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Rev. Dr. Eleazer Wheelock to General Washington



Dartmouth College, October 15, 1775.

MAY IT PLEASE TOUR EXCELLENCY: Presuming the nature and importance of the subject will apologize for this interruption, I make bold to propose to you, whether the sending an experienced and well accomplished missionary into Canada (and if may be in character of chaplain to your forces there) may not answer very valuable and good purposes at this juncture, viz: to facilitate and effect the union of that Colony with the other Colonies; and in case this design of your forces there should be successful, make it yet more extensive, by the union of the Indian tribes therein, confirm their friendship to these Colonies, as well as increase it to this seminary, a/id lay them under stronger bonds, by giving them fresh assurance of the well-being of their children with me, and bringing a number more from these and (if it may be) from remoter tribes to this school, &c˙, &c. The Rev˙ Mr˙ Ripley, who is now a tutor of this college, and has been employed in several missions, is well acquainted with and is high in the affection and esteem of several of those tribes, and is the most suitable man I know, while Mr˙ Dean is otherwise employed among the Six Nations, to be sent on such an errand; is willing to undertake it, provided he may only be supported therein.

And the present course of Providence appears so encouraging, and the prospects of his usefulness therein so inviting, that I am near determined to send him as missionary at my own risk, as soon as may be. I am sorry I could not have an opportunity for your Excellency' s advice and direction in the affair, before the season advanced so far as to make his delay dangerous. However, if you shall approve of it, and think it worthy your encouragement, I shall likely have an opportunity to transmit to him, by the post, whatever recommendation of the design, or instructions, you shall please to give him in the prosecution thereof.

My heart and prayers are with you and for you; and I am, honoured Sir, with much duty and esteem, your most obedient and very humble servant,


His Excellency General Washington.

P˙ S. I enclose my last Narrative, and shall endeavour to give you an account of occurrences since my last, as soon as I am favoured with an opportunity and leisure for it.