Jewett, David

Variant last names: Jewet; Jewitt; Jewit
honorificReverend; Mr.
Birth: June 10, 1714 in Rowley, MA
Death: June 6, 1783 in New London, CT (Montville)
Affiliation:

Harvard College; Connecticut Board of Correspondents for SPCK (1764-?)

Education:

Harvard College (1736)

Faith:

Congregationalist

Nationality:

Anglo-American

Occupation:

pastor of North Church in New London, CT (Montville), chaplain of CT regiment for Crown Point (1756).

Residence:

New London, CT (Montville) (from 1739-10-03 to 1783-06-06)

Marital status:

Jewett first married Patience Philips, who died November 14, 1773. He then married the widow of William Prince, Mary.

Biography:

David Jewett was a white minster at Mohegan who developed a hostile relationship with Samson Occom. He become the pastor of the North Church in New London, CT (now Montville) in 1739. Jewett initially served as the clergyman for the English congregation, and attempts to merge the white church with the local Indians were unsuccessful. In 1742, when plans to establish a pastor for the Indians also proved to be futile, Jewett became the minister for them as well, supported by the Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America (New England Company). Indians received religious materials, and many, including Sarah Occom, Samon's mother, became members of his parish. In 1756 when Connecticut gathered a regiment to go to Crown Point, Jewett served as chaplain. He also became a member of the Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SSPCK) when Wheelock assembled it in 1764. In addition to his role as minister, Jewett oversaw Robert Clelland’s school at Mohegan, which became one source of his animosity toward Occom. Occom criticized Clelland’s performance as schoolmaster, implicating Jewett as the supervisor, and Jewett rejected Occom’s intrusion. Furthermore, since Occom had been appointed to preach at Mohegan, several Indians as well as English, primarily those who sided with the Indians in the Mason Case, left Jewett’s church to follow Occom, as Jewett supported the Colony due to his land interests. Jewett brought charges against Occom to the Boston Board of the SSPCK and to the New England Company Commissioners, and the Connecticut Board of the SSPCK tried Occom in March of 1765. They found Occom to be innocent except for his involvement in the Mason Case; therefore, the Board declared that Jewett must write to the Boston Commissioners again to clear Occom. Although Jewett assented to the task, he did not pen the letter until Wheelock pressured him that June. While Jewett and Occom’s relationship was officially mended, bitterness remained until Jewett’s death in 1783.

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Sources:

Brooks, Joanna. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Love, DeLoss W. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Boston: Pilgrim Press, 1899.