Theophilus Chamberlain, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1766 November 12

Author Chamberlain, Theophilus

Date12 November, 1766

ms number766612.1

abstractChamberlain writes of improvements in the mission among the Mohawks.

handwritingHandwriting is small, yet formal and clear. Letter case and punctuation, especially comma vs. period, is frequently difficult to discern. The trailer is in an unknown hand.

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


Persistent Identifier
Rev,d and worthy
I received your favour of the 21st of October some days ago. Hope my ^Letter^ of the Same Month will releave you from some of that Pain which I know you muſt have felt from the Thoughts that all your Endeavours to inſtruct and reform the mohawks would certainly Prove insucſeſsfull. In Addition to what you will learn from that Letter I add with great Pleaſure that the two Schools under the Inſtruction of M,r Johnſon and [illegible] Jacob Fowler have increaſd to four or five and forty and since moſseſ,s arival we set up a third which though small at Preſent will I hope when we have Time to collect the Children have fifteen or Sixteen Children without any diminition of the other school here which will still increaſe. Laſt Sabbath the Houſe where we now meet though the largeſt in the Caſtle, was so crouded that some of the People were obliged to return out doors, and the Numbers of thoſe who will attend is Daly increaſing, except that the Indians are now [illegible]many of them on the Hunt and others every day joyning them. I know Sir that you are now expecting me home. I know upon what Information you came to a conctluſion that it was beſt to leave the Mohawks, and hope and expect that when you hear of the preſent State of Affairs here you will say tis beſt by all Means to improve the favorable Minute. And in confidence of this only, I have some Weeks ago concluded not to return till Spring unleſs I receive abſolute Orders for it. I Long for suceſs and however I may have been thought to be cold, careleſs, and negligent
in proſecuting your Miſsion I have the Pleaſure of knowing that I have spard no Pains and neglected no Step to make the Affair succeed unleſs it is when I have thought that making Propoſals or altering Diſpoſitions Made would be eſ‐teemd affirming. I have Rev,d sir venturded to give my Judgment upon mr Johnſonss Deſire with regard to his stay‐ing at fort Hunter this Winter. He told me twas expect‐ed that, if he came home this fall he should return next Spring. It appeard to me that it would be more to his ad‐vantage bothe in reſpect to his learning the Indian Language and making Proficency in his other studies, to spend the whole year here and the succeeding year there, than to devide the ^two^ years into four Parts, and so leave the Indians juſt as he has got a Little smattering of their Language which he says him^self^ he can retain only by staying longer amongſt them. Then I was fully perſuaded that his continuing at fort Hunter this Winter was the only way to maintain and eſtabliſh a school there. To put ither of the Indian Lads (who by the way are both wanted at this Caſtle) there where I cant be with them more than once in three or four Weeks, and where the Indians declare they will throw the whole up if the School-maſter is now changd, would be the means of ruining and that perhaps beyond Repare, a School upon which as much depends in the Opinion of Gentlemen who are beſt acquainted with the Indians in theſe Parts, as any school in the six Nation Country. and the Indians are in all theſe Caſtles offended with the Propoſal of keeping Schools only in the summer. —
I hope to obtain an Interpreter this Winter without much Expence. the Indians are alowd a Blackſmith for the next six Months. M,r Spencer is appointed to serve in that Place. Sir Will,m was up this W[illegible]eek to settle that and some other Affairs with the Indians. He was at my Lodgings ^on Monday Evening^ and invited me to dine with him the next day. I went and knowing his Buſineſs (which I found out by the little Indian I underſtant) took a favorable Oppertunity and put in a Petition yt in Spencers Service for the Indians his Hon.r would pleaſe to includ interpreting which might be done without Increaſe of Coſt to him, or Diſadvantage to M,r Spencer. The Requeſt was too reaſonable to be denied, and met with so favourable a Reception that his hon,r promiſd to mention it in his Inſtructions to Spencer wh he would give out the next day.  Your Supply Rev,d by Moſses came very seaſonably as I had then leſs then two dollars and was in debt for myſf the School-maſters and Interpreter near 30,£ Law. money, hav‐ing made some Proviſion for my own and Jacobs stay here over the Winter. My Credit here will I fear be ruined by neglecting the Chriſtian Rule to owe no man any thing but to Love. If you judge Rev,d Sir that my Conduct is such as merits appro‐bation, cannot Doubt but you will support me here to my satiſfaction; and if you judge otherwiſe, I beg it
as the higheſt favour of a Patron to tell me plainly wherein I miſconduct, that I may have Oppertunety to clear myſelf, to reform or to reſign my Commiſſion. In the Mean Time Sir, give my Duty to Madam, my kindeſt Compliments to all your family and Love to the School, and be aſsurd that unconſcious of Neglect I chearfully Subſcribe Myſelf Rev,d and Worthy Sir
your faithfull servant in the Lord Theophilus Chamberlain
[right] Rev.d Theoph.s Chamberlain’s Letter Nov.r 12,,th 1766