Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Moses Peck, 1761 March 25


abstractWheelock thanks Peck for the money sent for Occom, and gives an account of Occom’s work since leaving Wheelock’s school.

handwritingInformal handwriting is mostly clear and legible.

paperLarge single sheet is in good-to-fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear.


noteworthyThis letter is written in response to manuscript 761108. It is possibly a copy or draft.

EventsOccom’s First Mission to the Oneidas, Occom’s Mission to the Montauketts, Occom’s Marriage

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

  My Dear Sir, 
Yours of January 8th enclosing £3.16.0  for the relief of Mr. Occom, was delivered into my  Hand by Col. Huntington of Norwich on the  24th of February I was much affected with the con ‐tents. My Soul blessed those charitable persons who  made the Collection and dont desire their right  Hand should know it. It is Bread cast upon the  water, not lost but sent to him whose Mercy  will find them out. I have wrote Mr. Occom   an account of it. and expect him over soon  to make provision for his designed journey to  The Oneida Indians (to whom he is going as a  missionary this Spring), when I expect An Opportunity  to deliver the Same to him. and I doubt not  he will receive it with much Gratitude.
And as to his circumstances. I hope if the Small  Pox dont discourage me, to see you this Spring,  when I may give you a more Full account and therefore  for the present shall only hint. That about 11, or 12  years ago he left me in compliance with the very  pressing Importunity of Rev. Mr. Horton who was  Missionary to the Indians at Montauk — he went  among them at a Time when they were in very great  confusion by reason of Exhorters who had sowed dis‐ cord among them — Mr. Occom took the school and  supplied them as a public Teacher in Mr. Hortons  absence or when he was visiting in Other parts of the  Island which was about 4. fifths of the Time by the  blessing of God on Mr Occom's Prudence and Labour the confusion subsided. he  had at first Something done for him by the Inhabitants  of the Island. and £20. annually allowed him by  the Honourable Commissioners for Indian Affairs his help from  his Neighbours soon failed and he has but Little  Since  Letter to Mr. Moses Peck. 1761: Thanks for Mr. Occoms Donation March
since besides the £20 His public Character and  Situation and business have Exposed him to much  company of both English and Indians. He married  one of his Pupils about 9. or 10. years ago. And  has 6 children. his eldest son has been about  a year in my School. Mr. Occom has been necessi‐ tated to improve all his leisure Hours in hard  Labour to support his family. he dresses decent ‐ly. but is very frugal in his manner of Living.  he looks to be almost worn out with hard labour  — It grieves me to the Heart that his abilities  are so much Starved for want of support and a  Library and he in such a measure thrown away  God has honoured him to be the instrument of a  great deal of Good . And I have reason to  think of Saving good to a considerable Number  he had a Joyful harvest there about 4 years ago in which  as I am informed by Such as are to be depended upon, were  In a Judgment of national Charity not less than 14. converted  The Indians are very poor and not able to do much for him  nor So well instructed in their Duty in that regard as they  should be, and it is Difficult for Mr. Occom to instruct them in it  without Prejudice to the Gospel. now in its Infancy among  them. please to give my Love to those who had a Hand  in the contribution for Mr. Occom if you know who  they are. My Indian Boys behave very well and make  good progress in their Learning.     please to accept the kindest salutat‐ tions to you and your dear Spouse from me my wife, my son  and all my Family. and Remember when you get near to  God.
Your very Affectionate Friend   and Humble Servant  Eleazar Wheelock 
Mr. Moses Peck