Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Benjamin Forfitt, 1763 September 8


abstractWheelock writes to Forfitt thanking him for sending a chest of books for the School, and detailing troubles with the Indians that have prevented the missions of Charles Jeffrey Smith, Occom and Ashpo.

handwritingHand is small and crowded, though mostly legible, with several abbreviations.

paperOne large sheet is in good condition, with light-to-moderate creasing, yellowing and wear. There are some ink blots in the middle of the page resulting in very minor loss of text.

inkLight brown

noteworthyThere is no signature, and the last paragraph is deleted, which suggests that this is a draft.

  Dear Sir. 
Yours of 27.th Apr.l laſt, came ſafe with the Cheſt of  Books for this School &c. y.e 20.th of laſt month; and I take  them as an Anſwer of Prayer, and a renewed Teſtimony of God's  Favour for this Infant Inſtitution; and by God's Help I will  diſcharge the Sacred Truſt (for So I look upon it) in the beſt  manner. The Collection I eſteem very valuable and well calcu ­lated for the Deſign proposed. May God reward the pious Do­ ­nors a thouſand fold for this and all their Abundant Charities  and Labours of Love for the periſhing Souls of men, as I truſt  he has, and forever will your dear Brother, who was the principle  Inſtrument in procuring this Benefaction.
The Expreſsions of Kindneſs in yours refreſh and incourage  my Heart. tho' the preſent Rupture with the Indians has drawn  a Cloud over the whole Deſign, but I truſt it is not abiding.  it looks like a dying Struggle, and I hope will prove to be the  lasſt Effort of Satan to Secure those who have been for ſo long  a Time peacibly in his Chains.
Sam.l Aſhpo, an Indian of the Mohegan Tribe, who has  been for a Time in this School, and was examined and approved by  a number of Miniſters of this Government laſt May, Sat out on  his Miſsion, y.e 6th of laſt month. and as I have heard nothing  from him ſince, I conclude he has got [gap: stain] into the Indian Country.  And as he deſigned to go among them in Indian Habit, I  hope he will not fall a Sacrifice to [gap: stain] their Rage. and who  knows how much Good God may make him an Inſtrument  of. and if God Should mercifully [gap: stain][guess: Succeed] his Endeavours  at Such a Time, when no engliſh Miſsionary dares to goe  among them, it muſt needs raiſe the Reputation of the  Plan we have been purſuing.
M.r Charles Jeffry Smith, an excellent Youth was ordained  in my Pulpit June 30. and Sat out on a Miſsion to remote  Tribes. July 4.th, was driven back from the Six Nations to  Albany, by an alarm of an Army of the Enemy approaching.  but it proved to be made by a few bad Fellows among themſelves  and Whether M.r Smith had returnd to those Nations, or not I can't  tell.
M.r Occom Sat out on his Miſsion, and, I hear, went as far as to  the Mohock Country but the Apprehenſions of Danger were Such  that he returned. The Combination among the Nations is very  extenſive, and their Rage very bitter; but by the laſt accounts  they have met with Such Repulſes, as give us Hopes that they will  now Soon be diſcouraged.
I have Sent M.r De Berdt Some Materials by Gen.l Lyman  and Col.o Dyar, in order to obtain the Royal Favour of an In­ ­corporation, and a Grant of Lands in the Indian Country in Favo.r  of this Deſign. You have likely heard or will hear Something of  it. If this Suit Should be Succeſsful, I truſt God will also put it  into the Hearts of Friends to contribute to the Furtherance of the  Deſign of Introducing Religion, and Learning among them and,  as a means thereof to lead them into an underſtanding of Agricul­  ­ture & Manufacture &c.
Letter to M r B. Forfitt  Sep.t 8. 1763.