Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Dr. Andrew Gifford, 1763 October 31

Author Wheelock, Eleazar

Date31 October, 1763

ms number763581

abstractWheelock writes to Dr. Gifford thanking him for his support at a time when hostilities with the Indians have stopped donations and interfered with missionary work. Wheelock asks Gifford to befriend General Lyman in England to advance the interests of the School.

handwritingHandwriting is small and informal, with several additions and deletions.

paperSingle large sheet is in good condition, with light creasing, staining and wear.


noteworthyThe additions and deletions, along with the lack of a seal, indicate that this is likely a draft. On one verso, in the left margin, a note reading "Ind. Mis." has been added in a different, likely 19th-century, hand. This note has not been transcribed.

EventsOccom’s Third Mission to the Oneidas

Persistent Identifier
Rev.d and Hond Sir.
Three Days ago my Heart was refreſhed by the Rec.t of Yours of July 6th which came at a Time when I needed Such a refreſhing cordial, having received repeated and Shocking accots of the Rage and Hoſtilities of the Savages againſt our Southern Governments, and that our people were put into Such a Flame thereby, that inſtead of Charity & chriſtian Compaſsion to their periſhing Souls, but little, beſides Threatenings of Slaughter & Deſtruction Seem’d to be breathed forth from every Quarter, and as an Evidence that this was the common Temper of this Government at preſent I was told that a Contribution had been ^was^ moved ^for^ in conſequence of a Breif granted by the Governour and Company in favour of this School, in a Large Aſsembly in the Town of Windſor on Connecticut River, and that nothing was obtained by it but a Bullet & Flynt, and that ^some^ other congrega­tions where the Contribution had been aſked for, had done but little better, and that conſequently I might expect but little Aſsiſtance from that Quarter, at preſent. at this very Juncture even while my Informers were preſent, came yours filld with the Spirit of Love & containing Such acco.t of the Liberality already Shewn and a Diſpoſi­­tion to further Expreſsions of it, as there Shall be occaſsion, as that it Seemd as tho’ Omnicient Goodneſs had directed your pen ^in writing^ and ordered the very minute of your ^of illegible yr Letter’s^ arrival^ to forbid an unquiet or Anxious Tho’t for the Support of this Deſign.
The Lord mercifully reward you, dear Sir, and whoever has had a Hand with you in procuring the Donation to this School, which you give me Leave to Expect by the next Ship. It will be very acceptable indeed, as was the Box of Books Sent by M.r Forfitt from the Society for Propagating Religious Knowledge among the poor. I read your Letter in the hearing of My Indian Boys, and Joseph Woolley a Delaware, one of the Number, whom I hope were conver­ted laſt Winter, replyed, full of Affection. “O I Wish I knew how to expreſs my Gratitude to those Good Gentlemen, for Such Expreſsi­ons of their Kindneſs.” And I truſt the Blesſsing of many who have never ^yet^ known the Plague of their own Hearts, yea of many Yet un­ born will come upon You. You may depend upon my beſt Endeavours to improve these and any Favours which you or others Shall See fit to conferr upon this School, in the beſt manner I am able for the Furtherance of the Great Deſign in view.
I hope his Majeſty, our dear Sovereign, will be divinely direc­ted into Such Meaſures as will fully diſclose the true Source & Origin of the preſent Rupture. And when that is ^Shall be^ done I am perſwaded, the heavieſt Share in the Guilt will be found with Such unrighteous [illegible][guess: Deal­]ers with the Indians, as have no Regard, but to get^secure^ to themſelves large Eſtates, and that by any fraudulent, and oppreſsive Meaſures which Apear likely the ſooneſt to accompliſh that End, tho’ it bear the Expense of the public Peace and the Ruin of the poor Creatures.
I think ^believe^ when the true Cauſes of this great Evil, are ^ſhall be^ thoroughly Searched out, it will not appear that the Savages have acted So very wide from Such Principles, nor ^ſo much^ beyond the natural Influence of Such motives, as they
[left]Lett.r to D.r A. Gifford Oct.r 31. 1763.
They may be Reaſsonably Supposed to be govern’d by under their groſs Ignorance, and the Influence of Jesuitical Inſinuations, as they are now ſupposed to do. and then I truſt the Reſentments of many which are now ſo keen againſt them, will at leaſt have a Mixture of compaſsion towards them as con­ſidering them to have given this Deſparate Struggle only to deliver themſelves from that Ruin and Slavery which they imagine is deſignd againſt them.
I hope Something effectual will be done in this matter to prevent Such floods of Evil from that Quarter in Time to come.
Dear M.r Smith (of Whoſe Ordination and Miſsion you have likely heard) was cheirfully joyfully ^gladly^ received by 5 of the 6. Nations (the other being confederate with the Enemy) but they look’d upon ^tho’t^ his Life So exposed by reaſon of Stragling Fellows among them from diſtant Tribes, that they could not deſire him to continue with ^them^ at preſent. he left them ſoon, after preach­ ­ing a few Sermons, as did also Meſsrs Occom and Aſhpo , but deſign if it Shall be judged Safe to return to them in the Spring.
This Rupture has prevented Such an Addition to my Number this Fall as I hoped for, by the Aſsiſtances of those Miſsionaries I hope the Lord will open the Door for it in the Spring.
My School is yet in good Circumſtances, the youth behave well, excepting Jacob. the young man who has been at New- Jerſey College (and would doubtleſs have had his Degree there laſt month if my Letters had not been delayed) He has of late appeared to be under Such Temptations, as ariſes, or have their principal Strength from Diſcouragements.
It is a point Settled with him, that without a Saving Change he Shall never be fit for public uſefulneſs. And as to Such a Change he Says, “There is no hope” and Seems Sometimes to be open to all manner of Temptations, always uneaſie, and Sometimes Seems ^appears^ to be juſt upon the point to give him­ſelf over to Senſual Gratifications. I hant time fully to diſcribe his caſe. this Hint is Sufficient to give you an underſtanding of it.
I beſpeak your Earneſt Prayers for him, He once appeard to have a very Tender Conſcience, and Seemd for Some Time to be in the Exercisſe of truly gracious Affections. He is a good Scholar, and likely to be an Inſtrument of great Good if God Should pleaſe mercifully to deliver him from these Bonds.
Pleaſe Sir, if you have Opportunity, to make Gen.l Lyman of this Government who is now in England, a Sharer in Your Friendſship and Reſpect. I wiſh his merit may meet a proper Reward. And I truſt You will not be wanting in your Endeavours, as you have opportunity to forward his Intreſt, and also the Intereſts of this School, which he is concerned for. ^Revd Hon.d & Dear. ſir^ I am with SincereMuch Affection and Eſteem. Rev d Hon.d, and Dear Sir.
Your unworthy Brother, and Fellow Servant in the Lords House Eleazar Wheelock