Joseph Woolley, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1765 July 6


abstractJoseph Woolley writes to Wheelock with news from his mission to Onaquaga. He mentions the smallpox epidemic, the Shawnees' and Delawares' confirmation of the Covenant Chain, his cousin Jacob Woolley, and David Fowler’s abuse of his Indian students.

handwritingHandwriting is largely clear and legible.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good-to-fair condition, with moderate staining, creasing and wear.


noteworthyWoolley makes unusual use of quotations to indicate asides placed in the left margin.

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

  Rev. Sir  
We have awaited for the Messrs. Smith and  Chamberlain, four Days, and I dont think it is best for  me to wait any longer. then next Monday, I think  Providence calls me to go away from here soon.
The epidemical smallpox distemper is here, and proves very  mortal among the Indians — The Squash Cutter  died with it about ten Days ago; another died  last evening and was buried this afternoon here.
This poor Man was left destitute by all his Friends  and Relations, had nobody to tend him, "I felt So con‐ cerned for him I like to gone there myself."
I am sorry and grieved to see in the Indians so much brutality that  they cared no not more for each other than the beasts do  "(though I believe if a horse knew there was something of a Mat‐  ter with his Mate, he would come and leap over him)  but there appeared no such Affection among them;"  however, some of them made out to go and assist in bury‐  ing him. — — —
The Shawnees and Delawares came here the Day  before yesterday in order to confirm the Covenant  Chain, which Captain Kill-Buck Chief of the Delawares has been upon  ever since last Spring — to whom, I had the Honour    a Head Warrior  of the Delawares  who has done so much  mischief and exercised  so much Inhumanity  to the English    This man with the  Squash Cutter  were there as hostages  from that Tribe 
of Interpreting those Letters and the Parchment in which the  Covenant was written; and to his greatest satisfaction.
This Man Kill-Buck would fain have me go to  Allegany with him to his own Home, and to Spend my  Life amongst them There — But I have discourage‐ ments from those that have been there."
As we was passing through Sheffield, one a Man  called out to me, and asked me whether I was  not the same Man that lay sick there last Fall."  and inquired asked into my Name — But I told him not  who I was and what I was, that I might have the better  Chance to know what he had to say about him — well,   he began to tell what he did after he got well with  the pleurisy — That he taught young Men and children  to Sing read and write and cipher; That he had his Learn‐  ‐ing from Mr. Wheelock, and went to the Jersey College, and in his  last Year went back again to Mr. Wheelocks. and after‐  ward ran away from him and went into the Service. i.e of the War
Moreover, he told me what that young Man said — The  reason why he ran away, that he was afraid Mr. Wheelock  would make him Preach; Therefore now he determines ne‐  ver to see you.— But I could get no Intelligence which  Way he went, whether he is alive or no. he told it to  me in such a light I could not help but thinking it was  cousin Jacob Woolley."
I have not heard about of your the Dutch horse I am afraid  he is lost, and if so it is a great loss.
I have been out of Health ever since I arrived  here, a Sharp Pain in my breast and so through on  the other Side, continues bad.
"I have heard of Fowler today that he is yet  alive and well, begins to beat his scholars  very much, makes their Hands to Swell very much  which the Indians dont like very well; They  say, he ought to have suppressed it longer, and not be‐  gin so soon — " I have no more Special to say, you  know I was never a good News Monger. —
Pray please Sir to accept my Humble Duty, to you and Mrs.  Wheelock, and tell her I hope her unwearied Pains  for me wont be quite lost, but that I shall improve the  best of my Ability to my People — among my poor Brethren and also Duty to kind Ma‐  ster Lathrop — I remain 
your Dutiful,   and very Humble servant  Joseph Woolley   
from Joseph Woolley  July 1765 
To  The Rev. Mr. Eleazar Wheelock   Connecticut.