Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to William Johnson, 1767 August 19


abstractWheelock writes on behalf of the Narragansett Indians, who are losing their lands, and requests to know whether the reports of missionaries arriving from Europe are true.

handwritingFormal handwriting is not Wheelock's. It is clear and legible.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear. There is preservation work along the heavy vertical crease.

noteworthy"HAVEMEYER COLLECTION" is typewritten across the top of one recto. As is marked on two recto, this document is a copy. A note in pencil has been added to the top left of two recto; this note has not been included in the transcription. There is some scratch writing in an unknown hand on two verso beneath the address.

  Sir   May it pleaſe your Excellency.   
The enclosed came directed to my care  while I was on a journey; by which means it fail'd of an earlier convey‐ -ance. And with respect to the context of it, I would only beg leave, at the  desire of some concern'd, to certify you, that the Rev.d M.r Fish is, so far as I  know, univerſally eſteem'd, a gentleman of Integrity and good Ability.  And accordingly the Repreſentation he has made of the Case of the  poor suffering Indians at Narraganſet, is to be relied upon, as being  faithfully & impartially done 
And I would alſo at their earneſt deſire join my earnest Request in  Behalf of that poor people, that your Excellency would pleaſe take their  pityeous Case into your Conſideration, and if their be any way of relief  for them (which under God they expect chiefly, or only by your Inter‐ ‐poſition) that something effectual may be done to prevent that  total ruin which otherwise, according to all human probabilities,  is very speedily to be expected— They have bid the faireſt to  be built up, and become a people, of any party of Indians  I know of in New England— and now just as they have got  well engaged in cultivating their Lands, and begin to know  the worth of them, by taſting the sweets of a civilized Life,  their best farms are slipping from under them, one after  another (as they expreſs it) with much expence of Labour  & money alſo, which they have beſtow'd to subdue them.  And they have reaſon to expect in a very little Time, they  shall have none left, unleſs something effectual be speedily  done for their Help. The pitteous complaints of this poor people  are truly such, as I make no doubt, ſir, would greatly move  your Excellency's Compaſsions towards them, could you hear  them   
them, could you hear them; but your well known Care, Fidility, and  Reſolution, prevent all occaſion to enlarge on this Head— 
May it pleaſe your Excellency. We had frequent Reports last  winter & spring, from your Quarter, as well as diverſe Hints in  the publick News, that a Number of Miſsys & schoolmaſters were daily  expected from Europe to supply the Vacancies in your Vicinity:  on which I wrote your Excellency deſiring to be certified of ye   truth of the report, and to know your pleaſure relating thereto:  But I have received no written anſwer— and as I have always eſteem'd  your Countenance & Patronage to be of such Importance, in this  Affair, that I would by no means take one step without your Appro‐ -bation; I have neglected to send either Miſsionary or School maſter,  this Year, to thoſe places near you, 'till you should pleaſe to signify  your pleaſure in that matter: and I have now sent my son to  wait upon you with this, deſiring you would pleaſe to adviſe  me fully, whether you deſire the board of Correſpondants in this  Colony to provide supply of preaching for the parties of  Indians of the six Nations who are willing to hear, and school‐ -maſters for their Children; and whether your Excellency will  encourage thoſe we shall send, in their reſpective services,  so long, & so far, as their conduct & Behaviour shall be agreeable to  to their [illegible][guess: "]reſpective Characters & profeſsions? 
Your Excellency is not unſenſable that the infant Institu‐ -tion under my care, is now, by the bleſsing of H[illegible]eaven, much  encreaſed, & become reſpectable at home & abroad; and is honour'd   with the patronage of Gentleman^en^ of Character, and great worth  in England, who have accepted the Trust of, and become  Guarantees to the publick, for the fund collected in Europe, for  the use & support of it; (of which Trust the Right hon.ble the Earl  of Dartmouth is appointed preſident) whose Characters, &  influence are such, that I would by no means, have a step  taken which may not have their Approbation. And I should  be very sorry, if, by any means, party names, and circum‐  -stantial differances in matters of Religion. should so operate,  as to retard or prevent the progreſs, & succeſs of the general  Design in View—  pleaſe   
pleaſe, ſir, to let me know your Mind, and adviſe me, as  fully as shall be needful to determine my conduct  in this matter. and pleaſe, sir, to be aſsured that you  shall always be served with humility, and the greateſt  chearfulneſs, in any thing that comes within the  Power of   
May it pleaſe your Excellency  Your moſt obedient, humble Servant  Eleazar Wheelock 
ſir Wm Johnſon Bar.t   A Copy   
To S..r W..m Johnson Bart  Augt 19th 1767  Copy  [illegible][guess: PL]  Landaff  Landaff