David McClure, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1766 August 5


abstractMcClure writes from his mission about his arrival, the work of the school, the condition of the pupils, and the kindness of people. He notes the difficulties in not knowing the language.

handwritingHandwriting is formal and clear.

paperLarge sheet folded to make four pages is in mostly good condition, with a significant tear around the seal, which is wholly preserved. This tear results in a slight loss of text.

inkDark brown.

Rev.d & ever Hon.d Sir / 
[top]David MacCluor's  Letter  Aug.t 4.th 1766
With much Duty & Reverence  I embrace this Oppertunity, to inform you, that by the  Indulgence of a kind Providence I reach'd this Place  the 23.d last Month, went immeadietly into David's  School, where the Scholers, the poor ignorant Creatures  chearfully Aſsembled. I was very agreeably ſirpriz'd  at the proficancy of the Scholers, their unwearied  Labour in Study, & the good Order, Sobriety &  Reverence which I think is natural to them. &  which they exerciſe eſpecially in School—
We have been treated ſince our  Arrivel with ſuch kindneſs as I never epxpected  to receive from Inhabitents of this part of the World.  ſcarce a Day has gone over our Heads, but we have  brought in to us freſh Meat of ſome kind or other.   
Tho we live ſomthing dirty, for want of  Houſe neceſsaries, & alſo for want of knowledge to  uſe thoſe we have, yet I hope we ſhall live a  little cleaner, & that very ſoon by the help of David's  fifth Ribb, M.r Kirtland ſett out to Day for S.r W.ms  he paſs'd by here yesterday, in his way home from Detroit ^Oſswego^.  Yesterday, (Lords Day) M.r Kirtland preach'd two Sermons,  to the Indians, but the Interpreter, made out but po[gap: tear][guess: orly]  by reaſon of his Age, [illegible] and his unaquaintedneſs of Onoid[gap: tear][guess: a]  Languge, (he being a Tuſkarooroak. Who was ſuppoſ'd to [gap: tear][guess: be]  converted ſome Years agone)— But the Indians are  very deſirous to be taught— and expreſs hartly & numberleſs  thanks to M.r Wheelock and thoſe good Ministers, who are  hartely engaged for their good &c &c &c. I hope God  deſigns to make this People a happy, and florishing  People— they want nothing but the knowledge of our Lord  & Saviour Jeſus Christ to make them Christains—  I am put to a great deal of Difficulty in School in not  having their Language so that I might talk to the Scholers—   
I long to be able to converſe with the poor Creatures  in their Language— to teach & inſtruct them what  little I know in the things of Religion— I hope  before I return, to git a little ſpatter of it—
The Indians are very deſirous of ſchooling  Their Children— one instance in particular, as I was  ſetting in School (held in the Church) I ſaw an Indian  Man bringing his little Son to School with a Rod of  Correction in one Hand and a Boy on the oth[gap: tear][guess: er] ſide  to lead him along, and he proves to a very ſtudious Lad  got his four & twenty Letters in four Days—
Having nothing meterial— I conclude  beging The your inceſsent Prayers— for 
Rev.d S.r  Your most dutifull tho'  unworthy Pupel—  David M.cCluer 
P.S. pleaſe to give much  Duty to Madam— Love to  famely & School— & accept  much Duty & renew'd Thanks  from yours most humbly— DM. 
^[left]Johnſon behaves extaraordinary well—^   
For, Rev.d M.r Eleazar Wheelock   
To the  Revd Mr Eleazar Wheelock  Lebanon  p.r favour}  M.r Wheelock}