Solomon Williams, letter, to Secretary Willard, 1751 July 24


abstractWilliams writes to relate the circumstances regarding Occom's school at Montauk, and the uncertainty of his future there.

handwritingHandwriting is is loose, informal and frequently difficult to decipher. There are several abbreviations, deletions, and additions.

paperSingle sheet in good-to-fair condition with moderate creasing, staining and wear.

inkInk is mostly brown-black, although a note is added to the bottom of one verso in darker ink.

noteworthyThe text added to the bottom of one verso appears to be meant as addition to the text of the letter; however, the difficulty of deciphering Williams's hand renders it uncertain as to where the text belongs.

signatureInitials only.

EventsOccom leaves his studies

Modernized Version Deletions removed; additions added in; modern spelling and capitalization added; unfamiliar abbreviations expanded.

Honoured Sir 
When I was At Boston the last Fall I informed Mr. Oliver and  the Rev. Dr. Sewal of the circumstances of Samson  Occom an Indian youth Educated principally at  the Charge of the Honourable Commissioners whom  they had been pleased to desire me to direct since  his Incapacity to pursue his studies any farther  By reason of the weakness of his eyes. [illegible] Accordingly I [illegible] directed to keep an Indian School at Montauk. Dr. Sewal  told me he supposed the Commissioners would allow  him a Proper salary He  was with Me Early in the Spring, and informed   Me that he had not received anything, and that  Mr. Maltbie by direction from the Rev. Mr. Burr had  wrote to him to Come to New York in order [illegible][guess: to his] going to assist  in teaching. Mr. Brainerds Indians, and that Mr.   Burr had directed him so [illegible] by Encouragement from the Commissioners  that He should be ordered there. Upon which I  wrote an account of the Matter and the State of the  Indians at Montauk, and the circumstances of Samson  but have received No answer, and before I went down  to Commencement I heard Samson was gone to Mr.   Brainerd, and therefore Concluding the Commissioners  had discharged Me from any further Concern  about him I Said nothing to any of the gentlemen   when I was at Boston. but He is now Come o‐ ver again and is as much at a loss as Ever   and desires Me to endeavor to be informed of what the  Commissioners would have him do —  understanding Honoured Sir that you are one of Them I take leave therefore to inform you   that there are 31 Families of Indians at  Montauk where Samson has  been keeping School a year and half and has Ne ver received anything but about 40 shillings york  money beside what the Indians themselves have  given him who have been and are so desirous of  his teaching School among them they they have  to their Power [illegible] beyond their Power [illegible][guess: ]Contri‐ buted towards his Support He has had about 30 scholars   and More would have come but their Parents were  so poor as not to be able to do anything for the 
Support of schoolmasters. He tells  Me they are very desirous of his continuance   there but Complain they are so Poor they  dont know how to pay him, and think the  Commissioners are not So Kind to them as to  other Indians. The young Man is willing to  Stay there Still if he could have a Support He  has been very Serviceable among them in [illegible][guess: promoting learning ] and Religion as I am in‐ formed by others as well as from the account he gives  of of his scholars and the [illegible] of the Indians Particularly by a letter from the Rev.   Mr. Horton their minister which I left with  Mr. Oliver the last Fall. Samson Informs me  He is very much solicited by the Narragansett  Indians to keep School There and that there is  great need of a School and is willing to be entire‐ ly directed by the Commissioners. As he comes to  Me from time to time for direction and I have no  order to give him any, I thought it My duty  to let you know this [illegible][guess: short] State of the Affair,   doubtless the Honourable Commissioners may find some  more suitable person to have the Care of direct ing him. I shall be glad to be eased of The fruitless trouble  of hearing so often of his circumstances and being  neither able to direct him nor do anything for  him. wishing the Divine blessing upon the Pious and Noble    design of promoting Christian Knowledge and Religion among the   Indians I am Sir with great respect your most  obedient humble Servant Solomon Williams 
Lebanon : July 24. 1751. 
asked by the Counsel in order [illegible] a result  Agreeable to him. but which have a Tendency to  Render ecclesiastical Councils Ridiculous and the  result, contemptible and Mankind will be apt to  [illegible] that if a [illegible] salary Stands in the way or  could be found and his [illegible] [illegible] In Nomeni  Domini is — must be done. 
My letter to Secretary [illegible][guess: Willard]  Relating to  Samson Occom