Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Robert Keen, 1766 December 4


abstractWheelock writes to Keen about money matters, selecting a potential site for the School, and the controversy regarding the letter sent to England by the New England Company. He also introduces William Samuel Johnson, newly appointed as Special agent for the Colony of Connecticut.

handwritingThe letter appears to be written in two different hands, one Wheelock's, the other unknown. It is alternately formal and clear, and informal and less clearly legible.

paperLarge single sheet is in fair condition, with moderate staining, creasing and wear. There is preservation work done on particularly heavy creases.

inkDark brown.

noteworthyIn the deleted section on one verso, the identity of "Mr. P. . . . . . .n" is uncertain, and so he has been left untagged. However, he is likely Ebenezer Pemberton. This document is very likely a draft. A note, possibly 19th-century, has been added in pencil after the trailer. This note has not been included in the transcription.

EventsOccom’s Ordination, Fundraising Tour of Great Britain

Dear M.r Keen.   ſir. 
I wrote you the other Day under many  Diſadvantages of Body & Mind, & upon Recollection find I  gave but a very imperfect Anſwer to your Letter, I men‐ tioned a Bill drawn in favr of Mr Breed for £160 I should  have said £180 And with reſpect to Bills to be drawn for  the future, as Mr ^Moſes^ Peck ^watch Maker^ is my factor in Boſton, it may be neceſsa‐ ‐ry that he should sometimes draw in my Stead wch Bills I woud  pray you to honour as if signed by myſelf, and no others unleſs  further adviſed, As to large sums for building that muſt re‐ ‐main in suſpence till I have further Advice from you, or till  God in his Providence shall point out the moſt convenient place  to fixe the School, wch I wait to have determined by its friends  on your side the Water, ^& yt^ for this reaſon, bec.s so large numbers  have intereſted ymſelves in yt Matter & each party ſo engagd  to have it in ye place ya have reſpectively fixed upon, and  many viewing ye advantages & Conveniencies of each place in so par‐  ‐tial a manner that great numbers muſt neceſsarily be diſobliged  let it be fixed where it will, and perhaps some diſagreeable reflec‐ tions & cenſures be incurrd if it should be determined by myſelf  ^and eſpecially if it Shod be in Favour of my own Intereſt.^  wch may be of real & laſting diſservice to the Cauſ, for which reaſon  it has ^therefore^ been my declared purpoſe to refer ye Determination of ys matter to  its moſt important friends on your side the Water ^with you^. I wait in hopes  there may be some ^an^ opening to ye weſtward wch may exhibit such  proſpects as may ^shall^ conſtrue outbid all others, I am waiting for an anſwer  from Mr Brainerd relative thereto, I wonder to hear nothing more fm  Gen.l Lyman, you kindly propoſed the sending me a liſt of the moſt  important Subſcribers to this Deſign, wch I apprehend may be of real  Service, & accordingly ^Shall^ hope to be favourd with it in your Next X
[left]X Pleaſe S.r alſo to adviſe what gentlemen or whether any are to be addreſsed with my thanks on yt head & whether his  Majeſty woud likely accept something of that Nature, & if any Pleaſe to inform ^me^ of their titles & any thing as to manner of Addreſs  wch you may think neceſsary for one in so obſcure a Corner)
The Youth  I expect from the Wilderneſs are not yet returned and am at a loſs for the  reaſon of their tarrying so much beyond the time appointed what new  intelligence ythey shall bring you may expect by the firſt conveyance  as alſo an Acc.t of a remarkable occurance among the Indians weſtward  of Philadelphia as soon as I can obtain a circumſtantial Acct of it —  Mr Whitaker informs of the Difficulties he encounters from a Letter wrote by  Mr Oliver ^Letter^ in ye Name of the Board ^of London Com̅iſsrs in Boſton^
[left]*and repreſents y.t it ^is of^ woud [illegible] iportance that some inſinuations in said  Letter eſpecially that I reported y.t Mr Occom was a mohawk lately emerged from groſs paganiſm ^&c^ be effectually contradicted — Upon wch I woud  only obſerve
* Mr Occoms Character has been so long and  so publickly known to gentlemen in all our Governments, as ^to^ woud render it equably ^near as^  impertinent to take pains to contradict a report of his being a Mohawk lately  emerged &c as of his being an engliſh Man if such a r[gap: tear][guess: ep]ort had ever been propagated 
I never heard such a report nor did I ever yet find any other who had heard  that that had been reported. ^Such a Report of him.^ of him except what came from the Boſton  Commiſsioners, you may see by Mr Buells Sermon at ye Ordination of Mr  Occum in ye hands of Mr De Berdt wch has been made public in o.r Colonies  & alſo by Mr Boſtwicks Letter at ye end of Mr Randals Sermon preach'd before  ye Society in Edinburgh 1763, that Mr Occum has not been hid in such a  corner, as that it wou'd be safe for any Man ^any man of Sense cod think it Safe^ to publiſh such an untruth  concerning him if he had a view to ever so great advantage thereby  ^ever So great a thirſt to get money^  & eſpecially conſidering that y.e tribe he belongs to is quite immaterial butt his  emerging out of paganiſm is ye only thing affecting in the Acc.t and ^illegiblethat^ is true  concerning him, I have seen ye Acc.t wch Mr Whitaker gives Mr Peck &c [illegible]  of y.t Letter & it seems strange y.t gentlemen w.o pretend such ^have for Long had^ oppurtunitiy[illegible]  of acquaintance w.t mMr Occums Character & w.o pretend to give such an Acc.t  of him to ye honble Society as [illegible][guess: shoud] ^may Effectually^ prevent impoſtures, shoud yet be miſ‐ ‐taken in almoſt every particular ^they relate of him^ as you may See by camparing What they have  Wrote with the incloſed Copy of Mine To Meſsrs Peck Maſon & Auſtin.  In return  to Which M.r Peck informs me by a Letter ^of 20 Laſt^ this Day received. that M.r Oliver had  hond my order for the £10..0.. upon firſt Sight. but Says they think beſt not to  deliver my Other Lettr deſiring the Copy of his to M.r Maudit but wait a while  and See how they will clear themſelves. — and by another of 29th ult Says. Says  that M.r Maſon this Day told me he would Shew M.r Whitefields Lettr to Mr Oliver, &  Deſire of him to give a Copy of his to M.r Mauduit of y.e 2.d of Oct.r. and adds "I  hear that M.r P. . . . . . .n declares there is not a Word in it to M.r Occoms Prejudice  which makes me think there was another Letter Sent. that he is Exceeding warm in  his Own Defence, and declares his Deſire that their Letter may be publiſhed." and  If they are all of ^M.r Oliver is of that^ that mind ^too^ I may Expect a Copy Soon.  I drew an Order upon the Board in Boſton ^in favour of M.r Peck about a month ago^ for £10. of their Annual Allowance  to this School, which, as M.r Peck informd me laſt Week, M.r Oliver ^had^ honoured at  firſt Sight. Which is the third Remittance ^he has^ made without the leaſt Objection,  Seince he wrote that Letter to M.r [illegible]Mauduit. Which ^and^ is the more remarkable  as the Grant made by them was only during their Pleaſure.
But Application is, or will Soon be, made to M.r Oliver for a Copy of  that Letter, and you will likely hear further of it.
Pleaſe to preſent ^my^ beſt Regards to those worthy Gentlemen you mention  as Aſsociating with you for the Furtherance of this Grand Deſign, to Whom  you will likely communicate what I have Wrote.
And as Wm Sam.l Johnſon LLD. is deſignd for Great Britain as Special  Agent for the Coloney of Connecticut, I give myſelf the Pleaſure to intro‐ duce him to Your & their Acquaintance as a Gentleman of Worth and  Character in his Profeſsion, Who I make no doubt will deſerve your & their  Eſteem & Friendſhip, and who likely will have it in his Power to Serve this Deſign.
I Shall offer no excuſe for Inacuracies but my conſtant Hurry  I hope you will be able to pick out my meaning. and beleive  that I am my dear M.r Keen, with much Affection & Eſteem 
Yours moſt heartily in   all Chriſtian Bonds.  Eleazar Wheelock 
[bottom]Letter to M.r Rob.t Keen  Dec.r 4. 1766.