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Bill of Goods, 1765 October 15

ms-number: 764565

abstract: Bill of goods presented by Gershom Breed to Eleazar Wheelock.

handwriting: Unknown hand is formal and neat. There is a note at the bottom of one verso, presumably in Asa Peabody's hand, which is clear and legible.

paper: Large single sheet is in fair condition, with light-to-moderate creasing, staining and wear.

ink: Brown ink is slightly faded.

noteworthy: Due to ledger transcription format, line breaks and brackets in the transcription may not precisely match those in the document.

events: Building of Occom’s house

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

Rev. Eleazer Wheelock Lebanon, to Gershom Breed D,r

December 1st. To 49 gallons molasses — — @ 1/10} £4..9..10 } Cash price
has no concern
with Mr. Occom's
To 2 bushels Beef Salt — @ 3/6 — ..7..
August 11. To his order ⅌ Mr. Thomas Lyman — 30/ 1..10..
25. To 1 1/2 gallons Rum - ⅌ Mr. Occom @ 4/ ..6..
To 7 yards Check linen -⅌- Ditto — @ 2/3 — ..15..9
To 1 kersey bag Delivered Mr. Occom 22.d June [illegible][guess: last]. 4/6 ..4..6
27. To 1 pair worsted hose 8/3 —}Delivered David Fowler
To 1 1/2 yards Ribbon @ 1/1 ..1..7 1/2
31. To 2 1/2 gallons Rum Delivered — Mr. Whitney for Mr. Occom ..10..
September 1 To 1 pair Shoes 0..7..6 }Delivered John Cooper,
To 4 yards Tow Cloth @ 2/ 0..8..0
To 3 yards Check Linen @ 1/9. 0..5..3
To 1 meal bag 0..4..6
To 1 Silk handkerchief Delivered John Cooper Jr. ..6..3
To 1 Iron pot weight 30 1/2 lb @ 3d 1/4 0..8..3 1/4 }Delivered C[illegible][guess: hris].o Squib
..17..4 3/4
To 1 quart Rum — 0..1..0
To 1 1/2 lb powder @ 2/9 0..4..1 1/2
To 1 pair yarn Stockings 0..3..10
To 1 gimlet 0..0..2
To 1 Silk handkerchief 0..6..4 }Delivered Solomon Cooper
To 2 felt hats Number 1 and 9: 2/4 and 7/ 0..9..4
To 7 yards garlit — @ 3/6, 1..4..6 } Delivered Jonathan Occom
1..5..1 1/2
To 3 skeins thread @ 2d 1/2. 0..0..7 1/2
3. To 1/2 lb powder — @ 2/9. 0..1..4 1/2 } Delivered Jacob George
To 3 1/4 lb Lead — @ 6d 0..1..7 1/2
To 1 gallon Rum 0..4..0 }Delivered Mr. Peabody
for Mr. Occom{
To 2 1/2 m: 4d Nails @ 4/6. 0..11..3
To 1 1/2 m: 10d ditto — @ 12/ — 0..18..0
To 1 barrel Cider — 0..6..6 Delivered Mr. Peabody
for Mr. Occom
To 1000 Cedar Clapboards. — 7..2..0
To 500 feet pine board — 2..1..0
To 975 Ditto oak Ditto — .2..8..0
To 4 1/2 m: Cedar Shingle @ 18 4..1..0
5. To 3 boxwood handle gimlets @ 3d 0..0..9
6. To 1 gallon Rum 0..4..0 Delivered Mr. Whitney for Ditto
To 1 Cedar Pail 0..2..6
7. To 7 yards tow Cloth — @ 2/. 0..14..0 Delivered Mr. Peabody
for Joseph Wiog
To 1 1/2 lb Coffee — @ 1/6. 0..2..3
To 2 1/4 yards Check Linen @ 3/. 0..6..9
8. To 2 quarts Rum @ 1/ 0..2..0 Delivered Mr. Peabody
To 1 lb Coffee 0..1..6

This entry and the one following have been crossed out in the original table.
A bracketed note spans this and the entry following in original table.
10. To 1 gallon Rum — 0..4..0 }Delivered Mr. Peabody
for himself
..13..6 1/4
To 1 gimlet 0..0..3
To 3 yards Check linen @ 2/3 0..6..9}
11. To 1 broom 0..0..10
To 1 pair Sleeve buttons 0..1..0
To 1/16 yards broad Cloth @ 11/ 0..0..8 1/4
13. To 1: [illegible][guess: e] : 10d Nails — for Mr. Peabody ..1..3
15. To 1 1/2 gallon Rum @ 4/ 0..6..0} Delivered Mr. Peabody ..12..
To 6 lb Sugar @ 8d 0..4..0
To 1/2 gallon Rum @ 4/ 0..2..0
To holland Delivered Mr. LambMr. Peabody's order ..6..6
17. To 1 barrel cider (drawn off) Mr. Whitney ..7..
Carried forward £34..17..5
1764. Brought forward £34..17..5

This entry and the one following have been crossed out in the original table.
A bracketed note spans this and the entry following in original table.
22. To 5 lb Sugar @ 8d Delivered Jacob Huscout 0..3..4
To 2 lb Coffee @ 1/6. 0..3..0 Delivered Mr. Peabody
0..10..1 1/2
24. To 1/4 m: 4d nails @ 4/6. 0..1..1 1/2
To 1 1/2 gallon Rum @ 4/. 0..6..0}
27. To 24 lb Pork @ 6d 0..12..0 Delivered Mr. Peabody
To 2 bushels Wheat Delivered Asa Peabody Jr. for Mr. Occom. 0..9..
October 1. To 1 quart Rum — 0..1..0 Delivered Mr. Peabody
To 4 yards Dow Cass @ 2/5 0..9..8}
3. To 1 skein Silk — 0..0..8 Delivered Mr. Peabody
To 1 Stick Twist — 0..0..10
5. To Mr. Peabody's order Jacob Huscout 0..6..0
8. To 2 Set Thumb Latches 0..2..4 Delivered Mr. Peabody
To 1/2 lb Pepper @ 3/4. 0..1..8
To 1 pair Shoes Delivered Jacob Huscout ⅌ Ditto order 0..7..6
10. To Mr. Peabody's order ⅌ Jacob Huscout Jr. 1..15..3
13. To 1 lb Coffee — 0..1..6 Delivered Mr. Peabody
0..3..4 1/2
To 2 lb Sugar — 0..1..4
To 1 Dozen breast-buttons 0..0..6 1/2
To Mr. Peabody's order ⅌ Jonathan Occom 1..10..4 1/2
To Ditto— Ditto— Ditto ⅌ John Tantaquidgeon 2..6..3
To 3 linen handkerchiefs 0..7..0 Delivered Mr. Peabody 0..11..10
To Rum and Spectacles 0..4..0
To 1 pair Shears 0..0..10
15. To Mr. Peabody's order ⅌ Caleb Whitney 4..17..10
£49..6..5 1/2
June 19th 1765 Received of Mr. Whitaker £26:7..8 1/2
on the account of the above account ⅌ Gershom Breed
Norwich October 15: 1764
These may Certify that the articles of the above account hath been
Delivered to the house of the Rev. Mr. Samson Occom
In the Building of [illegible][guess: said] Occoms [illegible][guess: hoos] attest per —
Asa Peabody
N:B the whole of the above account was Improved before
though Delivered Since: the 27th of September when I had
New Directions by Mr. Occom from Mr. Wheelock.
attest per Asa Peabody
49.6.5 1/2
12.19-7 1/2

Lebanon is a town located in the state of Connecticut southwest of the town of Hartford. The land that became Lebanon was inhabited at least 10,000 years ago based on the archeological record. By the 1600s, the land was permanently inhabited by the Mohegan Indians, who used the area primarily for hunting. Lebanon was officially formed in 1700 when English settlers consolidated a number of land tracts, including several land grants by the Connecticut General Assembly and lands purchased from the Mohegans. However, these purchases were controversial. In 1659, the Mohegans entrusted their reserve land to Major John Mason, and in the following year, Mason transferred this land to the Connecticut colonial government with the understanding that there would be enough land left for the Mohegans to farm. The Mohegans claimed that they never authorized a transfer to the colonial government and only Mason’s heirs were entrusted with their land. In 1662, Connecticut, which included the Mohegan land that had been entrusted to the Masons, was incorporated by a royal charter. Based on this charter, the colony argued that the land was now the property of the government. In 1687, the colony began granting the Mohegan land to townships, and in 1704 the Masons petitioned the Crown on behalf of the Mohegans, claiming that such transfers of land to townships were illegal. Between the years of 1705 and 1773 legal disputes and controversies persisted, finally ending in a verdict by the Crown against the Mohegans. In 1755, Wheelock received property and housing in Lebanon that he would use as his house and school. While Lebanon was originally incorporated as a part of New London County in 1700, in 1724 it became a part of New Windham, before once again becoming a part of New London County in 1826. Lebanon was central to the American Revolution with half of its adult population fighting for the colonists and hundreds of meetings convened in the town for the revolutionary cause.


Norwich is a city in New London County in the southeast corner of Connecticut. It was founded in 1659 when Major John Mason and Reverend James Fitch led English settlers inland from Old Saybrook, CT, on the coast. They bought land from Uncas, sachem of the local Mohegan tribe, and divided it into farms and businesses mainly in the three-mile area around the Norwichtown Green. In 1668, a wharf was built at Yantic Cove and in 1694 a public landing was built at the head of the Thames River, which allowed trade with England to flourish. The center of Norwich soon moved to the neighborhood around the harbor called "Chelsea." During the revolutionary period, when transatlantic trade was cut off, Norwich developed large mills and factories along the three rivers that cross the town: the Yantic, Shetucket and Thames, and supported the war effort by supplying soldiers, ships, and munitions. Norwich was the largest town in the vicinity in which Occom, Wheelock and their associates lived and worked, and it was possible to get there by water because of the harbor and access to the Long Island Sound. Lebanon, CT, the site of Wheelock's school, is 11 miles north and present-day Uncasville, the center of the Mohegan tribe, is a few miles south of Norwich. James Fitch did missionary work among the Mohegans in Norwich until his death in 1702, and Samuel Kirkland, the most important Protestant missionary to the Six Nations trained by Wheelock, was born in Norwich in 1741. On his evangelical tour of North America in 1764, George Whitefield planned to travel to Norwich to meet with Wheelock. The Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge frequently met in Norwich, and many letters by people involved in the missionary efforts of Wheelock were written from Norwich.

Breed, Gershom

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.

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.

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.

Peabody, Asa Jr
Whitney, Caleb
Lyman, Thomas IV

Thomas Lyman was born in 1746 and spent the majority of his life in Durham, CT. He was an avid reader and intellectual, and Thomas Jefferson hosted him at Monticello for a week. He accompanied General Phineas Lyman on a mission in the south, and during the Revolutionary War he was the quartermaster for the First Connecticut Regiment. Lyman also served as a representative to the convention that established Connecticut’s constitution. He married Rachel Seward in 1771 and had three children, George, Betsey, and Henry. He died in Durham, CT on June 6, 1832.

Squib, Christopher
Cooper, John
Cooper, John Jr.
Tantaquidgeon, John

John Tantaquidgeon, son of Ester Uncas and John Tantaquidgeon, was a Mohegan Indian who acted as a counselor to Ben Uncas III. He married Samson Occom’s sister, Lucy, and they had at least three children. He is a forefather of the modern-day Tantaquidgeon family.

Whitaker, Nathaniel

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.

Hoscot, Jacob
Huscaut, Jacob Jr.
Cooper, Solomon
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.

Occom, Jonathan
George, Jacob
Building of Occom’s house
In December 1763, Occom returns to Mohegan to choose a site for his house, close to the Mohegan Chapel. The project engages several Indian laborers, cost about £100, and is a notable structure, clapboarded with cedar.
HomeBill of Goods, 1765 October 15
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