Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Andrew Oliver, 1756

Author Wheelock, Eleazar


ms number756900.1

abstractWheelock writes about the new Indian charity school, and relates the progress of his students and his hopes for an incorporation from the Crown.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small and occasionally difficult to decipher.

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

noteworthyAlthough the letter is not addressed, the recipient has been judged to be Andrew Oliver from the contents. This document is on the same paper as manuscripts 756190, 756900.2 and 756520. It appears to be a draft.

layoutOne recto and verso of this document is on the second recto and verso of the paper. That is, if the paper containing all four letters were to be read as a book, this letter would be pages three and four.

Persistent Identifier
Hon.d Sir.
In Col Henchman's to me (Dated Boſton July 30. 1756) is y.e following Paragraph "I was deſired Some time since to write to you from The Gentlemen the Com̅iſsrs for the Indian Affairs, Which I unhappily forgot & Omitted — but now inform you that they deſire you would write to them of the Circumſtan‐ ces of The two Children with you and what you apprehend may be the Beſt way to promote their Inſtruction — and the Good Ends propos'd by you & Others in this Important Affair, and the Methods you think to go in, in order to ac‐ compliſh it. And if they Like the Scheme &c they will doubt‐ leſs do what they can out of the Fund in their Hands to Encourage it — If you will write to the Hon.le Andrew Oliver Es[gap: tear][guess: q.] r who is Treaſurer to the Com̅iſsrs he wil com̅unicate it in order to their meeting & doing what they Shall Eſteem Neceſsary for them in the Affair." —
Sir I look upon the condeſention Kindneſs and care of the Hon.le Com̅iſsrs herein expreſsed as a Smile of Heaven upon The grand Deſign. and now cheirfully & gladly take this op‐ portunity to inform your Hon.r and others deſiring it, [illegible] of the perticulars mention'd, So far as conſiſts with the limits of a Litter, and Should be glad I had y.e opportunity to do it otherwiſe than by general hints and without ſuch large omiſsions of many things of importance.
The Two Indian Boys with me are of The Delaware Tribe. ſent to me by the Rev.d John Brainerd Decem.r 1754 After much Pains taken by him to procure them and many Diſopointments which delay'd their Coming, conſequent upon my Deſire Three years ago laſt May, with a view if God Should mercifully Smile upon the Deſign, to their being fitted for the Gospel ‐ miniſtry Among the Indians. and a hope it might be a lead to Somthg further done inf favr of their Education of a Number of them.
The Conſiderations Moving Me to ^it^ were — The obligations lying upon N– England — & Their publick Guilt for ^on accot of^ paſt Neglect — which, I cant but underſtand y.e Judgements of God ^think God has been in a very Eſpecial manner pointing at & Teſtifying againſt^ in permitting the Savages from year to year to make Such Ravages, and Spoil of us, ^&c^ as pointing at in a very Eſpecial manner. — The many and great Advan‐ tages in ſending to them by their own Children — againſt whom they have No Such Prejudices as are conſtantly found to be a mighty Impediment in the way ^to the ſucceſs^ of an Engliſh Miſsion among them — Their children can talk their Language — know their Cuſtoms — can live & fair as they do — no Trouble nor charge to procure & Support Interpreters — and will give that ^herein we ſhall do that^ which will be to them the moſt convincing Proofs & Demonſstrations of the ſin‐ cerity of Our Intentions — and ^they^ be under the beſt Advantage to counteract Jesuits — Attack their Reſpective Notions in ye Engliſh Intreſt. — &c &c &c And I was not a little Encoura ‐ged in the Affair by the Succeſs of Some ^the^ Endeavors I [illegible]'d by the Aſsiſtance of the Hon le Com̅iſsrs in y.e Education of Samſon Occom who has been useful to them beyond what could have been Reaſonably expected of an Engliſh man. & wthout ^leſs than half of y.e Expence^ Soon after I Sent for these Boys I viſited M.r Joshua More of Manſfield ^& invited him^ to I[illegible] devote a part of his large Eſtate to ſuch a
Purpose he was pleaſd with the proposal and bought a Small Tenement in the Center of this Place for which he gave £500 ^[left]O. Ten.r^ and made a Deed of it to Coll. Eliſha Williams Esq.r The Rev.d Meſsrs Sam.l Moſely Benjamin Pomeroy & Myſelf for the Foundation use & Support of a Charity School for ſuch a purpose ^forever^ — and we convenanted with him & his Heirs to Improve that and all other Donations ^made to ſ.d ſchool^ for that Purpose — at which School we proposed they Shod be inſtructed in Readg Writing & ^ſuch woſe parts & diſpoſns as ſhod invite us to it. in^ all Liberal Arts & Sciences & Eſpecially in ye Knowledg and Practiſe of Chriſtianity and be fitted for y.e Gospel minſtry in Such of them whose parts and Diſpoſitions ſhod Invite us to it. under the Conduct of the moſt Learned & Godly Maſter we can obtain — and yt in this School they be treated in all Reſpects as Engliſh Schollars excepting ^with reſpect to^ their Lodging & Some things in which Prudence Shall ld dictate, a conformity to their ow^n^ Nation — to be Expedient — we ha' got ſubſcriptns for about £500 lawfull money, towards a Fund for the Support of a maſter — ^& think yt^ £1000 we sup‐ pose will be Sufft with the Improvement of M.r More's Grant and ſuch Donations ^Gifts^ as we may reaſonably Expect upon so great a Road as this if the thing ^deſign^ Shall proſper. ^will be ſufficicient^ but we are Since adviſed by Gentlemen Learned in the Law y.t Some kind of Incorporation by Civil authority is Neceſsary. & by[illegible] Advice of his Hon.r our Late Gov.r Woolcott, ^& others^ we have conſulted ye Honle Wm Smith Esq.r of N. York who Adviſes y.t an Incorporation cant be had from a Corporation as our Government is but proposes two methods ^for the remidying the Difficulty among ourſelves^ 1. by a Delagation of y.e Exerciſe of part of their [illegible][guess: Original]] Power ^of [illegible] Gov.r & Company.^ . or 2. by two ſets of Truſtees y.e one to have ye fee of y.e Land by Deed and to Declare their Truſt by Deed to another Lot after the manner that Lands are apropriated to y.e use of Ch-hs in the Southern Colonies. but adviſes that an Incorporation from ye Crown ^if it can be had^ is much more Eligeble. and we have conſidered y.e Diſtemp -er'd & Divided Sentiments of the preſent Day with reſpect to Religious matters — & that Either of the two former methods proposed ^if y.[illegible] can be come into^ will not be ſo likely to Invite charitable Donations as ſome foundn that is more known and more Certain ^& yt if this can be obtaind there is a proſpect of a n.o of [illegible] Donations ſoon^ and that there are ſuch political as well as Religious Reaſons as we perſwade ourſelves will Induce his Majeſty to incorporate us, if his Ear can be had. Accordingly we have provided meterials for that Purpose and ſent them to ye Care of the Rev.d Preſid.t Burr, which we suppose are gone ſome weeks ago — The Duplicate to which I have Sent to y.e Care of Coll. Henchman Esq.r of Boſton &c
The education of these boys when they came to me was, I think much to y.e Honr of M.r Brainerds Miſsn. they have ſince behavd well and make good proficiency in learning Nothing appears but y.t Coſt ^pains^ & Expence bestowd upon them will be to good Purpose Eſpecialy upon ye Younger of them. I have had Some Aſsiſtances from ye Charities of perticular Gentlemen. towards their ſupport. ^tho' it has lain mainly upon me^ I have Sent for, & daily Expect, another, Whom M.r Brainerd thinks to be full as Likely as Either of these. & thus ^Sir ^ I have, tho' imperfectly ansd ye Deſr of ye Honle Com'iſsrs [illegible][guess: and] if ye acco.t be not ſo per- ticular in any [illegible][illegible: [guess: reſpect]] as they Deſire if they will pleaſe to hint it to me I will ^gladly give [illegible] full information^ perticular in my Acco.t as they Shall Deſire pleaſe to give moſt reſpect[illegible][guess: l]] Salutations to those Good Gentlemen ye Hon. Com̅iſsrs and accept the same =