Joseph Woolley, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1765 February 9


abstractWoolley writes that the two boys who were to come to the school are delayed because of winter snow and the risk of smallpox. He also remarks on the progress of his mission, his admiration for the Tuscaroras, and the wish of the Oneidas at Chenango to have Samuel Ashpo return to them.

handwritingHandwriting is largely clear and legible.

paperWide sheet, folded vertically to make four pages, is in good condition, with light yellowing and wear. A large portion of the seal remains.


noteworthyThis letter is a follow-up to 765159.1, written on the same day by Woolley. It is not wholly certain that the two letters were written by the same hand, although it is likely.

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

Rev. Sir 
After Peter told me the two Tuscarora Boys were  going with him and had written the first Letter I was told  that he had now bidden them to stay until he returns,  and if he likes the Place will come and fetch them. What  he intends to do with the two I cannot tell for they  live as he goes on his Way to New England. But I believe  this is the reason why he left them, because I had said it  was hard for them to go seeing they never had the Small­ ­Pox and I was not willing they Should carry it to your  house. Moreover they were naked and the season is very  bad — they have not blankets enough at home to keep them  warm — and what is this — they have to go Matter of hundred  Miles through the Woods — the Snow three Foot deep.
I said this after the Sachem had concluded they should go —  and the eagerness of their going. I pitied the poor Children —  and knew I should be in the Blame if they caught the Pox and  carried it to your house.
The Tuscaroras are People of Civilty, I like them exceeding  well, some of them had a Mind I should live with them  but I could not, seeing I was sent to learn the Mohawks Lan ­guage and they have many kindness towards me
Sir I cannot satisfy you in writing, I had rather talk with  you Face to Face. Many Things I want to say I cannot  commit to Paper Peter is in great hurry
I went to Chenango which is about 15 Miles, about the 28  of November to see my Relations, and tarried a Week; they  inquired of me what became of Samuel Ashpo, that used to come  among them, "we want to see him very much and hear the  Word of God preached unto us; they wanted to know when he  would come again. I told them I did not know, peradventure  he may come next Spring.  I have not a quarter discharged, his Being in haste,  I have not the exercise of my Faculty; but if you can  understand my Meaning it is well etc. I am
Sir,  Your very humble servant  Josephy Woolly. 
Blank page.
from Joseph Woolley  February 9: 1765 
To — The Rev.  Mr. Eleazar Wheelock  in Lebanon