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David Avery, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1771 June 6

ms-number: 771356

abstract: Avery writes about his upcoming ordination and possible mission. He relates news of Occom and David Fowler, with brief excerpts of a letter from Fowler.

handwriting: Handwriting is formal, clear and legible.

paper: Four large sheets of paper have each been folded in half to make four pages. The address is on a separate, single sheet. The paper is in good condition, with mostly light creasing, staining and wear.

ink: Dark-brown.



Rev,d & hon,d Sir,
About three weeks past I received
Doctor Wheelock's letter, dated 22 of april; for
which I return a gratful tribute of Thanks. —
This was very timely, and gave me to
understand a little, tho' not fully, the Doctr[illegible][guess: [inline]e]'rs's
mind & pleasure respecting my Des‐
tiny. His other Letter, refered to in this
which I have, is yet on the way. —
It gave me the most sensible sorrow
to hear that all of my letters to Dartm.o
have fell short. — What is the mean‐
‐ing
‐ing of Providence in this I can't tell. — Have
wrote again and again, representing the State
of affairs in these parts, giving an account
of God's work in a particular Parish, and expreſsing
the earnest desire of that poor, needy, desti‐
‐tute People that I tarry longer with them a
little while longer, that I may know what
my Rev,d Patron would advise and direct to. —
I have been, and am still, exceeding loath to
do any the least thing contrary to his Pleasure
to whom am under the most inviolable
obligations, next to Almighty God. —
The Rev,d M,r Buell being in New England
I could not consult him 'till this week. Now
I have laid before him my affairs and
taken his Advice in this case, which is,
That I tarry about two months on the
Island and then return to N..w Hampshire.
This advice I have concluded to follow.
M.r Buell informs me he saw Rev,d M,r
Patten and M,r Woodward, whom he
discourſed on the point, and they were
of opinion that it would not, likely, be
displeasing to the Rev,d Doctor if I
should tarry for such reasons as he
gave them — (viz) My not being in a con‐
firmed state of health sufficient to go
upon an Indian Miſsion in the
heat of summer. — And the late happy
revival of Religion in Ketehebonack, which
appears to be a particular Call to labor
with them a little longer. —
(Bleſsed be God the Work still goes on
and there is a prospect of ingathering of souls.)
If I should go to Dartmouth now, by what I can
learn, my ordination could not conveni‐
‐ently be attended before Commencement,
and without that I should not be prevailed
upon to take a miſsion.— Perhaps it may
be thought best this ordinance should be so‐
lemnized at that time when the Corporati
‐on
shall be together; which I most earnestly
request
1
1
request may be done; for I am much ex‐
‐ercised about preaching barely by virtue
of a Licence.
With respect to my going under
Boston Board, I know not what to say—
I should, by all means, chuse to con‐
‐sult the Corporation on the head.—
As it is a very delicate point, so I shall
indeavour to manage it.— That Letter
not having come to hand in which
the Proposal was made, Rev,d M.r Buell
did not know what advice to give.
If by going under that Board I must in the
least break connexions with him, whom
it is my honor to call my Rev,d & Worthy Patron
I could not indure the thought of it— but if
it shall be thought best, on the whole, to an‐
swer the general Design in view — it is likely
I shall be willing to comply with the propo‐
‐ſal.— It has given me much of the Heart‐
‐ach that somethings are as they are,— but
God's Government is over all, according to In
‐finite Wisdom — the iſsue therefore must,
and can't but, be for his Glory; yea, for a
greater Display of Divine Glory than other
‐wise there would be if it were not for some
dark Scenes.. This consideration bears my
Spirits up, or it seems, I could not, at times, sub‐
‐sist — Let Zion and her Sons, rejoice in their
King/ — The Rev,d Doctor mentioned a pro‐
‐posal
‐posal lately made to him of my taking
a tour to S.t John's River this summer,—
and asked me what I think of it? —
If I knew what prospects there are [inline]ofor
doing good there were, — the situation
of the Indians — the air — accomoda‐
‐tions, &c I should be better able to form
a judgment.— But as my health is
but tlow, being attended with a constant
Fever, much exposed to take Cold,
and unable to undergo much hard ser‐
‐vice by reason of a weakening Disorder
which has long afficted me— And
also as I have no companion to go as
a preacher with me, as I know of, or
could likely be obtained this season, it does
not appear Duty for me to undertake the
journey at present.— My heart says 'Lord,
what wilt thou have me to do'?— Wherever
Providence gives the Lead, I am willing to
follow — but, alas! I know so little, or no‐
thing, how to read divine Providences or get
an answer to prayer that am afraid, many
times, I am not in the way of Duty —
It appears to me I should be the happiest
of many mortals if I only knew what God's Plea‐
‐sure is respecting my situation & Destiny
in the world.— At present He is laying out
a great variety of work for me, the least of all
his servants, is it not Duty to perform it?
2
2
Thro' Divine Favor, my health is in some
measure recovered — am able to preach
every sabbath and several Lectures.—
The awakenings in Ketehebonack
still continue in several instances,
tho' perhaps not so great as some time
past.... As I presume the Doctor has
before this time received my Letters
I need give no farther account of God's
Work in these parts, save that there
is, of late, a very great revival in
Southold‐Town, under Rev,d M.r Storrs'
ministry.— I expect to go there next
week, God willing— I find it a very great
advantage to me to live here in this Day of
the Outpouring of God's bleſsed Spirit. —
When People's Ears are open it is easy
Preaching to them. — It has rejoiced
the hearts of many that God has revived
his work in the College last Winter— O,
what an happy omen for good! —
After I received the Doctor's Letter, I
sent a line to David Fowler with a Desire that
he would give me an honest, faithful acco.t
of the late State & Character of M.r Occom
and he wrote me the following —
—"I can't tell you any bad thing of him. —
He is, as it were, crying out to Sinners in a
private manner — he don't preach
as yet, but I hope he will. He seems
to injoy a newneſs of life again.—
He goes from one Place to another ex‐
‐horting the People, that is, among
the Indians. — He has entirely aban‐
‐doned spirituous liquors — he uſes
none, nor keeps any in the house.=
I shall likely give you a better Nar‐
‐rative of his Character at my return
from the main shore."
I know nothing, Sir, but what
this account is entirely just — But
nothing has been done to wash
away his Stain in these parts, or in any other
that we have hear'd of.— Rev,d M,r Buell
heard little if anything about him when
on the main. — Perhaps M:r Woodward is
able to give a more particular account of
M.r Occom than I can, and better able to
judge whether it will be for the Good and
honor of the Cause to improve him as a
miſsionary — it seems to be a very great
frown of heaven that his usefulneſs has
been prevented.—
David Fowler appears much as uſual—
with respect to his being deeply humbled &c I
am not able to say — he manifests a very
great regard for the Indian Cause — and has
some bitter reflexions on his rash conduct
in
3
3
in the Wilderneſs.— I have not said much
to him about his conduct, because am
very ignorant of what the Foundation
or pretentded foundation of it was. If
he was to see and converse the Re[illegible][guess: vr]'end
Doctor, am quite inclined to think he
would make gospel satisfaction.—
His natural Temper is well known to be
violent and sometimes his Paſsion
blinds his reason. — respecting him‐
self he writes me,
"If I can pay off my Creditors this
year I deſign to go off this Island next
year, either to Mohegan or the Wil‐
‐derneſs: I don't think of going any
where this year."
East-Hampton judge he is very un‐
steady and fickle, roving and wandering
But by converse with David, am of opinion his
unsteadyneſs was much owing to his too small
salary and the Indians living a good deal upon
him. — He does not keep the School at Montauk;
he thinks,"if he did, it would be to none effect —
The Indians seem to be curſt — they don't ad‐
‐mire any thing that would be beneficial
to them, either temporal or temporalspiritual."—
Imagine if he should visit the Doctor it might
answer some valuable Purpose — accordingly
shall recommend it to him.— I can't
but think he means to act honestly — He is
now somewhat involved in Debt; but he
follows Fishery & hopes to raise something
on the land to defray his charges this sea‐
‐son.— Thus, Sir, I have given the best account
respecting him am able to do.—
If it shall be judged best to ordain me at
Commencement, would not the Doctor
think proper to appoint some of the
Rev,d Corporation the ordination ser‐
‐mon? — Would it please him to
pitch upon the Rev,d M,r Pomroy?
But I mean not to dictate — shall be
perfectly well suited with Doctor Whee‐
lock
's appointments.— If this Plan
should be agreable to him, it would
lay me under farther obligations of
Gratitude, if by any means, I might
have intelligence of it — but am
afraid these Letters will suffer the same
misfortune as the other.—
It gives me unspeakable Joy to hear M.r Ripley
is hopefully religious! If this is the case,
What extensive service may the Man of his
rare abilities do for God, if God goes with him!
We hear the work of God is powerful in several
Places upon the Continent...
People are liberal and very kind to me in theſe
parts — O, how good is the Lord to the evil and
unthankful! — Oh! for an humble heart!
a meek and lowly spirit!— the Benevolence,
[inline]ye Love, [inline]ye Pity and Compaſsion of Jesus Christ to‐
‐wards dying men! — my Soul burns with
ardor to do something for my Maker and
Redeemer.—
The Reverend M,r Brown gives very kind
and affectionate Salutations to the Reverend
Doctor Wheelock — He is a Father to me —
Please, Sir, present Duty to Honored Madam,
and continue daily to pray for,
Rev,d & hon,d Sir,

Your very dutiful
and most obedient
humble servant

David Avery
Rev,d D,,r Wheelock
From M.r David Avery
June 6. 1771.
To The Revd Eleazer Wheelock D:D.
Preſident of Dartmouth Colledge
In
Hanover
Blank page.
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is small liberal arts institution in Hanover, New Hampshire. It has about four thousand undergraduate students taking courses in Arts and Sciences, and another two thousand in graduate schools in the Sciences, Comparative Literature, and Liberal Studies, as well as the Geisel School of Medicine, the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. It is a member of the Ivy League, and the ninth oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. The charter establishing the College was signed in 1769 by John Wentworth, Royal Governor of New Hamsphire, who wanted an academy of higher learning in the colony. Its founder, Eleazar Wheelock, was a Congregational minister from Connecticut who, after his success in educating Samson Occom as a school teacher and Indian missionary in the 1740's, started Moor's Indian Charity School in 1754 to continue what he regarded as a divine mission to educate Native boys and girls to become missionaries. As the school grew, Wheelock began looking for a new location closer to Indian Country where he could expand. But in the 1760's he became disillusioned by the relative failure of his progam and began turning his attention to the education of Anglo-American men as missionaries. After a protracted search, he secured the royal charter in New Hampshire and in 1769 moved his family and base of operations to Hanover, where he established the College. It is named for William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, who contributed to the funds raised by Occom and Whitaker on their fund-raising tour of Great Britain in 1766-68 and became a member of the London Trust that administered those funds. The College's charter announced its purpose as "the education and instruction of youth of the Indian tribes in this land [in] all parts of learning which shall appear necessary and expedient for civilizing and christianizing children of pagans…, and also of English youth and any others." But Wheelock's priorities were, in reality, the reverse. While he gave public notice in 1770 that "My Indian charity school … is now become a body corporate and politic, under the name of DARTMOUTH COLLEGE," he created this parallel structure to allow him to use the funds that were collected specifically for the education of Indians. Only around 75 Native students enrolled at the College before 1972, when it rededicated itself to educating Indians and established the Native American Studies Program. This is also the year Dartmouth went co-ed. Occom was angry and embittered at Wheelock’s abandonment of his “great design,” for which he had sacrificed so much. Their relations cooled after Occom’s return from England, and he never visited his mentor again, or, for that matter, Dartmouth College.
Yale Corporation
The Yale Corporation is the governing body of Yale University. At present, it is relatively small, made up of 19 members — including the the President of the University, 10 Successor Trustees, six Alumni fellows, and the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of the State of Connecticut — but plays an active role in planning and setting policies. In 1771, when David Avery wrote to Wheelock about appointing a speaker from the "Reverend Corporation" to give the sermon at his ordination, the members were probably all or mostly ministers known to Wheelock, who graduated from Yale and kept close ties with the institution.
The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America was a missionary society active in America from 1649 until 1786. It was first called the "New England Company" in 1770. Most secondary literature uses that name for convenience and to distinguish it from other missionary societies. The company was first chartered in 1649 as the "President and Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England," largely in response to John Eliot's missionary efforts. After the Restoration (1660), it was rechartered as the "Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America." The New England Company was very powerful and influential, in large part because it was a coalition between Anglicans and Dissenters. It supported a range of missionaries from the Mayhews to the Sergeants to Moor's alumnus Samuel Kirkland. After the Revolution, the New England Company refocused its attentions on New Brunswick and Canadian Indians. Wheelock had a very rocky relationship with the New England Company. Initially, it supported Wheelock's efforts. The Company funded Occom's education at Moor's and paid him a small salary during his time among the Montauketts. However, from 1765 onwards, its relationship with Wheelock rapidly deteriorated. The Company opposed the fundraising tour of Great Britain and went so far as to interfere with it by sending a widely circulated letter to England questioning Occom's background. The New England Company also interferred with Titus Smith's mission to Onaquaga by sending a rival missionary, Mr. Moseley, and stealing Titus' interpreter, Elisha Gunn. In 1767 it formally withdrew its financial support from Wheelock on the grounds that the fundraising tour had raised sufficient money. It is unclear what led the New England Company to suddenly change its stance towards Wheelock. Perhaps it wanted exclusive power over missionary distribution in New England, or perhaps it was thought that focusing on education over numbers in the field was counterproductive. Most secondary sources have conflated the New England Company's Boston Board and the Society in Scotland for Promoting Christian Knowledge's Boston Board, an easy mistake to make since both are sometimes referred to as the Boston Board and both vigorously opposed Wheelock. Any secondary source's statement about either should be carefully researched.
Bridgehampton

Bridgehampton is a town on the southeastern tip of Long Island about 20 miles southwest of Montauk, NY. Its name is derived from the bridge English settlers built over nearby Sagg Pond in 1686. English settlement began on Long Island in 1640, when colonists from Massachusetts obtained land from the island's Shinnecock Indians. It wasn't until 1656, however, that the town of Bridgehampton was settled, when Josiah Stanborough built a homestead on Sagg Pond. Bridgehampton is now a part of the town of Southhampton, NY. Occom was associated with the Presbytery of Suffolk County in Bridgehampton and its Reverend James Brown. After meeting Occom at least two years earlier, Reverend Brown presided over Occom's ordination on August 29, 1759. Later, during Occom's many travels between his post as a missionary in Oneida and his home in Montauk, he often stayed with Brown at his home in Bridgehampton; they were close friends. In 1769, Occom visited Bridgehampton after confessing to "intemperate drinking" in a letter to the Presbytery. On November 1 of that year, the Bridgehampton ministers gave Occom the benefit of the doubt, concluded that he had simply been intoxicated from lack of food and a small amount of alcohol, and indicated their resepct.

New England
New Hampshire

The state of New Hampshire is in northern New England, bordered by Vermont to the west, Maine to the east, Massachusetts to the south, and Canada to the north. The Connecticut River, which begins in Canada and empties into the Long Island Sound, runs along the western border of New Hampshire and, in the colonial period, functioned as a route for trade -- both of commodities and ideas -- between southern New England and the northernmost parts of America. New Hampshire was originally inhabited by large groups of Abenakis who spoke a dialect of Algonquin distinct from New England tribes to the south, but by 1617, disease and war had brought their number to only 5,000. European fishing fleets had travelled to the coast of New Hampshire since at least 1497, but English settlement of New Hampshire formally began when Captain John Mason, Governor of Portsmouth in Hampshire, England, was granted land in the region in 1622. Settlers arrived in 1623, establishing a base near what is now Portsmouth and entering the fur, fish, and timber trade. In 1641, New Hampshire agreed to come under Massachusetts' jurisdiction, but in 1679, Charles II gave New Hampshire its own charter. From then on, the Province of New Hampshire had its own government, consisting of a royal Governor and Council and an elected House of Representatives. By the time Wheelock moved Moor's Indian Charity School to New Hampshire, the colony was experiencing unprecedented growth. English victory in the French and Indian War stabilized the region, and as a result New Hampshire's Governor Benning Wentworth began to grant hundreds of townships to new settlers, many from the colony of Connecticut. Though Wheelock considered moving Moor's Indian Charity School to several different places, he finally decided on Hanover, NH, in 1768. Because Benning Wentworth was not receptive to Wheelock and his school, it was his nephew and successor Governor John Wentworth who signed Dartmouth College's charter in 1769. In August 1770, Wheelock moved his family to New Hampshire and established Dartmouth College. Moor's and the College would exist side-by-side in Hanover for decades. Soon after Wheelock founded Dartmouth in New Hampshire, the Revolutionary War began and the colony declared its independence. While several buildings and locations around Hanover bear Occom's name, he never visited the town or the college.

Ketehebonack
Mohegan

Mohegan is a village in southeastern Connecticut at the site of the present-day town of Montville, and is the location of the Mohegan Indian Reservation. The village gets its name from the Mohegan Tribe, or wolf people, who split from the Pequots in the early 17th century under the leadership of the sachem Uncas. In the 1720s, the Mohegans requested the colony of Connecticut provide them with an English educator. An English minister and schoolteacher named John Mason (no relation to Captain John Mason) moved to Mohegan in order to provide English-styled education to the Mohegans, convinced his sponsors, the New England Company, to build a schoolhouse at Mohegan, which eventually served as a boarding school for other Native American children from the surrounding area. During the 17th century, the Mohegan Tribe became embroiled in a complicated controversy over control of Mohegan land — known as the Mason Land Case or, more specifically, Mohegan Indians v. Connecticut — that included the village of Mohegan. The Tribe claimed that it never authorized a transfer of their lands, held in trust by the Mason family, to the colonial government. In 1662, the colony of Connecticut was incorporated by a royal charter, which included the disputed tribal land. The land controversy was revived in 1704 when descendants of John Mason, the original trustee, petitioned the Crown on behalf of the Mohegans, but the suit was finally decided against the Tribe in 1773. Born in Mohegan, Occom became involved in the Mason Land Case and vehemently argued for the rights of the Mohegan Indians to maintain their land, opposing Eleazar Wheelock and other ministers in the area. Although Occom left Mohegan for a 12-year mission with the Montauk Indians of Long Island, he returned at the end of 1763 with his large family to build a house in Mohegan, establishing it as his base of operations. Even after the creation of the Brothertown settlement in Oneida country, for which he served as minister, Occom continued to commute back and forth from Mohegan; he didn't sell his house in Mohegan and move his family to Brothertown until 1789. Many members of his family remained in Mohegan, including his sister Lucy Tantaquidgeon, who lived there until her death at 99 in 1830.

Saint John River

The Saint John River, 418 miles long, arises in the province of Quebec and the US state of Maine, and runs along the western edge of the Canadian province of New Brunswick, emptying into the Bay of Fundy. Its harbor is deep and never freezes. While several Europeans entered the harbor in the 16th century, it was French explorers who arrived there on the feast day of St. John the Baptist in 1604 and named the river after the saint. The first permanent French settlement began on the east side of the harbor, now Portland Point. In the later 18th century, the city of Saint John developed at the river's mouth. For a short stretch, the Saint John River forms the boundary with the US. The river valley was home to several Indigenous peoples including the Wolastoqiyiks (Maliseets) who were pushed north with the arrival first, of French settlers, who spread Catholicism, and then English loyalists, fleeing from the American revolutionaries, who settled the town of Fredricton, 90 miles upriver. The river offered transport for logging and wooden ship building. Its most notable feature is "the Reversing Falls," a gorge near the mouth where the falls flow upstream when the immense tide of the Bay of Fundy sends salt water surging into it. This area became a focal point in Wheelock's "grand design" after he moved his School to Hanover, New Hampshire, which was much closer to Cananda. In 1771, Wheelock proposed sending the missionary David Avery on a tour of the River valley, and in 1772, he wrote that Governor Wentworth promised to send a ship to the River to bring back Native students for the Indian School to replace the Oneida students who left en masse in 1769.

East Hampton

East Hampton is a town in New York's Suffolk county on southeast Long Island, 14 miles southwest of Montauk. East Hampton was originally inhabited by the Algonquin-speaking Montauketts, who numbered over 10,000 and had a peaceful trading relationship with the nearby Pequots until early 17th century when English colonists played the two tribes off each other. In 1640, after the Pequot War, an English settler named Lion Gardiner purchased an island in the bay between the present-day towns of Montauk and East Hampton from the Montauketts, which began the English settlement, or seizure, of the land that would become East Hampton. The Montauketts called the island Manchonacke, or island where many died, while Gardiner named the island after himself. In 1648, the colonies of New Haven and Connecticut purchased more land from the Montauketts, spreading beyond Gardiner's Island onto Long Island and settling the town of East Hampton. In 1664, East Hampton was annexed to the colony of New York. As the number of English settlers increased, the Montauketts became increasingly dispossessed, economically tied to the English but relegated to the bottom of the social order. By 1687, the English had fenced off the majority of Montaukett land through a series of resolutions, changing the tribal structure of the Montauketts and leaving them open to conversion to Christianity. In 1749, Occom had been released from his preparatory studies for college because of poor eyesight and went on a summer fishing trip to Montauk; he decided to settle there and by November had established a school for the Montauketts. He frequented East Hampton on his travels to New York and New England from his home in Montauk beginning in 1750, often staying with Reverend Samuel Buell of the Presbytery of Suffolk County, who presided over Occom's 1759 ordination at the Presbytery. While traveling through East Hampton, Occom also stayed with William Hedges, a whaling captain and one of his benefactors. One of Occom's letters indicates that Hedges took care of Occom's family while he completed his mission to the Oneidas in 1761. Occom's relationship to East Hampton changed in the 1770s, however, when he started to believe that the pervasive English influence on Montaukett society had become corrosive. As a result of Occom's encouragement, many of the Montauketts of East Hampton moved to Brothertown in the late 1780s.

Montauk

Montauk is an unincorporated hamlet located on the eastern tip of Long Island in southeastern New York. The town was named after the Montaukett Indians who lived on much of eastern Long Island when Europeans first made contact in the 17th century. Archeological records show that Native Americans occupied eastern Long Island at least 3,000 years prior to European contact. The Montaukett Indians derived their name from the land they lived on, Montaukett meaning hilly country. The Montauketts made great use of Long Island’s abundant resources, and the nation subsisted by growing crops such as corn, squash, and beans as well as gathering berries, herbs, and roots. In addition to game such as deer and fish, the Montauketts also hunted whales and used every part of the whale, including its oil, which they burned in large clamshells. Living on an island at first isolated the Montaukett people, but they soon became a strong economic force in the region thanks to the production of the American Indian currency wampum. Wampum was constructed out of polished sea shells, which were found in abundance along Long Island’s beaches. The Montauketts' rich resources, however, led to wars with surrounding Indian nations, including the Pequots and Narragansetts to the north. The Pequots eventually forced the Montauketts to forfeit wampum as tribute. By the early 17th century, the Montauketts were faced with wars against surrounding Native Americans and an onslaught of European diseases, and in order to preserve his nation’s territorial integrity, the Montaukett sachem, Wyandanch, established an alliance with English settlers in Connecticut in 1637. Over time, however, the Montauketts' began selling off land to the English settlers, and disease further decimated their numbers. A 1650 smallpox epidemic killed around two-thirds of the Montaukett people. In 1665, Wyandanch granted the English permission to pasture livestock on Montaukett lands. In 1686 a group of East Hampton settlers known as the Proprietors bought the territory of Montauk from the Montauketts, and would continue to hold on to the land in a joint trust for the next 200 years. Despite attempts over the years, the town has never been incorporated as a village. Many years later, the Montauketts attempted to reassert their land rights on Long Island by petitioning New York State Judge Abel Blackmar in 1909. Blackmar refused to recognize the Montauketts as an Indian tribe, which has to this day left them without a reservation on the land that still bears their name.

Hanover

Hanover is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, which is located along the Connecticut River in the west-central area of the state, originally occupied by the Abenaki Tribe. It was chartered by Governor Benning Wentworth in 1761 as "Hannover," and four years later, European settlers arrived, mostly from the colony of Connecticut. Although heavily wooded, Hanover became an agricultural community. In 1769, Eleazar Wheelock established Dartmouth College near the Common at a village called "the Plain," a level tract of land about a mile above the River. For a few years in the 1780s, the southwest corner of the town, called "Dresden," along with several other disgruntled villages along the River who felt they were not being adequately represented in the state legislature, defected from New Hampshire and joined the independent Republic of Vermont. The village of Hanover, not to be confused with Hanover Center, another village located in the center of the township, grew up around the College and became the locus for the Presbytery of Grafton.

Long Island

Long Island is an island located in southeast New York State. In 1824, historian Silas Wood claimed that 13 different tribes inhabited the island when the Dutch and English arrived in 1639: the Canarsie, the Rockaway, the Matinecock, the Merrick, the Massapequa, the Nissequoge, the Secatoag, the Seatuket, the Patchoag, the Corchaug, the Shinnecock, the Manhasset, and the Montaukett. This is the commonly accepted tribal history of Long Island, and Wood’s theory is taught in New York textbooks today. Yet, in 1992, historian John Strong challenged this dominant narrative, arguing that tribal systems did not develop on Long Island until after Europeans arrived. Based on Dutch and English colonists’ accounts, the Algonquian communities on western Long Island likely spoke the Delaware-Munsee dialect and those to the east spoke languages related to the southern New England Algonquian dialects. These indigenous peoples organized themselves by language and kinship, but beyond village systems and the occasional alliance, there existed no formal tribal structure. Rather, internal structures arose among the Montauks, the Shinnecocks, the Poospatucks, and the Matinnocks to cope with English settlers, and became integral to these peoples’ survival. Although new diseases and land negotiations severely encroached on the freedom of Long Island’s Native population, these groups that developed tribal structures retain a sense of community today. By the 18th century, much of the island had fallen into the hands of the English, who were the sole European power on Long Island once the Dutch relinquished their claims to the land after the second Anglo-Dutch War in 1664. During the Great Awakening of the 18th century, Occom spent 12 years serving as a missionary to the Montaukett Indians of Long Island, along with Presbyterian minister Azariah Horton. Today, the western half of the island is densely populated due to its proximity to Manhattan, and its eastern half is mainly devoted to resort towns. The Shinnecocks and the Poospatucks retain autonomous reservations on Long Island.

Southold

Southold is located in northeast Long Island, New York and is the oldest English town in the state of New York. The Corchaug Indians, who occupied the land that would become Southold until Puritans from the New Haven colony settled the land in 1640, called the area Yennecott and had cleared much of the land before the Puritans’ arrival. The New Haven magistrates bought the title to the land making up present-day Orient Point to Wading River from the Corchaug Indians, and the colonists soon after built a church that served as the religious and political center of the town. As the population increased in the second half of the 17th century, large divisions of land were made. The Indians in the area contracted fatal diseases, were pushed out, were enslaved, or later intermarried with black slaves and had children who were enslaved. In 1664, Southold severed ties with Connecticut and became the subjects of the Duke of York, and Southold was granted the land from Plum Island to Wading River. As English subjects, 150 men went to Ticonderoga after 1754 and fought in the French and Indian War. During the Revolution, British troops occupied Southold, and many Southolders left for Connecticut while others were loyalists. When the British left New York in 1784, many Southolders who had left returned to Southold and helped to rebuild the town. In 1767, Occom suggested a tract of land in Long Island near Southold as a new location for the Indian school. He also visits the town later as an intinerant preacher. In a 1771 letter to Wheelock, David Avery writes of a revival in religion in Southold.

Avery, David

David Avery was one of Wheelock's charity scholars and had a long career as a Congregationalist minister. He studied at Moor's and Yale, where he was David McClure's classmate, and received his Masters from Dartmouth in 1773. Avery went on several missions to Indian tribes before his health forced him to retire. His first mission, before his final year at Yale, was to Kanawalohale as a schoolteacher in the summer of 1768. While there, he attended the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix as Wheelock's representative. After graduating, he served on Long Island around Smithtown. He was ordained August 29, 1771, at Dartmouth. Wheelock then sent him to the Oneidas for eleven months (September 1771 to August 1772), primarily to find out why the Oneidas had withdrawn their children from Wheelock's school. However, Avery's health was failing, and at some point between August 1772 and March 1773, he withdrew from Indian missionary service. In response, Wheelock charged him part of his tuition. Avery lived an exciting life after he left Wheelock's service. The Sabbath after the battle of Lexington (April 19 1775), he bade his Gageborough congregation farewell, mustered twenty men, and led them to Boston where he preached to the entire army. He enlisted as a chaplain, although he also fought in battle and served as a medic. He left the army in February 1780, and spent the rest of his life in a variety of pulpits, with a stint under the Massachusetts Domestic Missionary Society.

Wheelock, Eleazar

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

Wheelock, Mary (née Brinsmead)

Mary Wheelock was born Mary Brinsmead on July 26, 1714 in Milford, Connecticut. In the year following the death of his first wife, Eleazar began to court Mary Brinsmead, and the two married on November 21, 1747. Mary and Eleazar had five children together, including John, who would succeed his father as President of Dartmouth College. Little appears in the historical record about Mary, but many of the people who wrote to Wheelock, especially his Native correspondents who often lived with the family, referred to her warmly. In September 1770, Mary dismantled her longtime home in Connecticut, and travelled with her children to the Wheelocks' new home in the wilderness of New Hampshire. They rode in a coach sent over from England by John Thornton, accompanied by 30 Charity School students on foot. Eleazar, who had gone ahead to build housing for everyone, wrote a letter to Mary with many instructions about the move; the disposition of domestic animals, people, supplies; and the acquisition of money that suggests she was an able and trustworthy manager (manuscript 770510.1; this manuscript is not included in Occom Circle documents). She died in 1784 in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she is buried in the Dartmouth College Cemetery.

Occom, Samson

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

Fowler, David

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

Buell, Samuel

Buell was a popular Presbyterian minister during the second half of the 18th century in Long Island, as well as a close friend of Samson Occom. He was ordained in November 1743, and was a popular itinerant minister before settling at Easthampton. He preached at Occom's ordination, published the sermon in 1761 to raise funds for Occom (he also wrote the letter addressed to Bostwick prefacing his publication), and stayed in close contact with Occom even after Occom's public break from Wheelock. Occom's diary is full of references to visiting Buell and to their close friendship. During the Revolution, Buell was the only minister on Long Island for 40 miles, and was very active in assisting the American cause. He also founded Clinton Academy on Long Island in 1785, which was the first private school chartered by the New York Board of Regents. This academy was also remarkable in that it admitted women. Multiple historical sources have misconstrued Samuel Buell as Sol or Solomon Buell, likely because Buell sometimes signed his name Sa.l, a creative abbreviation of Samuel. However, there was no Reverend Solomon Buell in Easthampton, or, it seems, Long Island, in the second half of the 18th century: Samuel had no brothers, and were there to be two Reverend S. Buell's within 10 miles of one another during the same period, related or not, doubtlessly someone would have commented on it. In addition, the handwriting in letters ascribed to "Sol" and those assigned to Samuel is identical. Lastly, the only source besides collection manuscript 765530.3 describing a "Solomon Buell" is an anthology of letters from the Revolution, which contain letters from a Rev. Sol. Buell, or S. Buell, about aiding the American cause. These letters correspond well with descriptions of Samuel's life in an 1809 biography of his life, and, as he was the only Reverend but one for 40 miles during the Revolution, it is likely that these letters belong to him.

Woodward, Bezaleel

Bezaleel Woodward was an integral figure at Dartmouth College and the greater Hanover community; and like that of Eleazar Wheelock, Woodward’s career consisted of a blend of education, religion, and local affairs. After attending Moor’s and graduating from Yale in 1764, he became a preacher. Upon his return to Lebanon in late 1766, he began to hold various positions at Moor’s and became the first tutor of college department in 1768. Woodward later was a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Dartmouth College, as well as a member and clerk of the Board of Trustees. In 1772, he solidified his connection to Wheelock even further by marrying Wheelock’s daughter, Mary. Woodward also held numerous titles outside of the school. He was an elder of the Presbytery and attained multiple appointments in the local court system. A natural leader, Woodward was an influential member and clerk of several committees, representing both Hanover and the Dresden college district. He was thus a leading figure in the Western Rebellion, promoting several towns’ secession from New Hampshire and union with Vermont. Although Woodward resigned from his professorship in 1778, supposedly disassociating himself from Dartmouth while he engaged in politics, it was merely a formality. Upon Wheelock’s death, Woodward acted as president of the college from April to October 1779. Woodward continued to perform many of the executive tasks even after Wheelock’s son and successor, John Wheelock, took over the position, and also held the late Wheelock’s post of treasurer. Claiming to be finished with politics, he officially returned to Dartmouth as tutor in 1782, and performed the president’s duties while Wheelock was abroad in 1782 and 1783. Nonetheless, Woodward continued to participate in local affairs — in 1783 he unsuccessfully attempted to have the New Hampshire General Assembly approve Dresden’s status as a separate town; and in 1786, he became the county treasurer and register of deeds. Woodward remained a prominent figure at Dartmouth and the surrounding area throughout his life. He was, for instance, involved in the construction of Dartmouth Hall in 1784, and was part of the committee formed in 1788 to regulate the contested use of the fund raised by Occom and Whitaker in Great Britain for Moor’s. Woodward died August 25, 1804, at the age of 59.

Pomeroy, Benjamin

Benjamin Pomeroy was a school friend of Eleazar Wheelock and a lifelong supporter of his cause. Like Wheelock, he was a New Light evangelical and a staunch ally of James Davenport, a radical New Light preacher whose beliefs got him in trouble with the law. After graduating from Yale in 1733, Pomeroy received the ministry at Hebron, CT, in 1734, and assisted Wheelock in myriad ways until his own death in 1784. He kept Wheelock's school during 1746, when Wheelock's first wife, Sarah, was dying, and he tutored Occom (primarily in Hebrew) after Occom had completed his studies with Wheelock. Pomeroy also supported Wheelock as a trustee of Moor's, and, later, Dartmouth, and as a member of the Board of the Correspondents in Connecticut for the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Pomeroy and Wheelock also had close family connections: Pomeroy was married to Wheelock’s sister, Abigail, and one of Pomeroy’s daughters, Hannah, married David McClure, one of Wheelock's most illustrious graduates. Outside of his liturgical career, Pomeroy served as an army chaplain in the French and Indian War and the Revolution.

Ripley, Sylvanus

Sylvanus Ripley was a charity scholar at Moor’s Indian Charity School who became one of Dartmouth College’s first professors and Eleazar Wheelock’s son-in-law. After a brief stint at Moor’s proper, Ripley entered Yale in 1768. He undertook several short missions to the Canadian tribes in the early 1770s to seek out a new source of Native American students for Wheelock. His longest mission, from May to September of 1772, garnered 10 students from Kahnawake, the Catholic Canadian settlement. Ripley was an important figure in Dartmouth’s early history: in addition to serving as preceptor of Moor’s from 1775 until 1779, he was a tutor at Dartmouth from 1772 until 1782, a trustee of Dartmouth from 1775 until 1787, and the College’s professor of divinity from 1782 until 1787 (sources differ as to whether Ripley was ever formally ordained). He was also very involved in the political conflicts that characterized the town’s early history. Ripley died in 1787, at age 37, after being thrown from a sleigh.

Storrs, John
Patten, William
HomeDavid Avery, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1771 June 6
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