Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Nathaniel Whitaker, 1767 April 11

Author Wheelock, Eleazar

Date11 April, 1767

ms number767261.4

abstractWheelock writes of Kirkland’s visit and of his progress on his mission among the Oneidas. He also relates news of Whitaker's and Occom’s wives, as well as other business related to the Charity School.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small and crowded, yet mostly clear and legible. Letter case is frequently difficult to decipher.

paperTwo large sheets each folded in half to make four pages are in good-to-fair condition; moderate staining, creasing and wear — including old tape gum — has been much improved by recent preservation work.

noteworthyIt is uncertain to where Wheelock refers, in reference to Kirkland's mission, when he mentions "that Town," and so it has been left untagged. However, it is possibly Kanawalohale. An unknown hand has added a note in pencil after the trailer on four recto. This note has not been included in the transcription. This document is possibly a draft.

Persistent Identifier
Rev.d & dear Sir.
Four Days ago M.r Kirtland a^r^rived ^[below][illegible]^ hHis State of Health is better than it was — he ſeems at laſt fully convinc'd y.t he muſt, for a while, abate of his Labours & Fatigues, or soon quit y.e whole Service.
The Acco.t he gives, is, in y.e main, very agreable; Tthat the Indians of that Town are almoſt univerſally attachd to him — can't bear a word of his leaving them — they have made great Proficiency in the Schools in [illegible][illegible] Reading & Singing — of the latter he Says, I cant Speak too well — it is quite beyond what any will conceive, unleſs they could hear them — he Says, he hears no Such Singing in the Country. — they carry three parts with great exactneſs — And many of them yet eager to improve further in the Art — This is all New, and beyond what was ever yet known among Indians — many of them Say, they never knew Such Pleaſure before — that it is worth while to be chriſtians, if they had nothing more by it, than the Pleaſure of Singing Praiſes to God — And to aſsiſt them further M.r Kirtland has already begun, & deſigns to go on, to tranſlate Psalms & Sacred Hymns into their Language, and fit them to Tunes — This is Surprizing and affecting to Some, that come among them, from foreign Tribes — At preſent there is a great Reformation among [illegible]them as to their Morals^#^— there have been no more than two drunk belonging to that Town, Since Dec.r 15th & one of them was the only one of that Town, who oppoſed M.r Kirtlands Meaſures — on that Day M.r Kirtlan[gap: worn_edge][guess: d] ^[below]( after^ ^[left] #at preſent a liſtening Ear to y.e word preachd [illegible][guess: ,]^ ^[left]thougthfulneſs and real concern about their Salvn ^ ^[left]appears ^in^ a conſiderable Number^
(after many insucceſsful attempts to put a Stop to that vice) calld the Town togather, & told them, if they would all of them, men & women, Old & Young, agree, & Solomly ingage to leave of their Drunkeneſs, and enable him, to put Such Determination in Execution, by appointing 6 or 8. of their cheif men to be with, him & aſsiſt him therein, with full power to Seize all intoxicating Liquor, and diſtroy it, or diſpose of it as he ſhould think proper, he would tarry with them; otherwiſe, he would leave them. Hereupon after 4 Days Conſideration, they unanimouſly appointed 8, whom M.r Kirtland No‐minated, who have been very Officious, & faithful in the affair. And the Succeſs of this Step has been Such, that, notwithſtanding [illegible] about 80 cag[illegible]gs or caſks of Rum have Since that Time been carried through that Town, & offer'd to Sale, and in a number of Inſtances offerd freely, as a preſent, and their Acceptance Strongly urged, yet they have Never in one Inſtance been pre‐vaild upon to Accept it: Steadily replying, when urged to it, "It is contrary to the miniſters word, and our agreement with him." A Number have publickly made Confeſsion of their paſt Drunkeneſs, & other Vices.aAnd to two in prticular, above the reſt, M.r Kirtland Hopes, God has granted Repentance unto Life.
This has had a very different Effect upon the Indians of Old Onoyada, where M.r Kenne was Sent laſt ſpring but left them for want of Health (as I informd you) Two of the principal men of that Town have removed to live under M.r Kirtlands Inſtruction. the reſt of the Town are generally in oppoſtion to the Reformation begun, and to
Mr Kirtland [illegible]as [illegible]the [illegible]Inſtrument of it — The Enmity is So great, that near Relations as Brothers & Siſters hant viſited oneanother, ſince the aforſd Agreement. — a Number of that Town have been trying every Artifice to overthrow, & prevent the progreſs of, the Reformation; on which acco.t M.r Kirtland deſigns, after a very Short viſit to return himſelf, and not truſt the Affair with any other^to a Stranger^/ I take this Acco.t from his own mouth.
The School there has been well conducted, under David Fowlerand Since David has got his wife there it is Something better living — M.r Kirtland Says that the Charge of tranſporting Pro‐viſions, beſides his own Fatigues about it, has been fully equal to the firſt coſt of them. I have used the utmoſt caution & Prudence as to Expences. and the Same Frugality in my own family as I used when you was acquainted with it. The Miſsionaries & SchoolMaſters have also, So far as I can find, been prudent. dear M.r Kirtland, I think, has, to a fault, been cautious of Expending chriſts money for his own comfort. he has also provided for David & his wife, and Joſeph Johnſon all this year in that Savage Country; and finds himſelf often obliged to do Something for the poor Starved wret‐ches, when they come to See him. And bleſsed be God, he is now animated with the Hopes of a glorious Harveſt among them by & by. may divine Grace & mercy to the poor Creatures, exceed his moſt Sanguine Expectations.
You know I had run Several hundred Pounds in the rere, before you went away, I used to take Goods for the School upon my own Credit, and charge them to the School as it wanted them. by this means my public accots appeard as they did. but this year I have taken Goods, in part of pay, for the Bills I have drawn, and have also paid those arears with them, by which means my Debt is become due to the School, So that my next public acco.t will appear in a view which I ſhould not chuse . viz. a conſi‐‐derable Ballance due to the School, while I Shall have nothing in my Hands, I am not anxious in the Affair, I truſt all will come right by, & by. — The conduct of Divine Providence towards the
towards this whole affair, appears to be a continued Series of Wiſdom, & Goodneſs. oh! how great the Depth! how large the Vol[illegible][guess: ume]^[illegible][guess: Is]^! how Sweet! how Safe! how Bleſsed to truſt in him. April. 18. I herewith incloſe Letters from Meſsrs Smiths & Scott that Friends may know a little how a little Friends think & talk on this Side the water. and what they deviſe. those Gentlemen I underſtand have large Tracts of unſettled Land, near the Place they Speak of, and it is Supposd they would make a large grant to the School, — I have Sent ^you^ a Copy of my Anſwer to them, that you might be better able to form a Judgement on what they write. — April. 23.d Yours of Jany 20. came to Han.d 19.th Inſt.t with a Bill of Exchange for £20 Sterlg from Rob.t Hodgſon ^apothy ^ on John Prince of Salem and another of £5..5..0 from Sam.l Parmiter in Yr fav.r indorſd to H Sherburn Esq.r. yours of Feby. 12. came to hand. 20th Inſtant. — In which you have furniſhed me with ^many^ Arguments of Praiſe to our great Benefactor. — I have heard nothing of any other orders you mention —
You & The Gentlemen concernd may depend upon my taking the moſt prudent & Effectual Care of any Such Intereſts as come into my Hands. but perhaps you are not awere how great the Neceſsary Expences of this Year have been, and I think when you come fully to underſtand what has been done you will have no cauſe to regrett them. money is not ſquandered away for Nothing here I look upon my Obligations ^in the matter^ to be moſt Sacred ^and [illegible][guess: teach] all concirned to look upon & treat ym as being Such^ — as Soon as the accots can be Settled I Shall tranſmitt them — This afternoon Mr Kirtland Sat out on his Return to onoidga he appears to be much [illegible][guess: worn], to that degree that [illegible] notI tho't it ^prudent he shod ^ preachd but once in this viſit
as I choſe he ſhod reſerve his Strength for the Service of the Indians. however he finds he has recruited ^a little^ Since he left the Indians. He is com‐‐miſsioned to open the Affair of a Settlement for this School [illegible] & if he meets with any thing worthy to be tranſmitted you will have it. }he deſigns if poſsible to Introduce Jos. Johnſon into a School at old onoida, and take Moſes Mohock w.o has been in a School at Canajohare to be with him. as he is not yet fully perfect in y.e onoida Language wo [illegible][guess: may]^[illegible][guess: alſo] aſsiſt David in y.e School^
As to your Suſpicion of Some unfriendly Treatment &c. the Gentlman you Suſpect never was So in tho't word or Deed [illegible]yt I ever knew or had the leaſt Reaſon to Suſpect — If your Suſpicions ariſe from any hint in my Letter — you miſunderſtood it, for it reſpected no man on that Side the water — and the Tables are all ^Since^ turnd & it is of no Importance ^now^ whether ever you think of the right man. however; I Supposed you wod readily gueſs who he was. —
As to y.e affair of M.r Ledyard I Shall adviſe him &c. — the man was living Some months ago, but in a low State of health. I conclude he has no conſiderable Intereſt of his own to leave with any.
I rejoyce much to hear of Gen.l Lymans Good proſpects, his moral Character has been much Traduced of late in this Country He is repreſented as a Debaucher — that he is married ^in England^ & devoted to Pleaſure &c It wod be very friendly ^if yo wod ^ to wipe off that Reproach by a Line —
Your Letters and ^& appendix to^ Your Narrative, excite in me y.e greateſt Ardour of affection towards those great & worthy Gentlemen who compose the Truſt, they have lately formd which y.o informd [illegible][guess: me] ha[illegible][guess: s] [illegible] been lately formd — I bleſs the Lord that [illegible][guess: he]^by his Love he^ has preſs them & their Eſtates and all their Influence into his Sirvice — or rather y.t he has made them and how precious will their Names be to ages yet unborn who may Eternally reap the Benefit of that w.c y.e world may ^[illegible]^ Term their great Condeſention —
I have ^never^ recd [illegible][guess: nothin ] but one Lettr from M.r Keen. & nothing ^at all^ from ^Home.^ Since M.r Deberdts of Octr 10. before these from you. but you [illegible][guess: all]^incourag ^ one to Expect one from M.r Whitefild & An.r fr. M.r Keen very ſoon
Mrs Whitaker [illegible]lodg'd here two nights this week, in as Good Health as usual, Your Little Son rode home with her — She informd me that M.rs Occom was also well & Family — give my Love to Son Occom & tell him that Aaron behaves exceedg well — a Little Bundle of Something for his wife came to my Hand yesterday which I Shall carefully forward —
Salute all our Friends in my Name moſt heartily. & accept the old faſhiond Love in Abundance from, My Dear Sir
Yours moſt Heartily cordial Brothr &c Eleazar Wheelock
Rev.d Nathl Whitaker
Lett.r to M.[illegible][guess: r] Whitaker April 16. 1767.
Blank page.