Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Messrs. Peck, Mason, and Austin, 1766 November 5


abstractWheelock writes, for possible publication, to correct assertions made by the New England Company about its relationship to, and support of, Occom.

handwritingHandwriting is small and informal, yet mostly clear and legible. It is not Wheelock's.

paperLarge single sheet is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.


noteworthyThe contents of this document are nearly identical to those of manuscript 766605.2.

signatureThe signature is not in Wheelock's hand.

EventsOccom’s First Mission to the Oneidas, Occom leaves his studies, Occom’s Mission to the Montauketts, Occom’s Ordination, Fundraising Tour of Great Britain

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

Dear Messrs. Peck  Mason and Austin   Sirs 
Mr. Peck has favoured me with a Copy of Mr. Whita‐ ker's Letter to you, and by that I have an account of Mr. Oliver's Letter to  Governor Mauduit, and it seems a little strange that the Honourable Board  in whose Name he wrote so long accounted Mr. Occom to be in  their Pay, and yet after all make so many mistakes in their histo ry of him, and that too when it is the Result of a Meeting, and designed  as their Testimony of Facts, sent to the Honourable Society in London  to Certify them so circumstantially, as that they might not be  imposed upon by deceivers.
Some defects in their Narrative you may see by comparing  the following particulars with what they assert.
1. Mr. Occom (as well as many others of that Tribe) was un doubtedly a Pagan 'til he was above Sixteen years old. And had never  so much as heard that there was such a person as Jesus Christ.
2. None ever said anything to me about taking Mr. Occom under  my instruction, or was ever any way moving in that Matter, that I  ever knew of, but his Mother, before he came to live with me upon Trial.
3. Mr. Pomeroy never had any concern, but only as a Friend, when  my Family were unable to bear the Burden of the School, by  Reason of sickness, he did at my desire, take the School, with my  son-in-law (Mr. Maltby) the Master of it to his House, where  it continued, as I remember the better part of a year. But he depen‐ ded upon me to Support Mr. Occom, and it was at my risk as  much as ever.
4. Mr. Occom had been long confined by sore sickness, before he  came to me, and was then, and all the Time he was with me in a Low  state of Health, though in the main mending, 'til he went from me  to serve them as schoolmaster and public Teacher, at Mon  tauk, on Long-Island. And he was in as good state of Health   when he went away as I ever knew him to be. And it was  by the Importunity of Mr. Horton missionary of the Honourable Society in  Scotland that I was persuaded to let Mr. Occom go to take his place  there.
5. Mr. Occom after he had officiated some time as a preacher there,  was ordained by the Presbytery of Suffolk County on Said Island, and  still continues to be a Member of the Same:
6. The ministers in this Government had no hand in Sending Mr. Occom on  his first mission to the Six Nations. See the account of that in Mr.   Bostwick's Letter to the praeses of directors and printed at the End of  Mr. Randalls Sermon before the Society in Scotland January 3 176[illegible][guess: 3]
7. Mr. Occom was as much in the Pay of the Boston Commissioners before  the New York Commissioners sent him on this mission as he was afterwards  so far as I ever knew. And his circumstances were as needy 'til   he was relieved by that public Contribution at New York as ever I knew  them to be. Nor did I ever understand that the New York Commissioners  ever asked consent of the Boston Board to Send him
8. The Boston Commissioners paid only part of his Debts, when application  was made to them after his Return from that mission, and I believe only  a lesser part of them.
9. He could not have continued in their service nor in any other, if he  had received no other Support but that which he had from them.
10. As to the Report that he was a Mohawk etc., and that large Contri  butions were made to me on that Account I have never yet heard that  there has been such a Report in this Country but only what came  from the aforesaid Commissioners — And how a Report that he was a  Mohawk etc. came to be published in England, and transmitted here  in the Public Prints, I can only guess.
As to their resigning him to me and putting him out of their hands  when they had him in their Service as well as pay, only on my telling  them I could employ him better, abundantly evidences their high esteem  of my good Judgement and Fidelity, at least before I so unhappily cracked my  Credit, by declaring publicly in the most populous Towns in that and the  Neighbouring Government that he was a Mohawk lately Emergent out  of gross paganism etc., in order to get large Contributions for this  School.
These hints so far as I know are true, and I thought proper you should  have them and make such Improvement of them as your prudence shall  direct. And if you think it necessary you may publish them or  any part of them. Although I confess the entering into a public Quarrel  with those Gentlemen, is so unnatural and incongruous to the design  of building up, and enlarging the peaceable Kingdom of Christ which  we all profess to have in view, that I exceedingly dread it, if the  Glory of God and the interests of the Redeemers cause dont evidently  require it.
I herewith enclose a Letter to Mr. Oliver, a true Copy of which  I also enclose that you might know the Contents in which you will  see I desire a Copy of his aforesaid Letter to Governor Mauduit, and also that  you are desired to wait on him for that purpose please Sir to  favour me herein, and make return and advise me of your success as  soon as may be.
I have also desired Mr. Oliver to remit £10 of the annual allow ance of that Board for the use of this School, which I have  reason to expect he will not refuse, Since he has made two Remit‐ tances without the Least objection since he wrote the aforesaid Letter  to the Honourable Society in London. If he should refuse that, or a  Copy of his Letter, or both, you will enquire and know his reasons  for it. And I hope agreeable to your wonted goodness, excuse the  Trouble herein given you, by, My dear Sirs
Your much obliged and very humble Servant   Eleazar Wheelock
Letter to Messrs. Peck  Mason and Austin  November 5. 1766.