Joseph Johnson, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1767 November 10


abstractJohnson writes to Wheelock about his safe arrival in Oneida, the state of his life and school there, and about two young boys who could, in time, be likely pupils for the charity school.

handwritingHandwriting is small and tightly spaced, but formal and legible.

paperLarge sheet folded vertically to form four pages is in good condition, with light-to-moderate creasing, yellowing and wear. Significant portions of the seal remain, and tearing around the seal results in no loss of text.

inkBrown ink has sustained some fading.

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

Rev. and Honoured Doctor   
Suffer me as an Indian and a good  for nothing one, to Subscribe myself your dutiful Pupil, or one  that will Endeavour to be dutiful, for time to come;  Rev. Sir, by the mere goodness of God we arrived Safe up here  the Eleventh day from your house; and Experienced much of the good ness of God, in many instances; Praised be his Name that he has all things  at his Command, and distempers at his beck, they go and come at his  pleasure. Blessed be the Lord God that has carried us safe  when the Arrows of Death were flying thick about us, he worked  a wonderful deliverance for our Bodies, and may it please him in  Infinite Mercy and condescension to work much more wonderful  deliverance to my precious Soul. and may the Lord Enable me to give  due thanks for his kind preservation, and may his goodness lead  me to a hearty Repentance. and may he please to fill my heart brim ful of Gratitude to him and my kind Benefactors, I feel a disposition  and a heart to Spend all for God and to Enlarge the dear Redeemers  Kingdom in the world, as far as lies in my power. I think I have no  reason to take it hard to Endure hardships. Since our Blessed Lord  Jesus has been before me he has led the way; He was acquainted  with all these hardships before me; he was no Stranger to Hunger,  Thirst, cold, nor yet Temptations, as he was man. yea may I not think  it hard if he call for my Life in his cause, to let it go freely; for it is no  more than he did, and may I go through all these Trials with ease for  his Sake: Seeing he has led the way Set a pattern for all those that  will follow him, he has been pleased to tell us beforehand of these things  he was reviled, here he Sought a glorious Example of humiliation that  when he was reviled he reviled not again, he was persecuted for my Sins  thereby to learn me that I must in like manner go through persecu­ ­tions, and that I must not think it hard to be persecuted called to naught  for his Names Sake, for he was persecuted for my Sins Sake.  He Spilled his Sacred Blood for me he groaned out his Life for  my wickedness, he had no Self-Glory in his Sufferings; all he had  in view was the Salvation of Man — that Guilty man might be  Reconciled to its maker: now through his death and Sufferings  the apostate Man may converse with its Creator. through a —  Mediator. He has dearly purchased a Heaven of happiness  for every one that will believe in him. only believing heaven is mine  Eternal happiness is mine, Christ is mine, nay all the happiness in  in this Life and the Life to come is all mine only for receiving.  Rev. Doctor I would inform you that that by the goodness of God  I Enjoy my health as usual. 
as Sir, I would fain hope that by the Same goodness you Enjoy yours,  I would inform you likewise that I have entered the School  which your Son Opened for me when he was up here.  I Entered on the second Tuesday of November. had only 5 Scholars  they are all absent yet and perhaps will not return long before  New Year. But they promise me three more this week, who are gone  only to fetch Some flesh from the Hunters. they behave very kind  to me Since I came here, all that they have is free to me as one Born  and brought up in the house.  I have plenty of Victuals Such as they can afford, and they are good  Enough, better than I deserve, Nothing wanting but a thankful  heart, they have plenty of Corn, fish, squashes at present.  I have nothing that is Strange to inform you in this Letter, you  Said Something to me about choosing a Lad out of my School  and Send him down to you, I think at present there is no choice  I am not able to discern their genius, here is two very likely boys  look as if they would make men (in time) are about 12 or 13 years of Age  I cant tell which of them is best, (they are both branches of the royal family  In their Nation and town) perhaps in the Spring I Shall be more  able to distinguish them, when I have Seen what Proficiency they  make. no more at present only Honoured Sir, I desire Still to be under thy  Direction, please Sir, to Remember me in thy prayers, Pray that God  would fill my heart with Gratitude both to him and my Kind Bene ­factors. — that he would keep me from pride and Ingratitude; which  has ruined many a youth. pray that he would grant me Prudence;  and that I may put my whole trust in him both Soul and body.  for time and Eternity, that he may Enable me to live above the World, as,  not having my treasure on Earth, but in the heavens, where neither  moth nor rust corrupteth; nor thieves break through and Steal.  Pray that he would grant me wisdom from on high, Such as none  but a God can give; that he would grant me wisdom So to behave  myself as not to dishonour or bring disgrace to Religion. that he would  make one a blessing to the Children which he has committed to my charge. 
This is the true and Sincere, hearty desire, of me, thy dutiful though  Unworthy Pupil.  Joseph Johnson. 
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From Joseph Johnson Oneida  November 10th 1767   
To —  The Rev. Mr. Eleazar Wheelock. Doctor Divinity  Minister of the Gospel of Christ at Lebanon.  New England. —  Connecticut. —    Per favour of }  William }