Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Dennys DeBerdt, 1761 September 22


abstractWheelock describes the progress of Occom's mission to the Oneidas, mentions a land dispute in Pennsylvania, and reports on the progress of his school. Mention is made of Kirtland's missionary training.

handwritingHandwriting is tightly spaced and informal and there are several deletions and additions, all of which suggests that the doucment is a draft. Letter case is frequently difficult to decipher.

paperSlightly worn at edges, though overall in good condition. The central crease is reinforced.

inkDark and heavy, the ink bleeds through to opposite sides. There are some blotches.

noteworthyLetter is marked as a copy. For Occom's account of the events mentioned in this letter, see 761330.1.

EventsOccom’s First Mission to the Oneidas

My dear & Hond Friend, 
I Rec.d Two from You laſt Spring the  Receipt of which I acknowledged in one from Boſton  laſt May which I hope has Reached you before now. Another  I wrote Since which miſcarried thro careleſsneſs,
M.r Occom ſat out on his Long Journey to the Six Nations on  The 10 of June. ^laſt^ Accompanied by David ^Fowler^ one of my Indian ſchollars,  by the way of New York. where he tarried Several Days. and  preach'd in M.r Boſtwick's Meeting House to an Aſsembly  vaſtly numerous, at which was Collected for his uses £70.  and the Evening following at the Baptiſts Meeting House  £13. (their Currancy) and received ample Recommendation  from the principle Gentlemen in the City. I have ſince recd  a Letter from him Dated German Flatts July 7. in which he  Informs he had met with uncommon kindneſs & reſpect in  all his Travel and that Gen.l Amherſt had given him a Paſs  and Recommendation to all his Officers in the Strongeſt  Terms. & that Gen.l Johnſon had received him with great  Reſpect and promiſed him all the Aſsiſtance he could, in  the Buſineſs he is upon, and Deſigned the Next Day to Intro­ ­duce him to the Oneida Nation, illegible the Affair ^of his Miſsion^ looked then  with a very favourable & Encouraging Aſpect.  I have also Rec.d another Letter of the Same Date and from  the Same Place, from Gen.l Johnſon by the Hand of Two  Mohawke Lads, who are Recommended and Sent by the  Genl to this School, to be fitted for Interpreters, or Miſsion[illegible][guess: rs]  in Complyance with my Deſire by Letter to him to ſend me  Six. Three to be Supported by the Honle Scotiſh Com̅iſsrs  in Boſton, the other Three I ventured to Send for, to be,  in Addition to the Six I had with me before, y.e Objects of  Such Charity as God Shall Diſpose his people to ſhew upon  this Occaſion. Those Two boys were joynd by a Third  after they Left the General ^&^ who came without his Knowledge  or Recommendation and is here at ſchool, they all behave  well and are much engaged to Learn ^Sufficiently Studious & Induſtrious in the Buſineſs^. The Gen.l writes me  that he hopes as he paſses thro' the Other Nation on his way  to the Detroit (whither he was going with Preſents to the  Indians) he ſhall be able to ſend me 3 or 4 more to com­ ­pleat the Number which I wrote for.
One Sam.ll Kirtland a pious & promiſing Youth ^whom^ I've  taken in to the School as a Charity Schollar, to be fitted for  a Miſsion, is now learning the Mohawke Language of  these Boys as fast as he can under the Diſadvantage of ha­ ­ving no Book nor Intepreter to Aſiſst him and ſo  alſo are ^alſo^ several of my Indian Boys. —
The generous Bequeſt of that Noble Lord the Marqueſs ^[below]of^   
of Lothain of £50. Sterling, The Grants of the Honle  Com̅iſsrs and a number of Private Donations have  Enabled me to Scrabble along hitherto.
The Govern.r of Penſilvania is doubtleſs doing all  in his Power to prevent our People ſetting on the Land  they have purchaſs'd there, The Indians have lately drove  off those who Settled on Delaware, ^and we hear the Engliſh have Killed two Indians^ The Proprieters of those  Tracts have united & Chosen Col[illegible].^o^ Eliph.t Dyar of Windham  to be their Agent at the Court of Great Brittain ^[illegible]^ ^by him^  they Deſign to make Application for an Incorporation.
They Deſigned he ſhod have ſat out on his voyage this  month, but have lately concluded he ſhall ſtay till Early  next Spring. he is a very fit Gentleman to be imployed  in the Affairs of this School, and I hope we ſhall be able  to prepare matters So as to imploy him there in, and he  will make no Small Acco.t of your Friendſhip & Aſsiſtance  there in.
Not having an Opportunity to ſpeak with M.r Peters I wrote  him Your Errand. my Son informd me y.t he ſaid he had agreed  with a man laſt fall to pay the money to M.r Hazzar[gap: stain][guess: d] of N. York  but the man had deceived & diſopointed him. but Said he would  take Speedy Care that it ſhould be done. He is Settled in Hebron  and none till lately tho't but y.e Society had Sent him there  'till lately an Report is come ^Spread^ that he had Orders for Taunton  in the Province of the Maſsachusſetts Bay. I wiſh I could [illegible]you wod favour me with one of the Societies Returns. his Aſsembly is  very Small indeed. what their means are I can't ſo fully ^am not able to^ Say.
Miſs. Williams of Wethersfield was married laſt Spring to  the Honle Wm [illegible][guess: Smith]] Esq.r of N. York & is gone thither to Live.  one Sam.el Aſhpo, a Chriſtian Indian of the Tribe at Mohegan  lodged at my House ^Last Summer^ on his Return from Seſquaanna laſt ſummer  about 300. miles from hence, and informd me there was a very  great Concern among the Indians in Several Places near ſ.d River  and a great Deſire to be taught the way of Life. he told  me there was a Number he tho't not leſs than 20. which  he ^[illegible][guess: verily]^ tho't were Savingly converted at ^a Place calld^ Jeninge near S.d River.
The incloſed was publiſhed amidst a crowd of Buſineſs I doub[gap: worn_edge][guess: t]  not Your Friendſhip will Excuſ all Defects. My dear ſir.  continue writing to. & praying for, him who is with the  moſt Sincere Reſpect.
Yours in the Deareſt Bonds,  Eleazar Wheelock  
M.r Dennys DeBerdt.
A Copy of a Letter to  M.r Debert. London   Septr 1761
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