Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to John Thornton, 1771 September 9


abstractWheelock thanks Thornton for his assistance, describes the buildings and details expenses for the Charity School. He adds his hopes that Occom has reformed and can be of service again.

handwritingFormal handwriting is not Wheelock's; it is clear and legible. The trailer appears to be in Wheelock's hand.

paperTwo small sheets are in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.


noteworthyThis document is likely Wheelock's own copy.

signatureThe signature is not Wheelock’s.

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

My very dear and honoured Sir. 
I thank you for your most endearing  Letter of April 26th which I have now before me, and it is like  cold water to a thirsty Soul. I wrote you a hasty and  undigested Line, by the hand of my Clerk on my receiving  it, while the Bearer was waiting impatiently for it  and now the case is nearly the same, the Bearer  being just setting out on his Journey, and gives me  no time but to throw out a few hints.  I bless God who has honored you with Ability, and  has so largely opened your Heart to serve the cause  of the Redeemer with his Goods which he has committed  to your stewardship — I find my confidence in you  in that regard has sensibly alleviated my Burden.
The Buildings which I am finishing are  no more than are absolutely necessary for the School,  and it cant subsist here without them, if I am suc­ cessful in my Attempt to get the Number of Indian  Youth which I hope for as soon as the house is finished  they with the independent Scholars, I expect will  fill the whole and as many Rooms of the private  houses which are going forward near to it as can  be made ready for them
The College or large Building has not been  as yet entered upon, but will likely be necessary  if God continues his Smiles a few Years, when I hope  and believe a door will be opened to effect it. the inde­ pendent Scholars provide for themselves, and are no  expense to the fund, nor any Impediment any way to  the first Object i.e. the Charity Scholars   but the contrary.   provision  Esq. Thornton. 
provision must be made for the Charity Scholars English  and Indians, and it cant be without expense. I am and have  been seeking all assistances I can in this matter, but to do  it without expense to the fund is not possible, nor what  I ever expected, and you may depend upon it I shall spend  no more than is absolutely necessary for the School.  The Saw mill is finished which will much lessen the  expense of what is yet to do, and will likely afford a pretty  income to the School besides.
Mr. Occom is now 200 Miles from me. I wrote last  Winter and again last Spring, and have now desired Mr. Avery  to make the most prudent Inquiry he could of Mr. Occoms  moral Character, that I may be advised whither it be such  as that it can consist with the honor of Christ and the  reputation of the sacred Character to employ him as  a missionary, and if so I have wrote Mr. Occom that I now  do as I always have, stand ready to do all I can to promote  his comfort and usefulness therein.
He complained in a letter to me of my writing  to you only of his fall, but nothing in his favor. I hope  to be able soon to give you a comfortable account of him.  The wound he has given the dear Cause is   very great and is yet bleeding.
I believe there is no[illegible][guess: w] talk or Jealousy in this Country that I have  changed my Religion though I believe many would  rejoice if I should. —
We are passing through a rough and thorny way,   our 
our days work will be done by and by, and I trust we shall  rest together where the wicked will cease from  troubling etc. I am with warmest Affection 
Your much obliged and  very humble Servant  Eleazar Wheelock
To Esq. Thornton  September 9th 1771.