Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Nathaniel Whitaker, 1767 April 11

ms-number767261.4

abstractWheelock writes of Kirkland’s visit and of his progress on his mission among the Oneidas. He also relates news of Whitaker's and Occom’s wives, as well as other business related to the Charity School.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small and crowded, yet mostly clear and legible. Letter case is frequently difficult to decipher.

paperTwo large sheets each folded in half to make four pages are in good-to-fair condition; moderate staining, creasing and wear — including old tape gum — has been much improved by recent preservation work.

noteworthyIt is uncertain to where Wheelock refers, in reference to Kirkland's mission, when he mentions "that Town," and so it has been left untagged. However, it is possibly Kanawalohale. An unknown hand has added a note in pencil after the trailer on four recto. This note has not been included in the transcription. This document is possibly a draft.

  Rev.d & dear Sir. 
Four Days ago M.r Kirtland a^r^rived ^[below][illegible]^  hHis State of Health is better than it was — he ſeems  at laſt fully convinc'd y.t he muſt, for a while, abate  of his Labours & Fatigues, or soon quit y.e whole  Service.
The Acco.t he gives, is, in y.e main, very agreable;  Tthat the Indians of that Town are almoſt univerſally  attachd to him — can't bear a word of his leaving  them — they have made great Proficiency in the  Schools in [illegible][illegible] Reading & Singing — of the  latter he Says, I cant Speak too well — it is quite beyond  what any will conceive, unleſs they could hear them —  he Says, he hears no Such Singing in the Country. —  they carry three parts with great exactneſs — And  many of them yet eager to improve further in the  Art — This is all New, and beyond what was ever yet  known among Indians — many of them Say, they never  knew Such Pleaſure before — that it is worth while to  be chriſtians, if they had nothing more by it, than the  Pleaſure of Singing Praiſes to God — And to aſsiſt  them further M.r Kirtland has already begun, & deſigns  to go on, to tranſlate Psalms & Sacred Hymns into their  Language, and fit them to Tunes — This is Surprizing and  affecting to Some, that come among them, from foreign  Tribes — At preſent there is a great Reformation among  [illegible]them as to their Morals^#^— there have been no more than  two drunk belonging to that Town, Since Dec.r 15th &  one of them was the only one of that Town, who op poſed M.r Kirtlands Meaſures — on that Day M.r Kirtlan[gap: worn_edge][guess: d]  ^[below]( after^  ^[left] #at preſent a liſtening Ear to y.e word preachd [illegible][guess: ,]^  ^[left]thougthfulneſs and real concern about their Salvn ^  ^[left]appears ^in^ a conſiderable Number^ 
(after many insucceſsful attempts to put a Stop to that  vice) calld the Town togather, & told them, if they would  all of them, men & women, Old & Young, agree, & Solomly   ingage to leave of their Drunkeneſs, and enable him,  to put Such Determination in Execution, by appointing  6 or 8. of their cheif men to be with, him & aſsiſt him  therein, with full power to Seize all intoxicating Liquor,  and diſtroy it, or diſpose of it as he ſhould think proper,  he would tarry with them; otherwiſe, he would leave  them. Hereupon after 4 Days Conſideration, they  unanimouſly appointed 8, whom M.r Kirtland No‐ minated, who have been very Officious, & faithful  in the affair. And the Succeſs of this Step has been  Such, that, notwithſtanding [illegible] about 80 cag[illegible]gs or caſks  of Rum have Since that Time been carried through that  Town, & offer'd to Sale, and in a number of Inſtances  offerd freely, as a preſent, and their Acceptance Strongly  urged, yet they have Never in one Inſtance been pre‐ vaild upon to Accept it: Steadily replying, when urged  to it, "It is contrary to the miniſters word, and our  agreement with him." A Number have publickly   made Confeſsion of their paſt Drunkeneſs, & other Vices. aAnd to two in prticular, above the reſt, M.r Kirtland  Hopes, God has granted Repentance unto Life.
This has had a very different Effect upon the Indians  of Old Onoyada, where M.r Kenne was Sent laſt ſpring  but left them for want of Health (as I informd you)  Two of the principal men of that Town have removed  to live under M.r Kirtlands Inſtruction. the reſt of the  Town are generally in oppoſtion to the Reformation begun, and  to 
Mr Kirtland [illegible]as [illegible]the [illegible]Inſtrument of it — The Enmity is So great, that  near Relations as Brothers & Siſters hant viſited oneanother, ſince  the aforſd Agreement. — a Number of that Town have been  trying every Artifice to overthrow, & prevent the progreſs of, the  Reformation; on which acco.t M.r Kirtland deſigns, after a  very Short viſit to return himſelf, and not truſt the Affair  with any other^to a Stranger^/ I take this Acco.t from his own mouth.
The School there has been well conducted, under David Fowler and Since David has got his wife there it is Something better  living — M.r Kirtland Says that the Charge of tranſporting Pro‐ viſions, beſides his own Fatigues about it, has been fully equal  to the firſt coſt of them. I have used the utmoſt caution & Prudence  as to Expences. and the Same Frugality in my own family as I used  when you was acquainted with it. The Miſsionaries & SchoolMaſters  have also, So far as I can find, been prudent. dear M.r Kirtland, I  think, has, to a fault, been cautious of Expending chriſts money for  his own comfort. he has also provided for David & his wife, and  Joſeph Johnſon all this year in that Savage Country; and finds  himſelf often obliged to do Something for the poor Starved wret ‐ches, when they come to See him. And bleſsed be God, he is now  animated with the Hopes of a glorious Harveſt among them by  & by. may divine Grace & mercy to the poor Creatures, exceed  his moſt Sanguine Expectations.
You know I had run Several hundred Pounds in the rere, before  you went away, I used to take Goods for the School upon my  own Credit, and charge them to the School as it wanted them. by  this means my public accots appeard as they did. but this year  I have taken Goods, in part of pay, for the Bills I have drawn, and  have also paid those arears with them, by which means my Debt  is become due to the School, So that my next public acco.t   will appear in a view which I ſhould not chuse . viz. a conſi‐ ‐derable Ballance due to the School, while I Shall have nothing  in my Hands, I am not anxious in the Affair, I truſt all will come  right by, & by. — The conduct of Divine Providence towards the 
towards this whole affair, appears to be a continued Series of  Wiſdom, & Goodneſs. oh! how great the Depth! how large the  Vol[illegible][guess: ume]^[illegible][guess: Is]^! how Sweet! how Safe! how Bleſsed to truſt in him.  April. 18. I herewith incloſe Letters from Meſsrs Smiths & Scott  that Friends may know a little how a little Friends think &  talk on this Side the water. and what they deviſe. those  Gentlemen I underſtand have large Tracts of unſettled Land,  near the Place they Speak of, and it is Supposd they would  make a large grant to the School, — I have Sent ^you^ a Copy  of my Anſwer to them, that you might be better able to  form a Judgement on what they write. —  April. 23.d Yours of Jany 20. came to Han.d 19.th Inſt.t with  a Bill of Exchange for £20 Sterlg from Rob.t Hodgſon ^apothy ^ on  John Prince of Salem and another of £5..5..0 from Sam.l   Parmiter in Yr fav.r indorſd to H Sherburn Esq.r.  yours of Feby. 12. came to hand. 20th Inſtant. — In which  you have furniſhed me with ^many^ Arguments of Praiſe to our  great Benefactor. — I have heard nothing of any other  orders you mention —
You & The Gentlemen concernd may depend upon my  taking the moſt prudent & Effectual Care of any Such  Intereſts as come into my Hands. but perhaps you  are not awere how great the Neceſsary Expences of  this Year have been, and I think when you come  fully to underſtand what has been done you will have  no cauſe to regrett them. money is not ſquandered away  for Nothing here I look upon my Obligations ^in the matter^ to be moſt  Sacred ^and [illegible][guess: teach] all concirned to look upon & treat ym as being Such^ — as Soon as the accots can be Settled I Shall tranſmitt  them —  This afternoon Mr Kirtland Sat out on his Return to onoidga he appears  to be much [illegible][guess: worn], to that degree that [illegible] notI tho't it ^prudent he shod ^ preachd but once in this viſit 
as I choſe he ſhod reſerve his Strength for the Service of the Indians.  however he finds he has recruited ^a little^ Since he left the Indians. He is com‐ ‐miſsioned to open the Affair of a Settlement for this School [illegible]  & if he meets with any thing worthy to be tranſmitted you will  have it. }he deſigns if poſsible to Introduce Jos. Johnſon into a School at old onoida, and take Moſes Mohock w.o has been in a  School at Canajohare to be with him. as he is not yet fully perfect in y.e onoida Language  wo [illegible][guess: may]^[illegible][guess: alſo] aſsiſt David in y.e School^
As to your Suſpicion of Some unfriendly Treatment &c. the Gentlman  you Suſpect never was So in tho't word or Deed [illegible]yt I ever knew or had  the leaſt Reaſon to Suſpect — If your Suſpicions ariſe from any  hint in my Letter — you miſunderſtood it, for it reſpected no  man on that Side the water — and the Tables are all ^Since^ turnd &  it is of no Importance ^now^ whether ever you think of the right man.  however; I Supposed you wod readily gueſs who he was. —
As to y.e affair of M.r Ledyard I Shall adviſe him &c. — the man  was living Some months ago, but in a low State of health. I  conclude he has no conſiderable Intereſt of his own to leave  with any.
I rejoyce much to hear of Gen.l Lymans Good proſpects, his  moral Character has been much Traduced of late in this Country  He is repreſented as a Debaucher — that he is married ^in England^ & devoted to  Pleaſure &c It wod be very friendly ^if yo wod ^ to wipe off that Reproach by  a Line —
Your Letters and ^& appendix to^ Your Narrative, excite in me y.e greateſt  Ardour of affection towards those great & worthy Gentlemen  who compose the Truſt, they have lately formd which y.o informd [illegible][guess: me]  ha[illegible][guess: s] [illegible] been lately formd — I bleſs the Lord that [illegible][guess: he]^by his Love he^ has preſs them &  their Eſtates and all their Influence into his Sirvice — or rather y.t   he has made them and how precious will their Names be to ages yet  unborn who may Eternally reap the Benefit of that w.c y.e world  may ^[illegible]^ Term their great Condeſention —
I have ^never^ recd [illegible][guess: nothin ] but one Lettr from M.r Keen. & nothing ^at all^ from  ^Home.^ Since M.r Deberdts of Octr 10. before these from you. but you [illegible][guess: all]^incourag ^  one to Expect one from M.r Whitefild & An.r fr. M.r Keen very ſoon 
Mrs Whitaker [illegible]lodg'd here two nights this week, in as Good Health  as usual, Your Little Son rode home with her — She informd   me that M.rs Occom was also well & Family — give my Love  to Son Occom & tell him that Aaron behaves exceedg well —  a Little Bundle of Something for his wife came to my Hand  yesterday which I Shall carefully forward —
Salute all our Friends in my Name moſt heartily. & accept  the old faſhiond Love in Abundance from, My Dear Sir
Yours moſt Heartily cordial Brothr &c   Eleazar Wheelock 
Rev.d Nathl Whitaker
Lett.r to M.[illegible][guess: r] Whitaker  April 16. 1767.
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