Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to John Erskine, 1763 September 21

Author Wheelock, Eleazar

Date21 September, 1763

ms number763521.2

abstractWheelock writes to update Erskine on the the missions of Occom and Ashpo, and relates the dangers of an impending war with the Indians.

handwritingHandwriting is informal and frequently difficult to decipher. There are many deletions and additions.

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


noteworthyGiven the informal handwriting and the abundance of additions and deletions, this document is likely a draft.

EventsOccom’s Third Mission to the Oneidas

Persistent Identifier
Rev.d and Hond Sir
Yours of 8th April laſt came to hand July 17th and the next Day I had unexpectedly an opportunity to make an Anſwer ^it^ by Mr Blake which I hope you have or will ſoon Receive — and I also ^incloſed^ a Narrative of the Riſe ^Progreſs^ &c of this School with a proposal of a Plan ^proposed^ for the more Succeſsfully Proſecuting of the I was glad grand Deſign. — I also inform'd you of ye ordination & Miſsion of M.r Charles Jeffery Smith, who has in­liſted in this the Warfare at his own Charges, deſigning by divine Leave to devote himſelf and ^a^ plentiful Fortune to the Service of the Redeemers Kingdom in that Capacity ^of a Miſsionary^ — and I am now able to Inform you that he went near to the Oniyada Lake and preached in Several Places to the Indians who appeared ^much^ affected; and well diſposed towards him, and ^Sincerely^ very deſirous of his continu[illegible]ing Among them But the ^a^ Reports of the Approach of the Enemy viz. an Army of the Nations who are combining againſt the Engliſh, ^approaching near^ The apprehension of Danger, and the great Ruffle & fright the Indians were put into de­ termined him it was his duty to return ^nor could they^ and they could not adviſe him that it was Safe ^for him^ to continue with them, he left them many ^Some^ of them in Tears, earneſtly deſiring his Return to them again as ſoon as the war is ^ſhould be^ over — M.r Occom also, returned [illegible] [illegible] ^apprehending^ it was by in no meaſure Safe for him to continue with them also M.r Aſhpo ^from this School^ whom I informed You had been Examined & Approved by a Comtee of Miniſters appointed ^by y.e Convention^ at our Gen.l Election in this Government, went out on his proposed Miſsion to Jeningo and Seſquaana River and continued ^with them^ 10 Dayswith them, and preachd every Day they appeared much affected came with Eagerneſs to hear him and appeared much affected and the Proſpect appear­ed very Encouraging — but Such was the Ruffle, and fear they were in, apprehending their ſelves ^Lives^ in Danger both from the Nations back of them, and also from the Engliſh who would be put to it ^not be able^ to Diſtinguiſh their Enemies from their Friends — and the more afraid as the Engliſh had then lately kill'd three of their people who were and have been ^(as they ſaid)^ all along faſt in the Engliſh Interest as they were abroad on their [illegible] Deſign ^ſome of their Ramble^Aſhpo apprehending the Danger great Left them. (as had done ^also^ the Miſs^rs^ among them from your Corriſpondts at in Boſton near two months before) — he returned about a fortni[illegible][guess: gh]t ago, and Deſigns to go again next Spring. — The Proſpect of Succeſs is at preſent ^is^ as incouraging ^in those parts as perhaps any where^ and in any part at all. — but by means of this Rupture every thing [illegible] attempt both by Engliſh & Indian Miſsionaries muſt be Suſpended for the Preſent — I hope it may be tho't ſafe for the Indian Miſsionaries to go again next Spring. — eſpecially if the Engliſh in the Several Governments ſhall be forehand Sutably notified of it ^beforehand^ ſo as not to Eſteem them Enemies and Traytors if they Should be found among thoſe who are our Enemies. I dont pretend ^attempt^ to give you acco.t of the Hoſtilites and Butcheries they have committed of Late Supposing you ^to^ have had public & authentic accots of it be thereof before now. This Rupture has occaſioned ^raiſed^ Such a Spirit ^Temper^ in great numbers of our people that they Seem Diſposed to contribute nothing but Powder & Ball to them and there for it is tho't prudent that the Brief I Obtained of this Gov.t in Fav.r of this School Should be ſuſpended for the present till the minds of people ſhall ^be^ more Calm and better Diſposed towards them.  Fearing my Letter reffer'd to will fail I ſhall also ^here^ add the Nomina ­tion ^of Gentlemen recommended^ I ſend You to be Commiſsioned for Indian Affairs if the Honle
Society which you inform me the Honle Society were ſo Good as to grant, but the Completion of it prevented by M.r Roſs's Death and the Loſs of the Papers &c which Nomination was as I here give it only with this [illegible] addition of the Revd David Jewett of New London in the Room of Comfort Starr Eſqr Deceaſed, I Should be glad of a Return as ſoon as may be, and cant but think the cause may be really Served by it viz. Jonathan Huntington Esq.r of Windham Eliſha Sheldon Esq.r of Litchfield Sam.l Huntington Attorney at Law of Norwich
[left]The Revd Meſsrs
Solomon Williams of Lebanon Joseph Fiſh of Stonington William Gaylord of Norwalk Sam.l Mosely of Windham Eleazar wheelock of Lebanon Benjamin Pomeroy of Hebron David Jewett of New London Richard Saltar of Manſfield Nathl Whitaker of Norwich all within the Coloney of Connecticut I Should be glad of a Return as Soon as may be and can't but think the general Deſign in view may be much promoted by ſuch a Commiſsion. ^Those Good Gentlemen you mention^ M.r Preſidt Clap and M.r Bellamy are ſo remote that they cant with any convenience be Joyned attend if they Should Be Joyned. M.r Bellamy lives in a remote Corner of the Government towards 100 miles from hence upon no direct Road from hence, and where I have very Seldom an opportunity to ſee either of them Since I wrote you ^or^ to know their minds but presume they would not freely consent ^think proper to be joyned as their Diſtance woud forbid a freq.t attendance^ as their being Joyned would not likely be of much Service. and ^and their being Joyned^ would make the Body more unweildy. † Pleaſe to Direct Yours to me to M.r John Smith Merchant or M.r Moses Peck watchmaker in Boſton and they will likely be well taken Care of. beſides the Donations ^to this School^ mentioned in my laſt, M.r James Leſley a Scot Gentleman graduated at New Jerſie College has made a Donation to this School of all his indefatigable Labours for theſe Indian Youth in the capacity of a School maſter the Laſt year. So that the Inſtruction of this School has been given by M.r Smith & M.r Leſley for near 14 months laſt paſt. but the preſent Rupture will likely ^at preſent^ prevent Such an Increaſe of My Number ^this Fall^ from Remote Tribes as I deſigned ^& hoped for^ by the aſsiſtance of the Miſsionaries before mentioned. but the whole of which you will likely have opportunity to ſee before long publiſhed as a continuation of my Narrative.pleaſe to direct (vid. ſupra)  The Preſent Rupture looks so much like a Deſperate Effort & dying Struggle of the Grand adversary, that I am not at all diſ­­couraged on acco.t of it, tho' the Progreſs of the Deſign may be for a while retarded by it. I doubt not ^but^ God has great and glorious things yet to ^[below]accompliſh in This Land & the preſent [illegible] #^
[left]# of his work in this amg many other places at preſent dos not a little incourage Hope † pleaſe to Direct &c
I have acknowledged ^as I did in my laſt Good^ M.r Dickſon's Liberality to this School and pray God to requite it. and propose a Remittance of it to M.r Dennys DeBerdt of London, which you will likely hear of from him.
pleaſe, Sir, to remember in your neareſt approaches to God yours with the moſt ſincere Duty & Affection Eleazar Wheelock
Rev. Jn.o Erskine
Lettr to Rev.d John Erskine 21. Sept.r 1763.