Theophilus Chamberlain, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1765 December 23


abstractChamberlain writes from his mission about the bad state of affairs among the Canajoharie Mohawks, and about how the Indian teachers sent out by Wheelock refuse to obey him.

handwritingEven, clear, yet letter case — particularly on "s" and "d" — is often difficult to discern.

paperLight wear and creasing; watermark and remnants of seal visible.

noteworthyMentions “the Gravil” as a disorder -- possibly a reference to an older name for kidney stones or “urinary gravel;” a note is added in Wheelock’s hand; meaning of “crop” as in “crop the woods” unclear.


Rvd and honourd Sir 
After a long and tedious Journey on Account  of the repeated Snows and Rains which have fell Since I  left your Houſe, I arived here laſt friday not in a good  state of health; yet thrō divine goodneſs am now comforta  ble. I find almoſt every Circumſtance this way diſcouraging
The Indians at fort Hunter have got strongly diſaffected  towards Engliſh Inſtructors suppoſing the Deſign of the  Engliſh is to Inſtruct them and take away their Lands as  a Recompence. They have uſd Calvin with such Language,  or rather he has heard such Language amongſt them againſt  the Engliſh that he cant be willing to stay amongſt them  this winter. In this Caſtle I am chargd with not keeping  my word to return within eight Weeks. My Blankets have  are taken by ye Chief Sachem and sold for Liquor; and all  the Recompence I can have is "you did not come back  within eight weeks the Time you talkd of. The Boys here  are so much offof[illegible] the Notion of being Subject to your Orders  that I can do nothing with them. Abraham major, indeed  I have not seen he is gone to Schoharry; little Abraham  cant come down before Spring on account of the Cold; Moſes  cant come till then becauſe he intends to bring down his  Coſen who cant come before Spring; John has got  two horſses to feed. & both[illegible] his Brothers being lateley gone  to War, he muſt do it himſelf and therefore cant go  with me to Onoida. This however unexpected is in  fact the Caſe. It suprized me to find them so re  solvd. I ^had^ tried the force of every [illegible][guess: thing] Motive I could  think of to alter their Minds but as yet can prevail  Nothing. I have mentioned your Expectations and their  obligations in gratitude to anſwer them. I have urgd  your Deſigns of making them men in the World & their  neceſaty of your Aſsiſtance to live like men; I have  told them the Consequences of their Staying here, their  growing raged, living like Indians, danger of being undone  &c. I have tried my own Influence which once was  conſiderable, but nothing prevails they will not stir.   
David Fowler has been down from Onoida about a  fortnite ago and run in Debt above five Pounds [illegible][guess: york]  Money which I have paid for him. from Onoida I hear  that they almoſt deſpair of my coming there this winter.
There is no such thing as gitting to Onoida with a horſe  at preſent; I intend to settle things in the beſt Manner  I can here as faſt as poſsible and crop ye Woods on foot  to Onoida. Cpt Butler to whom I am greatly obliged  for repeated favours, has taken care (tho he did not go  as he proposd to Onoida) to send me up several sorts of  Proviſion to fort Stanwicks; which I here has got wet  and am much afraid it will be [illegible][guess: all] be Spoild.
Mr Smith was taken sick at Southhadley,  has the Gravil, I have but little hope of his ever  viſiting theſe Parts again as his Diſorder wont admit  of much Rideing. I carleſsly came from your houſe  without general Gages Commiſion, Should Cpt Buttler  viſit you this Winter as he intends if the Winter favours  with Sleighing pray send it by him, he thinks twill  be of great Service to us. The Money I brought will  not be Sufficient to carry us thro the Winter. if you  think proper we Should have more pray send it by  Cpt Buttler. Tommorrow I intend for fort hunter to  give them some further Acquaintance with your school  and Deſign, to set their minds a little at Liberty from  their Prejudices if poſsible.— Sir if I underſtood you  I had Liberty to send down some of thoſe Mohawk Lads  which were so fond of coming laſt fall; but none  of y[illegible] them Deſire to come before Spring, adviſe  me what you Deſire about them, before then  if poſsible; nomore at preſent.   
I remain yours to ſerve Theoph Chamberlain  To Rvd E. Wheelock 
To  Rvd Mr Eleazer Wheelock  In Lebanon
From Rev.d Chamberlain  Dec.r 23. 1765   
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