Eleazar Wheelock, letters, to Andrew Oliver and Gideon Hawley, 1761 June 10


abstractWheelock informs Oliver that the Onaquaga chiefs are planning a visit to Boston, and encloses a letter for Gideon Hawley that encourages Hawley to make a visit to Onaquaga, and to oversee Samuel Ashpo as a missionary. He mentions that Occom and David Fowler have set out on their mission to the Six Nations.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small, crowded and occasionally difficult to decipher.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.


noteworthyThis document is very likely a draft.

layoutThe letter to Oliver is written on the top half of one recto. The letter to Hawley takes up the rest of the paper.

EventsOccom’s First Mission to the Oneidas

  Hon.d Sir.
The incloſed from The Indian Cheifs came to  my Hand laſt this week under cover of one from  M.r Jeſse Dean who informs me that M.r Gunn  with Several of s.d Cheifs deſign to ^a^ Viſit ^to^ Boſton  this Summer. perhaps the News of what the  Honle Com̅iſsrs have ^of Lately^ done for them may prevent  them if it reaches them ſoon enough.
The incloſed to M.r Ha^w^lley Is [illegible][guess: incloſe] unſeald y.t y.r   Hon.r & the Reſt of the Com̅iſsrs may ſee the Contents if  Youy pleaſe ^after that^ pleaſe ſir to cover & direct it to him.
M.r Occom and David ^Fowler^ ſet out from hence this Day from  hence to y.e Six Nations. by the way of New York.  Gen.l Lyman has Recom̅ended the Deſign which David  the Com̅iſsrs ſend David upon to [illegible]Genl Johnſon  and beſpoke his Friendſhip and Aſsiſtance therein. —
What has been of late calld a cold in the Country  proves very mortal among us. 3 now lie dead in  this place and Several others Seem as tho' they wod [illegible][guess: n't]   live long. — pleaſe to accept dutiful Salutations &c
Your Honrs very Humble Servant  Eleazr Wheelock
Rev.d & Dear Brother 
I ſhould have wrote you ſeveral  Times ſince I ſaw you if I had known were to Direct  my Lettrs to you. When I was laſt in Boſton I took  the Name of the place in writing but have loſt it again.  I have longd to ſpend an Evening with you to plead the  caſe of your old pp at Onohoquagke, in whoſe Affecnſ  you live above any Engliſh man on Earth, and where  there is ye moſt agreable openg & moſt Encouragg  proſpect of the ſuceſs of the Gospel of any place  whatſoever that I have knowledge of. and in addition to  thoſe very ^weighty^ arguments w.c ye Honle Com̅iſsrs argue. I would  give you ſome acco.t of their preſent ſtate which perhaps the  Com̅iſsrs have not yet known and ^in^ which I think there is ſuch  an Argument at leaſt for your making them a long viſit,  as you will find much Difficulty to withſtand the [illegible]force of 
One Sam.l Aſhpo, a Mohegan, ^who [illegible]Once a ^poor^ Drunken Creature^ was Supposd to become  a real Chriſtian about 19 ^ſome^ Years ago, & was ^I^ admitted him  into this Ch-h he behaved very well Several Years till he  got [illegible]into ^the^ Company with of illegible ſaylors at N London, & got  Drunk, he ſoon after came to me and with Tears informd  me of his Fall and ſeemd very much afflicted and I thought  gave ſatiſfying Evidence of [illegible][guess: true] Repentance. deſired to  make a publick Confeſsion ^&c^ and I ſuppose has nevertaſted  of any ſpiritous Liquor of any Sort ſince. Some Years  ago under the Influence of ſome lay Exhortrs he was ſeducd  and at length received Ordination in their way by the Hands  of Such [illegible][guess: Creatures] Yet he has not Appeard to be one of  the moſt Bitter ^Bitter^ Conſorious, furious & uncharitable ſort.  andNor I could ^I^ never find but that his ^religious^ Principles except what  relate to his Ordination are Good. but he has very thorough  ­ly imbibed ſuch independ.t and Browniſtic Principles which ^as^  I find many good ſort of pp in your Province are ^zealous to defend^ ſadly in  and he has gone on to exerciſe the Power thus rec.d from ye  Ch-h. laſt year he went to onohoquage. iOn his return  he was ^lodgd^ at my House. ^&^ informd me of a great ^spl^ concern among  the Indians in those parts eſpecially at Jeningo which I was  the more inclind to give cred.t to bec. I had heard of it otherways.  This year he has made them another viſit. & lodgd again at  my House ion his Return ^this week and^. informs me that there are about 20  at Jeningo which he thinks to be really converted. and a  Gen.l Concern among Others. that they are very unwillg  yt ye Engliſh ſhould get footing among them leſt by & by  they root them out as they have done in New England. that  they have had a meeting and voted to have him, for their Minier  and deſired him to make Application to the Com̅iſsrs  for his Support and for the Support of an ^Some^ Indian  Schoolmaſter. as a Schoolmaſter. as to this acco.t I  Suppose it is credible and that there has been a great and  uncommon ^religious^ Concern among them, and Some thing like  Converſion, & perhaps ſome real ones Inſtances of it. —  Aſhpo ^[illegible: [guess: Said he moſt]] is [illegible]determined to ſee the Commiſsrs &^ earneſtly deſired me to  write ym ^you in^ his Fav.r to them  Com̅iſsrs I told him I could write no more than a plain  honeſt Narrative of the Truth. [gap: blotted_out] ^&^ y.t the Com̅iſsrs were  heartily ingagd to do any thing in yr Power to further  y.e Great Deſign of Spreadg the Gospel among them ^Indians^  but they knew what miſcheifs ſuch Principles as he held hadve  done in the Ch-h, and I was perſwaded they would take  utmoſt care y.t [illegible][guess: [a ſack] ſhould not be laid in y.e very  Bottom among the Pagans. I have taken [illegible]  ofMuch pains to convince him of his miſtake. ^&^ have told him  there is a probability y.t he might do [illegible][guess: a great deal of]  much good among them if he were delivered from those  Errors, and would take pains to furniſh himſelf with useful   knowledge   
and would act only in his proper Sphere. I [illegible] him [illegible: [guess: ſilent]]  &, he ſeemd more inclind to hear &, I hope to ſsuſpect himſelf  than he did. This ^ſhort^ Narrative, dear ſir, gives you the moſt an  affecting View of their Case. Aſhpo's Intereſt in their Affrs  is Such as that thiere is danger of the ſaddeſt Conſeqces unleſs  y.e Affair be conducted with utmoſt Prudence, [illegible]  and Diſcretion. and ^by Reaſon of y.r Acquant.e with and Intereſt in them.^ I ſuppose no man ſo likely as you to  prevent the Miſchiefs which are threatned, and to nouriſh, Cheriſh,  and further any good Beginings there, by Reaſon of your accq­  quaintance with them and intereſt in their Affections.  by all accots they have a hearing Ear. and it looks as tho' the  Gospel might have free courſe among them, and who Reconds  what a Glorious Harveſt you may have, and what Bleſsings  of periſhg Souls come upon you.   as I ſuppose Aſhpo will Viſit them again whether  he be encouragd by the Com̅iſsrs or not ſo perhaps it will  not be ^prudent or^ beſt he ſhould be at once thrown into Deſpair of  Fav.r & Countenance by ^[illegible]from them or^ you or the Honle Com̅iſsrs but rather  ^tenderly be put in your arms &^ held upon trial & Probation & ^if he will act be^ encouraged to act under  your Direction and Conduct. and if he ſhould be ductile  & Teachable, I dont conclude yt ^[illegible]^ he will not ſerve y.e  Cauſe. ^as I can but entertain in Charitable hope concerning his [illegible] & the Honeſty of his Intentions^. however the caſe appears to me very Dangerous  and Difficult. and when we conſider what infinite  miſcheifs Satan has done when tranſformd into an Angil  of Light & Eſpecly at ye firſt Sitting planting the Gospel  in places ^and by the Inſtrumentality of good men too^ it may Justly awaken our Fear and I hope will [illegible][guess: perſwa^de^]  ^[illegible] [illegible][guess: to accompany & introduce dear M.r Thompſon accordg to ye Comrs deſire]^ 
[left]# and I hope y.e Conſider.n will Effectivelly perſwade you to  comply with y.e Deſ.r of y.e Hon.le Com̅rs, at leaſt ſo far as to  accompy & introduce dear M.r Thompſon, if he ſhall accept the  Miſsion.
   M.r Occom ſeems to have a good Underſtanding of [illegible][guess: Satans]  Devices ^of y.t ſort^ and has ſome thots he ſhall make [illegible][guess: them] a viſit to  Jeningo before he returns from his Miſsion. If you  ſhould chance to meet him there ^& [illegible] y.r [illegible] it will [illegible]^ it may be very happy  ^look like a very favourable Providence.^  and pleaſe ſir to favour [illegible] [illegible][guess: with] your a [illegible][guess: viſit] whenever you have occaſion to paſs thro' Connecticut I wiſh you  Divine directive, ^in^ & Bleſsing upon all your pious Endrs to  build up the Kingdom of the Great Redeemer I am Revd & dear ^ſr^  and with Kindeſt Salutations to you and your [illegible][guess: dear]  ſpouse am Rev.d & dear ſir 
Yours in the Deareſt Bonds  Eleaz.r Wheelock 
  Letters to A Oliver Esq.r  & Rev. Gid. Hawley.  abo.t Sam.l Aſhpo.  June 1761