Joseph Johnson, letter, to Andrew Oliver, 1773 October 10



abstractJohnson writes to Oliver about his service among the , and requests funds to pay off his debts.

handwritingHandwriting is small, but mostly formal and clear.

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

inkDark-brown ink is faded, heavily in spots.

noteworthyAn editor, likely 19th-century, has added the note "Jos. Johnſon's letter to Commiſsrs Oct. 10. 1773. ." to two verso. This note has not been included in the transcription.

To the Honorable Eſqr. 
With a due sense of my great unworthineſs, I att ‐empt to write to your Worthy Perſon at this time;  Hond Sir, this afternoon I came down here to this  Town to get my watch which I left here ſome  time paſt to be repaired being conſiderable da‐ ‐maged. and finding an Opportunity to Send to  your Honour, I with much thankfullneſs do  Embrace it. I would enform your Honor that  the School which is under my Care at preſent is  in good Circumſtances. the Children are well;  and learnAre very tractable; or they learn very faſt,  Conſidering chief of them are young, 5, 7, 10, 13 [illegible]  years of Age. &c: alſo I would enform your Honor,  that the School has been kept very Steady, and I  have endeavoured to be faithfull to all with whom  I have to do. both Parent, & Child. alſo the Parents  have Sent very Steady, and highly Eſteem the great  Previledge which Kind Providence is at preſent  favouring them with. and we all humbly hope  that our Previledge will be graciously Continued to  us poor Unworthy, Ignorant, and Deſpiſed Indians.  we hope that Your Honour, has Remembered us, a‐ ‐midſt your Croud of important Buſineſs. alſo we  hope that the   has Conſidered our humble Petition, and we hope still  that an Anſwer of Joy will be ſent us in due time.  Hond Sir. We are the Same as ever we was. Objects  of Pity. the Indians are very deſireous to learn. 
[gap: worn_edge][guess: b]ut not to be too tedious, Suffer me to Conclude this  my Indian Epiſtle with ahumble Petition to your  Honour. Worthy Sir. be pleaſed to Conſider of me;  I have kept this School 6 Months already, and I have  made out to live hitherto, but I have been obliged to  borrow a little; altho it is not Cuſtomary to lend to  an Indian in theſe Parts, but I have behaved my ‐ſelf as well as I could and People think, that I am  no [illegible][guess: r]eſt, and have ventured to help me little. but  H[illegible]ond Sir, I dare not aſk there favours any more;  but I am obliged to Seek your Honors favour.  Hond Sir, I confeſs I am Poor Indian, a fatherleſs,  and Motherleſs, and almoſt friendleſs Lad. Yet  I want to live and I want to live honeſtly. if it  is not my Calling to teach my Poor Ignorant  Brethren the Indians whom I love, & Pity. I [illegible][guess: will]  not Croud myſelf into the buſsineſs. but if it be  my Calling, and Duty, I muſt beg to live by  it, or have Suitable help and Encouragement —  from Some where. all I want is things Conveni‐ ‐ent. that I may give myſelf to the Service Chea ‐rfully. and Hond Sir, as I Said Juſt now that I  have made out to live hitherto, So now I say that  unleſs your Honor is pleaſed to Pity me, and help  me I can not live any longer in this Buſsineſs  but I must break off, and go into Some other Call‐ ‐ing in order to clear my Self of little Debt, which  I have neceſsarily contracted the Seaſon paſt.  I have no pleaſure in being trusted, neither is it  honourable. So Hond Sir. my humble and Earneſt  Deſire is that your Honour would be pleaſed to Send 
me half years Pay if poſsible, or if it has pleaſed the  Gentlemen to allow me any thing for Encourage‐ ment, to keep this School. Hond Sir, without doubt  that the Revd my Kind, & faithfull Overſeer  would write in my favour if he had Opportunity. I  was at his Houſe last Thursday Evening, and Enquired  of him whether he had recieved any News from your  Honour Concerning our Petition, or Concerning this  School he told me that he had not heard^recieved^ one word  ^from your honour^ Concerning us Indians. I acquainted him of my  Circumſtances at preſent, and he Said he would Join  and write in my favour again if there was any going  from hence to . I enquired little but heard of  no one, that was going to . So kind Sir I  hope that you will no[gap: hole][guess: t] be angry with me in Under ‐takeing to write to you of myſelf. without I know  that I am an Indian. but having an Opportunity, I  thought it my Duty, to aſk for the thing that I  do really Stand in great need of. be pleaſed to Send  the Money for which I Earneſtly Request, by the  Poſt. with whom I ſend these few lines. but  if there is nothing allowd for my Encouragement be  so kind, an[illegible]d Condeſcending as to let me know it by  Poſt next Saturday as I purpoſe to meet him here —  again on that Day if I am well. I am Sorry that I  have troubled you So often with my Requests, but I  hope that hereafter I Shall know what to depend upon  forgive me for what ever I have at any time wrote  un becoming to your Honour, and charge it to my  Ignorance. So I muſt End wiſhing you, and yours  Proſperity in this Life, and perfect felicity in the Man‐ ‐sions of Bliſs hereafter. 
I am your humble Petitioner   the In[illegible][guess: dn]
To [illegible][gap: stain] [guess: Esqr]