David Avery, letter, to David McClure, 1768 August 14


abstractAvery writes a collegial letter, over a few days and in segments, about the people and conditions at his mission. He notes that he will travel to Canajoharie to recruit an interpreter, and then writes from there as well.

handwritingInformal handwriting is largely clear and legible; it is occasionally difficult to decipher punctuation.

paperMedium-sized single sheet is in fair condition, with moderate staining, creasing and wear. Large portions of the wax seal remain.


noteworthyThe authorship of this letter has been determined by 1) the trailer on one verso, and 2) the fact that the handwriting does appear to be Avery's. The letter's date is taken from the trailer on one verso; it is written over the course of at least three days. The undated segments beginning "Monday Morning" and "wrote to you either..." appear to have been written previous to the section dated August 17, and likely from Kanawalohale. It is uncertain to whom Avery refers when he mentions "the Queen," however, she is possibly Molly Brant, William Johnson's consort."The Peregrina" or “pilgrim" is likely a reference to Avery himself. It is uncertain whether “little Jonne Williams’s Brother" refers to a little Jonne, William’s brother, or the brother of little Jonne Williams, and so these names have been left untagged. The identity of “Johnson" is uncertain, and so he has been left untagged; however, he is possibly Joseph Johnson or Jacob Johnson. The identity of Mr. M– is uncertain and so he has been left untagged.

signatureIt is uncertain whether the signature "G.H.S." is a nickname between two former classmates, an abbreviation for a saying, or something else entirely.

layoutThe letter is written in segments, in several different orientations on the page.

leg-go-ro-hoh-quon-ye-Suckeweſat‐  yo-yonnereh..T^h^e Indians bear y.o avery  tender regard— ho [illegible][guess: !] yonnereh, quógh!  y.a are very kind to me— conſtantly bringing  one thing & another—Father Isaac is a  Father indeed— little Jonne W[gap: tear][guess: [illi]am's Bro  ther often brings preſents— it w.d have  made you laught to see ye little shaver  y.s come w.h a small baſket of Cucumbers  indian like slung on his head— another  little boy of ye school about 4 years old  made a prest: laſt saturday of three very  small shuiners! The Queen is going to  see her Son at N England= [illegible][guess: Tuebhuns]—& hope  to hear from at her return—adieu! adieu!   Yours ut supra   [illegible][guess: G.] H. S. 
Canajohare Aug.t 17….  Came here today very much fatieauged.—  the Diſaffection & Inſenſibity of ye dutch  [illegible]are enough to provoke ye righteous diſpleaſure  of a good man— Give more Love to Friſbie  for his Letter y.n can be expreſt by my old blunderg. Quil—  Suppoſed Ripley non datur or should have wrote him  by Mr Kinne..— wiſh you all a happy Commencement—  remember an abſent friend ^to^ C… Brethren…yo will all write  me either by ye Miſsionary or ye Queen..fiat! fiat!…. 
Canajohare Augt 18.  The Indians of y.s Caſtle  are laden with Iniquity—  drunken & drinkg. con‐  ‐ſtantly— laſt Evening  two drinken Sober  Gentlemen of ye D–l  came to make me a  Viſit! however, they  could not git right of me.   pray for me— —  my hand trembles so  thro weakneſs am not  able to mend theſe Tera  ‐bles — Thanks to  Meſsrs Allis, Dudley  & Johnson for y.r Letters—.  ye doctor's cauſed me a  good hearty Laugh! Dud‐  ley wrote on ye Lady of  Friendſhip!— —  hope to procure some  more curioſities for  Mr M. write about y.[illegible][guess: m]  if y.o see ye D.rs yo will see w.t  a hurleburley ye Peregrina is in. 
wrote you either laſt night or y.s Morg. be‐  twixt one & four — not being able to sleep—  as Sleep is wont to depart from my Eyes—  am going to Canajohare to git Joannes  if poſsible for Interpreter—   
M.r D. Avery—  Aug.t 14. 1768   
To—   Mr David McClure   Lebanon   Connecticut  By ye Queen}    among thy    ^[bottom]Nonsense^  ^[bottom]Nonvo Portu–^  ^[bottom]Coppecticut–sm^  ^[bottom]Novanglia^