David Avery, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1768 October 10

Author Avery, David

Date10 October, 1768

ms number768560.1

abstractAvery writes from the congress at Fort Stanwix. He reports that Sir William Johnson may not be as friendly to the design as he appears, that the Indians are in danger of selling their lands for trinkets and blankets, and that efforts are being made to get them to prize their lands more dearly.

handwritingHandwriting is slightly uneven, yet formal and clear. The trailer is in an unknown hand.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages, plus smaller single sheet, have been reinforced, which makes it difficult to gauge condition of the paper; it appears to be in good-to-fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear.

inkBrown-black ink is faded, heavily in spots.

signatureThe document is signed in full after the body of the letter, and initialed after the postscript.

noteworthyAn editor, likely 19th-century, has added the note "Ind. Miſ." to three verso. This note has not been included in the transcription.

Persistent Identifier
Rev,d & Hon,d Dr
We came to this place laſt friday — waited on His Excellency Sir wm Johnson saturday — treated us with a good deal of freedom and pleasantry — but as to his real friendſhip & regard for the cauſe, doubtleſs, there is much reason to suſpect — we understand the buſi‐neſs of the preſent Congreſs is to run a Line betwixt the King and Indians — which Line is to extend as far weſt as the Indians will sell — they talk of bounding up‐on Onoida Lake — and run down to the weſtern part of Penſilvania
— which, if obtain'd will take in the Indian Land almoſt as far as to the Onondages — again we have heard the Gentlemen de‐‐ſign to get within a Day's March of Oſ‐wago — which will cut off the Onondages from chief of their Inheritance — Some of the Onoida's that heard of this ex‐tenſive deſign were a good deal troubled —
If upon the whole they cannot obtain so far — they deſign to get as far as they can — Thomas fears and trembles! has laboured very much to attach the Indians to their own Intereſt and hold their Lands as they would their Lives. several seem to stand firm — but the poor creatures are too eaſily deluded by gaudy, trifling Gewgaws — they think if they sell here, they have Lands eno' farther North — which extend as far Oſwagoche — what Steps we have ta‐‐ken
taken Jo.s will be able ^to^ inform the Doctor — it appears, eminently to be a time of Danger — it seems as if things are brought to a Crisis they are semſible of the growing state of the Dr's's School, and that by and by the Indians will be too knowing & induſterous to barter and fool away their Lands for a gill of rum or a blankit But what their Views are — let the D.r and his counſil Friends gueſs — Here seems to be a Volume opened in which may be learnt many things — and the Solution of many miſterious Philoſop[illegible]ima — There is one ground of Comfort God is stronger and wiſer than Man
N In converſation Sir W.m aſk'd if we had heard what for an anſwer
the Onondages gave to M.r Chamberlain when he made application to them? told him the sum of their anſwer which was favoura‐‐ble — Then His Excellency was pleaſed to mention what the Onondages told him soon after this application was made —
That the Mohawks have had the Goſpel among them many years as well as the Onoidas — and they obſerved no reformati‐on — they would get drunk stab & kill as before &c &c — and they were reſolved not receive the Goſpel among them untill they saw it had some good Effect upon their Neighbour Brethren. the Mohawks & Onoidas &c — Morover His Exy. said he has taken a vaſt deal of Pains to perſwade the Inians to receive the Goſpel & mind what the Mi‐niſters said to them — as it would be for their Temporal, and Spiritual Good —  But anſwer'd — If it would increaſe their Chil‐dren and Hunting they would do it &c
From what was obſervable were ready to conclude there is little or No proſpect of an anſwer from the Onondag[illegible][guess: a]es — The Gentlemen of theſe parts seem to be well turn'd to build up Kingdoms we deſign to wait upon the Congreſs untill it shall be over — and do what ever may appear beſt — — This Morng. Thomas told me (when I went to conſult with him about af‐fairs) that the Indians all joined their Deſires to see M.r Kirtland once more if he is well enough this fall to make them a ViſitJoſeph Brant sends Love and Duty — Pleaſe [illegible] to accept much Duty from,
Rev.d D,r Your very obedient David Avery. The Revd Dr Wheelock
P.S. If any should come upon this I[illegible][guess: r] Emer‐gance — several lb.s of Money will be want[gap: worn_edge][guess: ed]
As conſcerng. the bearer — shall inform the Doctor when I return — which account will be very diſagreable — He knows no‐one of the moſt special reaſons of his Emiſsion — ! Perhaps the D.r Hope the D.r may have Divine Support — — D.A.
M.r David Avery's Oct.r 10.th 1768. The Revd D.r Wheelock.