Joseph Johnson, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1775 February 14


abstractJohnson asks Wheelock to recommend him to John Rodgers so that the latter can petition for donations on Johnson’s behalf.

handwritingHandwriting is somewhat scratchy, though largely clear and legible. Letter case is occasionally difficult to decipher.

paperLarge single sheet is in fair conditon, with moderate-to-heavy creasing, staining and wear. There is no loss of text, though the condition of the paper occasionally renders it difficult to distinguish between punctuation and spotting.


noteworthySome of the contents of this letter are similar to those in manuscript 775165. The trailer is written in Wheelock's hand, as are some random notes in the right-hand margin of one verso.

  My kind and worthy Benefactor 
with humility, Love and  Gratitude I sit my ſelf down to write few lines to you my  Hondd Patron. (and with much hast. —) I recieved your kind  Letter, dated January 23,d last evening by the hand of M.r  R. Pomery. for which I give you my hearty thanks, I had  thought that your worthy Perſon had not deſigned to write to me.  or that you had heard ſomething, and did not ſee it in your  way to help me. and I was greatly dejected, and almoſt diſ­ ­couraged. but the Lord in whom I trust, whom I fear, Love,  and purpoſe to Serve all my days, hath been pleaſed to mani­ ­feſt his approbation, (towards the Noble Undertaking, in  which cauſe, I have given up my all, to bring ^it^ about,) in his  provoiding for my relief in a wonderfull manner, even when  I was in the greatest straits and almoſt in Deſpair. — and  Bleſsed be the Name of the God of Iſrael, who hath never  been found Unfaithfull, or unkind. who will provide for  thoſe that doth really depend upon his Divine Beneficence.  Revd, & kind Sir; I have been to New York, and the Lord  hath raiſed up, for me good Christian friends. — I was  in the City 15, Days. and I preached there three diffi­ ­rent DTimes. and a Collection was propoſed for my relief  and Encouragement two Diffirent times. and there was a  very honorable Collection made, worthy of the Generous, and  Noble Spirit, of the Wealthy Inhabitants of that renowned  City. for which kindneſs I bleſs the Lord daily. —  I had Sufficient Collected for me, to discharge all my  debts, and alſo to purchaſe ^things^ neceſsary for my preſent Sub­ ­ſiſtance. namely little proviſion. — I did not go to New ­york untill I was quite discouraged waiting for the  anſwers to the Letter I ſent to your worthy perſon. —  I believe that I ſhall have encouragement, the enſuing year  or Seaſon, from the Board of New York, or Philadelphia, I am  not certain howe[illegible]ver, the Revd M.r Rodgers. D.D. [illegible][guess: in]A Pracher  in the Preſbeterian ^old South^ Meeting houſe is a Member of that  Honorable Board, who is remarkably friendly. to whom  I humbly, and earneſtly, deſire you would write ſoon  as poſsible, if your worthy Perſon can recommend me. to  him, and make him believe that you think that I am worthy ^of notice^  [illegible][guess: or]and deſerving of Encouragement, I ſhould be [illegible]Exceeding  glad. he believes Me to be worthy^Deſerving^ of Encouragement. I  preached for him three times. and he was very deſireous  of helping me. but he thought proper, that ſomething  Should be had from thee: a Recommendation. — he ſeems  to think if proper Steps be taken. he can obtain for my  help, [illegible][guess: ob] Encouragement — fifty Pound Sterling Per Annum.  befriend me, if you ſee it in your way. —   
My loving Patron, I want all help that a poor well  diſpoſed Creature can deſire. I am empty handed. I have  no purſe neither have I any thing to put in one, if I  had a purſe. — nevertheleſs I will step forward. — and  Stagger not. — I am Satisfyed it is beſt for me to know  and ever bear upon my mind that my dependance is  upon the Lord a lone. — O that I may ever live like a  poor Dependant Creature. — having my Eyes, and heart  fixed on the Lord. —  I Shall write to my friends in New York directly.  and I deſire again that you would not fail to write for  the Honorable Board of which I made Mention will  ſet, or meet together by the first of April. when the  Revd Doctr Ro[illegible]dgers will peti[illegible]tion for me. — and he will  do it with double Courage if he has few lines from you.  I know not the Gentlemans Christian Name. but he  promiſed to write to you, and deſired me to write alſo.  but if he has not wrote the sureſt way would be  to Send a Letter to M.r James Lazly, my old Maſter,  who lives in the City of New York. keeping a School there.  and incloſe Doctr Rodgers's Letter therin. be ſo good as  to write full, and get as much help for me as ever  you can from that quarter. or from that Board of  which Mr Rodgers is a Member.. &c: —   I am pleaſed to ſee the Indians in theſe parts ſo  engaged. I believe that there will be upwards of  Sixty young Indian [illegible]men from the Seven Tribes  that will Sit of from hence by the 13th of March  next. to be deſtinguished as noble Spirited Indians, who  will do their uttermoſt to get good, and do good, —  who will diſtinguish themſelves from the [illegible][guess: lazzy]  Lazzy crew that refuſes the good offers made to  them in these Latter Days. — Pray for us. that  we may obtain bleſsings from on high. and that we  might be bleſsings on Earth. bleſsings to one another  and bleſsings to many of our Poor Weſtern Brethren  who are periſhing for lack of knowledge. O pray for  me in a more particular Manner. that the Lord would  bleſs me by implanting his divine fear in my heart  and in giving me true humility and Stedfaſtneſs in  the ways of Religion, that he would give me grace  Sufficient for me. &c: — I purpoſe by divine leave  to be at your Reſidence by next Commencement.  with my friend Joſeph Briant.   
I am your humble  Pupil, and real wellwiſher  in great haſt. — Joſeph Johnſon. — 
^[right]Fr. M.r Jos. Johnſon^   ^[right]Feb.y 17. 1775.^  ^[right]25 Dollars £7,,10,^  ^[right]4 Crowns — 1,, 6,, 8^   ^[right]11..6^   
^[below]To the Revd Eleazer Wheelock, D.D.^   ^[below]and Preſident of Dartmouth College. —^