Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to John Thornton, 1772 May 23

Author Wheelock, Eleazar

Date23 May, 1772

ms number772323

abstractWheelock writes to Thornton regarding several matters, including Thornton's warnings about Wheelock’s son Ralph, and Thornton's offer to pay Wheelock’s debt. He gives news of Occom and other potential missionaries.

handwritingSmall, formal handwriting is not Wheelock's; it is clear and legible.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good-to-fair condition, with light-to moderate staining, creasing and wear.

inkBlack-brown. On two verso, the ink has burned away the first word of the second line of the third paragraph.

noteworthyThis letter is marked “Copy.” Comments about Ralph Wheelock are very similar to those written to Thornton in manuscript 772523.

signatureThe signature is not Wheelock's.

Persistent Identifier
My dear & Hon:d ſir//
Your very kind and refreshing favor of Feb.y 28 came safe to hand the 16 Inst:t a few days after my return from Connecticut. You write, dear ſir, like one who really understands the things whereof you write: And I verily believe you have learnt what in some measure what walking with God & living upon God mean, & to know many of the devices of our subtle enemy& ^and^ watchful adv=[illegible]versary, & the many ways we do or may give him ad=vantage against us, in these things I heartily join with you & I long to come up sides with you in the experi=ence of them. But in nothing do you more testify the sincerity & strength of brotherly Love & christain friend=ship than in that unresevedneſs with which you tell me "you think my parental regard for my son Ralph, has blinded my eyes to some misconduct of his;" but I think dearſir, you ought to have gone further & hinted (at least) some instance or instances, & not suffer me to be an Eli. I cant so much as gueſs at an instance you can mean. perhaps you was afraid it might fret a wound that is just healed, but I aſsure you, you have no need to be upon the reserve on that Acco:t I have been often tried with suggestions and charges of this kind which have ori=ginated only from one who never could be perswaded to refer the matter to any impartial decision. And I verily believe, were you examine into that matter you would find the matter ^Charge^ as groundleſs, as was the report that M.r K–d was starving thro' my defect, while your hands & mine were constantly open for his supply & nothing was wanting but his accepting it at any time.
I have by no means been blind to his im=perfections, nor wanting in sorrow on that Acco:t & I hope I have not failed of using utmost endeavours to cure them; but ^[left]To Esq.r Thornton^ ^[left]May 23. 1772.^
I think I must in justice say, I know of no blot upon his moral ^or religious^ Character. The most religious sort of people are his closest and most intimate friends. But it is likely he will not stand in the way of any long, he has been almost two years on the verge of Eternity, and is now given over, & his case pronounced incurable by Physicians. He has looked upon such treatment to be hard & unchristain and has greatly longed & earnestly plead & intreated to be informed what he has done to de=serve it from man, but never has obtained it to this day. I ask your prayers for him that the severe dis[illegible]ciplin he has been so long held under from the hand of God, may become effectual to purge away his Droſs &c.
I am much obliged to you for your Extract from D.r Erskine's Letter — M.r K.d is doubtleſs much im=posed upon. He told me on his return from Boston last Octb.r that he knew nothing of his having received part of his support from the Scotish Society nor did he understand him=self to be in any Connection with them. to the same purpose he told others.
There has been I hear a Clamor in Boston that this school is or will soon be in episcopal hands, & the principal reason I have heard aſsign'd as the ground of their confidence that it will be so, has been because a num=ber of the honble Trust in England are of the denomination; But these I imagine are only conjectures of men of a party spirit, who measure all others by thems^e^llves. I trust the providence of God will refute all such Calumnies in due time.
Meſs.rs Maccluer & Frisbie were seperated to the sacred ministry by solemn fasting & prayer, with laying on hands of the Presbytery, in this place, last Wednesday. I am now waiting for advice from the board of Correspondents in New Jersie, that they have provided a Misionary & Interpreters to accompany them, which I expect by a special post on which advice these young men expect to set out on a Journey of about 800 miles.
I wrote you la Hasty line from Hartford some weeks ago, in which I informed you of a great & glorious work
of God's grace at New Jersie College, a Seminary which God has honor'd with such seasons from time to time, above any on the Continent.
Your kind offer, good ſir, to discharge my personal debts for me, has reached my very heart, how great is that goodneſs that has honor'd you with ability & a will to do it. I pray the Lord to reward you, & he will not be forgetful to do it. I thank­fully accept it, & will draw on you for it, as soon as I can know what my Acco.ts are.
M.r Occom is near 200 Miles from me, Mohe=gan (in which he lives) is under the care of the London Board in Bos­ton who imploy the neighbouring ministers as their miſsionaries to preach Lectures to them & other parties of Indians on the Sea Shore. If I should encourage M.r Occom to do any thing, as a Minister in pay, it would not fail to give great offence.
By the favor of a friend I was favor'd served with a Copy of a vote of the Society in Scotland, dated Edenb.r Jan.y 28. 1771 wherein they continue £50 to M.r Kirkland & grant £20 to M.r Occom thro' the hands of their board in Boston; which I hear they neglect to pay & I don't think they ever will.
When I was in Connecticut I had a good Acco:t of his Character, & Conduct of late, I shall be glad to serve him in any thing ^with^in my power. I wish with all my heart he was disposed to take a long tour to a remote tribe near Muskingum to which these young men are appointed, and a Tribe which speaks his Language. I will write him & inform him of your Concern for him, & friendly thoughts towards him, & will propose to him his accepting such a miſsion.
Governor Wentworth wrote me some months ago that he had sent by a veſsel for 12 Indian Boys for this School from S.t John's &c. & that he thought probable he should obtain them. I have yet heard nothing of the succeſs of this attempt.
M.r Ripley a young preacher, one of my Pupils, designs by divine leave to set out on his miſsion to Canada in Ju[illegible]ne or July, with mr Taylor who was for some years a Captive there, & on that as well as many
other Acco:ts suitable to be imployed in that service, by these with the aſsistance of Governor Wentworth (who has earnestly re=commended the design to the Commander in cheif there) & also of m.r Austin a pious young minister at Mont Real & other friends to the cause in those parts. I hope in God a way may be op'ned, to obtain Children from those Tribes: perhaps the greatest difficulty will be from the opposition of their preists.
The Narrative herwith enclosed is an un=questionable truth extensively known & universally beleived in that part of the Country. I was personally acquainted with the subject of it in her low estate; & since her re=moval to Lebanon have been intimately acquainted with her, & my heart often refreshed by her discourse for a number of years before I left Connecticut.
It is not poſsable you should have the Acco:t with [gap: tear][guess: all] that life & spirit, thus at 2.d hand, as you might have it from the original with the many Circumstances & natu­ral remarks, which a present sence & impreſsion of the things themselves enable her to make which can never be fully described by pen.
And with this I present my Duty to you & the Rest of the honble Trust. And am with high esteem & much Affection
Your much obliged, & most obedient Humble Servant [illegible]Eleazar Wheelock
Copy To John Thornton Esq.r