Solomon Williams, letter, to Secretary Willard, 1751 July 24

ms-number751424

abstractWilliams writes to relate the circumstances regarding Occom's school at Montauk, and the uncertainty of his future there.

handwritingHandwriting is is loose, informal and frequently difficult to decipher. There are several abbreviations, deletions, and additions.

paperSingle sheet in good-to-fair condition with moderate creasing, staining and wear.

inkInk is mostly brown-black, although a note is added to the bottom of one verso in darker ink.

noteworthyThe text added to the bottom of one verso appears to be meant as addition to the text of the letter; however, the difficulty of deciphering Williams's hand renders it uncertain as to where the text belongs.

signatureInitials only.

EventsOccom leaves his studies

Honourd Sir 
When I was At Boſton ^ye laſt Fall^ I informed Mr Oliver &  the Revd Dr Sewal of ye Circumſtances of Samſon  Occom an Indian youth Educated principally at  the Charge of the Honbl Commiſsioners whom  they had been pleaſed to Deſire me to direct ſince  his Incapacity to purſue his ſtudies any farther  By Reaſon of the weakneſs of his Eies. ^[illegible] Accordingly I [illegible] directed to keep an Indn Scholol at Montauk^. Dr Sewal  told me he Spuppoſed the Commiſsioners wd allow  him a Proper Sallery for teaching School He  was with Me Early in the Spring, & Informd   Me that he had not Recd anything, & that  Mr Maltbie by direction from the ^Revd Mr Burr^ had  wrote to him to Come to New York ^in order [illegible][guess: to his] going^ to Aſsiſt  in teaching. M r Brinerds Indians, & that Mr   Burr had ^directed him ſo [illegible] by^ Encouragement from the Commiſsioners  that He ſhould be orderd there. Upon which I  wrote an act of the Matter & the State of the  Indians at Montauk, & ye Circumſtances of Samſon  but have Recd No Anſwer, & before I went down  to Commencement I head Samſon was gone to Mr   Braynerd, & therefore Concluding the Commiſsioners  had diſchargd Me from any further Concern  abt him I Said nothing to any of the Genn   when I was at Boſton. but He is now Come o‐ ver again & is as much at aloſs as Ever he  was & deſires Me to Endr to [illegible]be Informd of ^wt ^ the  Commiſsioners wt they wd have him do —  ^underſtang Honrd ſir that you are one of Them^ I take leave therefore to inform you Sir  that there are 31 Families of Indians at  Montauk on Long Iſland where ſamſon has  been keeping School a year & half & has Ne ver Recd Any thing [illegible] but Abt 40 ſhil in york  Mony beſide wt the Indians Themſelves have  given him who have been & are ſo deſirous of  his teaching School among them they they have  to their Power [illegible] beyond their Power [illegible][illegible][guess: ]Contri‐ ^buted towards^for his Support He has had about 30 Schollers   & More wd have come but their Parents were  ſo poor as not to be able to do any thing for the 
Support of Schoolmaſters. the Indians He tells  Me they are ſtill Exceeding ^very^ deſirous of his Continiance   there but Complain they are ſo Poor they  dont know how to pay him, & think the  Commiſsioners are not So Kind to them as to  other Indians. The young Man is willing to  Stay there Still if he cd have a Support He  has been very Serviceable among them ^in [illegible][guess: promotg Learng ] & Religion as^ I am In‐ formd by others as well as from the Act he gives  of [illegible] ^of his Schollers & ye [illegible] of ye Indians^ Particularly by a Lr from the Rvd   Mr Horton their Miniſter which I left with  Mr Oliver the laſt [illegible][guess: year]Fall. Samſon Informs me  He is very much Sollicited by the [illegible]Naraganſet  Indians to keep School There & that there is  great need of a School & is willing to be Entir‐ ly directed by the Commiſsioners. As he comes to  Me from time to time for direction & I have no  order to give him any, I thought it My duty  to let you know this ^[illegible][guess: ſhort]^ State of the Affair, &  doubtleſs the Honbl Comiſsioners may find ſome  more ſuitable Perſon to have the Care of direct ing him. [illegible]I ſhall ^be glad to be^ Eaſed Me of The Fruitleſs trouble  of hearing ſo often of his Circumſtances & being  neither able to direct him nor do any thing for  him. wiſhg ye Div.n Bleſsing upon ye Pious & Noble    Deſign of Promotg Xtn Knowledge & Relign among ye   Indns I am Sr with great Reſpect your Moſt  obt Humbe Servt S W 
Leb : July 24. 1751. 
[bottom]aſkd by the Counsel in order [illegible] a Reſult  Agreeable to him. but wch have a Tendency to  Render Eccleſiastical Councils Ridiculous & the  Reſult, Contimptible & Mankind will be apt to  [illegible] yt if a [illegible] Sallery Stands in ye way or  c.d be found & his [illegible] [illegible] In Nomeni  Domini is — Muſt be done.
 
[left]My Lr to Secretary [illegible][guess: Willard]  Relating to  Samſon Occom
 
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