Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Benjamin Forfitt, 1763 September 8

ms-number763508.1

abstractWheelock writes to Forfitt thanking him for sending a chest of books for the School, and detailing troubles with the Indians that have prevented the missions of Charles Jeffrey Smith, Occom and Ashpo.

handwritingHand is small and crowded, though mostly legible, with several abbreviations.

paperOne large sheet is in good condition, with light-to-moderate creasing, yellowing and wear. There are some ink blots in the middle of the page resulting in very minor loss of text.

inkLight brown

noteworthyThere is no signature, and the last paragraph is deleted, which suggests that this is a draft.

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

  Dear Sir. 
Yours of 27th April last, came safe with the chest of  Books for this School etc. the 20th of last month; and I take  them as an answer of Prayer, and a renewed testimony of God's  Favour for this Infant institution; and by God's Help I will  discharge the Sacred trust (for So I look upon it) in the best  manner. The Collection I esteem very valuable and well calcu ­lated for the design proposed. May God reward the pious Do­ ­nors a thousand fold for this and all their Abundant Charities  and Labours of Love for the perishing Souls of men, as I trust  he has, and forever will your dear Brother, who was the principle  instrument in procuring this Benefaction.
The expressions of kindness in yours refresh and encourage  my Heart. though the present Rupture with the Indians has drawn  a Cloud over the whole design, but I trust it is not abiding.  it looks like a dying Struggle, and I hope will prove to be the  last Effort of Satan to Secure those who have been for so long  a Time peaceably in his Chains.
Samuel Ashpo, an Indian of the Mohegan Tribe, who has  been for a Time in this School, and was examined and approved by  a number of ministers of this Government last May, set out on  his mission, the 6th of last month. and as I have heard nothing  from him since, I conclude he has got [gap: stain] into the Indian Country.  And as he designed to go among them in Indian Habit, I  hope he will not fall a Sacrifice to [gap: stain] their Rage. and who  knows how much Good God may make him an instrument  of. and if God Should mercifully [gap: stain][guess: Succeed] his Endeavours  at Such a Time, when no english missionary dares to go  among them, it must needs raise the Reputation of the  Plan we have been pursuing.
Mr. Charles Jeffry Smith, an excellent Youth was ordained  in my Pulpit June 30. and set out on a mission to remote  Tribes. July 4th, was driven back from the Six Nations to  Albany, by an alarm of an Army of the Enemy approaching.  but it proved to be made by a few bad Fellows among themselves  and Whether Mr. Smith had returned to those Nations, or not I can't  tell.
Mr. Occom set out on his mission, and, I hear, went as far as to  the Mohawk Country but the apprehensions of Danger were Such  that he returned. The Combination among the Nations is very  extensive, and their Rage very bitter; but by the last accounts  they have met with Such repulses, as give us Hopes that they will  now Soon be discouraged.
Letter to Mr. Benjamin Forfitt  September 8. 1763.
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