Theophilus Chamberlain, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1767 September 10


abstractChamberlain offers an account of his debts accrued as a missionary and argues that he should not owe any money to Wheelock's School.

handwritingHandwriting is small though mostly clear and legible. Letter case is often difficult to discern, especially with regard to the letters S and D. Summary of "rec'd" and "paid" is in a different, unknown, hand.

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

inkDark brown.

signatureThe signature is abbreviated.

layoutThe first page of the letter is on two recto, not one recto.

noteworthyIt is uncertain to which organization Chamberlain refers when he mentions the "Boston Board," and so this organization has not been tagged. It is likely the New England Company.

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

Rev. Sir
Yours of the 9th of July I received sometime in August  and might have come and Seen you but that riding still hurts  me. I am a little surprised at the Contents considering the  conversation I had with you just as I came from your house  and Some other Things. am however willing to do the best  I can to give Satisfaction. as for being able to pay so much  Money am not and it is likely never Shall be, as I am obliged  in conscience to profess the Religion called Sandeman; the preach= ing of which is not attended with Profit in the sense of the  World. am willing rather than trouble myself farther to resign  up most of my Books to you which may perhaps amount to  £10 or £12, yet am persuaded that had you allowed me to have  gone in the Service of the Boston Board when I asked it, I  Should have been quite clear and considerable more.  with Regard to the last Sum received at Capt Butlers, it ought  to be considered that I went up the June before last with  but about £8 more than I then owed, that I received but  between £3 and £4 more 'til I returned in the Spring, that  I hired an Interpreter most of this Time; had Jacob Fowlers  Board to pay for most of it and many other thing for him, as  I have an Account of £9 0s 2d which I paid and run in Debt  for him in four Months Time; had Calvin or Moses likewise  most of the Time to Supply. had a horse to buy and ride back= ward and forward with an Interpreter to fort hunter.  considering these things it cant be Strange that I was nigh  £80 York Money in Debt which was in fact the case. My principal  Debts were William Sabers, my Landlord H[illegible]ch[illegible]mans, my Interpreter  Capt Butlers and Capt. [illegible][guess: Kanynes], which amounted to above £70.  Beside these owed a Number of little Debts, a particular   account
of which I have not got; but as near as I can now recollect  the whole amounted to £79 beside the Charge of my last  Journey. The Money I had of Capt Butler was if I dont  mistake £8 York Money and had £5 Lawful Money when I left you.  I have here given the best account I can of my Debts  unless I was to make a Journey up the River on purpose
With Regard to what I called and still call a discovery,  my expenses were something extraordinary upon that ac= count, perhaps more than the circumstances of the Affair  will now Seem to vindicate in your Mind; Though had  it Succeeded as I and others expected I Should have met  with no difficulty from that Quarter. Am now too-much  out of humor with the World and too much engaged in  something else to prosecute schemes of that Nature, or that  Invention might Still answer me Some worldly purpose.  am now willing to make known the Affair to you, if  first you will engage to make no use of it nor to discover  it, 'til you have first given me sufficient Security that  I Shall receive no more trouble from what you suppose  I owe to the School. When you have heard and examined  it you may then determine for yourself whether the  prospect of benefit from it is equal to that of getting  something from one who will never have any thing to  pay. If Sir you dont like any of my proposals,  please to inform me what I shall do. In the mean  Time I remain
Rev. Sir  your Servant  Theophilus Chamberlain
PS, Will send you as soon as I can  draw them out the reasons why I ought  not to be made debtor to the School.
At South Hadley 10th September, 1767  To Mr. Eleazar Wheelock
To  Rev. Eleazar Wheelock  in  Lebanon    From the Rev. Mr.  Chamberlain  September 10th 1767
Received—  June before last more than he owed £8—  before he returned in the Spring.- 3 − 10—  of Capt. Butler 60—  when he went from here} 5—  last spring . . . }   ____________   £76 10s Lawful Money
paid  for Joseph Johnson £9 8s 2d  Horse ߞ 14ߞ  Sundry Debts ߞ 79ߞ  York Money £102 8s 2d [illegible]   25..12..[illegible][guess: ½]   ___________  Lawful Money £76 16s 1½d  besides Calvin and Moses to supply  and charge of his last Journey  and extraordinary Expense  about his discovery ߞ  all paid by £76 10s