John Sergeant, letter, to Peter Thacher, 1788 May 19

Author Sergeant, John

Date19 May, 1788

ms number788319

abstractSergeant writes of a division within the Stockbridge Tribe regarding his position as minister, as opposed to Occom's. He reports that Occom has been resorting to unkind means to support his own position.

handwritingHandwriting is small, but largely clear and legible.

paperSingle large sheet folded in half to make four pages in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.


noteworthyThe last words of lines 28 and 29 on one recto spill over onto the page behind it (two recto).

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

Persistent Identifier
Reverend and Dear Sir
I received yours enclosing the Bills last Friday thank you kindly for your attention to the business I thought it might be agreeable to you and the Commissioners in general to be informed that in com==pliance with their direction; I have made application to the neighbouring ministers for Ordination. enclosed I send copies which will give you the full infor=mation of the business. conclude it is perfectly agree=able to the wish of the Board, who command the line of my conduct in the business of my mission —
It was thought best I should be ordained at large for several reasons. There could be but few of my people present. Mr. Kirkland has told me that he informed the Board of some disputes and divisions that had taken place among my people last summer before my new appointment. dont fully know in what light he represented the matter. Think he could know but little of their present situation and feelings to==wards me, in a view of my new appointment having had no opportunity with them since last fall and the beginning of winter before they had knowledge of my being again put into the mission. I have not time Sir to relate to you the particulars of their disputes will only mention, the dispute began upon this question, whether they had better take Mr. Occom or myself for their minister, as he was about to settle in a neighbouring Town, expecting to have him part of the time and could support him easier than myself — in their division of the Tribe on the question, there were 30 for Mr. Occom — 50 for myself. Since my new ap==pointment about half of the 30 have openly left Mr. Occom— I haven't time Sir to mention some unkind measures Mr. Occom — has taken to support his wish — but only mention that the bigger half of my people are so prejudiced against Mr. Occom — that I sincerely believe if I was to leave them, they would be the most un=happy people in the world — in short the Tribe broken up, and come to ruin. Having these views of their situation induced me to say what I did to the Commissioners concerning the importance of my mission.
The Chief, and only supporter of Mr. Occoms interest made that speech to me which you find in my Journal This view of the situation of my people which is well known to the gentlemen here, has been another reason why my ordination has been in the manner it is. in the division of the old professors of religion belonging to the stockbridge church there were 10 Mr. Occom. 16 for myself. I have written this Sir in some haste you will please to excuse it — my time very much taken up. I expect to set out for the wilderness god willing tomorrow. hope I may be the means of union and happiness among my people I know they have all a strong affection for me
I remain Rev. Sir your most obliged friend and Brother John Sergeant Rev. Mr. Thacher
Mr Sargeant's Letter 1788
The Reverend Peter Thacher Boston Favoured by Honourable Mr. Sedgweck
Blank page.