Frisbie, Levi

first name (variants): Philo
last name (variants): Musae; Frisbee
honorific(s): Reverend
Birth: March 31, 1748 in Branford, CT
Death: February 25, 1806 in Ipswich, MA

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


Moor's Indian Charity School (1767-1768), Yale College (1768-1770), Dartmouth College (1770-1771)






Missionary and minister

  • Lebanon, CT (from 1767-05-03 to 1767-11-11)
  • New Haven, CT (from 1767-11-11 to 1770-08)
  • Hanover, NH (from 1770-08 to 1772-06-19)
  • Ipswich, MA (from 1776 to 1806-02-25)
Marital status

Was married twice and had a total of five children (one with his first wife, four with his second).


Levi Frisbie was a very intelligent and unreligious charity scholar. He came to Wheelock with substantial schooling already, and after a few months at Moor's, Wheelock sent him on to Yale. There, Frisbie excelled academically. However, he never wanted to be a missionary. He arrived at Moor's sometime during April of 1767, and by May 5, he was already writing Wheelock asking to be released from missionary obligations. While at Yale, this trend continued: Levi went so far as to confess to Wheelock that he was not even a church member. Although he was not passionate about Scripture, he was quite the classicist. Under the name Philo Musae, he would write Wheelock long chains of heroic couplets styled on epic about the Indian mission. In 1769, Levi went on his first mission (a short stint to the Oneidas). Shortly thereafter, Wheelock pulled Levi out of Yale to help make up Dartmouth's first class. Levi graduated in 1771, and was ordained with David McClure in May 1772. He and McClure set out on a mission on June 19, 1772, but Levi fell ill immediately and stayed at Fort Pitt. It is unclear whether he rejoined McClure on the mission. The two men returned to Hanover on October 2, 1773. Levi stayed involved with Wheelock and the Indian mission for a few years, but by 1776, he had assumed the pulpit at Ipswich, where he remained for the rest of his life. Levi's poetry appears at the end of Wheelock's 1771 Narrative, as well as in McClure and Parish's biography of Wheelock.


A Very Grave Matter.!i=41901805&k=dR4WZwQ&lb=1&s=A. Accessed 3/27/2013. Calloway, Colin, The Indian History of an American Institution. Dartmouth College Press 2010. Hale Family Organization. "Levi Frisbie Rev." Accessed 3/27/2013. Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899.