John Thornton, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1772 May 12


abstractThornton sends a copy of a letter from the Trustees in England to Occom (dated May 5, 1772), granting him 50 pounds, then 25 pounds a year to Christianize Indians. Thornton also exhorts Wheelock to be more charitable in his judgment towards Kirkland and Occom, both of whom he admires.

handwritingDocument is written in two different hands, both clear and legible.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is heavily silked, which results in a significant dimming of text.

inkThere are two different inks used on this document, a medium brown and a dark brown.

noteworthyOne recto and the first half of one verso is a copy of a letter from the Trustees to Occom. It appears that Thornton has also included a copy of a letter to Thornton from Occom, though this copy does not remain.

signatureThere are several signatures, including copies of the signatures of several members of the Trust in England.

layoutOne recto and verso are in portrait orientation (aside from a note written in landscape orientation); but two recto and verso are in landscape orientation.

  Revd Sir 
We have taken into Consideration your request for an annual  Stipend out of the monies intrusted with us for christianizing the Indians  & as we [gap: tear][guess: do] think it will be a means of enabling you to employ yourself still  more fully in that arduous work you are engaged in & we have had Experience  of your desire to promote the glory of God we very chearfully acquiesce  therein.
From the Account the Rev.d D.r Wheelock gives us & the Certificate  sent us from Norwich we trust we have no just ground to fear any abuse of  our Confidence & we expect you will not only attend duty to the five places  of Indians you now preach at but also continue to go to Long Island & get  even among the Onondagos if your health permits it.
It is on Account of the Expence you are put to by Indian Visitors  & the heavy charge of your family that we come to a resolution to allow you  Fifty Pounds immediately which you may give a Bill on the Treasurer  for, & you have our permiſsion further to draw every Six Months for Twenty  five Pounds if you hear nothing from us to the contrary.
Having now complied with your desire abundantly we hope it will  be a means of strengthening your heart & hands to go on chearfully preaching  the Gospel of Jesus Christ & adorning it in Life & Conversation.
You say you have as many Visitors as ever & as [illegible][guess: great]good an opportunity
to do good among the Indians, & that you think even more so, we  therefore rely on your improving these advantages which will be ever a  very great satisfaction to
Rev.d ſir  Your aſsured Fr[gap: tear][guess: ie]nds &c  Signed — Dartmouth  S.S. Smythe  John Thornton  Cha.s Hardy  Dan: West  Saml Savage  Rob.t Keene 
I inclose you the last Letter  I redd from Mr Occom as thereby  you may see his present skill  & manner of writing wch has  always been such as I can’t  but approve & what I now  send is the answer to it
  Dear & Revd ſir 
I send you herewith a Copy of the Letter from  the Trust to the Revd Mr Occom as also Copy of  what I wrote him therewith & I must freely tell  you I think you have bore hard on him through  the influence of that Mischief maker Dr Whitaker  & some others who I can not think so well of [illegible]As  I do of this poor Man; your Eyes are now opened  respecting dear Mr Kirkland who was Also traduced  ^[bottom]To The Rev.d M.r Samson Occom at Mohegan.^
may the Lord enable you to judge (in his measure) as kindly as of  Mr Kirkland of Mr Occom & let me pray you to put to my  account every offence of his, I will willingly bear it for him  he is deserving of your tender Compaſsion, he is worthy of  your utmost kindneſs & love, put yourself in his case but for  a minute & you can’t surely but see he has been severely tried  & yet he complained of no particular person that I have heard  of, but bore all with more resignation & patience then most  would have done, he was deceitfully used & manifestly misrepre  sented by Dr Whitaker, unassisted by all; (very near if not  quite) excepting myself; distreſsed in his Family; by disuse  while labouring for the publick ^rendered^ incapable of the Labour  his situation required — his poor situation rendered more  penurious by means of Indian Visitors; his eldest Son like yours  hurt by not being under proper controul with this difference  that he did not save appearances — & what is the worst of  all the Enemy was permitted to fall upon him & lead him into  the horrid [gap: tear] drunkenness & this twice & pray is it not a sa[gap: tear][guess: d]
thing to be made partaker of other Mens Sins — & I should be very  sorry to be in the Case of these sorry Whisperers & Backbiters, may  it be returned to them in this World that they perish not everlastingly  I am convinced Mr Occom never received a penny from the  Money collected in Scotland as those would make you believe  spurn such venomous Tongues from you & let your heart &  hand be with such as Mr Kirkland & Mr Occom who are  Israelites indeed in whom you’l find no guile & if they are  clouded for a Season they will rise bright at the last.  Nothing but the glorious cause we are engaged in, wou’d have  led me to add in any measure to your Grief, but I do hope  to know neither Father Son Wife nor any one where the  Lord my God is concerned, let not then my dear Sir your  Sons false Friends delude you as they have done, by misrepre  sentation; & be ready to believe good but not evil of any.  May every Covenant bleſsing attend you & yours is the sincere  & fervent prayer of
Dear ſir  Yours affectionately  Joh[gap: tear][guess: n Thor]nton  To the Revd Dr Wheelock