Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to George Whitefield, 1764 August 7


abstractWheelock writes that Occom is to be sent on a mission to the distant tribes, but that money is needed to finance the trip. He also updates Whitefield on various new students.

handwritingHandwriting is not Wheelock's. It is formal, clear and legible; however, letter case is occasionally difficult to decipher.

paperSingle sheet is in good-to-fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear. Light repairs have been made to the central crease.


noteworthyThis document is likely a copy.

EventsBuilding of Occom’s house

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

  My dear Sir,   
I have lost no Time since I received our commission  to prepare for Mr. Occom's mission. Last Friday Evening I received  the Vote of the London Commissioners in Boston discharging Mr. Occom  from their Service. On Saturday Morning I sent out to desire the  Committee and Mr. Occom to meet on Monday (i.e yesterday) when in  Compliance with my proposal they unanimously agreed to send Mr. Occom  as soon as may be into the Mohawk Country to teach and preach as he shall  have Opportunity as he pursues his Journey to Lake Ontario or further  'til he meets General Johnson on his Return from Detroit, and before  the Indians with him from distant Tribes shall disperse, in order to  make them an Offer of missionaries and schoolmasters in the most  striking convincing and inviting Manner, for we apprehend that the  Countenance of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Tuscaroras, and such as are more  knowing and accquainted with the Affair together with Gen. Johnson's  Approbation and Recommendation will be the most likely means to invite  and move others to make it the Object of their Attention. I also propose   he shall there recommend this School and the design of it, and procure  a Number of likely Boys and Girls from Tribes as remote as may be for it. 
We have also concluded to send David Fowler the senior Youth  in this School to accompany him in this Journey. 
And if Mr. C. J. Smith were within our Reach we should press him  hard to take the Journey with them. And we yet hope he is not  so far on his designed Tour to the Southward, but that he may seaso‐ nably hear of it and be inclined to go. 
And this we have done only on the Credit of the great Redeemer  without a Farthing in our Hands to support it, not doubting but by  your Means, or some other Way it will be supported if he sees it  to be best. they will need about £20. lawful Money. 
And as Mr. Occom has received Nothing for his Support since  he came to Mohegan, and could not attend on this mission without  securing Labour about his Building and ingathering for the Winter,  I have this Day given Bonds to pay the necessary Labourers  which he shall employ in his absences. 
I have lately admitted to this School in order to be fitted  for a mission with others next Spring, Mr. Titus Smith of Hadley  of about 30 Years old who has finished his Learning at Yale  College, and expects the Honours of it next Month. He is a Man 
of eminent Piety, a good Scholar, and considerably used to Indians, having  been in several Campaigns to the Northward. 
I have also another (one Chamberlain of the same Town) in  my Eye, who is about 26 Years old, and of the same Character.  He is just entering his last Year at Yale College. He was taken  Captive by the Indians when Fort William Henry was taken  and continued a Year in Captivity. 
My prospects are daily increasing. It looks as though God had been  laying out for this design for many Years past. and I trust in him  that he will not forsake it. 
I haven't yet obtained a blacksmith to my Mind, but have  one in View who I hope will answer my purpose. And I am  more and more persuaded of the Expediency of such a Device, and  that Nothing will likely more recommend our missionaries and  schoolmasters to remote Nations than this Trade — 
The success of Sir William's Tour hitherto marvelously in‐ creases our prospects. How sweet it is, my dear Sir, to live upon  God, and see him performing all to our Hand while we are Nothing  and have Nothing that is good of our own. How sweet is the Doctrine  of God's Grace. I long to be a Christian. 
You have my best wishes and Prayers that your Health may  be restored, and your Life and usefulness long continued. 
pray, pray for  Your poor Brother and Fellow Servant   
PS Love to Mr. Wright 
I have ordered the Bearer, my Pupil, Mr. Kirkland to follow you  as far as Philadelphia if he don't overtake you sooner. By him you  may be informed of the state of my School Family etc. — No Time  must be lost in fitting Mr. Occom for his journey — And by Mr. Kirkland  you must send directly back to me if there shall be occasion for it  and no other Opportunity presenting.  Give my Love to the Friends in Philadelphia etc. (and if you  think best) tell them I earnestly beg of them an Alms for Christ  He is hungry, sick, in prison, naked and barefoot; or rather his necess‐ ities are greater than these, for his Heart is infinitely set upon  accomplishing a design which has already cost him his Life, than  which nothing can more loudly call for their Liberality.  Yours ut ante Eleazar Wheelock. 
  Rev. George Whitefield  To Mr. Whitefield August 7th  1764.