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Nathan Clap, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1768 June 28

ms-number: 768378

[note (type: abstract): Clap confesses his sin, asks forgiveness, and asks to marry Mary Foey, Wheelock’s maid.][note (type: handwriting): Handwriting is slanted and somewhat scrawling, yet largely clear and legible. Letter case is frequently difficult to decipher, especially with regard to the letter S. The trailer is in a different, unknown hand.][note (type: paper): Single small sheet is mostly in good condition, however a large portion of it is torn away, which results in a loss of text.][note (type: ink): Strong black.][note (type: signature): Due to tear, the signature is missing.]
Reve[above] rerend [& | and]&and worthy [Docter | Doctor]DocterDoctor
I do take this [overtunity | opportunity]overtunityopportunity with
A great deal of humility [acknwledgeing | acknowledging]acknwledgeingacknowledging [my se[above] lflf | myself]my se[above] lflf myself
not [wothy | worthy]wothyworthy of the Least favour from your honour,
whos ha [illegible] [guess (maggiec): s]s [illegible] been so kind to my poor despised
brethren, [& | and]&and in [perticucler | particular]perticuclerparticular [to wards | towards]to wardstowards me — but as I
am made to see the power and dominion of sin
and and what a weak and frail thing man is
when Left to [him Self | himself]him Selfhimself — I must [confeſs | confess]confeſsconfess with [sham | shame]shamshame
that I have sinned I have done [foollishly | foolishly]foollishlyfoolishly and am
not worthy to be [reconed | reckoned]reconedreckoned into your [famle | family]famlefamily [illegible]
to be treated as such — I [hop | hope]hophope I have h[above] eeard the voice
of C[above] hhrist in [sum | some]sumsome [meshure | measure]meshuremeasure calling upon me as he did
unto the unconverted peter — [Saton | Satan]SatonSatan hath desire
to have you that he might sift you as wheat
but I have prayed for you that your faith fail
not, and when your are converted [Strenhen | strengthen]Strenhenstrengthen your
brethe[above] rrn — I desire your prayers for me that I
might reform to live Soberly [& | and]&and be more [watch‸
full | watch‸
ful ]
dand [prayerfull | prayerful]prayerfullprayerful, against the delusions of my
sinful Lust, and that I may become a true
[pennatatient | penitent]pennatatientpenitent — I humbly [disire | desire]disiredesire the [Docters | Doctor's]DoctersDoctor's [forgiv
neſs | forgive
and I do [promas | promise]promaspromise by [illegible] the [gracs | grace]gracsgrace of god [assesting | assisting]assestingassisting
of me to repent and to reform to live to the praise
[left] Nathan Clap[pers0127.ocp]s
June 28. 1768[1768-06-28]
Nathan Clap[pers0127.ocp]s
June 28. 1768[1768-06-28]
of his glory —I desire to submit and [yeld | yield]yeldyield [my
self | my
into the hands of the [sovren | sovereign]sovrensovereign will of god,
and as I am bro [illegible] ught to see what the powers
of Love will do, I do [illegible] [com | come]comcome at [Lest | last]Lestlast I desire to
come [humbl | humble]humblhumble and ask one [pettion | petition]pettionpetition of your honour
[beging | begging]begingbegging your kind [& | and]&and honourable compassions upon
me — but how to ask you I [no | know]noknow not o pray Sir,
forgive my [egnorance | ignorance]egnoranceignorance and [stupedy | stupidity]stupedystupidity and [above] pray Sir [pleas | please]pleasplease topray Sir [pleas | please]pleasplease to grant that
[above] [Ms | Miss]MsMiss [Ms | Miss]MsMiss Mary [above] fo[above] eeyfo[above] eey [pers0194.ocp] your [maide | maid]maidemaid might be given to me to
wife — or vanish me away from the School[org0098.ocp],
I never [throught | thought]throughtthought She would [prev[above] eeiled | prevailed]prev[above] eeiledprevailed with me
so much as to get my h[above] eeart, — but I [hop | hope]hophope it is all
ordered by gods holy Providence to keep me [humb[above] ll | humble]humb[above] ll humble
and as she has been exorting of me about the
things that [narly | nearly]narlynearly [consern | concern]consernconcern [above] mmy soul, I am filled
with wonder and [amaisment | amazement]amaismentamazement to hear that I [hop | ]hop hope
god put into her heart to Speak unto me to
awaken my Poor sinsick so[above] uul —[nevertheleſs | nevertheless]nevertheleſsnevertheless
I desire to Submit and [yeald | yield]yealdyield [my self | myself]my selfmyself under your
honourable fatherly [correctsion | correction]correctsioncorrection if it is to van:
ish me from the School[org0098.ocp] I will go away and [ac:
knoledge | ac
it is no more than what I deserve
my hearts desire and Prayer to god is that all
things might be [orderd | ordered]orderdordered for the [Prayes | praise]Prayespraise of his own
Glory — I am [grevd | grieved]grevdgrieved to think that I have [greved | grieved]grevedgrieved
and [disoner[above] eed | dishonoured]disoner[above] eeddishonoured you So much pray Sir [pleas | please]pleasplease to forgive
me — [tho | though]thothough I Shall never [for give | forgive]for giveforgive [my Self | myself]my Selfmyself I wan­
nt to Say and [writ | write]writwrite [agreat | a great]agreata great Deal but I must [brak | break]brakbreak
[of | off]ofoff hear [beging | begging]begingbegging that god [illegible] would direct your
way [be fore | before]be forebefore you and order what [cornsirns | concerns]cornsirnsconcerns me
in great mercy your [afectonate | affectionate]afectonateaffectionate [Puple | pupil]Puplepupil and very
[right] Nathan Clap[pers0127.ocp] Nathan Clap[pers0127.ocp]
Moor’s Indian Charity School
Moor’s Indian Charity School was a grammar school for Native Americans that Eleazar Wheelock opened in North Lebanon, Connecticut in 1754. The school was named for Colonel Joshua Moor, also spelled More, who donated the land and school building. Moor’s was essentially an expansion of the grammar school that Wheelock opened in 1743 to support himself during the fallout from the First Great Awakening, when Wheelock, who'd participated in itinerant ministry during the Awakening, had his salary confiscated by the colony of Connecticut. In December of that year, Samson Occom asked Wheelock to teach him as well. Wheelock's work with Occom was so successful that Wheelock decided to replicate the experiment with other Native American boys. He accepted his first Indian students in 1754, and in 1761 began taking female students as well. Wheelock believed that in time, his school would become just one part of a larger missionary enterprise. He planned to send his Anglo American and Native American students to various tribes as missionaries and schoolmasters, with explicit instructions to pick out the best students and send them back to Moor’s to continue the cycle. His ultimate goal was to turn his school into a model Christian Indian town that would include farms, a college, and vocational training. However, Wheelock’s grand design did not survive the decade. Wheelock lost the vast majority of his Native American students; he fought with many of the best, including Samson Occom, Joseph Johnson, David Fowler, and Hezekiah Calvin, and other former and current students accused him of subjecting Native Americans to disproportionate amounts of manual labor. In 1769, perhaps due to concerns about corporal punishment, the Oneida withdrew all their children from Moor’s. When Wheelock relocated to Hanover in 1769, only two Native American students came with him, and it became clear that Wheelock’s focus was on Dartmouth and that Dartmouth was for white students. After Wheelock’s death in 1779, Moor’s Indian Charity School receded further into the background as John Wheelock, his father’s reluctant successor, stopped taking Indian students. Some Native American students were enrolled in Moor’s until 1850, when the school unofficially closed.

Lebanon is a town located in the state of Connecticut southwest of the town of Hartford. The land that became Lebanon was inhabited at least 10,000 years ago based on the archeological record. By the 1600s, the land was permanently inhabited by the Mohegan Indians, who used the area primarily for hunting. Lebanon was officially formed in 1700 when English settlers consolidated a number of land tracts, including several land grants by the Connecticut General Assembly and lands purchased from the Mohegans. However, these purchases were controversial. In 1659, the Mohegans entrusted their reserve land to Major John Mason, and in the following year, Mason transferred this land to the Connecticut colonial government with the understanding that there would be enough land left for the Mohegans to farm. The Mohegans claimed that they never authorized a transfer to the colonial government and only Mason’s heirs were entrusted with their land. In 1662, Connecticut, which included the Mohegan land that had been entrusted to the Masons, was incorporated by a royal charter. Based on this charter, the colony argued that the land was now the property of the government. In 1687, the colony began granting the Mohegan land to townships, and in 1704 the Masons petitioned the Crown on behalf of the Mohegans, claiming that such transfers of land to townships were illegal. Between the years of 1705 and 1773 legal disputes and controversies persisted, finally ending in a verdict by the Crown against the Mohegans. In 1755, Wheelock received property and housing in Lebanon that he would use as his house and school. While Lebanon was originally incorporated as a part of New London County in 1700, in 1724 it became a part of New Windham, before once again becoming a part of New London County in 1826. Lebanon was central to the American Revolution with half of its adult population fighting for the colonists and hundreds of meetings convened in the town for the revolutionary cause.

Clap, Nathan
Wheelock, Eleazar

Eleazar Wheelock was a New Light Congregationalist minister who founded Dartmouth College. He was born into a very typical Congregationalist family, and began studying at Yale in 1729, where he fell in with the emerging New Light clique. The evangelical network that he built in college propelled him to fame as an itinerant minister during the First Great Awakening and gave him many of the contacts that he later drew on to support his charity school for Native Americans. Wheelock’s time as an itinerant minister indirectly brought about his charity school. When the Colony of Connecticut retroactively punished itinerant preaching in 1743, Wheelock was among those who lost his salary. Thus, in 1743, he began operating a grammar school to support himself. He was joined that December by Samson Occom, a Mohegan Indian, who sought out an education in hopes of becoming a teacher among his people. Occom’s academic success inspired Wheelock to train Native Americans as missionaries. To that end, he opened Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1754 (where he continued to train Anglo-American students who paid their own way as well as students who functionally indentured themselves to Wheelock as missionaries in exchange for an education). Between 1754 and 1769, when he relocated to New Hampshire, Wheelock trained approximately 60 male and female Native American students from nearby Algonquian tribes and from the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of central New York. At the same time, he navigated the complicated politics of missionary societies by setting up his own board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, although he continued to feud with the Boston Board of the SSPCK and the London Commissioners in Boston (more colloquially called the New England Company). By the late 1760s, Wheelock had become disillusioned with the idea of Native American education. He was increasingly convinced that educating Native Americans was futile (several of his students had failed to conform to his confusing and contradictory standards), and, in late 1768, he lost his connection to the Haudenosaunee. With his inclination and ability to sponsor Native American missionaries largely depleted, Wheelock sought instead to fulfill his ultimate ambition of obtaining a charter and opening a college, which he did in 1769. To fund this new enterprise, Wheelock drew on the £12,000 that Samson Occom had raised for Moor’s Indian Charity School during a two-and-a-half year tour of Great Britain (1765 to 1768). Much of this money went towards clearing land and erecting buildings in New Hampshire for the Charity School’s relocation — infrastructure that also happened to benefit Dartmouth. Many of Wheelock’s contemporaries were outraged by what they saw as misuse of the money, as it was clear that Dartmouth College was not intended for Indians and that Moor’s had become a side project. Although Wheelock tried to maintain at least some commitment to Native American education by recruiting students from Canadian communities, the move did a great deal of damage to his public image. The last decade of Wheelock’s life was not easy. In addition to the problems of trying to set up a college far away from any Anglo-American urban center, Wheelock experienced the loss of relationships with two of his most famous and successful students, Samson Occom and Samuel Kirkland (an Anglo-American protégé). He also went into debt for Dartmouth College, especially after the fund raised in Britain was exhausted.

Foey, Mary
Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0127.ocp Nathan Clap writer Clap, Nathan
pers0194.ocp Mary fo e y mentioned Foey, Mary

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0122.ocp Lebanon Lebanon

Organizations identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
org0098.ocp the School Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0098.ocp the School Moor’s Indian Charity School

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1768-06-28 June 28d 28th 1768
1768-06-28 June 28. 1768

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
variation Docter Doctor
variation acknwledgeing acknowledging
variation my se[above] lflf myself
variation perticucler particular
variation to wards towards
variation him Self himself
modernization confeſs confess
variation sham shame
variation foollishly foolishly
variation reconed reckoned
variation famle family
variation hop hope
variation sum some
variation meshure measure
variation Saton Satan
variation Strenhen strengthen
variation watch‸
variation prayerfull prayerful
variation disire desire
variation Docters Doctor's
modernization forgiv
variation promas promise
variation gracs grace
variation assesting assisting
variation yeld yield
variation my
variation sovren sovereign
variation com come
variation Lest last
variation humbl humble
variation beging begging
variation egnorance ignorance
variation stupedy stupidity
variation pleas please
variation maide maid
variation prev[above] eeiled prevailed
variation narly nearly
variation consern concern
variation amaisment amazement
modernization nevertheleſs nevertheless
variation yeald yield
variation correctsion correction
variation ac:
variation orderd ordered
variation Prayes praise
variation grevd grieved
variation greved grieved
variation disoner[above] eed dishonoured
variation tho though
variation for give forgive
variation my Self myself
variation writ write
variation brak break
variation of off
variation be fore before
variation cornsirns concerns
variation afectonate affectionate
variation Puple pupil

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
& and
Ms Miss
humb[above] ll humble

This document's header does not contain any mixed case attribute values.

Summary of errors found in this document:

Number of dates with invalid 'when' attributes: 0
Number of nested "hi" tags: (consider merging the @rend attributes, or using other tags) 0
Number of tags with invalid 'rend' attributes: 0 (out of 2)
Number of people/places/organizations with unknown keys: 0 (out of 6)
Number of "add" tags with unknown 'place' attributes: 0 (out of 17)
Mixed case attribute values in header (potential error): 0 (out of 93)
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