Eleazar Wheelock, letter to the The New York/New Jersey Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, and William Peartree Smith, 1765 January 14

ms-number765114.1

doi
10.1349/ddlp.802

abstractWheelock writes to the The New York/New Jersey Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge about the missionaries and school masters he has educated at his Indian Charity school, and asks them to allow John Brainerd to solicit funds in Europe to support it. Also included is a note to William Peartree Smith asking him to respond with the Board's decision as soon as possible.

handwritingHandwriting is, exclusive of the trailer on one recto, not Wheelock’s; it is largely clear and legible.

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

inkInk is a faded black-brown.

noteworthyThe document is a contemporary copy, likely Wheelock's for his records. An editor, likely 19th-century, has inserted brackets in black ink around the third paragraph on one recto, and written in brackets in the left margin “o-mitted in L. y Brd.” He has bracketed the fifth paragraph on one recto, and written “omitted” in the left margin; bracketed the first paragraph on one verso and written “(omitted)" in the upper right corner; and bracketed the third paragraph in the letter at the bottom of page 2 and written “(omitted)” above it. These additions have not been transcribed.

signatureThe signature is not Wheelock's.

EventsFundraising Tour of Great Britain

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

The Memorial of Eleazar Wheelock of Lebanon in the Colony of Connnecticut, Humbly showeth — That by the blessing of God upon Endeavours used, the Indian Charity School which he has, for several years last past [gap: faded][guess: had in] his immediate Care, is now increased to the Number 26. And the prospect both of the increase of their Number, and the usefulness of the undertaking, as well as the expense of it, is yet growing. That several of this Number are young Gentlemen whom he apprehends to be well accomplished for a mission among the Indians. And ten others of them are Indian Youth, whom he esteems well qualified for schoolmasters, excepting that some of them yet want age, which Difficulty he supposes may be well accommodated by their being under the inspection, Direction, and Conduct of the missionaries, and such of the schoolmasters as are of ripe age and judgement, now ready to be [gap: worn_edge][guess: authorized] and sent with them.
And Nothing is wanting, but Means of Support for them, in order to their being sent forth, in their several Capacities, as soon as the season will allow of it. And your own Thoughts will readily suggest the great Importance of improving the present Openings in Providence for that purpose, before our Way be embarrassed by a Throng of unrighteous Dealers, and such who with no higher View than to serve their unbridled Avarice, will likely be crowding into the Indian Country
These are therefore to pray your honourable Board to take it into consideration, and grant the Concurrence of your Endeavours with ours in these parts, for the furtherance and speedy accomplishment of the design in View. And particularly, that you would grant Liberty to the Rev. John Brainerd, your missionary, to go to Europe, in Company with an Indian, from these parts, to solicit the Charities of such as are of Ability for the support of this School, and such missionaries and schoolmasters as Divine providence shall enable us to send. And that you would commission, authorize, and suitably recommend him, said Brainerd, for that purpose; and also recommend the design itself to the Charity of God's people abroad, etc.
I had determined to obtain a Meeting of the Board of Correspondents in Connecticut, and desire them to address you upon this Head, in the first place; and have no Doubt of their ready Compliance with the proposal, if it could have been made to them; but after waiting some Time for an Opportunity to have them together for that purpose, I find it can't be at present by reason of their living so remote, and the unusual Body of Snow which has so filled the Roads, that such a Meeting has hitherto been imprac­ticable, and I fear will be so, 'til it will be too late seasonably to accomplish what will be necessary in the Affair before the most  proper Memorial to the Board of Correspondents in New York and Jersey. January. 14. 1765 with letter to Peartree Smith Esq.
proper season to embark for Europe.
And moreover I have considered that these young Gentlemen and Indian youth designed for missionaries and schoolmasters, are yet all of them, Members of this School, and not under the Direction or Controul of any Commisioners. whereupon I was of opinion, that it might be a saving of Time, and as well answer every good purpose to take this Method which I have fixed upon, and first address you, and give you the Lead in the Affair, which I hope you will esteem sufficient Apology for the Manner of my proceeding therein, and grant such an answer to my prayer, as you shall think will be most for the Glory of God, and advancement of the interests of our common Lord, and make as speedy Return of the same as may be by the post, in order to be laid before the Board of correspondents here as soon as they can be convened after the Receipt of your Doings
All which is with much respect, Honoured Gentlemen, humbly submitted to your consideration and Determination by
Your most obedient and  most humble Servant Eleazar Wheelock
Dated at Lebanon in Connecticut January 14th 1765. Copy
Sir
I am informed that the calling your Board of Commissioners together is committed to you, which occasions you the present Trouble. You will see by the prayer enclosed what is designed, and the Difficulty of proceeding in any other Manner at present.
If your Board shall see fit to return answer in favour of my request, I pray you would not fail to make as speedy Return to me as may be, for I would not fail to have every Thing done that is necessary and suitable to put Mr. Brainerd under all Advantages possible to serve the design in the proposed Tour.
It will be best to direct your Letter by the post. to the Care of Capt. Daniel Bull of Hartford, or else to the Care of Mr. Ichabod Robinson of Lebanon
please sir to accept sincere respects from
your unknown Friend and  very humble Servant Eleazar Wheelock
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