David Fowler, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1766 January 21

AuthorFowler, David

Date21 January, 1766

ms number766121.2

abstractDavid Fowler writes of the progress of his Indian school, the present religious state of the Indians and their want of a minister, news of Kirtland, and personal matters.

handwritingHandwriting is clear and legible, though letter case is occasionally difficult to decipher.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good-to-fair condition, with moderate creasing, staining and wear. The central vertical and horizontal folds are silked. There are significant remnants of the seal.


noteworthyThe identity of "Joseph" (identified simply as "Joseph") is uncertain; it is likely either Joseph Johnson or Joseph Brant. The letter mentions Joseph Woolley (identified simply as "Woolley"); however, at this time, apparently unknown to Fowler, Woolley is dead. On one recto, in the second paragraph, the identity of the Indians to whom Fowler refers is uncertain; Fowler's mission was in an Onedia town, but Chamberlain's mission was in a Mohawk town. In the last paragraph on two recto, it is uncertain to whom "Master" refers, and so he has been left untagged. Some contents of the letter are similar to those of 765365. There are two trailers; one is in Wheelock's hand, the other uncertain, although it could be Wheelock's. There are sums on two verso in an unknown hand; these have not been transcribed.

Modernized Version Deletions removed; additions added in; modern spelling and capitalization added; unfamiliar abbreviations expanded.

Persistent Identifier
Rev. and Honoured Sir
After much worry and Fatigue about my house and Journeys after also hungry Belly I began to keep my School steadily sometime in November. My Scholars learn very well: I find it is impossible to keep the Children steadily to School. [illegible] Men labour and work as English do: They are lazy and inhu- man pack of Creatures as I ever saw. in the World; They have seen me working and tugging Day after Day and never offered to help me in the least thing I had to do in my house only finished covering it and left me. I was obliged to eat with Dogs near two Months & I say with Dogs because they are always licking Water out of the Pails and Kettles we use: Now I live like a Gentleman, I have a plenty of Corn, Flour, Meat, and rotten fish.— I applied to Sir William for provision; accordingly, he order the commanding Officer at the Royal Block House to give me out provision as long as I should want.  I am exceeding sorry as well as my poor Friends that Mr. Chamberlain does not return to us this Winter.— The In- dians cannot conceive what can be the reason why he don't return. But I told them three reason, why he dont, return: and af-ter they heard them they were easy.  I never saw such general disposition of hearing the Word of God amongst these poor People as I do now: most every one of the Adults of this Place, have openly renounced their Liquor, and said that they will devote themselves in hearing the Word of God. Now is the Time for ministers to come up whilst they are in such disposition.— O for a minister whose Heart is full of Love to God and compassion to poor Sinners, one who is meek and lowly and crafty in winning
Souls to Christ. who has a real sense and worth of Immortal Souls would greatly weaken the strong Holds of Satan in this Place. — Dear Sir, do all that is in your Power to get up a minister early in the Spring. for the poor Creatures are [guess: rarely] desirous to hear the Word of God, we have no minister and yet we have a full assembly every Sabbath. I have nothing New to acquaint you; I enjoy a good state of Health and am contented.  I cant come down 'til some of the Scholars come up and take my School. If Jacob is to come up; do let him take a School near me so that I may take care of him. — I want all my clothes in readiness, for I shall be in a very great haste when I do come. I determine to see my poor Parents before I re turn; for I served them basely last Fall. If they suffer I cant tell how I can come up. Joseph determines to come down and pay you visit also Thomas who has done me more Service than all the Town. He tells me; that he designs to go down with me and set my Rib on his horse and he will come up with own his horses or Legs, that, is if I shall find one. I rejoice greatly because I could not get one last Year. especially for Woolley. I hear he has no house.  I just now heard of Mr. Kirkland he is poor forsaken Man. The Indians have drove him out of their houses and now he lives in a poor House in the Woods my Friends cant conceive what he keeps them for: the Indians dont want him there; for they all hate him. It seems to me by what Mr. Gray has wrote to him that he is uneasy. Capt Butler re-
ceived a Letter from him whilst I was at his house. and immediately asked me how many Letters I brought for Mr. Kirkland I told him one. etc. Tell your oldest Boy who went down the last that both his Parents left off getting drunk.  I forgot to tell you what sort of Cloth I would have for my clothes. I want blue Broad Cloth and that which is good. Give my kind Regards to Madam, also to Sir Wheelock, and Master. and Love to the rest of the Family also to all the Scholars. — That the Lord would prolong your worthy life, and make you a rich blessing in the World, also an instrument of spreading the Gospel amongst the poor Heathen in this Continent and after we[gap: hole][guess: ll] spent Life here receive you in the mansions Joy and there to shine as the Stars in the Firmament forever and ever is the desire and Prayer.
Rev. Sir, Of your affectionate and obedient Servant David Fowler
P.S. I hope you will overlook all my imper fections in This Letter for I wrote the biggest Part of it in darkness.
Letter from David Fowler January 1766. — Received March 26. 1766.
To — The Rev. Mr. Eleazar Wheelock in Connecticut