Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Dennys DeBerdt, 1761 September 22


abstractWheelock describes the progress of Occom's mission to the Oneidas, mentions a land dispute in Pennsylvania, and reports on the progress of his school. Mention is made of Kirtland's missionary training.

handwritingHandwriting is tightly spaced and informal and there are several deletions and additions, all of which suggests that the doucment is a draft. Letter case is frequently difficult to decipher.

paperSlightly worn at edges, though overall in good condition. The central crease is reinforced.

inkDark and heavy, the ink bleeds through to opposite sides. There are some blotches.

noteworthyLetter is marked as a copy. For Occom's account of the events mentioned in this letter, see 761330.1.

EventsOccom’s First Mission to the Oneidas

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

My dear and honoured Friend, 
I received Two from You last Spring the  Receipt of which I acknowledged in one from Boston  last May which I hope has Reached you before now. Another  I wrote Since which miscarried through carelessness,
Mr. Occom set out on his Long Journey to the Six Nations on  The 10 of June. last Accompanied by David Fowler one of my Indian scholars,  by the way of New York. where he tarried Several Days. and  preached in Mr. Bostwick's Meeting House to an assembly  vastly numerous, at which was Collected for his uses £70.  and the Evening following at the Baptists Meeting House  £13. (their currency) and received ample Recommendation  from the principle Gentlemen in the City. I have since received  a Letter from him Dated German Flats July 7. in which he  Informs he had met with uncommon kindness and respect in  all his Travel and that Gen. Amherst had given him a pass  and Recommendation to all his Officers   and that Gen. Johnson had received him with great  respect and promised him all the assistance he could, in  the business he is upon, and designed the Next Day to Intro­ ­duce him to the Oneida Nation, the Affair of his mission looked then  with a very favourable aspect.  I have also another Letter of the Same Date and from  the Same Place, from Gen. Johnson by the Hand of Two  Mohawk Lads, who are Recommended and Sent by the  Gen. to this School, to be fitted for Interpreters, or missionaries  in compliance with my desire by Letter to him to send me  Six. Three to be Supported by the Honourable Scottish Commissioners  in Boston, the other Three I ventured to Send for, to be,  in Addition to the Six I had with me before, the Objects of  Such Charity as God Shall dispose his people to show upon  this occasion. Those Two boys were joined by a Third  after they Left the General and who came without his Knowledge  or Recommendation and is here at school, they all behave  well and are Sufficiently Studious and industrious in the business. The Gen. writes me  that he hopes as he passes through the Other Nation on his way  to the Detroit (whither he was going with presents to the  Indians) he shall be able to send me 3 or 4 more to com plete the Number which I wrote for.
One Samuel Kirkland a pious and promising Youth whom I've  taken in to the School as a Charity scholar, to be fitted for  a mission, is now learning the Mohawk Language of  these Boys as fast as he can under the disadvantage of ha­ ­ving no Book nor Intepreter to assist him and so  are also several of my Indian Boys. —
The generous bequest of that Noble Lord the Marquess of   
of Lothian of £50. Sterling, The Grants of the Honourable  Commissioners and a number of Private Donations have  Enabled me to Scrabble along hitherto.
The Governor of Pennsylvania is doubtless doing all  in his Power to prevent our People setting on the Land  they have purchased there, The Indians have lately drove  off those who Settled on Delaware, and we hear the English have Killed two Indians The proprietors of those  Tracts have united and Chosen Col. Eliphalet Dyar of Windham  to be their Agent at the Court of Great Britain by him  they design to make Application for an Incorporation.
They designed he should have set out on his voyage this  month, but have lately concluded he shall stay till Early  next Spring. he is a very fit Gentleman to be employed  in the Affairs of this School, and I hope we shall be able  to prepare matters So as to employ him there in, and he  will make no Small account of your friendship and assistance  .
Not having an Opportunity to speak with Mr. Peters I wrote  him Your Errand. my Son informed me that he said he had agreed  with a man last fall to pay the money to Mr. Hazzar[gap: stain][guess: d] of New York  but the man had deceived and disappointed him. but Said he would  take Speedy Care that it should be done. He is Settled in Hebron  and none thought but the Society had Sent him there  'till lately an Report is Spread that he had Orders for Taunton  in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay. I wish I could you would favour me with one of the Societies Returns. his assembly is  very Small indeed. what their means are I am not able to Say.
Miss. Williams of Wethersfield was married last Spring to  the Honourable William [illegible][guess: Smith]] Esq. of New York and is gone thither to Live.  one Samuel Ashpo, a Christian Indian of the Tribe at Mohegan  lodged at my House Last Summer on his Return from Susquehanna   about 300. miles from hence, and informed me there was a very  great Concern among the Indians in Several Places near said River  and a great desire to be taught the way of Life. he told  me there was a Number he thought not less than 20. which  he [illegible][guess: verily] thought were Savingly converted at a Place called Chenango near said River.
The enclosed was published amidst a crowd of business I doub[gap: worn_edge][guess: t]  not Your friendship will excuse all Defects. My dear sir.  continue writing to. and praying for, him who is with the  most Sincere respect.
Yours in the dearest Bonds,  Eleazar Wheelock  
Mr. Dennys DeBerdt.
A Copy of a Letter to  Mr. DeBerdt. London   September 1761
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