David Avery, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1771 June 6


[note (type: abstract): Avery writes about his upcoming ordination and possible mission. He relates news of Occom and David Fowler, with brief excerpts of a letter from Fowler.][note (type: handwriting): Handwriting is formal, clear and legible.][note (type: paper): Four large sheets of paper have each been folded in half to make four pages. The address is on a separate, single sheet. The paper is in good condition, with mostly light creasing, staining and wear.][note (type: ink): Dark-brown.]
  [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. [& | and]&and [hon,d | honoured]hon,dhonoured Sir, 
About three weeks past I received  Doctor Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]'s letter, dated 22 of april[1771-04-22]; for  which I return a ^[above] [gratful | grateful]gratfulgrateful^[gratful | grateful]gratfulgrateful tribute of Thanks. —  This was very timely, and gave me to  understand a little, [tho' | though]tho'though not fully, the [Doctr[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): ^[inline] e^e]^[inline] e^e'rs | Doctor's]Doctr[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): ^[inline] e^e]^[inline] e^e'rsDoctor's[pers0036.ocp]'s  mind [& | and]&and pleasure respecting my Des‐ tiny. His other Letter, [refered | referred]referedreferred to in this  which I have, is yet on the way. —  It gave me the most sensible sorrow  to hear that all of my letters to [Dartm.o | Dartmouth]Dartm.oDartmouth[org0037.ocp]  have fell short. — What is the mean‐ ‐ing 
‐ing of Providence in this I can't tell. — Have  wrote again and again, representing the State  of affairs in these parts, giving an account  of God's ^[above] work^work in a particular Parish, and [expreſsing | expressing]expreſsingexpressing  the earnest desire of that poor, needy, desti‐ ‐tute People that I tarry longer with them a  little while longer, that I may know what  my [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. Patron would advise and direct to. —  I have been, and am still, exceeding loath to  do any the least thing contrary to his Pleasure  to whom am under the most inviolable  obligations, next to Almighty God. —  The [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. [M,r | Mr.]M,rMr. Buell[pers0006.ocp] being in New England[place0158.ocp]  I could not consult him ['till | 'til]'till'til this week. Now 
I have laid before him my affairs and  taken his Advice in this case, which is,  That I tarry about two months on the  Island[place0129.ocp] and then return to [N..w | New]N..wNew Hampshire[place0160.ocp].  This advice I have concluded to follow.  [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Buell[pers0006.ocp] informs me he saw [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. [M,r | Mr.]M,rMr.  Patten[pers0408.ocp] and [M,r | Mr.]M,rMr. Woodward[pers0610.ocp], whom he  [discourſed | discoursed]discourſeddiscoursed on the point, and they were  of opinion that it would not, likely, be  displeasing to the [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. Doctor[pers0036.ocp] if I  should tarry for such reasons as he  gave them — (viz) My not being ^[above] in^in a con‐ firmed state of health sufficient to go  upon an Indian [Miſsion | mission]Miſsionmission in the 
heat of summer. — And the late happy  revival of Religion in Ketehebonack[place0294.ocp], which  appears to be a particular Call to labor  with them a little longer. —
([Bleſsed | Blessed]BleſsedBlessed be God the Work still goes on  and there is a prospect of ingathering of souls.)  If I should go ^[above] to^to Dartmouth[org0037.ocp] now, by what I can  learn, my ordination could not conveni‐ ‐ently be attended before Commencement,  and without that I should not be prevailed  upon to take a [miſsion | mission]miſsionmission.— Perhaps it may  be thought best this ordinance should be so‐ lemnized at that time when the Corporati ‐on[org0161.ocp] shall be together; which I most earnestly  request  1 
1  request may be done; for I am much ex‐ ‐ercised about preaching barely by virtue  of a Licence.
With respect to my going under  Boston Board[org0095.ocp], I know not what to say—  I should, by all means, [chuse | choose]chusechoose to con‐ ‐sult the Corporation[org0161.ocp] on the head.—  As it is a very delicate point, so I shall  [indeavour | endeavour]indeavourendeavour to manage it.— That Letter  not having come to hand in which  the Proposal was made, [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Buell[pers0006.ocp]  did not know what advice to give.  If by going under that Board[org0095.ocp] I must in the  least break [connexions | connections]connexionsconnections with him, whom  it is my honor to call my [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. [& | and]&and Worthy Patron 
I could not [indure | endure]indureendure the thought of it— but if  it shall be thought best, on the whole, to an‐ swer the general Design in view — it is likely  I shall be willing to comply with the [propo‐ ‐ſal | propo‐ sal]propo‐ ‐ſalpropo‐ sal.— It has given me much of the [Heart‐ ‐ach | heart‐ ache]Heart‐ ‐achheart‐ ache that [somethings | some things]somethingssome things are as they are,— but  God's Government is over all, according to In ‐finite Wisdom — the [iſsue | issue]iſsueissue therefore must,  and can't but, be for his Glory; yea, for a  greater Display of Divine Glory than other ‐wise there would be if it were not for some  dark Scenes.. This consideration bears my  Spirits up, or it seems, I could not, at times, sub‐ ‐sist — Let ^[above] Zion^Zion and her Sons, rejoice in their  King/ — The [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. Doctor[pers0036.ocp] mentioned a pro‐ ‐posal 
‐posal lately made to him of my taking  a tour to [S.t | Saint]S.tSaint John's River[place0298.ocp] this summer,—  and asked me what I think of it? —  If I knew what prospects there are ^[inline] o^ofor  doing good there were, — the situation  of the Indians — the air — [accomoda‐ ‐tions | accommoda‐ tions]accomoda‐ ‐tionsaccommoda‐ tions, [&c | etc.]&cetc. I should be better able to form  a judgment.— But as my health is  but tlow, being attended with a constant  Fever, much exposed to take Cold,  and unable to undergo much hard ser‐ ‐vice by reason of a weakening Disorder  which has long [afficted | affected]affictedaffected me— And  also as I have no companion to go as  a preacher with me, as I know of, or 
could likely be obtained this season, it does  not appear Duty for me to undertake the  journey at present.— My heart says 'Lord,  what wilt thou have me to do'?— Wherever  Providence gives the Lead, I am willing to  follow — but, alas! I know so little, or no‐ thing, how to read divine Providences or get  an answer to prayer that am afraid, many  times, I am not in the way of Duty —  It appears to me I should be the happiest  of ^[above] many^many mortals if I only knew what God's Plea‐ ‐sure is respecting my situation [& | and]&and Destiny  in the world.— At present He is laying out  a great variety of work for me, the least of all  his servants, is it not Duty to perform it?  2 
2  [Thro' | Through]Thro'Through Divine Favor, my health is in some  measure recovered — am able to preach  every sabbath and several Lectures.—  The awakenings in Ketehebonack[place0294.ocp]  still continue in several instances,  [tho' | though]tho'though perhaps not so great as some time  past.... As I presume the Doctor[pers0036.ocp] has  before this time received my Letters  I need give no farther account of God's  Work in these parts, save that there  is, of late, a very great revival in  Southold‐Town[place0217.ocp], under [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Storrs[pers1335.ocp]'  ministry.— I expect to go there next  week, God willing— I find it a very great 
advantage to me to live here in this Day of  the Outpouring of God's [bleſsed | blessed]bleſsedblessed Spirit. —  When People's Ears are open it is easy  Preaching to them. — It has rejoiced  the hearts of many that God has revived  his work in the College[org0037.ocp] last Winter— O,  what an happy omen for good! —
After I received the Doctor[pers0036.ocp]'s Letter, I  sent a line to David Fowler[pers0155.ocp] with a Desire that  he would give me an honest, faithful [acco.t | account]acco.taccount  of the late State [& | and]&and Character of [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp]  and he wrote me the following —  —"I can't tell you any bad thing of him. —  He is, as it were, crying out to Sinners in a 
private manner — he don't preach  as yet, but I hope he will. He seems  to [injoy | enjoy]injoyenjoy a [newneſs | newness]newneſsnewness of life again.—  He goes from ^[above] one^one Place to another ex‐ ‐horting the People, that is, among  the Indians. — He has entirely aban‐ ‐doned spirituous liquors — he [uſes | uses]uſesuses  none, nor keeps any in the house.=  I shall likely give you a better Nar‐ ‐rative of his Character at my return  from the main shore."
I know nothing, Sir, but what  this account is entirely just — But  nothing has been done to wash 
away his Stain in these parts, or in any other  that we have [hear'd | heard]hear'dheard of.— [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. [M,r | Mr.]M,rMr. Buell[pers0006.ocp]  heard little if anything about him when  on the main. — Perhaps [M:r | Mr.]M:rMr. Woodward[pers0610.ocp] is  able to give a more particular account of  [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] than I can, and better able to  judge whether it will be for the Good and  honor of the Cause to improve him as a  [miſsionary | missionary]miſsionarymissionary — it seems to be a very great  frown of heaven that his [usefulneſs | usefulness]usefulneſsusefulness has  been prevented.—
David Fowler[pers0155.ocp] appears much as [uſual | usual]uſualusual  with respect to his being deeply humbled [&c | etc.]&cetc. I  am not able to say — he manifests a very  great regard for the Indian Cause — and has  some bitter [reflexions | reflections ]reflexionsreflections on his rash conduct  in  3 
3  in the [Wilderneſs | wilderness]Wilderneſswilderness.— I have not said much  to him about his conduct, because am  very ignorant of what the Foundation  or pretentded foundation of it was. If  he was to see and converse the [Re[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): vr]vr'end | Rev.]Re[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): vr]vr'endRev.  Doctor[pers0036.ocp], am quite inclined to think he  would make gospel satisfaction.—  His natural Temper is well known to be  violent and sometimes his [Paſsion | passion]Paſsionpassion  blinds his reason. — respecting [him‐ self | him‐ self]him‐ selfhim‐ self he writes me,
"If I can pay off my Creditors this  year I [deſign | design]deſigndesign to go off this Island[place0129.ocp] next  year, either to Mohegan[place0143.ocp] or the [Wil‐ ‐derneſs | wil‐ derness]Wil‐ ‐derneſswil‐ derness: I don't think of going any  where this year."
East-Hampton[place0062.ocp] judge he is very un‐ steady and fickle, roving and wandering 
But by converse with David[pers0155.ocp], am of opinion his  [unsteadyneſs | unsteadiness]unsteadyneſsunsteadiness was much owing to his too small  salary and the Indians living a good deal upon  him. — He does not keep the School at Montauk[place0144.ocp];  he thinks,"if he did, it would be to none effect —  The Indians seem to be [curſt | cursed]curſtcursed — they don't ad‐ ‐mire [any thing | anything]any thinganything that would be beneficial  to them, either temporal or temporal^[above] spiritual^spiritual."—
Imagine ^[above] if^if he should visit the Doctor[pers0036.ocp] it might  answer some valuable Purpose — accordingly  shall recommend it to him.— I can't  but think he means to act honestly — He is  now somewhat involved in Debt; but he  follows Fishery [& | and]&and hopes to raise something  on the land to defray his charges this sea‐ ‐son.— Thus, Sir, I have given the best account  respecting him am able to do.— 
If it shall be judged best to ordain me at  Commencement, would not the Doctor[pers0036.ocp]  think proper to appoint some of the  [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. Corporation[org0161.ocp] the ordination ser‐ ‐mon? — Would it please him to  pitch upon the [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. [M,r | Mr.]M,rMr. [Pomroy | Pomeroy]PomroyPomeroy[pers0432.ocp]?  But I mean not to dictate — shall be  perfectly well suited with Doctor Whee‐ lock[pers0036.ocp]'s appointments.— If this Plan  should be [agreable | agreeable]agreableagreeable to him, it would  lay me under farther obligations of  Gratitude, if by any means, I might  have intelligence of it — but am  afraid these Letters will suffer the same  misfortune as the other.—  It gives me unspeakable Joy to hear [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Ripley[pers0444.ocp]  is hopefully religious! If this is the case,  What extensive service may ^[above] the^the Man of his  rare abilities do for God, if God goes with him! 
We hear the work of God is powerful in several  Places upon the Continent...
People are liberal and very kind to me in [theſe | these]theſethese  parts — O, how good is the Lord to the evil and  unthankful! — Oh! for an humble heart!  a meek and lowly spirit!— the Benevolence,  ^[inline] [ye | the]yethe^[ye | the]yethe Love, ^[inline] [ye | the]yethe^[ye | the]yethe Pity and [Compaſsion | compassion]Compaſsioncompassion of Jesus Christ to‐ ‐wards dying men! — my Soul burns with  ardor to do something for my Maker and  Redeemer.—
The Reverend [M,r | Mr.]M,rMr. Brown[pers0102.ocp] gives very kind  and affectionate Salutations to the Reverend  Doctor Wheelock[pers0036.ocp] — He is a Father to me —  Please, Sir, present Duty to Honored Madam[pers0577.ocp],  and continue daily to pray for,  [Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. [& | and]&and [hon,d | honoured]hon,dhonoured Sir, 
  Your very dutiful  and most obedient  humble servant   David Avery[pers0064.ocp] 
[Rev,d | Rev.]Rev,dRev. [D,,r | Dr.]D,,rDr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp] 
From [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. David Avery[pers0064.ocp]  June 6. 1771[1771-06-06]. 
To The [Revd | Rev.]RevdRev. [Eleazer | Eleazar]EleazerEleazar Wheelock[pers0036.ocp] D:D.  [Preſident | President]PreſidentPresident of Dartmouth [Colledge | College]ColledgeCollege[org0037.ocp]  In  Hanover[place0095.ocp]
[note (type: editorial): Blank page.]
Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0036.ocp Doctor Wheelock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0036.ocp Doctr e 'rs Doctor's recipient Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0006.ocp Buell mentioned Buell, Samuel
pers0408.ocp Patten mentioned Patten, William
pers0610.ocp Woodward mentioned Woodward, Bezaleel
pers0036.ocp Rev, d Rev. Doctor recipient Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0036.ocp Doctor recipient Wheelock, Eleazar
pers1335.ocp Storrs mentioned Storrs, John
pers0155.ocp David Fowler mentioned Fowler, David
pers0030.ocp Occom mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0155.ocp David mentioned Fowler, David
pers0432.ocp Pomroy Pomeroy mentioned Pomeroy, Benjamin
pers0036.ocp Whee‐ lock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0444.ocp Ripley mentioned Ripley, Sylvanus
pers0102.ocp Reverend M, r Mr. Brown mentioned Brown
pers0036.ocp Wheelock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0577.ocp Madam mentioned Wheelock, Mary (née Brinsmead)
pers0064.ocp David Avery writer Avery, David
pers0036.ocp Eleazer Eleazar Wheelock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0018.ocp Bridge Hampton Bridgehampton Bridgehampton
place0158.ocp New England New England
place0129.ocp Island Long Island
place0160.ocp N.. w New Hampshire New Hampshire
place0294.ocp Ketehebonack Ketehebonack
place0298.ocp S. t Saint John's River Saint John River
place0217.ocp Southold ‐Town Southold
place0143.ocp Mohegan Mohegan
place0062.ocp East-Hampton East Hampton
place0144.ocp Montauk Montauk
place0095.ocp Hanover Hanover

Organizations identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
org0037.ocp Dartm.oDartmouth Dartmouth College
org0037.ocp Dartmouth Dartmouth College
org0161.ocp Corporati‐on Yale Corporation
org0095.ocp Boston Board The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0161.ocp the Corporation Yale Corporation
org0095.ocp Board The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0037.ocp College Dartmouth College
org0161.ocp Corporation Yale Corporation
org0037.ocp Dartmouth ColledgeCollege Dartmouth College

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1771-06-06 June 6. 1771
1771-04-22 22 of april

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
variation Bridge Hampton Bridgehampton
modernization Rev,d Rev.
variation gratful grateful
variation Doctr[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): ^[inline] e^e]^[inline] e^e'rs Doctor's
variation refered referred
modernization expreſsing expressing
modernization M,r Mr.
variation 'till 'til
modernization M.r Mr.
modernization discourſed discoursed
modernization Miſsion mission
modernization Bleſsed Blessed
modernization miſsion mission
variation chuse choose
variation indeavour endeavour
variation connexions connections
variation indure endure
modernization propo‐ ‐ſal propo‐ sal
variation Heart‐ ‐ach heart‐ ache
variation somethings some things
modernization iſsue issue
variation accomoda‐ ‐tions accommoda‐ tions
modernization &c etc.
variation afficted affected
modernization bleſsed blessed
variation injoy enjoy
modernization newneſs newness
modernization uſes uses
variation hear'd heard
modernization M:r Mr.
modernization miſsionary missionary
modernization usefulneſs usefulness
modernization uſual usual
variation reflexions reflections
modernization Wilderneſs wilderness
modernization Re[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): vr]vr'end Rev.
modernization Paſsion passion
variation him‐ self him‐ self
modernization deſign design
modernization Wil‐ ‐derneſs wil‐ derness
modernization unsteadyneſs unsteadiness
variation curſt cursed
variation any thing anything
variation Pomroy Pomeroy
variation agreable agreeable
modernization theſe these
modernization ye the
modernization Compaſsion compassion
modernization D,,r Dr.
modernization Revd Rev.
variation Eleazer Eleazar
modernization Preſident President
variation Colledge College

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
& and
hon,d honoured
tho' though
Dartm.o Dartmouth
N..w New
S.t Saint
Thro' Through
acco.t account

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Summary of errors found in this document:

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Number of nested "hi" tags: (consider merging the @rend attributes, or using other tags) 0
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