Joseph Fish, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1771 January 30. John Shattock, letter, to Joseph Fish, 1770 December 30. Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Alexander Moubray, 1771 October 15.

Author Fish, Joseph

Author Shattock, John

Author Wheelock, Eleazar

Date30 January, 1771

ms number771130

abstractMulti-sectioned letter: Fish, writing to Wheelock, encloses a copy of a letter written by Shattock about his son John’s death, and asks Wheelock to pass on the news to people in Scotland and England. Wheelock writes to Alexander Moubray in Edinburgh.

handwritingThe first two sections of the letters, written by Fish, are formal and clear. The third section, authored by Wheelock, is not in Wheelock's hand; it is also formal and clear. The trailer is in Wheelock's hand. Several uncrossed t’s have been corrected by the transcriber.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in fair condition, with light-to-moderate creasing, staining and wear. Tearing leads to some loss of text.


signatureThere are three different signatures; however, the only one presumably in the hand of the actual author is that of Fish.

Persistent Identifier
Revd Dear Sir,
A few days after the Date of John Shat­tocks Letter to me, (on this Sheet, the Other Side,) I re­ceivd it; with a Postſcript, earnestly requesting me to Send you a Copy corrected, with to the Revd Doctr Wheelock, with a view that, if it came in the Doctors way, he might communicat[illegible]e an Acc.t of Johns Death to Mr Mebury in Edingborouh & to Mr Cummin in London. — Accordingly, to Oblige my Friend ^[left]x [illegible][guess: Mr ſhattok]/^ John ^x^, I have transcribd his Letter, Verbatim, except­­ing a very few words, to help y.e Senſe a little. —
This young Man whoſe death we Speak of, was a very Serious, honest, faithfull man, as I have reaſon to think. I employd him 4 months a Schoolmaster to y.e Indian Children at Stonington, in the Honle Commiſsiones Ser­vice: and he greatly recommended himſelf, as a mas­ter, to me & the Indians. But he began to lan­­guiſh, with the Conſumption, (of which he died,) before he left us. — As to his religious Sentiments, touch­ing the [illegible][guess: outwd] Form of worſhip, I suppoſe they were Something of the Separate way: but his life was very Short, after his publick, profeſsion — He might have seen Cauſe to correct Somethings, had he livd: but as above, I verily believe him to be Sincere & honest hearted.
His [illegible]Dying Exhortation to his Father,"To be faithfull to "Souls," may need Explanation; in that, by it, Strangers might think his Father a minister of ye Gospel, or, at leaſt, a public Teacher: whereas he is only one that takes Liberty, in the Indian way, to exhort frequently, & has sometimes gone out to hold meetings &c: when it might be much better, & more proper, for him & many others, if they were more Swift to hear & Slow to Speak.
But My Dear Sir,  Which way shall theſe Lines reach you? Where will they find you? How is it with you & your Dear wife & Children, in your new world? Can I hope ever to See you again, while travelling thro' this weary land? I ardently long for an Interview. [illegible] Pray write me, if tis but Six Lines — Twill be as good news from a far Country. — I have neither Time nor room now to Say more, than that my only Child, Daugh.r Noyes & her 3 Sons all she has living, are with us This Wenter — In a meaſure of Health—
My Dear Love to you & your Dear Ones— Sincerely yours Joseph Fish
Revd Sir,
I now acquaint you, that on y.e Instant, my Son John departed this Life, about 4 o'Clock in y.e morning.— A heavy Stroke from y.e Divine hand! how­ever, I have Conſolation mingled with my Sorrow,— I'm not left to mourn as one that mourns without hope. [illegible] He departed in the Triumphs of faith. So that I have no reaſon but to think, that my Loſs is his gain. — He was buried decently on y.e 22.d
His last words were as follows — After enquiring the time of Night, he Said, "I have but a few minutes "to Stay with you. Death has loſt its Sting, & the Grave "its Victory — Father, hold out to the end — Be faithfull "to Souls — be faithfull unto Death." — His Speech by this time faild, So that I underſtood no more he Said. —
In his Sickneſs he often expreſsd great kindneſs for his Instructors, and held himſelf under the Strongest Obli­­gations of Gratitude, to the Divine hand, as the efficient cauſe, and to the Revd Doctr Wheelock, as the prin­­cipal Instrument of his acquaintance with Gods word and was very deſirous to See him, in the time of his Ill­­neſs, and I should have sent for the Doctor, had not the Distance been too great.—
God has bleſs'd me with Twelve Children, and has calld Nine of them out of the world. I have no reaſon to think but they are all at reſt,— Six of them dying in their Infancy.— My son Peter was 25 years old, — a Pro­­feſsor, and, in a judgement of Charity, [gap: hole][guess: a real] Saint. To­­bias was 26 years of age, when he departed this Life. He was educated at Doctor Wheelocks School, and was a man remarkable for piety.— John, whom we have just parted with, was in his year. —
 Kind Sir, your most humble Serv.t  John Shattock
Copy — Joſeph Fiſh
Dear ſir//
A few days ago I rec.d a Letter from the Rev.d M.r Fish of Stoningtown dated Jan.y 30. 1771. inform.g me of the Death of John Shattock the Indian who was sick & was doubtleſs saving­ly converted to Christ at your house. But by what means M.r Fish'es Letter was so long delay'd I cant tell. I han't time to give you the full Acco.t he appear'd to be a real & ^a^ growing Saint I have often heard him speak of your kindneſs with a Grati­tude remarkable for one of that Nation, before I removed here into this wilderneſs which is about 200 miles from the Indian town where he died. And as M.r Fish informs me his father expressed a desire that I should send you the Acco.t of his Son's Death, I will transmitcribe the Letter in which he gives the Acco.t of it, to the Revd M.r Fish. — see the Letter on foregoing page — //
The foregoing is a true Copy, excepting M.r Fish says he alter'd a few words only to mend the Grammer. The expreſsion to his father, be faithful to Souls, may need explanation. viz.t his father is not a minister as a stranger may naturally think from that expreſsion, but a zealous Christain who is forward to labor [gap: tear] the good of Souls in a more private way. I esteem the loſs to [gap: tear] tribe to be very great, & it seems to spread a malancholy gloom upon the general design that so man[gap: hole][guess: y] of the most likely & promising which I have educated are [gap: tear][guess: re]moved. But God's way is in the Sea. I order'd a narrative to be inclosed to you some months ago but fearing it has failed I have order'd the bearer of this to inclose another at Hartford in Con­necticut & direct them to the care of M.r Jon.o Mason of Boston. to whose care you may also direct yours to me. I am here in the wilderneſs continually crouded with busineſs. my proſpects are very encouraging. God has been with us of a truth. And has caused much of his Goodneſs to paſs before us. I have a sweet nest of Christains I trust in this nursary, which is & has been the soveran solace God has afforded to balance the malancholy things you will read in my narrative.  I write now in utmost haste, have detain'd the Bearer while I do it.
please accept sincerest Reſpects to your=self & Lady from Dear ſir,  Your unknown but aſsured  Friend & humble Serv.t Eleazar Wheelock
From Rev.d Jos. Fiſh Jany 30. 1771. Rec.d Octr 8. 1771.