Avery, David

honorific(s): Reverend
Birth: April 5, 1746 in Norwich, CT
Death: February 16, 1818 in Middletown, VA

Moor's Indian Charity School; Yale College; Dartmouth College; American Army


Moor's (1767), Yale (1769), Dartmouth (1773)






Missionary, Minister, Army Chaplain

  • Norwich, CT (from 1746-04-05 to 1764-01-02)
  • Lebanon, CT (from 1764-01-02)
  • New Haven, CT (from 1767-11 to 1769)
  • Oneida (from 1771-09 to 1772-08)
  • Gageborough, MA (from 1773-03-25 to 1775-04-23)
  • Bennington, VT (from 1780-05-03 to 1783-06-17)
  • Wrentham, MA (from 1786-05-25)
  • Mansfield, CT ( to 1817-10-28)
  • Middletown, VA (from 1817-11 to 1818-02-16)
Marital status

Married Hannah Chaplin on October 10, 1782. They had four children.


David Avery was one of Wheelock's charity scholars and had a long career as a Congregationalist minister. He studied at Moor's and Yale, where he was David McClure's classmate, and received his Masters from Dartmouth in 1773. Avery went on several missions to Indian tribes before his health forced him to retire. His first mission, before his final year at Yale, was to Kanawalohale as a schoolteacher in the summer of 1768. While there, he attended the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix as Wheelock's representative. After graduating, he served on Long Island around Smithtown. He was ordained August 29, 1771, at Dartmouth. Wheelock then sent him to the Oneidas for eleven months (September 1771 to August 1772), primarily to find out why the Oneidas had withdrawn their children from Wheelock's school. However, Avery's health was failing, and at some point between August 1772 and March 1773, he withdrew from Indian missionary service. In response, Wheelock charged him part of his tuition. Avery lived an exciting life after he left Wheelock's service. The Sabbath after the battle of Lexington (April 19 1775), he bade his Gageborough congregation farewell, mustered twenty men, and led them to Boston where he preached to the entire army. He enlisted as a chaplain, although he also fought in battle and served as a medic. He left the army in February 1780, and spent the rest of his life in a variety of pulpits, with a stint under the Massachusetts Domestic Missionary Society.


Blake, Mortimer. A Centurial History of the Mendon Association of Congregational Ministers. Sewall Harding in Boston, 1853. Accessed via GoogleBooks 4/24/2013. Calloway, Colin, The Indian History of an American Institution. Dartmouth College Press 2010. Chase, Frederick. A history of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, New Hampshire. 1891. Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899. McCallum, James. The Letters of Eleazar Wheelock’s Indians. Dartmouth College Press 1932.