Eleazar Wheelock, letter to Johnson, McClure, Avery, Mather, Frisbie, 1767 December 11


abstractWheelock writes to his former students, now at Yale College, urging them to study Indian languages to prepare themselves for missionary work.

handwritingHandwriting is neat and legible, with very few deletions and additions. Letter case is frequently difficult to decipher. The trailer is in an unknown hand.

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


noteworthyIn what appears to be an unknown hand, the word “Romulous” has been written on the lower right hand corner of two recto.

To Meſsrs Johnson, M.cCluer, Avery,  Mather, & Friſbie.  My dear Children 
You have repeatedly gratified me with your Letters,  Some of which are So genteel, and polite that I am not aſhamed to expose  them, as the performances of Boys of Your Standings; and by all I am  refreſhed with the accots of your Health, & wellfare. I have ſo good accots  of your Satiſfaction, good Behaviour, Advantages, and Proficiency in  your Buſineſs that I covet to give you as large an Opportunity at College  as can conſiſt with my Truſt, and your being imployed moſt directly in  Subſerviency to the great Deſign in view. But I very much regrett your  neglect to learn the indian Language, than which no Branch of Learning,  excepting chriſt and him crucified, is more neceſsary for you.
Ripley & Hebard have begun to make them an indian Grammer & Nomenclat[illegible][guess: ure]  under Peter's Dictates. They are well ingaged in their Studies, and make laudible  Proficiency therein. I am glad to hear that Friſbie has So intitled himſelf  to the Eſteem of his Tutor, as to be by him invited to make Trial for the  Dean's Donation; yet as those Studies will be far leſs useful to him than ſome  others; and will prevent his accompliſhing himſelf in other Branches of  Literature which will be neceſsary for him, I dont think it will be adviſeable  to comply with the proposal. Phyloſophy, Hyſtory, Oratory, the art  of Reaſoning, moral Phyloſophy &c will be much more useful.
If you go into Schools in the wilderneſs in the Spring it will be of great  Advantage to have Some previous Acquaintance with the Indian Language  at leaſt So much as to converſe with them about common Affairs.  I have laid a Plan for comfortable Studies for you; & Deacon Woodward is  now proſecuting the Same. I hope he will accomodate you, ſo at leaſt, as  to be a proper medium between your preſent Situation, and the indian  Country, So that you may not have the mortification to paſs from the one  Extream to the other without any Gradation.
Letters from Home of late andre very friendly & incouraging. General  Lyman, I underſtand is Suing hard to have this School fix'd within the  grant which (as I ſupose you have heard) he has obtained on the Ohio.  I have Sent you a few Narratives printed in London. preſent the Revd  Preſident & each of the Tutors with one, and one to M.r Bird & another  to M.r Whitleſey, preſent my Reſpects to each of those Gentlemen, and  let your Tutors know my mind reſpecting your Studies.
I have lately had a Letter from M.r Brainerd, in which he informs  that no Intelligence can be had in that Quarter reſpecting the Horſe that  was Stole from Johnſon.
M.r Wales proves a very agreable Maſter; and our State is as comfortable  as ever you knew it to be. My people appear ſurprizingly kind & Affectiona^[illegible][guess: te]^   towards 
towards me.
It is a Time of Health, & univerſal Love & Peace among us. I bear you all  upon my Heart every Day. am often refreſhing my mind amidſt my Fatigue  with the hopes that God graciouſly deſigns much Glory to his great Name, &  good to men by each of you, in due Time. and I am, my dear Children   
yours moſt affectionately  Eleazar Wheelock 
P.S. I am glad to hear that the freſhmen, are not plaged & worried of  late with that, worſe than hoggiſh, kind of Diſcipline, from their Superiors,  as I think you call them. If there Should be a revival of it, & you  Should find it diſtempers your minds, & interrupts your Peace & commu-  -nion with God, I would have you aſk a Diſmiſsion from College, & come  home. but watch and guard that you be not found blameworthy in  your Carriage towards any. 
Rev. Dr Wheelock  Dec.r 11, 1767 
To — —  Meſsrs David Avery & David M.cCluer.  Students  at Yale College  New Haven    ^[right]Romulous[illegible]^