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Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to George Whitefield, 1764 September 26

ms-number: 764526.2

abstract: Wheelock addresses the various conflicts regarding Occom and his employers, would-be and otherwise.

handwriting: The majority of the document appears to be in a hand other than Wheelock's. It is relatively clear, with few additions and deletions. The postcript added to the bottom of two recto is clearly in Wheelock's hand.

paper: Large sheet folded in half to form four pages is in fair condition, with moderate staining and wear. There is a significant separation caused by wear on the lower crease.

ink: Ink on most of the document is medium brown; the postscript is in black ink.

noteworthy: The letter is likely in response to Whitefield's letter of September 5, 1764; this document is likely a draft or copy.

signature: The full signature is possibly not that of Wheelock; the postscript is signed with initials, and those are Wheelock's.

events: Jewett Controversy, Building of Occom's house, Occom returns to Mohegan, Fundraising tour of Great Britain, Occom's inoculation


My dear and Hond Sir

Yours by M.r Occom came while I was on a Journey.
And I now take the earlieſt Opportunity to acknowledge the Favour,
and inform you that when I heard that Genl Johnson was returned,
I was ſorry that M.r Occom & David were ſet out on their Journey,
as the principal Ends of their Journey could not likely be accompliſhed,
vizt their ſeeing Parties from remote Tribes together, in Order to
recommend the Deſign, & prepare the Way for ſchool Maſters & Miſsiona­
ries among them, and alſo procure a Number of likely youth
from diſtant Parts for this ſchool, which the Commiſsioners appre-
hended he might have a more favorable Opportunity for by such
a Meeting with the General than we have Reaſon otherwiſe
to expect ſoon. Nor can I in Conſcience ſay it was an imprudent
ſcheme till I have ſome other Reaſon than I have heard or thought
of to convince me of it. It is true we were misinformed of the
Time of Genl Johnson’s Return from Niagara, but I don’t know
that we were to blame for that Misinformation.
The Commiſsioners in Boſton had a principal View to Nehantic
(tho’ Mohegan waſ mentioned) in Mr Occom’s Appointment, but as
he was not a Proprietor at Nehantic, he was obliged to build
& ſettle at Mohegan, which interferes with M.r Jewett’s appoint-
ment; and a Controverſy was commenced and began to riſe high
& threatned much Miſchief. M.r Oliver (tho’ he did not fully
know how bad the Caſe was) expreſsed his Concern about it to me
at Concord, which tho' not agreeable to write was a Conſideration
of Weight in my Mind in taking him out of the Hands of thoſe
Commiſsioners & employing him in the Miſsion he was deſigned for.
I mentioned to the Commiſsioners when they were together their
writing to you on the Affair of ſupporting Mr Occom’s Miſsion;
but a Lecture appointed by our Praeſes obliged uſ to diſpatch the
Buſineſs with ſuch Precipitancy that it was not conſidered as it
should have been. But there was nothing ſaid, nor do I ſuſpect there
was a Thought among them, of your having taken M.r Occom under
your Patronage, or that you looked upon him under more Obligations
to you as his Patron than any other Man for whom you have done
a Kindneſs, or that you had any more Reaſon to expect to be
conſulted in that Affair than in any other Affair of equal Importance, [below]in
in which you have ſhewn your Friendſhip & Concern. Nor did I
ever underſtand the Caſe till this very Day, or what you meant
by ill Treatment by our taking M.r Occom into our Hands with-
out conſulting you therein. Had I underſtood the Caſe as I now do
I ſhould by no Means have moved or conſented therein —
The Commiſsioners (as I underſtand them) were of Opinion that
his Circumſtances which were publickly known, viz, his being ſo much
in Debt, & nothing like to be done, (that they knew of) to free him,
His Expence in moving, & Loſs of Goods & Proviſions in his Paſsage, and
nothing done to repair his Loſs, or to aſsiſt him in ſupporting his
Family, or provide a Houſe for them, he not having received a Farthing
from the Commiſsioners at Boſton and they at ſuch a Diſtance from him, and ſo out
of the Way of Accquaintance with his Circumſtances &c, were ſufficient
to juſtify his Deſire to be under our Care, & us in receiving him.
Had the Commiſsioners viewed the Caſe in the Light which you did, or had
they only had the leaſt Intimations, which they could rely upon, that you
deſigned to help him under his Neceſsities, tho’ they might likely
have repreſented to you the Greatneſs of them, it would have
been the fartheſt from their thoughts to take him out of your Hands.
Mr Occom tells me, “He told me ſomething of it before.” But I
never underſtood it. It was my Compaſsion to him, not knowing
what else to do with him that moved me to act at all in the Affair.
I intirely agree with you, that we muſt be agreed in the
Plan, & that it is reaſonable & neceſsary, that you ſhould approve of
it, as we expect the Benefit of your Friendship & Influence.
And what we have propoſed is, to ſend among godly well
accomplished youth, in the Capacity of Miniſters & School Maſters
to the ſeveral Tribes as we can obtain & find means to ſupport. I have
now 10 Indians in this ſchool well accompliſhed for ſchool Maſters,
excepting that ſome of them want Age. I have alſo 4 English youth
who are very promiſing & would do well to go with the Miſsionaries
to learn the Indian Languages, and while they are doing that, may,
under the Conduct of the Miſsionaries, be uſeful as ſchool Maſters, and
after that return with ſuch likely Boys as they can find to finiſh
their Learning here.
Pleaſe ſir to write me on what I have written, & make
what Propoſals you pleaſe, and I will endeavour to have a
Meeting of the Commiſsioners, & lay what you ſhall write before
them as ſoon as may be. The Conſequence of which you ſhall hear
by the Poſt. I hope you will have Goodneſs enough to overlook
a thouſand Blunders, & Patience enough to correct ſuch as
you ſhall think material.
I am now ſick with a Dyſsentery, have wrote in
great Pain & Confuſion interrupted often by my Diſtemper
Things are in great Confuſion at Mohegan. I wiſh M.r
Occom
could be quite unconcerned in them, The Caſe is
too long to write. They have had ſeveral Meetings to give
in their Reaſons why they reject Mr Clelland as their ſchool
Maſter, and are this Day to meet to give their Reaſons
why they will not hear M.r Jewett preach &c
Pleaſe to direct yours to the Care of Mr Graves
of N London. I have put Money in his Hands to
pay the poſtage of my Letters — My dear Brother,
pray for a poor Creature, who is with much
Affection,

yours in the dear Jeſus
Eleazar Wheelock
Revd G. Whitefield
Ps. The Com̅iſsrs in Boſton will allow M.r Occom y.e £30 w.c they voted
for y.e Curr[illegible]ent Year. but ſeem not Senſible yt his Neceſsities are in any
meaſure ſo great as they are.
I went to Norwich myſelf and with M.r Whitakers aſsiſtance
procured 40 Days Labour gratis towards his House. but expence for
materials and for what he has, and will have, occaſion to Hire
I underſtand will be conſiderable and much beyond what I expec­
­ted.
pleaſe to write whether it will, or not, be expedient that M.r Occom
ſh[stain: oul]d be Enoculated, in order to his going with you to England
and whether you would take either of the Boys of this ſchool with
you — If you ſhould think of taking one of the Mohocks, it may be beſt
he ſhould make a visit to his Friends this fall. —
Salutation: I am
 yours &c
EW

Wheelock, Eleazar

Eleazar Wheelock was a New Light Congregationalist minister who founded Dartmouth College. He was born into a very typical Congregationalist family, and began studying at Yale in 1729, where he fell in with the emerging New Light clique. The evangelical network that he built in college propelled him to fame as an itinerant minister during the First Great Awakening and gave him many of the contacts that he later drew on to support his charity school for Native Americans. Wheelock’s time as an itinerant minister indirectly brought about his charity school. When the Colony of Connecticut retroactively punished itinerant preaching in 1743, Wheelock was among those who lost his salary. Thus, in 1743, he began operating a grammar school to support himself. He was joined that December by Samson Occom, a Mohegan Indian, who sought out an education in hopes of becoming a teacher among his people. Occom’s academic success inspired Wheelock to train Native Americans as missionaries. To that end, he opened Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1754 (where he continued to train Anglo-American students who paid their own way as well as students who functionally indentured themselves to Wheelock as missionaries in exchange for an education). Between 1754 and 1769, when he relocated to New Hampshire, Wheelock trained approximately 60 male and female Native American students from nearby Algonquian tribes and from the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of central New York. At the same time, he navigated the complicated politics of missionary societies by setting up his own board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, although he continued to feud with the Boston Board of the SSPCK and the London Commissioners in Boston (more colloquially called the New England Company). By the late 1760s, Wheelock had become disillusioned with the idea of Native American education. He was increasingly convinced that educating Native Americans was futile (several of his students had failed to conform to his confusing and contradictory standards), and, in late 1768, he lost his connection to the Haudenosaunee. With his inclination and ability to sponsor Native American missionaries largely depleted, Wheelock sought instead to fulfill his ultimate ambition of obtaining a charter and opening a college, which he did in 1769. To fund this new enterprise, Wheelock drew on the £12,000 that Samson Occom had raised for Moor’s Indian Charity School during a two-and-a-half year tour of Great Britain (1765 to 1768). Much of this money went towards clearing land and erecting buildings in New Hampshire for the Charity School’s relocation — infrastructure that also happened to benefit Dartmouth. Many of Wheelock’s contemporaries were outraged by what they saw as misuse of the money, as it was clear that Dartmouth College was not intended for Indians and that Moor’s had become a side project. Although Wheelock tried to maintain at least some commitment to Native American education by recruiting students from Canadian communities, the move did a great deal of damage to his public image. The last decade of Wheelock’s life was not easy. In addition to the problems of trying to set up a college far away from any Anglo-American urban center, Wheelock experienced the loss of relationships with two of his most famous and successful students, Samson Occom and Samuel Kirkland (an Anglo-American protégé). He also went into debt for Dartmouth College, especially after the fund raised in Britain was exhausted.

Whitefield, George

George Whitefield, the English itinerant preacher who helped spark the Great Awakening, was an essential supporter of Eleazar Wheelock’s project. Whitefield studied at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he met the pioneers of Methodism, John and Charles Wesley. He was ordained in 1736, and he made the first of his seven trips to America two years later. While abroad in 1740, Whitefield founded an orphanage in Georgia, and went on a preaching tour during which he met Wheelock and spread ideals that prompted the Great Awakening. Although Whitefield was ordained in the Church of England, his enthusiastic preaching style and charismatic personality made him a controversial figure, and traditional clergyman on both sides of the Atlantic censured him. Nonetheless, he continued to be an important contact and friend of Wheelock’s, and his dedication to Wheelock’s vision was evident. He contributed money to the cause, secured various other funders, and donated an eighty-pound prayer bell to the school. More importantly, Whitefield not only suggested to Wheelock the idea of a fundraising tour in Great Britain, he hosted Occom and Whitaker shortly after they arrived in England, provided a house for them to reside in for the remainder of their tour, and introduced the pair to influential figures such as William Legge, the Earl of Dartmouth. Whitefield tabernacle’s was the setting of Occom’s first sermon in England on February 16, 1766, and many believe that Whitefield wrote the introduction to a pamphlet printed in London during the campaign (although he was not credited). Whitefield continued to be involved in Wheelock’s work until he died in Newburyport, MA in September of 1770.

Occom, Samson

Samson Occom was a Mohegan leader and ordained Presbyterian minister. Occom began his public career in 1742, when he was chosen as a tribal counselor to Ben Uncas II. The following year, he sought out Eleazar Wheelock, a young Anglo-American minister in Lebanon, CT, in hopes of obtaining some education and becoming a teacher at Mohegan. Wheelock agreed to take on Occom as a student, and though Occom had anticipated staying for a few weeks or months, he remained with Wheelock for four years. Occom’s academic success inspired Wheelock to open Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1754, a project which gave him the financial and political capital to establish Dartmouth College in 1769. After his time with Wheelock, Occom embarked on a 12-year mission to the Montauk of Long Island (1749-1761). He married a Montauk woman, Mary Fowler, and served as both teacher and missionary to the Montauk and nearby Shinnecock, although he was grievously underpaid for his services. Occom conducted two brief missions to the Oneida in 1761 and 1762 before embarking on one of the defining journeys of his career: a fundraising tour of Great Britain that lasted from 1765 to 1768. During this journey, undertaken on behalf of Moor’s Indian Charity School, Occom raised £12,000 (an enormous and unanticpated amount that translates roughly to more than two-million dollars), and won wide acclaim for his preaching and comportment. Upon his return to Mohegan in 1768, Occom discovered that Wheelock had failed to adequately care for his family while he was gone. Additionally, despite the vast sums of money that he had raised, Occom found himself unemployed. Wheelock tried to find Occom a missionary position, but Occom was in poor health and disinclined to leave his family again after seeing the treatment with which they had met while he was in Britain. Occom and Wheelock’s relationship continued to sour as it became apparent to Occom that the money he had labored to raise would be going towards infrastructure at Dartmouth College, Wheelock’s new project, rather than the education of Native Americans. After the dissolution of his relationship with Wheelock, Occom became increasingly focused on the needs of the Mohegan community and increasingly vocal in criticizing Anglo-Americans’ un-Christian treatment of Native Americans. In September of 1772, he delivered his famous “Sermon on the Execution of Moses Paul,” which took Anglo-American spiritual hypocrisy as one of its major themes, and which went into four printings before the end of the year. In 1773, Occom became further disillusioned when the Mason Land Case was decided in favor of the Colony of Connecticut. The details of the Mason Case are complicated, but to summarize: the Colony of Connecticut had gained control of Mohegan land early in the 18th century under very suspect circumstances, and successfully fended off the Mohegan’s 70-year-long legal challenge. The conclusion of the case came as a blow to the Mohegans, and further convinced Occom of Anglo-American corruption. Along with David Fowler (Montauk Tribe), Occom's brother-in-law, and Joseph Johnson (Mohegan), Occom's son-in-law, Occom helped found Brothertown, an Indian tribe formed from the Christian Mohegans, Pequots, Narragansetts, Montauks, Tunxis, and Niantics. They eventually settled in Oneida country in upstate New York. Occom moved there with his family in 1789, spending the remaining years of his life serving as a minster to the Brothertown, Stockbridge, and Mohegan Indians. Harried by corrupt land agents, the Brothertown and Stockbridge groups relocated to the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago, though Occom died in 1792 before he could remove himself and his family there. Occom's writings and legacy have made him one of the best known and most eminent Native Americans of the 18th century and beyond.

Johnson, William

Sir William Johnson was a powerful British colonial official who amassed wealth and influence by integrating into the Mohawk tribe. For a brief window of time (1761-1768), he provided support for Wheelock’s missionary efforts among the Six Nations. He also helped the Brothertown Nation of Indians procure land from the Oneidas. Johnson was born in Ireland in 1715. His family had been part of the Catholic elite, but after William of Orange’s 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne, they at least nominally converted to the Episcopalian Church. In 1738, Johnson emigrated to America to manage his uncle Peter Warren’s estate in Mohawk territory. Over the next decade, Johnson became wealthy in his own right through trade and land sales, acquiring a vast estate crowned by his manor house, Johnson Hall, which became the central location for British and Indian treaty making. In 1745, Johnson began collecting official British titles and positions. He played an important military role in the French and Indian War and was named Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1756 and first baronet of New York in 1757. Much of Johnson’s success was due to his influence among the Mohawks, which he obtained by learning their language and customs and integrating himself into their society. He participated in Mohawk rituals and entered into a common-law marriage with a powerful Mohawk woman, Molly Brant (also called Mary Brant). Because Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) society is matrilineal, this marriage was an essential element of his participation in Indian affairs. Wheelock desperately wanted to wield missionary influence among the Six Nations, and sought to obtain Johnson as an ally in his endeavors. At first, the two found grounds for cooperation. Wheelock sent Occom as a missionary to the Oneidas in 1761 and again in 1762, and sent a substantially larger group of missionaries and schoolmasters in 1765, 1766, and 1767. Johnson, meanwhile, encouraged Haudenosaunee children, including his brother-in-law Joseph Brant, to attend Moor’s. Johnson’s support proved indispensible to missionaries in the field; he helped with supplies, language skills, and relations with the Mohawks and Oneidas. Wheelock also valued Johnson for his influence in Britain, and drew on him for recommendations and public statements of support numerous times. From 1763 on, however, Johnson found himself decidedly uncomfortable with Wheelock’s missionary efforts, and by 1769, their relationship had dissolved completely. In 1766, Johnson was invited to join the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG), the largest and most influential Anglican missionary society in the 18th-century British-Atlantic world. He began working to place Anglican missionaries, rather than Congregationalist and Presbyterian ones, among the Six Nations, which alarmed Wheelock. Johnson was generally supportive of Native American tribes’ efforts to maintain their land and sovereignty. As the historian Linford Fisher has noted, “virtually every major Native group in southeastern New England successfully petitioned Johnson to act on their behalf during the late 1760s and early 1770s.” Among these groups was the Brothertown Nation, a Christian composite tribe formed by Southern New England Algonquian Moor’s alumni. Johnson helped them negotiate with the Oneidas, which proved essential to their successful land purchase and relocation to central New York.

Fowler, David

David Fowler was Jacob Fowler's older brother, Samson Occom's brother-in-law, and an important leader of the Brothertown Tribe. He came to Moor's in 1759, at age 24, and studied there until 1765. While at school, he accompanied Occom on a mission to the Six Nations in 1761. He was licensed as a school master in the 1765 mass graduation, and immediately went to the Six Nations to keep school, first at Oneida and then at Kanawalohale. Fowler saw himself as very close to Wheelock, but their relationship fragmented over the course of Fowler's mission, primarily because Wheelock wrote back to Kirkland, with whom Fowler clashed, but not to Fowler, and because Wheelock refused to reimburse Fowler for some expenses on his mission (767667.4 provides the details most clearly). Fowler went on to teach school at Montauk, and played a major role in negotiations with the Oneidas for the lands that became Brothertown. He was among the first wave of immigrants to that town, and held several important posts there until his death in 1807.

Jewett, David

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.

Oliver, Andrew

Andrew Oliver was an influential Boston merchant and politician, who was a member of several societies that funded Eleazar Wheelock, including the Boston Board of the New England Company (treasurer) and Massachusetts General Assembly (secretary). Oliver played an important political role in pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts and, as a firm advocate of Indian missions, attended multiple conferences with Indian tribes. He believed that Anglican and Dissenter missionaries and societies could cooperate, and after Oliver and Wheelock were introduced in 1756, Oliver helped Wheelock access funding from the New England Company, the Massachusetts Assembly, and the Boston Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Their relationship deteriorated, however, when the London Board of the New England Company turned against Wheelock late in 1765. Wheelock became aware of the London Board’s change of heart through the “Oliver letter,” a letter purportedly written by Oliver (actually written by Ebenezer Pemberton) that was “injurious” to the characters of Wheelock, Whitaker, and Occom. In 1765, Wheelock also lost his funding from the Massachusetts Assembly. It is unclear what role Oliver played in these events. On the one hand, the breach between Wheelock and the New England Company coincided with the collapse of Oliver’s political career over his attempts to enforce the Stamp Act. Oliver may have been too preoccupied to be involved in the London Board’s change of heart; after all, Boston mobs were burning him in effigy. On the other hand, if Oliver was not involved, it is more difficult to explain why his correspondence with Wheelock ended abruptly in 1767 or why Wheelock lost funding from the Assembly and the London Board at the same time. Oliver would be the obvious link; but of course, Wheelock had many detractors in Boston and another explanation is certainly possible.

Clelland, Robert

Robert Clelland was the Scottish schoolmaster at Mohegan who became a contentious figure. He began as schoolmaster in 1752, supported by the Boston commissioners of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Clelland resided in an apartment that was either adjacent or close to the school, and although he had a limited income, the Colony provided him with bread daily. Clelland had a close relationship with Reverend David Jewett, the white minister at Mohegan who oversaw the school and often lectured there; both Clelland and Jewett supported Connecticut in the Mason Case. However, Clelland conflicted with many other leaders in Mohegan. He repeatedly wrote to Eleazar Wheelock complaining about Ben Uncas III and his drunkenness, even though the sachem did not oppose the colony in the Mason Case and Clelland typically supported him. Clelland also developed a hostile relationship with Samson Occom; notably they held opposing positions during the Mason Case. Occom brought concerns regarding Clelland to the commissioners’ attention. He claimed the schoolteacher preferred the paying English students to the point that their presence was displacing Mohegan pupils, and criticized other ways in which Clelland ran the school. On September 19, 1764, the commissioners voted to release Clelland of his duties as schoolmaster. Notwithstanding, he remained until he was dismissed again on July 5, 1765. Occom’s involvement with Clelland’s dismissal further disrupted what was already a contentious relationship between him and Jewett. Clelland appears to have remained in Mohegan even after his dismissal.

Graves, Matthew

Matthew Graves was an Anglican minister and missionary in New London, CT, whose friendship with Occom led to a minor controversy. Graves was born on the Isle of Man, of Irish descent. Sometime in his mid-30s, when he was master of a Latin grammar school and rector of a church in Chester, England, he was inspired by the religious revivals led by the Wesleys in western England to volunteer for foreign mission service through the The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG). In 1745, the organization sent him to St. James Church in New London, CT, where the pulpit had been empty for some time. His brother John also volunteered and was sent to a church in Providence, RI. The parishoners in New London, however, proved unwelcoming, and Graves began attending dissenting church services and missionizing to slaves and Indian tribes in the area. Through these activities, he became acquainted with Wheelock's missionary work and with Occom, with whom he was on friendly terms. Graves wrote a glowing testimony of him for the fundraising tour of Great Britain. According to Love, Occom joked in Graves' presence that on the trip he would "turn Episcopalian," a hope Graves communicated to his Bishop, who did offer to ordain Occom, which he refused, causing some offense and a flutter in the newspapers. Sharply disappointed, in 1771, Graves turned against both Occom and Wheelock. He served in New London for 33 years but came to a bad end. In 1778, when he refused to change the traditional prayer for King George to a prayer for the new American Congress, he was summararily ejected from his church, and in 1779 he asked to be allowed to move to New York, behind enemy lines, with his sister Joanna. There he acted as a pastor to Loyalist refugess and died suddenly the following year.

Whitaker, Nathaniel

Nathaniel Whitaker was an outspoken Presbyterian minister with a long and wide-ranging career. Between his ordination in 1755 and his death in 1795, Whitaker ministered to five different congregations. His longest tenure was at Chelsea, CT (near Norwich), from 1761-1769, during which he joined Occom on his two-and-a-half-year fundraising tour of Britain. While in Chelsea, Whitaker was very involved in Wheelock's project. The two engaged in frequent correspondence, and Whitaker served on Eleazar Wheelock's Board of Correspondents in Connecticut, as well as on the Board of Trustees of Moor's Indian Charity School. At one time, he was Wheelock's presumed successor, but Dartmouth's Trustees demanded that Wheelock appoint another. Wheelock, in part due to his strongly-held belief that Native Americans were childlike and rash, was convinced that Occom needed an Anglo-American supervisor on his fundraising tour. After several candidates turned down the job, Wheelock selected Whitaker. He proved to be a poor choice; he was, by many accounts, a difficult man to get along with, and many of Wheelock’s British allies, including George Whitefield and the English Trust (the organization that took control of the money Occom raised in England) preferred to deal with Occom, although Whitaker insisted on handling the tour’s logistics. Furthermore, in Britain, Occom was the obvious star of the tour, and it was unclear to many why Whitaker asserted himself so prominently. Whitaker’s poor decisions seriously alienated the English Trust and increased their suspicion of Wheelock’s later dealings and treatment of Occom. He gave the English Trust the impression that they would have control over money raised in Scotland (which was in fact lodged with the parent organization of the SSPCK), and he was the executor of the “Eells Affair,” a plan initiated by the CT Board of the SSPCK to bring the money that Occom and Whitaker raised back to the colonies by investing it in trade goods and selling them at a profit (Eells was one of the merchants who was to help with the resale of goods). The English Trust learned about the plan by reading letters that Whitaker had given them permission to open in his absence, and were immediately shocked. The wording of certain letters made it appear that only a percentage of the profit from the resale of the goods would go towards Moor’s Indian Charity School, but beyond that detail, the English Trust was scandalized at the thought of money raised for charity being invested in trade. The English Trust blamed Whitaker entirely for these affairs, and issued specific instructions for Occom to notarize all documents requiring Whitaker’s signature. In short, they wanted Occom to supervise Whitaker, when Wheelock had envisioned the opposite relationship (both Occom and Whitaker seem to have ignored their instructions, preferring to have as little contact with one another as possible). In 1769, a year after his return to Connecticut in 1768, Whitaker found himself dismissed by his Chelsea congregation (likely because he had spent two and a half years away from them). He went on to serve several more congregations before his death in 1795. Whitaker was an outspoken Whig, and during the Revolution he published several pamphlets on his political opinions.

Jewett Controversy
Building of Occom's house
Occom returns to Mohegan
Fundraising tour of Great Britain
Occom's inoculation
HomeEleazar Wheelock, letter, to George Whitefield, 1764 September 26
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