Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Messrs. Peck, Mason, and Austin, 1766 November 5

Author Wheelock, Eleazar

Date5 November, 1766

ms number766605.2

abstractWheelock writes, for possible publication, to correct assertions made by the New England Company about its relationship to, and support of, Occom.

handwritingHandwriting is small and informal, yet mostly clear and legible. It is not Wheelock's.

paperLarge single sheet is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.


noteworthyThe contents of this document are nearly identical to those of manuscript 766605.2.

signatureThe signature is not in Wheelock's hand.

EventsOccom’s First Mission to the Oneidas, Occom leaves his studies, Occom’s Mission to the Montauketts, Occom’s Ordination, Fundraising Tour of Great Britain

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

Persistent Identifier
Dear Messrs. Peck Mason and Austin  Sirs
Mr. Peck has favoured me with a Copy of Mr. Whita‐ker's Letter to you, and by that I have an account of Mr. Oliver's Letter to Governor Mauduit, and it seems a little strange that the Honourable Board in whose Name he wrote so long accounted Mr. Occom to be in their Pay, and yet after all make so many mistakes in their history of him, and that too when it is the Result of a Meeting, and designed as their Testimony of Facts, sent to the Honourable Society in London to Certify them so circumstantially, as that they might not be imposed upon by deceivers.
Some defects in their Narrative you may see by comparing the following particulars with what they assert.
  • 1.Mr. Occom (as well as many others of that Tribe) was undoubtedly a Pagan 'til he was above Sixteen years old. And had never so much as heard that there was such a person as Jesus Christ.
  • 2.None ever said anything to me about taking Mr. Occom under my instruction, or was ever any way moving in that Matter, that I ever knew of, but his Mother, before he came to live with me upon Trial.
  • 3.Mr. Pomeroy never had any concern, but only as a Friend, when my Family were unable to bear the Burden of the School, by Reason of sickness, he did at my desire, take the School, with my son-in-law (Mr. Maltby) the Master of it to his House, where it continued, as I remember the better part of a year. But he depen‐ded upon me to Support Mr. Occom, and it was at my risk as much as ever.
  • 4.Mr. Occom had been long confined by sore sickness, before he came to me, and was then, and all the Time he was with me in a Low state of Health, though in the main mending, 'til he went from me to serve them as schoolmaster and public Teacher, at Mon tauk, on Long-Island. And he was in as good state of Health when he went away as I ever knew him to be. And it was by the Importunity of Mr. Horton missionary of the Honourable Society in Scotland that I was persuaded to let Mr. Occom go to take his place there.
  • 5.Mr. Occom after he had officiated some time as a preacher there, was ordained by the Presbytery of Suffolk County on Said Island, and still continues to be a Member of the Same:
  • 6.The ministers in this Government had no hand in Sending Mr. Occom on his first mission to the Six Nations. See the account of that in Mr. Bostwick's Letter to the praeses of directors and printed at the End of Mr. Randalls Sermon before the Society in Scotland January 3 176[illegible][guess: 3]
  • 7.Mr. Occom was as much in the Pay of the Boston Commissioners before the New York Commissioners sent him on this mission as he was afterwards so far as I ever knew. And his circumstances were as needy 'til he was relieved by that public Contribution at New York as ever I knew them to be. Nor did I ever understand that the New York Commissioners ever asked consent of the Boston Board to Send him
  • 8. The Boston Commissioners paid only part of his Debts, when application was made to them after his Return from that mission, and I believe only a lesser part of them.
  • 9.He could not have continued in their service nor in any other, if he had received no other Support but that which he had from them.
  • 10.As to the Report that he was a Mohawk etc., and that large Contri butions were made to me on that Account I have never yet heard that there has been such a Report in this Country but only what came from the aforesaid Commissioners — And how a Report that he was a Mohawk etc. came to be published in England, and transmitted here in the Public Prints, I can only guess.
As to their resigning him to me and putting him out of their hands when they had him in their Service as well as pay, only on my telling them I could employ him better, abundantly evidences their high esteem of my good Judgement and Fidelity, at least before I so unhappily cracked my Credit, by declaring publicly in the most populous Towns in that and the Neighbouring Government that he was a Mohawk lately Emergent out of gross paganism etc., in order to get large Contributions for this School.
These hints so far as I know are true, and I thought proper you should have them and make such Improvement of them as your prudence shall direct. And if you think it necessary you may publish them or any part of them. Although I confess the entering into a public Quarrel with those Gentlemen, is so unnatural and incongruous to the design of building up, and enlarging the peaceable Kingdom of Christ which we all profess to have in view, that I exceedingly dread it, if the Glory of God and the interests of the Redeemers cause dont evidently require it.
I herewith enclose a Letter to Mr. Oliver, a true Copy of which I also enclose that you might know the Contents in which you will see I desire a Copy of his aforesaid Letter to Governor Mauduit, and also that you are desired to wait on him for that purpose please Sir to favour me herein, and make return and advise me of your success as soon as may be.
I have also desired Mr. Oliver to remit £10 of the annual allowance of that Board for the use of this School, which I have reason to expect he will not refuse, Since he has made two Remit‐tances without the Least objection since he wrote the aforesaid Letter to the Honourable Society in London. If he should refuse that, or a Copy of his Letter, or both, you will enquire and know his reasons for it. And I hope agreeable to your wonted goodness, excuse the Trouble herein given you, by, My dear Sirs
Your much obliged and very humble Servant Eleazar Wheelock
Letter to Messrs. Peck Mason and Austin November 5. 1766.