David Fowler, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1766 January 21

AuthorFowler, David

Date21 January, 1766

ms number766121.2

abstractDavid Fowler writes of the progress of his Indian school, the present religious state of the Indians and their want of a minister, news of Kirtland, and personal matters.

handwritingHandwriting is clear and legible, though letter case is occasionally difficult to decipher.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good-to-fair condition, with moderate creasing, staining and wear. The central vertical and horizontal folds are silked. There are significant remnants of the seal.


noteworthyThe identity of "Joseph" (identified simply as "Joseph") is uncertain; it is likely either Joseph Johnson or Joseph Brant. The letter mentions Joseph Woolley (identified simply as "Woolley"); however, at this time, apparently unknown to Fowler, Woolley is dead. On one recto, in the second paragraph, the identity of the Indians to whom Fowler refers is uncertain; Fowler's mission was in an Onedia town, but Chamberlain's mission was in a Mohawk town. In the last paragraph on two recto, it is uncertain to whom "Master" refers, and so he has been left untagged. Some contents of the letter are similar to those of 765365. There are two trailers; one is in Wheelock's hand, the other uncertain, although it could be Wheelock's. There are sums on two verso in an unknown hand; these have not been transcribed.

Persistent Identifier
Rev.d and Hon.d Sir
[illegible][guess: Aa] After much Warry and Fatigue about my Houſe and Journeys after alſo hungry Belly I began to keep my School ſteadily ſometime in November. My Scholars learn very well: I find it is impoſſible to keep the Children ſteadily to School. [illegible] Men labour and work as Engliſh do: They are lazy and inh[illegible]u- man pack of Creatures as I ever ſaw. in the World; They have ſeen me working and tuging Day after Day and never offerd to help me in the leaſt thing I had ^to do^ in my Houſe only finiſhd covering it and [illegible] left me. I was oblig'd ^to^ eat with Dogs near two Months & I ſay with Dogs because they are allways licking Water out off the Pails and Kettles we uſe: Now I live like a Gentleman, I have a planly of Corn, Flour, Meat, and rotten Fiſh.— I applied to Sir William for Proviſion; accordingly, he order the Commading Officer at the Royal Block Houſe to give me out Priviſion as long as I ſhould want.  I am exceeding ſorry as well as my poor Friends that Mr Chamberlain does not return ^to^ us this Winter.— The In- di[illegible]ans cannot conceive what care be the Reaſon why he don't return. But I told them three Reaſon, why he dont, return: and af-ter they heard them they were eaſy.  I never ſaw ſuch general Dispoſition of hearing the Word of God amongſt these poor People as I do now: moſt every one of the Adults of this Place, have openly renouc'd their Liquor, and ſaid that they will devote themſelves in hearing the Word of God. Now is the Time for Miniſters to come up whilſt they are in ſuch Diſpoſition.— O for a Mini ſter whoſe Heart is full of Love to God and Compaſſion to poor Sinners, one who is meak and lowly and crafty in wining
Souls to Chriſt. who has a real Sence and worth of Immortal Souls would greatly weaken the ſtrong Holds of Satan in this Place. — Dear Sir, do all that is in your Power to get up a Miniſter early in the Spring. for the poor Creatures are rearly deſirous to hear the Word of God, we have no Mini ſter and yet we have a full Aſſembly every Sabbath. I have nothing New to acquaint you; I enjoyy a good ſtate of Health and am contented.  I cant come down till ſome of ye Scholars come up and take my School. If Jacob is to come up; do let him take a School near me ſo [illegible] that I may take care of him. — I want all my Cloaths in readineſs, for I ſhall be in a very ^great^ Haſt when I do come. I determine to ſee my poor Parents before I re turn; for I ſerv'd them baſely laſt Fall. If they ſuffer I cant tell how I can come up. Joseph dertermines to come down and pay you Viſit alſo Thomas who has done me more Service than all the Town. He tells me; that he deſigns to go down with me and ſet my Rib on his Horſe and he will come up with own ^his^ Horſes or Legs, that, is if I ſhall find one. I rejoi[illegible][guess: c] greatly because I could ^[left]not^ ^no^ get one laſt Year. eſpicially for Wooley. I hear he has no Houſe.  I Juſt now heard of Mr Kirtland he is poor forgſaken Man. The Indians have drove him out off their Houſes and now he lives in a poor House [illegible] in the Woods my Friends cant conceive what he keeps them for: the Indians dont want him there; for they all hat him. It ſeems to me by what Mr Gray has w[illegible]rote to him that he is uneaſy. fo Capt Buller cre-
ceivd ^a Letter^ from him whilſt I was at his Houſe. and immediatly ask'd me how many Letters I [illegible] brought for Mr Kirtland I tol[illegible]d him one. &c Tell y.r oldeſt Boy who went ^down^ the laſt that ^went down^ both his Parents left off geting driunk.  I forgot to tell you what ſort of Cloth I would have for my Cloaths. ^I want blue Broad Cloth [illegible] and that which is good.^ Give my kind Regards to Madam, alſo to Sir Wheelock, and Maſter. and Love to the reſt of the Family alſo to all the Scholars. — That the Lord would prolong your worthy Live, and make you a rich Bleſsing in the World, alſo an Inſtrument of ſpreading the Gospel amongſt the poor Heathen in this Continent and after we[gap: hole][guess: ll] ſpent Livfe here receive your in the Manſions Joy and there to ſhine as the Stars in the Firmament forever and ever is the Deſire and Prayer.
Revd Sir, Of your affecionte and obedient Servant David Fowler
P.S. I hope ^you will^ [illegible] you will overlook all my im[illegible]per fections in This Letter for I wrote the bigeſt Part of it in Darkneſs.
Lettr from D. Fowler Jan.y 1766. — Receeved March 26. 1766.
To — The Rev.d M.r Eleazar Wheelock in Connecticut