Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Dennys DeBerdt, 1761 November 16


abstractWheelock reports on the progress of the school and various missions.

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

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good-to-fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear. The central crease has been reinforced.


noteworthyAs noted on two verso, this document is a copy. The contents are similar to those of manuscript 761625.1.

EventsOccom’s First Mission to the Oneidas

  My dear Sir. 
By a Letter from Miſs. Smith of Boſton  laſt week I'm Inform'd that M.r Whitefield has de­  ­posited in your Hands £25 Sterling the generous  Bequſt of M.r Hardy to this Indian School (the  Lord return a Thouſand fold in better Good into  that generous Booſom) pleaſe to pay the Money  to M.r John Smith of Boſton or his order, perhaps  he is yet in London. I have received part and ſhall  as ſoon as She has opportunity to tranſmit, y.e whole  from his Lady in Boſton.
one of the Mohawke Lads, of whom I imformd  you in my laſt, when I returnd from Boſton, about  Six weeks ago, was in a declining State of Health,  and Doctr Huntington an able Physician adviſed  me that his Blood was So Spoiled &c that it was  not Likely he would continue long in the world,  and that it was beſt to Send him ſoon while  he was able to ride accordingly I ſent him away Octr  13.th accompanied by Negyes another Mohawke Lad, and  School Mate, to the Mohawke Country. And on y.e 3.d [illegible]  Inſt.t I Sent young Kirtland with the Other Mohawke  youth., in order, when these two have made their viſit  to their Friend to accompany them. and 4 or 5 more  of the Six Nations, if general Johnſon, agreable to  his Expectations has found Such as are likely and will­  ­ing to come; I have heard nothing from them ſince they  went away. I expect ^they will^ return, Some time next month.
M.r Brainerd Sent me two Girls but one of them  before ſhe had got on Board the veſsel was taken ill  and returnd Home, I ſhall expect her when ſhe ſhall  be able to come, as ſhe & her Parents are deſirous  of it. The other arived here the beginning of laſt month  ſhe is about 13. years old, and is an amiable little,  black Savage Chriſtian, and I think loves chriſt much  The Fruit of dear M.r Brainerds Labour & Pains among  them.
If I had it by me I would ſend you a Speciman of  The writing of the Indian Girl who came to me laſt ſpring  and then byut juſt knew her Litters. I intend to ſend you  ſoon.
By a Letter from M.r Eiſha Gunn who lives with  the Indians at Onohoquagke. I am lately informd  that there is a general Reformation among the  Indians as to their Drinking, that there is a general  religious concern among them in those parts, and  that a Number appear hearty in Religion. but what   
will the poor Creatures do, they have no Bible nor  any Spiritual Guide Among them. I hope a Stop will  now be put to our traders carrying Rhum among them.  Sam.l Aſhpo An Indian which I baptized ſome years  ago, and received him into this Ch-h. of whom I think  Errors ^which^ he had run into; And Talks like an underſtanding  experienced & judicious chriſtian, and by whose Endeavors  in his late Rambles in those parts The Retigious concern a­  ­mong the Indians was much increaſed. informs me that they  were as wild as ever they were at Corinth, or Galatia, and  need a faithful & ſkillful Guide as much.
perhaps the Hon.le Com̅iſsrs at Boston will think it expedient  to ſend him at preſent among them  You cant dear Sir conceive the Difficulty y.t attends  this affair. Their Temper and Manner of living is Savage  almoſt as ye [illegible]al Creatures. they are Jealous forever  ag.t ye Engliſh have a Deſign againſt them & will take  the Opportunity to requite the wrongs they have received  — and the Dutch ^Dutch^ Traders ^especially^ dont a little increaſe their  ill opinion of us. There are No Interpreters who  are they have as many Languages as illegible ^they^ have Tribes  and there are few or none capable & faithful enough  to be truſted as Interpreters. and it cant be accompl­  ­ſhed without great Expence. &c I long to have my  Boys fit to go forth amonth them.
David my Indian Schollar who accompanied M.r Occom  in his Miſsion to the Oneida Indians laſt ſummer re­  turnd y.e Latter End of ſeptemb.r he ſays theyr liveg ^is^ exceeding  poor have ſcarſe any thing but what they got by Hunting  y.t M.r Occom was rec.d and treated with great Reſpect  by Gen.l Johnſon. and yt the Indians were as kind to  him as they could be, and Seemd to be affected with  his preaching. and have ſent [illegible][guess: one] down to N. York  deſiring y.t he may be ſent to them next ſpring. where  D.V. he deſigns to return & Spend ye next Summer  with them.
Our Measſures for an Incorporation are yet Embarraſsd  and yet my School flouriſhes and gains credit, eſpecially  among the more Judicious & underſtanding part of mankind.  and who knows what methods God intends to take to accompliſh  the Deſign. I have lately Nominated a Number of worthy  Gentlemen of Civil & Sacred Characters and Expect the  Scottiſh Com̅iſsrs in Boston will recommend them to  ye Hon le Society for Such Comm̅iſs.n as they can give to  help us in this Affair.  We had a Diſtreſsing Drought Laſt Summer but a  very growing Autumn. Proviſions are very Deer  yet among us. 
pleaſe to accept moſt ſincere Reſpect  ^(& I do love you heartily)^ from my illegible ^Hond^ and very dear ſir   Yours moſt heartily Sincerely  Eleazr Wheelock     
P.S. The Schoolmaſter Complains of the want of a Bell that [illegible][guess: Cou'd]  may be well heard about a mile ^these Boys thro' long uſe are adicted and inclined to ramble [illegible][guess: abt]^ & Their Health of the Boys  Requires that they be ^indulged in it in play time^ Suffered to ramble about more than  Engliſh Children ^incline to^ in play Time, and it is often Difficult to  get them together at ye proper Hours without ſuch a  publick Signal. & I apprehend y.e advantage of it in one  year would ^likely^ be Equal to the Expence of one ^for^ It would likely  make us more regular in all our [illegible] Exercises &c 
Copy of Letter to  M.r DeBerdt 1761.  Nov.r Bell.