David McClure, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1767 December 17


abstractMcClure writes of his progress at Yale, and his desire to go on a mission and serve the design.

handwritingHandwriting is small yet formal and clear. McClure occasionally includes a flourish or mark next to an uppercase R and, in one case, an uppercase I.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in fair condition, with moderate-to-heavy creasing, staining and wear that leads to a minor loss of text.

inkBrown-black ink is slightly faded.

  Reverend & Honoured Sir/ 
We received the Doctor's kind Epestle yes‐ terday, with the greatest Joy & Gratitude; & would return  most unfiegn'd Thanks for the ſincearest Expreſsions of uſu‐ ‐al parental unmerited Love. Agreable to the Doctor's  Direction I presented Reſpects to Meſsrs Bird & [illegible][guess: Whitleſy]  with the Narratives they return Reſpects to the Doctor.  likewise one to Mr Mitchel our Tutor & desir'd him to  peruse the Letter to us as the Doctor mentioned, that  he might understand more thoro'ly the Disign in which  we are embarked. I was some time with him; he enquired  concerning the School and the Doctor's propos'd method  for our Learning & the like; I endeavoured to inform  him in ſhort according to my best Understanding of the Affair.   He expreſsed a very great Deſire for the Continuence &   Proſperity of the School, was much rejoic'd to hear of  ſuch ſurpriſing Succeſs from home, ſhould be very  ^ſorrey^ he said, if the School should be within Gen.l Lyman's  Government on the Ohio; but for what particular Reaſon  I did not ask him — M.r Baldwin hapned to be pre‐ sent in our Room when the Doctor's Letter arriv'd, he  accepted the Narrative very thankfully & returns his Re‐ ſpects to the Doctor.
I am very glad to understand the Doctor  is so well ſatiſfied with our Behaviour & Proficiancy in 
 Learning here; I hope I shall always so conduct at College  as to merit the Doctor's Approbation & honour the Design with  which I have the Happyneſs to be so intimately connected.  With Regard to my daily employ tis as much as I poſeably  can go thro with. We still continue three Recitations a day.  at present we recite cheifly the Languages & Philoſophy the  latter is both very pleaſing & profitable; which the Doctor  recommends; I hope to keep my ſtanding & make my way  good in claſsical Studies — Some of our Studies I appre‐ hend not to be so uſeful to us, as Mathematics & the like  which I in a great meaſure omit; which for us who are employ'd  in the Indian Design, I imagine to be of little or no Service.  — A Knowledge of the Indian Language is of vastly great‐ ‐er Importance, & which I am sensible must be attaind, else  every thing will in a manner be discouraging — M.r Johnſon's  ^& I ^ Converſe[illegible][guess: ations are in] rarely in any other Language; I hope [gap: tear][guess: not]  to loose what little I have already attain'd. It much rejoices  my Heart to hear of such unexpected Encouragments from Home.  that God has put into the Hearts of the great & Wiſe ſuch a  benevolent Principle towards the Design. O may the great  End in View be obtain'd, when the Heathen shall hear of a  crucified Redeemer & put their Confidence only in his meri‐ ‐torious Blood. I long to be fitted & prepair'd for this great  & glorious Cause. But alaſs! my unprepairedneſs! how amaz‐ ‐ingly lukewarm am I in an Affair of such infinite Importance  to the Souls of Men! I desire to wait on God for every  thing neceſsary for me. his time is the best. I think I shou'd  be highly favoured & greatly happy in being the Instrument  of good to my fellow Men! I should be glad to understand if the  Doctor pleases whether he designs I shall take a Tour among [gap: stain][guess: the]  Indians in the Spring; my Heart & my Hands are ready if there 
be a Door [illegible]open among the Indians & it be the Doctor's Mind.  I am ſensible in ſome measure of my present distinguish'd  Priviledges for which I hope ever to retain the most feeling  Senſe of Gratitude. Thoſe Branches of Leterature the  Doctor recommended we are at present in perſuit of, and  particularly Oratory which at present flourishes & wears  a very agreable Aſpect — I fear I have already wearied  the Doctor's Patience by an unbecoming Prolixity; for  which I humbly ask forgivneſs, & gratefully ſubscribe my‐ ‐ſelf,
The Doctor's  Most dutiful, obedient &  affectionate Pupil,  David M,cCluer 
The Rev.d Doctor Wheelock 
From David M.cCluer  Dec.r 17.th 1767 
To The Reverend  Doctor Eleazar Wheelock  Lebanon  p.r favour}  M.r Leonard}