Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to George Whitefield, 1764 August 7


abstractWheelock writes that Occom is to be sent on a mission to the distant tribes, but that money is needed to finance the trip. He also updates Whitefield on various new students.

handwritingHandwriting is not Wheelock's. It is formal, clear and legible; however, letter case is occasionally difficult to decipher.

paperSingle sheet is in good-to-fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear. Light repairs have been made to the central crease.


noteworthyThis document is likely a copy.

EventsBuilding of Occom’s house

  My dear Sir,   
I have loſt no Time ſince I received our Commiſsion  to prepare for M.r Occom's Miſsion. Last Friday Evening I received  the Vote of the London Commiſsioners in Boſton diſcharging M.r Occom  from their Service. On Saturday Morning I ſent out to deſire the  Committee & M.r Occom to meet on Monday (i.e Yeſterday) when in  Compliance with my Propoſal they unanimously agreed to ſend M.r Occom  as ſoon as may be into the Mohawk Country to teach & preach as he ſhall  have Opportunity as he purſues his Journey to Lake Ontario or further  till he meets General Johnſon on his Return from Detroit, and before  the Indians with him from diſtant Tribes ſhall diſperſe, in order to  make them an Offer of Miſsionaries & School Maſters in the moſt  ſtriking convincing & inviting Manner, for we apprehend that the  Countenance of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Tuſcaroraes, & ſuch as are more  knowing & accquainted with the Affair together with Genl Johnſon's  Approbation & Recommendation will be ^the^ moſt likely means to invite  & move others to make it the Object of their Attention. I alſo propoſe   he ſhall there recommend this School & the Deſign of it, & procure  a Number of likely Boys & Girls from Tribes as remote as may be for it. 
We have alſo concluded to ſend David Fowler the ſenior Youth  in this School to accompany him in this Journey. 
And if M.r C. J. Smith were within our Reach we ſhould preſs him  hard to take the Journey with them. And we yet hope he is not  ſo far on his deſigned Tour to the Southward, but that he may ſeaſo‐ nably hear of it & be inclined to go. 
And this we have done only on the Credit of the great Redeemer  without a Farthing in our Hands to ſupport it, not doubting but by  your Means, or ſome other Way it will be ſupported if he ſees it  to be beſt. they will need about £20. lawful Money. 
And as M.r Occom has received Nothing for his Support ſince  he came to Mohegan, & could not attend on this Miſsion without  ſecuring Labour about his Building & ingathering for the Winter,  I have this Day given Bonds to pay the neceſsary Labourers  which he ſhall employ in his Abſences. 
I have lately admitted to this School in order to be fitted  for a Miſsion with others next Spring, M.r Titus Smith of Hadley  of about 30 Years old who has finiſhed his Learning at Yale  College, & expects the Honours of it next Month. He is a Man 
of eminent Piety, a good Scholar, & conſiderably uſed to Indians, having  been in ſeveral Campaigns to the Northward. 
I have alſo another (one Chamberlain of the ſame Town) in  my Eye, who is about 26 Years old, and of the ſame Character.  He is juſt entring his laſt Year at Yale College. He was taken  Captive by the Indians when Fort William Henry was taken  & continued a Year in Captivity. 
My Proſpects are daily increaſing. It looks as tho' God had been  laying out for this Deſign for many Years paſt. and I truſt in him  that he will not forſake it. 
I han't yet obtained a Blackſmith to my Mind, but have  one in View who I hope will anſwer my Purpoſe. And I am  more & more perſwaded of the Expediency of ſuch a Device, and  that Nothing will likely more recommend our Miſsionaries and  School Maſters to remote Nations than this Trade — 
The Succeſs of Sir William's Tour hitherto marvellously in‐ creaſes our Proſpects. How ſweet it is, my dear Sir, to live upon  God, & ſee him performing all to our Hand while we are Nothing  & have Nothing that is good of our own. How ſweets the Doctrine  of God's Grace. I long to be a Chriſtian. 
You have my beſt wiſhes & Prayers that your Health may  be reſtored, & your Life & usefulneſs long continued. 
pray, pray for  Your poor Brother & Fellow Servant   
PS Love to Mr Wright 
I have ordered the Bearer, my Pupil, M.r Kirtland to follow you  as far as Philadelphia if he don't overtake you ſooner. By him you  may be informed of the ſtate of my School Family &c — No Time  muſt be loſt in fitting Mr Occom for his journey — And by Mr Kirtland  you muſt ſend directly back to me if there ſhall be Occaſion for it  & no other Opportunity preſenting.  Give my Love to the Friends in Philadelphia &c (and if you  think beſt) tell them I earneſtly beg of them an Alms for Chriſt  He is hungry, ſick, in Priſon, naked & barefoot; or rather his Neceſs‐ ities are greater than theſe, for his Heart is infinitely ſet upon  accompliſhing a Deſign which has already coſt him his Life, than  which nothing can more loudly call for their Liberality.  Yours ut ante EW. 
  Revd George Whitefield  To M.r Whitefield August 7th  1764.