Deake, Edward

Birth: 1732 in Rhode Island
Death: 1794 in Rhode Island
Affiliation:

Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America

Faith:

Congregationalist

Nationality:

Anglo-American

Occupation:

missionary; schoolmaster

Residence:

Rhode Island

Marital status:

married to Mary Deake; they had seven sons and one daughter

Biography:

Edward Deake was an Anglo-American missionary and schoolmaster born in Rhode Island in 1732. After receiving reluctant approval from the Narragansett tribal council for the support of a schoolhouse and schoolmaster on Nov. 26 1765, Reverend Joseph Fish, who had been living among the Narragansetts, hired Edward Deake to serve as schoolmaster to the tribe in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Funded by the New England Company, Deake taught his students to read English, write, and cypher, following the pattern of other missionary schools for Native people in New England. Out of 151 school-aged Narragansetts, 53 students, boys and girls, attended Deake’s school. Deake regularly consulted a council of Indians for input on the best course of action for educating his students. In addition to his 24 pounds per year salary, Deake also received living quarters for himself and his family in the schoolhouse. After Tobias Shattock left for England in 1767, Deake became the main recruiter among the Narragansetts for Wheelock’s school, often corresponding with Wheelock to recommend students. But the Narragansetts, under the leadership of the charismatic Native preacher Samuel Niles, soon became disillusioned with Fish and Deake, distrusting the purpose and motivations of the school and fearing the colonial appropriation of their lands and right to self-government. In 1770, Narragansett leader John Shattock Sr. told Fish that the Narragansetts wanted Deake to leave, and attendance at Deake’s school evaporated in the next few years. Finally, on January 2, 1776, Deake requested relief from his position as schoolmaster and left soon after. There is some evidence he moved to New York state and worked as a minister. Deake died in 1794.

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Sources:

Fisher, Linford D. The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print. Love, W. DeLoss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Boston: The Pilgrim Press, 1899. Print. http://www.geni.com/people/Edward-Deake/6000000007347582337.