Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Dennys DeBerdt, 1762 December 18


abstractWheelock discusses, among other things, the states of various missions, and the progress of the Indian Charity School.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small, crowded and occasionally difficult to decipher.

paperLarge single sheet is in fair-to-poor condition, with moderate-to-heavy staining, creasing and wear that leads to a minor loss of text.


noteworthyGiven the informality of the hand, the number of additions and deletions, and the lack of an address, this document is likely a draft.

EventsOccom’s Second Mission to the Oneidas

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

  My very dear Sir. 
Yours, of July 28. refreshed me much  I heartily regret the loss you have sustained the Death of your worthy  godly and Skillful pastor. may the Lord of the harvest  provide Guides for his people who Shall be zealous  and Skillful to promote and defend his Sinking Cause in the world.
Mr. Occom returned from his mission Some Time  ago, I haven't had opportunity to see him Since. he was  soon Sent by the Presbytery to preach to an English  Settlement on Hudsons River about 60 or 80 miles  above New York where God has of late in a very won‐ derful manner received his work. he returned from  his mission sooner than he intended, on account of the  present Ruffle which the Oneidas are in, being engaged in  a war with Some of the Nations back of them, and on  account of their extreme Poverty they having nothing to  live upon but what they get by fishing fowling and hunting  an untimely frost having cut of their Corn last year. he had no  way to come at them to preach to them but by   followed them from Place to Place in their Hunts, and by  poor living though they were as kind to him as they could be and especially by lying upon the wet ground his  old rheumatic disorders returned etc. # he designs (I hear)  to visit them again in the Spring.
Mr. Forbes who the Scottish Comissioners in Boston sent  missionary to Onaquaga, is also returned, I hear   after he had gathered a church there he left  the Indians in a great Ruffle, and the children which they had been  attempting to teach were all dispersed with their Pa[gap: hole][guess: r]ents in their  hunting Rambles. perhaps Dr. Chauncy will by little  and little receive conviction that he is too  confident of the success of his Plan, and too Sudden and  free in condemning others who have again and again made  trial of the very same Scheme, and the most they have got  to compensate their Toil and expense has been their  useful point of Knowledge viz that such a method will not  do yet. may God graciously direct in the Important Affair, and Save those  who are concerned in it from Falling into Parties and obstructing  and hinder one another.
My School is in a flourishing state at present. my number of Charity scholars  is 25. Mr. Charles Jeffery Smith of Long Island has lately refused  a Class at College for the sake of keeping this Indian School gratis  He designs to Devote himself and a plentiful Fortune to the ser‐ vice of his Redeemer as a missionary among the pagans. he has thoughts of Taking  an Interpreter for his use from the School, and support him with  himself at his own expense. I esteem him remarkably accomplished  and turned for such a Service. I expect but little real good to be  done among the savages by Gay, and inexperience youth, the Lord mercifully  prevent the mischiefs which Such threaten the cause. I informed you Some 
# he found nothing more than this discouraging   and had reason to think he saw some good Effects of his Labours  among them the last year 
Some Time ago of the Tour which Friend Ashpo had made to Chenango and  of the Religious concern Among the Indians there consequent thereon and that  a number were hopefully savingly converted. There was a very fierce  per[illegible]enting Spirit in the other party which arose to such a height against  (as I was credibly informed last week) the Christian Party were obliged  to withdraw from them and have settled in a Town by themselvess  about 60 miles below them on Susquehanna River. there they use with out a Bible, and without any that could read it if they had one.  I have taken Friend Ashpo into this School, and esteem him a well  experienced and well established Christian, he is here by the advice of  an Ecclesiastical Council we convened last summer to examine and advise him. I expect we shall send him  to those Indians next Spring. And our dear Mr. Smith of Boston has  engaged £20 Sterling towards the support of his mission provided  it cant be otherwise done. there is also in this school a young mohawk, whom  we call Joseph Brant of a family of distinction in that Nation  who has been for some time under Religious impressions, and of  late almost persuades me to call him a real saint he seems to  breathe the very spirit of the Gospel. Mr. Smith is unwearied in his  Endeavors to promote Religion and learning in this school.  Mr. James Lesley a Scots Gentleman with whom you have had some  acquaintance went out of the school to make way for Mr. Smith to  keep it gratis and is now in the parish school. I expect when Mr. Smith  leaves it Mr. Lesley will take it again.
I have amidst a thousand avocations prepared for the press, a short  Narrative of this School, expect it will be [illegible][guess: b]ut in a little time  you and others may expect the Sight of it as soon as may be after  it is printed.
If there be anything in this that will gratify good Dr. Giffords  or Mr. Savage please to let them have the sight of it. I wrote  each of them some ago and hope my Letters haven't miscarried  you and they will easily see in what a Hurry I write
If Dr. Mr. Whitefield hasn't yet left England salute him  most heartily in my name. I expect by his to Mr. Smith to  see hi[gap: tear][guess: m] here in a short time.   
I am Dear Sir, with the most sincere respect   Yours in the dearest Bond,  Eleazar Wheelock 
P.S. my School hues  Day by Day under God only  and the charities of Gods people  without any settled fund for  its support and God is my  only Refuge.   
Mr. Dennys DeBerdt    Letter to Mr. DeBerdt.   December 18. 1762.