David Fowler, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1766 January 21


abstractDavid Fowler writes of the progress of his Indian school, the present religious state of the Indians and their want of a minister, news of Kirtland, and personal matters.

handwritingHandwriting is clear and legible, though letter case is occasionally difficult to decipher.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good-to-fair condition, with moderate creasing, staining and wear. The central vertical and horizontal folds are silked. There are significant remnants of the seal.


noteworthyThe identity of "Joseph" (identified simply as "Joseph") is uncertain; it is likely either Joseph Johnson or Joseph Brant. The letter mentions Joseph Woolley (identified simply as "Woolley"); however, at this time, apparently unknown to Fowler, Woolley is dead. On one recto, in the second paragraph, the identity of the Indians to whom Fowler refers is uncertain; Fowler's mission was in an Onedia town, but Chamberlain's mission was in a Mohawk town. In the last paragraph on two recto, it is uncertain to whom "Master" refers, and so he has been left untagged. Some contents of the letter are similar to those of 765365. There are two trailers; one is in Wheelock's hand, the other uncertain, although it could be Wheelock's. There are sums on two verso in an unknown hand; these have not been transcribed.

  Rev.d and Hon.d Sir   
[illegible][guess: Aa] After much Warry and Fatigue about my  Houſe and Journeys after alſo hungry Belly I began to keep my School  ſteadily ſometime in November. My Scholars learn very well:  I find it is impoſſible to keep the Children ſteadily to School. [illegible]  Men labour and work as Engliſh do: They are lazy and inh[illegible]u-  man pack of Creatures as I ever ſaw. in the World; They have ſeen  me working and tuging Day after Day and never offerd to help  me in the leaſt thing I had ^to do^ in my Houſe only finiſhd covering it  and [illegible] left me. I was oblig'd ^to^ eat with Dogs near two Months & I  ſay with Dogs because they are allways licking Water out off the  Pails and Kettles we uſe: Now I live like a Gentleman, I have a  planly of Corn, Flour, Meat, and rotten Fiſh.— I applied to  Sir William for Proviſion; accordingly, he order the Commading  Officer at the Royal Block Houſe to give me out Priviſion as  long as I ſhould want.   I am exceeding ſorry as well as my poor Friends that  Mr Chamberlain does not return ^to^ us this Winter.— The In-  di[illegible]ans cannot conceive what care be the Reaſon why he don't  return. But I told them three Reaſon, why he dont, return: and af- ter they heard them they were eaſy.   I never ſaw ſuch general Dispoſition of hearing  the Word of God amongſt these poor People as I do now: moſt  every one of the Adults of this Place, have openly renouc'd their  Liquor, and ſaid that they will devote themſelves in hearing  the Word of God. Now is the Time for Miniſters to come  up whilſt they are in ſuch Diſpoſition.— O for a Mini  ſter whoſe Heart is full of Love to God and Compaſſion to poor  Sinners, one who is meak and lowly and crafty in wining   
Souls to Chriſt. who has a real Sence and worth of Immortal  Souls would greatly weaken the ſtrong Holds of Satan in this  Place. — Dear Sir, do all that is in your Power to get  up a Miniſter early in the Spring. for the poor Creatures  are rearly deſirous to hear the Word of God, we have no Mini  ſter and yet we have a full Aſſembly every Sabbath. I have  nothing New to acquaint you; I enjoyy a good ſtate of Health and  am contented.   I cant come down till ſome of ye Scholars come up and  take my School. If Jacob is to come up; do let him take a School  near me ſo [illegible] that I may take care of him. — I want all my  Cloaths in readineſs, for I ſhall be in a very ^great^ Haſt when I do  come. I determine to ſee my poor Parents before I re  turn; for I ſerv'd them baſely laſt Fall. If they ſuffer  I cant tell how I can come up. Joseph dertermines to  come down and pay you Viſit alſo Thomas who has done  me more Service than all the Town. He tells me; that he  deſigns to go down with me and ſet my Rib on his Horſe  and he will come up with own ^his^ Horſes or Legs, that, is  if I ſhall find one. I rejoi[illegible][guess: c] greatly because I could  ^[left]not^ ^no^ get one laſt Year. eſpicially for Wooley. I hear he  has no Houſe.   I Juſt now heard of Mr Kirtland he is  poor forgſaken Man. The Indians have drove him out  off their Houſes and now he lives in a poor House [illegible] in the  Woods my Friends cant conceive what he keeps them  for: the Indians dont want him there; for they all  hat him. It ſeems to me by what Mr Gray has  w[illegible]rote to him that he is uneaſy. fo Capt Buller cre-   
ceivd ^a Letter^ from him whilſt I was at his Houſe. and immediatly  ask'd me how many Letters I [illegible] brought for Mr Kirtland I  tol[illegible]d him one. &c Tell y.r oldeſt Boy who went ^down^ the laſt  that ^went down^ both his Parents left off geting driunk.   I forgot to tell you what ſort of Cloth I would have  for my Cloaths. ^I want blue Broad Cloth [illegible] and that which is good.^ Give my kind Regards to Madam,  alſo to Sir Wheelock, and Maſter. and Love to the reſt of the  Family alſo to all the Scholars. — That the Lord would  prolong your worthy Live, and make you a rich Bleſsing  in the World, alſo an Inſtrument of ſpreading the Gospel  amongſt the poor Heathen in this Continent and after  we[gap: hole][guess: ll] ſpent Livfe here receive your in the Manſions  Joy and there to ſhine as the Stars in the Firmament  forever and ever is the Deſire and Prayer.   
Revd Sir,  Of your affecionte  and obedient Servant  David Fowler 
P.S. I hope ^you will^ [illegible] you will  overlook all my im[illegible]per  fections in This Letter  for I wrote the bigeſt Part  of it in Darkneſs.   
Lettr from D. Fowler  Jan.y 1766. —    Receeved March 26.  1766. 
To —  The Rev.d M.r Eleazar Wheelock  in  Connecticut