Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Dennys DeBerdt, 1761 September 22

Author Wheelock, Eleazar

Date22 September, 1761

ms number761522

abstractWheelock describes the progress of Occom's mission to the Oneidas, mentions a land dispute in Pennsylvania, and reports on the progress of his school. Mention is made of Kirtland's missionary training.

handwritingHandwriting is tightly spaced and informal and there are several deletions and additions, all of which suggests that the doucment is a draft. Letter case is frequently difficult to decipher.

paperSlightly worn at edges, though overall in good condition. The central crease is reinforced.

inkDark and heavy, the ink bleeds through to opposite sides. There are some blotches.

noteworthyLetter is marked as a copy. For Occom's account of the events mentioned in this letter, see 761330.1.

EventsOccom’s First Mission to the Oneidas

Persistent Identifier
My dear & Hond Friend,
I Rec.d Two from You laſt Spring the Receipt of which I acknowledged in one from Boſton laſt May which I hope has Reached you before now. Another I wrote Since which miſcarried thro careleſsneſs,
M.r Occom ſat out on his Long Journey to the Six Nations on The 10 of June. ^laſt^ Accompanied by David ^Fowler^ one of my Indian ſchollars, by the way of New York. where he tarried Several Days. and preach'd in M.r Boſtwick's Meeting House to an Aſsembly vaſtly numerous, at which was Collected for his uses £70. and the Evening following at the Baptiſts Meeting House £13. (their Currancy) and received ample Recommendation from the principle Gentlemen in the City. I have ſince recd a Letter from him Dated German Flatts July 7. in which he Informs he had met with uncommon kindneſs & reſpect in all his Travel and that Gen.l Amherſt had given him a Paſs and Recommendation to all his Officers in the Strongeſt Terms. & that Gen.l Johnſon had received him with great Reſpect and promiſed him all the Aſsiſtance he could, in the Buſineſs he is upon, and Deſigned the Next Day to Intro­­duce him to the Oneida Nation, illegible the Affair ^of his Miſsion^ looked then with a very favourable & Encouraging Aſpect. I have also Rec.d another Letter of the Same Date and from the Same Place, from Gen.l Johnſon by the Hand of Two Mohawke Lads, who are Recommended and Sent by the Genl to this School, to be fitted for Interpreters, or Miſsion[illegible][guess: rs] in Complyance with my Deſire by Letter to him to ſend me Six. Three to be Supported by the Honle Scotiſh Com̅iſsrs in Boſton, the other Three I ventured to Send for, to be, in Addition to the Six I had with me before, y.e Objects of Such Charity as God Shall Diſpose his people to ſhew upon this Occaſion. Those Two boys were joynd by a Third after they Left the General ^&^ who came without his Knowledge or Recommendation and is here at ſchool, they all behave well and are much engaged to Learn ^Sufficiently Studious & Induſtrious in the Buſineſs^. The Gen.l writes me that he hopes as he paſses thro' the Other Nation on his way to the Detroit (whither he was going with Preſents to the Indians) he ſhall be able to ſend me 3 or 4 more to com­­pleat the Number which I wrote for.
One Sam.ll Kirtland a pious & promiſing Youth ^whom^ I've taken in to the School as a Charity Schollar, to be fitted for a Miſsion, is now learning the Mohawke Language of these Boys as fast as he can under the Diſadvantage of ha­­ving no Book nor Intepreter to Aſiſst him and ſo alſo are ^alſo^ several of my Indian Boys. —
The generous Bequeſt of that Noble Lord the Marqueſs ^[below]of^
of Lothain of £50. Sterling, The Grants of the Honle Com̅iſsrs and a number of Private Donations have Enabled me to Scrabble along hitherto.
The Govern.r of Penſilvania is doubtleſs doing all in his Power to prevent our People ſetting on the Land they have purchaſs'd there, The Indians have lately drove off those who Settled on Delaware, ^and we hear the Engliſh have Killed two Indians^ The Proprieters of those Tracts have united & Chosen Col[illegible].^o^ Eliph.t Dyar of Windham to be their Agent at the Court of Great Brittain ^[illegible]^ ^by him^ they Deſign to make Application for an Incorporation.
They Deſigned he ſhod have ſat out on his voyage this month, but have lately concluded he ſhall ſtay till Early next Spring. he is a very fit Gentleman to be imployed in the Affairs of this School, and I hope we ſhall be able to prepare matters So as to imploy him there in, and he will make no Small Acco.t of your Friendſhip & Aſsiſtance there in.
Not having an Opportunity to ſpeak with M.r Peters I wrote him Your Errand. my Son informd me y.t he ſaid he had agreed with a man laſt fall to pay the money to M.r Hazzar[gap: stain][guess: d] of N. York but the man had deceived & diſopointed him. but Said he would take Speedy Care that it ſhould be done. He is Settled in Hebron and none till lately tho't but y.e Society had Sent him there 'till lately an Report is come ^Spread^ that he had Orders for Taunton in the Province of the Maſsachusſetts Bay. I wiſh I could [illegible]you wodfavour me with one of the Societies Returns. his Aſsembly is very Small indeed. what their means are I can't ſo fully ^am not able to^ Say.
Miſs. Williams of Wethersfield was married laſt Spring to the Honle Wm [illegible][guess: Smith]] Esq.r of N. York & is gone thither to Live. one Sam.el Aſhpo, a Chriſtian Indian of the Tribe at Mohegan lodged at my House ^Last Summer^ on his Return from Seſquaanna laſt ſummer about 300. miles from hence, and informd me there was a very great Concern among the Indians in Several Places near ſ.d River and a great Deſire to be taught the way of Life. he told me there was a Number he tho't not leſs than 20. which he ^[illegible][guess: verily]^ tho't were Savingly converted at ^a Place calld^ Jeninge near S.d River.
The incloſed was publiſhed amidst a crowd of Buſineſs I doub[gap: worn_edge][guess: t] not Your Friendſhip will Excuſ all Defects. My dear ſir. continue writing to. & praying for, him who is with the moſt Sincere Reſpect.
Yours in the Deareſt Bonds, Eleazar Wheelock
A Copy of a Letter to M.r Debert. London  Septr 1761
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