Theophilus Chamberlain, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1766 October 3

ms-number766553

[note (type: abstract): Chamberlain relates the progress, or lack thereof, of his mission among the Mohawks.][note (type: handwriting): Handwriting is small and somewhat crowded, yet mostly formal and clear. Letter case, especially with regard to the letters S and D, is frequently difficult to discern.][note (type: paper): Large sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good condition, with light staining and wear, and light-to-moderate creasing. The central vertical crease has been reinforced.][note (type: ink): Black-brown.][note (type: noteworthy): There is a red-pencil mark on two recto.]
[Opener]
  [Rvd | Rev.]RvdRev. and worthy Sir 
It cant be more [diſagreable | disagreeable]diſagreabledisagreeable to you to read than it is to  me to see, that the [preſent | present]preſentpresent state of our affairs among this  Tribe of Indians is what it truly is. [Chriſtanity | Christianity]ChriſtanityChristianity, the grand  [Cauſe | cause]Cauſecause which we all hope to be found advancing, is, as far  as I can Judge [Disſpiſd | despised]Disſpiſddespised and [Contemnd | condemned]Contemndcondemned by [theſe | these ]theſe these Mohawks[org0062.ocp].  meetings upon the sabbath are so neglected, as that we  can frequently get [togeather | together]togeathertogether at this [Caſtle | Castle]CaſtleCastle not above two  or three men and half a [dozzen | dozen]dozzendozen Women, and [thoſe | those]thoſethose not  [till | 'til]till'til one or two o clock in the [after Noon | afternoon]after Noonafternoon, and at fort Hunter [place0078.ocp]  [tis | it is]tisit is but little better. and the Schools are so [litely | lightly]litelylightly [eſteemd | esteemed,]eſteemdesteemed, as  that not a Dozen Children in the whole ever attend school  at this [Caſtle | Castle]CaſtleCastle, and at fort Hunter [place0078.ocp] [tis | it is]tisit is much [worſe | worse]worſeworse. I have  [uſd | used]uſdused my [utmoſt | utmost ]utmoſt utmost [Indeavour | endeavour]Indeavourendeavour to [remidy | remedy ]remidy remedy [theſe | these]theſethese Defects; but all  with the united [indeavours | endeavours]indeavoursendeavours of the [School-Maſters | schoolmasters]School-Maſtersschoolmasters, both  [Engliſh | English]EngliſhEnglish and Indians ([illegible]all of which; all of which, I [realy | really]realyreally  think exert their whole skill and Prudence), proves quite  [inaffectual | ineffectual]inaffectualineffectual. I have on several [occaſions | occasions ]occaſions occasions [latley | lately]latleylately, when  speaking of the [neceſaty | necessity]neceſatynecessity and importance of being [Chriſtains | Christians]ChriſtainsChristians  said the [moſt | most]moſtmost moving things I was capable of saying.  have [indeavourd | endeavoured]indeavourdendeavoured to excite in them a [Senſe | sense]Senſesense of the Wrath of  God, from the Terrors of the Law, and of his [goodneſs | goodness]goodneſsgoodness from  the [goſple | gospel]goſplegospel of the Glorious [Emanuel | Emmanuel]EmanuelEmmanuel; but God is not [pleaſd | pleased]pleaſdpleased  [effectualy | effectually]effectualyeffectually to touch their hearts. The Sabbath before [laſt | last]laſtlast,  [preachd | preached]preachdpreached at fort Hunter[place0078.ocp], to [belween | between]belweenbetween thirty and forty [Perſons | persons]Perſonspersons  in the [moſt | most]moſtmost plain and [pethatic | pathetic]pethaticpathetic manner I could [indeavour | endeavour]indeavourendeavour  ing to let their danger before them in some faint  [Reſemblance | resemblance]Reſemblanceresemblance of its Terror; and their [Remidy | remedy]Remidyremedy in some of
its saving glory. The[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): re]re truly [appeard | appeared]appeardappeared more [seriouſneſs | seriousness]seriouſneſsseriousness  in attending to preaching than [uſual | usual]uſualusual. After [worſhip | worship]worſhipworship concluded  Spoke to the men [Reſpecting | respecting]Reſpectingrespecting the Schools as I understood  theirs was sunk low. told them the conditions upon which  the Schoolmasters was left, the ingratitude of their ne‐ glecting under their circumstances to fulfill their Conditions;  and that the Schoolmasters was [forfited | forfeited]forfitedforfeited by that neglect, and must  be despised, and left to themselves [unleſs | unless]unleſsunless they speedily  reformed. I then desired them to get all together their  whole Castle [& | and ]& and [discourſe | discourse]discourſediscourse on [theſe | these]theſethese things, open their minds  to one another, and conclude with [themselfs | themselves ]themselfs themselves [wether | whether]wetherwhether they  would finally reject, [Christanity | Christianity]ChristanityChristianity, or would receive instruc‐ tions [themselfs | themselves]themselfsthemselves [& | and]&and have their children [Learnt | learned]Learntlearned. with this  request they [promiſed | promised]promiſedpromised to comply, [& | and]&and to inform me of the re‐ sult the next time they held an [oppertunity | opportunity]oppertunityopportunity. after we left  the meeting [Houſe | house]Houſehouse, several of the men came to me. told  me they never heard such preaching as they had that day.  it gave them [pleaſure | pleasure ]pleaſure pleasure ^[above] they said^they said to hear the gospel preached so plain,  and they thought all but Fools must take [pleaſure | pleasure]pleaſurepleasure in hear‐ ing Gods news. In all this they appeared Serious and [seem’d | seemed]seem’dseemed  to speak the Sentiments of their hearts. It at once revived  my drooping ^[above] heart^heart. [& | and]&and at once I began to feed on thoughts that the  long wished for Day was approaching when we might see  the Glorious [Gosple | Gospel]GospleGospel of the son of God propagated by  Divine Energy among the Indians in [thoſe | those]thoſethose parts. I  had before this determined to return to new england[place0158.ocp]  this fall; and ^[above] as^as I thought my health would not allow of my  going on a [miſion | mission]miſionmission to some remote Tribes, I had deter‐ mined to have asked a [Dismision | dismission]Dismisiondismission. but I now came to
a [concluſion | conclusion]concluſionconclusion to stay at all adventures [thro | through]throthrough the Winter,  if ^[above] [thoſe | those ]thoſe those ^[thoſe | those ]thoſe those [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): [theſe | these]theſethese][theſe | these]theſethese favourable [simptoms | symptoms]simptomssymptoms should continue to give hopes  of [Succeſs | success]Succeſssuccess. I [thot | though]thotthough I well know that my constitution was  [week | weak]weekweak enough to endure the fatigue of riding backwards  [& | and]&and forwards between 30 [& | and]&and 40 Miles to Preach [& | and]&and take care  of Schools, yet the thoughts of what I should be obliged  to suffer by this [reſolution | resolution ]reſolution resolution [vanised | vanished]vanisedvanished into nothing, when I  thought of succeeding in my [miſion | mission]miſionmission to the [happineſs | happiness]happineſshappiness  of [theſe | these]theſethese benighted heathen, [& | and]&and the satisfaction of Christian  [Freinds | friends]Freindsfriends. But I cant [expreſs | express]expreſsexpress how mortifying it was to  me, when, in [leſs | less]leſsless than a [fortnite | fortnight]fortnitefortnight after this [hopful | hopeful]hopfulhopeful Prospect  I heard ^[above] that^that the school was [intirely | entirely]intirelyentirely thrown up and at fort ^[above] Hunter^Hunter[place0078.ocp]  ^[left] [& | and]&and, ^[& | and]&and, Calvin[pers0008.ocp] wholly out of employment. and now the dis agreeable reflection of standing by a [uſeleſs | useless]uſeleſsuseless spectator of  that unlimited [wickedneſs | wickedness]wickedneſswickedness, which I am no way Ins‐ trumental of restra^[above] in^ining, [& | and]&and of People going unpreven ‐ted from before my Eyes to certain destruction returns  full upon me; I am fully convinced it is not my  Duty to tarry long in this Situation. [theſe | these]theſethese People  have two Ministers who come once or twice a Year  gives them the sacrament of the Lords supper; [aſsures | assures]aſsuresassures  them their sins are pardoned, and leave ^[above] them^them to practice [wick‐ ‐edneſs | wick‐ edness]wick‐ ‐edneſswick‐ edness in Perfect Security. And so long as this Dia‐ bolical Practice (forgive the [Boldneſs | boldness]Boldneſsboldness) is continued it  will [doubtleſs | doubtless]doubtleſsdoubtless be the Judgment that will harden  [theſe | these]theſethese People for Destruction. should [their | there]theirthere be no farthe[gap: worn_edge][guess (h-dawnd): r]r  good appearance among the Indians, nor any directi^[above] on^on  from you (which I beg of you to send if Possible), I shall  set out on my return the begining of november
I heard by a Letter from [Rd | Rev.]Rd Rev. [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] that he was well that  all things went on well, [& | and]&and he hoped some [succeſs | success]succeſssuccess. But that  [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[pers0288.ocp] is not yet settled in his school at Old [Onoida | Oneida]OnoidaOneida[place0179.ocp]  where John Mohawk[pers0282.ocp] Kept last Summer. [Mr | Mr. ]Mr Mr. [Johnſons | Johnson's ]Johnſons Johnson's [pers0879.ocp] [horſ[gap: worn_edge][guess (h-dawnd): e]e | horse]horſ[gap: worn_edge][guess (h-dawnd): e]ehorse  was stole from a Pasture last Saturday evening. he [sat | set]satset  out in quest of her on sunday [& | and]&and is not yet returned.  I have spent part of 3 Days in a Journey after her but to no  [Purpoſe | purpose ]Purpoſe purpose [unleſs | unless]unleſsunless she is found by the [advertizements | advertisements]advertizementsadvertisements I ordered  up. You [deſire | desire]deſiredesire sir my account, I can only say it will by  the Last of this ^[above] month^month be more than [20£ | £20]20££20. I should not have been  so much in Debt, had not I had an interpreter to hire ^[above] at^at 20/  per week; and Jacob[pers0018.ocp] left unexpectedly on my hands, which,  together with my Debts being somthing greater in the  Spring than I expected, was like to run myself in Debt  in spite of all what I could do my Prudence [& | and ]& and [makinng | making]makinngmaking  myself a perfect Begg^[above] er^er most of the summer. and to [ad | add]adadd to my  [miſfortune | misfortune]miſfortunemisfortune I [S[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): w]woped | swapped]S[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): w]wopedswapped my mare [becauſe | because]becauſebecause she [pestured | pestered]pesturedpestered me a little  with running off; for a [Horſe | horse]Horſehorse, which soon got so lame, that I cant  ride him [& | and]&and shall near [looſe | lose]looſelose him. I cant procure a pacing Jade  here which will [anſwer | answer]anſweranswer my turn under [10£. | £10]10£.£10 or [11£. | £11]11£.£11 Lawful Money  to pay which, [& | and]&and my Interpreter, [& | and]&and settle my other [accompts | accounts]accomptsaccounts for  myself [& | and]&and Jacob Fowler[pers0018.ocp], [& | and]&and bringing me home I think I shall  want about 20 Pounds. Give my Duty to Madam[pers0577.ocp] and proper  [Reſpects | respects]Reſpectsrespects to all the family and School, and know
[Closer]
[Rvd | Rev.]Rvd Rev. Sir I Remain  your unworthy yet [obediant | obedient]obediantobedient  Servant. [T. | Theophilus]T.Theophilus Chamberlain[pers0009.ocp]
To [Rvd | Rev.]Rvd Rev. [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]
Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0008.ocp Calvin mentioned Calvin, Hezekiah
pers0315.ocp R d Rev. M r Mr. Kirtland mentioned Kirkland, Samuel
pers0288.ocp Johnſon Johnson mentioned Johnson, Joseph
pers0282.ocp John Mohawk mentioned Johannes
pers0879.ocp M r Mr. Johnſons Johnson's mentioned Johnson, Samuel
pers0018.ocp Jacob mentioned Fowler, Jacob
pers0018.ocp Jacob Fowler mentioned Fowler, Jacob
pers0577.ocp Madam mentioned Wheelock, Mary (née Brinsmead)
pers0009.ocp T. Theophilus Chamberlain writer Chamberlain, Theophilus
pers0036.ocp Rv d Rev. M r Mr. Wheelock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0573.ocp Onowad a gegh Onowatage
place0078.ocp fort Hunter Fort Hunter
place0078.ocp fort Hunter Fort Hunter
place0158.ocp new england New England
place0179.ocp Old Onoida Oneida Oneida

Organizations identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
org0062.ocp Mohawks Mohawk Nation

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1766-10-03 3d October 1766

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
modernization Rvd Rev.
modernization diſagreable disagreeable
modernization preſent present
modernization Chriſtanity Christianity
modernization Cauſe cause
variation Contemnd condemned
modernization theſe these
variation togeather together
modernization Caſtle Castle
variation dozzen dozen
modernization thoſe those
variation till 'til
variation after Noon afternoon
variation litely lightly
modernization eſteemd esteemed,
modernization worſe worse
modernization uſd used
modernization utmoſt utmost
variation Indeavour endeavour
variation remidy remedy
modernization theſe these
variation indeavours endeavours
modernization School-Maſters schoolmasters
modernization Engliſh English
variation realy really
variation inaffectual ineffectual
modernization occaſions occasions
variation latley lately
modernization neceſaty necessity
modernization Chriſtains Christians
modernization moſt most
variation indeavourd endeavoured
modernization Senſe sense
modernization goodneſs goodness
modernization goſple gospel
variation Emanuel Emmanuel
modernization pleaſd pleased
variation effectualy effectually
modernization laſt last
variation preachd preached
modernization Perſons persons
variation indeavour endeavour
modernization Reſemblance resemblance
variation Remidy remedy
variation appeard appeared
modernization seriouſneſs seriousness
modernization uſual usual
modernization worſhip worship
modernization Reſpecting respecting
variation forfited forfeited
modernization unleſs unless
modernization discourſe discourse
variation themselfs themselves
variation wether whether
variation Christanity Christianity
variation themselfs themselves
variation Learnt learned
modernization promiſed promised
variation oppertunity opportunity
modernization Houſe house
modernization pleaſure pleasure
modernization pleaſure pleasure
variation Gosple Gospel
modernization miſion mission
variation Dismision dismission
modernization concluſion conclusion
variation thro through
modernization thoſe those
variation simptoms symptoms
modernization Succeſs success
variation thot though
variation week weak
modernization reſolution resolution
variation vanised vanished
modernization happineſs happiness
variation Freinds friends
modernization expreſs express
modernization leſs less
variation fortnite fortnight
variation hopful hopeful
variation intirely entirely
modernization uſeleſs useless
modernization wickedneſs wickedness
modernization aſsures assures
modernization wick‐ ‐edneſs wick‐ edness
modernization Boldneſs boldness
modernization doubtleſs doubtless
modernization Rd Rev.
modernization Mr Mr.
modernization succeſs success
modernization Johnſon Johnson
variation Onoida Oneida
modernization Mr Mr.
modernization Johnſons Johnson's
modernization horſ[gap: worn_edge][guess (h-dawnd): e]e horse
variation sat set
modernization Purpoſe purpose
variation advertizements advertisements
modernization deſire desire
variation 20£ £20
variation makinng making
variation ad add
modernization miſfortune misfortune
variation S[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): w]woped swapped
modernization becauſe because
variation pestured pestered
modernization Horſe horse
modernization looſe lose
modernization anſwer answer
variation 10£. £10
variation 11£. £11
variation accompts accounts
modernization Reſpects respects
modernization Rvd Rev.
variation obediant obedient

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
Disſpiſd despised
tis it is
& and
& and
seem’d seemed
T. Theophilus

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