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Title: A plain and faithful narrative of the original design, rise, progress and present state of the Indian charity-school at Lebanon, in Connecticut

Author: Eleazar Wheelock

Release Date: July 23, 2014 [EBook #46378]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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[i]

A plain and faithful

NARRATIVE

OF THE

Original Design, Rise, Progress
and present State

OF THE

Indian Charity-School

At Lebanon, in Connecticut.

By Eleazar Wheelock, A.M.

Pastor of a Church in LEBANON.

"The Liberal deviseth liberal Things, and by liberal Things

"shall he stand."——————————Isai. xxxii. 8.

"The liberal Soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth

"shall also be watered himself."———Prov. xi. 25.

BOSTON:

Printed by Richard and Samuel Draper, in Newbury-street.

M.DCC.LXIII.


[ii]
[iii]

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

WILLIAM,

MARQUIS OF LOTHIAN.

May it please your Lordship,

That Charity and disinterested Care for the Souls of Men, which make so amiable a Part of your Lordship's Character, and give a Lustre and Grace to all those worldly Honours with which God has dignified you, and entitle you to the kindest Wishes, and sincerest Prayers of all who love our Lord Jesus Christ, and long for the Enlargement of his[iv] Kingdom in the World; do now embolden me to inscribe the following Narrative to your Lordship, as a Testimonial of my Gratitude, for that repeated Liberality, whereby you have testified your Approbation of our feeble Attempts in the important Affair here related, and given your Sanction to the Plan we have been prosecuting.

And as you have animated and encouraged our small Beginnings, when we had most need of such Countenance and Assistance; so your Condescention and Generosity have made me solicitous how to manifest[v] my Gratitude suitably to a Personage of such Distinction.

But as your Lordship could propose no other End, besides that which we were pursuing, when you thus opened your Hand for our Assistance therein, while it was yet small and obscure; so I may reasonably suppose, nothing I can return will give your Lordship more Satisfaction, than a plain, and concise Account of the Progress of it, and our still growing and encreasing Prospects of those good Effects, which will be the only Reward which your Lordship could have in View.

[vi]

And though it be presented to your Lordship in a very plain and unfashionable Dress, agreeable to the Country from whence it comes, yet I am perswaded your Lordship will not despise it on that Account, since the Dress, plain and unfashionable as it is, does so much excel the savage, and sordid Habit, and Appearance of those miserable Creatures, who have so moved your Lordship's Compassion as to become the Objects of your Charity and Beneficence. Nor will Modesty itself under such endearing and inviting Expressions of your Lordship's Condescention and Goodness, forbid[vii] our reposing Confidence in you as our Patron, or indulging the animating Expectation of future Benefit by your Smiles on this infant Institution.

May the Blessing of many, who shall, in the present and succeeding Generations, reap the Benefit of your generous Donations, come upon you.

And that God may graciously lengthen out your valuable and important Life, to refresh the Bowels of his Saints, and encourage THIS, and every Attempt to make known the Name of Christ, "and manifest the Savour of his Knowledge[viii] in every Place," and late confer upon you a Crown of Life with distinguished Honours, is the earnest Prayer of,

May it please your Lordship,

Your Lordship's

much obliged, and

most obedient

humble Servant,

Eleazar Wheelock.

Lebanon, Dec. 16. 1762.

[9]

A

NARRATIVE

OF THE

Original Design, Rise, Progress and present State of the INDIAN CHARITY-SCHOOL in Lebanon.

Understanding there are Numbers of religious and charitably disposed Persons, who only wait to know where their Charities may be bestowed in the best Manner for the Advancement of the Kingdom of the great Redeemer; and, supposing there may also be in some, evil Surmisings about, and a Disposition to discredit a Cause which they don't love, and have no Disposition to promote; I have, to gratify the one, and prevent the Mischiefs of the other, thought it my Duty to give the Publick a short, plain, and faithful Narrative of the Original[10] Design, Rise, Progress, and present State of the Charity-School here, called Moor's Indian-Charity School, &c. And I hope there is need of little or nothing more than a plain and faithful Relation of Facts, with the Grounds and Reasons of them, to justify the Undertaking, and all the Pains and Expence there has been, in the Prosecution thereof. And to convince all Persons of Ability, that this School is a proper Object of their Charity; and that whatever they shall contribute for the Furtherance of it, will be an Offering acceptable to God, and properly bestowed for the promoting a Design which the Heart of the great Redeemer is infinitely set upon.

The Considerations first moving me to enter upon the Design of educating the Children of our Heathen Natives were such as these; viz.

The great Obligations lying upon us, as God's Covenant-People, who have all we have better than they in a Covenant Way, and consequently are under Covenant-Bonds to improve it in the best Manner for the Honour and Glory of our liberal Benefactor. And can such Want of Charity to those poor Creatures, as our Neglect has shewn; and, our Neglect of that which God has so plainly made to be the Matter of our Care and Duty; and that which the Heart of the great Redeemer is so set upon, as that he never desired any other Compensation for all the Travail of his Soul, can it, I say, be without great Guilt on our Part?

[11]

It has seem'd to me, he must be stupidly indifferent to the Redeemer's Cause and Interest in the World; and criminally deaf and blind to the Intimations of the Favour and Displeasure of God in the Dispensations of his Providence, who could not perceive plain Intimations of God's Displeasure against us for this Neglect, inscribed in Capitals, on the very Front of divine Dispensations, from Year to Year, in permitting the Savages to be such a sore Scourge to our Land, and make such Depredations on our Frontiers, inhumanly butchering and captivating our People; not only in a Time of War, but when we had good Reason to think (if ever we had) that we dwelt safely by them.

And there is good Reason to think, that if one half which has been, for so many Years past expended in building Forts, manning and supporting them, had been prudently laid out in supporting faithful Missionaries, and School-Masters among them, the instructed and civilized Party would have been a far better Defence than all our expensive Fortresses, and prevented the laying waste so many Towns and Villages: Witness the Consequence of sending Mr. Sergeant to Stockbridge, which was in the very Road by which they most usually came upon our People, and by which there has never been one Attack made upon us since his going there; and this notwithstanding there has been, by all Accounts, less Appearance of the saving Effects of the Gospel[12] there than in any other Place, where so much has been expended for many Years past.

And not only our Covenant Bonds, by which we owe our all to God, and our divine Redeemer—our Pity to their Bodies in their miserable, needy State—our Charity to their perishing Souls—and our own Peace, and Safety by them, should constrain us to it; but also Gratitude, Duty, and Loyalty to our rightful Sovereign. How great the Benefit which would hereby accrue to the Crown of Great-Britain, and how much the Interests of His Majesty's Dominions, especially in America, would be promoted hereby, we can hardly conceive.

And the Christianizing the Natives of this Land is expressly mentioned in the Royal Charter granted to this Colony, as a Motive inducing His Majesty to grant that Royal Favour to our Fathers. And since we are risen up in their Stead, and enjoy the inestimable Favour granted to them, on this Consideration; What can excuse our not performing to our utmost, that which was engaged by, and reasonably expected from, them? But that which is of greatest Weight, and should powerfully excite and perswade us hereto, are the many Commands, strong Motives, precious Promises, and tremendous Threatnings, which fill so great a Part of the sacred Pages; and are so perfectly calculated to awaken all our Powers, to spread the Knowledge of the only true God, and Saviour, and[13] make it as extensive and common as possible. It is a Work, in which every one in his Place, and according to his Ability, is under sacred Bonds to use his utmost Endeavours. But for Brevity sake, I omit a particular Mention of them, supposing none have read their Bibles attentively, who do not know, that this is a darling Subject of them; and that enough is there spoken by the Mouth of God himself, to obviate and silence all the Objections which Sloth, Covetousness, or Love of the World can suggest against it; and to assure them it is not a Course to Penury, and outward Want, but to Fulness, and worldly Felicity; while they are at the same Time laying up a Treasure to be remitted by Christ himself, a Thousand Fold, when he shall say to them on his Right-hand, come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you—For I was an hungred, and ye gave me Meat, &c. If denying Food and Raiment, when we have them in our Power, to supply the bodily Necessities of the Poor and Needy, does in the Apostle's Account, evidence, that the Love of God is wanting in our Hearts; how much more does the Neglect of the precious Souls of our Fellow-Creatures, who are perishing for lack of Vision, when we have such Fulness to impart, fall below our high Profession of Love to Christ. Can the Objection that there is extraordinary Expence and Difficulty in accomplishing it, be esteemed weighty enough to excuse and justify our Neglect, in a Case of[14] such Necessity and Importance? And especially if we consider, there is not so much necessary hereto, as would render the Attempt any Thing like an intolerable Burden, or a Burden to be felt, if those who are concerned therein, i. e. the Christian World, were in any Measure united and agreed in it. And considering further, that the Advantage thereby to the Crown of Great-Britain (supposing the Success of Endeavours should be only in Proportion as have been, the Successes of feeble Endeavours in Times past) would abundantly compensate all the Expence, besides all those temporal and eternal Rewards of such Charity and Liberality, which are secured in the many great and precious Promises of God.

These were some of the Considerations which, I think, had some Influence to my making an Attempt in this Affair; though I did not then much think of any Thing more than only to clear myself, and Family, of partaking in the public Guilt of our Land and Nation in such a Neglect of them.

And as there were few or none who seemed so much to lay the Necessity and Importance of the Case to Heart, as to exert themselves in earnest, and lead the Way therein, I was naturally put upon Consideration and Enquiry what Methods might have the greatest Probability of Success; and upon the whole was fully perswaded that this, which I have been pursuing, had by far the greatest Probability of any that had been proposed, viz. by the[15] Mission of their own Sons in Conjunction with the English; and that a Number of Girls should also be instructed in whatever should be necessary to render them fit, to perform the Female Part, as House-wives, School-mistresses, Tayloresses, &c. and to go and be with these Youth, when they shall be hundreds of Miles distant from the English on the Business of their Mission: And prevent a Necessity of their turning savage in their Manner of Living, for want of those who may do those Offices for them, and by this means support the Reputation of their Mission, and also recommend to the Savages a more rational and decent Manner of Living, than that which they are in—And thereby, in Time, remedy and remove that great, and hitherto insuperable Difficulty, so constantly complained of by all our Missionaries among them, as the great Impediment in the Way to the Success of their Mission, viz. their continual rambling about; which they can't avoid so long as they depend so much upon Fishing, Fowling, and Hunting for their Support. And I am more and more perswaded, that I have sufficient and unanswerable Reasons to justify this Plan.

As,

1. The deep rooted Prejudices they have so generally imbibed against the English, that they are selfish, and have secret Designs to incroach upon their Lands, or otherwise wrong them in their Interests. This Jealousy seems to have been occasioned, nourished,[16] and confirmed by some of their Neighbours, who have got large Tracts of their Lands for a very inconsiderable Part of their true Value, and, it is commonly said, by taking the Advantage of them when they were intoxicated with Liquor. And also, by unrighteous Dealers, who have taken such Advantage to buy their Skins and Furrs at less than half Price, &c. And perhaps these Jealousies may be, not a little, increased by a Consciousness of their own Perfidy and Inhumanity towards the English. And it seems there is no Way to avoid the bad Influence and Effects of these Prejudices, at present, unless it be by the Mission of their own Sons. And it is reasonable to suppose their Jealousies are not less, since the late Conquest in this Land, by which they are put into our Power, than they were before.

2. An Indian Missionary may be supported with less than half the Expence, that will be necessary to support an Englishman, who can't conform to their Manner of Living, and who will have no Dependance upon them for any Part of it. And an Indian who speaks their Language, it may reasonably be supposed, will be at least four Times as serviceable among them, supposing he be otherwise equally qualified as one who can communicate to or receive nothing from them, but by an Interpreter: He may improve all Opportunities not only in Public, but, "when he fits in the House, walks by the Way, when he lies[17] down, and when he rises up:" And speak with as much Life and Spirit as the Nature and Importance of the Matter require, which is very much lost when communicated by an Interpreter.

3. Indian Missionaries may be supposed better to understand the Tempers and Customs of Indians, and more readily to conform to them in a thousand Things than the English can; and in Things wherein the Nonconformity of the English may cause Disgust, and be construed as the Fruit of Pride, and an Evidence and Expression of their Scorn and Disrespect.

4. The Influence of their own Sons among them will likely be much greater than of any Englishman whatsoever. They will look upon such an one as one of them, his Interest the same with theirs; and will naturally esteem him as an Honour to their Nation, and be more likely to submit patiently to his Instructions and Reproofs than to any English Missionary. This is quite evident in the Case of Mr. Occom, whose Influence among the Indians, even of his own Tribe, is much greater than any other Man's; and when he shall settle and live decently, and in Fashion, among them, will likely do more to invite them to imitate his Manner of Living, than any Englishman.

5. The Acquaintance and Friendship which Indian Boys from different and distant Tribes and Places, will contract and cultivate, while together[18] at School, may, and if they are zealously affected will, be improved much for the Advantage and Furtherance of the Design of their Mission; while they send to, hear from, or visit one another, confirming the Things which have been spoken. And this without so much Ceremony to introduce one another, as will be necessary in the Case of English Missionaries; and without the Cumber and Expence of Interpreters.

6. Indian Missionaries will not disdain to own English ones, who shall be Associates with them, (where the English can be introduced) as elder Brethren; nor scorn to be advised or reproved, counselled or conducted by them; especially so long as they shall be so much dependent upon the English for their Support; which will likely be till God has made them his People; and then, likely, they will not stand in such need of English Guides and Counsellors. And they will mutually help one another, to recommend the Design to the favourable Reception and good Liking of the Pagans, remove their Prejudices, conciliate their Friendship, and induce them to repose due Confidence in the English.

7. In this School, Children of different Nations may, and easily will learn one another's Language, and English Youth may learn of them; and so save the vast Expence and Trouble of Interpreters; and their Ministry be much more acceptable and edifying to the Indians. But,

[19]

8. There is no such thing as sending English Missionaries, or setting up and maintaining English Schools to any good Purpose, in most Places among them, as their Temper, State and Condition have been and still are. It is possible a School may be maintained to some good Purpose, at Onohoquagee, where there have been heretofore several faithful Missionaries, by the Blessing of God upon whose Labours the Indians are in some Measure civilized, some of them baptized, a Number of them in a Judgment of Charity, real Christians; and where they have a Sachem, who is a Man of Understanding, Virtue, Steadiness, and entirely friendly to the Design of propagating the Gospel among them, and zealous to promote it. And where the Hon. Scotch Commissioners, I hear, have sent two Missionaries, and have made some Attempt to set up a School. But at Jeningo, a little beyond, they will by no means admit an English Missionary to reside among them. And tho' they were many of them under great Awakenings and Concern, by God's Blessing on the Labours of a Christian Indian from these Parts; yet such was the violent Opposition of Numbers among them, that it was thought by no means safe for an Englishman to go among them, with Design to tarry with them. And like to this is the Case with the Parties of Indians, for near an hundred Miles together, on the West Side of Susquehanah River. Another School or two may possibly be set up[20] with Success among the Mohawks, where Mr. Ogilvie and other Episcopal Missionaries have bestowed much Labour, to good Purpose; and where they have got into the Way of cultivating their Lands for a Living, and so have more Ability to support their Children, and less Occasion to ramble abroad with them. But even in these Places we may find it more difficult than we imagine before the Trial be made (though I would by no means discourage the Trial of every feasible Method for the accomplishing this great Design) but by Acquaintance with the Schools which the Hon. London Commissioners have with pious Zeal, set up and maintained among the several Tribes in these Parts, I am much confirmed in such Sentiments. These Parties live amongst, and are encompassed by the English, have long had good Preaching, and Numbers of them appear to be truly godly. Yet such is the savage Temper of many, their want of due Esteem for Learning, and Gratitude to their Benefactors, and especially their want of Government, that their School-Masters, tho' skilful and faithful Men, constantly complain they can't keep the Children in any Measure constant at School. Mr. Clelland the School-Master at Mohegan has often told me what unwearied Pains he has taken by visiting, and discoursing with their Parents, &c. to remedy this Evil, and after all can't accomplish it. The Children are suffered to neglect their Attendance on Instruction, and waste much[21] Time, by which means they don't learn so much in several Years as they might, and others do in one, who are taken out of the reach of their Parents, and out of the way of Indian Examples, and are kept to School under good Government and constant Instruction. I the rather mention this Instance, because of the well-known Fidelity and Skill of that good Gentleman, and because that Tribe are as much civilized, and as many of them Christianized, as perhaps any Party of them in this Government. And by all I can learn, it is no better in this respect with any other. They are so disaffected towards a good and necessary Government, that as gentle an Exercise of it as may be, and answer the Design of keeping up Order and Regularity in any Measure among them, will likely so disgust them as to render the Case worse rather than better. Captain Martin Kellog complain'd of this as his great Discouragement in the School at Stockbridge, notwithstanding he understood as well as any Man the Disposition of Indians, and had the Advantage of knowing their Language and Customs, having been so long a Captive among them, and was high in their Affection and Esteem; yet he was obliged to take the Children home to Weathersfield with him, quite away from their Parents, before he could exercise that Government which was necessary in order to their profiting at School. But as to most Places, there is no such thing at present as introducing either English School-Masters[22] or Missionaries to continue with them; such are their Prejudices in general, and such the malevolent, and ungovernable Temper of some, that none but an Indian would dare venture his Life among them.

And besides all this, they are so extremely poor, and depend so much upon Hunting for a Livelihood, that they are in no Capacity to support their Children at School, if their Disposition for it were ever so good.

Mr. Occom informed me by a Letter from the Oneida Country last Summer, and the same Account I had also from the young Man which I sent there, that the Indians were almost starved, having nothing to live upon but what they got by Fishing, Fowling and Hunting, that he had no other Way to come at them, to preach to them, but by following them from Place to Place in their Hunting. And though the Condition of all may not be quite so indigent as of these, nor the Condition of these at all Times quite so bad as it was then, yet it is well known that they universally depend upon Roving and Hunting mainly for their Support; and whoever has heard the constant Complaint of Missionaries, and the Matter of their Discouragement, or has only read what the Reverend Messi'rs. Sergeant and D. Brainerd have wrote upon this Head, can't charge me with writing without sufficient Evidence, and good Authority, if I had no other but theirs.

[23]

And what are a few Instances, where Schools may possibly be maintained to some good Purpose, compared with those Tribes and Nations of them, where there are no Circumstances at present, but their Misery and Necessity, to invite us so much as to make the Trial.

By the Blessing of God on his late Majesty's Arms, there is now, no doubt, a Door opened for a hundred Missionaries; and (unless we can find such as can speak to them in their own Language) for as many Interpreters; and perhaps for ten Times that Number, provided we could find such as are suitable for the Business, and such as may be introduced in a Way agreeable to the Savages, and so as to avoid the bad Effects of their Prejudices against the English. But,

9. There are very few or no Interpreters, who are suitable and well-accomplished for the Business, to be had. Mr. Occom found great Difficulty last Year in his Mission on this Account. And not only the Cause, but his own Reputation suffered much by the Unfaithfulness of the Man he employed.

I suppose the Interpreters now employed by the Hon. Commissioners are the best that are to be had at present. But how many Nations are there for whom there is no Interpreter at all, except, it may be, some ignorant and perhaps vicious Person, who has been their Captive, and whom it is utterly unsafe to trust in Matters of such eternal Consequence.[24] And how shall this Difficulty be remedied? It seems it must be by one of these two Ways, viz. either their Children must come to us, or ours go to them. But who will venture their Children with them, unless with some of the civilized Parties, who have given the strongest Testimonies of their Friendship? If it be said, that all the Natives are now at Peace with us: It may be, their Chiefs, and the better-temper'd Part of them are so. But who does not know that their Leagues and Covenants with us are little worth, and like to be so till they become Christians? And that the tender Mercies of many of them are Cruelty? Who is so unacquainted with the History of them, as not to know, there is Reason to think, there are many among their lawless Herds, who would gladly embrace an Opportunity to commit a secret Murder on such English Youth?—Even Mr. Occom, though an Indian, did not think it safe for him, being of another Tribe and Language, and in such Connections with the English, to go among the numerous Tribe of the Seneca's, where he had no Avenger of his Blood for them to fear.

When, and as soon as the Method proposed by the Rev'd Mess. Sergeant and Brainerd, can be put into Execution, viz. to have Lands appropriated to the Use of Indian Schools, and prudent skilful Farmers, or Tradesmen, to lead and instruct the Boys, and Mistresses to instruct the Girls in such[25] Manufactures as are proper for them, at certain Hours, as a Diversion from their School Exercises, and the Children taken quite away from their Parents, and the pernicious Influence of Indian Examples, there may be some good Prospect of great Advantage by Schools among them.

And must it be esteemed a wild Imagination, if it be supposed that well-instructed, sober, religious Indians, may with special Advantage be employed as Masters and Mistresses in such Schools; and that the Design will be much recommended to the Indians thereby; and that there may be special Advantage by such, serving as occasional Interpreters for Visitors from different Nations from Time to Time; and they hereby receive the fullest Conviction of the Sincerity of our Intentions, and be confirmed and established in friendly Sentiments of us, and encouraged to send their Children, &c.?

I am fully perswaded from the Acquaintance I have had with them, it will be found, whenever the Trial shall be made, to be very difficult if not impossible, unless the Arm of the Lord should be revealed in an eminent Manner, to cure them of such savage and sordid Practices, as they have been inured to from their Mother's Womb, and form their Minds and Manners to proper Rules of Virtue, Decency and Humanity, while they are daily under the pernicious Influence of their Parents Example, and their many Vices made familiar thereby.

[26]

10. I have found by Experience, there may be a thorough and effectual Exercise of Government in such a School, and as severe as shall be necessary, without Opposition from, or Offence taken by, any. And who does not know, that Evils so obstinate as those we may reasonably expert to find common in the Children of Savages, will require that which is severe? Sure I am, they must find such as have better Natures, or something more effectually done to subdue their vicious Inclinations, than most I have been concerned with, if it be not so. And moreover, in such a School, there will be the best Opportunity to know who has such a Genius and Disposition, as most invite to bestow extraordinary Expence to fit them for special Usefulness.

11. We have the greatest Security we can have, that when they are educated and fitted for it, they will be employed in that Business. There is no likelihood at all that they will, though ever so well qualified, get into Business, either as School-Masters or Ministers, among the English; at least till the Credit of their Nations be raised many Degrees above what it now is, and consequently they can't be employed as will be honorable for them, or in any Business they will be fit for, but among their own Nation. And it may reasonably be supposed, their Compassion towards their "Brethren according to the Flesh" will most naturally incline them to, and determine[27] them upon such an Employment as they were fitted and designed for. And besides all this, abundant Experience has taught us, that such a change of Diet, and manner of Living as Missionaries must generally come into, will not consist with the Health of many Englishmen. And they will be obliged on that Account to leave the Service, though otherwise well disposed to it. Nor can this Difficulty be avoided at present (certainly not without great Expence.) But there is no great Danger or Difficulty in this Respect as to Indians, who will only return to what they were used to from their Mother's Womb.

And there may also be admitted into this School, promising English Youth of pregnant Parts, and who from the best Principles, and by the best Motives, are inclined to devote themselves to that Service; and who will naturally care for their State.

Divine Skill in Things spiritual, pure and fervent Zeal for the Salvation of Souls, shining Examples of Piety and Godliness, by which Pagans will form their first Notions of Religion, rather than from any Thing that shall be said to them, are most necessary Qualifications in a Missionary; and promise more real Good than is to be expected from many Times the Number who have never "known the Terrors of the Lord," and have no experimental, and therefore no right Understanding of the Nature of Conversion and the Way wherein it is wrought. Such were never under[28] the governing Influence of a real Sense of the Truth, Reality, Greatness and Importance of eternal Things, and therefore will not be likely to treat them suitable to the Nature and eternal Consequences of them, surely they will not naturally do it. And how sad are like to be the Consequences to those who are watching to see whether the Preacher himself does really believe the Things which he speaks.

In such a School their Studies may be directed with a special View to the Design of their Mission. Several Parts of Learning, which have no great Subserviency to it, and which will consume much Time, may be less pursued, and others most necessary made their chief Study. And they may not only learn the Pagan Languages, but will naturally get an Understanding of their Tempers, and many of their Customs, which must needs be useful to Missionaries. And instead of a delicate Manner of Living, they may by Degrees, as their Health will bear, enure themselves to such a Way of Living as will be most convenient for them to come into when on their Mission.

And if the one half of the Indian Boys thus educated shall prove good and useful Men, there will be no Reason to regret our Toil and Expence for the whole. And if God shall deny his Blessing on our Endeavours, as to the general Design, it may be these particular Youth may reap eternal Advantage by what[29] we do for them; and if but one in ten does so, we shall have no Cause to think much of the Expence. And if a Blessing be denied to all, "we shall notwithstanding be unto God a sweet Savour of Christ in them that perish."

After the Trial I made of this Nature some Years ago, by the Assistance of the Honourable London Commissioners, in the Education of Mr. Samson Occom, one of the Mohegan Tribe, who has several Years since been a useful School-Master and successful Preacher of the Gospel to the Indians at Montauk on Long-Island, where he took the Place of the Rev. Mr. Horton, Missionary; and was, under God, instrumental to cure them, in a good Measure, of the Wildness they had been led into by some Exhorters from New-England, and in a Judgment of Charity was the Instrument of saving Good to a Number of them. He was several Years ago ordained to the sacred Ministry by the Reverend Presbytery of Suffolk County on said Island; and has done well, so far as I have heard, as a Missionary to the Oneida Nation, for two Years past. May God mercifully preserve him, amidst loud Applauses, from falling into the Snare and Condemnation of the Devil!—I say, after seeing the Success of this Attempt, I was more encouraged to hope that such a Method might be very successful.

With these Views of the Case, and from such Motives as have been mentioned, above Eight Years ago I wrote to the Reverend[30] John Brainerd, Missionary in New-Jersey, desiring him to send me two likely Boys for this Purpose, of the Deleware Tribe: He accordingly sent me John Pumshire in the 14th, and Jacob Woolley in the 11th Years of their Age; they arrived here December 18th. 1754, and behaved as well as could be reasonably expected; Pumshire made uncommon Proficiency in Writing. They continued with me till they had made considerable Progress in the Latin and Greek Tongues; when Pumshire began to decline, and by the Advice of Physicians, I sent him back to his Friends, with Orders, if his Health would allow it, to return with two more of that Nation, whom Mr. Brainerd had at my Desire provided for me. Pumshire set out on his Journey, November 14th. 1756, and got Home, but soon died. And on April 9th. 1757, Joseph Woolley and Hezekiah Calvin came on the Horse which Pumshire rode.

The Decline and Death of this Youth was an instructive Scene to me, and convinced me more fully of the Necessity of special Care respecting their Diet; and that more Exercise was necessary for them, especially at their first coming to a full Table, and with so keen an Appetite, than was ordinarily necessary for English Youth. And with the Exercise of such Care, as one who understands the Case, and is willing to take the Trouble of it, may use, I am persuaded there is no more Danger of their Studies being fatal to them, than to[31] our own Children. There have been several long Fits of Sickness of one and another in this School, with a nervous Fever, Pleurisies, Dysenterys &c. but perhaps not more than have been among so large a Number of common labouring People in so long a Time.

Sometime after those Boys came, the Affair appearing with an agreeable Aspect, it being then a Time of profound Peace in this Country, I represented the Affair to Colonel Elisha Williams, Esq; late Rector of Yale-College, and to the Rev'd Messi'rs Samuel Moseley of Windham, and Benjamin Pomeroy of Hebron, and invited them to join me; they readily accepted the Invitation; and a Gentleman learned in the Law supposed there might be such an Incorporation among ourselves as might fully answer our Purpose. And Mr. Joshua Moor, late of Mansfield, deceased, appeared to give a small Tenement in this Place, for the Foundation, Use and Support of a Charity-School, for the Education of Indian Youth, &c. But it pleased God to take the good Colonel from an unthankful World soon after the Covenant was made and executed, and thus deprived us of the Benefit of his singular Learning, Piety and Zeal in the Affair. Notwithstanding, a Subscription was soon made of near .500 lawful Money, towards a Fund for the Support of it at 6 per Cent. But several Gentlemen of the Law, doubting of the Validity and Sufficiency of such an Incorporation; several Steps were taken to obtain[32] the Royal Favour of a Charter, but none effectual. The War soon commenced, and the Reports from Day to Day of the Ravages made, and Inhumanities and Butcheries committed by the Savages on all Quarters, raised in the Breasts of great Numbers, a Temper so warm, and so contrary to Charity, that I seldom thought it prudent so much as to mention the Affair. Many advised me to drop it, but it appeared to others so probable to be the very Method which God would own, that I thought better to scrabble along with it, as well as I could, till divine Providence should change the Scene.

The Prospects, notwithstanding our outward Troubles, seemed to be increasing: Such was the orderly and good Behaviour of the Boys, through the Blessing of God on Instruction and Discipline, that Enemies could find but little or nothing that was true wherewith they might reproach the Design; and those whose Sentiments were friendly, observed with Pleasure the good Effects of our Endeavours: And the Liberalities, especially of Gentlemen of Character, encouraged me more and more to believe it to be of God, and that he designed to succeed and prosper it, to the Glory of his own great Name; and that I ought in Compliance with such Intimations of Providence from Time to Time, proportionably to increase the Number.

I have had two upon my Hands since December 18th. 1754, and Four since April,[33] 1757, and Five since April 1759, and Seven since November, 1760, and Eleven since August 1st. 1761, and after this Manner they have encreased as I could obtain those who appeared promising. And for some Time I have had Twenty-five devoted to School as constantly as their Health will allow, and they have all along been so, excepting that in an extraordinary Croud of Business, I have sometimes required their Assistance. But there is no great Advantage, excepting to themselves, to be expected from their Labour, nor enough to compensate the Trouble of instructing them in it, and the Repair of the Mischiefs they will do, while they are ignorant of all the Affairs of Husbandry, and the Use of Tools. The principal Advantage I have ever had in this Respect has been by David Fowler and Joseph Woolley, and more by David than all the rest: These Lads will likely make good Farmers, if they should ever have the Advantage of Experience in it.

Three of this Number are English Youth, one of which is gone for a Time to New-Jersey College, for the sake of better Advantage for some Parts of Learning: He has made some Proficiency in the Mohawk Tongue: The other two are fitting for the Business of Missionaries. One of the Indian Lads is Jacob Woolley, who is now in his last Year at New-Jersey College, and is a good Scholar; he is here by the Leave and Order of the President, designing to get some Acquaintance with the[34] Mohawk Tongue. Two others are sent here by the Rev. Mr. Brainera, and are designed for Trades; the one for a Blacksmith (a Trade much wanted among the Indians) and is to go to his Apprenticeship as soon as a good Place is ready for him; the other is designed for a Carpenter and Joiner, and is to go to an Apprenticeship as soon as he has learned to read and write. Another of the Indians is Son to the Sachem at Mohegan, and is Heir-aparent; he is somewhat infirm as to his bodily Health: For his Support last Year I have charged nothing more than 10l. lawful Money, granted by the Hon. London Commissioners. Several of my Scholars are considerably well accomplished for School Masters, and 7 or 8 will likely be well fitted for Interpreters in a few Years more. And four of this Number are Girls, whom I have hired Women in this Neighbourhood to instruct in all the Arts of good Housewifery, they attending the School one Day in a Week to be instructed in writing, &c. till they shall be fit for an Apprenticeship, to be taught to make Men's and Women's Apparel, &c. in order to accompany these Boys, when they shall have Occasion for such Assistance in the Business of their Mission.[1] And six of them[35] are Mohawks, obtained pursuant and according to the Direction of the Honorable General Assembly of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay, and are learning to speak, write, and read English: And the most of them make good Proficiency therein.

I have, by the good Providence of God, been favoured with religious, faithful and learned Masters, in general, from the first setting up of this School, at the Expence of about .56 lawful Money per Annum, i. e. .3 per Month, with their Board, and all Accommodations, and a Horse kept or provided when needed; which I suppose can't be esteemed less than the Sum which I mention: And if this seems to any to be large, I have only this to say, that I could not have the Choice of Masters at less Expence. But[36] the Expence for Tuition will likely be saved for some Time, by the Generosity of a young Gentleman, who proposes to keep it gratis a few Months.

The Method of conducting this School has been, and is designed to be after this Manner, viz. they are obliged to be clean, and decently dressed, and be ready to attend Prayers, before Sun-rise in the Fall and Winter, and at 6 o'Clock in the Summer. A Portion of Scripture is read by several of the Seniors of them: And those who are able answer a Question in the Assembly's Catechism, and have some Questions asked them upon it, and an Answer expounded to them. After Prayers, and a short Time for their Diversion, the School begins with Prayer about 9, and ends at 12, and again at 2, and ends at 5 o'Clock with Prayer. Evening Prayer is attended before the Day-light is gone. Afterwards they apply to their Studies, &c. They attend the publick Worship, and have a Pew devoted to their Use, in the House of God. On Lord's-Day Morning, between and after the Meetings, the Master, or some one whom they will submit to, is with them, inspects their Behaviour, hears them read, catechises them, discourses to them, &c. And once or twice a Week they hear a Discourse calculated to their Capacities upon the most important and interesting Subjects. And in general they are orderly and governable: They appear to be as perfectly easy and contented[37] with their Situation and Employment as any at a Father's House, I scarcely hear a Word of their going Home, so much as for a Visit, for Years together, except it be when they first come.

And the Success of Endeavours hitherto, the general Approbation of great and good Men, and the Testimonies many have given of it, by their seasonable Liberality towards its Support, have seemed to me such evident Tokens of a Divine Hand in Favour of it, and so plain Intimations of the Divine Will concerning it, that I have, as I said before, thought it Duty, notwithstanding all Discouragements, to pursue the Design, and endeavour to keep Pace with the Providences of God in Favour of it as to their Number, and trust in Him, "whose the Earth is, and the Fulness thereof," for further Supplies. And I have hoped this would be esteemed sufficient to clear me of the Imputation of Presumption and Rashness in risquing my own private Interest, as I have done.

The Honourable London Commissioners hearing of the Design, enquired into it, and encouraged it by an Allowance of 12l. lawful Money, by their Vote November 12. 1756. And again in the Year 1758 they allowed me 20l.—and in November 4th, 1760, granted me an annual Allowance of 20l. for my Assistance—and in October 8th, 1761, they granted me 12l. towards the Support of Isaiah Uncas, Son of the Sachem of Mohegan, and[38] 10l. more for his Support the following Year. In October 1756, I received a Legacy of fifty-nine Dollars of Mrs. Ann Bingham of Windham. In July 1761, I received a generous Donation of Fifty Pounds Sterling from the Right Hon. William, Marquis of Lothian. And in Nov. 1761, a Donation of 25l. Sterl. from Mr. Hardy of London—and in May 1762, a second Donation of 50l. Sterl. from that most Honorable and noble Lord, the Marquis of Lothian; and at the same Time 20l. Sterl. from Mr. Samuel Savage, Merchant in London: And a Collection of Ten Guineas from the Rev. Dr. A. Giffords in London: And 10l. Sterl. more from a Lady in London, unknown, which is still in the Hands of a Friend, and to be remitted with some additional Advantage, and to be accounted for when received. And also for 7 Years past I have, one Year with another, received about 11l. lawful Money Annually, Interest of Subscriptions. And in my Journey to Portsmouth last June, I received in private Donations 66l. 17s. 7d. 1-4th. lawful Money. I also received for the Use of this School, a Bell of about 80 lb. weight, from a Gentleman in London. In November 1761, the Great and General Court or Assembly of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, voted, That I should be allowed to take under my Care six Children of the Six Nations, for Education, Clothing and Boarding, and be allowed for that Purpose, for each of said Children, 12l. per Annum for one Year, which Boys I have obtained, and they have been for some Time in this School.

[39]

The Honourable Scotch Commissioners in and near Boston, understanding and approving of the Design of sending for Indian Children of remote Tribes, to be educated here, were the first Body, or Society, who have led the Way in making an Attempt for that Purpose. Which because of the Newness and remarkable Success of it, and because it may encourage such a Design in time to come, I suppose it may not be disagreeable, if I am a little particular in my Account of it: While I was in Boston they passed a Vote to this purpose, May 7, 1761, "That the Reverend Mr. Wheelock of Lebanon be desired, to fit out David Fowler, an Indian Youth, to accompany Mr. Sampson Occom, going on a Mission to the Oneidas, that said David be supported on said Mission for a Term not exceeding 4 Months; and that he endeavour on his Return to bring with him a Number of Indian Boys, not exceeding three, to be put under Mr. Wheelock's Care and Instruction, and that 20l. be put into Mr. Wheelock's Hands to carry this Design into Execution; and that when said Sum shall be expended, he advise the Treasurer of it, and send his Accounts for Allowance."

Pursuant to this Vote I cloathed and furnished said David with Horse and Money, for his long Tour into the Wilderness, which he set out on June 10th, in Company with Mr. Occom, by the Way of New-York; in which Journey he rode above a thousand Miles, and by the Advice, Direction and Assistance of[40] Sir William Johnson, obtained three Boys of the Mohawk Nation, who were willing to leave their Friends and Country and come among Strangers of another Language, and quite another Manner of Living, and where, perhaps, no one of their Nation then living had ever been; and among a People of whom their Nation have been of a long Time inclined to entertain Jealousies. Their Names were Joseph, Negyes, and Center. They arrived here August 1st, 1761, but had so much Caution in the extraordinary Enterprize, that they brought each of them an Horse from their own Country. Two of them were but little better than naked, and could not speak a Word of English. The other being of a Family of Distinction among them, was considerably cloathed, Indian-fashion, and could speak a few Words of English. They let me know, as soon as I could understand them, that Sir Wm. Johnson had told them they should return and visit their Friends in the Fall of the Year. I took speedy Care to cleanse and cloath them. They many Ways discovered some Jealousies respecting the Design of their coming; but by Acquaintance and Freedom with other Indians in the School, and by constant Care for them and Kindness to them, those Jealousies seemed in a little Time to wear away, and they appeared to feel and enjoy themselves as though they had been at home in a Father's House. Daily Care was exercised for them, and particular[41] Caution that they might in no Instance appear to be, thro' Disrespect, distinguished from any in the School. Such Distinction, or any thing which they apprehend to be so, I find will at once occasion Jealousies and Disaffection. And this seems to be agreeable to a settled Principle among themselves, (according to which they are wont to treat their Captives) viz. that those who take the Patronage of Children, not their own, shall treat them in all respects as their own.

Center's Countenance, as I thought when he came, discovered that he was not in Health. My Suspicions increased, and the Issue proved they were not groundless. He continued with me till the Fall, when the Physician I employed advised me, that his Disorders threatned his Life, and prevailed to such a Degree that he looked upon him to be incurable, and that he judged it best to send him back to his Friends, and that soon, or it would be too late to send him at all; and according to this Advice I sent him away with Negyes, having furnished them with Money for their Journey into the Mohawk Country, on the 23d Day of October. Joseph tarried longer to accompany young Kirtland, who was learning the Mohawk Language of him, and whom I sent into that Country to obtain six Boys of those Nations, to partake of the Benefit of Sir Peter Warren's Legacy, according to the Instructions of the General Assembly of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, before mentioned.

[42]

Center reached home, but died soon after. Negyes, I hear, was captivated by a young Female and married. Mr. Kirtland and Joseph set out for the Mohawk Country November 4th, and returned November 27th, and brought two Mohawk Lads with them, viz. Moses and Johannes, by whom Sir Wm. Johnson informed me that he expected to be able to send the Rest when they came in from hunting. I informed the Hon. Commissioners of the State of the Case, and by a Letter from the Reverend Dr. Chauncy, Chairman of their Committee, in the Name of the rest, was desired to let them have in their Pay and under their Direction these two who came last with Joseph, which I consented to, provided they would remit the necessary Charges which I had been at in procuring and cloathing them, and give me as I afterwards charged them for their Support and Tuition, upon which Conditions they took them. I immediately sent to Sir Wm. Johnson for other six to partake of Sir Peter Warren's Legacy. These three, viz. Joseph, Moses and Johannes, continued with me in the Pay of the Commissioners till May 27, 1762, when I offered said Committee my Accompt, the whole Amount of which, that is, for cloathing and furnishing David with Horse and Money for his Support in his long Journey of several Months, the Expence of the Boy's Journey home above 200 Miles. The Expence of Kirtland's Journey (excepting his Horse) into that Country to bring down Moses and Johannes. The[43] pasturing the Horses of the first three the time they continued here, in a dry and difficult Season; the cloathing all five, and repairing their Cloathing the whole Time they tarried; the Boarding and Schooling them, finding Washing, Lodging, Firewood, Candles, Books, Paper, &c. I say, the Amount of the Expence for the Five and in the whole Affair for near twelve Months, Errors excepted, was but just 58l. 17s. 7d. 1-4th. Sterling. But in this Accompt I charged nothing for several expensive Journeys in this Government, taken by myself, and another preparatory and necessary to the Design of David's Mission, nor for any Labour, Care or Pains of my own therein from first to last—For their Board, Washing and Lodging but 5s. per Week; the lowest common Price in these Parts was 6s. L. M. What Cloathing, &c. they had of me, I charged at the lowest Cash-price, and what I got for them of our Traders, Shoemakers, Taylors, &c. I charged just as they charged me, without any Advance in one Instance. I charged nothing for extraordinary Trouble and Care for Center, in his declining State; nor did the Physician charge for what he did for him. And there were other Provisions made to prevent Expence of Money in their Journeyings more than is common, for which there was nothing charged, by all which the Accompt was somewhat less than it would otherwise have been——But then on the other Hand it may be considered,

[44]

1. That Provisions of all Sorts were then, and still are, at an higher Price than ever before in these Parts, occasioned by the preceeding Wars and extreme Drought. When they are reduced to their usual Price, the Expence of educating Indian Youth will be much less.

2. The Circumstances of this Undertaking were extraordinary, and the necessary Expences of it were consequently so, and such as there may never be such Occasion for again. This was the opening a Door which never had been opened for such a Purpose to these Nations; and it was thought by many who knew their great Fondness for their Children, that it could not be soon accomplished, i. e. to make either Parents or Children willing to comply with an Invitation to come such a vast Length, and under such Circumstances as have been mentioned. But the Report of David confirmed by the Boys on their Return, has given such Conviction of the Sincerity and Kindness of our Intentions towards them, as has removed all Objections. And nothing more is now necessary to our obtaining as many well-chosen Boys and Girls as we please, but to employ some faithful Missionary among them for that Purpose.

I have been the more particular in this Account, because I would remove the unreasonable Prejudices raised against this Method, by partial and unfair Accounts, and a Cry of enormous Expences, &c. And to let the World know there is nothing in it worthy[45] to be objected by one who is in earnest to accomplish this great and important Design.

What I have done for this School since its Beginning, in many expensive Journies; (for none of which have I ever charged any Thing at all); in constant Care for their Health, in Endeavours to cure their savage Disposition, and form their Minds and Manners to right Rules of Virtue and Religion, in extraordinary Care and Trouble for several of them in Sickness, in Expences by Company, not only of English but Indians at my House, occasioned thereby; and incidental Charges in many Instances, none are able justly to estimate, or likely so much as to think of many of them, but one who is intimately acquainted with the Business: In Consideration for which I have had the Assistance of several of them a few Times in an extraordinary Croud of Business; and of late some Advantage by the School to two of my own Children. Which Reward I suppose impartial Judges will not think to bear a very considerable Proportion to these Expences which are not charged, and which in my Judgment is not the one Tenth Part of them.

Mr. Moor's Grant contains about two Acres of Pasturing, a small House and Shop; for the Use of which from the first I have received about . 4 lawful Money, clear of the Charge of Repairing, which is not equal to the Money I have paid to Physicians which is not charged.

[46]

I have professed to have no View to making an Estate by this Affair: What the Singleness and Uprightness of my Heart has been before GOD, he knows; and also how greatly I stand in need of his Pardon.

My Accompt with the School has been charged after the following Manner, viz. For the whole Expence of Cloathing, Boarding and Tutoring the Boys from December 18th. 1754, to November 26th. 1760. at the Rate of . 16 lawful Money per Annum, for each; but when their Number was so increased I found it necessary to come nearer to the true Value of it, and have since used greater Exactness; but have never charged higher than at the lowest Money Price for what they have had of me, and for what I have bought for them of our Traders, Shoemakers, Taylors, &c. I have charged just what I have given, and no more. I have charged for their Tuition, as for English Scholars, i. e. for Latin Scholars, and such as were savage and needed much Care and Instruction, at 2s. L.M. per Week, or . 4 10s. per Annum; and for others proportionally. The whole School, one Year with another, has not quite cleared my Expence for the Master. Last Year it did a little more; and since the 27th of May last, it has over-done my Expence for the Master 15s. 8d. besides the Tuition of the Girls. I have charged for the Girls but 4d. per Week, i. e. for one Day's Schooling and Dinner; and the whole[47] Expence for their Education will be but little more than their Cloathing.

The total Amount of all my Disbursements in this whole Affair, for near Eight Years, that is, since December 18. 1754, to November 27. 1762, charged in the Manner, and after the Rate before-mentioned, is, (Errors excepted) . 566 2s. 5d. Sterling.—And the total Amount of all the Donations before-mentioned, together with smaller ones, which I suppose needless to mention particularly, received within the said Term, is, (Errors excepted) . 509 2s. 5d. Sterling.

And as this School was set up when there was no Scheme devised, or Plan laid, which this could be in Opposition to; so it is not continued in Opposition to any other Measures which are proposed or pursued by others.

And, blessed be GOD that he has put it into the Hearts of a Number of Gentlemen of Ability in and near Boston, to contribute so liberally towards the Furtherance of the general Design. And is it not a Pity that Christians of all Denominations should not unite their utmost Endeavours for the Accomplishment of it; and especially now while the Door is so widely opened for it? And what a Pity is it that any Time should be lost? And how exceeding mean, and infinitely beneath those noble Sentiments, and that generous Love to the Souls of Men, and to our King and Country, which true Religion inspires, will it be to fall into Parties; and on Account of differing Opinions reflecting the[48] most probable Methods for accomplishing the End, to obstruct and hinder one another therein? There is enough for all to do; and the Affair is of so great Importance, that it calls for the Trial of every Method that has the least Probability of Success; and different Methods may greatly subserve and assist one another.

We can none of us boast such Perfection of Understanding and Skill in the Affair as to set up safely for Infallibility. Many Attempts have been made by wise and good Men; and the Issue has taught them their Want of that Knowledge which is got by Experience; and that their pious Labour and Expence had been in a great Measure lost for want of it.

And I would take this Opportunity to express my Gratitude for those generous Benefactions whereby this Infant Institution has been hitherto supported; and I hope through the Blessing of GOD upon our our Endeavours, those pious Benefactors will have Occasion for the most easy and comfortable Reflections, as having made an Offering acceptable to GOD, and bestowed it well for the Advancement of the Kingdom, and Glory of the great Redeemer: And that the Blessing of many of our American Heathens, who shall in the present and succeeding Generations, reap the Benefit thereof, may come upon them: And that others understanding that this School stills lives, under GOD, upon the Charity of good Men, will be moved to open their Hands to minister further, and necessary Supplies for it.

[49]

Hebron, December 31. 1762.

To the Printers.

We having been informed that the Rev'd Eleazar Wheelock of Lebanon has lately prepared and sent to your Press, A Narrative of the Indian Charity School under his Care; and being willing to contribute to the Furtherance of that truly noble and charitable Undertaking, which, though new and untried before he entered upon it, appears to us to have the greatest Probability of Success, and to afford the most encouraging Prospect of spreading the Gospel far and wide among our American Pagans, of any Method that has yet been attempted: And we can't but hope that a recommendatory Letter, which was some Time since sent to a private Friend, signed by a Number of neighbouring Ministers, may serve to satisfy the World, That the charitable Design which that Gentleman is pursuing, is, in the Judgment of his Neighbours, who are well acquainted with him, and with the Affair of his School, neither selfish, nor enthusiastic; nor the Plan proposed so expensive, as may be any reasonable Objection against making a thorough Trial thereof: And we having consulted several of the Subscribers who join with us (as we believe all wou'd do if they had Opportunity for it) in desiring[50] that said Letter might be published at the End of said Narrative; that so far as the Credit and Reputation of the Clergy in this Neighbourhood will influence thereto, all Prejudices may be removed from the Minds of Christians of every Denomination, and all be excited to unite their Endeavours according to their Ability to encourage and promote so noble and important an Undertaking: Wherefore please to give said Letter (a Copy whereof you will receive with this) a Place at the Close of said Narrative, and you will oblige

Your's to serve,

Benjamin Pomroy,

Elijah Lothrop,

Nathaniel Whitaker.

 

[51]

COPY of the LETTER.

Chelsea, in Norwich, July 10. 1762.

SIR,

We Ministers of the Gospel, and Pastors of Churches hereafter mentioned with our Names, having for a Number of Years past heard of, or seen with Pleasure, the Zeal, Courage and firm Resolution of the Reverend Eleazar Wheelock of Lebanon, to prosecute to Effect a Design of spreading the Gospel among the Natives in the Wilds of our America, and especially his Perseverance in it, amidst the many peculiar Discouragements he had to encounter during the late Years of the War here, and upon a Plan which appears to us to have the greatest Probability of Success, viz. by the Mission of their own Sons. And as we are verily perswaded, that the Smiles of divine Providence upon his School, and the Success of his Endeavours hitherto, justly may and ought to encourage him and all, to believe it to be of GOD, and that which he will own and succeed for the Glory of his own great Name in the Enlargement of the Kingdom of our divine Redeemer, as well as for the great Benefit of the Crown of Great-Britain, and especially of his Majesty's Dominions[52] in America; so we apprehend, that the present Openings in Providence ought to invite Christians of every Denomination to unite their Endeavours, and lend a helping Hand in carrying on the charitable Design; and we are heartily sorry if Party Spirit and Party Differences shall at all obstruct the Progress of it, or the old Leaven in this Land ferment upon this Occasion, and give a watchful Adversary Opportunity so to turn the Course of Endeavours into another Channel, as to defeat the Design of spreading the Gospel among the Heathen.

To prevent which, and encourage Unanimity and Zeal in prosecuting the Design, we look upon it our Duty as Christians, and especially as Ministers of the Gospel, to give our Testimony, That, as we verily believe, a disinterested Regard to the Advancement of the Redeemer's Kingdom, and the Good of his Majesty's Dominions in America were the governing Motives which at first induced the Reverend Mr. Wheelock to enter upon the great Affair, and to risque his own private Interest as he has done since in carrying it on; so we esteem his Plan to be good, his Measures prudently and well-concerted, his Endowments peculiar, his Zeal fervent, his Endeavours indefatigable for the accomplishing this Design; and we know no Man like-minded who will naturally care for their State. May God prolong his Life, and make him extensively useful in the Kingdom of Christ!

[53]

We have also some of us at his Desire examined his Accounts, and find that besides giving in all his own Labour and Trouble in the Affair, he has charged for the Support, Schooling, &c. of the Youth, at the lowest Rate it could be done for, as the Price has been and still is among us; and we apprehend the generous Donations already made, has been, and we are confident will be laid out in the most prudent Manner, and with the best Advice for the Furtherance of the important Design. And we pray God abundantly to reward the Liberality of any upon this Occasion; and we hope the Generosity, especially of Persons of Distinction and Note, will be a happy Lead and Inducement to still greater Liberalities, and that in Consequence thereof the wide extended Wilderness of America, will blossom as the Rose, Habitations of Cruelty become Dwelling-Places of Righteousness, and the Blessing of Thousands ready to perish come upon all those whose Love to Christ, and Charity to them, has been shown upon this Occasion, which is the hearty Prayer of,

Sir,

Your sincere Friends

and humble Servants,

Ebenezer Rosseter,
Pastor of the 1st Church in Stonington.
Joseph Fish,[54]
Pastor of the 2nd Church in Stonington.
Nathaniel Whitaker,
Pastor of the Church at Chelsea, in Norwich.
Benjamin Pomroy,
Pastor of the 1st Church in Hebron.
Elijah Lothrop,
Pastor of the Church of Gilead, in Hebron.
Nathaniel Eells,
Pastor of a Church in Stonington.
Mather Byles,
Pastor of the 1st Church in New-London.
Jonathan Barber,
Pastor of a Church in Groton.
Matt Graves,
Missionary at New-London.
Peter Powers,
Pastor of the Church at Newent, in Norwich.
Daniel Kirtland,
former Pastor of the Ch. at Newent, in Norwich.
Asher Rosseter,
Pastor of the 1st Church in Preston.
Jabez Wight,
Pastor of the 4th Church in Norwich.
David Jewett,
Pastor of the 2nd Church in New-London.
Benjamin Throop,
Pastor of a Church in Norwich.
Samuel Mosely,
Pastor of a Church in Windham.
Stephen White,
Pastor of a Church in Windham.
Richard Salter,[55]
Pastor of a Church in Mansfield.
Timothy Allen,
Pastor of the Church in Ashford.
Ephraim Little,
Pastor of the 1st Church in Colchester.
Hobart Estabrook,
Pastor of a Church in East-Haddam.
Joseph Fowler,
Pastor of a Church in East-Haddam.
Benjamin Boardman,
Pastor of the 4th Ch. of Christ in Middletown.
John Norton,
Pastor of the 6th Ch. of Christ in Middletown.
Benjamin Dunning,
Pastor of a Ch. of Christ in Marlborough.

N. B. The Names of the Subscribers stand in the same Order in which they subscribed, and not according to Seniority; and it is hoped any Inaccuracies observable in the Draught will be excused, at least not charged upon more than one of the Number, inasmuch as they signed separately, not having the Advantage of a Convention for that Purpose.

The END.

[56]

FOOTNOTE

[1] This Part of my Plan seems to be abundantly justified by that which the Rev Dr Colman of Boston, and the Rev Mr. Sergeant of Stockbridge, have wrote upon this Head. See Mr. Sergeant's Letter to the Doctor, printed at Boston 1743. Page 15. The Doctor writes thus:—"Another thing suggested by Mr. Sergeant, and a most wise and necessary one in the present Case is—his taking in Girls as well as Boys, if Providence succeed the Design, and a Fund sufficient to carry it on can be procured:——I must needs add on this Head, that this Proposal is a Matter of absolute Necessity, wherein we are not left at Liberty, either as Men or Christians; for there cannot be a Propagation of Religion among any People, without an equal Regard to both Sexes; not only because Females are alike precious Souls, form'd for God and Religion as much as the Males; but also because the Care for the Souls of Children in Families, and more especially in those of low Degree, lies chiefly upon the Mothers for the first 7 or 8 Years: Which is an Observation or Remark which I had the Honour to make unto my dear and honoured ancient Friend, Henry Newman, Esq; Secretary to the Hon. and Rev. Society for promoting Christian Knowledge; which when he had communicated to them they put into Print, and sent it to the Directors of the 1764 Schools; (if I have not miscounted) that so a greater Proportion of Girls might be taken into them to receive a religious Education for the sake of their Posterity, and therein for the more effectual answering the very End of their Charity Schools."——

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

—Obvious print and punctuation errors were corrected.

—Archaic spelling has been retained as printed.

—The transcriber of this project created the book cover image using the title page of the original book. The image is placed in the public domain.






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