The New York/New Jersey Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge

Variant name:

Commissioners in New Jersey; New York Board of Correspondents; Board of Correspondents in the Province of New York and New Jersey

Address:

New York and New Jersey

Description:

The New York/New Jersey Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge was the Presbyterian SSPCK board in the colonies and oversaw the Society's missionary efforts in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It was established in 1741 at the request of Jonathan Dickinson, Aaron Burr (Sr.), and Ebenezer Pemberton, who employed several missionaries including Azariah Horton and both David and John Brainerd. Since these same men founded the College of New Jersey (Dickinson was the first president, Burr the second), the New York Board became somewhat conflated with the trustees of the College of New Jersey. The two bodies were not formally combined in the eyes of the SSPCK until February 1769, but as early as 1765, Wheelock wrote addressing the "Board of Correspondents in the Province of New York and New Jersey." The New York Board was almost exclusively Presbyterian, and many of Wheelock's Presbyterian acquaintances, including David Bostwick, Aaron Burr, John Brainerd, etc., were involved in it. The Board as a whole does not seem to have been particularly helpful or hostile towards Wheelock and his plans. They certainly supported missionary efforts for Native Americans, but refused to release John Brainerd from missionary obligations to accompany Occom to England.

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Sources:

Brainerd, Thomas. The Life of John Brainerd, the Brother of David Brainerd, and his Successor as Missionary to the Indians of New Jersey. Philadelphia: Presbyterian Publication Committee, 1865. Chase, Frederick. A history of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, New Hampshire. 1891. Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899. Maclean, John. History of the College of New Jersey, from its origin in 1746 to the commencement of 1854. Philadelphia 1877. McCallum, James. The Letters of Eleazar Wheelock’s Indians. Dartmouth College Press 1932.