Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Nathaniel Whitaker, 1767 September 2


abstractWheelock writes that he is attempting to get a copy of the letter sent to England by the New England Company, and updates Whitkater on the progress of various missions.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small, crowded and occasionaly difficult to decipher.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in fair condition, with moderate staining, creasing and wear. There is repair work done to particularly worn edges. A tear in the central crease appears to be contemporary, as Wheelock has written around it.

inkBlack-brown ink is somewhat blotchy.

noteworthyIn the third- and second-to-last lines of the first paragraph of two recto, it is uncertain whether, by the phrase "to y.et  Board which they refers to," Wheelock means that a letter from Oliver makes a reference to a certain board, or that a board within Oliver's letter refers to a letter written by Wheelock, and so "y.et Board" has been left untagged. However, it is likely the Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America. In the last and second-to-last lines of the first paragraph of two recto (within a deletion), the "two Shattocks" to whom Wheelock refers are Tobias Shattock and John Shattock, Jr. On two verso, Wheelock has overwritten several lines of closing with a continuation of the letter that is itself deleted. These closing lines have been transcribed as being added below the text of the letter proper. This document appears to be a draft.

signatureThe signature is abbreviated.

EventsFundraising Tour of Great Britain

  Revd and very dear Brother 
About a fortnit ago I returned from my  Journey to Portsmouth, in my Journey and Since I have  been in a poor State of health, I found on Trial I had underta ‐ken y.e long Journey before I had ^Sufficiently^ recovered from the Sickneſs  with which I had been confind for near a month — but God  has helped me hitherto, I this Day enjoy ^feal more like^ more Health than  I I have had for 3. months past —   I viſited M.r Oliver and deſired to See the Letter of that  Board to M.r Mauduit of Oct.r 2. before you [illegible] ſaild  he read it to me ^I found^ it was So far as I could remember  the Same in every ^material^ article as you gave [illegible]  he declared that there was no Expreſsion in it unfavou ‐rable to me, or you or M.r Occom, or to the Deſign  ^wc you are upon^ I aſked him for a Copy he conſented I Should have one  if the Board were willing. he Said it was ^not^ drawn by  him but by a Clergy man — I waited on M.r Pemberto[gap: worn_edge][guess: n]  and he readily confiſsed that he drew it and Said he  deſigned no hurt to any man's Character, nor any thing unfavourable to your ^the^ Deſign. ^which You are upon^. I aſked him if  I might have a Copy he Said he was willing but would  not undertake to procure ^me^ one. he aſked me if there  was any thing in it that was not true I told him  I tho't there was one or two miſtakes but ^I^ choſe not  to Speak of them as material for fear it would [illegible]  prevent my having a Copy — M.r Oliver being then ^now^ gon[gap: worn_edge][guess: e]  out of Town I left a Letter for him and the Board wth   ^Mr Peck^ deſiring that favour of a copy with M.r Peck [illegible] ^has^ ſince  in[illegible]formed me he had delivered it to M.r Oliver but I  have no Copy yet — I am truly Surprized at thier   Solomn declaration that there was nothing it it that  tending to hurt the Character of any one or unfriendly  to your deſign is very remarkable.   I wrote M.r Keen from Boſton & inclosd an abſtract  of a letter I there rec.d by David Fowler, from M.r Kirt‐ ‐land informing me of the Diſtreſs he [illegible]and his Indians  were in by reaſon of a great Scarſ[illegible][guess: e]ty ^of proviſions^ or Famine Among  them — the [illegible][guess: two] proceeding Crops ^of Corn^ having been cut of by the  froſt & by Virmen [illegible] — and also (which I Sho.d have added 
^[left]Letter to M.r Whitaker^  ^[left]Sept.r 2. 1767^ 
by y.e Pigeons [illegible][guess: leaving them] on which they had been ^ w.c have been their cheif Dependance at y[illegible][guess: t] ſeaſon of ye Year^  wont to depend for their Principal Support at that ^almoſt wholly leaving those parts.^  ſeaſon of ye Year[illegible] laſt week received a Letter from  M.r Kirtland informing me ^him adviſing^ that ^David^ Fowler had arived   ſafe with the money I ſent him — he also informd   me that he had lately been with Sir William Johnſon  who informd him that M.r Forbes of Brookfield had  been with him in the name of the board at Boſton  deſiring his Aſsiſtance in Setting up a School upon  my Plan Sir William told him that one School was  enough [illegible] ^for^ these parts — and that he perceived it  was a party deſign [illegible][guess: and] therefore he ſho.d ſhew  it no countenance, nor aſsiſt him in getting  Boys from Onohoquage as they deſired — nor  nor would he ſo much as write them an anſwr  to thier Letter.— M.r Kirtland proposes to Me ^his coming^ down ^this Fall^ ſoon  with two of the cheifs of that Tribe ^this fall^ and that to make Applic[gap: tear]n   to Our Gen.l Aſsembly for ^their^ aſsiſta[illegible]nce — in Setting up farming ^Huſbandry^ among  them, by providing them Teams, Carts, plows &c. I have incou‐ ‐raged the proposal and hope we ſhall find the Temper of the  Government Such that we Shall not pray in vain. So far  as I can learn the credit of the Deſign is yet riſing in this and  the Neighbouring Colonies. I have had many Teſtimonials of it  of late from Several leadg ^Gentle^men in N. York, and Several of our Aſsembby  have told me they thought I might ^could^ obtain my fav.r that I could  reaſonably aſk for ^of them^— this is all y.e Lords doings my dear Br   [illegible] frequent Reports from the Indian Country laſt winter  and Spring that a Number of Miſsionaries & School Maſters  were Soon Expected ^from home^ viz. in the March April and may Pacquett,  to Supply all the vacancies among the 6 Nations. And various ^Several^  accots in the public Prints to the ſame purpose eg. that nine  were ordained at Chappel Royal for that Purpoſe. togather   with many inſinuations that ſir William was not cordial towards  the Deſign of Supplying them from hence, determined me that it  was ^not^ beſt not to send any more 'till make any addition to those  who were then in that country (viz M.r Kirtland & 3 ſchoolMrs  and an Interpreter) 'till I cod know further of y.e Truth of those  Reports &c. — About 6 weeks ago Col.o Phelps told me he ſent  one of those Nine Gentn ^who were^ ordaind at [illegible]Chappel Royal who was  come as Miſsionry.to ye ^in^ Weſtern p.t of this Government ^I have forgotten his name^ who aſsured  him yt he heard nothing of their ^[illegible]^ Miſsion to ye Indians, and be‐  ‐leived there was no truth in ye Report — I ^therefore^ tho't it neceſsary  to Send my Son to diſcourſe Sir William fully upon the head and 
and know the Bottom of his Heart, and ingage & Secure his Friendſhip ^to^  & patronage ^of^ of the Affair ^if poſſible^ and accordingly to conduct ^himſelf^ in collecting  and Setting ^up^ the Schools which have been neglected ye laſt ſeaſon  and endeavour to penetrate further among the Savages than  any ^Schools^ have yet been Set up. Accordingly my Son ſat out Yeſterday  accompanied by Aguſtine Hebard one of my Engliſh Pupils. & whom  I have thoughts of Imploying with Several Indian Youths, ^if Schools^ if [illegible]  Shall be opened for them the [illegible]Enſuing [illegible]Winter &c — as Soon as  ^may be after my Son)^ he returns you will hear further of the Affair — The Report of Your  great Succeſs in England renders it an unfavourable Time to beg  hearre 'till it can be known what is wanted. and I have heard  Nothing from Home ^England^ Since March 23.d however I expect ſoon  to be adviſed what I may Send for and then I Shall be ^better^ able to fix  [illegible]upon a Plan — the Affair I think looks in general very incouraging   — I have a proſpect of obtaining the Rev.d Eben.r Cleveland of  Cape Ann to accompany M.r Brainerd to the Ohio next Spring  I diſcourſed him on that Head in my Journey he manifeſted great  Inclination to it, and I expect to be determined as Soon as he  Returns from the preſent Tour ^which he was determined upon had thots of making ſoon^ to the Indians at S.t John's  where^at^ they informd me at Newbury, there is great Appearance  of Religious Concern in Numbers of themM.r Cleveland has  a Daughter married lately married at^to a man who [illegible][guess: Coaſts] from Cape Ann to^ Philadelphia to a [illegible][guess: Capt] Man who  Sails from Philadelphia to cape ann which is a favourable, Circum‐ ‐ſtance in M.r Clevelands undertaking as it may Save much Expence   in journeying &c. beſides the comfort & aſsiſtance he may have from ſuch  ſituation of his Children ſo near him —   I inclose a Copy of M.r Olivers Letter to me, [illegible] and one of mine to y.et  Board which they refers to in his. the two Shattocks which mine reſpects  are very promiſing young Men—  M.r Kirtland in a Letter lately rec.d dated at fort Stanwix  June 17. laſt writes "I came here yesterday by ye deſire  of y.e Commander Leiu.t Aylmer who is about leaving this  Poſt, which he enforms me is to be abandoned — this Officer  has been exceeding kind to me — as has also the Cap.t of y.e   artilery — The abandoning of this [illegible]Poſt I ſuspect will be of  bad conſequence — the Indians will inſiſt upon ye Carrying  place, & allow no white perſon [gap: stain]to reſide upon ye Ground. You  may eaſily gueſs how the [illegible][guess: salloe] men &c will agree with them wn   there is rum plenty I dont Expect any will remove here but ye   of [illegible][guess: scouring] of the onoida oriska Indians — None unacquainted  with my Situation can conceive the Expence y.t will be neceſsary  to a moderate of any ways comfortabl Living here — it is very  Seldom that a wild foul or Beaſt is killd under 70. miles —  good 
good fishing [illegible][guess: at] ^not under^ 70. or 80. — Tranſportation of Proviſions from  the Settlements very changeable —. no water carriage nearer than  20 miles unleſs I croſs this carrying place enter wood Creek & then 60 or 70  miles bring me within 5 of y.e Indian Village. if it coſt M.r Moſeley  £100 Sterlg at Onohoquaguee a £150. wont Support me here for ye   firſt two or three years and adds "^y.t he is almoſt worn out wth Lab.r & fatigue & find his Conſtitn. demands a fuller ſupper^ ^[right]yn he has had^ yt y.e Indians are too poor to  do any thing for him — and beſides it wo.d hurt the Cauſe at preſent  to deſire it — as they are just waking up to cultivate their Lands for  y.r ow[illegible]n Support &c ^Some of ye Neighbg Towns Come to attend his preachg &c &c^ they Stand to their Agreement — Some of y.e   Neighbouring Town come to attend his [illegible]preaching —^&c &c^ He finds his  Fatigues are too great for his Conſtitution &c &c"  Your Son & M.r Occom's ^with me^ are well & behave to my good Satiſfaction  Your ^Family &^ pp. in Statû quô. when I have a Thouſand thing ^[below]which are too long to write^ to impart when  god Shall grant us ye Favourable Interview. The Lord be with you[illegible][guess: r Spirit]  ^my dear Br & dear m.r ^Love to M.r Occom. &c and believe [illegible][guess: me to be] his Family were well the  laſt I heard from them. his Father Fowler has loſt his Sight. & Jacob is with him  I have sent for David to come and take care of him. and deſign to Send Jacob ^[below]yours in the Deareſt Bonds^  up into a School if one Shall be agreably opened for him. Davids wife  is not well contented with y.e hard living in the Wilderneſs. — it may ^[below]Eleazar Wheelock^  be David may get into a School on long Island while his father needs  his Care of him ^[below]I continue writing tho' ^   Y.r Son & M.rOccoms with me are well, and behave to my good  Satiſfaction, y.r Families are both well as usual, your pp. in ſtatuû quo  [illegible][guess: have] a thouſand things to impart wn G. Shall mercifully grant us the  favourable Interviedw, w.c are too long to write. the Ld be wth y.o my  D.r Br. & D.r M.r Occom. I hope yo. both live upon G. & find [illegible][guess: him] to be  y.r Sweet hidg & reſting place amidſt a thouſd Temptations. Miſerable  indeed wo.d my caſe be, if I had not ſuch a place of Retreat. Oh!  bleſsed Shelter in a Stormy world, M.r Occoms Fath.r Fowler has  near loſt his Eyeſight, Jacob has been with him Sometime. I  have Sent for David to come and take care of him, & deſign  to ſend Jacob up [illegible] his, or anoth.r School, as Shall app.r beſt  wn my ſon returns. D—ds wife is not well content with ye hardſhips of ye Wilderneſs. it may be David may get a School  in Long Island while his Father needs his care of him. You are  both always upon my Heart, and I have peace & quietneſs in  Leaving you, & ye grt Affair y[illegible]ou are ingagd in, wth ye gr.t Gov.r   of all thing, w.o dos all things well, quite well—   
with much Affen to y.o both I Subſcribe. My D.r ſirs  Y.r B.r &c &c &c   Eleaz.r Wheelock 
Rev.d Nathl Whitaker