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Rev. Eleazer Wheelock to Governour Trumbull



Dartmouth College, March 16, 1775.

MUCH HONOURED SIR: I think that a concern for my own and my Country' s safety, may be esteemed sufficient excuse for my acting so much out of character as I may seem to do, in intermeddling in our present publick and distressing affairs; and relying upon your candour and friendship to accept this for excuse; and to suppress whatever you may think may disserve me or that cause which has long been, and still is, my object, I shall freely hint something which I don' t know but may be useful, and consequently would be criminal to withhold.

You are not insensible, Sir, how calamitous and distressing the case of these new and defenceless settlements will likely be, if such a Northern Army of Savages, &c˙, as we have been threatened with should be prevailed upon to join European forces against these Colonies, and how much of the strength of the Country below us must necessarily be diverted from the sea-coast to defend and secure. us, if such an event should take place. For this, among other reasons, I have this spring sent Mr˙ James Dean, (who, among other excellent qualifications, is a great master of the language of the Indians at Caghnawaga,) as a Missionary, to itinerate for a short time among the tribes in Canada, to keep the fire burning, and brighten the chain (as they speak) of that friendship lately commenced between those tribes and this Seminary, which at present seems to be high in the esteem of many of them, as their conduct has fully testified, by receiving Our Missionaries, and treating them with respect; sending their children from time to time with cheerfulness to school, &c. I have ten of their sons now with me, eight of whom are descendants from English captives, and one a son of the chief Sachem at St˙ Francis, and another is brother to the youth who was lately elected and crowned Sachem at Caghnawaga, which young Sachem I expect also will come hither to receive an education, as his father, who was here with him, promised to send him to me as soon as certain rites, customary among them to ratify and publish his election to and investure in said office, should be performed. A number who have been at school here, have returned on one occasion and another, and made favourable reports of the treatment they met with among the English, and an honourable representation of the kind design of this school. I expect a number more from those tribes soon, and likely may have more than I can at present find means to support. This connexion, Sir, I esteem, under God, our strongest bulwark, if such invasion from the northward should be made.

I would also further inform you that Mr˙ Dean was brought up and naturalized among the Six Nations; is a great master of their language, and much esteemed as an orator among them; and his influence among them I apprehend to be greater than any other man' s, unless it be their present Superintendent, and is esteemed by the best judges to be a man of genius, learning, piety, and great prudence. He was of opinion, (though he thought nothing of any mention being made of it,) that if there should be occasion, and he should be properly authorized for it, he could influence all those Six Nations to join these Colonies


against any invasion that should be made or attempted against them, and I don' t think he did at all overrate his ability or influence for that purpose. Mr˙ Dean designed to return as soon as the Lake should be clear of ice, and the streams and roads should favour it, which will likely be in May.

If what I have hinted shall suggest the least advantage to the cause, I am well repaid for writing; and if none at all, yet you have a testimonial of the good wishes and desires of him who is, with much esteem and respect, your Honour' s most obedient and most humble servant,


Governour Trumbull.