Nathaniel Whitaker, narrative, 1766

Author Whitaker, Nathaniel


ms number766900.11

abstractWhitaker gives a brief history of Indian conversion in America and why it has thus far been relatively unsuccessful. Occom’s story is used as an argument for promoting Wheelock’s School and its focus on educating Indians, rather than English, as missionaries. A plan for an expanded school is put forth.

handwritingHandwriting appears to be that of Nathaniel Whitaker. It is informal and small but legible. There are several uncrossed t’s that have been corrected by the transcriber. There are several additions and deletions, indicating that this is likely a draft.

paperSmall single sheets are in fair-to-poor condition, with significant staining and wear that leads to some loss of text.

inkDark brown ink bleeds through the pages. In spots, the ink, likely iron gall, has burned through the paper.

noteworthyThis narrative is possibly a speech that was delivered or printed by Nathaniel Whitaker in Great Britain. The manuscript number indicates a date of 1766, though no date is indicated on the document. No author is indicated on the document; authorship has been deduced from the handwriting and contents. In instances when the intention of the writer regarding a certain word cannot be discerned, the word has been left unmodified in the modernized transcription. At the bottom of two verso, there is an addition that begins with the pound sign; this addition continues on the bottom of three recto. On two verso, it is uncertain whether the "Hon: Scotch=Commiſſ.rs" refers to the Connecticut or New York/New Jersey board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, and so it has been left untagged. On eight verso, the identity of the "Candia Indians" is uncertain, and so it has been left untagged.

EventsOccom’s First Mission to the Oneidas, Occom leaves his studies, Occom’s Mission to the Montauketts, Occom returns to Mohegan, Occom’s Second Mission to the Oneidas, Occom’s Marriage

Persistent Identifier
The deſign of Goſpelizing the Savages of N. Amer: is ^hath been eſteemed of^ So ^Such^ im- portance & [gap: tear][guess: of So great] utility as to engage the attention of the greateſt & beſt of men for Ages paſt; [illegible] ^an[gap: tear][guess: d] therefore^ there have been Several Societies formed & incorporated by Royal charters in this Kingdom^#^,
[left]# who have made Several laudeble attempts for this end.
(all, or at leaſt two of wch, have made many attempts to this purpoſe, a particular hiſtory whereof would be too long to give.
But to the grief of both of [illegible] all who are aquainted with the Sta[gap: stain][guess: te of the] Indians there, & pray for their converſion to X, the Succeſs of their pious en- deavours hath been very Small in proportion to what might have been expected. It is well know to all who are acquainted with the Hiſtory of N.E. what was done there among the Indians at Martins Vinyard, & pla- ces about Boſton & along the Sea Coaſt, buty the great mr Elliot of Boſton ^& others^ many years Since, & that the Goſpel was received by many of the Natives in thoſe parts, which Still continues to bleſs thoſe tribes, & is Supported [gap: tear] by the Hon.ble Society in London. The moſt alſo are acquain- ted with the Succeſs the [gap: tear] [gap: tear] of Good mr D. Brainard ha[gap: tear][guess: d a‐] mong the Indians at Croſwixſung in N. Jerſey, & Forks of Dillawa[gap: tear][guess: re] Penſilvania, the fruits of whoſe Labours remain to this day, & thoſe Indians are collected, & are under the Care of the Revd Jn.o Brainard, brother to David ^in New Jerſey,^ [illegible]. Some good alſo followed the labours of the Revd mr Searge^a^nt, & afterwards of the Rev d mr J. Edwards at Stockbridge in the Government of Maſſechuſets Bay; as alſo of the Revd mr Haley among the Indians of the Six nations at Onohoquage on Suſquehannah river, Theſe three laſt were Sent by the Hon.ble Society in London. Yet after all the many attempts which have proved almoſt fruitleſs & the Small Succeſs of thoſe which have been the moſt incouraging Seemed to caſt a cloud over the whole deſign. Before I proceed it may be [illegible] natural to inquire, what were the cauſes of hindrance in this good work. And 1. The Indians have imbibed very Strong prejudices againſt the Engliſh, from the repeated impoſitions & frauds the have Suffered from thoſe who have traded with them, & eſpecially thoſe who have purchaſed their Lands. Hence they ^are ready to^ Suſpect that they are not[illegible] Safe while they have the Engliſh men among them, & are ever jealous that the deſign is to lay Some plan to get their Lands from them, as is [illegible][guess: evident] ^as is evident^ from many facts wch can be adduced.
This Jealouſy Seems to have been the reaſon of their critical obſervance of the conduct of the miſſionaries, which hath rendered it very difficult to be- have So as to avoid their Suſpecion of Some fraudulent deſign; & this is greatly heightened by the impoſſibility of converſing with them but by an Interpreter who generally being an Engliſhman, as well as the Miſſionary, they naturally Suſpect they are, or at leaſt may be, laying Schemes unknown to them, & theſe Suſpicions have oppertunity to Strengthen greatly, before the Miſſionary may come to know the reaſon any thing of the matter thro' ignorance of their language. Hence it hath been generally found that, altho' the Indians would admit the miſſionaries among them & tre[gap: tear][guess: at] them with reſpect, their way, for a while, yet they have moſt commonly grown Shy & gradually declined in their attendance, by wch the miſſionaries have been diſcouraged, & after one or two attempts have declined the Miſſion except in a few inſtances. To confirm what is obſerved above I Shall give one inſtance out of many. It once happened that three Miſſ.rs & one Interpreter were at one place among a party of Indians who had been formerly inſtructed in Some meaſure, & who owned a conſiderable tract of Land, where they continued about a fourt'ni't; Another Miſſ.ry was at a place about 100 miles diſtant, at the houſe of an Indian inſtructed by mr Wheelock, where were a number of In- dians who were very buſy in talking togather: the Indian who had been inſtructed, being in a room adjoining, & overhearing them, informed the miſſry of their converſation, wch was to this purpoſe, One Said "What is the reaſon that three miniſters are gone to [gap: tear][guess: O]? Why does [gap: tear][guess: not] one go to that other place? [gap: tear] [gap: tear] no miniſter & [gap: tear][guess: to] Such a place. I can't See why they all go to one place. [gap: tear][guess: ano]ther anſwered, Why, I'll tell you,' The Indians have but little land at Such & Such places, & that is the reaſon the do not go there; But at O they have a good deal of land, & that's the reaſon So many are gone there; it is to git their Land. This gave the Miſſry much trouble to remove their Suſpicions which ^& it^ was done with great difficulty, ^he removed their jealouſies^ & eſpecially as no good reaſon ^which might be mentioned to them,^ could be given for thoſe three miſſ.rs being at that place. This account I had from the miſſry's own mouth.
2. Another great obſticle hath been The want of their Language, which hath made it impoſſible to communicate any thing to them but by an Intrepreter.
I need Say nothing to convince the inteligent & thinking part of mankind, that preaching by an interpreter, when each Sentence muſt be interpreted, before the next can be delivered, muſt deſtroy the whole pathos & energy of delivery & render even the moſt important Subjects much leſs inlivening to the hearers even where good Interpreters can be had. But there is a great difficulty to obtain any who can at all anſwer this end; & thoſe who can Speak the language of the Indians are generally Such as have been traders among them, or Some captive who has been learned their language; & both theſe Sorts of people are well known to be moſt commonly of Such characters as to make it infinitely unfit to truſt them with affairs of Such eternal conſequence. The Revd mr Wheelock, in a Narrative of his School publiſh in Boſton in 1763. writes thus on
(3)this head. "There are very few or no interpreters, who are Suitable & "well-accompliſhed for the Buſineſs, to be had. Mr Occom found great "difficulty laſt year in his Miſſion on this account. And not only the cauſe, "but his own reputation Suffered much by the unfaithfulneſs of the man "he imployed. I Suppoſe the Interpreters now imployed by the Hon: Com- "miſſ.rs are the beſt that are to be had at preſent. But how many Na- "tions are there for whom there is no interpreter at all, except, it may "be, Some ignorant & perhaps vicious perſon who has been their cap- "tive, & whom it is utterly unſafe to truſt in matters of Such eternal con‐ "ſequence. And how Shall this difficulty be remidied? It Seems it muſt "be one of theſe two ways, viz. either their Children muſt come to us, or "ours go to them" To this I add, that the expence of Supporting an Interpreter is much greater than will Support an Indian Miſſry. who is capable of Speaking their language. The Hon: Commiſſ.rs in Boſton co'd not obtain mr Gun whom they imployed, under £50. Ster: per an: be‐ ſides the Support of the Miſſry; & they allowed mr Occom but about £15 ſSter. per An: who taught a School, & preached to them in their own language. It is true this allowance was far below what was abſolute‐ ly [gap: tear][guess: nece]ſſery, & not more than enough to defray the ^extraordinary^ charges of his office & company, without any thing for the Support of himſelf & famely; Yet had they allowed him £50. or £60 ^or £70^ per. An: it would not have been more than half as much as another miſſ.n would coſt. This difficulty of obtain- ing Suitable interpreters, & the great expence of the miſſion when they could be obtained, hath been a block at the very threſhold, & diſcouraged thoſe who, out of Love to Chriſt & the Souls of men, would gladly have ventured out among them to preach the Goſpel.
3. Another difficulty ^y.t^ hath been & Still [illegible]remains is, The wandering & unſettled manner of life wch the Indian lead. For tho they have little vil- lages where their hutts are at no great diſtance from one another, yet they are frequently obliged to wander to a great diſtance to procure Something, by hunting, to live on; in wch rambles they generally carry their Wives & Children with them. This was the caſe with the Onoidas when mr Occom was among them in the year 176[illegible]^2^ They were obliged to go to Suſquehan‐nah river to hunt for food; in which tour he accompanied & preached to them. And this often hath been the caſe as is evident by the accounts given by the moſt of the miſſionaries, & in particular in the Continuation of mr Wheelock's Narrative printed in Boſton in 1765.
This is a difficulty not eaſily remidied, & muſt be born with till they can be bro't to till their lands & not depend So much on the uncertain means of
(4)hunting for their Support. The moſt likely way to affect this will be con- Sidered hereafter.
4. Difficult as it is for Miſſionaries to go among the Indians with any any tolerable hopes of Succeſs, it is Still more difficult, in Several reſpects, to Set up Schools among them to any great advantage. For not only the 'fore- mentioned Jealouſies, wan't of their Language, & wandering, but alſo the afverſion the parents have to Such a diſcipline as is abſolutely neceſ‐ſary to keep them in any order and promote their learning ^is a great obſtruction^ The Children are So uſed to an idle life, that they are ever ready to wander & neglect the School, & when at School to neglect their books; & if any diſcipline is uſed, both they & their parents reſent it, & hence will not allow, or at leaſt will not urge them children to go to School. Mr Wheelock in his narrative printed in Boſton 1763. page 219. writes thus, "There is no Such thing as Sending Engliſh "Miſſionaries, or Setting up & maintaining Engliſh Schools to any good pur‐poſe in moſt places among them, as their Temper, State & condition have "been & Still are. It is poſſible a School may be maintained to Some "good purpoſe at Onohoquage, where there have been heretofore Several "faithful miſſionaries, by the bleſſing of God on whoſe labours the In‐ "dians are in Some meaſure civilized, Some of them baptized, a Number "of them, in the judgment of Charity, real Chriſtians — And [gap: tear][guess: where] the "Hon: Scotch= Commiſſ.rs, I hear, have Sent two Miſſionaries, & have made "Some attempts to Set up a School. But at Jeningo, a little beyond, they "will by no means admit an Engliſh Miſſionary to reſide among them. "And tho' there were many of them under great awakenings & concern, "by the bleſſing of God on the labours of a Chriſtian Indian from theſe "parts, yet Such was the violent oppoſition of Numbers of them, that "it was tho't by no means Safe, for an Engliſhman to go among them, "with a deſign to tarry with them #. And like to this is the caſe with "parties of Indians for near an hundred miles togather, on the weſt Side "of Suſquehannah River. Another School or two may poſſibly be Set up ^[below]with^
# I find at the End of the Revd mr Randals Sermon preached before the Society in Scotland in 1763. a letter from the Revd mr Samuel Mather of Boſton, ^in^ which he gives a very agreable & juſt account of the Indians at Onohoquage which he had from a perſon who had lived among them, & who he Says alſo informed him, "That about 16 miles weſt of Onohoquage, there are 200 Indians, who gene- "rally [illegible] talk Engliſh, & who have an Indian teacher, who knows but little, "tho he Seems well diſpoſed. Theſe Indians Seem well prepared for an Engliſh "miſſionary" — Theſe are ^the^ Indians above mentioned at Jeningo: and the acc.t which mr Wheelock here has publiſhed he had from this Indian preacher, who is
(5)"with Succeſs among the Mohawks, [illegible] "[illegible] "& where they have got into the way of cultivating their Lands for a living, "& So have more ability to Support their children, & leſs occaſion to ram- "ble abroad with them. But even in theſe places we may find it more dif- "ficult than we may imagin before trial be made (tho' I would by no means "diſcourage the trial of every feaſible method for the accompliſhing this "great deſign) but by Acquaintance with the Schools which the Hon: Lon- "don Commiſſioners have, with pious Zeal, Set up & maintained among "the Several tribes in theſe parts, I am much confirmed in theſe Sen- "timents. Theſe parties live amongſt, and are incompaſſed by the Engliſh, have "long had good preaching, & numbers of them appear to be truly godly. "Yet Such is the Savage temper of many, their want of due eſteem for "learning, & gratitude to their benefactors, & eſpecially their want of Govern- "ment, that their Schoolmaſters, tho Skilful & faithful men, conſtantly com- "plain they can't keep their children in any meaſure conſtant at School. "Mr Clelland the School-maſter at Mohegan has often told me what unwea- "ried pains he had taken by viſiting & diſcourſing with their parents, &c. to "remidy this evil, & after all can't accompliſh it. The children are Suffered "to n[gap: tear][guess: eg]lect their attendance on inſtruction, & waſte much time, by which "means they don't learn So much in Several years as they might, & others "do in one, who are taken out of the reach of their parents, & out of the way "of Indian examples, & are kept to School under good government & con- "Stant inſtruction. I the reather mention this Inſtance, becauſe of the well "known Skill & fidelity of that good Gentleman, & becauſe that tribe are as "much civilized, & as many of them chriſtianized, as perhaps any party of "them in this government. And by all I can learn, it is no better in this reſpect "with any other. They are So diſaffected towards a good & neceſſary government, "that as gentle an exerciſe of it as may be, & anſwer the deſign of keeping up "order & regularity in any meaſure among them, will likely So diſguſt them as "to render the caſe worſe reather than better. Captain Martain Kellog com‐ "plained of this as his great diſcouragement in the School at Stockbridge, not‐withſtanding he underſtood, as well as any man, the diſpoſitions of the Indians, ^[below]and^ one of the Mohegan tribe ^taught & Sent by mr Wheelock^ & who has been often among them endeavouring to teach them according to his ability, with whom I am well acquainted, & who told me that they were greatly prejudiced againſt the Engliſh as they removed to that place being turned off their land elſe where; & who went among them in 1763, & could not preach to them as the man whom he expected to be his interpreter was not there & none among them could interpret for him. This account he gave me immediately after his return. So that there muſt be Some miſtake in mr Mathers Account
(6)"and had the advantage of knowing their language & cuſtoms, having been so "long a captive among them, & was high in their affiction & eſteem; Yet he was "obliged to take the Children home to Weatherſfield with him, quite away from "their parents, before he could exerciſe that government which was neceſſary "in order to their profitting at School — And beſides all this they are so "extreemly poor, & depend so much upon hunting for a livelyihood, that they are "in no capacity to Support their children at School, if their diſpoſition for it "were ever So good" i.e. in a conſtant & regular way. Some light may be thrown on this Subject by a letter from David Fowler an Indian School‐maſ‐ ter educated by mr Wheelock, dated, Onoida, June 24. 1765. — "My Scholars "learn very well, I have put eleve[gap: tear][guess: n] of them into a, b, ab. (i.e. 19 day after he begun the School) "I have three m[gap: tear][guess: or]e that will advance to that place this week "& Some have got to the Sixth page. It is a thouſand pities they cannot keep "togather: they are often going about to git their proviſion. One of the chiefs, "in whoſe houſe I live, told me, he believed Some of the Indians would Starve "to death this Summer. Some of them have almoſt conſumed all their corn "already." From hence it appears, that the goſpelizing the Indians is attend- ed with very great difficulties, & were it not abſolutely neceſſary, theſe things would be Sufficient to diſcourage any attempt; But where any thing is ne‐ ceſſary, & of infinite importance (as this certainly is, both with regard to our‐ Selves as God's covenant people, & to them as formed for immortality) the greater the difficulties are, the more vigourous Should be our efforts, & if we fail in one attempt we Should try another. This is the way of men as to things of infinitely leſs importance. But alaſs! the children of this world are often wi‐ ſer in their generation than the children of Light. Let us not then be diſcou‐ raged, but attend to what follows, which is humbly offered as the moſt likely remidy for theſe evils, & which, by the bleſſing of God hath done more already, than any attempt which was ever before made.
About 27 years ago, the Revd mr Occom an Indian of the Mohegan tribe near New London in Connecticut in New England, was converted from pagan‐ iſm (as were a number beſides of that tribe) till which time he had lived to- tally ignorant of the chriſtian religion; being then betwen 16 & 17 years of age. After this he had a Strong deſire to learn to read the Scriptures. He ap- plied to Some Engliſh, who lived near his tribe, to inſtruct him in his letters, &c. & by his diligent application, without any School, he was able to read brokenly in the ^Bible^ New Teſtament, & Speak a little broken Engliſh when he was about 19 years old: at which time, hearing that the Revd mr Wheelock, whom he had heard preach among the Indians, & for whom he had a high eſteem, had a number of Engliſh youths fitting for college, he had a deſire to go to him to be inſtructed for a few weeks in reading — Providence opened the way by his Mother going to mr Wheelock, who cheerfully took him, & taught him 4 years, near one year of which time he was unable to Study thro' indiſpoſition of body. His application
(7)application to Study was So intence, that at the end of that time he hurt his eyes so as to be unable to perſue his Studies, and was adviſed to go ^therefore went^ to Montauk on Long Iſland, & taught[illegible][guess: a] School among the Indians. there, who where he took the place of the Revd mr Horton who had been imployed among them by the Hon. Scotch Commiſſioners in N. York. At his firſt going to that place he taught School about a year & half without Support from any So- ciety; but marrying, he found it neceſſary to have Some other help than he could procure by labour in vacant hours. He kept School both parts of the day, & in the winter months ^Seaſon^ evenings alſo, attended their Sick, & funerals, and prayed & expounded the Scriptors to them & exhorted them every Sabbath & did all the other parts of a teacher among them, So that his time being al‐ moſt wholly ingroſed he could do but little for his own Support. Some friends knowing his circumſtances applied to the Hon: London Commiſſionrs in Boſton who gave him £15 Ster. per an: which they continued for moſt of the 1[illegible]6 years he was there. But his family increaſing greatly he was obliged to remove to his own land in Mohegan, in order to procure Some Support for them, & here he had for one year £22:10 Ster: from the S.d Hon: London Commiſſ.rs; & being 100 miles diſtant from them, & Surround- ed by the Hon: Scotch Commiſſ.rs in Connecticut, it was tho't beſt he Sho'd be under their care; & accordingly that Board in July 1764. prefered a requeſt to have him diſmiſed from the Board in Boſton to them, with the continuance of his Sallery; which was readily done, only ^but^ they continued the Sallery only for that year: so that being much in debt before, he was now reduced to Some Straights as the Board in Connecticut had no means of relief for him, yet it pleaſed God to open the hearts of friends So that he did not Suffer. But to return.
About 8 years after mr Occom left mr Wheelock, i.e. in 1754. The Sent to the Revd mr John Branard in New Jerſey for two boys in order to edu- cate them. He was encouraged to this by obſerving the Succeſs which mr occum had among the Indians on long Iſland, who were filled with prejudices against their Miniſter the Revd mr Horton, & all other miniſters around, by the intemperate Zeal of Some exhorters from N. England; & who were happily cured by his prudent management among them, so as to attend to the Sober dic- tates of religion, & Seing that, by the divine bleſſing, his labours had been Succeſful ^by the divine bleſſing^ for the Saving good of Some; & obſerving alſo that his own Na- tion, as well as thoſe adjacent who knew him, depended on him to con- duct their civil, as well as religious affairs, he concluded that the teaching the Indians by their own Sons was the moſt likely way to Succeſs; & therefore procured the two boys above mentioned. When he took theſe two youths, he had no fund for their Support, nor Sufficient income for the Support of his own
(8)numerous family; tho' he had Some eſtate in land [illegible][guess: or] ^And^ from that time till I left America, he never had any thing in hand for the Support of the cauſe except twice a Small matter ^little^ more than to diſcharge the debts ^in which^ he had in- volved his own eſtate by it; And when he firſt undertook this work, he says Page 14th of his firſt Narrative "I did not much think of any "thing more than only to clear my Self & family of partaking in the "guilt publick guilt of our land & nation in such a neglect of them." After he had inſtructed theſe two Youths for near two years, one of them faling into a decline, he Sent him home, & two more of the Delawar Tribe came in his place. And altho the war Soon commenced, & the face of Indian affairs appeared more & more gloomy; yet Such was the good behaviour of the Boys, & their proficiency in learning that he was incouraged to go on, & gradually increaſe the Number, So that in April 1757, he had four; & in April 1759, five; & Seven in November, 1760; & eleven in Auguſt 1761, & in Novem 1762 he had no leſs than 25 in his School*
[right]*& [illegible] [illegible] & thus he went on to increaſe the number till in the whole he hath had between 40 & 50 whome he Supports.
Mr Mr Wheelock's principle view hath been ^had^ all along ^been^, to open a way to the Six na‐ tions, & thro' them, to more remote tribes, if the affair Should Succeed: But this could not be accompliſhed at firſt. Thoſe Nations had always been averſe to parting with their Children to go to the Engliſh. ^[illegible][guess: The] Hon:^ Cadwalleder Colden Governor of New York told me, that he had tryied to obtain Some of their Children to have them educated, & tho' perſonally acquainted & intimate with many of them, could never prevail. Hence mr Whee- lock was under a neceſſity of begining with thoſe Tribes who had Some acquaintance with the Engliſh, & alſo with religion. Beſides, the War commencing, it was quite imprac- ticable, & would have been eſteemed wild & extravagant indeed, to have made an attempt of this nature among Indians who were often in Suſpence what Side to take in the war; & his propoſal to obtain them, when the war was ended, "was by many hardly to be account- ed for but by a diſtempred brain." By the time the War ended, he had taken four of the Delawar Nation from New Jerſey, one of whom was dead; & two from Montauk on Long- Iſland in N. York governm.t & only one from Connecticut, viz from Mohegan; & Since that time hath never taken any from [illegible]thoſe Nations, excepting 32 or 3 who were deſign'd for trades after they had learned to read, write, & keep common accounts, & theſe were ^are^ not reckoned in the ^School^[illegible].
The attempt to procure youths from the Six Nations at firſt was hazardous, & would require Some conſiderable expience, & had mr Wheelock attempted it without any help from Some Society, & without money to Support the charge of So extraor- dinary an enterprize, theyre would have been Still more danger ifthat he would have been reproached as raſh & preſumptious. Therefore in May 1761, he ap- plied to the Hon: Scotch Commiſſrs in Boſton, who approving the deſign of Sending for children of remote tribes, paſſed a vote on May 7. to this purpoſe, That m.r Wheelock be deſired to fit out David Fowler an Indian youth to acom‐pany the Revd mr Occom on a Miſſion to Onoida, & that Said David be Supported on Sd Miſſion a term not not exceeding 4 months, & that he endeavour, to bring on his return, to bring down three Boys to be put under mr Wheelocks care & that £20 be put into mr Wheelocks hand to carry on the deſign; & that when
(9) Said Sum Shall be expended, he adviſe the treaſurer of it & Send his accounts for allowance. This was accordingly done & the thre boys procured & Sent to mr Wheelock. This was the firſt opening among the back nations, & was much facilitated by mr Occom & David Fowler, going up among them (who had been educated in mr Wheelocks School) going up among them & giving them a favourable Idea of the deſign, & eſpecially by the influance & aſſiſtance of Sir W.m Johnſon. Incouraged by this countenance from the Board, Mr Wheelock applied to the General Aſſembly of Maſſechuſets Bay the November following, who granted him £54 Ster: on which incouragement he took Six more Children of the Six Nations, truſting providence for the Supply of what that Sum Should fall Short in their Support. This Sum of £54 Ster. that Hon: Aſſem‐ bly have granted forto mr Wheelock from year to year Since; & by the charities of the pious in & about Boſton, Portſmouth, Connecticut, New York & Phila- delphia, & Some kind, unexpected providential Supplies from friends of the cauſe in Great Britain, the School hath been hither to Supported; tho' no mo- ney hath[illegible] ever been in hand more than Sufficient to diſchare preſent debts (wch Some times have been very conſiderable without any human proſpiect of relief) &, to twice only, to keep the School a few weeks.
In this number of youth there was one Mr Kirtland the Son of a Miniſter in Norwich in New England, & Since there have been three or four more En‐ gliſh youth taken in to be trained up as aſſociates with the Indians in their Miſſions, & Several who have had the moſt of their education at their own expence are now imployed as miſſionaries among the Indians, & Sup- ported by this Charity.
In Novem.r 1764, Mr Kirtland & Joſeph Wolley an Indian youth, Set out for the Six Nations in order to winter among them. The went to Onohoquage where Joſeph continued with the Indians till the next fall teaching School & inſtructing them in the things of God & Jeſus Chriſt in which he appeared to be much ingaged. Mr Kirtland went from thence to Fort Johnſon, & tarried with Sir W.m Joh[illegible]nſon learning the Mohawk language, till the 17th of January following, & then traveled ^on boat^ in company with two Seneca Indians, about 250 miles thro' a Snow four feet deep, &till he came to the Seneca Na‐ tion who are numerous, among whom he continued till the Spring of 1766, & Suffered many hardſhips, & was often in great danger of being murdered by Some of that Savage Nation — But God preſirved him; & by him hath opened a hopeful proſpect of carrying the bleſſed goſpel among that numerous and Savage tribe.
Beſides theſe The encouraging accounts which mr Kirtland gave of the d[gap: tear][guess: iſ] poſition of the Indians & their earneſst deſire to Send their Children to mr [gap: tear][guess: Whee-] lock & to have teachers come among them, excited him to look out for Som[gap: tear][guess: e] En- gli[gap: tear][guess: ſh]
10 gliſh miſſionaries to Sentd out with thoſe Indian youth who were quallified for inſtructing the heathen. Mr Wheelock was incouraged to Send thoſe Engliſh Miſ‐ſionaries by the confidence which he knew theſe Indians had in him, as Sincerely Seeking their good, of which they were perſwaded by his educating their Children: & alſo by the earneſt deſire they expreſſed of being inſtructed having miniſters Sent among them, of which they had been deſtitute for Several years. Accordingly he called the Hon: Board of Commiſſ.rs in Connecticty to meet on the 12th of March 1765 in order to examine meſſ .rs Titus Smith & Theo: Chamberlain as miſſionaries, David Fowler, a Montauk Indian, Hezekiah Calvin, a Dielaware, Moſes, Johannes, Abraham primus, Abraham Secundus & Peter, Mohawks as Schoolmaſters: ac- cordingly we met; & providence So ordered it, that at the very time we were gathering, three Indians arived from Onohoquage, having traviled on foot 300 miles thro' the Snow; & at the Same inſtant alſo came in mr Gun the Interpre- ter, who was well acquainted with thoſe indians, by whom we were able to under- stand them & they us. Thus theſe three parties met, in leſs than half an hour, from places 300 miles diſtant, without any previous appointment or the leaſt know- ledge of each others deſign. Their Arrand was to aſk for a miniſter to go & preach Chriſt to them, & Said they had ^had^ no miniſter for a great while. The Board examined and approved the Candidates; & on the 24th of April following they two were or- dained, & commiſſioned by the Board as Miſſionaries, who went to the Six nations in company with the Schoolmaſters who were placed in Schools among them & in the Autum following they had in their Schools about 130 children, who made good proficiency in reading, tho they knew not a letter (moſt of them) when they went among them: And by a letter from mr Wheelock ^Since^ I am informed that he had accounts of above 100 children in only four of thoſe Schooles laſt Summer.
Thus I have given as honeſt, plain, tho imperfect, ^an^ hiſtory of the riſe & pro- greſs of this School as I am capable of in So Short a cumpaſs: and I perſwad my-ſelf that it will eaſily appear, [illegible]that this plan is more likely to obviate the before- mientioned difficulties, than any other that hath been attempted, & is incomparably better than to depend wholly on Engliſh miſſ:rs: for, let it be obſerved
1. The Indians entertain no Jealouſies of their own Children as having a deſign of defrauding them of their Lands, their intereſt being one; So ye grand objection is removed.
2. An Indian Miſſionary may be Supported wth leſs than half the expence, that will be neceſſary for the Support of an Engliſh Miſſionary, who can't conform to their manner of living, & who can have no dependance on them for any part of it; but on the contrary, they will be always expecting Some favours from him, which will not be the caſe with an Indian.
3. Hereby the great expence of an Interpreter will be Saved, as the Indians will Speak to them in their own language & So be able to addreſs them with more pathos [gap: tear][guess: &] energy; & be in a capacity more readily to prevent any riſing jealouſies & difficulties [gap: tear][guess: whi]ch may be breading among them, & which could not be eaſily diſcovered by one who [gap: tear][guess: is ig]norant of their language. [gap: tear][guess: 4.] Indian Miſſionaries may be Suppoſed better to underſtand the tempers & Cuſtoms [gap: tear][guess: of the] Indians, & more readily conform to them in a thouſand things than the Engliſh
(11)can, & in things wherein their nonconformity may cauſe diſguſt, & by them be conſtrued as the fruit of pride, or it may be, Something worſe.
5.The Influence of their own Sons among them will likely be much greater than of any Engliſhman whatever. They will look upon Such as one of them; their Intereſt the Same with theirs: & will naturally eſteem him as the hon– of their Nation, & be more ready to be adviſed & Submit to his reproofs, than to any Engliſh miſſionary; & eſpecially will they, more patiently, endure ye diſcipline neceſſary in a School from one of their own nation than from the Engliſh. This is abundantly evident in the caſe of mr Occom, who taught School a long time among the Indians at Montauk, where, he Says, he could, without offence, uſe any neceſſary Sever^it^y with the Children & reprove the Parents for any fault: & even among his own tribe his influence is much greater than any other man's in that whole government, as well as among all the tribes in that vicinity
6.The great difference between the Engliſh manner of living, & that of the Indians cauſes them to diſpare of immitating them; but when they See their own Sons capable of huſbandry & a decent life, this hath already, & will pro- pably continue more & more to animate them to induſtry & huſbandry, that they alſo may partake of the Sweets of life, & not be so frequently reduced to a Staving condition, which a dependance on hunting diſpoſes them to. And this is the moſt likely means of preventing their rambling, & collecting them to‐ gather in compact bodies, & fixing them in Setled habitations; which will effec- tually prevent their going to war with us, as then their property will be fixed, & not eaſily removed, & therefor expoſed to be deſtroyed, & they ruined ^in caſe of a war^, & will alſo incline them to uſe their Influence with the more defiant nations to keep them in peace; & to defend us when theyre Shall be war, as they will be our fronteer, & moſt liable to Suffer. This alſo will bring them under better advantages for inſtruction, as they will not need to ramble for their foodt. Let me add here alſo, that this will be of inconceivable advantage to the trade of this Nation, as every civilized Indian will take a conſiderable quantity of Britiſh ma- nufactories yearly. Beſides, this will enable them to procure a living [illegible] from the one ^fiftieth^ hundreth part of the land which is now neceſſary for them to hunt on, & the reſidue may be improved by the Engliſh, without any injury to the Indians when once they learn huſbandry, & hereby the britiſh Colonies can be extended, & the people there be under no neceſſity of going into ma- nufactories; which they never will, while they have Sufficient land to improve.
7. The Friendſhip and acquaintance which the Indian boys, from diſtinct Tribes & places, will contract & cultivate, while togather, [illegible]at School, may be
(12)improved much for the benefit advantage & furtherance of their Miſſion
8. In this School, children of different nations may, & eaſily will, learn one ano- thers language, & Engliſh youth may learn of them; & thereby Save the vaſt expence of Interpreters, & their miniſtry be much more acceptable, & edify‐ ing to the Indians.
9. Indian miſſionaries will readily own Engliſh ones, who Shall be aſſociated with them (where the Engliſh can be introduced) as elder brethren, eſpecially while they are So much dependant on the Engliſh for a Support — & they will mutually help each other to recommend the deſign to the favourable reception of the pagans, remove their prejudices, conciliate their friendſhip, & indce them to repoſe due confidence in the Engliſh.
10. The Indians being acquainted with the Engliſh language, will thereby be naturally bound to them, (for all know how Strong the tie of language is) & will of courſe be naturally diſpoſed to trade with the people they can under- Stand; & will alſo have the advantage of knowing what deeds & other writings they Sign, by which they will be guarded from thoſe impoſitions, which have been the ground of their Jealoſies, & coſt the Engliſh So much blood & treaſure
11. Indians bro't up for miſſionaries in this School, & the Engliſh youth alſo are not likely to forſake the buſineſs of their miſſion, as they are ^will^ not likely to ^probably^ be invited to churches among the Engliſh; and as they will have the induce- ment to continue among the Indians which no Engliſh man can have, viz. that they will neceſſarily be eſteemed, honoured & advanced among them on account of their Superior knowledge. This has been the caſe moſt evidently with mr Occom who hath more influence & honour among his own Nation & all the Tribes around them, than any S^a^chim of the back nations hath among ^them.^ [illegible][guess: thoſe Miſſionaries] 12 [illegible] where as there are very few inſtances of Engliſh Miſſ.rs who have had a delicate education, but have Soon prefered the pleaſures of Society & a field of more extenſive uſefulneſs, of which they have had a fairer proſpect [illegible][guess: of] among the Engliſh, to the regions of Igno- rance, & hardſhips of life in a dreary Wilderneſs, where their improvements in learning & Science are hid, & they Seem almoſt loſt to themſelves & the world.
If the above obſervations are juſt, it is eaſy for the attentive mind to See that the School before deſcribed is exactly calculated to anſwer all the difficulties which have hitherto obſtructed this glorious work beyond any thing which hath yet been attempted. And if the Indians can be bro't to agriculture & live decently, it will tend to cure them of the vice of drinking to exceſs, which hath ever been a great obſtruction to the progreſs of the Goſpel among them, & rendered it dangerous for miſſionaries to be among them. The inſtance of mr Occoms nation is a full proof of this. Formerly they were, like other Indians, addicted to drinking to exceſs, but now they cultivate their lands & have the comforts
(13)of life they are as free from that vice as perhaps any So large a num- ber of people togather among the Engliſh.
I do not pretend that this plan is So perfect as to be incapable of improve- ment; but am Senſible it is yet [illegible][guess: defic]neceſſarily deficient in many reſpects & time, with experience, may diſcover many more defects, than ^do^ now occur. Give me leave to hint one or two things which go [illegible] ^belong^ to the plan, & which can't at preſent be accompliſhed for want of Supplies.
1. It is propoſed to obtain a large tract of land nearer the back Indians in order to erect the School, & imploy a great Number of Indian Youth of different nations in huſbandry as well as So much learning as Shall be neceſſary for common buſineſs; & to train up a number of Girls to all the buſineſs of houſ-wif^e^ry & Such trades as Shall render them uſeful in their families; & alſo to teach the Indians lads Such trades as will en- able them to promote huſbandry &c among their own Nations. This was the plan propoſed by the Revd mr Seargent of Stockbridge, & adopted by the Hon. Society in London & mr David Bainard, & was generally approved.
2. It is propoſed that the Indian youths, who have been taught to read & write well, & Some of whom are of other nations & languages, Should go[illegible] accompanied by Such Engliſh youth as are deſigned for a Miſſion, to Some nation where they are likely to be imployed in order to Set up Schools to teach the chil- dren Engliſh, while they perfect themſelves in their own or a Strange lan- guage — This indeed is now perſued with reſpect to a number, but need's larger Supplies to carry it into thoroug^h^ execution.
This whole Scheem Seems to bid So farr for Succeſs; & the effects of it have already been So remarkable, that I freely own, That after my intimate ac- quaintance with it for Several years I am not able to form any objection of any weight againſt it: And yet I have heard of three objections wch have been improved to its diſadvantage, which I beg leave now to obviate.
1. The great expence of taking Indian youth from their parents & educat- ing them among the engliſh is objected to this plan.
What I have Said already [illegible][guess: is] ^would be^ [illegible][guess: a] Sufficient anſwer to this objection were it not for an Extract from Dr Chancy's Sermon preach in Boſton at the ordination of mr Bowman on Auguſt 31. 1762, which I find publiſhe here at the end of the Revd mr Randals Sermon, preach before the Society in Edenburgh, for pro- moting chriſtian knowledge; His words are "We have have not incouraged the "Sending theſe Boys; &, as we imagine, for very good reaſons. The charge of bring- "ing them from their own homes, & educating them among us, would be very "great. We have felt the truth of this, as we lately found ourſelves obliged to "pay nearly £60. Sterling in leſs than one year for three Boys only."
Theſe boys were under mr Wheelocks care; & I freely own that this expence is very great. As it is natural for every one to underſtand by this ^account^ that, three Boys
(14)only would ordinarily coſt near £60 Sterling in leſs than one year, per- haps in eight or nine months. But the Dr was unhappily miſtaken as to the fact, which was this. David Fowler was on a miſſion near four months in which he Spent (including the expence of fitting him out) near £15. Ster: He procured & Sent down three Mohawk Lads, they each brot a horſe which mr Wheelock was obliged to keep in a time of great drought; they all came [illegible]little better than naked, except one who had Some cloths; He cloathed them all — In about three months, one being in a decline when he came was obliged to return, and another to accompany him, The expence of their Journey back about [illegible] miles [illegible][guess: weſt] one Soon died, the other married & did not return. The third accompanied mr Kirtland about 200 miles to procure two more to Supply their place, which journey was expenſive; the two they obtained came naked were to be clothed which added to the expence; So that in Stead of "three Boys only" there was the clothing & firniſhing David Fowler [illegible]with horſe & money for his long journey of Several months; the Expence of the Boys journey home above 200 miles; the expence of Kirtlands Journey (excepting his horſe) to bring down the other two; the paſturing their horſes in a dry & difficult Seaſon; the cloath- ing all five & repairing their cloathing while they tarried; their Boarding Schooling, waſhing, lodging, firewood, Candles, books, paper, &c. the amount of all which. for near twelve months was, errors excepted, juſt £58.17.S.7 ¼d Sterling: Hence it appears that the Dr was groſly miſtaken, when he Says "for three boys only" It is a pitty he had not examined the caſe more thoro'ly before he publiſhed concerning it, which he had the faireſt oppertunity for as he was Cha[illegible]irman of the Committee when the bill ^account^ was carried in: and it is a debt he owes to the world & to truth to [illegible]own his miſtake & Set this affair in a true light, as it reſpects a matter of fact.. But this whole II. affair is Set in a more full light in mr Wheelocks Narrative printed in Boſton Page. 39-45. which has never be replied to by the D.r
II. The Second objection is, That the moſt of the Indian youth which mr Wheelock hath had in his School are taken from the civilized & chriſtianized Indians in Connecticut.
This is alſo a groſ miſtake: for So intimately as I am acquainted with the School, I know of but two Indians in it or that ever were in it, which belonged to connecticut, & one of thoſe, as I remember, was deſigned for a trade and the other for a farmer. ^mr Occom indeed is another exception; but he had left mr Wheelock 8 or 9 years before^ he had the tho'ts of a School, & never was reckond as one oft.
III. It is alſo objected, that it would be a much better & cheaper way to learn the Indians to read in their own language than to teach them Engliſh. In an‐ ſwer to this I would obſerve
1. There are no books in the language of any of the back nations, except the Pſalms & a few other paſſages of Scripture in the Mohawk language; & it is next to impoſſible to find any man ^to^ whom it would be Safe to truſt the
(15)work of tranſlating the Scriptures into that or any other ^back^ Indian language.
2. If the Bible & Some other good books were tranſlated into any one language which is known in America, it would be of uſe to but a compa‐retively Small number, as theſ language differs generally ever hundred or 2 miles, not only in its Idiom, but in the very words as much as the Welch differs from the Engliſh; So that there would require many tranſlations, which, as they ^it^ would not be exceeding difficult to procure them, if not impoſſible, So the impreſ‐ ſions of them muſt be very expenſive.
I have now only to add a few motives which tend to influence the pious & be- nevolent to exert themſelves for the Support of this School & of the miſſionaries & Schoolmaſter who are & may be Sent from it into the Wilderneſs to inſtruct the periſhing pagans in reading, writing, religion & the civil arts.
1. The conſideration of the low & wretched condition in which they live, Should ex- cite us to this. Their habitations are uſually made of the Bark of trees, & are inſuffi‐cien't to difend them from the rain & ^cold^ [illegible]. their lodging the cold earth or ye bark of a tree, & at beſt the Skin of a Bare or some other beaſt — their food, the fleſh of wild beaſts they take in hunting which they commonly eat without Salt, & frequent- ly without bread, as they are unacquainted with huſbandry, & raiſe no bread corn, except Maiſe or Indian corn, of which the Sildom have a Sufficiency. And they, depending on hunting, are often Starved thro' want. Now, if we are required to deal our bread to the hungry, where can we find more proper objects? eſſpecially as there are So many thouſands & millions of theſe unhappy wretches, & a Smal matter comparatively, will be Sufficient to bring them to be able to Support themſelves.
2. They have Souls as will as we, & are capable of the Same happineſs or mi- ſery; & therefore love to their immortal part Should excite us to endeavour to Spread the Goſpel among them, without which they cannot be Saved in God's ordinary way. And can we pretend to be the followers of X & partakers of his Spirit, & yet be in- different to the happineſs or miſery of their precious Souls!
3. God hath evidently intimated his diſpleaſure at our neglect, in Suffering the Indians to be Such a Sore Scurge to the Britiſh Colonies, in barbarouſly butch- ering & murdering the inhabitants, captivating their Sons, daſhing their little ones againſt the Stones, & burning & laying waſt the c^o^untry, for near a hundred miles togather as the did the laſt war: all which might have been prevented, had there been Suitable pains taken in time to Send pious, zealous miſſionaries among them, eſpecially of their own Sons, who being trained up with the Engliſh would naturally have an attachment to them, & by various means might have prevented their engaging in a war. "There is good reaſon to think, that if one half which has been laid out in building forts, maning & Supporting them, & in preſents to buy the friendſhip of the Indians, had been prudently laid out in Supporting faithful miſſior.s & School maſters among them, that the more inſtructed, & civilized party would have been a better defence, than all the expenſive fortreſſes & prevented the laying waſte So many towns & villages: Witneſs the conſequence of Sending mr Sergeant to Stock-
bridge, which was in the very road by wch they moſt uſually came upon our people, & by wch there hath never been one attact made upon us, since his going there" Sir W.m Johnſon in a letter to mr Occom, Say "Every Indian in the near Onoida Caſtle, the Oghquagoes, Mohawks, Schoharees, & Candia Indians are determined to live & die with the Engliſh; owing in a great meaſure to the little knowledge they have of our religion, which I heartily wiſh was more known to them & the reſt."
4. The great obligations which lie on us as God's Covent people, who have all we injoy more than they in a covent way, & So are bound to de[illegible]vote all to the Glory of our liberal benefactor, Should be a motive to excite us to liberallity in this work.
5. The converſion of the heathen is that on wh the heart of the great Redeemer is greatly Sit — for he shall be Satiſfied whe he Sees of the travil of his Soul. And can we be in[gap: tear][guess: dif-] ferent in that in which he is So ingaged! did he become poor, that we might be rich; & Shall we grudge a little of our Subſtance & pains for to Save thoſe Souls for which he died! Surely if the love of Chriſt dwells in us we Shall think nothing too much or too hard that is in our power in order to Set X on his throne among the heathien
6. The Spreading knowledge & Civility among the Indians will greatly increaſe the trade & we^a^lth of this nation, as they will then wear the britiſh manufacturies, which article alone would every year far more than compenſate the annual expence of inſtructing them
7. There are many promiſſes of God that X's Kingdom Shall come among the hea‐ then; & therefore we have good reaſon to believe our endeavours will not be fruitleſs
8 The deſign is carried far already by that eminant, faithful Servant of God mr Wheelock, who with infinite pains & labour ^& to [illegible][guess: the] hazard of his own eſtate^, hath trained up a number who are now imployed in teaching the heathen; & if he can't be incouraged to go on, who will ever attempt the like again
9. Many are willing to go out & Suffer the hardſhips of Such a wilderneſs life, & forſake every comfort that reſults from Society & plenty, & go thro dangers & fateagues. too many & great to be here deſcribed; And this they have done hitherto without any other encouragement but that which hath aroſe from the hope of Spreading the Goſpel among their periſhing fellow men, & from the promiſſes of a future reward in Glory; & can any who bare the name of Chriſtians be backward to give of their Subſtance to fead & cloath them, while they bear the burden & heat of the day — Surely we Should bear one anothers burdens & So fulfil the Law of Chriſt.
10. And not to add. The gracious incouragement given by God himſelf, & his many promiſſes that he will reward, even in this life, with temporal bleſſings & in the life to come with eternal advantage, whatever is given for the advance- ment of his cauſe here Should awaken us to Such acts of charity & piety. Many are the promiſes to this purpoſe —Caſt thy bread on the Waters, & thou Shall find it after many days. The liberal Soul deviſeth liberal things, & by liberal things Shall he Stand Bleſſed is the man that conſidereth the poor, the Lord Shall be with him in time of trouble, &c. &c. &c. And this is one yea[illegible] the principle thing which Chriſt will at laſt acknowledge as the mark of his diſciples, & will reward with eternal Joy: He Shall then Say to them on his right hand, Come ye bleſſed of my father inhierit the Kingdom — for I was an hungred, & ye gave me meet, I was athurſt, & ye gave me drink — — In as much as ye did it to one of the leaſt of theſe my brethren, ye did it to me —
May we be of this happy number, Amen & amen —