Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Dennys DeBerdt, 1762 December 18


abstractWheelock discusses, among other things, the states of various missions, and the progress of the Indian Charity School.

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

paperLarge single sheet is in fair-to-poor condition, with moderate-to-heavy staining, creasing and wear that leads to a minor loss of text.


noteworthyGiven the informality of the hand, the number of additions and deletions, and the lack of an address, this document is likely a draft.

EventsOccom’s Second Mission to the Oneidas

  My very dear Sir. 
Yours, of July 28. refreſhed me much  I ^heartily^ regrett the loſs you have Suſtained by ^the Death of^ your worthy  godly & Skillful Paſtor. may the Lord of the Harveſt  provide Guides for his people who Shall be zealous  and Skillful to promote ^and defend^ his Sinking Cause in the world.
M.r Occom returned from his Miſsion Some Time  ago, I hant had opportunity to see him Since. he was  ſoon Sent by the Preſbytery to preach to an Engliſh  Settlement on Hudſons River about 60 or 80 miles  above N. York where gd has of late in a very won‐ ‐derful manner received his work. he returnd from  his Miſsion ſooner than he intended, on acco.t of the  preſent Ruffle ^which^ y.e Onoydas are in, being ingaged in  a war with Some of the Nations back of them, and on  acco.t of their extream Poverty they having nothing to  live upon but what they get by fiſhing fowling & hunting  an untimely froſt ^having^ cut of their Corn laſt year. he had no  way to come at them to preach to them but ^by^ only illegible  followed them from Place to Place in their Hunts, and by  poor living ^tho they were as kind to him as they cod be^ & eſpecially by lying upon the wett ground his  old Rumatic Diſorders returned &c ^#^ he deſigns (I hear)  to viſit them again in the Spring.
M.r Forbes who the Scotiſh Com̅iſs.rs in Boſton sent  Miſsionary to Onoquagee, is also returnd, I hear left  the Indians after he had gathered a Ch-h there he left  the Indians in a great Ruffle, & the children ^wc^ they had been  attempting to teach ^wre^ all diſperſed with their Pa[gap: hole][guess: r]ents in their  hunting Rambles. perhaps D.r Chauncy will by little  and little receive conviction that he is a little too  confident of the Succeſs of his Plan, and too Sudden and  free in condemning others who have over and over ^again and again^ made  trial of the very ^same^ Scheme, and the moſt they have got  to compenſate their Toil and Expence has been only their  useful point of Knowledge ^viz^ that ſuch a method will not  do yet. may God ^graciouſly^ direct in the Important Affair, and Save those  who are concerned in it from Falling into Parties and So obſtructg  and hinder one another.
My School is in a flourisſhing state at preſent. my Numb.r ^of Charity ſcholars^  is 25. M.r Charles Jeffery Smith of Long Island has lately refuſed  a Class at College for the sake of keeping this Indian School gratis  He deſigns to Devote himſelf and a plentiful Fortune to the ſer‐ vice of his Redeemer ^as a miſsionary^ among the pagans. he has tho'ts of Taking  an Interpreter for his use from the School, & ſupport him with  himſelf at his own Expence. I eſteem him remarkably accompliſhed  and turnd for ſuch a Service. I expect but little real good to be  done among the ſavages by Gay, and unexperienced youth, the Lord ^mercifully^  prevent the miſcheifs which Such threaten the Cauſe. I informd you ^[below]Some^ 
[right]# he found nothing more than this Diſcouraging among their  and had reaſon to think he ſaw ſome good Effects of his Labours  among them the Laſt year
ſome Time ago of the Tour which Friend Aſhpo ^had^ made to Jeningo and  of the Religious concern Among the Indians ^there^ conſequent thereon and that  a number were hopefully ſavingly converted. There was a very fierce  per[illegible]enting Spirit in the other party which aroſe to ſuch a height ag.t  (as I was credibly informd laſt week) the chriſtian Party were oblig'd  to withdraw from them and have ſettled in a Town by themſelves  about 60 miles below them on Seſquaanaa River. there they use with  out a Bible, and without any that could read it if they had one.  I have taken Friend Aſpho into this School, and eſteem him a well  experienced & well Eſtabliſhed Chriſtian, he is here by the advice of  an ^Ecleſ[illegible][guess: ea]ſtical^ Council ^we^ convened ^laſt ſummer^ to examine & adviſe him. I expect we ſhall ſend him  to those Indians next Spring. And our dear M.r Smith of Boston has  ingaged £20 Sterlg towards the ſupport of his miſion provided  it cant be otherwiſe done. there is also ^in this ſchool^ a young mohawk, whom  we call Joseph Brant of a family of distinction among ^in^ that Nation  who has been for ſome time under Religious impreſsions, and of  late almoſt perſwades me to call him a real ſaint he ſeems to  breath the very ſpirit of the Gospel. M.r Smith is unwearied in his  Endeavors to promote Religion & learning in this ſchool.  M.r James Leſley a Scots Gentleman with whom you have had ſome  acquaintance went out of the ſchool to make way for M.r ſmith to  keep it gratis and is ^now^ in y.e Pariſh ſchool. I expect when M.r ſmith  leaves it Mr Leſley wil take it again.
I have ^amidſt a thouſand avocations^ prepared for the Preſs, amidſt a thousand avocations a ſhort  Narrative of this School, expect it will be [illegible][illegible][guess: b]ut in a little time  y.[illegible][guess: ou] & others may expect the Sight of it as ſoon as may be after  it is printed.
If there be anything in this that will gratify good D.r Giffords  or M.r Savage pleaſe to let them have the ſight of it. I wrote  each of them ſometime ago and hope my Letters hant miſcarried  you & they will eaſily ſee ^in^ what a Hurry I write in
If D.r M.r Whitefield hant yet left England ſalute him  moſt heartily in my name. I expect by his to M.r Smith to  ſee hi[gap: tear][guess: m] here in a ſhort time.   
I am Dear Sir, with the moſt ſincere Reſpect   Yours in the Deareſt Bond,  Eleazar Wheelock 
P.S. my School hues  Day by Day und.r God only  and the charities of Gods people  without any ſettled fund for  its ſupport and God is my  only Refuge.   
M.r Dennys DeBerdt    ^[left]Letter to M.r DeBerdt.^   ^[left]Dec.r 18. 1762.^