David McClure, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1772 June 30


abstractMcClure writes that he has asked Occom to join the mission, but that Occom states he is in ill health, has too many debts, and that he has been neglected since his return from Great Britain. McClure urges Wheelock to be generous with Occom.

handwritingFormal handwriting is small, but clear and legible.

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


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

  Rev. and Honored Sir/ 
Through divine goodness Mr. Frisbie  and I had a comfortable journey to this place, where  we arrived last Evening and found Mr. Occom and family  in usual health; we immediately laid open the  business on which we came — It was all new to  Mr. Occom — neither of your Letters, Sir, have  reached him, they have somewhere unfortunately  stopped. The Doctor's Letter to him by us con tained the first intimation he has had re= specting this mission. After conversing on the  openings and encouragements of our intended mis sion to the Southward, he manifested a desire  and willingness to join us, but urged his bodily  infirmities and involvements * against undertaking  it immediately — And indeed he has had so  short notice of it that it would be difficult if not im= practicable for him to set out with us.
I have all along thought 'til now that he  * he owes he says ₤50 or  ₤60 — 
had a pension of ₤30 sterling per annum from Esq. Thornton  But he says he has had no pension or allowance from  him, or any other quarter since he came from England,  except two private donations from thence amounting to ₤60 —. That before he  went to England he was under the pay of the Boston board  and since his return has been rejected by them and by  the School too. And considering what Indian Genius and  temper are, has there not, Sir, been too much occasion for  him to complain of neglect? he has had to encounter  many and great difficulties since his return and would it  not, Sir, been good policy if no more and will it not now be  good policy, to make him some small allowance and let  him enjoy in some measure the benefit of the monies he  was instrumental in obtaining for the use and benefit of  the design? So that he might be cut off from any occa sion to repeat what he says Mr. Whitefield told him  when he left England; "that they had made him a tool to  collect monies for them in England, but when he got to  America they would set him adrift." His Character, as  far as I can learn in these parts is now good, and the Crimes  of intemperance with which he has been charged, are  very much extenuated by the temptations he was under.  He appears calm and rational, more so than I expected to have  found him, respecting the Indian design. I am more and  more persuaded of the expediency and advantage of his un= dertaking a mission and ardently hope that God in his 
providence will so order and direct that he may  join us in the mission before us. It would very  much strengthen our hands and encourage us.
In the freedom of Conversation with him  he said, many fair promises had been made him  but he found they would never fill his belly or  cover his back, and that as soon as he could see  a prospect and know for certain that he could be  in a way to discharge his Debts and support his  family he would under his infirmity, go.  In the Doctor's behalf, made an offer of ₤100  sterling Annually and to gave an order on Capt. Backus  for ₤50 lawful money of it to be paid now and the remainder  at the close of the Year, if he would undertake  he seemed to think it would not be sufficient to bear  his expenses and maintain his numerous family. I told  him should he undertake, I would engage the Doctor's  influence with Esq. Thornton and had not the least  doubt but his debts would by that Gentleman be  generously discharged. He intimates a design of  visiting the Doctor, which hope he will. I have  wrote Rev. Sir, with freedom which I have no  apprehension of your blaming me for. Mr. Frisbie  has had several poor turns since we set out  he joins in Duty and Affection to the Doctor  and family, with Rev. and Honored Patron   
Your dutiful and obliged   humble Servant   David McClure 
Rev. Dr. Wheelock  P.S. I wrote the Dr. per.[illegible] Mrs. Payne about 6 Days past —  As Mr. Occom intends to write the Dr. in the proposed mission we must refer to  his Letter to know his mind more fully respecting it —  — have enclosed a number of the latest papers from different parts.
from Rev. Mr. McClure   June 30. 1772 
To  The Rev. Eleazar Wheelock D.D.   President   of Dartmouth College   New=Hampshire