Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to the Trust in England, 1767 October 8

ms-number767558.1

abstractWheelock copies an extract from his son Ralph’s journal describing a trip to Oneida Country, and relates the progress of the mission work there.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small, crowded and frequently difficult to decipher. There are several deletions and additions, as well as uncrossed t’s and undotted i’s. Letter case frequently difficult to decipher

paperLarge sheet folded into four pages is in fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear. There is evidence of old repair work on the central crease.

noteworthyPersons whose identites are uncertain have been left untagged. This document is likely a draft.

layoutAddendum in left margin of one recto spills over onto two verso, indicating that the addendum was written with the paper laid flat, after the text on two verso was written.

  To the R.t Honle the Earl of Dartmouth  and [illegible][illegible] Honle & worthy Gentlemen who have  accepted the Truſt of the [illegible][guess: Fund] for the Indian charity-  school &c  Dear M.r Keen.  My Noble Honle & worthy Sirs 
In mine to YouMr ^Keen^ & M.r Whitaker of 2d & 3.d ult.o ^which I truſt y.o ha' ſeen^ I informd   You y.t I had Sent my Son into the Wilderneſs. he returnd from  his long & fatiguing Tour 25th ulto the Copy of Sir William Johnſon's  Letter [illegible]encloſed Sufficiently expreſses the Tenor of his Diſcourſe with my  Son — on which My Son thought proper not to attempt to collect  y.e Schools, or ingage Miſsionaries 'till ſir John Johnſon's Return, or  till we could hear further hear of the Affair of Miſsionaries from Home.  The following is an Abſtract of my Son's Journal from thence to Onoida   viz;; Sept.r 9th reachd Thompſon's y.e leſt Engliſh Inhabitant on this Side  M.r Kirtlands.  10.th Thurſday — here find Indians Settling the Bounds of Lands ^as I was inform'd ^ which ,  ſir William ^had^ bought of them for ſir Henry Moore, & other Gentlemen  in N. York — many of them were Drunk, but on hearing my Name  they treated me with diſtinguiſhing ma[illegible]rks of Reſpect. — I hired an  Indian Ladd to conduct me 36. miles thro' the Woods to M.r Kirtlands  — a very wet Day and no ^House for^ refreſhment — reach M.r Kirtlands abo.t 6 o'Clock  in y.e Evening — was agreably Surprized to find his Situation amidſt Such a Number  of Hutts, and to See y.e Active Appearance of So many Souls — and though ^Wett &^ much  tired, could Scarce find Time to Shift my Cloths, or take Refreſhment, the Sound of  my Arival being Soon Spread thro' the Whole Caſtle. The Grey headed, middle  aged youth & Children flockd in Swarms to wellcome me their Father, the  fleſh of their GrandGreat Father (for ſo they termd it). And give me Gods Bleſsing  and pray for one to be given ^them^ by me, (for Such were the Terms they used) I was  complemented with friendly Salutations of all kinds, and Such as appeard hearty. —  this throng held 'till 9 O'Clock when M.r Kirtland told them I was weary & wanted  Reſt — that they muſt come tomorrow morning for God's News &c —   I found M.r Kirtland in high Spirits, full of Zeal, his whole Heart & Soul engaged  in his work — He has made proviſion for a comfortable Subſiſtance thro' the  winter, for which he is none in Debt. his Proſpects of Succeſs Among them  are great & increaſing — many added to his Congregation — there are now  upwards of 80 families — there were five new Hutts then in building — & M.r  Kirtland told me he expected 1210. or 1512. more this fall —  11th friday — I was rouſed from my Blankett this morning by the Indians who  wanted to know whether I was Sick or Well — and impatient to See me by the  Day light — after Brakefaſt I walked with M.r Kirtland thro' the Town, we calld   at every House that we might not give offence, and had all the Reſpect ſhewn  me in their Power.— M.r Kirtland had heard of my being on the Road  and leſt I Should not extend my Journey further than the Mohocks, had Sent  3 of their Boys & one Girl forward the Day before to meet me at Buttlers‐ ‐burrough. (one of these Boys was y.e Son of Gawke their Cheif who died the Spring  before laſt, & when he was dying left charge with his Queen to Send her Children  to be inſtructed at this School as Soon as they were old Enough) — the Queen  his mother Sat out with them under the Care of David Fowler (whom my father had  Sent for to take care of his Aged & Suffering Parents & teach a School at Muntauck)  at fort Stanwix they loſt one of their Horſes —#on which the Queen & two of the Boys^her Son with y.e Girl went forward with David^  returned ^her Son with the Girl went forward with David. She came direct ſhe hearing that I^ And Seem vaſtly pleaſed to ſee me. I aſked the Children if they would go  ^[left][illegible] [illegible] & come with y.e Boys direct to M.r Kirtlands with y.e Boys, tho' they were fatigued & [illegible][guess: wet to y.e ] Skin^  [illegible] Seemd vaſtly pleaſd[illegible][guess: to] ſee me I aſkd the Children [illegible][guess: if] they  [illegible][guess: wo.d] 
[left]#on which the Queen and two of the ye Boys returned her Son & the Girl went  forward with David. before the Queen came to town ſhe heard that I  was come, and tho' wetto the Skin & fatigued with her travil, She came  direct to M.r Kirtlands with the Boys, to ſee me  and Seemd vaſtly pleaſd y.t y.[illegible][guess: a] were come. I aſked  the Boys if they would go with me tomorro   morning
   
with me tomorrow morning, they conſented to it with the greateſt Chirfulneſs  & Seeming eagerneſs to be on y.e way —  12. Saturday —. this morning hired a Boy to carry a letter after David to Stop him at  y.e Mohock Caſtle ^till I & y.e other Boys Shod come up with them^— And another to [illegible][guess: looke ] the Horſe that was loſt — And another to carry  a Belt of Wampum to the Indian ^Cheif ^ at Old Onoida (where they have never had an Engliſh  Miſsionary or School Maſter) deſiring Him to come & hear my Meſsage — the 1.st & 2d   of these Boys effected their Deſign — the 3d returned with a[illegible][guess: ye ] Belt [illegible][guess: Same] Belt of friendſhip  with this meſsage y.t he was then labouring under a fit of y.e Feaver & ague but wod   wait on me the next Day at 12 o'Clock. — I have not yet Spoke with  Jacob who went Home on a viſit laſt Spring, by my Fathers leave, but  through the Influence of his bad Aunts, has much out Stayed his Time — I  have Seen him Several Times but have treated him and his Family with  Slight — Spent the Day with M.r Kirtland in Settling the Affair of his  School — they ingaged to Send 28 Children at leaſt — many of whom have  made laudible Proficiency already under David Fowler.— at Evening I  attended their Singing Meeting and was Surprized at the Profeciency they  have made at which they Sang Several Sacred Hymns in their own Language  which M.r Kirtland has made & Set to muſick — and [illegible] ^as ſoon as^ he can have leiſure for it  he deſigns to tranſlate a Number of Pſalms & Sacred Hymns into Indian  metre (in addition to a few they already have, which was done many years  ago) and prepare them for the Preſs — I found that I could eaſily have bro.t away  — with me 9. 10ths of the Children of that Caſtle if I would.—  13.th. Lords Day — at 10 o'Clock y.e Horn Sounded for meeting — on which I could  not refrain from weeping at the Sight of Such a Swarm of Tawney immortels in  their beggarly Habit flocking with ſuch appearance of Zeal and eagerneſs to  their Long House for divine worſhip — a more Solomn Aſsembly I ſcarſely  ever Saw in my Life — M.r Kirtland tho' I could not underſtand him, appeard   to act the Indian Orator to perfection — the Aſsembly heard with great  Attention — the Queen Sat near me both parts of ye Day, and wept at hearing  the word — all parts of y.e worſhip were performd with Great Decency—   This morning a Cherockee Indian, who was [illegible]Sever.l years ago taken captive by  the Onoidas, and adopted into one of their families to Supply the Place of  one y.t was killd in ye War, came ^from [illegible][guess: uriſkne]^ to Viſit me, and appeard indeed  like a babe in Chriſt, M.r Kirtland Hopes he is really converted, he had  been Seeking a birth for himſelf, wife, & one Child, in this Town that  they might Enjoy M.r Kirtlands Miniſtry.   In the Intermiſsion, on my return from Meeting I met the Cheif of old Onoida  ^according to his appointment^ accompanied [illegible]by one of his Council— he Saluted me kindly.  thanked me for Coming and hoped it would be for good to them —  I delivered him the Belt with my Speech, by the Same Title of Bretheren   which My Father had used in his Letter to them — and as it was the  3 d Time ^my Father had Sent to them^ (which acordg to indian Cuſtom is y.e Laſt) I was full plain &  severe with them — I told them my Father had Sent once More, an offer  of the Gospel to them, and it was the laſt Time they were to expect it from  Him, And if they would not accept it, his hands were clear of their Blood,  they muſt take the Conſequences & go to Hell in their own way.—  I immediately roſe up & went out as tho' I had done with them — They diſcourſd  togather about a quarter of an Hour, and after I was returned to ye Room they  Spake to me — thanked me for coming — hoped the Hearts of their Tribe wod come  togather — were very Sorry they had behaved So bad y.t I co.d not call them  Children — Said they had conſiderd my ſpeech — that they Should for themſelves  be glad if their Indians would accept the offer. they could Speak only for ymſelves  and promiſed to Send his Grandſon which was ye only one he could command —  Said they would call the [illegible]Tribe togather the Next Day to hear my Meſsage —  they thankd my Father that he had Sent to them twice before — & was very Sorry  they had behaved So Ill that their Great father could not give them the Title  of Children — I told them if they behaved well accepted of my Fathers Offer  — treated mr. Kirtland well — Sent y.r Children to School — & behaved well till   
Next Spring they Should have the Title of Children.  About 9 o'Clock this Evening on of the Council came in to aſk forgiveneſs for  Jacobs Aunts for keeping him at Home — and to plead for him that he mig.t   return to School — they were afraid to come — I told him I had nothing to do  in that Matter but with them — they were able to come and Speak for ym[illegible][guess: ſls]  — And when they were Sorry enough they wod do it — and So Sent him  off —  ^[left]14^ Monday — This morning gave orders ^advice^ to the Council of many things, viz  to remove their School House to a Dry Place — to be kind to their Father  — to keep their Promiſe with Regard to drink — to Send their Children to  School — attend the worſhip of God — &c &c all which they Promiſed  to mind — they bro.t 6 of their Boys to Me wh[illegible][illegible][guess: om] I underſtood to be of  the cheif famities in the place and urged me to take them — offerd to  give them to me — two of ye Boys cryed to comego with me, whom I paci‐ ‐fied with bitts of Silver—   Jacobs two Aunts came and in a humble manner, and one of them with  Tears aſked forgivneſs for detaining Jacob. they confeſsd their Ingratitude  — prayd me to take him & do as I pleaſed with him — I appeard careleſs About  his coming told them I did not want him I could get boys enough. If he  had a mind to turn Indian again he might &c — finally conſented he ſhould  come & accordingly bro.t him with me.   abo.t 2 oClock took my leave of this Caſtle — and an Affecting parting it  was — Sat off with Rev.d M.r Kirtland, Jacob and my two little Boys —  reachd Old Onoida a little before Night— the Town, what of them were at  Home had been togather and had agreed to Supply a School with 14. Children  which they can command beſides the Children of those that were abroad.— two  famities yet remain as inveterate [illegible][guess: haters] of M.r Kirtland and his meaſures as ever.  this is a Surpizing change Since laſt Spring when there were but two or three of  their Hutts y.t M.r Kirtland tho't it Safe ^for him^ to go into. — they deſired me as my  Father's Repreſentative to order M.r Kirtland to preach to them half the time   I told them they been So ungrateful, and behaved them Selves So baſely while their  Bretheren at Kanwarohare had received the Gospel, left of their old vices and behaved  So well, that they muſt now be content with M.r Kirtland every 3.d Sabath.—  they thanked me for that and promiſed they wod attend upon his preaching.  they promiſed to [illegible][guess: Send]keep their children [illegible][guess: to]at School, and I promiſed to Send  them a maſter in two months — The Enemies to this work on Every headſide  are very Numerous, their Friends very few, and their Temptations, and  the opposition to it every way greater than can be eaſily conceived.   I Sent a Meſsage to the Onondages, and diſired M.r Kirtland to accom‐ ‐pany it with a Belt, in my Fathers Name, that I was there on Such an Errand  and expected to come into those parts again Next Spring, and if they Deſired it ^I would make y.m a viſit & give them ye [illegible][guess: offer]^  they might [illegible]^[illegible]^to have ^a^ Miſsionary[illegible] & School Maſter Sent Among them.—  the old School The Mohocks [illegible]I underſtood by diſcourſing with individuals were  willing have a Miſsiony & School Maſter ſent among them, but as Sir  William was Expecting Supplies from Europe I tho't beſt to do nothing  in [illegible] with [illegible]them for [illegible]the preſent. —   I invited the Queen ^before mentioned^ to make a viſit here next Spring — & ſee for herſelf &  deſired M.r Kirtland to chuſe a meet perſon to accompany her. She was pleaſd  with the proposal. M.r Kirtland Eſteems her a virtuous woman, and hopes ſhe is  become a real Chriſtian. She is much Reſpected and her influence is great among  the Nations." thus far my Sons Acco.t   By the accot of my Son's and by ^ye Copy of^ M.r Kirtlands Letter of a few Days earlier  Date which I encloſe, you ſee, Much-Hond Sirs, how gloriouſly the Proſpect  open   
opens in that Quarter and of what importance it is to lay  cloſe Seige to that part. that dear man of God M.r Kirtland, and  the School Maſters in those Towns muſt be Supported, so that they  may devote themſelves wholly to their work let the coſt be  what it will, and it muſt neceſsarily be great, and if it be £300  Sterling a year (and I don't expect it can be Done for much leſs till  he can raiſe his Proviſions there) there is no cauſe of grudging ^to regrett it^  Since he is doing more for Chriſt than perhaps Some Scores of Clergy  men who live at Eaſe, and have their £100 Sterlg per An. —  I am now Sending M.r Phin.s Dodge a pious young man, & Joseph  Johnſon ^a mohegan Indian^ who was an usher in that School Laſt Year, and  who has in a good Meaſure made himſelf maſter of that Language  to keep the School at Old Onoida ^according to my ſons appointment^— I have also adviſed  M.r Kirtland to hire a faithful Labourer to get their Wood, take  care of their Horſes, fetch their Proviſions &c&c that their Time  might not be half, or more conſumd in Such Service—   But I have not heardhad a word from a Line from London ſince yours of  March 23.d I have Sent many but know not whether they or my accots   have ^ever^ [illegible]arived you — I know not what acceptance My laſt Meaſures have  found with you— but have this to comfort me under the moſt gloomy  Imaginations that I have honeſtly^earneſtly^ deſired & honſtly Endeavoured to  Serve the cauſe Redeemers cauſe to the Utmoſt of my Power. and am  not only approved by my own Conſcience but I have the Univerſal Approbatn   of all ^the [illegible][guess: wiſe] and Good^ who are acquainted with my Conduct Plans & the meaſures  I have taken in Exerting them.   I encloſe a Power of Attorney and Hope it will be acceptable to You.  and if You Repent Your Generoſity & Condeſention in accepting the Truſt, on  acco.t of any Real or Supposed Imprudence or Miſconduct on my part, I  determine, much Hond Sirs, when I meet You togather in Yonder World  of Glory to open to you all the trying Scenes which [illegible] have paſsd ^over^ me, in  this So Difficult & ^so^ arduous ^an^ undertaking, and tho' I Shall be aſhamed that  I have done no more nor better than I have ^for the Glorious Immanuel^ done yet I know you will not be  weary to hear how often the Lord has helped, & how ^much^ he has forgiven.  him who is with higheſt Eſteem, and all filial Duty. may it please y.r Lordſ[illegible][guess: ps]   
Your Obliged and  Moſt Obedient and  moſt Humble Serv.t   Eleazar Wheelock 
To the Trustees in England  Oct.r 8..th 1767   
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