Joseph Johnson, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1768 February 10


[note (type: abstract): Johnson writes to Wheelock about his life among the Oneidas and the progress of his school. He notes that Kirkland is very ill.][note (type: handwriting): Johnson's hand is small yet clear and legible.][note (type: paper): Large single sheet is in fair condition, with moderate-to-heavy staining, creasing and wear.][note (type: ink): Brown-black.][note (type: noteworthy): An unknown, likely 19th-century, hand has added the note “Ind. mis.” to the bottom of one recto; this note has not been transcribed.]
[Revd | Rev.]Revd Rev. [& | and]&and much [Hond | Honoured ]Hond Honoured [Doct.r | Dr.]Doct.rDr. 
I would once more attempt to write a few lines to you my kind  and [hond | honoured]hondhonoured Benefactor as it is not only your Order, but my [Indiſpenſable | indispensable]Indiſpenſableindispensable  Duty to write you at every opportunity this being the third attempt, that  I have made Since I left your [houſe | house]houſehouse ([firſt | first]firſtfirst by David[pers0155.ocp], next William[pers0763.ocp],  David [pers0155.ocp] [paſsed | passed]paſsedpassed by, William[pers0763.ocp] came back) but have had the [Miſfortune | misfortune]Miſfortunemisfortune  of Seeing them [booth | both]boothboth, yet this once more will I [trie | try]trietry [per adventure | peradventure]per adventureperadventure it  may reach you; in which I Shall Endeavour to acquaint you of the State  of my School, and of the Indians; and Little of the manner in which  I live at [preſent | present]preſentpresent. Sir I have had By the [goodneſs | goodness]goodneſsgoodness of God my health  as [Uſual | usual]Uſualusual; and would hope that you have had your much Valuble  health allowed you. Sir, I have lived very well the fore part of the  Winter, but the Latter begins to come on [heard | hard]heardhard. Sometimes Glutted  to the full at other times half [Stearved | starved]Stearvedstarved never Steady, at [priſent | present]priſentpresent  they now begin to cook Some good dried Guts of [Dear | deer]Deardeer and what is  in it. (Dung if I may So call it.) to [Seaſon | season]Seaſonseason the corn; [likewiſe | likewise]likewiſelikewise Some  rotten [fiſh | fish]fiſhfish which they have [keept | kept]keeptkept Since [laſt | last]laſtlast fall to [Seaſon | season]Seaſonseason their  Samps, rottener the better they Say as it will [Seaſon | season]Seaſonseason more broth.  corn they have plenty yet, but nothing to [ſeaſon | season]ſeaſonseason it. Little calf  Died for hunger was Soon [quarterd | quartered ]quarterd quartered [& | and ]& and [boild | boiled]boildboiled and Eat the other day  in this [houſe | house]houſehouse, [alſo | also]alſoalso Some hens dying of Some [Diſtemper | distemper]Diſtemperdistemper was  Served [prety | pretty]pretypretty much the Same trick but not quite So quick.  I have Lived [Interely | entirely]Interelyentirely upon the [affare | affair]affareaffair of the Indians this Winter  Such times Excepted as when I was at [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Kirtland[pers0315.ocp]s—  The Indians are very much Engaged at [preſent | present]preſentpresent and have given  me 14 children, this is Since I wrote you [laſt | last]laſtlast and have [Shewn | shown]Shewnshown  their [Reſpects | respects]Reſpectsrespects to the [Deſign | design]Deſigndesign as I [Suppoſe | suppose ]Suppoſe suppose [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] will  Acquaint you to the full. [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] had [propoſed | proposed]propoſedproposed I Should  come down the Next week but the headmen [Requeſted | requested]Requeſtedrequested that  I Should Stay with them longer to which I [agredd | agreed]agreddagreed with the [chearfull | cheerful]chearfullcheerful  heart to See them So much Engaged.  Kind Sir, I would [Enform | inform]Enforminform you that [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] is  very Sick I fear unto Death this being the [10th | 10th]10th10th Day Since  he has been Sick he has been [moſt | most]moſtmost of the time confined to his bed  and is [intirely | entirely ]intirely entirely [Indiſpoſed | indisposed]Indiſpoſedindisposed for any manner of [buſineſs | business]buſineſsbusiness whatever.  I would [alſo | also ]alſo also [Enform | inform]Enforminform you that I keep Singing School every  Evening very full meetings. two of my Scholars are married ­men, one is Old Enough for my father. they all Learn very  [faſt | fast ]faſt fast [booth | both]boothboth Singing [& | and]&and Reading. I dont know Sir, when  I Shall come home the great men give me leave to go in the  Spring. the Small-pox is very Brief in Albany[place0001.ocp] and  Schenectady[place0202.ocp], [vaſt | vast]vaſtvast numbers have [dyed | died]dyeddied out of [booth | both]boothboth places.  [alſo | also]alſoalso; [Beaſts | beasts]Beaſtsbeasts, they have a [Diſtemper | distemper]Diſtemperdistemper and die [dayly | daily ]dayly daily [booth | both ]booth both [horſes | horses]horſeshorses  and cows, the [diſtemper | distemper]diſtemperdistemper is [almoſt | almost]almoſtalmost got up here. — 
The Indian [horſes | horses]horſeshorses fare very [heard | hard]heardhard this Winter, I have Seen where they  have gnawed little Elm trees to Eat the [beark | bark ]beark bark [therof | thereof]therofthereof, the Indians have  given Mr Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] Some corn for his creatures from [booth | both]boothboth places.  [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] preached twice here before his [Sickneſs | sickness]Sickneſssickness came on, and  [propoſed | proposed]propoſedproposed to come down again but the Self Same week he was —  taken Sick. Thomas[pers0643.ocp] [carrys | carries]carryscarries on [amongſt | amongst]amongſtamongst us now Sabbath Days.  [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Dodge [pers0169.ocp] [Enforms | informs]Enformsinforms me that he [open'ed | opened]open'edopened a [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool about one week he Says  he [keept | kept]keeptkept it before [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] was Sick and was [Oblig'ed | obliged]Oblig'edobliged to [brake | break]brakebreak up —  William[pers0763.ocp] [keept | kept]keeptkept it Some time [after wards | afterwards ]after wards afterwards [Laſt | last]Laſtlast Monday I went in to  See the School and Saw [vaſt | vast]vaſtvast number of children in it [almoſt | almost]almoſtalmost [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): 30]30  lacking very few, it Seemed as if with [pleaſure | pleasure]pleaſurepleasure I could wait on Such  Number. then I turned my mind and thoughts of my little number  I had at [Onoida | Oneida]OnoidaOneida[place0179.ocp]. yet I think I cant think to have them few as  they be. So long as they Seem to be Engaged.  I have nothing more to acquaint you of at [preſent | present]preſentpresent only I want to  hear from you my ever [hond | honoured]hondhonoured Benefactor [aſ | as]aſas I have not heard any  thing from you Since I came from your [houſe | house]houſehouse.  So [Revd | Rev.]RevdRev. Sir, I [deſire | desire]deſiredesire Still to be under your direction [& | and]&and advice at all  times, as I am not yet capable of [manageing | managing ]manageing managing [my ſelf | myself]my ſelfmyself So I would  not undertake any thing without your kind advice [& | and]&and approbation.  [Pleaſe | Please]PleaſePlease to Remember me Still in your prayers; that God would  keep me humble and fill my heart with Gratitude [booth | both]boothboth to Him  and to Man. that I may put my whole [truſt | trust]truſttrust in him [booth | both ]booth both fo[gap: tear][guess (h-dawnd): r]r  Time [& | and]&and Eternity, for in him alone can I be [ſafe | safe ]ſafe safe [amidſt | amidst]amidſtamidst ten [thouſa­ ­nd | thousa nd]thouſa­ ­ndthousa nd Malicious [Dearts | darts]Deartsdarts of the [Divil | Devil]DivilDevil. So I would remain your  [faithfull | faithful]faithfullfaithful and Obedient pupil, and good for nothing not quite  Old Indian.
[Joſeph | Joseph ]Joſeph Joseph [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson.[pers0288.ocp]  [Onoida | Oneida]OnoidaOneida[place0179.ocp]. february [ | 10th]10.th10th 1768.[1768-02-10] 
PS. this Letter if I may So call it was  wrote in [haſt | haste]haſthaste I dont know as if you  can make out to read it if you can I  Should be Exceeding glad, not only in  [haſt | haste]haſthaste but under many [Diſadvantages | disadvantages]Diſadvantagesdisadvantages.   
From Joseph Johnson[pers0288.ocp]  [Feb.y | February]Feb.yFebruary 10. 1768[1768-02-10] 
To— the [Revd | Rev.]Revd Rev. [Doctr | Dr.]DoctrDr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp].  in  [N | New]NNew England.[place0158.ocp]   
[bottom] a Grand [miſtake | mistake]miſtakemistake or [reather | rather]reatherrather great [miſtake | mistake]miſtakemistake, a Letter  turned [upſide | upside]upſideupside down. as I was reagding it over I took notice  of it not before.—
a Grand [miſtake | mistake]miſtakemistake or [reather | rather]reatherrather great [miſtake | mistake]miſtakemistake, a Letter  turned [upſide | upside]upſideupside down. as I was reagding it over I took notice  of it not before.—
Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0155.ocp David mentioned Fowler, David
pers0763.ocp William mentioned William
pers0155.ocp David mentioned Fowler, David
pers0315.ocp M r Mr. Kirtland mentioned Kirkland, Samuel
pers0315.ocp M r Kirtland mentioned Kirkland, Samuel
pers0643.ocp Thomas mentioned Thomas
pers0169.ocp M r Mr. Dodge mentioned Dodge, Phineas
pers0288.ocp Joſeph Joseph Johnſon Johnson . writer Johnson, Joseph
pers0288.ocp Joseph Johnson writer Johnson, Joseph
pers0036.ocp Doct r Dr. Wheelock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0001.ocp Albany Albany
place0202.ocp Schenectady Schenectady
place0179.ocp Onoida Oneida Oneida
place0158.ocp N New England. New England

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Standard Form Text
1768-02-10 february 10.th10th 1768.
1768-02-10 Feb.yFebruary 10. 1768

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
modernization Revd Rev.
modernization Doct.r Dr.
modernization Indiſpenſable indispensable
modernization houſe house
modernization firſt first
modernization paſsed passed
modernization Miſfortune misfortune
variation booth both
variation trie try
variation per adventure peradventure
modernization preſent present
modernization goodneſs goodness
modernization Uſual usual
variation heard hard
variation Stearved starved
modernization priſent present
variation Dear deer
modernization Seaſon season
modernization likewiſe likewise
modernization fiſh fish
variation keept kept
modernization laſt last
modernization ſeaſon season
variation quarterd quartered
variation boild boiled
modernization alſo also
modernization Diſtemper distemper
variation prety pretty
variation Interely entirely
variation affare affair
modernization Mr Mr.
variation Shewn shown
modernization Reſpects respects
modernization Deſign design
modernization Suppoſe suppose
modernization propoſed proposed
modernization Requeſted requested
variation agredd agreed
variation chearfull cheerful
variation Enform inform
modernization 10th 10th
modernization moſt most
variation intirely entirely
modernization Indiſpoſed indisposed
modernization buſineſs business
modernization alſo also
modernization faſt fast
modernization vaſt vast
variation dyed died
modernization Beaſts beasts
variation dayly daily
variation booth both
modernization horſes horses
modernization diſtemper distemper
modernization almoſt almost
variation beark bark
variation therof thereof
modernization Sickneſs sickness
variation carrys carries
modernization amongſt amongst
variation Enforms informs
variation open'ed opened
modernization ſchool school
variation Oblig'ed obliged
variation brake break
variation after wards afterwards
modernization Laſt last
modernization pleaſure pleasure
variation Onoida Oneida
modernization aſ as
modernization Revd Rev.
modernization deſire desire
variation manageing managing
modernization my ſelf myself
modernization Pleaſe Please
modernization truſt trust
modernization ſafe safe
modernization amidſt amidst
modernization thouſa­ ­nd thousa nd
variation Divil Devil
variation faithfull faithful
modernization Joſeph Joseph
modernization Johnſon Johnson
modernization 10th
modernization haſt haste
modernization Diſadvantages disadvantages
modernization Revd Rev.
modernization Doctr Dr.
modernization miſtake mistake
variation reather rather
modernization upſide upside

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
& and
Hond Honoured
hond honoured
& and
Feb.y February
N New

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