The Private Society

The Occom Circle

The Private Society


Boston, MA


The “Private Society” was a small religious organization in Boston. It seems to have consisted largely of merchants belonging to the city’s Old South Church, including Moses Peck, William Whitwell, and William Dawes, all Boston merchants who had business dealings with Wheelock. William Hyslop and Ebenezer Little, also local merchants, had contact with the Society but were not themselves members. It is unclear who else was in the society, and whether it was formally affiliated with the Old South Church. The Society met on Thursday evenings and raised small sums (typically around £10) for various philanthropic causes. Among the objects of their charity were Samson Occom and Samuel Kirkland, both of whom they donated money to in the early 1760s.


Dartmouth College Archives, MS 761609.2, 761610.2, and 762575.3.