Eleazar Wheelock, draft of will, 1768 April 14


abstractA draft of Wheelock’s will.

handwritingThe first two-plus pages of the document are written in a hand that is other than Wheelock's. It is informal and crowded, yet largely clear and legible. Beginning with the second word of the ninth line on two recto, the hand is Wheelock's (there are also additions made in Wheelock's hand throughout). Wheelock's hand is informal, small and occasionally difficult to decipher.

paperDocument consists of one large single sheet and one large sheet folded in half to make four pages. The paper is in fair condition, with moderate-to-heavy staining, creasing and wear. A small tear at the top of two recto/verso results in a minor loss of text.


noteworthyA tag reading "Part of the Frederick Chase Collection given by his heirs" is affixed to both two recto and three verso.

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

Item. And whereas I have for many and weighty reasons more than thirteen years ago,  undertake, and have at my own risk and expense by the assistance and favour of god, founded a charity school for  the education of youths of the several tribes of Indians in this land, and also  of a competent number of English youths to accompany them, with a  single view to the spreading the gospel into the ignorant parts of this  Land, especially among the Indians. And by the smiles of heaven  upon every step that hath hitherto been taken in the Affair, the  design is now become respectable in Europe as well as America, inso‐ ‐much that large donations have been made, whereby a number of  missionaries and schoolmasters have been, and are supported in the  wilderness, as well as a considerable number now in this school.  filling for the like service when they have finished their learning here  And very considerable additional Sums have been collected in great Britain, chiefly by  the endeavours of the Rev. Dr. Whitaker, whom I have authorized commissioned and sent, in com‐ ‐pany with the Rev. Samson Occom, in my name, to solicit the charities  of gods people only for the use and support of said Design; And God  having amidst the numberless and signal favours, by which he has owned  this design, put it into the hearts of those noble worthy and generous  friends and benefactors the Right Honourable William Earl of Dartmouth Mr. Baron  Smythe John Thornton Samuel Roffey Charles Hardy and Daniel West Esq.  Mr. Samuel Savage Mr. Josiah Robarts and Mr. Robert Keen all of, or near  the City of London to become Guarantees to the public for the  Security and due application of said Monies collected in great Britain for  promoting the great design aforesaid, and that this so important Affair  might not fail or be obstructed through my decease, and it being also necessary  for the safety wellbeing and success of the undertaking that there be also  a trust appointed on this side the water who may and shall receive  all gifts and grants subscriptions or donations any way made in  these Colonies for the use and support of said school or missionaries  and dispose of and improve the same according to the will of  the donors; and also to examine and judge of the qualifications of missionaries  and schoolmasters; the numbers from time to time expedient and their  fitness for the places they shall be respectively designed for and also of  their fidelity and skill in performing the truths respectively reposed  in them and accordingly to authorize and appoint them to their respective offices or displace  and remove them as they shall find occasion
I do therefore, after much deliberation and committing the  affair to god and waiting upon him for light and direction therein — nominate  and appoint my much honoured and worthy friends aforesaid viz the Right Honourable William Earl of Dartmouth, etc.  to be trustees of all the Donations that have been made or shall be made of any kind or in any manner of way whatever  through their hands for the use and benefit of the general design aforesaid and to them the said trustees I give and bequeath  said fund already made or any gifts grants or donations to be made as aforesaid to them and to their  successors to be by them disposed of and improved in the best manner only for the Uses aforesaid   and to do whatever they shall judge necessary to be done on that side the water for the safety well-being prosperity, success and increase  of the great design in view  under such regulations as shall be hereafter mentioned— and in case of the death or resignation  of any of the said 9 Gentleman such vacancy be declared and others chosen by the majority of the  remaining Trustees, to fill up such Vacancy or Vacancies
I do also nominate and appoint One mentioned on my aforesaid will  to be my successor in the immediate care oversight guidance and direction  of this whole Affair, so long and under such limitations and restrictions as shall be here ‐after mentioned in this will — I do also nominate and appoint my faithful and  trusty friends Col. William Pitkin Esq. of Hartford, the Rev. Benjamin Pomeroy of Hebron  the Rev. James Lockwood of Wethersfield, the Rev. Timothy Pitkin of Farmington, the Rev.  Nathaniel Whitaker DD of Norwich, the Rev. William Patten of Hartford and my son Ralph  Wheelock all of the Colony of Connecticut and the Rev. Samuel Kirtland  Missionary to be Trustees of all the Donations that have been made or shall be  made in these American colonies for the Use support and benefit of the the School and missionaries as aforesaid  and to them the said Trustees last mentioned I give and bequeath the Lot of Land  or tenement in this said Society in Lebanon aforesaid given originally by Mr. Joshua Moore of  Mansfield and since confirmed to me by a deed from his widow  for the Use and support of said school together with the subscriptions made by diverse  well disposed persons for the support and benefit of the school, and any and all  other or real or personal estate that has been or shall be given or  any way conveyed or made over to this school and missionaries or to me for  the Use and benefit of the same To them and to their Successors to have  and to hold or alienate and dispose of as they shall judge best only for  the uses aforesaid — And that they or any five of them the  whole being duly notified (by letters or otherways of the Time and place of  meeting) shall have full power to choose another Trustee if they shall  think fit and then to to confirm the appointment I have made of   my successor or to choose another of their number in his stead —  and that the same so chosen to be my successor be approved by the Right Honourable  noble and worthy Gentlemen of the Trust in England otherwise that  a new nomination be made by either set of Trustees 'til one be found  in which all may unite and that the one appointed by the Trust on this 
si[gap: tear][guess: de the] water shall officiate 'til that matter be settled and it is my will that  my successors be successively appointed by will with the Advice and or approbation  both of the Trustees here and in England forever or until a legal incorporation  shall be obtained and that he be approved by both sets of Trustees or else that another be by them Chosen as aforesaid And in case My succe ssor or successors shall die without such will that one be chosen by both sets of Trustees as aforesaid, and that he  Who shall be appointed by the Trustees on this the water officiate 'til that matter be settled as aforesaid and in case of a vacancy  by the death or resignation of any of the Trustees that such vacancy or vacancies  be supplied by others chosen by the major part of the surviving  Trustees —and it shall be the duty of these Trustees to examine and authorize  missionaries and schoolmasters and appoint them to their respective  services and judge of their Skill and Fidelity in performing the Same and accord‐ ingly continue or displace and remove them as they Shall judge fit. and do any  thing for the help and assistance of my said successor in the vigorous prosecution of  the said great design, and to appoint determine and fix upon laws rules and orders for the  Edification Decency, and Good Economy of the Whole affair as they Shall from time to time find necessary
Also that my successor keep a faithful and fair account of all expenses for, and disbursements of  money, in, this whole affair and transmit the Same twice a year, with an account  of all successes and remarkable occurrences to the Trust in England — and that  he Shall do the Same, with respect to my New Plan which he or the trust  here Shall think fit to come into, in the prosecution of this design, when and  as Soon as there is opportunity for it, and if it may be before he enters  upon the Execution of it, in order for the approbation of the Trust in England   and the accounts being thus kept and transmitted, the Trust in England shall  not have right to protest any Bills or Draughts made upon their treasurer  to pay any Expenses made before my successor Shall have received the Notice  of their disapprobation of the measures he is pursuing. The Same I expect  for myself So long as I do to the best of my Ability proceed according  to the foregoing proposals. and I hope in God who has hitherto So mar velously appeared to maintain and promote this cause which  is his own that he will yet take care of it and perform the highest  wishes and Hopes of his Saints concerning it, and particularly that  he will open the Hearts of Such as he has Endowed with Ability  to provide a lasting Fund for the Support not only of the School but of the president, instructors and other  officers necessary for the Same.  Wherefore know thee that I do by these presents Give Grant Convey and make over  to my much honoured and Worthy Friends before named viz the Right Honourable William Earl of Dartmouth  Mr. Baron Smythe etc. and to their successors chosen as before mentioned, forever the   money already collected which is now in their Hands, and all the Gifts Grants or Donations  of any kind that shall hereafter be made through their Hands only for the uses and purposes  and in the manner aforesaid and I do by these presents bind and oblige myself  that the Plan aforesaid Shall remain and be the form and manner of  this School, only reserving to myself the Liberty to change my successor  or to nominate another in Stead of him who is now named in my  Will and also to add two Trustees more than are now named or  remove either of these and put another or others in Stead thereof if I  Shall think it Expedient.
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To all people to whom these presents Shall come Greeting  Know thee that Whereas I Eleazar Wheelock of Lebanon in the  County of Windham and Colony of Connecticut in New England  ([illegible]) have by my last will and testament, Dated this 14th  Day of April 1768. regulated, modeled, ordered and disposed of  my Indian Charity School in the manner and form and words following  viz. "Item. and Where as I did[illegible] for many etc.