Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to Nathaniel Whitaker, 1767 February 13

Author Wheelock, Eleazar

Date13 February, 1767

ms number767163

abstractWheelock discusses developments regarding two of his Mohawk students, reports on the progress of various missions, and discusses a tract of land on the Ohio as a possible site for a school.

handwritingFormal and clear handwriting is not Wheelock's. It is possibly that of David McClure. The signature and trailer are in Wheelock's hand.

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

inkBlack-brown ink varies in intensity.

signatureThe signature appears to be Wheelock's; it is abbreviated and written in a different ink.

noteworthyThis document appears to be a copy. There is an inky fingerprint visible on the right side of one recto. An editor, likely 19th-century, has added the note "Ind. miſ. Indian Scholars V" to two verso. This note has not been included in the transcription.

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

Persistent Identifier
My dear Brother Whitaker/
Mr. Chamberlain came home from his Mission yesterday (accompanied by one of the Chiefs of the Mohawks, his wife and two Children; to visit their Son at my School) his Account is not uncomforta­­ble. The Indians have attended his Ministry considerably well, since the Ruffle, which I mentioned in a former Letter was composed.
This Indian informs me that Sir William Johnson has lately received Letters from Home, wherein he is informed, that eight Missionaries and eight School Masters are coming; 4. each to supply the Northern and 4. each the Southern Districts, this Spring. at which I much rejoice, provided they be good and faithful men.
The enclosed from Messrs. Brainerd and Smith came lately to hand. which you and our worthy Friends will consider, and Act upon as Prudence shall dictate, and Providence shall open a Door. If his Majesty would graciously grant that Tract on the Ohio, and the [illegible][guess: Quitrent ] upon it to the School forever, and make the same a Borough, endowed with such Privileges and immunities, as you with the Advice of Friend may ask for, the whole may likely be soon peopled with the best Inhabitants. I think of no great Objection in the Case, unless it be with respect to a Communication with the rest of the World. which you are under better Advantages than
I am to be satisfied in. so many things concurring in the course of Providence, almost persuade me that God designs it shall be carried there. Sir William no doubt designs the Six Nations shall be supplied with Episcopalians — His Influence is very great — the Dutch People are gene­rally unfriendly — very ignorant — the Mohawks more proud than any Tribe, and easily disgusted, especially if the Kings Favourites should use their Endeavours to disaffect them — near the Ohio the Indians haven't been so much poisoned by the white People — Their Numbers are much greater — and an Appearance of real Concern about the things of Religion in some. Mr. Chamberlain and my Son seem both or either of them willing to accompany Mr. Brainerd into those Parts next Summer provided their slender State of Health will allow them. And I can also send Peter Mohawk, or some other Indian youth who may serve as schoolmaster provided there be no call for them Northward, as likely there will not be if the aforesaid Messrs. come from home, for I dont yet understand that the Breach made last Spring, is so healed that it is like to be safe for them to go among Tribes further back — February 18. When My Boy saw his Father and Mother and little Brother and Sister, and heard them lament the loss of his little Brother about 2 Months ago, he had a mind a Mind to go home with his Parents his Mothers Bowels moved towards him, and wept at the Thought of leaving him so far from her, I did upon their desire, consent he should go with them, but gave no leave
for him to come again, least an Ill improvement should be made of such a Liberty by others. Accordingly the Day before yesterday they set off together accompanied by great William whom I recommend to Sir William as being too proud, and litigious to consist with the Health and well being of this School. he had got a good Degree of common Learning. I also sent Home another Mohawk Youth, who had been but a few Months with me, and was so lifted up with his having been in the Wars, and sent to Hell one or two of the poor Savages with his own hand, that my house was scarcely good enough for him to live in, or any of the School honourable enough to speak to him. — What the Effect of this Step will be I cant tell — but I thought it necessary they should know effec­­tually, that there is, and shall be government in this School —
This Day Mr. Chamberlain sat out on his Return to Mohawk Country Via, South Hadly; and designs to return in May or before. I shall write Mr. Brainerd what I have here hinted — I believe General Lyman is as likely as any Man to give Intelligence what the Navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi are etc. I conclude you will see what I have wrote Mr. Whitefield. I hope you have before now rec.d some abstracts I sent you of Messrs. Kirtland's and Chamberlain's etc.'s Letters. by a Letter from Mr. Kirtland last week there is more appearance of Religion among his Indians than ever there has been — My dear Sir, farewell. I am,
Yours most Cordially Eleazar Wheelock
P.S. your spouse and family were well the last I heard; your Son James is with me and is as well as usual — several have been Sick of late in the School with Rheumatic Disorder May God direct, Support and strengthen you my dear Sir and Mr. Occom
Letter to Mr. Whitaker February . 13. 1767.