Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Sarah Simon, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1767 October 9

ms-number: 767559

abstract: Simon thanks Wheelock for her daughter Sarah’s education, and asks him to take her young son into the Charity School.

handwriting: Formal and clear handwriting is the same as in 765566.1, 767115.1, 767351.1, 767552, 767562.2, 767630.2, 767660.2, and possibly 767231 and 767251, 768371.2. It is likely that of Edward Deake, schoolmaster at Charlestown.

paper: Large sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.

ink: Brown ink is faded in spots.

noteworthy: Although it is uncertain to whom Mrs. Simon refers when she mentions her "little son," it is likely James Simon.


Modernized Version -- deletions removed; additions added in; modern spelling and capitalization added; unfamiliar abbreviations expanded.


Dear Sir,
I've great satisfaction, in the account my
daughter Sarah has given me of Your pious care
of those Children which are under Your tuition.
In particular, do express most hearty thanks, for the
education of my Daughter. — — — I've a little Son
that I want You should receive into Your School: if
You would, I should accept it as an inestimable Favour;
and wholly give him up to You, to be altogether under
Your wise instruction, until he arrives to the age of
twenty-one years: begging this favour only, that
You would at proper seasons, allow him the privi­
lege of visiting me.
from your very humble Servant.
Sarah Simon
From Sarah Simon
October 9th 1767
To
Mr. Eleazar Wheelock D. D.
at
Lebanon
Blank page.
Simon, Sarah

Mrs. Sarah Simon is the matriarch of the Narragansett Simon family, which included herself, Miss Sarah Simon, James Simon, Abraham Simon, Daniel Simon, and Emmanual Simon. All five children (there was at least one other) were educated at Moor's, to some degree. The Simon family spells their name Simon, but Wheelock and others vary it. She sent five children to Wheelock. Although Miss Sarah wrote that Mrs. Sarah was ill in 1769, missionary records indicate that Mrs. Sarah survived until at least 1773.

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.

Simon, Sarah

Miss Sarah Simon was a member of the Narragansett Simon family: Mrs. Sarah Simon, Miss Sarah Simon, James Simon, Abraham Simon, Daniel Simon, and Emmanual Simon. All five children (there was at least one other) were educated at Moor's, to some degree. The Simon family spells their name Simon, but Wheelock and others vary it. Miss Sarah was one of Wheelock's female students, and wrote a spiritually troubled letter to him before departing (769900.1).

HomeSarah Simon, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1767 October 9
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only