Joseph Woolley, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1765 July 6


abstractJoseph Woolley writes to Wheelock with news from his mission to Onaquaga. He mentions the smallpox epidemic, the Shawnees' and Delawares' confirmation of the Covenant Chain, his cousin Jacob Woolley, and David Fowler’s abuse of his Indian students.

handwritingHandwriting is largely clear and legible.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good-to-fair condition, with moderate staining, creasing and wear.


noteworthyWoolley makes unusual use of quotations to indicate asides placed in the left margin.

  Rev.d S.r  
We have awaited for the M.eſsurs Smith &  Chamberlain, four Days, and I dont ^think^ it is best for  me to wait any longer. then next Monday, I think  Providence calls me to go away from here ſoon.
The epidemical ^Small pox^ Diſtemper is here, ^&^ proves very  mortal among the Indians — The Squash Cutter  died with it about ten Days ago; another died  last evening & was buried this afternoon here.
This poor Man was left destitute by all his Friends  & Relations, had nobody to tend him, "I felt So con‐  cillegibleearned for ^him^ I like to gone there myself."
I illegibleam ſorry & greaved to ſee ^in the Indians^ ſo much Brutallyity, that  they caired no ^not^ more for each other than the Beaſts do  "(tho I believe if a Horſe knew there was ſome^thing^ of a Mat‐  ter with his Mate, he would come and leap over him)  but there appeared no ſuch Affection among them;"  however, ſome ^of^ them made ^out^ to go and aſsiſt in bury‐  ing him. — — —
The Shawanees & Dellawars came here the Day  before yesterday the in order to confirm the Covenant  Chain, which Captain Kill-Buck ^Chief of the Dellawares^ has been upon  ever ſince last Spring — to whom, I had the Honour 
[left]  a Head Warrier  of the Delawares  who has done ſo much  miſchief & exercſed  ſo much Inhumanity  to the Engliſh
[left]  This ^man^ with the  Squash Cutter  were ^there as^ Hoſtages  from that Tribe
of Interpreting thoſe Letters & the Parchment in which the  Covenant was written; & to his greatest Satiſfaction.
This Man Kill-Buck would feaign have me go to  Allegany with him to his own Home, & to Spend my  Life amongſt them There — But I have Diſcourige‐  ‐ments from thoſe that ^have^ been there."
As we was paſing thrō Sheffield, one ^a^ Man  call'd out to me, and ask'd me whether I was  not the ſame Man that lay ſick there laſt Fall."  and enqured ^asked^ into my Name — But I told him not  who I was & what I was, that I might have the better  Chance to know what he had to ſay about him — well, ^hereupon^  he biegan to tell what he did after he got well with  the Pluriſie — That he taught young Men & Chilren  to Sing read and write & cypher; That he had his Learn‐  ‐ing from Mr Wheelock, and went to the Jerſey ^College^, and in his  Laſt Year went back again to Mr Wheelocks. and after‐  ward ran away from him & went into the Service. ^i.e of the War^
Moreover, he told me what that young ^Man^ ſaid — The  Reaſon why he ran away, that he was affraid Mr Wheelock  would make him Preach; Therefore now he determins ne‐  ver to ſee you.— But I could get no Intelligence which  Way he went, whe^ther^ he is alive or no. he told it to  me ^in^ ſuch a light I could not help but thinking it was  Couſin Jacob Wooley."
I have not heard about ^of your^ the Dutch Horſe I am affraid  he is loſt, and if itſo [illegible]it ſois [illegible]a great Loſs.
I have been out of Health ever ſince I arrived  here, a Sharp Pain in my Breaſt and ſo thrō on  the other Side, continues bad.
"I have heard of Fowler to Day that he is yet  alive and well, begins to beat his Schollers  very much, ſ makes their Hands to Swell very much  which the Indians dont like very well; They  ſay, he ought to have ſuppreſsed it longer, & not be‐  gin ſo ſoon — " I have no more Special to ſay, you  know I was never a good News Monger. —
Pray ^Pleſe^ S.r to accept my DHumble Duty, ^to you^ & Mrs  Wheelock, and tell her I hope her unwearied Pains  for me wont be qute Loſt, but ^that I^ shall improve the  beſt of my Ability to my People — ^among my poor Brethren^ & alſo ^Duty^ to kind Ma‐  ster Lathrop — I remain 
your Dutiful,   & very Humble Servt  Joseph Wooley   
from Joſeph Woolley  July 1765 
To  The Rev.d M.r Eleazer Wheelock   Connecticut.