Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Robert Keen, 1766 December 4


abstractWheelock writes to Keen about money matters, selecting a potential site for the School, and the controversy regarding the letter sent to England by the New England Company. He also introduces William Samuel Johnson, newly appointed as Special agent for the Colony of Connecticut.

handwritingThe letter appears to be written in two different hands, one Wheelock's, the other unknown. It is alternately formal and clear, and informal and less clearly legible.

paperLarge single sheet is in fair condition, with moderate staining, creasing and wear. There is preservation work done on particularly heavy creases.

inkDark brown.

noteworthyIn the deleted section on one verso, the identity of "Mr. P. . . . . . .n" is uncertain, and so he has been left untagged. However, he is likely Ebenezer Pemberton. This document is very likely a draft. A note, possibly 19th-century, has been added in pencil after the trailer. This note has not been included in the transcription.

EventsOccom’s Ordination, Fundraising Tour of Great Britain

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

Dear Mr. Keen.   Sir. 
I wrote you the other Day under many  disadvantages of Body and Mind, and upon Recollection find I  gave but a very imperfect answer to your Letter, I men‐ tioned a Bill drawn in favour of Mr. Breed for £160 I should  have said £180 And with respect to Bills to be drawn for  the future, as Mr. Moses Peck watchmaker is my factor in Boston, it may be necessa‐ ry that he should sometimes draw in my Stead which Bills I would  pray you to honour as if signed by myself, and no others unless  further advised, As to large sums for building that must re‐ ‐main in suspense 'til I have further Advice from you, or 'til  God in his Providence shall point out the most convenient place  to fix the School, which I wait to have determined by its friends  on your side the Water, and that for this reason, because so large numbers  have interested themselves in that Matter and each party so engaged  to have it in the place they have respectively fixed upon, and  many viewing the advantages and conveniences of each place in so par‐  ‐tial a manner that great numbers must necessarily be disobliged  let it be fixed where it will, and perhaps some disagreeable reflec‐ tions and censures be incurred if it should be determined by myself    which may be of real and lasting disservice to the cause,   it has therefore been my declared purpose to refer the Determination of this matter to  its most important friends with you. I wait in hopes  there may be an opening to the westward which may exhibit such  prospects as shall outbid all others, I am waiting for an answer  from Mr. Brainerd relative thereto, I wonder to hear nothing more from  Gen. Lyman, you kindly proposed the sending me a list of the most  important subscribers to this design, which I apprehend may be of real  Service, and accordingly Shall hope to be favoured with it in your Next X X Please Sir also to advise what gentlemen or whether any are to be addressed with my thanks on that head and whether his  Majesty would likely accept something of that Nature, and if any please to inform me of their titles and anything as to manner of address  which you may think necessary for one in so obscure a Corner) The Youth  I expect from the wilderness are not yet returned and am at a loss for the  reason of their tarrying so much beyond the time appointed what new  intelligence they shall bring you may expect by the first conveyance  as also an account of a remarkable occurrence among the Indians westward  of Philadelphia as soon as I can obtain a circumstantial account of it —  Mr. Whitaker informs of the Difficulties he encounters from a Letter wrote by  Mr. Oliver Letter in the Name of the Board of London Commissioners in Boston *and represents that it is of importance that some insinuations in said  Letter especially that I reported that Mr. Occom was a mohawk lately emerged from gross paganism etc. be effectually contradicted — Upon which I would  only observe * Mr. Occoms Character has been so long and  so publicly known to gentlemen in all our Governments, as to render it near as  impertinent to take pains to contradict a report of his being a Mohawk lately  emerged etc. as of his being an Englishman if such a r[gap: tear][guess: ep]ort had ever been propagated 
I never heard such a report nor did I ever yet find any other who had heard  Such a Report of him except what came from the Boston  Commissioners, you may see by Mr. Buells Sermon at the Ordination of Mr.  Occom in the hands of Mr. DeBerdt which has been made public in our Colonies  and also by Mr. Bostwicks Letter at the end of Mr. Randals Sermon preached before  the Society in Edinburgh 1763, that Mr. Occom has not been hid in such a  corner, as that any man of Sense could think it Safe to publish such an untruth  concerning him if he had   ever So great a thirst to get money  and especially considering that the tribe he belongs to is quite immaterial but his  emerging out of paganism is the only thing affecting in the account and that is true  concerning him, I have seen the account which Mr. Whitaker gives Mr. Peck etc. [illegible]  of that Letter and it seems strange that gentlemen who have for Long had opportunity  of acquaintance with Mr. Occoms Character and who pretend to give such an account  of him to the honourable Society as may Effectually prevent impostures, should yet be mis‐ taken in almost every particular they relate of him as you may See by comparing What they have  Wrote with the inclosed Copy of Mine To Messrs. Peck Mason and Austin.    I drew an Order upon the Board in Boston in favour of Mr. Peck about a month ago for £10. of their Annual Allowance  to this School, which, Mr. Peck informed me last Week, Mr. Oliver had honoured at  first Sight. Which is the third Remittance he has made without the least Objection,  Since he wrote that Letter to Mr. Mauduit. and is the more remarkable  as the Grant made by them was only during their pleasure.
But Application is, or will Soon be, made to Mr. Oliver for a Copy of  that Letter, and you will likely hear further of it.
Please to present my best Regards to those worthy Gentlemen you mention  as associating with you for the Furtherance of this Grand Design, to Whom  you will likely communicate what I have Wrote.
And as William Samuel Johnson LLD. is designed for Great Britain as Special  Agent for the Colony of Connecticut, I give myself the pleasure to intro‐ duce him to Your and their Acquaintance as a Gentleman of Worth and  Character in his profession, Who I make no doubt will deserve your and their  esteem and friendship,
I Shall offer no excuse for inaccuracies but my constant Hurry  I hope you will be able to pick out my meaning. and believe  that I am my dear Mr. Keen, with much Affection and esteem 
Yours most heartily in   all Christian Bonds.  Eleazar Wheelock 
Letter to Mr. Robert Keen  December 4. 1766.