Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to George Whitefield, 1762 September 16

AuthorWheelock, Eleazar

Date16 September, 1762

ms number762516.1

abstractCopy of a letter in which Wheelock discusses Occom's mission, those affected by Indian wars, the growth of the School, grants of money, and the donation of books.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small and occasionally difficult to decipher; it is not Wheelock’s.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is heavily reinforced, which makes it difficult to gauge the condition of the paper.

inkBlack-brown ink is somewhat dimmed by reinforcement.

noteworthyThis letter is a copy of manuscript 762516. It is uncertain to whom Wheelock refers when he mentions the "English Youth" in the second paragraph of one recto, and so he has been left untagged. The number 814 is circled in blue pencil at the top of one recto; it is likely a cataloguing number, possibly of a private collector. An editor, likely 19th-century, has added the note "To Whitefield" after the trailer on two verso. This note has not been included in the transcription.

signatureThe signature is not in Wheelock’s hand.

EventsOccom’s Second Mission to the Oneidas

Persistent Identifier
My dear & Hond Sr
David my indian Scholar, return'd july 18.th from ye Mohawk country, where I inform'd you in my laſt I sint him, & brought with him four indian boys. 3 Mohawks & one of ye Farmington tribe, ye boys & girls I expected from Onida, were detain'd by their Parents, on account of a Rumour & ſuspicion of a warr full com‐mencing between ym & ye Nation on ye Back of them & in Such a Caſe they did not chuse to have their Children at ſuch a distance from them, But perhaps they were ſuspicious that they ſhould be obliged to join these Nations against ye English —
The English Youth of which I have inform'd you who has been a Captive with ye Senecans till he is maſter of their Language. & which I ſent for with a view to fit him for an Interpreter to that Nation. was under such engagements to a Trader at Black Fort, as that he could not get [illegible]clear'd for the present, I have again wrote to Gen.l Johnson, who was not at Home when I David was there till ye night before he came away, & desired him to procure & ſend ye youth, if he Eſteems him likely to answer ye design — Mr Occum writes me a very Me‐‐lancholy Letter. viz that, by an Untimely frost last fall, their Indian Corn was all Cut of, that ye Onayadas are almost ſtarv'd having nothing to live upon but what they get by Hunting that they had just come in from their Pidgeon — & were going a fishing, as ſoon as they return from that they will go after Deer, That he follow'd them but found it very difficult to get a number of them together to preach to them, that by hard living (tho they were as kind  to
to him as they Could be) & especially by lying on ye wet Ground his old disorders (viz Rhumatic) return'd & he was apprehensive he must return before ye time appointed, That he lived in fear of being kill'd. tho ye Indians had promis'd him in caſe a warr ſhould break out, they would ſend him under ſufficient guard down as far as ye English Settlements
But there was something very good in his Letterviz that there were visibly good Effects of his Labours among them last Year, & especially a Reformation among them as to their Drinking
My School is in a flourishing State through ye Great Mercy of God, I have 19. in Number. viz 15 Males & 4. females, & ye most of them appearing quite likely, I hope I ſhall have several well fitted for Interpreters & Misſionarys in due time. I have been favour'd with ye best of of Maſters ſucceſsively for some Years — I have received ye Bell you sent and it is decently hung on ye Houſe Which is devoted to ye ſervice. & we now feel ye Benefit of it we can keep Hours with little Trouble & I hope in Gods Time it will be use'd to call to gather a little black Aſſembly to hear you Preach Christ.
A small Counsel of Ministers has been lately Call'd to Examin. Saml Aſhpo. an Indian of whom I once wrote you & they were so farr ſatisfied & pleas'd with him as that they advised to his being fitted as fast as may be for a Miſſion. and accordingly I Expect Him to this School this week. ſeveral others I expect here soon & my hope for their ſupport is only in Him what ye Earth is, & ye fullneſs thereof
The Gen.l Aſſembly of ye province of ye Maſsachusetts Bay, last fall, voted me ye uſe of a Legacy of S.r Peter Warren. of about £750 ſterling which he left in their hands for ye Education of ye Youth of ye Six Nations, but I Understood by Dr Chauncy that ye new form'd Society in & about Boſton design if they can to get it into their hands, as ſoon as my years improvt of it is Expired — Also his Majesty Counsell and house of Representatives in ye province of New Hampſhire have voted to ye uſe of this School £50 ſterling per annum for five years succeſively, but there was not time for ye Governour to Consider of ye Act before he prorogud ye Aſſembly & so it is not yet ſign'd — & who knows to what a Height this School may arise from low and deſpicable Beginnings and what Glory may redound to the great Redeemer thereby to God alone be all ye Glory!
Mr Smith inform'd me that there was some talk in England of collecting a Library for ye use of this School, may God incline ye Hearts of his people to promote that design is there not a ſociety in England lately form'd with a ſpecial view to ye printing & disſperſing Usefull Books? I wish I could be inform'd particularly about it & if you think fit introduced to a Corresſpondance with some members of it. Miſs Williams before she left Wethersfield, sent me a Number of valuable and useful to be disperſed as I judged but among Children &c which I now suppose might likely come to her from that Society. I have lately been ſick & brought low with a Dyſentry but thro ye mercy of God am now able to do ſome Buſsineſs
pray for Your Unworthy Br.o &c Eleazar Wheelock
[right]Rev. Mr Wheelock  Sep.r 1762.  America