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Sarah Simon, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1767 October 12

ms-number: 767562.4

abstract: Simon writes that she is glad her daughter Sarah has succeeded at Wheelock’s school, and hopes her young son does as well. She also offers to send another daughter and another son.

handwriting: Handwriting varies in size and wanders somewhat. However, it is largely legible. When the handwriting is compared with that of manuscript 767559, which is signed Sarah Simon but appears to have been written by Edward Deake, it seems probable that this is Simon's actual hand.

paper: Large single sheet is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.

ink: Brown ink is heavily faded.

noteworthy: There is a pencil mark near the the trailer on one verso. The trailer is in an unknown hand.


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


Reverend Mr. Wheelock
These few Lines
are to let you know that I am well
at present — and I hope these
will find you in the same condition
I underStand that my daughter gives
Mr. Wheelock great satisfaction
for which I am Glad and greatly rejoice
and the Lord Reward you for your pains
and labor – for I Never Shall be able
to Reward you for it for I Cannot be thankful
enough for these privileges —
I have Sent my little Son up to you
take him to your Self and keep him in subjection
keep him as Long as you please until you think
that he Shall be capable of business
and if you want a girl I have one
about fourteen years of age 3d day of
next month
I Should be Glad
if you would take her upon the Same
ConSideration and if you conclude to
[illegible][guess: keep ] her I Should take it as a great favor
if you would Send me word as Soon as you Can
My Son Manuel desire to be received
Into your Charity School for the design
he has for learning is because he believes that
he is called to be a public man So he thinks
learning to be necessary — and So no more
at present — Give my most
humble regards to all your family
and So I Remain your humble servant Sarah Simon
[gap: tear]
From Sarah Simon October 12th 1767
To the
Rev. Mr.
Wheelock IN
Lebanon
Crank
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).

Simon, James

Part of the Simon family: Mrs. Sarah Simon, Miss Sarah Simon, James Simon, Abraham Simon, Daniel Simon, James 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. James Simon served in Revolution.

Simon, Emmanuel

Part of the Simon family: Mrs. Sarah Simon, Miss Sarah Simon, James Simon, Abraham Simon, Daniel Simon, James Simon, and Emmanuel 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. Emmanuel eventually enlisted in the Revolution.

HomeSarah Simon, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1767 October 12
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