Moseley, Ebenezer

Variant last names: Mosely
honorificMr.
Birth: February 19, 1741 in Windham, CT
Death: March 20, 1825 in Hampton, CT
Affiliation:

Yale College; Society in London for propagating the Gospel in N.E. & parts adjacent; Colony of Connecticut

Education:

Yale (1763)

Faith:

Congregationalist

Nationality:

Anglo-American

Occupation:

Missionary, soldier, politician

Residence:

Onaquaga, NY (from 1767 to 1773-09)

Events:

1767: Sent by the New England Company to disrupt Titus Smith's mission at Onhoquage as part of the New England Company's campaign against Eleazar Wheelock.

Marital status:

Married Martha Strong in 1773. They had four children.

Biography:

Ebenezer Moseley was a New England Company missionary and a captain in the Connecticut militia during the Revolution. His father, Samuel Moseley, was a minister in Windham, CT, and a supporter of Eleazar Wheelock. It initially appeared that Ebenezer would follow in his father’s footsteps. He graduated from Yale in 1763, was licensed to preach in 1765, and was ordained in 1767 in preparation for a mission to Onaquaga, an Oneida village, under the auspices of the New England Company. Moseley’s mission to the Onaquagas represented yet another front in the New England Company’s war with Eleazar Wheelock. The New England Company had sporadically hosted missionaries in Onaquaga between the 1740s and early 1760s, and clearly considered the town its turf. Wheelock had sponsored Joseph Woolley (Delaware) as a schoolmaster there in 1765, during which time the promising young man had fallen ill and died. Wheelock thought that he, too, had a claim to Onaquaga. In 1766, Wheelock approached the New England Company and, in his mind, secured permission to send Titus Smith, a young Yale graduate, as a missionary. Adding insult to injury, he hired Elisha Gunn, an NEC interpreter, to accompany Smith (interpreters were in high demand, and were yet another point of conflict between the NEC and Wheelock). The New England Company retaliated by sending Ebenezer Moseley to Onaquaga, where he picked up Gunn’s contract, leaving Smith without an interpreter. Moseley was accompanied and introduced by Gideon Hawley, who had been a long-time missionary among the Onaquagas in the 1740s and 50s. Titus Smith had no choice but to return home. Moseley served at Onaquaga until 1773, when he returned home, married, and became a local merchant. He enlisted in the Connecticut militia when the Revolution broke out and led troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill. By the time he retired from the militia in 1791, he had advanced to the rank of captain. Between 1776 and 1806, Moseley was a regular representative in the Connecticut legislature, and he oversaw the 1786 incorporation of Hampton as an independent town from Windham. In 1788 he was made a deacon in his father’s church.

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Sources:

Chase, Frederick. A history of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, New Hampshire. 1891. Cogswell, James. Rev. Dr. Cogswell’s Sermon on the Death of the Rev. Samuel Moseley, Preached at his Interment, July 28, 1791. E. S. Moseley ed. Newburyport: William H. Huse & Company, 1883. Accessed via GoogleBooks. Dexter, Franklin Bowditch. Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, Vol. III, May, 1763-July, 1778. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1903. Accessed via GoogleBooks. Dwight, Benjamin Woodbridge. The History of the Descendants of Elder John Strong of Northampton, Mass. Volume II. Albany: Joel Munsell, 1871. Accessed via GoogleBooks. Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899.