Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to George Whitefield, 1762 September 16


abstractCopy of a letter in which Wheelock discusses Occom's mission, those affected by Indian wars, the growth of the School, grants of money, and the donation of books.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small and occasionally difficult to decipher; it is not Wheelock’s.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is heavily reinforced, which makes it difficult to gauge the condition of the paper.

inkBlack-brown ink is somewhat dimmed by reinforcement.

noteworthyThis letter is a copy of manuscript 762516. It is uncertain to whom Wheelock refers when he mentions the "English Youth" in the second paragraph of one recto, and so he has been left untagged. The number 814 is circled in blue pencil at the top of one recto; it is likely a cataloguing number, possibly of a private collector. An editor, likely 19th-century, has added the note "To Whitefield" after the trailer on two verso. This note has not been included in the transcription.

signatureThe signature is not in Wheelock’s hand.

EventsOccom’s Second Mission to the Oneidas

  My dear & Hond Sr
David my indian Scholar, return'd july 18.th from  ye Mohawk country, where I inform'd you in my laſt  I sint him, & brought with him four indian boys. 3  Mohawks & one of ye Farmington tribe, ye boys & girls  I expected from Onida, were detain'd by their Parents, on  account of a Rumour & ſuspicion of a warr full com‐ mencing between ym & ye Nation on ye Back of them & in  Such a Caſe they did not chuse to have their Children  at ſuch a distance from them, But perhaps they were  ſuspicious that they ſhould be obliged to join these Nations  against ye English — 
The English Youth of which I have inform'd you  who has been a Captive with ye Senecans till he is maſter of  their Language. & which I ſent for with a view to fit him  for an Interpreter to that Nation. was under such engagements  to a Trader at Black Fort, as that he could not get [illegible]clear'd  for the present, I have again wrote to Gen.l Johnson, who was  not at Home when I David was there till ye night before he came  away, & desired him to procure & ſend ye youth, if he Eſteems him  likely to answer ye design — Mr Occum writes me a very Me‐ ‐lancholy Letter. viz that, by an Untimely frost last fall,  their Indian Corn was all Cut of, that ye Onayadas are almost  ſtarv'd having nothing to live upon but what they get by  Hunting that they had just come in from their Pidgeon  — & were going a fishing, as ſoon as they return  from that they will go after Deer, That he follow'd them  but found it very difficult to get a number of them together  to preach to them, that by hard living (tho they were as kind   to 
to him as they Could be) & especially by lying on ye wet  Ground his old disorders (viz Rhumatic) return'd & he was  apprehensive he must return before ye time appointed, That he  lived in fear of being kill'd. tho ye Indians had promis'd  him in caſe a warr ſhould break out, they would ſend  him under ſufficient guard down as far as ye English  Settlements 
But there was something very good in his Letter viz that there were visibly good Effects of his Labours  among them last Year, & especially a Reformation among  them as to their Drinking 
My School is in a flourishing State through ye  Great Mercy of God, I have 19. in Number. viz 15 Males &   4. females, & ye most of them appearing quite likely, I hope  I ſhall have several well fitted for Interpreters & Misſionarys  in due time. I have been favour'd with ye best of  of Maſters ſucceſsively for some Years — I have received  ye Bell you sent and it is decently hung on ye Houſe Which  is devoted to ye ſervice. & we now feel ye Benefit of it  we can keep Hours with little Trouble & I hope in Gods  Time it will be use'd to call to gather a little black Aſſembly  to hear you Preach Christ.
A small Counsel of Ministers has been lately Call'd to  Examin. Saml Aſhpo. an Indian of whom I once wrote you  & they were so farr ſatisfied & pleas'd with him as that  they advised to his being fitted as fast as may be for a  Miſſion. and accordingly I Expect Him to this School this  week. ſeveral others I expect here soon & my hope for  their ſupport is only in Him what ye Earth is, & ye fullneſs thereof 
The Gen.l Aſſembly of ye province of ye Maſsachusetts Bay,  last fall, voted me ye uſe of a Legacy of S.r Peter  Warren. of about £750 ſterling which he left in their hands  for ye Education of ye Youth of ye Six Nations, but I Understood  by Dr Chauncy that ye new form'd Society in & about Boſton  design if they can to get it into their hands, as ſoon as my  years improvt of it is Expired — Also his Majesty Counsell  and house of Representatives in ye province of New Hampſhire  have voted to ye uſe of this School £50 ſterling per annum  for five years succeſively, but there was not time for ye  Governour to Consider of ye Act before he prorogud ye  Aſſembly & so it is not yet ſign'd — & who knows to what  a Height this School may arise from low and deſpicable Beginnings  and what Glory may redound to the great Redeemer thereby  to God alone be all ye Glory!
Mr Smith inform'd me that there was some talk in England  of collecting a Library for ye use of this School, may God  incline ye Hearts of his people to promote that design  is there not a ſociety in England lately form'd with a ſpecial  view to ye printing & disſperſing Usefull Books? I wish I  could be inform'd particularly about it & if you think fit  introduced to a Corresſpondance with some members of it. Miſs  Williams before she left Wethersfield, sent me a Number of  valuable and useful to be disperſed as I judged but among  Children &c which I now suppose might likely come to her from  that Society. I have lately been ſick & brought low with  a Dyſentry but thro ye mercy of God am now able to do ſome  Buſsineſs
pray for Your Unworthy Br.o &c   Eleazar Wheelock
[right]Rev. Mr Wheelock   Sep.r 1762.   America