Sylvanus Ripley, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1768 September 24


abstractRipley writes to accept Wheelock’s invitation to write to him to improve his education. Ripley writes in support of the design to Christianize the Indians.

handwritingHandwriting is small, but formal and clear. The trailer is in an unknown hand.

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


noteworthyMarks -- a plus sign and a P -- have been added to the document in a different, probably modern hand. These marks have not been transcribed. The word "Wilkin's" appears on two verso; this is unexplained.

signatureThe signature is abbreviated.

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

Reverend, and Honoured Sir   
I (humbly accepting  your kind invitation to me viz to improve every  leisure hour in writing to the Dr) now   dedicate the following Epistle, which I trust  will share largely your correction –– perhaps it  would not be disagreeable, should I choose some  subject to treat on; when to write themeless, would  be too much like building a castle in the air:  I think it not improper, to turn my thoughts  on the important design in veiw –– and first  I believe their is a vast many obstacles in the way   which 
To Mr. Eleazar Wheelock DD,–– 
Which to human appearance seem to be almost  insurmountable, and the cause in various respects wears  a gloomy aspect; yet the probability of its success is greater;  than that I myself shall Ever be able to assist in the forwarding  of it, who) I believe( will be Rather like a brittle pin,   which tends more to weaken the fabric; than promote  its stability; yet I would wish for the best that the great  design of Christianizing the Pagans might be accomplished  the great Redeemers Kingdom advanced; God glorified:  Satans strong holds subverted: and the Benefactors most  sanguine expectations answered: and may, kind Sir, your  indefatigable labours be crowned with success, and when the  grand Mandate Moriatur is uttered in heaven, then may your  Exit be with a composed and resigned spirit; and "Receive an abun  ­dant entrance administered to your" and and   
I beg Leave to sub­  ­scribe myself your dutiful Pupil Sils Ripy 
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Silvanus Ripleys  September 24. 1768   
Wilkin's    To— —  the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock DD  In  Connecticut    per favour}  the subscriber}