David Avery, letter, to David McClure, 1768 August 14


abstractAvery writes a collegial letter, over a few days and in segments, about the people and conditions at his mission. He notes that he will travel to Canajoharie to recruit an interpreter, and then writes from there as well.

handwritingInformal handwriting is largely clear and legible; it is occasionally difficult to decipher punctuation.

paperMedium-sized single sheet is in fair condition, with moderate staining, creasing and wear. Large portions of the wax seal remain.


noteworthyThe authorship of this letter has been determined by 1) the trailer on one verso, and 2) the fact that the handwriting does appear to be Avery's. The letter's date is taken from the trailer on one verso; it is written over the course of at least three days. The undated segments beginning "Monday Morning" and "wrote to you either..." appear to have been written previous to the section dated August 17, and likely from Kanawalohale. It is uncertain to whom Avery refers when he mentions "the Queen," however, she is possibly Molly Brant, William Johnson's consort."The Peregrina" or “pilgrim" is likely a reference to Avery himself. It is uncertain whether “little Jonne Williams’s Brother" refers to a little Jonne, William’s brother, or the brother of little Jonne Williams, and so these names have been left untagged. The identity of “Johnson" is uncertain, and so he has been left untagged; however, he is possibly Joseph Johnson or Jacob Johnson. The identity of Mr. M– is uncertain and so he has been left untagged.

signatureIt is uncertain whether the signature "G.H.S." is a nickname between two former classmates, an abbreviation for a saying, or something else entirely.

layoutThe letter is written in segments, in several different orientations on the page.

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

leg-go-ro-hoh-quon-ye-Suckewesat‐  yo-yonnereh..The Indians bear your avery  tender regard— ho [illegible][guess: !] yonnereh, quógh!  They are very kind to me— constantly bringing  one thing and another—Father Isaac is a  Father indeed— little Jonne W[gap: tear][guess: [illi]am's Bro  ther often brings presents— it would have  made you laugh to see the little shaver  thus come with a small basket of Cucumbers  indian like slung on his head— another  little boy of the school about 4 years old  made a present: last saturday of three very  small shiners! The Queen is going to  see her Son at New England= [illegible][guess: Tuebhuns]—and hope  to hear from at her return—adieu! adieu!   Yours ut supra   [illegible][guess: G.] H. S. 
Canajoharie August 17….  Came here today very much fatigued.—  the disaffection and insensibility of the dutch  are enough to provoke the righteous displeasure  of a good man— Give more Love to Frisbie  for his Letter than can be expressed by my old blundering quill—  Supposed Ripley non datur or should have wrote him  by Mr. Kinne..— Wish you all a happy Commencement—  remember an absent friend to C… Brethren…you will all write  me either by the missionary or the Queen..fiat! fiat!…. 
Canajoharie August 18.  The Indians of this Castle  are laden with Iniquity—  drunken and drinking. con stantly— Last Evening  two drunken Sober  Gentlemen of the Devil  came to make me a  visit! however, they  could not get right of me.   pray for me— —  my hand trembles so  through weakness am not  able to mend these terri bles — Thanks to  Messrs. Allis, Dudley  and Johnson for your Letters—.  the doctor's caused me a  good hearty Laugh! Dud‐  ley wrote on the Lady of  Friendship!— —  hope to procure some  more curiosities for  Mr. M. write about them—  if you see the doctor's you will see what  a hurly-burly the Peregrina is in. 
wrote you either last night or this morning be‐  twixt one and four — not being able to sleep—  as Sleep is wont to depart from my Eyes—  am going to Canajoharie to get Johannes  if possible for Interpreter—   
Mr. D. Avery—  August 14. 1768   
To—   Mr. David McClure   Lebanon   Connecticut  By the Queen}    among thy    Nonsense  Nonvo Portu–  Coppecticut–sm  Novanglia