Theophilus Chamberlain, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1767 September 10


abstractChamberlain offers an account of his debts accrued as a missionary and argues that he should not owe any money to Wheelock's School.

handwritingHandwriting is small though mostly clear and legible. Letter case is often difficult to discern, especially with regard to the letters S and D. Summary of "rec'd" and "paid" is in a different, unknown, hand.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good condition, with light creasing, staining and wear.

inkDark brown.

signatureThe signature is abbreviated.

layoutThe first page of the letter is on two recto, not one recto.

noteworthyIt is uncertain to which organization Chamberlain refers when he mentions the "Boston Board," and so this organization has not been tagged. It is likely the New England Company.

Revd Sir
Yours of the 9th of July I received Some Time in Auguſt  and might have come and Seen you but that riding still hurts  me. I am a little Surpriſed at the Contents conſidering the  Converſation I had with you juſt as I came from your houſe  and Some other Things. am however willing to do the beſt  I can to give Satisfaction. as for being able to pay somuch  Money am not and it is likely never Shall be, as I am obliged  in Conſcience to profeſs the Religion calld Sandeman; the preach= ing of which is not attended with Profit in ye Senſe of the  World. am willing rather than trouble myself farther to reſign  up moſt of my Books to you which may perhaps amount to  10^£^ or 12^£^, yet am perſwaded that had you alowed me to have  gone in the Service of the Boſton Board when I aſked it, I  Should have been quite clear and conſiderable more.  with Regard to the laſt Sum received at Capt Buttlers, it ought  to be conſidered that I went up the June before laſt with  but about 8^£^ more than I then owed, that I received but  between 3^£^ and 4^£^ more till I returned in the Spring, that  I hired an Interpreter moſt of this Time; had Jacob folowers  Board to pay for moſt of it and many other thing for him, as  I have an Account of 9^£^..0s..2d which I paid and run in Debt  for him in four Months Time; had Calvin or Moſes likewiſe  [illegible] ^moſt of^ the Time to Supply. had a horſe to buy and ride back= ward and forward with an Interpreter to fort hunter.  conſidering theſe things it cant be Strange that I was nigh  80^£^ Y.M. in Debt which was in fact the caſe. My principle  Debts were Wm Sabers, my Landlord H[illegible]ch[illegible]mans, my Interpreter  Capt Buttlers and Cpt [illegible][guess: Kanynes], which amounted to above 70^£^.  Beſide theſe owed a Number of little Debts, a perticular   account
of which ^I^ have not got; but as near as I can now recollect  the whole amounted to 79^£^ beſide the Charge of my laſt  Journey. The Money I had of Capt Buttler was if I dont  misſtake 8^£^ Y. M and had 5^£^ L.M. when I left you.  I have here given the beſt account I can of my Debts  unleſs I was to make a Journey up the River on purpoſe
With Regard to what I calld and Stil call a Diſcovery,  my Expenſes were somthing extraordinary upon that ac= count, perhaps more than the Circumſstances of the Affair  will now Seem to vindicate in your Mind; Though had  it Succeeded as I and others expected I Should have met  with no dificulty from that Quarter. Am now too-much  out of humor with the World and too much engaged in  somthing elſe to proſecute Scheemes of that Nature, or that  Invention might Still anſwer me Some worldly Purppoſe.  am now willing to make known the Affair to you, if  firſt you will engage to make no uſe of it nor to Diſcover  it, till you have firſt given me Sufficent Security that  I Shall receive no more trouble from what you Suppoſe  I owe to the School. When you have heard and examined  it you may then determine for yourself whether the  Proſpect of Benifit from it is equal to that of getting  somthing from one who will never have any thing to  pay. If Sir you dont like any of my propoſals,  pleaſe to inform me what I shall do. In the mean  Time I remain
Rev,d Sir  your Servant  Theoph Chamberlain
PS, Will send you as soon as I can  draw them out the Reaſons why I ought  not to be made debtor to the School.
At South Hadley 10th Septm, 1767  To M.r E. Wheelock
To  Rev,d Eleazer Wheelock  in  Lebanon   
[top]From the Rev.d M.r  Chamberlain  Sep.r 1767
Recd  June before last more y.n he ow.d £8—  before he returnd in ye Spring.- 3 − 10—  of Cap.t Butler 60—  when he went from here} 5—  last spring . . . }   ____________   £ 76..10 LM
paid  for Jo.s Johnſon £9..8..2  Horse ߞ 14ߞ  Sundry Debts ߞ 79ߞ  York Money £102..8..2 [illegible]   25..12..[illegible][guess: ½]   ___________  Lawful Money £76.16..1 ½  besides Calvin & Moses to supply  & charge of his last Journey  & extraordinary Expense  about his discovery ߞ  all paid by £76..10