David Jewett, letter, to Andrew Oliver, 1765 June 27


abstractJewett writes that his dispute with Occom has been resolved. He excerpts a letter from Occom.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small and occasionally difficult to decipher, yet mostly clear and legible.

paperSingle sheet is in fair condition, with moderate staining, creasing and wear that leads to minor dimming of text.

noteworthyGiven that both the Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge and the Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America (NEC) are involved in the Jewett Controversy, it is uncertain to which organization Jewett refers when he mentions the "Hon.ble Com̅iſs.rs" and "the Commiſsioners" (one recto, lines 23 and 25-26, respectively), and so these references have been left untagged. However, they are likely the NEC. As is marked, this document is a copy.

EventsJewett Controversy

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

To the Honourable Andrew Oliver Esq., 
I'm blamed, extremely blamed, for writing to you  against Mr. Occom; And I blame myself for Saying anything that was  needless for me to say about him. I thought, and do still think, that  it was my proper business to inform you what part he Acted in the  Differences, and difficulties which have arisen at Mohegan, respecting  both the School; and Lectures; nor am I conscious of knowingly mis‐ representing anything to you in his Conduct; though I've reason to  suspect myself in what is Matter of Judgement upon it; as I cant  clear myself of having been prejudiced against him: And therefore  hope that Nothing will be laid up against him merely from my Opinion  of him. Besides, Sir, I must in faithfulness relate what has  occurred since I wrote to you. At a meeting of the Correspondents, in  Lebanon last March, many things which had been publicly reported  of Mr. Occom were discoursed of by the gentlemen of that Board; and some things  which they apprehended he was to blame in were pointed out to him.  He submitted to their judgement, and promised a strict regard to their counsel.  More particularly, those things which had been grievous to me in his Con‐  duct at Mohegan, were debated before them. He Acknowledged his Mis‐  conduct in the Manner of rejecting their schoolmaster; declared his in‐ nocence as to any Intention of promoting the Separation at Mohegan;  or elsewhere; That it was his desire, and should be his endeavour to pro‐  mote my usefulness among the Indians; That he never understood the  pleasure of the Honourable Commissioners to be otherwise than that he should Settle  his family upon his own Lands at Mohegan; Nor was it with any  view of making Overtures contrary the appointment of the Com‐ missioners, that he came there. And as to his Saying "that he would  turn churchman and be above the ministers around, or the like, as  was reported, he declared it was spoke only in Jest, and in a way of  Banter arising from the present dissensions: had two who were pre‐  sent when he spoke it, testified that they understood him in no other Light  Upon the whole Mr. Occom, and I renewed our friendship, and in the  presence of the Board, burnt the Papers of Controversy. As I had laid  before you what dashed my Hopes concerning him, I proposed to offer  you what had now revived them; and promised to write you as soon  as I could. I Accordingly wrote the next Week, and went to   Norwich in hopes of Conveyance, but was disappointed. I had no  other Intention but to embrace the first Opportunity to send it; but  before any presented, (being loath to send by the Post) I took notice  that Mr. Occom still forsook my Lectures, which I promised myself he  would Attend, for as I said, I had his promise "That to his best  discretion, he would endeavour to promote my Services [illegible] among  the Indians: and I had instanced [illegible] that to him as a Proof I should  look for; and what I was ready to think, would have the happiest In‐  fluence. This has occasioned the long delay; nor has he once  attended my Lectures since, 'til today, when I received the following Letter.
Mohegan June 26 1765.  Rev. Sir,
You are very sensible of the difficult situation of  our Indians , Old Prejudices are not dead, but rather revive of  late, and new bias have sprung up, And it is very difficult to deal with them.   
with them. There needs a great deal of Christian policy (If I may  so express myself) And this is one reason why I have not as yet  attended Your Lecture; And indeed I should before now, if you  did not delay writing to the Honourable Commissioners of Boston. And it is  my purpose to attend your Lecture, as business, and Peregrinations will  permit. And will by degrees, endeavour to conciliate the Indians;  only let me not be drove, and urged to it too hard, And I shall not  be wanting in your Service — only let me be assured of a Friend,  if not, I must defend myself as I can. This is from 
Your sincere and very humble servant
Samson Occom 
To the Rev. David Jewett.  PS. You may communicate what you please  of this to the Honourable Commissioners of Boston 
I shall add but this, That I hope his future Conduct  will witness for him to your Honourable Board, to this Government, and to  the World. Pray forgive my tediousness, and still give me leave  as occasion shall call for, to spread my Complaints before you.  I'm not only heartily wearied, but almost distracted, with Con‐  tentions; But when I am myself,   
I'm   With dutiful respect to the Honourable Board   Your ready servant  David Jewett   
Mr. Jewett's Letter to the  Honourable Andrew Oliver Esq.  June 26th 1765  about occom  A Copy.