Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to John Thornton, 1768 August 25


abstractWheelock writes that Occom refuses to return money that was inadvertently advanced to him; he fears Occom has been given delusions of grandeur by his treatment in England.

handwritingHandwriting is relatively neat and clear. Letter case is frequently difficult to decipher. The trailer is in an unknown hand.

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


noteworthyIt is uncertain to whom Wheelock refers when he mentions Occom's "Youngest Child," and so he or she has been left untagged. In the left margin of one recto, Wheelock notes that the letter was never sent. When Wheelock mentions the Messrs. Lathrop, he is referring to Daniel Lathrop and Joshua Lathrop. The contents of this letter are similar to those of manuscript 768673.1

EventsFundraising Tour of Great Britain

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

   My dear Sir. 
On sight of Mr. Keen's order by, and in favour of  Mr. Occom, I drew on Messrs. Lathrops in [illegible] favour for the  Money before I had been informed that he had received of  the Trust in England an Allowance for the Support of his fami‐ ly in his absence, the greatest part of which had been at the  expense of the School — Soon after Dr. Whitaker arrived, and  had informed me of the true State of the Affair I Sent Mr.  Woodward my Bookkeeper to Settle the account with him, and  receive what was due to the School. But, Mr. Woodward says  he treated him with an air of Slight and Contempt, Said he would  Settle the account with none but with me — that he laid out all  the money in England which he received of the Trust as an Allow ‐ance for Support of his Family. And that He had paid away the  greatest part of what he had received of Messrs. Lathrops by virtue  of my order; and had occasion for the rest to lay out in  Labour upon his Farm etc. and that, though it was reasonable  the money Should be refunded to the School, it must wait 'til  he could get it Some Other way — On Mr. Woodwards inqui‐ ry how it came to pass that the Allowance made him in  England was so Soon Spent? he assigned this as one reason  that he bought a considerable Collection of Books for the  School but afterwards for fear of Blame he took them to him‐ self and charged them to his own account — upon which Mr. Woodward  proposed taking those Books for the School, as he wanted to  Sell them, but he would not consent to it without a customary  Advance. Neither (as appeared upon Trial) with Such Advance.  but would have the Money in Hand or not part with the  Books. — Mr. Woodward finally desired him to visit me  Soon and Settle the Affair otherwise an account of it must  be transmitted to England. this he promised to do in a few  Days, Since which Six Weeks have elapsed and I have heard  nothing from him — After this I was informed that half  the Order he had on Messrs. Lathrops remained unpaid; on which  Mr. Woodward wrote Mr. Occom in my Name, informing him  that I had heard of it. and expected that he would order Messrs.   Lathrops to pay it to the School, upon the Receipt of which  Letter  This Letter was never Sent.   
Letter he immediately applied to them for the Money and  could not by them be prevailed upon to consent that the  School Should have it. —   I advised him soon after he came Home to dispose of his  Family and Affairs agreeably to make himself a Settlement in the  wilderness, where he may have an Advantage which no Englishman  can have. viz. as much of the best of their Lands as he could  reasonably desire. I proposed that he Should take his Wife and  two of his Children with him. viz. his eldest Son and fix him in a  School under his Guidance and inspection, and his youngest Child to  live with him, and I would take all the rest of his Children into my  School 'til his circumstances Should invite to take them with him,  but he seemed disinclined to it — and I hear is employing a Number  of Labourers about his house and Farm and I but little expect  either to get the balance of the School's account which is about  ₤75. Sterling, or that he will ever Settle in Such a mission —  I fear his Tour to England, and the great Respect shown him  there will have the Sad Effect to make him aspire after grandeur  and ease, and prevent his future usefulness, at least in a great  measure. I haven't Yet Seen him to discourse the Affair with  him. Nor can I flatter myself with any great Benefit by it, if  I Should, Since I can offer no more forcible Arguments than  Mr. Woodward urged without success.   I have Confidence in Your Prudence and have observed with  pleasure, the expressions of Your esteem and friendship towards  him, or I Should not have dared to express myself with So much  freedom as I have done upon this Head.   I have, Since I transmitted my last accounts, besides the ₤100.  to pay Mr. Occom, drawn on You for the following Sums viz.  ₤100. sterling in favour of Messrs. Lathrops. June 20th  ₤100— in favour of Mr. John Baker Brimmer June 20.  ₤39.5.— in favour of Mr. George Green June 25.  ₤100. — in favour of Messrs. Lathrops August 12.   I have drawn for no more than has been necessary; and  have used the greatest economy and Prudence I have been  master of in all my layings out.   I conclude You will See what I write my Honoured Patrons  to which I must refer you for Intelligence in the great Affair.   And subscribe with much Affection and Esteem.   
Yours in the dearest Bonds    Eleazar Wheelock 
John Thornton Esq.   
Blank page.
To Esq. Thornton   August 25. 1768.