abstract: Accounts of the Indian Charity School during the period of September 3, 1765, through May 6, 1767.
handwriting: Unknown hand is clear and legible.
paper: Oversized sheet is folded into quarters and is in good condition, with light creasing, staining and wear. The watermark is still highly visible.
noteworthy: This ledger is related to the accounts recorded on manuscripts 767306.3 and 767306.4. Due to ledger format, transcription line breaks may not exactly match those in the original document. In instances where the intention regarding an abbreviation is uncertain, the abbreviation has been left unexpanded in the modernized transcription.
events: Fundraising Tour of Great Britain
|To Sundry Articles of Clothing
bought at sundry⇑several Times ...
|}||321,,||0,,||2||By Ballance of Accot adjus‐
ted September 3d 1765.....
|To Money, Horſes, Saddles,
and Furniture supplied the Miſ‐
sionaries, Interpreters, and
School Maſters illegiblein their Miſsion
among the Indians, exclusive
of their Clothing, which they had out of the common Stock
|}||462,,||17,,||9||By a Donation from a Friend in England unkown ...||}||117||—||—|
|To Board, Washing, and Lodging,
Firewood, School Masters Wages,
and ſundry other Charges for
the Male Members of the School
|}||434,,||10,,||11||By a Donation from Benjn Pemberton Esqr of Roxbury||}||16,,||4||—|
|To Disbursements for the Females...||55,,||18,,||5||By Cash received out of the Trea‐
ſury of the Colony of Connec‐
ticut, part of the Contribu‐
tions made by Virtue of the
first Brief granted by the General
|By Contribution of the Revd
Mr Snow's Congregation
|1274,,||7,,||3||By my draft of Exchange on
the Revd Nathl Whitaker
in London in favour of
Mr Aſahel Clark.....
|By my Draft of Exchange on
ditto in favour of Mr Moſes
|By Collections at Newbury - - -||35,,||1,,||6|
|By my Draft of Exchange on
Mr Whitaker in favour of
Mr Moſes Peck . . . . . . .
|By ditto on ditto in favour of
Mr Gershom Breed . . . . .
|By ditto on ditto in favour of do||180||—|
|By a Donation from Mr Hollis||100||—|
|By Dennys DeBerdt Esqr order
in favour on Mr John Smith
|By my Draft on Mr Robert
Keen in favour of Mr Gershom
Breed . . . . . . . . .
|By Mr John Smith's ordr on Mrs Smith||50||—|
|By a Donation from the General
Aſsembly of the Colony of
Connecticut to Mr Kirtland
& General Tekanande . . .
|By a Donation from John
Phillips Esqr of Exeter . . .
Moſes Peck's Draft
in my Behalf on Mr Robert
Keen in favour of Mr Geoge
Green . . . . . .
|}||49,, 7,, 3|
|Brought Over . . . . . .||1274,,||7,,||3||Brought Over - - - - - -||1092,,||19,,||5|
|Ballance due from me to
the School May 6. 1767
|}||76,,||6,,||1||By the Grant of the London
Commiſsioners in Boston
|By Draft on Mr Robert Keen
in favour of Mr Gershm Breed
|By part of the Contributions
made in the Colony of Connec‐
ticut received ſince the Revi‐
val of the Brief granted
by the General Aſsembly
|By what I have received for
Tuition of English Scholars
|By Interest of Subſcriptions . .||7,,||5,,||89|
|By Donations from various
|By Work done by the Female
School for my Family & others
|}||5,, 16,, 10|
Breed was a vendor who traded with Occom and Wheelock. His wares included food, building materials, alcohol, clothing, and finished metal goods. He was a staunch Wheelock supporter, and helped hold and deliver mail for Wheelock, as well as sending his (possibly first-born) son, John McLaren Breed, to Wheelock's school (J. Breed went on to graduate from Yale in 1768). While Occom was abroad, he was more lenient in supplying goods to Mary Occom than other local vendors, such as Captain Shaw, but eventually, he too refused to sell to her on credit.
Dennys DeBerdt was a London merchant of Dutch descent, a dissenter who took an avid interest in American affairs and politics. Although he was not especially prominent in British eyes, many Americans, including Wheelock, venerated him as a valuable ally. DeBerdt tried to help Wheelock secure a charter for Moor's, but his efforts failed because the Connecticut Assembly was opposed. Otherwise, DeBerdt helped Wheelock in much the same way as other supporters did: he collected and forwarded donations and circulated information. He also hosted Occom, Whitaker, and J. Smith on their fundraising tour. In 1765, the Massachusetts Assembly elected DeBerdt as their agent in London, a post he held until his death in 1770. He also served as an agent for the Assemblies of Connecticut and Delaware. He frequently advocated for American interests in London, and was instrumental in the repeal of the Stamp Act. DeBerdt invested heavily in American trade, with poor results for his estate. Perhaps because he was a Dissenter and enjoyed limited opportunities in England, he thought American religious freedom was well worth defending. Virtually all correspondence between DeBerdt and Wheelock dates from between 1757 and 1763. DeBerdt's last letter to Wheelock was written in 1763, and Wheelock wrote to DeBerdt only sporadically after that (his last two letters are dated October 1765 and February 1767). It is not clear why the two men stopped corresponding.
Watchmaker Moses Peck took collections for Occom, and Wheelock had an account with him that involved shipping items to Lebanon and debits/credits for funding Occom. It is possible that Peck was Occom’s credit source in Boston. He was enthusiastic about and involved in the Indian education mission, and offered Wheelock advice about how to deal with Anglicans. Wheelock had Peck print his brief defense of Occom to counter the London Society’s rumors. Peck paid to send his son Elijah to school with Wheelock, although Elijah eventually failed his graduation examinations.
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.
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.
Isaac Hollis was a Baptist minister in England and a philanthropist for Indian education in the colonies. He was the eldest son of John Hollis (1666-1733) and Hannah Sanford (d. 1740). John was a successful draper in London, and after his death, Isaac Hollis was invited by the minister Isaac Watts to donate to Indian missions in the colonies, a type of charity that had become fashionable in England. Through a complex ministerial network, Watts contacted the Reverend Benjamin Colman in Boston, who wrote to John Sergeant, missionary to the Housatonic Indians, with Hollis' offer to fund the support and education of 20 Indian scholars. Although this proved too expensive, Hollis did support 12 Indian students. He was also the major donor for Jonathan Edwards' mission to the Stockbridge Indians in the 1750s. Thus, it is not surprising that Dennys DeBerdt, who was raising money for Wheelock's school in London, reports soliciting funds from Hollis in 1761. That initial request failed, he reports to Wheelock, because for a long time Hollis has been a "French Prophet, and will think of nothing but his Enthusiastical Revealation." French Prophets were a millenarian group that grew out of the persecution of the Hugenots and left France to proselytize in England, where they attracted important followers. In 1767, Hollis eventually donated £100 to Wheelock's school, but was recorded in the accounts as Thomas Hollis. Thomas Hollis (1720-1774) was Isaac's uncle, a well-known English philanthropist who gave large sums of money to restore Harvard's library when Harvard Hall was destroyed by fire in 1764. Wheelock's thank you letter to Hollis (manuscript 767170.2 in Dartmouth Rauner special collections, not in the Occom Circle) addresses him as Thomas, hence the message from Alexander Chamberlain in manuscript 767569.
Robert Keen was a London wool merchant and an ardent supporter of George Whitefield, the eminent evangelical. Although it is unclear when Keen and Whitefield first came into contact, by the 1760s Whitefield was writing to Keen frequently. In 1763, Keen, along with Daniel West, was given the task of managing Whitefield’s religious enterprises in London (specifically, his Tottenham Court Chapel and the Tabernacle, another London church), which they continued to do after Whitefield’s death. Keen was also one of the four executors of Whitefield’s affairs in England (along with West and Charles Hardy). As a result of his relationship with Whitefield, Keen was introduced to Occom and Whitaker upon their arrival in February 1766. He was a member of the informal committee that collected donations before October 1766 and provided Occom and Whitaker with advice on their route and strategies. Keen also became a member of the English Trust, the formal organization formed in October 1766 to safeguard donations. As secretary and deputy treasurer of the Trust, Keen played an important role in transmitting accounts and correspondence between the Trust and Wheelock during the tour and the long process of Wheelock’s relocation to New Hampshire. Along with fellow Trust members Samuel Savage and John Thornton, Keen continued to provide financial support to Wheelock after the Trust had been exhausted.
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.
John Smith was an affluent Boston merchant who supported Wheelock’s school throughout the 1760s. It is likely that Smith and Wheelock were introduced by George Whitefield or someone similarly involved in evangelical and missionary efforts in the British Atlantic world: John Smith made somewhat regular trips to London for business, and had been in contact with Whitefield since the 1740s. Like the other Boston merchants who supported Moor’s Indian Charity School (including Moses Peck, William Hyslop, and Nathaniel Eells), Smith traded with Wheelock and kept him up to date on political developments in Boston, especially as they concerned attitudes towards Moor’s Indian Charity School. However, Smith was better educated (and likely more affluent) than the other merchants that Wheelock worked with, and, correspondingly, played a more important role than his brethren in Wheelock’s efforts. Smith publicized the school independently (his letter to an unnamed friend, catalogued as 764318.2, is one of the most cited letters on the organization of Moor’s) and assisted Wheelock in publishing the Narratives. John Smith’s greatest contribution to Wheelock’s design was his support during Samson Occom and Nathaniel Whitaker’s fundraising tour of Great Britain (1765-1768). Smith set out for Britain in July 1765 to improve his health, and while there, acted as a vanguard for Occom and Whitaker. He managed their correspondence, suggested destinations, and served on an ad hoc advisory council that included George Whitefield, Samuel Savage, Robert Keen, and several other influential men. The pace of the journey caught up with John Smith, however, and he died in 1768 while in Britain.
Mercy Smith was the wife of John Smith, an affluent Boston merchant who supported Samson Occom and Nathaniel Whitaker on their fundraising tour of Great Britain. She appears to have been remarkably active in her husband’s public affairs: she sent Wheelock bills and kept him informed about donations raised in Boston, ran John’s business while he was in Britain (1765-1768), and seems to have continued engaging in some degree of business after John’s death in 1768.
Tekananda was a chief of the Seneca Nation, the westernmost of the Haudenosaunees (Iroquois), and a son in the family that adopted Samuel Kirkland, Wheelock's most famous missionary, on his risky first mission to the Senecas from 1764-1766. Tekananda travelled with his "brother" Kirkland to Johnson Hall in the spring of 1765 to get provisions when the tribe was starving, and also visited New England with him in the summer of 1766. Wheelock narrates Tekananda's audience with the Governor and Connecticut General Assembly meeting at Hartford, which caused quite a stir, in a letter to George Whitefield of July 24 (ms. 766424). Calling him "the Black General," Wheelock describes Tekananda as "of pregnant genius, an affable temper, benevolent, steady, judicious, manly, and has always been a friend to the English" and to Kirkland. The Assembly gave them a donation of £15, which Wheelock records in his accounts. Wheelock goes on to describe Tekananda in sentimental terms as open to Christian missionizing, and in spring 1767 Ralph Wheelock brought Tekananda's son back with him to Moor's, with four other children from Haudenosaunee tribes. Tekananda traveled with Kirkland when he left Kanandausagea for Kanawalohale in Oneida Country to take up what would be a 40-year mission to the Oneidas.
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.