Samuel Hopkins, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1761 September 30


abstractHopkins writes Wheelock about reports that Occom lacks tact in his dealings with the Oneidas, and that he is instructing them to leave off their Indian ways. He suggests that Occom may not be right for an Indian mission.

paperSlight wear, tearing around edges.

noteworthyMargin note “Occom?” added in different ink and hand, likely 19th-century. The opening salutation “R.D.S.” is likely an abbreviation of “Reverend and Dear Sir.

  R. D. S.
I received your two Favours which you  wrote last Spring, which I read with no small  satisfaction: and was at the pains of transcribing a  considerable part of them to M.r Hawley. I should  have wrote you long before this; but have found  no Opportunity to send to you, as I live quite out  of any direct and frequented Road to Lebanon.  I hoped, all the Summer post, to have the pleaſure  of an Interview with you at New Haven ^on^ the Com­ mencement, but was disappointed in that.
M.r Hawley is now at Onohoquage, as you will  learn by the letter from him, which I transmit to  you with this, which he sent open to me. I ex­ pect he will return in about three Weeks. M.r  Toppan, the young Gentleman who is gone with  him, appears to me very promising for an Indian  Miſsionary.
M.r Hawley in a letter to me of the 20th inſt. de­ sires me to inform you of the following particulars, which  I will give you in his own words.
"Since I wrote my letter to M.r Wheelock, I am  "advised that M.r Accom is not quite so acceptable   "to the Indians there" (at Oneida) "as I heard at first.  "He tells them, they muſt not cut their hair, but let it  "grow as the Engliſh do; that they muſt not wear their  ^[below]Indian^
"Indian ornaments, as wampum and the like; but  "put them off, and burn them in the fire — That  "they muſt not feaſt at Weddings, [illegible][guess: at] as at the Birth  "and Baptism of their Children &c &c These are [illegible][guess: .—.]  "points that he inſists greatly upon; which are  "are points too unpopular for them."
I am sorry to hear this of M.r Accom, which if  true, I think [illegible][guess: great] ſhews him greatly deficient in that  Prudence which is Neceſsary for an Indian miſsionary;  and render him unfit to go among indians, at leaſt alone.
We ſhall be inform'd of more particulars when M.r  Hawley returns, when I hope he will make you a  visit.
We have nothing remarkable here, except it be,  the universal and uncommon degree of Health which  at present prevails among us. I have nothing to say  about any new religious appearance. I have got a  particular account from M.r Kent of the remarkable  revival among his people, in order to transmit it to  M.r Gillies in Scotland.
Am ſorry to hear of your ill State of Health. May  God restore and and confirm it, and make you  greatly useful to Indian and English for a long time  to come!
in the earneſt prayer of  your obliged friend  and unworthy Brother,  Samuel Hopkins 
Rev. M.r Wheelock.  ^[right]S. Hopkins 1761.^