith. The present number of members, including the mission family, is twenty-five--eight males and seventeern females--fourteen whites, two Africans, and nine Indians; fifteen of whom have been instructed in the mission school or family, and all of whom entirely abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors.
-Preaching and Congregations.--Two sermons are uniformly preached on the Sabbath, when Mr. Van Tassel is not absent or unable to perform the labor. One of these is interpreted to the Indians. The congregation averages about eighty, including the children of the school, three or four Africans, and about twenty Indians. During the last winter and spring much serious attention to the concerns of the soul prevailed in the school, and in the adjacent white settlements, and for some time religious meetings were attended at different places, nearly every day or evening. Fifteen or twenty persons gave evidence of having been born again, most of whom have since recieved into church fellowship.
-The Ottawas retain to a great extent their former habits of life and their relgious superstitions. They are nidolent and much addicted to interperance; and when intoxicated are quarrelsome, and not unfrequently wound and murder one another. It has not been practicable to form a temperance society among them. Their mode of life and their vices occasion much suffering.
-Mr. Greene visited this station, during his tour last summer, and conferred with the family respecting the interests and prospects of the mission.
-Maumee- It was stated a year ago that the Indians had sold their three reservation lying in the state of Ohio, containing about fifty thousand acres, and that it was expected they would remove from that part of the country, and the mission be speedily broken up. Few or none, however, have yet removed. As a body, they seem wholly disinclined to change their residence, and much dejected in view of their condition and prospects. "Some have said they will never leave their country. If they can find no place to stay, they will spend the rest of their days in walking up and down the Maumee, mourning over the wretched state of their people."
-During the year the school at this station has somewhat increased. In October there wee thirteen scholars; during the winter the average number was about eighteen, and in June there were thirty-one; of whom fourteen were boys, and seventeen girls.
-Some seriousness has prevailed among the scholars in the school, and the adult Indians have been more disposed to listen to instruction than heretofore; fifteen or twenty of them now steadily attend the Sabbath meetings at the mission house. Mr. Van Tassel also preaches once on the Sabbath at the Indian village near the station. A considerable number of white people attend the meetings on the Sabbath. Two persons have been admitted to the church.
-Five hundred copies of an elementary book in the Ottawa language, prepared by Mr. Van Tassel, have been printed. The work contains 28 pages.

*Missionary Herald, for the Year 1833, Vol XXIX., Printed by Crocker and Brewster, Boston.

January 28, 1833. Isaac receives a letter from his father-in-law, Rev. Joseph Badger bemoaning their commonly held view of the Americans mistreatment by the U.S. Government:
"What will be the result of the cruel oppression and removal of the Indian tribes fro their ancient homes, we have yet to learn. That there is awful guilt and responsibility resting on the heads of governmental departments, I have no doubt; notwithstanding the all-wise God can, in his own way, bring good out of the evil and light out of that gross darkness. your statements in the Telegraph indicated that the mission would be removed in the spring or borken up. By the last Herald, we learn that the fourishing mission among the Choctaws is to be relinquished by their removal. It is pleasant to learn that the Lord has not forsaken them in their new settlement. The persecution of the church in the sixteenth century brought the Pilgrims to American. It may be that the persecution of the Indians and the churches springing up among them will be the means of planting them in circumstances eventually to promote both their civil and religious improvement. May it please the Lord so to order their inheritance."

1834-MISSION AT MAUMEE. Isaac Van Tassel, Missionary; William Culver, Teacher adn Mechanic and their wives.
-The plan of settling the Indians, residing near this station on the mission lands, noticed in the last report, was proposed to them last fall. A few families acceded to the proposal, and promised to erect houses and open fields the next spring. Some counteracting influence was, however, exerted by persons residing in the vicinity; shops for vending intoxicating liquors were multiplied around them; they became more dissipated and less inclined to labor, and when the opening of the spring came on, no progress was made, and there seemed to be little prospect that an considerable number of families would avail themselves of the advantages offered. In the circumstances in which they then were scattered, tempted, and desponding, there seemed to be little encouragement for continuing the school or any other kind of missionary labor. In April, therefore, the boarding school, which had contained during the fall and winter about thirty pupils, was disbanded; and arrangements were soon after entered upon for disposing the property of the Board at that station. This object has not yet been effected.
-The meetings have been continued at the station by Mr. Van Tassel, and he has communicated Christian knowledge to the Indians, whenever his circumstances permitted him to have access to them. Having disposed of all their land at their present residence, and refusing to remove west of the Mississippi river, the only inheritance which seems to be left to them is poverty, misery, and extinction.

-No school has been taught at this station, and very little missionary labor of any kind performed since the last meeting of the Board; and it was then anticipated, that, before the present time, the property belonging to the Board there, would have been disposed of, and the concerns of the station closed. But some obstacles in the way of a final adjustment seemed to render it desirable that Mr. Van Tassel should continue to occupy the station and retain his connection with the Board, though he derives no further support from the Board, tan the avails of the mission farm. It is hoped that the property may be disposed of witout great delay.
-Some of the Indians from the vicinity of this station have removed to the west of the Mississippi river, and others may probably follow them.

-Annual Report - American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1835.

1841 - WHO CAN BEAT THIS!--Wood County against the world, and the Maumee Valley against creation in the water-melon line. On the farm of the Rev. Isaac Van Tassel, in this county, a watermelon vine sprang up from a single seed, during the past summer--which bore 28 melons, that average 18 pounds each. 504 pounds of water-melons from a single see. Think of that. Fact and no mistake-- [Source: Maumee Times. Who Can Beat This! Date 1841-10-01 - Reported in the Pittsfield Sun, Pittsfield, Mass]

1844- Rev. Isaac Van Tassel, Perrysburgh Plain, Wood co., Ohio.--Has been engaged in the silk business eight eyars; three acres of land employed; one thousand trees; $100 invested. Amount of cocoons raised prior to 1844, 200 lbs; amount in 1844, 50 lbs. Being unacquainted with the business, have been mostly engaged experimenting with worms and fixtures. Has made two or three reels; one similar to the Piedmontese, superior he thinks; the other on entirely a new plan. It is turned by two treadles, or a double crank, by the reeler. The cocoons are in a copper basin, two feet long, with a division in the middle.
-The water heater is heated by a furnace at one end, fourteen inches in length, and six in diameter. The water surrounds the fire and passes back and forth, from the basin to the furnace and heats in a very few minutes. The thread passes through a small throwster which gies a twist sufficiently to take in the added fibres with facility; and the passes through a traversing bar which spreads it on the reel in a wide skein. The thread is perfectly round, and as smooth as a polished brass wire. I trust government will do something for our encouragement.

*Transactions of the New York State Agricultural Society, Vol. IV, 1844, Albany, Printed by E. Mack, Printer to the Senate.

1848-By 1848 apparently Isaac and wife Lucia had begun to tend to the bodies as well as souls as evidenced by the following entry. "The water cure" was a homeopathic approach to healing - that good health could be obtained by exercise and copious intake of water rather than through "miracle" drugs (or snake oils). The following article appeared in the "Water-Cure Journal, Herald of Reforms," Joel Shew, M. D., Editor, New York, 1848.":
-If we could only induce people to read carefully, studiously, works on the new treatment; if we could persuade them to spend one-tenth the time and expense in matters pertaining to health that they do in a multitude of useless and often worse than useless things; what good might be accomplished. But amid all the discouragements of laboring with people in thes things, we are yet not unfrequently encouraged by hearing that there are those who prove faithful in a good cause. The following extract is from a poor clergyman. [We might call all clergymen "poor," except some of the overfed, lazy ones of the cities.] He has been working hard to obtain subscribers, but has not succeeded very well, finding doubtless men more ready to pay money for tea, coffee and tobacco, than for Water-Cure Journals.
-Bowling Green, Ohio, May 15, 1848.
-Dear Sir:--I have received three of your works on the water-cure, and I am convinced from the reading of them that could the principles of the new system become generally understood and practiced, great good would be accomplished, much time and money would be saved, and much suffering prevented.
-I send you the money of a man as a subscriber who has been raised from a bed of languishing by that simple and yet effectual practice, the water-cure. He had been given up by his physician as a hopeless case; at least he acknowledged that medicines would do him no more good. I have delayed writing, in the hope of getting more subscribers, but have failed in my object.
-Mrs. Van Tassel wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your favor in reference to the girl who has been so seriously afflicted with epileptic fits. Her health is evidently improving.
-Wishing you all success in your humane enterprise, I am
-Yours very sincerely,

1849 - [Reverend Isaac Van Tassel's Obituary]

"DIED, Suddenly, March 2d, [1849] in consequence of a fall upon the ice between Gilend and Plain, the Rev. Isaac Van Tassel, of Plain, Wood Co., O., aged 57 years and 11 months. By this sudden and afflictive dispensation of Divine Providence we are called to witness the termination of the life and labors of the oldest minister of the Gospel in this valley, and the last of those whose labors were associated with its earlier history. To many now living he is remembered as the man who left the attachments of home and youth, not for adventure or gold; but to carry the lamp of truth to the benighted savage mind, where hardships, sickness and obstacles of nearly every form awaited him. He was possessed of a strong native constitution which being matured by agricultural pursuits, peculiarly fitted him for a life of hardship and labor in the West. At the age of about 20, he united with the Congregational church in Durham, Green co, N. Y. Though struggling with the pecuniary difficulties, by his own energetic efforts, with the encouragement and aid of some religious friends he was enabled to acquire an education for the Gospel ministry. In the fall of 1822, he was appointed with others to a mission among the Ottawa Indians in this valley.

In this tribe he labored patiently, amidst the discouragements of that period until the tribe was removed. The influence of traders and intoxicating drinks opposed no slight barrier to his labors, yet during a life of 12 years labor among them, he was permitted to see about 30 renounce their heathenism and embrace the gospel. But if this was the direct fruits of that mission, its indirect effects have not been few or small. Many, both of that tribe and of the white people in the vicinity were there educated for the pursuits of common life. Though a variety of opinions have existed in relations to this mission--yet if we take into consideration the obstacles that opposed it--it might be well enquired whether it would not bear a favorable comparison with the average of other Indian missions.

While Mr. Van Tassell continued at this station, the emigrant prostrated by disease where there was none to receive him, found in him the kindness and sympathy of a brother. His house was a hospitall for the sick, --his roof a shelter for the houseless. His sympathy embraced the needy, the weary, and the forlorn of every class and condition.

His subsequent life was not destitute of benevolence and charity. For several years he visited this sparsely settled region as a physician, preaching occasionally as his health and circumstances would permit. Many are the witnesses who now live to testify to his kindness in visiting and comforting them, where there was none to comfort and none to relieve. He was possessed of commanding and strong points of mind which fitted him for the position God called him to occupy; and if to all he was not equally acceptable, yet if we judge men by the Gospel standard, not by their few faults, but by the tenor of their lives, it might well be enquired, who of all that opposed him have exhibited a life of superior usefulness. As a neighbor few were more generally esteemed. His record is on high, after 26 years of hardship, labor and suffering spent in poverty, which might have been blessed with abundance, he has retired to rest. Suddenly did he retire, without a painful parting adieu and apparently without a struggle, yet he lives still on earth in the heart of a bereaved widow, and also in the hearts of many whom he comforted, relieved and benefited. "

1872 - The Presbyterian Mission on the Maumee. [Recollections by Mrs. Lucia Badger Van Tassel]

To the honored Mrs. Van Tassel, now of Maumee City, the writer of this is indebted for the most interesting account he has discovered, furnished in the letters which follow, of the old Presbyterian Maumee Mission. It is proper here to add that Mrs. Van Tassel was the daughter of Rev. Joseph Badger, General Harrison's Chaplain during the siege of Fort Meigs, in 1813.

Maumee City, Dec. 30, 1872.

Mr. Knapp, --SIR: I will endeavor to answer your questions to the best of my recollection, though not precisely as to time in the order proposed.

Mr. Isaac Van Tassel was born in Durham, New York, April 7, 1791, and came to Ashtabula, O., in 1821. In the summer of 1822, he was appointed the Maumee Mission, by the Western Missionary Society, of Pittsburg, Pa., as assistant and teacher, and was the first member of the Mission family on the ground. Rev. Samuel Tate, of Mercer, Pa., was appointed Superintendent pro tem., remained six months, and was succeeded by Rev. Ludovicus Robbins. Mr. R. remained about two years, and was dismissed at his own request, on account of failing health. Mr. Van Tassel taught the school and pursued his theological studies, spending one winter with Rev. G. H. Cowles, D.D, of Austinburg, O. In 1826 Mr. Van Tassel was licensed and ordained by the Huron Presbytery; he remained a member of that Presbytery until the Maumee Presbytery was formed, of which he remained a member until his death, March 2, 1849. He died suddenly, having been thrown from his horse and instantly killed, on his way from Gilead, (now Grand Rapids,) to our home in Plain. He was appointed Superintendent of the Maumee Mission in 1826, at which time the Mission was transferred to the A. B. C. F. M. He served in that capacity until the Mission was abandoned, in consequence of the removal of the Indians, in 1834.

I was born in Blandford, Mass., Jan 19, 1794. My maiden name was Lucia Badger. My father, Rev. Joseph Badger, was then pastor of the Congregational Church in that town. In 1800 he was appointed by the Connecticut Missionary Society, Missionary to New Connecticut, (now Western Reserve) in the Ohio Territory, and in 1802 removed his family to Austinburg, Ashtabula Co., O. I was married in Ashtabula, O., to Rev. Isaac Van Tassel, Sep. 17, 1822. We went immediately to Pittsburg, where we, with others, were organized into a Mission family. We landed at Maumee, Oct. 27, 1822.

Mr. Van Tassel repaired immediately to the site of the mission-house; found the body of a hewn log cabin erected, 16 x 60, and went to work to prepare it for the reception of the family, consisting, then, of 13 members and some hired help. As there were no inhabitants near, his only bed was a board, and his covering, his overcoat. November 6, the remained of the family arrived, and the men all went to the station, to work on the house. As there were no boats coming into the Maumee river, we were obliged to cross the Lake in small schooners, chartered for the purpose. November 26, the family met at the mission-house, to commence our labors among the poor Ottawas. Our Mission family consisted of Rev. Samuel Tate, wife and son; Rev. Alvan Coe and wife; Isaac Van Tassel and wife; Leander Sacket (farmer) and wife; John McPherrin, (carpenter;) Straight, (blacksmith;) Miss Sabina Stevens and Miss Hannah Riggs.

Our school commenced the winter following, with about half a dozen scholars, and increased time after time till we numbered 50; but they probably would not average over 30, as they were very unsteady in their attendance. Mrs. Sacket commenced the school, and taught a few weeks; it was subsequently taught by different members of the family. I taught one year; the remained of my time was devoted, (when not confined by sickness,) to domestic avocations, and the study of the Indian language, in which I had made considerable proficiency. It would have been far more agreeable to my wishes to spend my time in studying the language, and instructing adult native females, than otherwise. But this was not the plan of our mission; our instructions were, to collect all the native children we could into the school and teach them English. These had to be fed and clothed; consequently little would be done to elevate the adult natives. They were not, however, entirely neglected. Mr. Robbins and Mr. Van Tassel visited them in their villages, and preached to them through an interpreter, and they were urged to adopt habits of industry, and a better style of living, which they did in some instances. But the good which the missionaries had hoped to accomplish was often frustrated through the opposition of the Indian traders, who made every effort to keep them intoxicated as much as possible. To civilize and Christianize the Indians would be, to deprive them of the unrighteous gains. It has been said that the Maumee Mission was a failure:--If the hopeful conversion of about thirty souls, and the triumphant deaths of at least nine of these, who were known to the missionaries to have died trusting in the Saviour, besides much seed sown, the result of which can only be known in the light of eternity, was not worth the few thousands expended there, then might the mission be called a failure. The Indians were at first shy and distrustful; they could not believe that white people intended them any good. As they became acquainted, however, they were very friendly, and never gave us any trouble by stealing or commiting any depredation. They were always grateful for any favors bestowed on them by the missionaries. A mother once came to the station to beg a water-melon for her sick son; she gratefully received it, and the next time she called brought us a quantity of nicely dried whortleberries, for which she refused any compensation; other similar incidents are within my recollection. In the fall of 1826, a young Indian came to the station, saying that his friends had all gone for their winter's hunt, and left him behind, because he was sick and could not travel; he appeared nearly gone with consumption; he begged to be taken in and permitted to sleep by the fire in the children's room, and to eat what they might leave. While his strength lasted, he was anxious to make himself useful, and would cheerfully offer to do any little chores which he felt able to do; but he was soon confined to his bed. He gladly received instruction through the interpreter, and some of the larger boys, who had hopefully become pious, often prayed with him. We never carried him a dish of food or a cup of cold water without receiving his emphatic "wawanee, wawanee," (thank you, thank you.) He died apparently happy, trusting in the Saviour. There are many reminiscences of the mission, interesting to me, which might not seem so to others. If you think the above satisfactory and wish me to continue, I will answer any question you may propose.

1873 - MAUMEE CITY, Jan. 17, 1873. [Additional recollections of Mrs. Lucia Badger Van Tassel]

H. S. KNAPP, --SIR: The mission farm was situated nine miles above Fort Meigs, and the same distance below Gilead, (Grand Rapids.) It included the east half section and south-west quarter section lying on the Maumee river at the mouth of Tontogany creek. The large island opposite, and extending down to the lower rapids, 1 ½ miles in length and half a mile in width, also belonged to the mission farm. The section on the main land was densely covered with large timber, and part of the island. On the upper end was about 40 acres without timber, which was immediately cultivated. A two story frame house, still standing, was built on the bank, below the mouth of the creek, on the west side of the road, and a large orchard, raised from the seed by the missionaries, was set out on the side hill south of the house; all the mission buildings except the framed house have been removed. The present owners and occupants of the farm are two brothers, George and Thomas Yunt. The location of the mission was probably as healthy as any on the Maumee river. At that time the family suffered much from sickness, incident to the climate, and other diseases which followed; and, in four years, nearly all of the original members had left. The labour afterward was mostly performed by hired help. The missionaries likewise suffered the second year for want of proper food. Our first year's supply was exhausted. We were informed that there was flour for us at Erie, Pennsylvania; but navigation had closed, and there was not road through which a team could pass within thirty miles. Nothing but corn could be procured, and that, for want of a mill to grind it, had, for some weeks, to be eaten whole. No vegetables could be obtained, no potatoes, not even for seed. We were told that "potatoes would not grow on Maumee." but the third spring a vessel came into the river laden with potatoes; Mr. Van Tassel went down and bough 40 bushels, and we never afterwards wanted for potatoes.

Some time in November, 1823, all the female members of the family being sick, a young woman, living a few miles down the river, was engaged to assist a few weeks, and Samuel Holmes, a half Indian boy, 8 years old, was sent down with a horse for her; he told her he chose to walk back, and would leave the horse for her to ride, when she was ready. The girl came, but the boy had not come home; it was thought he might have loitered on the way to gather hickory nuts, as they were very plenty. Night came and he did not make his appearance; the family became alarmed and sent around to the Indian camps, but no one had seen him. A message was sent to his father, who lived below the mouth of the river, who came and brought an Indian with him. They searched through the woods, and visited every Indian camp they could find, but could hear nothing of him. All hope was relinquished of finding him, when a report came that some Indians had found a child in the woods and brought it to Findlay. His father and companion started immediately for that place, and about twenty miles from the station, met Samuel walking slowly, supporting himself with a stick in each hand. When asked where he was going, he said he was going home to the station, that he had been lost in the woods a long time, and had lived on nuts; but for two days had been in a swamp, where he could find none, and he was almost starved. Twenty-one days, he had subsisted on nuts. There seemed a special providence in his being found on that day as he must have perished soon with cold and hunger. The children were generally docile and affectionate to their teachers and each other, though from different tribes. Disturbances seldom occurred among them, and they learned as fast as children in general.
Yours respectfully,
Lucia B. Van Tassel
[Source: "History of the Maumee Valley, Commencing with it Occupation by the French in 1680. To Which Is Added Sketches of Some of Its Moral and Material Resources as They Exist in 1872", H.S. Knapp, Toledo, Blade Mammoth Printing and Publishing House, 1872, p. 665 Appendix C

1881 - Recollection of a visit to the Maumee Mission by James B. Walker

"At the other side of the State before the white people had settled on the Maumee river, an incident occurred that left quite a different impression upon my mind. I had rode through the Black Swamp, which was then almost impassable, between Little Sandusky and Maumee city. There I met Mr. Van
Tassel, missionary to the Ottawa Indians, at whose invitation I rode to the mission station, some distance up the Maumee to spend a day or two, and
visit the Indian camps. During my stay the missionary and myself took a canoe and "paddled" up the stream to the camp of the Indians in order to witness the pow wow which they annually celebrated at the season of corn-gathering. Two long rows of logs were on fire, and between these the Indians were holding a dance, in which they leaped and contorted and swayed their persons in the most violent manner some of them humming meanwhile a low monotonous strain in accord with the noise of a sort of drum which was shaken by an old man sitting apart from the dancers. A prophet or "meteer" was on a visit to them and sat near the "music man." A portion of the Indians which had previously left the region had returned, much dissatisfied with the treaty by which they had conveyed their lands to the Government."

"After spending some time witnessing the strange movements and grimace of the dance, Mr. Van Tassel and his half-breed interpreter with myself in company visited some of the tents or lodges of those with whom they were well acquainted. I was reclining on a raised seat covered with skins at the side of the lodge, when an Indian thoroughly intoxicated entered. He mistook me I was afterwards told for an agent of the Government, and proceeded to make an extravagant and threatening address to me concerning the alleged fraud. His gestures were violent, and performed in near proximity to my face. The interpreter and missionary made earnest efforts to appease him, but he seemed oblivious to their explanations, and they could only advise me to keep composed and his rage would subside. I felt uneasy; and when the drunken warrior proceeded to draw his tomahawk and flourish it to indicate how such men as me ought to be dealt with, I was thoroughly frightened, and although the interpreter seemed to be ready to seize his arm if he should make the movement to strike I was chilled with apprehension; and I remember no time in my life when I felt a greater sense of relief, than when the wild Indian subsided into a quieter mood and returned his tomahawk to his belt."

Source: "Experiences of Pioneer Life in the Early Settlements and Cities of the West", By James B. Walker. Chicago, Sumner & Co., 1881, pp. 144-145.

Both he and his wife are buried in the Maumee Cemetery, Ohio.

For more information on Isaac, his wife Lucia, and his nephew Isaac see: Center for Archival Collections, Van Tassel Family Papers, Wood County, Ohio. 

3. Amelia Van Tassel.

Born:  1787.

Married:  Sylvester Richmond.

Notes for Amelia Van Tassel - Married Sylvester Richmond, son of William and Rachel Matson Richmond. Had one child which died young.

4.. Ann Van Tassel.

Born: 1789.

Married:  John Richmond..

Notes for Ann Van Tassel - Married John Richmond, son of William and Rachel Matson Richmond of Switzerland Co., Ind.

5. Abram Van Tassel.

Born:  February 16, 1794, East Durham, Greene Co. NY.  See:  Fifth Generation - My line of VT descent.

6. Luke Van Tassel. (For Luke's descendants see: Van Tassel Family,  Annual Reunion at Tontogany.

Born:  April 15, 1796, Durham, Greene Co., N.Y.

Died:  December 02, 1869, Wood Co. OH.

Married:  Sally Richmond.

Notes for Luke Van Tassel - Luke was a farmer. In the War of 1812 he was a fifer in Col. Post's Regiment, 80th N.Y. Volunteers. He went to Ohio in 1832. He and his wife are buried in Washington Cemetery, eight miles from Bowling Green, Ohio.

7. Ransom Van Tassel.

Born:  March 25, 1803.

Died:  April 13, 1879.

Married:  (1) Mary Millard.

Married:  (2) Mary Olney, September 10, 1854.

Notes for Ransom Van Tassel - Ransom was a farmer. First wife, Mary Millard, was the daughter of Thomas and Salome Millard. He early went to Canada, and returned to the United States in 1834; married his second wife, Mary Olney, at Enterprise, Pa. She was the daughter of Simon P. Olney and Sally Carpenter. He died at Centreville, Crawford County, Pa.

8. Alanson Van Tassel.

Born: 1806.

Died:  November 23, 1871.

Married:  Harriet Richmond, December 31, 1828.

Notes for Alanson Van Tassel - Alanson was a farmer. He early removed to Peoria County, Ill. and died there. He married Harriet Richmond, daughter of George and Catharine Potter Richmond of Switzerland County, Indiana. She was a niece of Sally who married Luke Van Tassel.


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