Thomas Huntington, journal, 1769 June



abstractHuntington details his visit to Mr. Kirtland’s school, recounting the success of the mission to the Oneidas, and the barriers to further missions.

handwritingThe document is written in Wheelock’s hand. It is small, informal and occasionally difficult to decipher. The signature appears to be in a different hand, possibly Huntington's. The postscript is also in an unknown hand.

paperLarge single sheet is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.

inkBrown ink appears to be somewhat watery and faded.

noteworthyIt is uncertain to which place Huntington refers when he mentions, on one recto, the lower Oneida Castle, and so it has been left untagged.

May 31. 1769.

Sat out ^with my Companions M.r Friſbie, John Matthews &c—^ on a Miſsion to Supply M.r Kirtland while he Should make a Viſit to New England, or (in caſe his Affairs Should not favour his making his Viſit at this Time) to go on a Miſsion to remoter Tribes if a Door Should be opened for it, (after joyning with the Doctor in Solomn Supplica‐tion to the Throne of Divine Grace, for Protection, and Succeſs in the important Undertaking,) we arived Safe to the Rev.d M.r Kirtlands at Kanawarohare on the 8th of June. and was not more rejoyced to See him than to See and hear the wonders which God had wrought among the poor Indians. Numbers of them came in to pay their Reſpects to us and to hear from their Father (the great Miniſter) and Seemd really to rejoyce and bleſs God for our Safe arrival. they appeared very fond of Religious Converſation — I was agreably Surprized at the unaffected Simplicity & love which Appeard in their Deportment towards, & Converſation with M.r Kirtland, who readily interpreted what they Said. Their Knowledge in the things of Religion is Surprizing, their lively Diſcourſe, pertinent Obſervations, and Breathings of piety were Such as Might provoak to Emmulation very eminent Chriſtians

Lords Day June 11.

the people pritty univerſally Attended the public worſhip, the word Seemd to be accompanied with Power; the Indians were very attentive, numbers in Tears. I think it was the moſt Solomn Aſsembly I ever Saw. My Expectations were much raiſed by what I had heard of the Work of God's Grace among them, but what I found among them much exceeded them all.
M.r Kirtlands Ch-h conſiſts at preſent of 22 Members in full Communion and a hopeful Proſpect of the Addition of many more. May it be increaſed with the Increaſe of God.
On my Arival here I was informed that a univerſal Jealouſy and uneaſieneſs towards the Engliſh had prevaled among [illegible] all the Indian Nations, Occaſioned probably by the Artifice & Inſinuations of the French near the Meſsacippi, or by the Incroachments of french Settlers near Detroit — a war Belt was Sent through the Nations which increaſed the ferment among them — Some of the Senecas this moſt powerful of the Six Nations, breathed out threatnings againſt the holy & praying people as they term the Onoidas, to break off their alliance with them, and even to cut them off if they would not renounce the Goſpel, In conſequence of, & intimidated by these Threats the peope of the lower Onoida Caſtle at Some miles Diſ‐‐tance from M.r Kirtlands laid a Plot to Seize him, & Send him to the Senecas, as a Merit to Appeaſe, & conciliate the Friendſhips of that powerfull Nation, but the plot was Seaſonably diſcovered and hapiely diſconcerted. The Indians now diſown and try to [illegible][guess: ſmuther] the fact and pretend greater Friendſhip for M.r Kirtland than ever
M.r Kirtland could not think it prudent to leave his people in Such a Situation long enough to accompliſh his viſit to New England. ^and^ I did as I was directed, Submitt the Expediency of my Miſsion to a remoter Tribe to M.r Kirtlands Determination, He conſulted his people on the Head, they were of Opinion that as the Temper of the Nations then were it was not prudent, and that my Life would not be Safe. and accordingly after delivering the Doctors Meſsage to them, and receiv‐ing their Anſwer, I took my leave of them. ^21 June^ and left M.r Friſbie in the School & John Matthews aſiſting M.r Kirtland as a Labourer, and both ingaged in learning the Indian Tongue.
[illegible]NB. ^Mr Huntington^ was accompanied by Mr Friſbe in ye capacity of a Ca‐tachiſt & to keep Mr Kirtlands School & to learn that Lang^uage^ ^and Jn.o Matthews^ a mnaraganset Indian to keep a School among ye Tuſkaroras or Onondagas as Mr Kirtland should direct, and Alias a Mohawk deſigned for his Inter preter —
Mr Tho.s Huntington's Journal June 1769