Joseph Johnson, letter to Eleazar Wheelock, 1768 April 20


abstractJohnson writes about his progress among the Oneidas, and about the recent travels of Ralph Wheelock among tribes of the Six Nations.

handwritingJohnson's hand is small, but clear and legible.

paperLarge sheet folded in half is in fair condition, with heavy creasing and wear that nonetheless results in no loss of text. Large portions of the seal remain.


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

  Rev. and Honoured Dr. 
My respects and Regards for you  for the many favours which I have Enjoyed  Since under your paternal Care excites in me  a kind of Gratitude which makes me desirous  to inquire little concerning your Valuble health  and to gather with all this I believe it is my—  indispensable Duty to Acquaint you the state  of the Indians up here and the school which  I keep. Honoured Sir. I have not as yet Opened the  School at Old Oneida Since I came up last.  my Employment has been an Imperfect  Interpreter little better then none. to your  Honoured Son. the Indians treat him with great  deal of respect, and say that they do really  love him, and want that he should stay longer.  your Honoured Son has been at Onondaga and offered  the glad tiding of the Gospel of Christ to them likewise  to the Senecas, but has not yet an answer but  they did treat him with more respects than  they had any before him, and desired to have  Some time to consider such matter of Importance  and promised to give him an answer within  8 weeks. but has not received any answer at all.  what the reason is I cant tell. your son has  been under great disadvantage in this journey  and been through many sorrowful hour. no one to advise  him in Such Important Affair. 
I Expect to Open the school next week.  I believe that if the Indians now refuse  the Offered Gospel it will be wonder if God  dont in his anger cut them of from his Earth.  I do feel bad the for sake of your son, he has  had two or three bad turns since he has been  up here. if had not the all supporting grace  from on high been his present aid he would  probably not be able to go through his business  but God be praised that he has carried him  thus far in safety.  Rev. Sir I hope that you have had your  health allowed to you since I saw you.  God be praised that he has kept me from  that distemper which I did so greatly fear.  I have Enjoyed my useless health as usual.  I desire humbly to Recommend myself  to your prayers daily that he would keep me  from all sin especially from pride.  I have no more to acquaint you at present 
So I [illegible] Remain your Ignorant  Pupil. and good for nothing Black  Indian.    Joseph Johnson.     Dr. Wheelock.
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Joseph Johnsons  April 20. 1768   
To  the Rev. Dr. Eleazar Wheelock   in.   New England.  Per favour of)  Mr. Wheelock)