Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to the Trust in England, 1767 October 8

Author Wheelock, Eleazar

Date8 October, 1767

ms number767558.1

abstractWheelock copies an extract from his son Ralph’s journal describing a trip to Oneida Country, and relates the progress of the mission work there.

handwritingInformal handwriting is small, crowded and frequently difficult to decipher. There are several deletions and additions, as well as uncrossed t’s and undotted i’s. Letter case frequently difficult to decipher

paperLarge sheet folded into four pages is in fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear. There is evidence of old repair work on the central crease.

noteworthyPersons whose identites are uncertain have been left untagged. This document is likely a draft.

layoutAddendum in left margin of one recto spills over onto two verso, indicating that the addendum was written with the paper laid flat, after the text on two verso was written.

Persistent Identifier
To the R.t Honle the Earl of Dartmouth and [illegible][illegible] Honle & worthy Gentlemen who have accepted the Truſt of the [illegible][guess: Fund] for the Indian charity- school &c Dear M.r Keen. My Noble Honle & worthy Sirs
In mine to YouMr ^Keen^ & M.r Whitaker of 2d & 3.d ult.o ^which I truſt y.o ha' ſeen^ I informd You y.t I had Sent my Son into the Wilderneſs. he returnd from his long & fatiguing Tour 25th ulto the Copy of Sir William Johnſon's Letter [illegible]encloſed Sufficiently expreſses the Tenor of his Diſcourſe with my Son — on which My Son thought proper not to attempt to collect y.e Schools, or ingage Miſsionaries 'till ſir John Johnſon's Return, or till we could hear further hear of the Affair of Miſsionaries from Home. The following is an Abſtract of my Son's Journal from thence to Onoida viz;; Sept.r 9th reachd Thompſon's y.e leſt Engliſh Inhabitant on this Side M.r Kirtlands. 10.th Thurſday — here find Indians Settling the Bounds of Lands ^as I was inform'd ^ which , ſir William ^had^ bought of them for ſir Henry Moore, & other Gentlemen in N. York — many of them were Drunk, but on hearing my Name they treated me with diſtinguiſhing ma[illegible]rks of Reſpect. — I hired an Indian Ladd to conduct me 36. miles thro' the Woods to M.r Kirtlands — a very wet Day and no ^House for^ refreſhment — reach M.r Kirtlands abo.t 6 o'Clock in y.e Evening — was agreably Surprized to find his Situation amidſt Such a Number of Hutts, and to See y.e Active Appearance of So many Souls — and though ^Wett &^ much tired, could Scarce find Time to Shift my Cloths, or take Refreſhment, the Sound of my Arival being Soon Spread thro' the Whole Caſtle. The Grey headed, middle aged youth & Children flockd in Swarms to wellcome me their Father, the fleſh of their GrandGreat Father (for ſo they termd it). And give me Gods Bleſsing and pray for one to be given ^them^ by me, (for Such were the Terms they used) I was complemented with friendly Salutations of all kinds, and Such as appeard hearty. — this throng held 'till 9 O'Clock when M.r Kirtland told them I was weary & wanted Reſt — that they muſt come tomorrow morning for God's News &c —  I found M.r Kirtland in high Spirits, full of Zeal, his whole Heart & Soul engaged in his work — He has made proviſion for a comfortable Subſiſtance thro' the winter, for which he is none in Debt. his Proſpects of Succeſs Among them are great & increaſing — many added to his Congregation — there are now upwards of 80 families — there were five new Hutts then in building — & M.r Kirtland told me he expected 1210. or 1512. more this fall — 11th friday — I was rouſed from my Blankett this morning by the Indians who wanted to know whether I was Sick or Well — and impatient to See me by the Day light — after Brakefaſt I walked with M.r Kirtland thro' the Town, we calld at every House that we might not give offence, and had all the Reſpect ſhewn me in their Power.— M.r Kirtland had heard of my being on the Road and leſt I Should not extend my Journey further than the Mohocks, had Sent 3 of their Boys & one Girl forward the Day before to meet me at Buttlers‐‐burrough. (one of these Boys was y.e Son of Gawke their Cheif who died the Spring before laſt, & when he was dying left charge with his Queen to Send her Children to be inſtructed at this School as Soon as they were old Enough) — the Queen his mother Sat out with them under the Care of David Fowler (whom my father had Sent for to take care of his Aged & Suffering Parents & teach a School at Muntauck) at fort Stanwix they loſt one of their Horſes —#on which the Queen & two of the Boys^her Son with y.e Girl went forward with David^ returned ^her Son with the Girl went forward with David. She came direct ſhe hearing that I^ And Seem vaſtly pleaſed to ſee me. I aſked the Children if they would go ^[left][illegible] [illegible] & come with y.e Boys direct to M.r Kirtlands with y.e Boys, tho' they were fatigued & [illegible][guess: wet to y.e ] Skin^ [illegible] Seemd vaſtly pleaſd[illegible][guess: to] ſee me I aſkd the Children [illegible][guess: if] they [illegible][guess: wo.d]
[left]#on which the Queen and two of the ye Boys returned her Son & the Girl went forward with David. before the Queen came to town ſhe heard that I was come, and tho' wetto the Skin & fatigued with her travil, She came direct to M.r Kirtlands with the Boys, to ſee me and Seemd vaſtly pleaſd y.t y.[illegible][guess: a] were come. I aſked the Boys if they would go with me tomorro morning
with me tomorrow morning, they conſented to it with the greateſt Chirfulneſs & Seeming eagerneſs to be on y.e way — 12. Saturday —. this morning hired a Boy to carry a letter after David to Stop him at y.e Mohock Caſtle ^till I & y.e other Boys Shod come up with them^— And another to [illegible][guess: looke ] the Horſe that was loſt — And another to carry a Belt of Wampum to the Indian ^Cheif ^ at Old Onoida (where they have never had an Engliſh Miſsionary or School Maſter) deſiring Him to come & hear my Meſsage — the 1.st & 2d of these Boys effected their Deſign — the 3d returned with a[illegible][guess: ye ] Belt [illegible][guess: Same] Belt of friendſhip with this meſsage y.t he was then labouring under a fit of y.e Feaver & ague but wod wait on me the next Day at 12 o'Clock. — I have not yet Spoke with Jacob who went Home on a viſit laſt Spring, by my Fathers leave, but through the Influence of his bad Aunts, has much out Stayed his Time — I have Seen him Several Times but have treated him and his Family with Slight — Spent the Day with M.r Kirtland in Settling the Affair of his School — they ingaged to Send 28 Children at leaſt — many of whom have made laudible Proficiency already under David Fowler.— at Evening I attended their Singing Meeting and was Surprized at the Profeciency they have made at which they Sang Several Sacred Hymns in their own Language which M.r Kirtland has made & Set to muſick — and [illegible] ^as ſoon as^ he can have leiſure for it he deſigns to tranſlate a Number of Pſalms & Sacred Hymns into Indian metre (in addition to a few they already have, which was done many years ago) and prepare them for the Preſs — I found that I could eaſily have bro.t away — with me 9. 10ths of the Children of that Caſtle if I would.— 13.th. Lords Day — at 10 o'Clock y.e Horn Sounded for meeting — on which I could not refrain from weeping at the Sight of Such a Swarm of Tawney immortels in their beggarly Habit flocking with ſuch appearance of Zeal and eagerneſs to their Long House for divine worſhip — a more Solomn Aſsembly I ſcarſely ever Saw in my Life — M.r Kirtland tho' I could not underſtand him, appeard to act the Indian Orator to perfection — the Aſsembly heard with great Attention — the Queen Sat near me both parts of ye Day, and wept at hearing the word — all parts of y.e worſhip were performd with Great Decency—  This morning a Cherockee Indian, who was [illegible]Sever.l years ago taken captive by the Onoidas, and adopted into one of their families to Supply the Place of one y.t was killd in ye War, came ^from [illegible][guess: uriſkne]^ to Viſit me, and appeard indeed like a babe in Chriſt, M.r Kirtland Hopes he is really converted, he had been Seeking a birth for himſelf, wife, & one Child, in this Town that they might Enjoy M.r Kirtlands Miniſtry.  In the Intermiſsion, on my return from Meeting I met the Cheif of old Onoida ^according to his appointment^ accompanied [illegible]by one of his Council— he Saluted me kindly. thanked me for Coming and hoped it would be for good to them — I delivered him the Belt with my Speech, by the Same Title of Bretheren which My Father had used in his Letter to them — and as it was the 3 d Time ^my Father had Sent to them^ (which acordg to indian Cuſtom is y.e Laſt) I was full plain & severe with them — I told them my Father had Sent once More, an offer of the Gospel to them, and it was the laſt Time they were to expect it from Him, And if they would not accept it, his hands were clear of their Blood, they muſt take the Conſequences & go to Hell in their own way.— I immediately roſe up & went out as tho' I had done with them — They diſcourſd togather about a quarter of an Hour, and after I was returned to ye Room they Spake to me — thanked me for coming — hoped the Hearts of their Tribe wod come togather — were very Sorry they had behaved So bad y.t I co.d not call them Children — Said they had conſiderd my ſpeech — that they Should for themſelves be glad if their Indians would accept the offer. they could Speak only for ymſelves and promiſed to Send his Grandſon which was ye only one he could command — Said they would call the [illegible]Tribe togather the Next Day to hear my Meſsage — they thankd my Father that he had Sent to them twice before — & was very Sorry they had behaved So Ill that their Great father could not give them the Title of Children — I told them if they behaved well accepted of my Fathers Offer — treated mr. Kirtland well — Sent y.r Children to School — & behaved well till
Next Spring they Should have the Title of Children. About 9 o'Clock this Evening on of the Council came in to aſk forgiveneſs for Jacobs Aunts for keeping him at Home — and to plead for him that he mig.t return to School — they were afraid to come — I told him I had nothing to do in that Matter but with them — they were able to come and Speak for ym[illegible][guess: ſls] — And when they were Sorry enough they wod do it — and So Sent him off — ^[left]14^ Monday — This morning gave orders ^advice^ to the Council of many things, viz to remove their School House to a Dry Place — to be kind to their Father — to keep their Promiſe with Regard to drink — to Send their Children to School — attend the worſhip of God — &c &c all which they Promiſed to mind — they bro.t 6 of their Boys to Me wh[illegible][illegible][guess: om] I underſtood to be of the cheif famities in the place and urged me to take them — offerd to give them to me — two of ye Boys cryed to comego with me, whom I paci‐‐fied with bitts of Silver—  Jacobs two Aunts came and in a humble manner, and one of them with Tears aſked forgivneſs for detaining Jacob. they confeſsd their Ingratitude — prayd me to take him & do as I pleaſed with him — I appeard careleſs About his coming told them I did not want him I could get boys enough. If he had a mind to turn Indian again he might &c — finally conſented he ſhould come & accordingly bro.t him with me.  abo.t 2 oClock took my leave of this Caſtle — and an Affecting parting it was — Sat off with Rev.d M.r Kirtland, Jacob and my two little Boys — reachd Old Onoida a little before Night— the Town, what of them were at Home had been togather and had agreed to Supply a School with 14. Children which they can command beſides the Children of those that were abroad.— two famities yet remain as inveterate [illegible][guess: haters] of M.r Kirtland and his meaſures as ever. this is a Surpizing change Since laſt Spring when there were but two or three of their Hutts y.t M.r Kirtland tho't it Safe ^for him^ to go into. — they deſired me as my Father's Repreſentative to order M.r Kirtland to preach to them half the time  I told them they been So ungrateful, and behaved them Selves So baſely while their Bretheren at Kanwarohare had received the Gospel, left of their old vices and behaved So well, that they muſt now be content with M.r Kirtland every 3.d Sabath.— they thanked me for that and promiſed they wod attend upon his preaching. they promiſed to [illegible][guess: Send]keep their children [illegible][guess: to]at School, and I promiſed to Send them a maſter in two months — The Enemies to this work on Every headſide are very Numerous, their Friends very few, and their Temptations, and the opposition to it every way greater than can be eaſily conceived.  I Sent a Meſsage to the Onondages, and diſired M.r Kirtland to accom‐‐pany it with a Belt, in my Fathers Name, that I was there on Such an Errand and expected to come into those parts again Next Spring, and if they Deſired it ^I would make y.m a viſit & give them ye [illegible][guess: offer]^ they might [illegible]^[illegible]^to have ^a^ Miſsionary[illegible] & School Maſter Sent Among them.— the old School The Mohocks [illegible]I underſtood by diſcourſing with individuals were willing have a Miſsiony & School Maſter ſent among them, but as Sir William was Expecting Supplies from Europe I tho't beſt to do nothing in [illegible] with [illegible]them for [illegible]the preſent. —  I invited the Queen ^before mentioned^ to make a viſit here next Spring — & ſee for herſelf & deſired M.r Kirtland to chuſe a meet perſon to accompany her. She was pleaſd with the proposal. M.r Kirtland Eſteems her a virtuous woman, and hopes ſhe is become a real Chriſtian. She is much Reſpected and her influence is great among the Nations." thus far my Sons Acco.t By the accot of my Son's and by ^ye Copy of^ M.r Kirtlands Letter of a few Days earlier Date which I encloſe, you ſee, Much-Hond Sirs, how gloriouſly the Proſpect open
opens in that Quarter and of what importance it is to lay cloſe Seige to that part. that dear man of God M.r Kirtland, and the School Maſters in those Towns muſt be Supported, so that they may devote themſelves wholly to their work let the coſt be what it will, and it muſt neceſsarily be great, and if it be £300 Sterling a year (and I don't expect it can be Done for much leſs till he can raiſe his Proviſions there) there is no cauſe of grudging ^to regrett it^ Since he is doing more for Chriſt than perhaps Some Scores of Clergy men who live at Eaſe, and have their £100 Sterlg per An. — I am now Sending M.r Phin.s Dodge a pious young man, & Joseph Johnſon ^a mohegan Indian^ who was an usher in that School Laſt Year, and who has in a good Meaſure made himſelf maſter of that Language to keep the School at Old Onoida ^according to my ſons appointment^— I have also adviſed M.r Kirtland to hire a faithful Labourer to get their Wood, take care of their Horſes, fetch their Proviſions &c&c that their Time might not be half, or more conſumd in Such Service—  But I have not heardhad a word from a Line from London ſince yours of March 23.d I have Sent many but know not whether they or my accots have ^ever^ [illegible]arived you — I know not what acceptance My laſt Meaſures have found with you— but have this to comfort me under the moſt gloomy Imaginations that I have honeſtly^earneſtly^ deſired & honſtly Endeavoured to Serve the cauſe Redeemers cauſe to the Utmoſt of my Power. and am not only approved by my own Conſcience but I have the Univerſal Approbatn of all ^the [illegible][guess: wiſe] and Good^ who are acquainted with my Conduct Plans & the meaſures I have taken in Exerting them.  I encloſe a Power of Attorney and Hope it will be acceptable to You. and if You Repent Your Generoſity & Condeſention in accepting the Truſt, on acco.t of any Real or Supposed Imprudence or Miſconduct on my part, I determine, much Hond Sirs, when I meet You togather in Yonder World of Glory to open to you all the trying Scenes which [illegible] have paſsd ^over^ me, in this So Difficult & ^so^ arduous ^an^ undertaking, and tho' I Shall be aſhamed that I have done no more nor better than I have ^for the Glorious Immanuel^ done yet I know you will not be weary to hear how often the Lord has helped, & how ^much^ he has forgiven. him who is with higheſt Eſteem, and all filial Duty. may it please y.r Lordſ[illegible][guess: ps]
Your Obliged and Moſt Obedient and moſt Humble Serv.t Eleazar Wheelock
To the Trustees in England Oct.r 8..th 1767