Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Messrs. Peck, Mason, and Austin, 1766 November 5

ms-number766605.2

doi
10.1349/ddlp.554

abstractWheelock writes, for possible publication, to correct assertions made by the New England Company about its relationship to, and support of, Occom.

handwritingHandwriting is small and informal, yet mostly clear and legible. It is not Wheelock's.

paperLarge single sheet is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.

inkDark-brown.

noteworthyThe contents of this document are nearly identical to those of manuscript 766605.2.

signatureThe signature is not in Wheelock's hand.

EventsOccom’s First Mission to the Oneidas, Occom leaves his studies, Occom’s Mission to the Montauketts, Occom’s Ordination, Fundraising Tour of Great Britain

Dear Meſsrs Peck Maſon and Auſtin  Sirs
M.r Peck has favoured me with a Copy of M.r Whita‐ker's Letter to you, & by that I have an acco.t of M.r Oliver's Letter to Gov.r Mauduit, & it seems a little strange that the Honble Board in whose Name he wrote so long accounted M.r Occum to be in their Pay, and yet after all make so many Miſtakes in their Hiſtory of him, and that too when it is the Result of a Meeting, & deſignd as their Testimony of Facts, sent to the Honble Society in London to Certify them so circumſtantially, as that they might not be impoſs'd upon by deceivers.
Some defects in their Narrative you may see by comparing the following particulars with what they aſsert.
  • 1. M.r Occum (as well as many others of that Tribe) was un=doubtedly a Pagan till he was above Sixteen years old. And ^had^ never so much as heard that there was such a Perſon as Jesus Christ.
  • 2.None ever said any thing to me about taking M.r Occum under my Inſtruction, or was ^ever^ any way moving in that Matter, that I ever knew of, but his [illegible][guess: Bro]Mother, before he came to live with me upon Trial.
  • 3.M.r Pomroy never had any concern, but only as a Friend, when my Family were unable to bear the Burden of the School, by Reason of Sickneſs, he did at my desire, take the School, with my Son in Law (M.r Maltby) the Maſter of it to his House, where it continued, as I remember the better part of a year. But he depen‐ded upon me to Support M.r Occum, & it was at my Riſque as much as ever.
  • 4.M.r Occum had been long confined by sore Sickneſs, before he came to me, & was then, & all the Time he was with me in a Low state of Health, tho' in the main mending, till he went from me to serve them as School maſter &[illegible] Teacher public Teacher, at Mon tauk, on Long-Island. And he was in as good state of Health as when he went away as I ever have knewn him to be. And it was by the Importunity of M.r Horton Miſsy of the Honble Society in Scotland that I was perſwaded to let M.r Occum go to take his place there.
  • 5.M.r Occum after he had officiated some time as ^a^ preacher there, was ordain'd by the Presbytery of Suffolk County on Said Island, & still continues to be a Member of the Same:
  • 6.^The^ Miniſters in this Gov.t had no hand in Sending M.r Occum on his firſt Miſsion to the Six Nations. See the acc.t of that in M.r Boſtwick's Letter to the Praſes of directors &c printed at the End of M.r Randalls Sermon before the Society in Scotland Jany 3 176[illegible][guess: 3]
  • 7.M.r Occum was as much in the Pay of the Boſton Commiſsrs before the N. York Commiſsrs sent him on this Miſsion as he was afterwards so far as ^I^ ever illegible knew. And his Cirumſtances were as needy till that he was relieved by that public Contribution at N. York as ever I knew them to be. Nor did I ever underſtand that the N. York Commiſsrs ever ask'd conſent of the Boston Board to Send him
  • 8. The Boſton Commiſsrs paid only part of his Debts, when application was made to them after his Return from that Miſsion, & I believe only a leſser part of them.
  • 9.He could not have continued in their Sevice nor ^in^ any other, if he had rec.d no other Support but that which he had from them.
  • 10.As to the Report ^that^ he was a Mohawk &c, & that large Contri butions were made to me on that Acc.t I have never yet heard that there has been such a Report in this Country but ^only^ what came from the afores.d Co^m^miſsrs — And how a Report that he was a Mohawk &c came to be publiſh'd in England, & transmitted here in the Public Prints, I can only gueſs.
As to their reſigning him to me & putting him out of their hands when they had him in their Service as well as pay, only on my telling them I could employ him better, abundantly evidences their high eſteem of my good Judg.t & Fidelity, at least before I ^so^ unhappily crack'd my Credit, by declaring publickly in the ^moſt^ populous Towns in that & the Neighbouring Govt that he was a Mohawk lately Emergent out of groſs paganiſism &c, in order to get large Contributions for this School.
These hints so far as I know are true, & I tho't proper you should have them & make such Improvement ^of them^ as your prudence shall direct. And if you think it neceſsary you may publiſh them or any part of them. Tho' I confeſs the Entring into ^a^ public Quarrel with thoſe Gentlemen, is so unnatural & incongruous to the design of building up, & enlarging the peaceable Kingdom of Christ which we all profeſs to have in view, that I exceedingly dread it, if the Glory of God & the Intereſts of the Redeemers Cauſe dont evidently require it.
I herewith encloſe a Letter to M.r Oliver, a true Copy of which I alſo encloſe that you might know the Contents in which you will see I desire a Copy of his afores.d Letter to Gov.r Manduit, & alſo that you are deſired to wait on him for that purpoſe please Sir to favour me herein, & make return & advise me of your Succeſs as soon as may be.
I have alſo deſired M.r Oliver to remitt £10 of the annual allowance made of that Board for the use of this School, which I have Reaſon to expect he will not refuse, Since he has made two Remit‐tances without the Least objection since he wrote the afores.d Letter to the Honble Society in London. If he should refuse that, or a Copy of his Letter, or both, you will enquire & know his Reaſsons for it. And I hope agreeable to your wonted Goodneſs, excuſe the Trouble herein given you, by, My dear Sirs
Your much obligd & very humble Serv.t Eleazar Wheelock
Letter to Meſsrs Peck Maſon & Auſtin Nov.r 5. 1766.
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