abstract: Whitaker gives a brief history of Indian conversion in America and why it has thus far been relatively unsuccessful. Occom’s story is used as an argument for promoting Wheelock’s School and its focus on educating Indians, rather than English, as missionaries. A plan for an expanded school is put forth.
handwriting: Handwriting appears to be that of Nathaniel Whitaker. It is informal and small but legible. There are several uncrossed t’s that have been corrected by the transcriber. There are several additions and deletions, indicating that this is likely a draft.
paper: Small single sheets are in fair-to-poor condition, with significant staining and wear that leads to some loss of text.
ink: Dark brown ink bleeds through the pages. In spots, the ink, likely iron gall, has burned through the paper.
noteworthy: This narrative is possibly a speech that was delivered or printed by Nathaniel Whitaker in Great Britain. The manuscript number indicates a date of 1766, though no date is indicated on the document. No author is indicated on the document; authorship has been deduced from the handwriting and contents. In instances when the intention of the writer regarding a certain word cannot be discerned, the word has been left unmodified in the modernized transcription. At the bottom of two verso, there is an addition that begins with the pound sign; this addition continues on the bottom of three recto. On two verso, it is uncertain whether the "Hon: Scotch=Commiſſ.rs" refers to the Connecticut or New York/New Jersey board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, and so it has been left untagged. On eight verso, the identity of the "Candia Indians" is uncertain, and so it has been left untagged.
events: Occom's First Mission to the Oneidas, Occom leaves his studies, Occom's Mission to the Montauks, Occom returns to Mohegan, Occom's second mission to the Oneidas, Occom's marriage
portance & [gap: tear][guess: of So great] utility as to engage the attention of the greateſt
& beſt of men for Ages paſt; [illegible] ⇑an[gap: tear][guess: d] therefore there have been
Several Societies formed & incorporated by Royal charters in this
attempts for this end.
purpoſe, a particular hiſtory whereof would be too long to give.
have eſpecially Shewn their Zeal in this work, as hath alſo the Society in
London for propagating the Goſpel in N.E. & parts adjacent.
Indians there, & pray for their converſion to X, the Succeſs of their pious en-
deavours hath been very Small in proportion to what might have been
expected. It is well know to all who are acquainted with the Hiſtory of
N.E. what was done there among the Indians at Martins Vinyard, & pla-
ces about Boſton & along the Sea Coaſt, buty the great mr Elliot of Boſton
⇑& others many years Since, & that the Goſpel was received by many of the Natives
in thoſe parts, which Still continues to bleſs thoſe tribes, & is Supported
[gap: tear] by the Hon.ble Society in London. The moſt alſo are acquain-
ted with the Succeſs the [gap: tear] [gap: tear] of Good mr D. Brainard ha[gap: tear][guess: d a‐]
mong the Indians at Croſwixſung in N. Jerſey, & Forks of Dillawa[gap: tear][guess: re]
Penſilvania, the fruits of whoſe Labours remain to this day, & thoſe Indians
are collected, & are under the Care of the Revd Jn.o Brainard, brother to David
⇑in New Jerſey, [illegible]. Some good alſo followed
the labours of the Revd mr Searge⇑ant, & afterwards of the Rev d mr J. Edwards
at Stockbridge in the Government of Maſſechuſets Bay; as alſo of the Revd
mr Haley among the Indians of the Six nations at Onohoquage on
Suſquehannah river, Theſe three laſt were Sent by the Hon.ble Society in
London. Yet after all the many attempts which have proved almoſt fruitleſs &
the Small Succeſs of thoſe which have been the moſt incouraging Seemed
to caſt a cloud over the whole deſign. Before I proceed it may be [illegible]
natural to inquire, what were the cauſes of hindrance in this good work.
And 1. The Indians have imbibed very Strong prejudices againſt the Engliſh,
from the repeated impoſitions & frauds the have Suffered from thoſe who have
traded with them, & eſpecially thoſe who have purchaſed their Lands. Hence they
⇑are ready to Suſpect that they are not[illegible] Safe while they have the Engliſh men among
them, & are ever jealous that the deſign is to lay Some plan to get their
Lands from them, as is [illegible][guess: evident] ⇑as is evident from many facts wch can be adduced.
conduct of the miſſionaries, which hath rendered it very difficult to be-
have So as to avoid their Suſpecion of Some fraudulent deſign; & this is
greatly heightened by the impoſſibility of converſing with them but
by an Interpreter who generally being an Engliſhman, as well as
the Miſſionary, they naturally Suſpect they are, or at leaſt may be,
laying Schemes unknown to them, & theſe Suſpicions have oppertunity to
Strengthen greatly, before the Miſſionary may come to know the reaſon any thing
of the matter thro' ignorance of their language. Hence it hath been generally
found that, altho' the Indians would admit the miſſionaries among them
& tre[gap: tear][guess: at] them with reſpect, their way, for a while, yet they have moſt commonly
grown Shy & gradually declined in their attendance, by wch the miſſionaries
have been diſcouraged, & after one or two attempts have declined the Miſſion
except in a few inſtances. To confirm what is obſerved above I Shall give one
inſtance out of many. It once happened that three Miſſ.rs & one Interpreter were
at one place among a party of Indians who had been formerly inſtructed in Some
meaſure, & who owned a conſiderable tract of Land, where they continued about
a fourt'ni't; Another Miſſ.ry was at a place about 100 miles diſtant, at the
houſe of an Indian inſtructed by mr Wheelock, where were a number of In-
dians who were very buſy in talking togather: the Indian who had been inſtructed,
being in a room adjoining, & overhearing them, informed the miſſry of their
converſation, wch was to this purpoſe, One Said "What is the reaſon that three
miniſters are gone to [gap: tear][guess: O]? Why does [gap: tear][guess: not] one go to that other place? [gap: tear]
[gap: tear] no miniſter & [gap: tear][guess: to] Such a place. I can't See why they all go to one place.
[gap: tear][guess: ano]ther anſwered, Why, I'll tell you,' The Indians have but little land at
Such & Such places, & that is the reaſon the do not go there; But at O they
have a good deal of land, & that's the reaſon So many are gone there; it is
to git their Land. This gave the Miſſry much trouble to remove their
Suſpicions which ⇑& it was done with great difficulty, ⇑he removed their jealouſies & eſpecially as no good reaſon ⇑which might be mentioned to them,
could be given for thoſe three miſſ.rs being at that place. This account I had
from the miſſry's own mouth.
hath made it impoſſible to communicate any thing to them but by an Intrepreter.
preaching by an interpreter, when each Sentence muſt be interpreted, before
the next can be delivered, muſt deſtroy the whole pathos & energy of delivery
& render even the moſt important Subjects much leſs inlivening to the hearers
even where good Interpreters can be had. But there is a great difficulty to
obtain any who can at all anſwer this end; & thoſe who can Speak the language
of the Indians are generally Such as have been traders among them, or Some
captive who has been learned their language; & both theſe Sorts of people are
well known to be moſt commonly of Such characters as to make it infinitely
unfit to truſt them with affairs of Such eternal conſequence. The Revd mr
Wheelock, in a Narrative of his School publiſh in Boſton in 1763. writes thus on
this head. "There are very few or no interpreters, who are Suitable &
"well-accompliſhed for the Buſineſs, to be had. Mr Occom found great
"difficulty laſt year in his Miſſion on this account. And not only the cauſe,
"but his own reputation Suffered much by the unfaithfulneſs of the man
"he imployed. I Suppoſe the Interpreters now imployed by the Hon: Com-
"miſſ.rs are the beſt that are to be had at preſent. But how many Na-
"tions are there for whom there is no interpreter at all, except, it may
"be, Some ignorant & perhaps vicious perſon who has been their cap-
"tive, & whom it is utterly unſafe to truſt in matters of Such eternal con‐
"ſequence. And how Shall this difficulty be remidied? It Seems it muſt
"be one of theſe two ways, viz. either their Children muſt come to us, or
"ours go to them" To this I add, that the expence of Supporting an
Interpreter is much greater than will Support an Indian Miſſry. who
is capable of Speaking their language. The Hon: Commiſſ.rs in Boſton co'd
not obtain mr Gun whom they imployed, under £50. Ster: per an: be‐
ſides the Support of the Miſſry; & they allowed mr Occom but about
£15 ſSter. per An: who taught a School, & preached to them in their own
language. It is true this allowance was far below what was abſolute‐
ly [gap: tear][guess: nece]ſſery, & not more than enough to defray the ⇑extraordinary charges of his office
& company, without any thing for the Support of himſelf & famely; Yet
had they allowed him £50. or £60 ⇑or £70 per. An: it would not have been more
than half as much as another miſſ.n would coſt. This difficulty of obtain-
ing Suitable interpreters, & the great expence of the miſſion when they
could be obtained, hath been a block at the very threſhold, & diſcouraged thoſe
who, out of Love to Chriſt & the Souls of men, would gladly have ventured
out among them to preach the Goſpel.
& unſettled manner of life wch the Indian lead. For tho they have little vil-
lages where their hutts are at no great diſtance from one another, yet they
are frequently obliged to wander to a great diſtance to procure Something,
by hunting, to live on; in wch rambles they generally carry their Wives
& Children with them. This was the caſe with the Onoidas when mr Occom
was among them in the year 176[illegible]⇑2 They were obliged to go to Suſquehan‐
nah river to hunt for food; in which tour he accompanied & preached
to them. And this often hath been the caſe as is evident by the accounts given
by the moſt of the miſſionaries, & in particular in the Continuation of mr
Wheelock's Narrative printed in Boſton in 1765.
be bro't to till their lands & not depend So much on the uncertain means of
hunting for their Support. The moſt likely way to affect this will be con-
any tolerable hopes of Succeſs, it is Still more difficult, in Several reſpects,
to Set up Schools among them to any great advantage. For not only the 'fore-
mentioned Jealouſies, wan't of their Language, & wandering, but alſo the
afverſion the parents have to Such a diſcipline as is abſolutely neceſ‐
ſary to keep them in any order and promote their learning ⇑is a great obſtruction The Children
are So uſed to an idle life, that they are ever ready to wander & neglect the
School, & when at School to neglect their books; & if any diſcipline is uſed,
both they & their parents reſent it, & hence will not allow, or at leaſt will
not urge them children to go to School. Mr Wheelock in his narrative printed
in Boſton 1763. page 219. writes thus, "There is no Such thing as Sending Engliſh
"Miſſionaries, or Setting up & maintaining Engliſh Schools to any good pur‐
poſe in moſt places among them, as their Temper, State & condition have
"been & Still are. It is poſſible a School may be maintained to Some
"good purpoſe at Onohoquage, where there have been heretofore Several
"faithful miſſionaries, by the bleſſing of God on whoſe labours the In‐
"dians are in Some meaſure civilized, Some of them baptized, a Number
"of them, in the judgment of Charity, real Chriſtians — And [gap: tear][guess: where] the
"Hon: Scotch= Commiſſ.rs, I hear, have Sent two Miſſionaries, & have made
"Some attempts to Set up a School. But at Jeningo, a little beyond, they
"will by no means admit an Engliſh Miſſionary to reſide among them.
"And tho' there were many of them under great awakenings & concern,
"by the bleſſing of God on the labours of a Chriſtian Indian from theſe
"parts, yet Such was the violent oppoſition of Numbers of them, that
"it was tho't by no means Safe, for an Engliſhman to go among them,
"with a deſign to tarry with them #. And like to this is the caſe with
"parties of Indians for near an hundred miles togather, on the weſt Side
"of Suſquehannah River. Another School or two may poſſibly be Set up ⇑[below]with
# I find at the End of the Revd mr Randals Sermon preached before the Society
in Scotland in 1763. a letter from the Revd mr Samuel Mather of Boſton, ⇑in which
he gives a very agreable & juſt account of the Indians at Onohoquage which he
had from a perſon who had lived among them, & who he Says alſo informed him,
"That about 16 miles weſt of Onohoquage, there are 200 Indians, who gene-
"rally [illegible] talk Engliſh, & who have an Indian teacher, who knows but little,
"tho he Seems well diſpoſed. Theſe Indians Seem well prepared for an Engliſh
"miſſionary" — Theſe are ⇑the Indians above mentioned at Jeningo: and the acc.t
which mr Wheelock here has publiſhed he had from this Indian preacher, who is
"with Succeſs among the Mohawks, [illegible]
"& where they have got into the way of cultivating their Lands for a living,
"& So have more ability to Support their children, & leſs occaſion to ram-
"ble abroad with them. But even in theſe places we may find it more dif-
"ficult than we may imagin before trial be made (tho' I would by no means
"diſcourage the trial of every feaſible method for the accompliſhing this
"great deſign) but by Acquaintance with the Schools which the Hon: Lon-
"don Commiſſioners have, with pious Zeal, Set up & maintained among
"the Several tribes in theſe parts, I am much confirmed in theſe Sen-
"timents. Theſe parties live amongſt, and are incompaſſed by the Engliſh, have
"long had good preaching, & numbers of them appear to be truly godly.
"Yet Such is the Savage temper of many, their want of due eſteem for
"learning, & gratitude to their benefactors, & eſpecially their want of Govern-
"ment, that their Schoolmaſters, tho Skilful & faithful men, conſtantly com-
"plain they can't keep their children in any meaſure conſtant at School.
"Mr Clelland the School-maſter at Mohegan has often told me what unwea-
"ried pains he had taken by viſiting & diſcourſing with their parents, &c. to
"remidy this evil, & after all can't accompliſh it. The children are Suffered
"to n[gap: tear][guess: eg]lect their attendance on inſtruction, & waſte much time, by which
"means they don't learn So much in Several years as they might, & others
"do in one, who are taken out of the reach of their parents, & out of the way
"of Indian examples, & are kept to School under good government & con-
"Stant inſtruction. I the reather mention this Inſtance, becauſe of the well
"known Skill & fidelity of that good Gentleman, & becauſe that tribe are as
"much civilized, & as many of them chriſtianized, as perhaps any party of
"them in this government. And by all I can learn, it is no better in this reſpect
"with any other. They are So diſaffected towards a good & neceſſary government,
"that as gentle an exerciſe of it as may be, & anſwer the deſign of keeping up
"order & regularity in any meaſure among them, will likely So diſguſt them as
"to render the caſe worſe reather than better. Captain Martain Kellog com‐
"plained of this as his great diſcouragement in the School at Stockbridge, not‐
withſtanding he underſtood, as well as any man, the diſpoſitions of the Indians,
one of the Mohegan tribe ⇑taught & Sent by mr Wheelock & who has been often among them endeavouring to
teach them according to his ability, with whom I am well acquainted, & who told
me that they were greatly prejudiced againſt the Engliſh as they removed to that
place being turned off their land elſe where; & who went among them in 1763, & could
not preach to them as the man whom he expected to be his interpreter was not there
& none among them could interpret for him. This account he gave me immediately
after his return. So that there muſt be Some miſtake in mr Mathers Account
"and had the advantage of knowing their language & cuſtoms, having been so
"long a captive among them, & was high in their affiction & eſteem; Yet he was
"obliged to take the Children home to Weatherſfield with him, quite away from
"their parents, before he could exerciſe that government which was neceſſary
"in order to their profitting at School — And beſides all this they are so
"extreemly poor, & depend so much upon hunting for a livelyihood, that they are
"in no capacity to Support their children at School, if their diſpoſition for it
"were ever So good" i.e. in a conſtant & regular way. Some light may be
thrown on this Subject by a letter from David Fowler an Indian School‐maſ‐
ter educated by mr Wheelock, dated, Onoida, June 24. 1765. — "My Scholars
"learn very well, I have put eleve[gap: tear][guess: n] of them into a, b, ab. (i.e. 19 day after he
begun the School) "I have three m[gap: tear][guess: or]e that will advance to that place this week
"& Some have got to the Sixth page. It is a thouſand pities they cannot keep
"togather: they are often going about to git their proviſion. One of the chiefs,
"in whoſe houſe I live, told me, he believed Some of the Indians would Starve
"to death this Summer. Some of them have almoſt conſumed all their corn
"already." From hence it appears, that the goſpelizing the Indians is attend-
ed with very great difficulties, & were it not abſolutely neceſſary, theſe things
would be Sufficient to diſcourage any attempt; But where any thing is ne‐
ceſſary, & of infinite importance (as this certainly is, both with regard to our‐
Selves as God's covenant people, & to them as formed for immortality) the
greater the difficulties are, the more vigourous Should be our efforts, & if
we fail in one attempt we Should try another. This is the way of men as to things
of infinitely leſs importance. But alaſs! the children of this world are often wi‐
ſer in their generation than the children of Light. Let us not then be diſcou‐
raged, but attend to what follows, which is humbly offered as the moſt likely
remidy for theſe evils, & which, by the bleſſing of God hath done more already,
than any attempt which was ever before made.
near New London in Connecticut in New England, was converted from pagan‐
iſm (as were a number beſides of that tribe) till which time he had lived to-
tally ignorant of the chriſtian religion; being then betwen 16 & 17 years of
age. After this he had a Strong deſire to learn to read the Scriptures. He ap-
plied to Some Engliſh, who lived near his tribe, to inſtruct him in his letters, &c.
& by his diligent application, without any School, he was able to read brokenly
in the ⇑Bible New Teſtament, & Speak a little broken Engliſh when he was about 19
years old: at which time, hearing that the Revd mr Wheelock, whom he had heard
preach among the Indians, & for whom he had a high eſteem, had a number
of Engliſh youths fitting for college, he had a deſire to go to him to be inſtructed
for a few weeks in reading — Providence opened the way by his Mother going
to mr Wheelock, who cheerfully took him, & taught him 4 years, near one
year of which time he was unable to Study thro' indiſpoſition of body. His
application to Study was So intence, that at the end of that time he hurt
his eyes so as to be unable to perſue his Studies, and was adviſed to go ⇑therefore went
to Montauk on Long Iſland, & taught[illegible][guess: a] School among the Indians. there, who
where he took the place of the Revd mr Horton who had been imployed among
them by the Hon. Scotch Commiſſioners in N. York. At his firſt going to that
place he taught School about a year & half without Support from any So-
ciety; but marrying, he found it neceſſary to have Some other help than
he could procure by labour in vacant hours. He kept School both parts of
the day, & in the winter months ⇑Seaſon evenings alſo, attended their Sick, & funerals,
and prayed & expounded the Scriptors to them & exhorted them every Sabbath
& did all the other parts of a teacher among them, So that his time being al‐
moſt wholly ingroſed he could do but little for his own Support. Some
friends knowing his circumſtances applied to the Hon: London Commiſſionrs
in Boſton who gave him £15 Ster. per an: which they continued for moſt of
the 1[illegible]6 years he was there. But his family increaſing greatly he was
obliged to remove to his own land in Mohegan, in order to procure Some
Support for them, & here he had for one year £22:10 Ster: from the S.d
Hon: London Commiſſ.rs; & being 100 miles diſtant from them, & Surround-
ed by the Hon: Scotch Commiſſ.rs in Connecticut, it was tho't beſt he Sho'd
be under their care; & accordingly that Board in July 1764. prefered a
requeſt to have him diſmiſed from the Board in Boſton to them, with the
continuance of his Sallery; which was readily done, only ⇑but they continued
the Sallery only for that year: so that being much in debt before, he was
now reduced to Some Straights as the Board in Connecticut had no means of
relief for him, yet it pleaſed God to open the hearts of friends So that he did
not Suffer. But to return.
Sent to the Revd mr John Branard in New Jerſey for two boys in order to edu-
cate them. He was encouraged to this by obſerving the Succeſs which mr
occum had among the Indians on long Iſland, who were filled with prejudices
against their Miniſter the Revd mr Horton, & all other miniſters around, by the
intemperate Zeal of Some exhorters from N. England; & who were happily
cured by his prudent management among them, so as to attend to the Sober dic-
tates of religion, & Seing that, by the divine bleſſing, his labours had been
Succeſful ⇑by the divine bleſſing for the Saving good of Some; & obſerving alſo that his own Na-
tion, as well as thoſe adjacent who knew him, depended on him to con-
duct their civil, as well as religious affairs, he concluded that the teaching
the Indians by their own Sons was the moſt likely way to Succeſs; & therefore
procured the two boys above mentioned. When he took theſe two youths, he had
no fund for their Support, nor Sufficient income for the Support of his own
numerous family; tho' he had Some eſtate in land [illegible][guess: or] ⇑And from that time till
I left America, he never had any thing in hand for the Support of the cauſe
except twice a Small matter ⇑little more than to diſcharge the debts ⇑in which he had in-
volved his own eſtate by it; And when he firſt undertook this work, he
says Page 14th of his firſt Narrative "I did not much think of any
"thing more than only to clear my Self & family of partaking in the
"guilt publick guilt of our land & nation in such a neglect of them."
After he had inſtructed theſe two Youths for near two years, one of them faling into
a decline, he Sent him home, & two more of the Delawar Tribe came in his place.
And altho the war Soon commenced, & the face of Indian affairs appeared more
& more gloomy; yet Such was the good behaviour of the Boys, & their proficiency
in learning that he was incouraged to go on, & gradually increaſe the Number, So
that in April 1757, he had four; & in April 1759, five; & Seven in November, 1760;
& eleven in Auguſt 1761, & in Novem 1762 he had no leſs than 25 in his School*
number till in the whole he hath had
between 40 & 50 whome he Supports.
tions, & thro' them, to more remote tribes, if the affair Should Succeed: But this could
not be accompliſhed at firſt. Thoſe Nations had always been averſe to parting with their
Children to go to the Engliſh. ⇑[illegible][guess: The] Hon: Cadwalleder Colden Governor of New York told me, that
he had tryied to obtain Some of their Children to have them educated, & tho' perſonally
acquainted & intimate with many of them, could never prevail. Hence mr Whee-
lock was under a neceſſity of begining with thoſe Tribes who had Some acquaintance
with the Engliſh, & alſo with religion. Beſides, the War commencing, it was quite imprac-
ticable, & would have been eſteemed wild & extravagant indeed, to have made an attempt
of this nature among Indians who were often in Suſpence what Side to take in the war;
& his propoſal to obtain them, when the war was ended, "was by many hardly to be account-
ed for but by a diſtempred brain." By the time the War ended, he had taken four of the
Delawar Nation from New Jerſey, one of whom was dead; & two from Montauk on Long-
Iſland in N. York governm.t & only one from Connecticut, viz from Mohegan; & Since
that time hath never taken any from [illegible]thoſe Nations, excepting 32 or 3 who were deſign'd
for trades after they had learned to read, write, & keep common accounts, & theſe were ⇑are
not reckoned in the ⇑School[illegible].
& would require Some conſiderable expience, & had mr Wheelock attempted it without
any help from Some Society, & without money to Support the charge of So extraor-
dinary an enterprize, theyre would have been Still more danger ifthat he would
have been reproached as raſh & preſumptious. Therefore in May 1761, he ap-
plied to the Hon: Scotch Commiſſrs in Boſton, who approving the deſign of
Sending for children of remote tribes, paſſed a vote on May 7. to this purpoſe,
That m.r Wheelock be deſired to fit out David Fowler an Indian youth to acom‐
pany the Revd mr Occom on a Miſſion to Onoida, & that Said David be Supported
on Sd Miſſion a term not not exceeding 4 months, & that he endeavour, to bring
on his return, to bring down three Boys to be put under mr Wheelocks care
& that £20 be put into mr Wheelocks hand to carry on the deſign; & that when
Said Sum Shall be expended, he adviſe the treaſurer of it & Send his accounts
for allowance. This was accordingly done & the thre boys procured & Sent
to mr Wheelock. This was the firſt opening among the back nations, & was
much facilitated by mr Occom & David Fowler, going up among them (who had
been educated in mr Wheelocks School) going up among them & giving them
a favourable Idea of the deſign, & eſpecially by the influance & aſſiſtance of
Sir W.m Johnſon. Incouraged by this countenance from the Board, Mr Wheelock
applied to the General Aſſembly of Maſſechuſets Bay the November following,
who granted him £54 Ster: on which incouragement he took Six more
Children of the Six Nations, truſting providence for the Supply of what that
Sum Should fall Short in their Support. This Sum of £54 Ster. that Hon: Aſſem‐
bly have granted forto mr Wheelock from year to year Since; & by the charities of
the pious in & about Boſton, Portſmouth, Connecticut, New York & Phila-
delphia, & Some kind, unexpected providential Supplies from friends of the
cauſe in Great Britain, the School hath been hither to Supported; tho' no mo-
ney hath[illegible] ever been in hand more than Sufficient to diſchare preſent debts (wch
Some times have been very conſiderable without any human proſpiect of relief) &,
to twice only, to keep the School a few weeks.
in Norwich in New England, & Since there have been three or four more En‐
gliſh youth taken in to be trained up as aſſociates with the Indians in their
Miſſions, & Several who have had the moſt of their education at their own
expence are now imployed as miſſionaries among the Indians, & Sup-
ported by this Charity.
for the Six Nations in order to winter among them. The went to Onohoquage
where Joſeph continued with the Indians till the next fall teaching School
& inſtructing them in the things of God & Jeſus Chriſt in which he appeared
to be much ingaged. Mr Kirtland went from thence to Fort Johnſon, &
tarried with Sir W.m Joh[illegible]nſon learning the Mohawk language, till the 17th of
January following, & then traveled ⇑on boat in company with two Seneca Indians,
about 250 miles thro' a Snow four feet deep, &till he came to the Seneca Na‐
tion who are numerous, among whom he continued till the Spring of 1766, &
Suffered many hardſhips, & was often in great danger of being murdered by
Some of that Savage Nation — But God preſirved him; & by him hath opened
a hopeful proſpect of carrying the bleſſed goſpel among that numerous and
of the Indians & their earneſst deſire to Send their Children to mr [gap: tear][guess: Whee-]
lock & to have teachers come among them, excited him to look out for Som[gap: tear][guess: e] En-
gli[gap: tear][guess: ſh]
gliſh miſſionaries to Sentd out with thoſe Indian youth who were quallified for
inſtructing the heathen. Mr Wheelock was incouraged to Send thoſe Engliſh Miſ‐
ſionaries by the confidence which he knew theſe Indians had in him, as Sincerely
Seeking their good, of which they were perſwaded by his educating their Children: &
alſo by the earneſt deſire they expreſſed of being inſtructed having miniſters Sent
among them, of which they had been deſtitute for Several years. Accordingly he
called the Hon: Board of Commiſſ.rs in Connecticty to meet on the 12th of March 1765
in order to examine meſſ .rs Titus Smith & Theo: Chamberlain as miſſionaries,
David Fowler, a Montauk Indian, Hezekiah Calvin, a Dielaware, Moſes, Johannes,
Abraham primus, Abraham Secundus & Peter, Mohawks as Schoolmaſters: ac-
cordingly we met; & providence So ordered it, that at the very time we were
gathering, three Indians arived from Onohoquage, having traviled on foot 300
miles thro' the Snow; & at the Same inſtant alſo came in mr Gun the Interpre-
ter, who was well acquainted with thoſe indians, by whom we were able to under-
stand them & they us. Thus theſe three parties met, in leſs than half an hour, from
places 300 miles diſtant, without any previous appointment or the leaſt know-
ledge of each others deſign. Their Arrand was to aſk for a miniſter to go & preach
Chriſt to them, & Said they had ⇑had no miniſter for a great while. The Board examined
and approved the Candidates; & on the 24th of April following they two were or-
dained, & commiſſioned by the Board as Miſſionaries, who went to the Six nations
in company with the Schoolmaſters who were placed in Schools among them
& in the Autum following they had in their Schools about 130 children, who
made good proficiency in reading, tho they knew not a letter (moſt of them) when
they went among them: And by a letter from mr Wheelock ⇑Since I am informed that
he had accounts of above 100 children in only four of thoſe Schooles laſt Summer.
greſs of this School as I am capable of in So Short a cumpaſs: and I perſwad my-
ſelf that it will eaſily appear, [illegible]that this plan is more likely to obviate the before-
mientioned difficulties, than any other that hath been attempted, & is incomparably
better than to depend wholly on Engliſh miſſ:rs: for, let it be obſerved
defrauding them of their Lands, their intereſt being one; So ye grand objection is removed.
be neceſſary for the Support of an Engliſh Miſſionary, who can't conform to their
manner of living, & who can have no dependance on them for any part of it; but on
the contrary, they will be always expecting Some favours from him, which will not
be the caſe with an Indian.
Speak to them in their own language & So be able to addreſs them with more pathos
[gap: tear][guess: &] energy; & be in a capacity more readily to prevent any riſing jealouſies & difficulties
[gap: tear][guess: whi]ch may be breading among them, & which could not be eaſily diſcovered by one who
[gap: tear][guess: is ig]norant of their language.
[gap: tear][guess: 4.] Indian Miſſionaries may be Suppoſed better to underſtand the tempers & Cuſtoms
[gap: tear][guess: of the] Indians, & more readily conform to them in a thouſand things than the Engliſh
can, & in things wherein their nonconformity may cauſe diſguſt, & by them be
conſtrued as the fruit of pride, or it may be, Something worſe.
than of any Engliſhman whatever. They will look upon Such as one of them;
their Intereſt the Same with theirs: & will naturally eſteem him as the hon–
of their Nation, & be more ready to be adviſed & Submit to his reproofs, than
to any Engliſh miſſionary; & eſpecially will they, more patiently, endure ye
diſcipline neceſſary in a School from one of their own nation than from
the Engliſh. This is abundantly evident in the caſe of mr Occom, who taught
School a long time among the Indians at Montauk, where, he Says, he could,
without offence, uſe any neceſſary Sever⇑ity with the Children & reprove the
Parents for any fault: & even among his own tribe his influence is much
greater than any other man's in that whole government, as well as among
all the tribes in that vicinity
Indians cauſes them to diſpare of immitating them; but when they See their
own Sons capable of huſbandry & a decent life, this hath already, & will pro-
pably continue more & more to animate them to induſtry & huſbandry, that
they alſo may partake of the Sweets of life, & not be so frequently reduced to a
Staving condition, which a dependance on hunting diſpoſes them to. And this
is the moſt likely means of preventing their rambling, & collecting them to‐
gather in compact bodies, & fixing them in Setled habitations; which will effec-
tually prevent their going to war with us, as then their property will be fixed, &
not eaſily removed, & therefor expoſed to be deſtroyed, & they ruined ⇑in caſe of a war, & will alſo
incline them to uſe their Influence with the more defiant nations to keep them
in peace; & to defend us when theyre Shall be war, as they will be our fronteer, &
moſt liable to Suffer. This alſo will bring them under better advantages for
inſtruction, as they will not need to ramble for their foodt. Let me add here
alſo, that this will be of inconceivable advantage to the trade of this Nation,
as every civilized Indian will take a conſiderable quantity of Britiſh ma-
nufactories yearly. Beſides, this will enable them to procure a living [illegible] from
the one ⇑fiftieth hundreth part of the land which is now neceſſary for them to hunt
on, & the reſidue may be improved by the Engliſh, without any injury to
the Indians when once they learn huſbandry, & hereby the britiſh Colonies
can be extended, & the people there be under no neceſſity of going into ma-
nufactories; which they never will, while they have Sufficient land to improve.
Tribes & places, will contract & cultivate, while togather, [illegible]at School, may be
improved much for the benefit advantage & furtherance of their Miſſion
thers language, & Engliſh youth may learn of them; & thereby Save the vaſt
expence of Interpreters, & their miniſtry be much more acceptable, & edify‐
ing to the Indians.
with them (where the Engliſh can be introduced) as elder brethren, eſpecially
while they are So much dependant on the Engliſh for a Support — & they will
mutually help each other to recommend the deſign to the favourable reception
of the pagans, remove their prejudices, conciliate their friendſhip, & indce
them to repoſe due confidence in the Engliſh.
be naturally bound to them, (for all know how Strong the tie of language is) &
will of courſe be naturally diſpoſed to trade with the people they can under-
Stand; & will alſo have the advantage of knowing what deeds & other writings
they Sign, by which they will be guarded from thoſe impoſitions, which have
been the ground of their Jealoſies, & coſt the Engliſh So much blood & treaſure
are not likely to forſake the buſineſs of their miſſion, as they are ⇑will not likely to ⇑probably
be invited to churches among the Engliſh; and as they will have the induce-
ment to continue among the Indians which no Engliſh man can have, viz.
that they will neceſſarily be eſteemed, honoured & advanced among them on
account of their Superior knowledge. This has been the caſe moſt evidently
with mr Occom who hath more influence & honour among his own Nation
& all the Tribes around them, than any S⇑achim of the back nations hath among ⇑them.
[illegible][guess: thoſe Miſſionaries] 12 [illegible] where as there are very few inſtances of
Engliſh Miſſ.rs who have had a delicate education, but have Soon prefered
the pleaſures of Society & a field of more extenſive uſefulneſs, of which they
have had a fairer proſpect [illegible][guess: of] among the Engliſh, to the regions of Igno-
rance, & hardſhips of life in a dreary Wilderneſs, where their improvements
in learning & Science are hid, & they Seem almoſt loſt to themſelves & the world.
School before deſcribed is exactly calculated to anſwer all the difficulties which
have hitherto obſtructed this glorious work beyond any thing which hath yet
been attempted. And if the Indians can be bro't to agriculture & live decently,
it will tend to cure them of the vice of drinking to exceſs, which hath ever
been a great obſtruction to the progreſs of the Goſpel among them, & rendered
it dangerous for miſſionaries to be among them. The inſtance of mr Occoms
nation is a full proof of this. Formerly they were, like other Indians, addicted
to drinking to exceſs, but now they cultivate their lands & have the comforts
of life they are as free from that vice as perhaps any So large a num-
ber of people togather among the Engliſh.
ment; but am Senſible it is yet [illegible][guess: defic]neceſſarily deficient in many reſpects
& time, with experience, may diſcover many more defects, than ⇑do now occur. Give
me leave to hint one or two things which go [illegible] ⇑belong to the plan, & which can't at
preſent be accompliſhed for want of Supplies.
in order to erect the School, & imploy a great Number of Indian Youth
of different nations in huſbandry as well as So much learning as Shall
be neceſſary for common buſineſs; & to train up a number of Girls to
all the buſineſs of houſ-wif⇑ery & Such trades as Shall render them uſeful
in their families; & alſo to teach the Indians lads Such trades as will en-
able them to promote huſbandry &c among their own Nations. This was
the plan propoſed by the Revd mr Seargent of Stockbridge, & adopted by
the Hon. Society in London & mr David Bainard, & was generally approved.
well, & Some of whom are of other nations & languages, Should go[illegible] accompanied
by Such Engliſh youth as are deſigned for a Miſſion, to Some nation where
they are likely to be imployed in order to Set up Schools to teach the chil-
dren Engliſh, while they perfect themſelves in their own or a Strange lan-
guage — This indeed is now perſued with reſpect to a number, but need's
larger Supplies to carry it into thoroug⇑h execution.
already been So remarkable, that I freely own, That after my intimate ac-
quaintance with it for Several years I am not able to form any objection
of any weight againſt it: And yet I have heard of three objections wch have
been improved to its diſadvantage, which I beg leave now to obviate.
ing them among the engliſh is objected to this plan.
for an Extract from Dr Chancy's Sermon preach in Boſton at the ordination
of mr Bowman on Auguſt 31. 1762, which I find publiſhe here at the end of
the Revd mr Randals Sermon, preach before the Society in Edenburgh, for pro-
moting chriſtian knowledge; His words are "We have have not incouraged the
"Sending theſe Boys; &, as we imagine, for very good reaſons. The charge of bring-
"ing them from their own homes, & educating them among us, would be very
"great. We have felt the truth of this, as we lately found ourſelves obliged to
"pay nearly £60. Sterling in leſs than one year for three Boys only."
very great. As it is natural for every one to underſtand by this ⇑account that, three Boys
only would ordinarily coſt near £60 Sterling in leſs than one year, per-
haps in eight or nine months. But the Dr was unhappily miſtaken as to the
fact, which was this. David Fowler was on a miſſion near four months in which
he Spent (including the expence of fitting him out) near £15. Ster: He procured
& Sent down three Mohawk Lads, they each brot a horſe which mr Wheelock
was obliged to keep in a time of great drought; they all came [illegible]little better than
naked, except one who had Some cloths; He cloathed them all — In about three
months, one being in a decline when he came was obliged to return, and another
to accompany him, The expence of their Journey back about [illegible] miles [illegible][guess: weſt]
one Soon died, the other married & did not return. The third accompanied mr
Kirtland about 200 miles to procure two more to Supply their place, which
journey was expenſive; the two they obtained came naked were to be clothed
which added to the expence; So that in Stead of "three Boys only" there was the
clothing & firniſhing David Fowler [illegible]with horſe & money for his long journey
of Several months; the Expence of the Boys journey home above 200 miles;
the expence of Kirtlands Journey (excepting his horſe) to bring down the
other two; the paſturing their horſes in a dry & difficult Seaſon; the cloath-
ing all five & repairing their cloathing while they tarried; their Boarding
Schooling, waſhing, lodging, firewood, Candles, books, paper, &c. the amount
of all which. for near twelve months was, errors excepted, juſt £58.17.S.7 ¼d
Sterling: Hence it appears that the Dr was groſly miſtaken, when he Says "for
three boys only" It is a pitty he had not examined the caſe more thoro'ly
before he publiſhed concerning it, which he had the faireſt oppertunity for
as he was Cha[illegible]irman of the Committee when the bill ⇑account was carried in: and it
is a debt he owes to the world & to truth to [illegible]own his miſtake & Set this
affair in a true light, as it reſpects a matter of fact.. But this whole
II. affair is Set in a more full light in mr Wheelocks Narrative printed
in Boſton Page. 39-45. which has never be replied to by the D.r
Wheelock hath had in his School are taken from the civilized & chriſtianized
Indians in Connecticut.
the School, I know of but two Indians in it or that ever were in it, which belonged
to connecticut, & one of thoſe, as I remember, was deſigned for a trade and the other
for a farmer. ⇑mr Occom indeed is another exception; but he had left mr Wheelock 8 or 9 years before he had the tho'ts of a School, & never was reckond as one oft.
the Indians to read in their own language than to teach them Engliſh. In an‐
ſwer to this I would obſerve
Pſalms & a few other paſſages of Scripture in the Mohawk language; & it is
next to impoſſible to find any man ⇑to whom it would be Safe to truſt the
work of tranſlating the Scriptures into that or any other ⇑back Indian language.
language which is known in America, it would be of uſe to but a compa‐
retively Small number, as theſ language differs generally ever hundred or 2
miles, not only in its Idiom, but in the very words as much as the Welch
differs from the Engliſh; So that there would require many tranſlations,
which, as they ⇑it would not be exceeding difficult to procure them, if not impoſſible, So the impreſ‐
ſions of them muſt be very expenſive.
nevolent to exert themſelves for the Support of this School & of the miſſionaries
& Schoolmaſter who are & may be Sent from it into the Wilderneſs to inſtruct
the periſhing pagans in reading, writing, religion & the civil arts.
cite us to this. Their habitations are uſually made of the Bark of trees, & are inſuffi‐
cien't to difend them from the rain & ⇑cold [illegible]. their lodging the cold earth or ye bark
of a tree, & at beſt the Skin of a Bare or some other beaſt — their food, the fleſh of
wild beaſts they take in hunting which they commonly eat without Salt, & frequent-
ly without bread, as they are unacquainted with huſbandry, & raiſe no bread corn,
except Maiſe or Indian corn, of which the Sildom have a Sufficiency. And they,
depending on hunting, are often Starved thro' want. Now, if we are required to
deal our bread to the hungry, where can we find more proper objects? eſſpecially
as there are So many thouſands & millions of theſe unhappy wretches, & a Smal
matter comparatively, will be Sufficient to bring them to be able to Support themſelves.
ſery; & therefore love to their immortal part Should excite us to endeavour to Spread
the Goſpel among them, without which they cannot be Saved in God's ordinary way.
And can we pretend to be the followers of X & partakers of his Spirit, & yet be in-
different to the happineſs or miſery of their precious Souls!
the Indians to be Such a Sore Scurge to the Britiſh Colonies, in barbarouſly butch-
ering & murdering the inhabitants, captivating their Sons, daſhing their little
ones againſt the Stones, & burning & laying waſt the c⇑ountry, for near a hundred
miles togather as the did the laſt war: all which might have been prevented, had
there been Suitable pains taken in time to Send pious, zealous miſſionaries among
them, eſpecially of their own Sons, who being trained up with the Engliſh would
naturally have an attachment to them, & by various means might have prevented
their engaging in a war. "There is good reaſon to think, that if one half which has
been laid out in building forts, maning & Supporting them, & in preſents to buy the
friendſhip of the Indians, had been prudently laid out in Supporting faithful miſſior.s
& School maſters among them, that the more inſtructed, & civilized party would have
been a better defence, than all the expenſive fortreſſes & prevented the laying waſte So
many towns & villages: Witneſs the conſequence of Sending mr Sergeant to Stock-
bridge, which was in the very road by wch they moſt uſually came upon our
people, & by wch there hath never been one attact made upon us, since his going there"
Sir W.m Johnſon in a letter to mr Occom, Say "Every Indian in the near Onoida Caſtle,
the Oghquagoes, Mohawks, Schoharees, & Candia Indians are determined to live &
die with the Engliſh; owing in a great meaſure to the little knowledge they have of
our religion, which I heartily wiſh was more known to them & the reſt."
more than they in a covent way, & So are bound to de[illegible]vote all to the Glory of our liberal
benefactor, Should be a motive to excite us to liberallity in this work.
Sit — for he shall be Satiſfied whe he Sees of the travil of his Soul. And can we be in[gap: tear][guess: dif-]
ferent in that in which he is So ingaged! did he become poor, that we might be rich; &
Shall we grudge a little of our Subſtance & pains for to Save thoſe Souls for which
he died! Surely if the love of Chriſt dwells in us we Shall think nothing too much
or too hard that is in our power in order to Set X on his throne among the heathien
trade & we⇑alth of this nation, as they will then wear the britiſh manufacturies, which
article alone would every year far more than compenſate the annual expence
of inſtructing them
then; & therefore we have good reaſon to believe our endeavours will not be fruitleſs
Wheelock, who with infinite pains & labour ⇑& to [illegible][guess: the] hazard of his own eſtate, hath trained up a number who are
now imployed in teaching the heathen; & if he can't be incouraged to go on, who will
ever attempt the like again
& forſake every comfort that reſults from Society & plenty, & go thro dangers & fateagues.
too many & great to be here deſcribed; And this they have done hitherto without any other
encouragement but that which hath aroſe from the hope of Spreading the Goſpel among
their periſhing fellow men, & from the promiſſes of a future reward in Glory; & can any
who bare the name of Chriſtians be backward to give of their Subſtance to fead &
cloath them, while they bear the burden & heat of the day — Surely we Should bear
one anothers burdens & So fulfil the Law of Chriſt.
many promiſſes that he will reward, even in this life, with temporal bleſſings
& in the life to come with eternal advantage, whatever is given for the advance-
ment of his cauſe here Should awaken us to Such acts of charity & piety. Many
are the promiſes to this purpoſe —Caſt thy bread on the Waters, & thou Shall find it after
many days. The liberal Soul deviſeth liberal things, & by liberal things Shall he Stand
Bleſſed is the man that conſidereth the poor, the Lord Shall be with him in time of
trouble, &c. &c. &c. And this is one yea[illegible] the principle thing which Chriſt will at laſt
acknowledge as the mark of his diſciples, & will reward with eternal Joy: He Shall
then Say to them on his right hand, Come ye bleſſed of my father inhierit the Kingdom
— for I was an hungred, & ye gave me meet, I was athurſt, & ye gave me drink —
— In as much as ye did it to one of the leaſt of theſe my brethren, ye did it to me —
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.
John Eliot was a Puritan minister who became known as "the Apostle to the Indians." He was born in England in 1604, the son of Bennett Eliot, a middle-class farmer, and graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge in 1622. Coming under the influence of Thomas Hooker, he became a Puritan dissenter and emigrated to the fledgling colony of Massachusetts in 1631. In 1632, he became a teacher at the church of Roxbury, near Boston, where he remained until his death in 1690. Interested in converting Indians, he learned their dialects with the assistance of a young Indian and gave his first sermon in the Massachusetts tongue in October 1646. Thereafter, he helped establish 14 "praying towns" for 4,000 converted Native peoples, which were destroyed during King Philip's (Metacom's) war in 1674. Eliot's work was funded from England and inspired the creation of the Company for Propagating the Gospel in New England and Parts Adjacent in North America in 1649, the first missionary society in England. After 1770, it became known as the New England Company, a group with whom Wheelock had very rocky relations. Still, Eliot's methods, his belief that "civilization" of Indians was necessary for conversion, and his training and use of Native teachers and evangelists, set the pattern for missionary work for the next two centuries and influenced Wheelock's approach. Eliot is best known for his production of a translation of the Bible into the Massachusetts dialect of Algonquian, published in 1661-1663. It was the first Bible printed in North America. Both Wheelock and the white missionaries he trained saw themselves as walking in Eliot's footsteps.
David Brainerd was a Presbyterian missionary who became a New Light martyr and inspired Wheelock to work for Native American education. He was the older brother of the longer-lived but lesser-known John Brainerd, who provided Wheelock with his first Native students. In the early 1740s, David got caught up in the New Light tide at Yale, and was subsequently expelled for describing men in positions of authority as unsaved. Because ministers to English congregations had to have a degree from Harvard or Yale, David became a missionary to Native Americans instead. His missions attracted substantial attention, and in 1744 the Newark Presbytery ordained him so that he could receive funding from the Society in Scotland for Propagating Chrisitian Knowledge (SSPCK). Between April 1743 and November 1746, when he became too ill to serve, David conducted missionary efforts among various tribes in the mid-Atlantic region, most notably in New Jersey. After his death from tuberculosis in 1747, David became something of a martyr. New Light Congregationalists, especially, saw David's expulsion from Yale as unjust and his commitment to Native Americans as divine. In 1749, Jonathan Edwards published a biography of David together with David's diary, and the text quickly became part of the New Light canon. Education was central to David Brainerd's ministry, and he was among Wheelock's several inspirations. In 1745, Brainerd sent Wheelock a copy of his journal.
John Brainerd was an ardent missionary with an important role in Wheelock's design. He was the younger brother of the famous missionary David Brainerd, who died as a young man after being expelled from Yale and serving as a missionary to New Jersey tribes. John completed his Yale degree and was immediately commissioned to replace David. Even in his own time, he was seen as a man as pious as, but less talented than, his brother, though Brainerd missioned to Indians during a more volatile period, and saw his congregation forcibly removed from their lands in 1755 and relocated at Brothertown in 1758 (this Brothertown should not be confused with the one founded in New York after the Revolution by many Moor's alumni). Brainerd was extremely devoted to the Indian cause. He often had the opportunity to serve wealthy English congregations, but preferred to remain an Indian missionary. He invested signficant sums of his own money into his missions, for which he was never reimbursed. Brainerd was a very prominent Presbyterian figure, active in the Presbytery and Synod of New York, holding several elected positions, and in the Presbtery and Synod of New York and Philadelphia once the two reunified in 1758. He was a Trustee of the College of New Jersey from 1754 until his death, and a member of the New York Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Occom had planned to work with Brainerd in 1750, but political upheaval prevented it. Brainerd was one of several men nominated to accompany Occom to England, but the New York Board refused to let him go. While Brainerd and Wheelock were not close personal friends, the two had a similar interests and a long-lasting correspondence. John Brainerd sent Wheelock his first Indian boys, and also recruited female students in the 1760s. Throughout their lives, Brainerd and Wheelock updated one another on Indian missions, and Brainerd seems to have been one of Wheelock's "point people" in the Presbyterian Church.
John Sergeant was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1710. He went on to receive two degrees in theology from Yale, in 1729 and 1732. He was serving as a Yale College tutor when the New England Company sponsored him, along with Timothy Woodbridge (who was John Eliot’s great-grandson), to missionize in Mohican country in western Massachusetts, a mission that lasted 40 years. Konkopat, a Mohican sachem who worked with English ministers in the Connecticut River Valley, finally convinced his tribe to allow missionaries to come into their community. Within two years, the NEC began Stockbridge, a Christian Indian town that would help christianize Indians and foster defenses against the French and their Indian allies. The NEC proposed settling four British families in Stockbridge to keep Sergeant and Woodbridge company as well as to serve as "models of civility" for the Indians. These families were led by Ephraim Williams, a speculator in Indian lands. Sergeant married Williams's teenage daughter, Abigail. Because of Williams's interest in acquiring Native lands, many Stockbridge Indians became suspicious of Sergeant. Overall, though, the Indians were favorably disposed towards developments at Stockbridge. Sergeant went on to learn the native language and translated religious texts for Indian use. In the 1740s, several Oneida families sent their children to Stockbridge to study at Sergeant’s Indian boarding school. In 1744, Sergeant and several Stockbridge Indians visited Onaquaga and established relationships between their communities. For the next decade, however, the Williams family exploited the Indians and secured thousands of acres of Mohican lands. When Sergeant died in 1749, the Williams family took control of the Indian school and its funds. Due to poor management, the Stockbridge boarding school soon closed. The noted theologian Jonathan Edwards succeeded Sergeant in 1750 as the Stockbridge Indian missionary.
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.
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.
Elisha Gunn was a gunsmith who resided in Onaquaga for a number of years and served as an interpreter for several different missionary societies. Although he was a well-known interpreter in missionary circles, there is little information about him. He is identified as a resident of Montague, MA, where his three children were born, but he and his family seem to have spent much of the 1760s living in Onaquaga. It is unclear where Gunn learned Haunenosaunee (Iroquois) languages, but his services were certainly in high demand: he was the interpreter over whom the Connecticut Board of the SSPCK and the Boston Board of the New England Company clashed in 1765. One of Wheelock's main goals was to train missionaries who could serve as their own interpreters, because he believed that existing interpreters were too scarce, too expensive, and too untrained in theology. What little we know of Gunn certainly supports Wheelock's arguments. He seems to have been one of the few available interpreters (if not the only one), his services cost the New England Company £50 sterling a year (more than three times Occom's salary at the same time), and his surviving letters show a reliance on extremely phonetic spelling and suggest a lack of formal education. NB: One genealogical website puts Gunn's birth year at 1723, a decade earlier. It would be easy for a researcher to mix 1723 and 1733, especially if the record is poorly written, and neither year is unreasonable.
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.
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.
Sarah Occom was Samson Occom's mother. There is some evidence that she was a member of the Groton Pequots, a remnant of the once powerful Pequot Tribe that was decimated by the war with the Puritans in 1636-37. (The Pequots and Mohegans were once a unified people until the Mohegan chief Uncas and a band of followers split off after a dispute with Sassacus, who became sachem of the Pequots.) One genealogy gives Sarah's birthdate as 1694, her maiden name as Wauby Sampson, her father as Sabientouset II (known as General Samson) and her mother as Hannah Wequot Uncas, of the line of the Mohegan's first sachem. Sarah married Joshua Occom (or Tomockham), a Mohegan, and they may have had up to five children: Joshua Jr., Samson, Jonathan, Lucy, and Sarah. In Samson's "Short Narrative" of his life, he notes that his parents "led a wandering Life up and down in the Wilderness" around Uncas Hill. Sarah was an early convert to Christianity during the revivals that swept the area, and Occom recounts that when he told her he wanted education in order to serve his Tribe, she went to Wheelock in nearby Lebanon, CT, because she heard "he had a Number of English youth under his Tuition," to request he take in her son. By 1743, Sarah was a widow, and Samson continued to visit and stay at his mother's house in Mohegan through the 1760s, though one source gives her death as 1782.
Azariah Horton was an Anglo-American missionary who conducted a 10-year mission (1741-1751) to the Montauketts and Shinnecocks of Long Island before being replaced by Samson Occom in 1750. After graduating from Yale in 1735 and briefly preaching in Turkey, NJ, Horton was ordained and commissioned by the New York (later New Jersey) Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SSPCK) to serve as a missionary on Long Island. His territory was extensive: in addition to the Montauketts and the Shinnecocks, Horton ministered to Indian tribes on the Wyoming and Delaware rivers where the Brainerd brothers were later quite successful. Horton kept a diary during the first three years of his mission (1741-1744) in which he records his extensive travels between sites. By the late 1740s, however, he was residing solely at Shinnecock and spending almost all of his time there. Perhaps his health had decayed and he was unable to travel, or perhaps he had simply given up on his mission (the sources are unclear). Whatever the cause, his neglect left the Montauketts ripe for Samson Occom’s missionary efforts. Horton encouraged Occom’s ministry, and the two stayed in contact (Occom visited him at least once, in 1760). However, when Horton retired, the SSPCK retired his mission with him. They believed that it was a fairly fruitless enterprise, which is likely at least part of the reason why they were disinclined to pay Occom for his efforts. After leaving Montauk, Horton became the pastor at Bottle Hill, NJ (sometimes described as South Hanover). He retired of his own volition in October 1776 and moved to live with his son in Chatham, NJ, where he died in 1777 after being exposed to smallpox while ministering to the dead and dying in George Washington’s army.
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.
Samuel Kirkland (b. Kirtland) was Eleazar Wheelock’s most famous Anglo American student. He conducted a 40-year mission to the Oneidas and founded Hamilton College (established in 1793 as Hamilton Oneida Academy). Kirkland won acclaim as a missionary at a young age by conducting an adventurous and risky mission to the Senecas, the westernmost of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Six Nations. After his year and a half among them, which was well publicized by Wheelock, he was ordained and sent as a missionary to the Oneidas under the auspices of the Connecticut Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. He spent most of the rest of his life serving the Oneidas as a minister. Kirkland’s sincere devotion to serving as a missionary was excellent publicity for Wheelock’s program, but it also brought the two men into conflict. Wheelock became jealous of Kirkland when the school’s British benefactors began urging Wheelock to make Kirkland his heir, and Kirkland, meanwhile, was upset that Wheelock had failed to provide him with sufficient supplies on his mission — a complaint that he was unafraid to publicize (and that almost all of Wheelock’s other students shared). The breaking point came in 1770, when Kirkland split from Wheelock’s Connecticut Board and affiliated with the New England Company, a missionary society that had abruptly turned against Wheelock in 1765. Wheelock and Kirkland briefly made up in 1771, but their relationship quickly dissolved into further acrimony. Although Kirkland spent most of his life as a missionary to the Six Nations, he generally held disparaging views of Native Americans. He did not approve of Wheelock’s plan to educate Indians as missionaries, and was haughty towards the Moor’s alumni that worked with him (notably David Fowler, Joseph Johnson, and Joseph Woolley). Prior to the Revolution, Kirkland had been stringent in his refusals to take Oneida land, even when offered to him. The Revolution seems to have shifted his loyalties from the Oneidas to local Anglo Americans. Kirkland served as a chaplain in the American army and was instrumental in convincing the Oneidas to remain neutral (or, more accurately, to side with the Americans). At one point he was the chaplain with General Sullivan’s army, the force sent to ransack Seneca and Cayuga territory in 1779. It is unclear what emotions this aroused in Kirkland, who had served the Senecas less than 15 years earlier, yet after the war, Kirkland freely engaged in Oneida dispossession. Along with James Dean, another Wheelock alumnus with close ties to the Oneidas, Kirkland played a pivotal role in urging the Oneidas to sell land illegally to the state of New York. The land deals that resulted gave Kirkland the property, financial capital, and connections to establish Hamilton Oneida Academy. The last decades of Kirkland’s life were difficult. He found himself in a three-way battle with Samson Occom and John Sergeant Jr., who were also ministers in Oneida territory, for the hearts and minds of their congregations; he was fired as a missionary in 1797, although he continued to serve sans salary; one of his son’s business enterprises failed, leaving Kirkland nearly destitute; and two of his three sons died unexpectedly. Hamilton Oneida Academy, like Moor’s Indian Charity School, largely failed at its goal of educating Indians, and in 1812, four years after Kirkland’s death, it was re-purposed as Hamilton College, a largely Anglo-American institution. At some point in the mid-to-late 18th century, Kirkland changed his name from Kirtland, although the reasons for this are uncertain.
Joseph Woolley was a Delaware who died of consumption while keeping school at Onaquaga. He came to Wheelock in 1757 as a replacement for John Pumshire, and although Wheelock labeled him as "fit for college" in late 1761, he never attended. In the fall of 1764, Joseph went to the Six Nations with Kirkland to learn the Mohawk language and keep school, and in March 1765, he was officially approved as a schoolmaster and returned to Onaquaga to teach. He was very popular there, but died unexpectedly in late November 1765. Joseph was engaged to Hannah Garrett, who later married David Fowler, but a letter from David (765302.2) suggests that Joseph may also have pursued Amy (David's object of interest before Hannah).
Titus Smith was a Yale graduate whom Wheelock trained and ordained as a missionary and sent to the Six Nations with the 1765 mission. Together with Theophilus Chamberlain, a Yale student with whom he was examined and ordained, Smith led the band of newly-examined schoolteachers and ushers into the Six Nations to set up day schools. After Ebenezer Moseley replaced him, Smith retired from the missionary life and became an itinerant preacher in Connecticut until 1768, when he converted to Sandemanianism and was re-ordained. Because of his religion (Sandemanians opposed violence), as well as his Tory politics, Smith found himself in danger when the Revolution broke out. His family fled to Long Island, and from there to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Smith lived out his remaining years.
Theophilus Chamberlain was a Yale graduate and missionary employed by Wheelock. His interest in Indian ministry may have started during the French and Indian War, when he was taken captive by a tribe allied with the French (it is unclear which tribe) at Fort William Henry and spent a year in Nova Scotia. After his return to New England, Chamberlain attended Yale. Wheelock recruited Chamberlain, along with fellow Yale graduate Titus Smith, to spearhead Moor's 1765 mission to the Six Nations. Chamberlain was examined as a missionary on March 12, 1765, and ordained on April 24, 1765. During the mission, he was stationed at Canajoharie (the Mohawk "Upper Castle") and oversaw the mission to the Mohawks. While on his mission, he converted to Sandemanianism, a decision that profoundly shaped the rest of his life. It is difficult to evaluate his efficacy as a missionary: he had high praise for himself, and David Fowler said the Mohawks were affectionate towards him, but Occom described him as overzealous. Chamberlain served the duration of his contract, but clashed with Wheelock afterwards over who was responsible for debts he had incurred on his mission (e.g. transportation costs, support for schoolmasters and interpreters). After departing from Wheelock's service, Chamberlain was ordained as a Sandemanian bishop. He fled to New York and later Nova Scotia during the American Revolution because of his religious and political beliefs. In Nova Scotia, Chamberlain oversaw the establishment of the settlement of Preston.
Hezekiah Calvin was one of Eleazar Wheelock's first Native American students. Like Wheelock’s other early Delaware students, he was sent by the minister John Brainerd. Calvin was certified as a schoolteacher on March 12, 1765, and was sent to the Mohawks at Fort Hunter in June 1765. The Mohawks threw him out at the end of September 1766, and he returned to Moor's. Samuel Johnson, an Anglo-American Yale student who replaced Calvin at Fort Hunter, reported that the residents unanimously accused Calvin of being abusive and rude. Calvin, in turn, maintained that the Fort Hunter Mohawks had mistreated him. Calvin’s second stint at Moor’s did not go well. He wrote several confessions for drunkenness and bad behavior, and frequently spoke ill of Wheelock. He left the school in the spring of 1768, and took up residence with the Secutor family (Narragansett) at Charlestown, Rhode Island. Calvin left the Narragansetts sometime late in 1768, presumably after the dissolution of his relationship with Mary Secutor. Wheelock heard reports early in 1769 that Calvin had been imprisoned at Little Ease, NJ, for forging a pass for a Black man (Calvin does not appear in the county records, so either he was never indicted or Wheelock had his information wrong). By 1777, Calvin was in a position of prominence at Brotherton, NJ (a town of Christian Delawares founded under John Brainerd’s ministry). At some point after 1788, Calvin moved west with the Delawares: he may have moved directly to join the Delawares in Ohio territory, or he may have relocated to Stockbridge in 1802 and then moved west.
Moses was a Mohawk Indian and Wheelock student who was part of the mission to the Canajoharie, Onaquaga, and Cherry Valley areas from 1765-1766. He taught the displaced Oneidas under Good Peter and Isaac Dakayenensere at Lake Otsego (next to Cherry Valley), along with Smith and Gunn. He taught reading and writing to between eight and 12 students. Although Joseph Woolley was initially supposed to teach this school, he fell ill and Moses replaced him. Moses also subbed for Woolley when Woolley visited the Tuscaroras. Like the other schoolteachers, Moses left over the winter of 1765 and returned to Wheelock, but he was back at Canajoharie by the next fall to teach with Samuel Johnson and Jacob Fowler. Theophilus Chamberlain speculated they could set up a third school for Moses, but this did not come to pass because by December 1st, less than a month after Chamberlain’s letter, Moses had traveled to Wheelock and back to Fort Hunter delivering letters. The Indians at Fort Hunter would not take him as a teacher because they preferred Johnson and distrusted unknown teachers after their experience with Hezekiah Calvin (according to Johnson). Moses appears to have continued working in the area, because in 1768 he refused Aaron Kinne’s request that he act as interpreter.
Johannes was a Mohawk who studied at Moor’s Indian Charity School from 1761 until 1765. He was approached as an usher (junior schoolteacher) on March 12, 1765, in the Moor’s graduation orchestrated by Wheelock in preparation for a mass mission to the Mohawk and Oneida. Johannes kept school at Old Oneida during the summer of 1765, but did not continue his post. A variety of Anglo-American Moor’s-affiliated missionaries, including Aaron Kinne and David Avery, sought his services as an interpreter, but there is no indication that Johannes accepted any of their invitations. It is more likely that, like other Haudenosaunees (Iroquois) who studied at Moor’s, Johannes rapidly reintegrated into Haudenosaunee society. Shortly after returning to Haudenosaunee territory, Johannes was too preoccupied with managing his family’s horses to serve as an interpreter (manuscript 765673), and a few years later, he was unable to respond to Aaron Kinne’s request because he was out hunting (manuscript 768363.1). Thus, in Johannes’ disappearance from Anglo-American records, we can read a polite rejection of the assimilation project that was Moor’s Indian Charity School’s raison d’etre.
Abraham major (aka Abraham primus), a Mohawk Indian, served as an usher or junior teacher along with Abraham Secundus and Peter. All three kept separate schools. Abraham major's school, a short ride from Abraham minor’s, was outside of Canajoharie; it began Friday, July 12, 1765. As of July 17, 1765, he had 15 or 16 students, primarily male. These schools seem to have operated from July 1765 (they were still traveling in June, and Theophilus Chamberlain described their schools in late July) until December 1765, when Chamberlain reported that the Abrahams had departed, and that Abraham major was in Schoharry. Both Abrahams' schools were taken over in 1766. Abraham major must not be confused with Greater Abraham, a high-ranking Mohawk, the brother of King Peter Hendrick and uncle of Chief Abraham (not to be confused with Little Abraham, the Moor's student), who lived in Canajoharie at the same time.
Abraham, known as Little Abraham, was an usher or junior teacher along with Abraham major and Peter. All of them kept separate schools. Abraham major's school began Friday, July 12, 1765, and presumably Little Abraham’s began at or around the same time. Little Abraham’s school was a two mile ride from Canajoharie, and as of July 17 1765, he had 11 or 12 students of both genders. These schools seem to have operated from July 1765 (they were still traveling in June and Chamberlain describes their schools in late July) until December 1765, when Chamberlain reports that the Abrahams have departed. Both Abrahams' schools were taken over in 1766. Little Abraham then taught a school at Willheske, 8 or 10 miles below Fort Stanwix, for an indeterminite time. He is not to be confused with another Little Abraham, the Canajoharie Mohawk who was Sachem from 1755 until his death in 1780.
Peter was an usher (although described as “keeping school” by Woolley) at Canajoharie, along with Moses, Johannes, and the Abrahams. All of them kept separate schools. Great Abraham’s school began Friday, July 12, 1765, and presumably Peter’s started around the same time. He was sick in October 1765, and could not teach school. Since Wheelock mentions him in a 1767 letter, he must have survived. Peter is not to be confused with Good Peter, an Oneida at Onaqauga who visited Moor’s, but was not educated there. Information about Peter generally appears in lists of the men he graduated with and taught with.
Charles Chauncy was an eminent Boston divine, the most zealous proponent of Old Light doctrine, and Wheelock's lifelong rival. Born into functional Puritan royalty -- his grandfather, also Charles Chauncy, had been president of Harvard in the seventeenth century -- Chauncy had every social connection possible. He entered Harvard himself at age 12, graduated in 1721, and became copastor at the First Church of Boston in 1727. From this pulpit, he launched his attacks on New Light Congregationalists. While the Old Light/New Light schism was deep, Chauncy alone saw the split as a cosmic battle between good and evil. His notable polemics include his 1743 work, “Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New England," as well as a 1744 open letter against George Whitefield. Chauncy had a long, bitter conflict with Wheelock. Wheelock was among those specifically named in Chauncy's attacks, and Chauncy used every avenue possible to frustrate Wheelock's plans for Indian education. As chair of the Boston Board of Correspondents for the SSPCK, Chauncy had plentiful opportunities to frustrate Wheelock, and was likely the impetus for Wheelock's creation of a Connecticut Board in 1764. Notable clashes between the two men included: 1) In 1761-1762, the Boston Board reneged on a promise to fund the education of a certain number of Indian boys. 2) In 1762, Chauncy formed his own society -- the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge among the Indians of North America -- and competed with Wheelock for sources of funding (specifically, a fund left by the late Peter Warren). This society planned to a) set up English day schools in Indian country and b) bring Indian boys back to English towns to be educated. Given the overlap with Wheelock's own goals and methods, it is fortunate for Dartmouth's history that Parliament denied Chauncy's society incorporation. For what is perhaps the most often cited letter on the feud, see Chauncy to Wheelock, 762165.