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

AuthorWheelock, Eleazar

Date16 September, 1762

ms number762516

abstractWheelock writes of his difficulty in securing pupils, and relays news from Occom about the bad conditions among the Oneidas. Ashpo is being trained for mission work. The future of a grant from the Massachusetts assembly and other monies are in question.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small and crowded, with several additions and deletions, which affects legibility.

paperLarge single sheet is in good condition, with light staining and wear, and moderate creasing.


noteworthyThis document is likely a draft. Manuscript 762516.1 is a copy of this letter.

signatureThe signature is abbreviated.

EventsOccom’s Second Mission to the Oneidas

Persistent Identifier
My very dear and Hond ^Sir^ Friend
David, my Indian Schollar returned ^July^ 18 from the Mohawk Country, where I informed you in my laſt, I had Sent him, and bro.t with him ^4 Indian Boys^ three Mohawks Boys ^and one of the Farmington Tribe^ the Boys and Girls which I expected from Onoyada ^wre detained by their Parents^ on acco.t of a Rumour, & Suſpicion, of a war just com̅encing between them and the Nations back of them occaſioned as they Said by the Attachment of the Onoyadas to the Engliſh, in which ^and in ſuch a^ caſe they sd they did not ^chuſe^ conſent to have their Children ^at ſuch a Diſtance^ from them, but perhaps they were Suſpicious yt they ſhould be obliged to Joyn those Nations againſt the Engliſh. The engliſh youth of which I informed you, who has been a Captive with the Senecas till he is Maſter of their Language, and which I ſent for with a view to fit him for Interpreter to that Nation, was under ſuch ingagements to a Trader at Black Fort as that he could not get releaſed for the Preſent, I have again wrote to Genl Johnſon who was not at Home when David was there till the Night before David came away when he returned from a long Journey which he had taken in order for a Treaty with Several Diſtant Tribes of Indians, and then was So full of Buſineſs y.t he could scarſely attend to any thing but his own Affairs. I have again ^and^ deſired him to be inſtrumental to procure, and ſend ye youth to me if he eſteem^[illegible]^ him likely for ^to anſwer^ the Deſign.
M.r Occom writes me a very meloncholly Letter. viz that by an untimely Froſt laſt fall their Indian Corn was all cut off – y.t the Onoyadas are almoſt Starved havg nothing to live upon but what they get by Hunting — that they had then just come in from their Pigeon Hunt — and were going a fiſhing — as Soon as they returnd from that they will go after Deer. that he followed 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 as they could be) and ^eſpecially^ lying upon the wet ground his old Diſorders (viz Rhumatic) returnd, and he was apprehenſive he muſt return befor the Time appointed [illegible]— that he lived in fear, ^of being killd^ tho’ the Indians had promiſed him if ^in caſe^ a war ſhould break out, they would ſend him under a Sufficient Guard, down as far as the Engliſh Settlemen^ts^
But there was Something good in his Letter viz that theree were ſome viſible 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 thro’ the great Mercy of God, I have 19. in Number ^viz^ 15 males and 4 females. ^and ye moſt of ym appr quite likely^ & hope I Shall have Several well fitted for Interpreters ^and Miſsionaries^ in due Time I have been favoured with the beſt of Maſters ſucceſsively for Some years.
I have received the Bell which you Sent and and it is decenlly
[left]Letter to Mr WhitefieldSept.r 16. 1762.
decently hung on the House which I have devoted to the Service. and we now feal the Benefit of it. we can now keep hours with but little Trouble. I hope in Gods Time it will be used to call together a little black Aſsembly to hear you preach Chriſt. —
A Small Council of Miniſters has been lalely calld to examine Saml Aſhpo. an Indian of whom I once wrote you, and they were So far Satiſfied & pleaſed with him as that they adviſed to his being fitted as fast as may be for a Miſsion. and accordingly I expect him ^to ye School^ this week at this School. Several others I expect here ſoon. and my Hope for their Support is only in him whoſe the Earth is and the fullneſs thereof, and who has the hearts of all in his Hands.
The ^general Aſsembly of the^ Province of the Maſsachuſetts Bay, laſt ^Fall^ year voted me the use of a Legacy of ſir Peter Warren of about £750. Sterling, ^w.c he^ left in their Hands for the Education of the Youth of the Six Nations. but I underſtand ^by Doct.r Chauncy that^ the new form’d Society in, & about Bos‐ -ton deſign if they can to get it into their Hands as ſoon as my year’s improvement of it is Expired. ^[inline]also^ His Majesties Councel and House of Repreſentatives in the Province of New Hamſheir. have voted to the use of this School £50. Sterling pr annum for five years Succeſsively. but there was not Time for the Governour to Conſider of the act before he prorogued the aſsembly and So it is not yet Signed.
and who known to what a heighlh this may ariſe from low and deſpicable Begin[illegible][guess: in]gs, and what Glory may redown to the great Redeemer thereby. to God alone be all the Glory.
M.r Smith inform’d me that there was Some talk ^in England^ of collect‐ -ing a Library for y.e use of ^this ſchool^ may God incline the Hearts of his people to promote that Deſign. Is there not a Society in England lately formed with a Special view to the Printing and diſperſing useful Books? I wiſh I could be informed ^perticularly^ of it. and if you think fit introduced to a Corriſpondance with ſome mem‐ -ber of it. Miſs. Williams before She left Wethersfield Sent me a Number of valuable and useful Books to be diſperſed as I judged beſt among Children ^&c^, which I now suppoſe might likely come to her from that Society.
I have two Engliſh youth in my School, Charity Schollars, fitting for a Miſsion as fast as poſsible and I yesterday concluded to take a Lad, Eleazar Swetland of a neighbouring Pariſh who was hopefully converted laſt Spring by the Bleſsing of God on the preaching of M.r Huntington y.e School Maſter laſt year, his experiences are clear his affections appear genuine and he ſeems to be Truly filled with the Holy Ghost ^his Heart is much ſet upon being fitted for Miſsny amng [illegible]^ I hope his warmth and Zeal may by the Bleſsing of God be of Special Service to the School.
I have lately been ſick and bro.t low with a Dyſsentary but through the pure mercy of God am now able to do ſome Buſineſs. pray for your unworthy B.r &c