Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to the Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America, 1767 October 7

ms-number767557

abstractWheelock requests a copy of the letter slandering Whitaker, Occom and himself, and refutes its contents. He denies attempting to lure away James Dean.

handwritingHandwriting is formal and clear; it is not Wheelock's.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages has been heavily reinforced, which makes it difficult to gauge the condition of the paper. There appears to be light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear.

inkBrown-black ink is somewhat dimmed by the reinforcement.

noteworthyThis document is marked “Copy.” An unknown editor has added a note in pencil to the trailer on two verso; this note has note been transcribed.

  To the Honourable London Commiſsioners   In Boston  Hond Sirs   
“Yours of Sep.r 3.d came safe to hand; and  I would now inform you, that if M.r Oliver and M.r Pemberton  understood, that those small Circumstances which I men‐ ‐tioned as being untrue, in your Letter to M.r Mauduit,  were the only, or chief objections I had against that Letter,  they were much mistaken. I heard the Letter but one read,  And did not think I was thereby well qualified to point out  the things which seemed at first view, either aſserted or plainly  suggested therein, which were very unfriendly both to my  character, and to the Deſign which M.r Whitaker was gone upon:  Nor did I think it would have been modest in me, after such  strong Aſsertions, as they repeatedly made “that there was not  a word, nor suggestion therein, unfavourable to any Cha‐ ‐racter, or to M.r Whitakers design,” to contradict them without  a further Examination of what was written; but I aſsure  you, Sirs, that had I not apprehended there were things, both  untrue, and unfriendly to M.r Whitaker’s, M.r Occom’s and my  own characters, and alſo to M.r Whitakers design; I should not  ^[left]have^ so earnestly desired a copy of it. And I now aſsure you, sirs,  that I apprehend there is not one material Article narrated  in that Letter that is true, excepting that M.r Occom was a Mohegan,  which I never yet heard denied, and which I had long before  your said letter, published in my narrative, 1700 Copies of which  (If I mistake not) were printed at Boston, and sent into all your  Country round about you.
And if you will pleaſe to favour me with a Copy of  it, and I dont make it appear that there is not one material  Article in that letter that does not contain groſs falsehood  I will freely confeſs I did not understand it when it was  read to me. — And if I dont find such things expreſsed   or 
or at least plainly intimated in it, as both Friends, and Enemies  in England, reaſonably underſtood to be unfriendly, and deſign‐ ‐edly conveyed by it, I will faithfully inform them of their  mistake, and cheerfully do what I can to retrieve the —  Injury which your characters sustain by their misunder‐ ‐standing your letter.
As to what you say “this day came to your Knowledge  viz. my attempting to take James Dean away from you &c  by promising to take him into my school &c.  I answer. By word & letter from Boston. I was repeat‐ ‐edly informed that James Dean deſigned to leave your  service, being diſsatisfied that you refused to give  him such an Education as you had encouraged him  to expect, and sent his desire to me to take him, to which  I made no reply at all. After some Time the Rev.d M.r Hopkins wrote me at Deans desire that I would take  him, — in answer to which I let him know that I would  do nothing to get him out of your hands — but in caſe  he should be discharged from you I ſhould be willing to  take him, and treat him, as I did the rest of my english  scholars — and that what I wrote might be no inducement  to his leaving you; I wrote that I should expect Bonds  for his entering upon and purſuing the Busineſs  proposed, which I had heard, you had offer’d, and he  had refused, and which I should not have mentioned  if it had not been for the Reason I have given.
After this I saw M.r Moſeley your miſsionary, &  discourſed with him about it (but not as a Confident  or Councellor in any plot against you, but as I should  have discourſed with you yourselves, if I had been fa‐ ‐voured with the same opportunity) I told him I should  be glad to have the young man, if he left you, but  told him I had no disposition to undermine you, or  defeat you of his service, or to do any thing that could  be thought underhanded, or not fair, and above board;  and to this purpose M.r Moſeley said repeatedly in my house,  last week, before sufficient Witneſses, yt he had told you.   I 
I never saw M.r Dean, nor his Father yt I know of in my Life.  and I dont remember to have discoursed with any but those two  Gentlemen on the affair. where then you got that Knowledge of my  doings in this Matter, I cant conceive. I think it must be from  some body who had no Knowledge of it himſelf.  I could no doubt have taken him out of your hands, by  speaking the word, at any Time after you sent him into your  service, ‘till that very day on which that fact viz. that I  had been attempting to get him out of your hands, came  to your Knowledge; and nothing ever prevented my doing  it, but ye consideration yt it would disoblige you. —
As to my not drawing with you in this Affair, the  Complaint is now, having never heard it ‘till I was  last at Boston, from M.r Oliver, not as his own, but as  what he had from others — And am now so far from  being conscious of the Justice of the Charge, that I really  believe it may be found on search, to lie on ye other side.  But it would be with the greateſt reluctance, If I should  ever be constrained to [illegible][guess: make] up what has been said and  done on your side, which I could understand [illegible][guess: in a]  other light, and which have been concealed on purpose  that no difference might appear between us. And I do  aſsure you, sirs, I have the greatest Reluctance to  a controverſie with you, Gentlemen, whom I love, &  honour, and especially, as there are some of your number,  particularly M.r Oliver, & M.r Cushing, of whom I never  think, but with the kindest sentiments of gratitude  for the past expreſsions of their friendship towards the  Important Cause I have been pursuing. And I believe  I shall ever be disposed to acknolwedge the same, in  the fulleſt and strongest Terms, whatever prejudices,  or ill opinions they may conceive of me.
I am so far from being fond of controversie,  that notwithstanding the reports of great Injury  done me, and the Cause, by your letter, I had  determined not to trouble my head about it, but  leave the Issue & consequence of it with the great   Governor 
Governor of the Universe; nor ^ſhould^ I have taken pains to hear  the letter, had not M.r Oliver, by his letter of July 6,  without any motion of mine, kindly Envited me to  hear it, that I might be convinced there was nothing  contained in it unfavourable, either to Characters, or  M.r Whitakers design. And I dont determine to this  Day, but that, Friends and Enemies at home, and  particularly the venerable Society to whom it  was wrote, have all mistaken the true Import,  Aim, design, and Tendency of that Letter, and  if so, I should be glad for your sakes that it might  appear. as I am sincerely   Much Hond ſirs, 
Your real Friend, and   very humble Servant  Eleazar Wheelock    Copy 
Letter to London Comm̅iſsrs  in Boston Oct.r 7.th 1767. 
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