Joseph Johnson, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1775 February 14


abstractJohnson asks Wheelock to recommend him to John Rodgers so that the latter can petition for donations on Johnson’s behalf.

handwritingHandwriting is somewhat scratchy, though largely clear and legible. Letter case is occasionally difficult to decipher.

paperLarge single sheet is in fair conditon, with moderate-to-heavy creasing, staining and wear. There is no loss of text, though the condition of the paper occasionally renders it difficult to distinguish between punctuation and spotting.


noteworthySome of the contents of this letter are similar to those in manuscript 775165. The trailer is written in Wheelock's hand, as are some random notes in the right-hand margin of one verso.

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

  My kind and worthy Benefactor 
with humility, Love and  Gratitude I sit myself down to write few lines to you my  Honoured Patron. (and with much haste. —) I received your kind  Letter, dated January 23rd last evening by the hand of Mr.  Ralph Pomeroy. for which I give you my hearty thanks, I had  thought that your worthy person had not designed to write to me.  or that you had heard something, and did not see it in your  way to help me. and I was greatly dejected, and almost dis couraged. but the Lord in whom I trust, whom I fear, Love,  and purpose to Serve all my days, hath been pleased to mani fest his approbation, (towards the Noble Undertaking, in  which cause, I have given up my all, to bring it about,) in his  providing for my relief in a wonderful manner, even when  I was in the greatest straits and almost in despair. — and  blessed be the Name of the God of Israel, who hath never  been found unfaithful, or unkind. who will provide for  those that doth really depend upon his Divine Beneficence.  Rev., and kind Sir; I have been to New York, and the Lord  hath raised up, for me good Christian friends. — I was  in the City 15, Days. and I preached there three diffe rent Times. and a Collection was proposed for my relief  and Encouragement two different times. and there was a  very honorable Collection made, worthy of the Generous, and  Noble Spirit, of the Wealthy Inhabitants of that renowned  City. for which kindness I bless the Lord daily. —  I had Sufficient Collected for me, to discharge all my  debts, and also to purchase things necessary for my present sub sistance. namely little provision. — I did not go to New  York until I was quite discouraged waiting for the  answer to the Letter I sent to your worthy person. —  I believe that I shall have encouragement, the ensuing year  or season, from the Board of New York, or Philadelphia, I am  not certain however, the Rev. Mr. Rodgers. D.D. A preacher  in the Presbyterian old South Meeting house is a Member of that  Honorable Board, who is remarkably friendly. to whom  I humbly, and earnestly, desire you would write soon  as possible, if your worthy person can recommend me. to  him, and make him believe that you think that I am worthy of notice  and deserving of Encouragement, I should be Exceeding  glad. he believes Me to be deserving of Encouragement. I  preached for him three times. and he was very desirous  of helping me. but he thought proper, that something  Should be had from thee: a Recommendation. — he seems  to think if proper Steps be taken. he can obtain for my  help, [illegible][guess: ] Encouragement — fifty Pound Sterling Per Annum.  befriend me, if you see it in your way. —   
My loving Patron, I want all help that a poor well  disposed Creature can desire. I am empty handed. I have  no purse neither have I any thing to put in one, if I  had a purse. — nevertheless I will step forward. — and  Stagger not. — I am satisfied it is best for me to know  and ever bear upon my mind that my dependence is  upon the Lord alone. — O that I may ever live like a  poor dependent Creature. — having my Eyes, and heart  fixed on the Lord. —  I Shall write to my friends in New York directly.  and I desire again that you would not fail to write for  the Honorable Board of which I made Mention will  set, or meet together by the first of April. when the  Rev. Dr. Rodgers will petition for me. — and he will  do it with double Courage if he has few lines from you.  I know not the Gentlemans Christian Name. but he  promised to write to you, and desired me to write also.  but if he has not wrote the surest way would be  to Send a Letter to Mr. James Lesley, my old master,  who lives in the City of New York. keeping a School there.  and enclose Dr. Rodgers's Letter therein. be so good as  to write full, and get as much help for me as ever  you can from that quarter. or from that Board of  which Mr. Rodgers is a Member.. etc.: —   I am pleased to see the Indians in these parts so  engaged. I believe that there will be upwards of  Sixty young Indian men from the Seven Tribes  that will set off from hence by the 13th of March  next. to be distinguished as noble Spirited Indians, who  will do their uttermost to get good, and do good, —  who will distinguish themselves from the [illegible][guess: ]  lazy crew that refuses the good offers made to  them in these Latter Days. — Pray for us. that  we may obtain blessings from on high. and that we  might be blessings on Earth. blessings to one another  and blessings to many of our Poor Western Brethren  who are perishing for lack of knowledge. O pray for  me in a more particular Manner. that the Lord would  bless me by implanting his divine fear in my heart  and in giving me true humility and steadfastness in  the ways of Religion, that he would give me grace  Sufficient for me. etc.: — I purpose by divine leave  to be at your residence by next Commencement.  with my friend Joseph Brant.   
I am your humble  Pupil, and real well wisher  in great haste. — Joseph Johnson. — 
From Mr. Joseph Johnson   February 17. 1775.  25 Dollars £7,,10,  4 Crowns — 1,, 6,, 8   11..6   
To the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, D.D.   and President of Dartmouth College. —