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I have taken some pains to convince my countrymen, that the institution under your direction will be of eminent service to the public, as well as beneficial to all that have estate in the new counties of Cumberland, Charlotte and Gloucester. And shall ever be ready in my small sphere to give success to any measures concerted for its lasting and most extensive utility. But I must, at the same time, declare, that until the nation shall undertake the work of civilizing the Indians, very little will be done, in my opinion, towards christianizing them. Unless more care is taken to establish a standing ministry on the edges of the interior frontier, among our own people, who, as they want the ordinary dispensation of the word, sink into barbarism, and become not only the corrupters, but the stumbling block of the savages. The interval between the Indians and the ordinances of the gospel has always been too great. And the most effectual way of bringing them nearer together would be by enabling the proprietors of large tracts upon the frontiers, to give and secure parsonages, and glebes to the new settlements of every protestant denomination. And there wants an instruction to the governors, enabling, and commanding them to give charters for the holding of lands to pious uses. Every other way of carrying the gospel standard into the wilderness will be too expensive a tax upon private charity. And if your ideas concur with mine upon this subject, I wish you would dilate the hint, and recommend it to Lord Dartmouth, who will, doubtless, rejoice in an opportunity of exerting himself. in favor of a step, which, by humoring the avarice of landholders, will be advancive, not only of the interests of christianity ; but the temporal weal of those plantations. When ministers are supported near the Indians, all along the continent, they may make excursions among them with care, and greatly relieve the burden that now. lies upon our charity, and which is really too great for our abilities. I am, Sir, with great respect, Your most obedient servant,
To the Honorable Trust, in England.
Dartmouth College, Nov. to, 1773. My very Dear and much honored Patrons,
The continuat crowd of my affairs has necessitated me to neglect writing you much longer than otherwise I would. I have upwards of an hundred in family, and yet unable to provide such a steward, or overseer of my affairs, as on trial appears to be so skilful, careful, faithful and disinterested in his views, as I find one must be, in order to inspire such entire confidence, às is necesssary to disburden me of the care of them. I am sometimes almost overwhelmed with the multiplicity, variety and weight of them; bat God has been my helper hitherto. My friends are often repeating to nie the prudent counsel of Jethro, to Moses; and glad should I be to take it, if I could; But the affair is very delicate, and my situation, so far in the wilderness, adds much to the difficulty of it.
I have sent to the press in Connecticut, a continuation of my narrative for the last year; to which I added an abstract of the imsuccessful mission of Messrs. M- and F, and desired a friend to serve you with a copy of it as soon as it is out; and I hope it will not be long after this.
I am sorry that the account of my expense for stores, in my warrative, and also in that which was transmitted to you, stands just as it does, without explanation; as it appears to be swelled to a great disproportion with other parts of the account; and perhaps may occasion some to wonder at it. The reason of which is this; when I procured stores for the school, I bought, as was necessary, by the quantity; and it was convenient, and advantageous to the school, often to pay laborers out of those stores ; which was not mentioned in the account; but only the cash that was paid out. If you shall think fit to publish it, please to add such a note upon it, if you sha!I think it to be necessary It so happens, that the store house, brew and bake house,
and also the mills which I have built, stand upon my own land. The mills, I supposed to have been on the school's land, till a surveyor lately run the lines, and finds them to be
mine. All which I would secure to the college and school, in a manner which shall be safest to the institution, and most effectually secure it from perversion in future times. And though there never has, as yet, a word passed upon it, at our board, I am well assured, that the trustees here would pay the highest respect to, and be fully satisfied with any method you shall direct to, as proper for the conveyance of it. And as these buildings were at the expence, and are the property of the school, and not at the disposal of the trustees of the College ; and as there is yet no provision made nor like to be made, that I know of, for the support of the College, or any professors or officers in it, other than that which independent students make, by paying for their education here; and as the first object of both is the same, and as the resource from whence both expect support, is also the same, viz. the charity of pious people abroad; and the instruments, by which this is hoped to be effected, the same; I should be glad it might be as closely connected with you, and as much under your control, as may be reasonable ; so long as you shall perpetuate your board, by a succession of gentlemen endowed with the same spirit with yourselves. And, I make no doubt, the trustees here will heartily concur with it.
If you shall think, my dear and honored patrons, that I mistake not, in my apprehensions of the importance of these things, you will esteem them worthy your attention, and will, likely, esteem the present the most favorable opportunity to effect what is proposed ; while there is the most entire agreement and harmony between the trustees here, and your Hor board. And I trust will also judge it to be not safe or prudent to neglect it. End if, in your wisdom, you shall see fit (in addition to the numberless expressions of your parental, care for this seminary, which God has, and does still graciously own) to advise me of the manner how to secure these lands and buildings to the School, and whether to do it by my will, or by some other instrument of conveyance, and will please to send me your plan of the same, and also your plan of a charter for a parish here, and will please to send it, or whatever you shall think fit, before the session of our general assembly next spring, I shall esteem it a great favor. I long to see it well effected. I am admonished, that the shadows of the evening are stretching over me, and I feel like one who has a great part of his day's work to do, and am desirous, if God pleases, to see it done before I go to rest.
I herewith enclose a copy of the doings of the trustees, at their meeting here last August. A copy of their doings last May at Portsmouth, I sent you some months ago.
I also enclose a letter I lately received from my worthy friend, the Hon. William Smith, Esq. of New-York, whose public character has doubtless reached your side the water, and may command respect to his thoughts on the affair of christianizing the Indians ; which, I cannot but esteem, to be very just and weighty. I send it without his knowledge or licence; in confidence, that only good will accrue thereby. I wish my Lord Dartmouth may be honored of God to be instrumental to effect so necessary a step as is there proposed.
I also herewith enclose a Hebrew Grammar, compiled by one of my pupils,* at his leisure bours. The young man, as you may see by the votes of our board, was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts last commencenient. This performance has been critically examined by Mr. Sewell, professor of the Oriental Languages at Cambridge, and is now submitted to your censures.
And if you shall think it worthy to be printed for the benefit of this School, please to encourage and forward it.
I have sent for an architect for a plan of the College which
is proposed to be erected, and, as soon as I shall have it in my power, I shall forward it to you.
I have received nothing from you, since your very endearing favor of February 14th, por from any of the Honorable Trust, since those which came with that; and, I fear, the reason is, that they bave fallen into careless or unfriendly bands.
I want much to bear whether my petitions, last winter, to bis Majesty, reached Lord Dartmouth's hands, and whether there is any prospect of success in my suit for the grant of lands for this College, and for the encouragement of missionaries.
Through the pure mercy of God, my students continue steady in their business, and sober minded, notwithstanding the continual crowd and bustle of my affairs, which are unavoidable. And we are yet favored with evident tokens of God's gracious presence : and, I think, my affairs in general, wear a very encouraging aspect. And I desire to wait upon God, who performeth all things for me.
I ask your pardon, if I have tired your patience with the tedious length of this letter. I need not repeat the desire of your prayers for me. I trust I daily feel the benefit of them. I shall only add, that I am with great affection and esteem,
Right Honorable, Honorable, and very dear Sirs,
To the Rev. Mr. Occum.
Dartmouth College, February 6, 1774. My Dear Mr. Oceum,
I lately received a refreshing letter from you, which contained some articles of intelligence which were truly reviving and animating to me, after a long scene of sorrows, trials, disappointments, labors and fatigues in my Indian affairs.
The prospect you give me of a foundation being laid, for much good to the savages of the wilderness, is the very ope I have been long waiting and hoping for.