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Eleazar Wheelock, letters, to Andrew Oliver and Gideon Hawley, 1761 June 10

ms-number: 761360.1

[note (type: abstract): Wheelock informs Oliver that the Onaquaga chiefs are planning a visit to Boston, and encloses a letter for Gideon Hawley that encourages Hawley to make a visit to Onaquaga, and to oversee Samuel Ashpo as a missionary. He mentions that Occom and David Fowler have set out on their mission to the Six Nations.][note (type: handwriting): Informal handwriting is small, crowded and occasionally difficult to decipher.][note (type: paper): Large sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.][note (type: ink): Brown-black.][note (type: noteworthy): This document is very likely a draft.][note (type: layout): The letter to Oliver is written on the top half of one recto. The letter to Hawley takes up the rest of the paper.]

events: Occom’s First Mission to the Oneidas


[Hon.d | Honoured]Hon.dHonoured Sir.
The [incloſed | enclosed]incloſedenclosed from The Indian [Cheifs | chiefs]Cheifschiefs came to
my Hand [laſt | last]laſtlast this week under cover of one from
[M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Jeſse | Jesse]JeſseJesse Dean[pers0164.ocp] who informs me that [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Gunn[pers0020.ocp]
with Several of [s.d | said]s.dsaid [Cheifs | chiefs]Cheifschiefs [deſign | design]deſigndesign to [above] aa [Viſit | visit]Viſitvisit [above] toto [Boſton | Boston]BoſtonBoston[place0013.ocp]
this Summer. perhaps the News of what the
[Honle | honourable]Honlehonourable [Com̅iſsrs | Commissioners]Com̅iſsrsCommissioners [org0095.ocp] have [above] of Latelyof Lately done for them may prevent
them if it reaches them [ſoon | soon]ſoonsoon enough.
The [incloſed | enclosed]incloſedenclosed to [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Ha[above] wwlley | Hawley]Ha[above] wwlleyHawley[pers0021.ocp] Is [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): [incloſe | enclose]incloſeenclose][incloſe | enclose]incloſeenclose [unſeald | unsealed]unſealdunsealed [y.t | that]y.tthat [y.r | your]y.ryour
[Hon.r | honour]Hon.rhonour [& | and]&and the [Reſt | rest]Reſtrest of the [Com̅iſsrs | Commissioners]Com̅iſsrsCommissioners [org0095.ocp] may [ſee | see]ſeesee the Contents if
Youy [pleaſe | please]pleaſeplease [above] after thatafter that [pleaſe | please]pleaſeplease [ſir | sir]ſirsir to cover [& | and]&and direct it to him.
[M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] and David [above] FowlerFowler[pers0155.ocp] [ſet | set]ſetset out from hence this Day from
hence to [y.e | the]y.ethe Six Nations[org0090.ocp]. by the way of New York[place0308.ocp].
[Gen.l | Gen.]Gen.lGen. Lyman[pers0344.ocp] has [Recom̅ended | recommended]Recom̅endedrecommended the [Deſign | design]Deſigndesign which David
the [Com̅iſsrs | Commissioners]Com̅iſsrsCommissioners [org0095.ocp] [ſend | send]ſendsend David[pers0155.ocp] upon to [illegible][Genl | Gen.]GenlGen. [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[pers0292.ocp]
and [beſpoke | bespoke]beſpokebespoke his [Friendſhip | friendship]Friendſhipfriendship and [Aſsiſtance | assistance]Aſsiſtanceassistance therein. —
What has been of late [calld | called]calldcalled a cold in the Country
proves very mortal among us. 3 now lie dead in
this place and Several others Seem as [tho' | though]tho'though they [wod [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): n't]n't | wouldn't]wod [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): n't]n'twouldn't
live long.[pleaſe | please]pleaſeplease to accept dutiful Salutations [&c | etc.]&cetc.
Your [Honrs | Honours]HonrsHonours very Humble Servant
[Eleazr | Eleazar]EleazrEleazar Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]
[Rev.d | Rev.]Rev.dRev. [& | and]&and Dear Brother
I [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould have wrote you [ſeveral | several]ſeveralseveral
Times [ſince | since]ſincesince I [ſaw | saw]ſawsaw you if I had known [were | where]werewhere to Direct
my [Lettrs | letters]Lettrsletters to you. When I was [laſt | last]laſtlast in [Boſton | Boston]BoſtonBoston[place0013.ocp] I took
the Name of the place in writing but have [loſt | lost]loſtlost it again.
I have [longd | longed]longdlonged to [ſpend | spend]ſpendspend an Evening with you to plead the
[caſe | case]caſecase of your old [pp | people]pppeople at [Onohoquagke | Onaquaga]OnohoquagkeOnaquaga[place0182.ocp], in [whoſe | whose]whoſewhose [Affecnſ | affections]Affecnſaffections
you live above any [Engliſh man | Englishman]Engliſh manEnglishman on Earth, and where
there is [ye moſt | the most]ye moſtthe most [agreable | agreeable]agreableagreeable [openg & | opening and]openg &opening and [moſt | most]moſtmost [Encouragg | encouraging]Encouraggencouraging
[proſpect | prospect]proſpectprospect of the [ſuceſs | success]ſuceſssuccess of the Gospel of any place
[whatſoever | whatsoever]whatſoeverwhatsoever that I have knowledge of. and in addition to
[thoſe | those]thoſethose very [above] weightyweighty arguments [w.c | which]w.cwhich [ye | the]yethe [Honle | Honourable]HonleHonourable [Com̅iſsrs | Commissioners]Com̅iſsrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp] argue. I would
give you [ſome | some]ſomesome [acco.t | account]acco.taccount of their [preſent | present]preſentpresent [ſtate | state]ſtatestate which perhaps the
[Com̅iſsrs | Commissioners]Com̅iſsrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp] have not yet known and [above] inin which I think there is [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch
an Argument at [leaſt | least]leaſtleast for your making them a long [viſit | visit]viſitvisit,
as you will find much Difficulty to [withſtand | withstand]withſtandwithstand the [illegible]force of
One [Sam.l | Samuel]Sam.lSamuel [Aſhpo | Ashpo]AſhpoAshpo[pers0002.ocp], a Mohegan[org0063.ocp], [above] who [illegible]Once a [above] poorpoor Drunken Creaturewho [illegible]Once a [above] poorpoor Drunken Creature was [Supposd | supposed]Supposdsupposed to become
a real [Chriſtian | Christian]ChriſtianChristian about 19 [above] [ſome | some]ſomesome[ſome | some]ſomesome Years ago, [& | and]&and was [above] II admitted him
into this [Ch-h | Church]Ch-hChurch he behaved very well Several Years [till | 'til]till'til he
got [illegible]into [above] thethe Company with of illegible [ſaylors | sailors]ſaylorssailors at [N | New]NNew London[place0164.ocp], [& | and]&and got
Drunk, he [ſoon | soon]ſoonsoon after came to me and with Tears [informd | informed]informdinformed
me of his Fall and [ſeemd | seemed]ſeemdseemed very much afflicted and I thought
gave [ſatiſfying | satisfying]ſatiſfyingsatisfying Evidence of [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): true]true Repentance. [deſired | desired]deſireddesired to
make a [publick | public]publickpublic [Confeſsion | confession]Confeſsionconfession [above] [&c | etc.]&cetc.[&c | etc.]&cetc. and I [ſuppose | suppose]ſupposesuppose has [nevertaſted | never tasted]nevertaſtednever tasted
of any [ſpiritous | spiritous]ſpiritousspiritous Liquor of any Sort [ſince | since]ſincesince. Some Years
ago under the Influence of [ſome | some]ſomesome lay [Exhortrs | exhorters]Exhortrsexhorters he was [ſeducd | seduced]ſeducdseduced
and at length received Ordination in their way by the Hands
of Such [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): Creatures]Creatures Yet he has not [Appeard | appeared]Appeardappeared to be one of
the [moſt | most]moſtmost Bitter [above] BitterBitter [Conſorious | censorious]Conſoriouscensorious, furious [& | and]&and uncharitable [ſort | sort]ſortsort.
andNor I could [above] II never find but that his [above] religiousreligious Principles except what
relate to his Ordination are Good. but he has very thorough
­ly imbibed [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch [independ.t | independent]independ.tindependent and [Browniſtic | Brownistic]BrowniſticBrownistic Principles which [above] asas
I find many good [ſort | sort]ſortsort of [pp | people]pppeople in your Province are [above] zealous to defendzealous to defend [ſadly | sadly]ſadlysadly in
and he has gone on to [exerciſe | exercise]exerciſeexercise the Power thus [rec.d | received]rec.dreceived from [ye | the]yethe
[Ch-h | church]Ch-hchurch. [laſt | Last]laſtLast year he went to [onohoquage | Onaquaga]onohoquageOnaquaga[place0182.ocp]. iOn his return
he was [above] [lodgd | lodged]lodgdlodged[lodgd | lodged]lodgdlodged at my House. [above] [& | and]&and[& | and]&and [informd | informed]informdinformed me of a great [above] [spl | special]splspecial[spl | special]splspecial concern among
the Indians in those parts [eſpecially | especially]eſpeciallyespecially at [Jeningo | Chenango]JeningoChenango[place0110.ocp] which I was
the more [inclind | inclined]inclindinclined to give [cred.t | credit]cred.tcredit to [bec. | because]bec.because I had heard of it otherways.
This year he has made them another [viſit | visit]viſitvisit. [& | and]&and [lodgd | lodged]lodgdlodged again at
my House ion his Return [above] this week andthis week and. informs me that there are about 20
at [Jeningo | Chenango]JeningoChenango[place0110.ocp] which he thinks to be really converted. and a
[Gen.l | general]Gen.lgeneral Concern among Others. that they are very [unwillg | unwilling]unwillgunwilling
[yt ye | that the]yt yethat the [Engliſh | English]EngliſhEnglish [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould get footing among them [leſt | lest]leſtlest by [& | and]&and by
they root them out as they have done in New England[place0158.ocp]. that
they have had a meeting and voted to have him, for their [Minier | minister]Minierminister
and [deſired | desired]deſireddesired him to make Application to the [Com̅iſsrs | Commissioners]Com̅iſsrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp]
for his Support and for the Support of an [above] SomeSome Indian
[Schoolmaſter | schoolmaster]Schoolmaſterschoolmaster. as a [Schoolmaſter | schoolmaster]Schoolmaſterschoolmaster. as to this [acco.t | account]acco.taccount I
Suppose it is credible and that there has been a great and
uncommon [above] religiousreligious Concern among them, and [Some thing | something]Some thingsomething like
[Converſion | conversion]Converſionconversion, [& | and]&and perhaps [ſome | some]ſomesome real ones [Inſtances | instances]Inſtancesinstances of it. —
[Aſhpo | Ashpo]AſhpoAshpo[pers0002.ocp] [above] [illegible: [guess (h-dawnd): Said he moſt]Said he moſt] is [illegible]determined to [ſee | see]ſeesee the [Commiſsrs | Commissioners]CommiſsrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp] [& | and]&and[illegible: [guess (h-dawnd): Said he moſt]Said he moſt] is [illegible]determined to [ſee | see]ſeesee the [Commiſsrs | Commissioners]CommiſsrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp] [& | and]&and [earneſtly | earnestly]earneſtlyearnestly [deſired | desired]deſireddesired me to
write [ym | them]ymthem [above] you inyou in his [Fav.r | favour]Fav.rfavour to them
[Com̅iſsrs | Commissioners]Com̅iſsrsCommissioners I told him I could write no more than a plain
[honeſt | honest]honeſthonest Narrative of the Truth. [gap: blotted_out] [above] [& | and]&and[& | and]&and [y.t | that]y.tthat the [Com̅iſsrs | Commissioners]Com̅iſsrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp] were
heartily [ingagd | engaged]ingagdengaged to do [any thing | anything]any thinganything in [yr | their]yrtheir Power to further
[y.e | the]y.ethe Great [Deſign | design]Deſigndesign of [Spreadg | spreading]Spreadgspreading the Gospel among them [above] IndiansIndians
but they knew what [miſcheifs | mischiefs]miſcheifsmischiefs [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch Principles as he held hadve
done in the [Ch-h | church]Ch-hchurch, and I was [perſwaded | persuaded]perſwadedpersuaded they would take
[utmoſt | utmost]utmoſtutmost care [y.t | that]y.tthat [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): [a [ſack | sack]ſacksack][a [ſack | sack]ſacksack [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould not be laid in [y.e | the]y.ethe very
Bottom among the Pagans. I have taken [illegible]
ofMuch pains to convince him of his [miſtake | mistake]miſtakemistake. [above] [& | and]&and[& | and]&and have told him
there is a probability [y.t | that]y.tthat he might do [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): a great deal of]a great deal of
much good among them if he were delivered from those
Errors, and would take pains to [furniſh | furnish]furniſhfurnish [himſelf | himself]himſelfhimself with useful

and would act only in his proper Sphere. I [illegible] him [illegible: [guess (ivys): [ſilent | silent]ſilentsilent][ſilent | silent]ſilentsilent]
[& | and]&and, he [ſeemd | seemed]ſeemdseemed more [inclind | inclined]inclindinclined to hear [& | and]&and, I hope to [ſsuſpect | suspect]ſsuſpectsuspect [himſelf | himself]himſelfhimself
than he did. This [above] [ſhort | short]ſhortshort[ſhort | short]ſhortshort Narrative, dear [ſir | sir]ſirsir, gives you the [moſt | most]moſtmost an
affecting View of their Case. [Aſhpo | Ashpo]AſhpoAshpo[pers0002.ocp]'s [Intereſt | interest]Intereſtinterest in their [Affrs | affairs]Affrsaffairs
is Such as that thiere is danger of the [ſaddeſt | saddest]ſaddeſtsaddest [Conſeqces | consequences]Conſeqcesconsequences [unleſs | unless]unleſsunless
[y.e | the]y.ethe Affair be conducted with [utmoſt | utmost]utmoſtutmost Prudence, [illegible]
and [Diſcretion | discretion]Diſcretiondiscretion. and [above] by [Reaſon | reason]Reaſonreason of [y.r Acquant.e | your acquaintance]y.r Acquant.eyour acquaintance with and [Intereſt | interest]Intereſtinterest in [Reaſon | reason]Reaſonreason of [y.r Acquant.e | your acquaintance]y.r Acquant.eyour acquaintance with and [Intereſt | interest]Intereſtinterest in them. I [ſuppose | suppose]ſupposesuppose no man [ſo | so]ſoso likely as you to
prevent the [Miſchiefs | mischiefs]Miſchiefsmischiefs which are [threatned | threatened]threatnedthreatened, and to [nouriſh | nourish]nouriſhnourish, [Cheriſh | cherish]Cheriſhcherish,
and further any good [Beginings | beginnings]Beginingsbeginnings there, by [Reaſon | reason]Reaſonreason of your [accq | ac]accqac­
quaintance with them and [intereſt | interest]intereſtinterest in their Affections.
by all [accots | accounts]accotsaccounts they have a hearing Ear. and it looks as [tho' | though]tho'though the
Gospel might have free [courſe | course]courſecourse among them, and who [Reconds | reckons]Recondsreckons
what a Glorious [Harveſt | harvest]Harveſtharvest you may have, and what [Bleſsings | blessings]Bleſsingsblessings
of [periſhg | perishing]periſhgperishing Souls come upon you.
 as I [ſuppose | suppose]ſupposesuppose [Aſhpo | Ashpo]AſhpoAshpo[pers0002.ocp] will [Viſit | visit]Viſitvisit them again whether
he be [encouragd | encouraged]encouragdencouraged by the [Com̅iſsrs | Commissioners]Com̅iſsrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp] or not [ſo | so]ſoso perhaps it will
not be [above] prudent orprudent or [beſt | best]beſtbest he [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould be at once thrown into [Deſpair | despair]Deſpairdespair of
[Fav.r & | favour and]Fav.r &favour and Countenance by [above] [illegible]from them or[illegible]from them or you or the [Honle Com̅iſsrs | Honourable Commissioners]Honle Com̅iſsrsHonourable Commissioners[org0095.ocp] but rather
[above] tenderly be put in your arms [& | and]&andtenderly be put in your arms [& | and]&and held upon trial [& | and]&and Probation [& | and]&and [above] if he will act beif he will act be encouraged to act under
your Direction and Conduct. and if he [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould be ductile
[& | and]&and Teachable, I dont conclude [yt | that]ytthat [above] [illegible][illegible] he will not [ſerve | serve]ſerveserve [y.e | the]y.ethe
[Cauſe | cause]Cauſecause. [above] as I can but entertain in Charitable hope concerning his [illegible] [& | and]&and the [Honeſty | honesty]Honeſtyhonesty of his Intentionsas I can but entertain in Charitable hope concerning his [illegible] [& | and]&and the [Honeſty | honesty]Honeſtyhonesty of his Intentions. however the [caſe | case]caſecase appears to me very Dangerous
and Difficult. and when we [conſider | consider]conſiderconsider what infinite
[miſcheifs | mischiefs]miſcheifsmischiefs Satan has done when [tranſformd | transformed]tranſformdtransformed into an [Angil | angel]Angilangel
of Light [& | and]&and [Eſpecly | especially]Eſpeclyespecially at [ye | the]yethe [firſt | first]firſtfirst Sitting planting the Gospel
in places [above] and by the [Inſtrumentality | instrumentality]Inſtrumentalityinstrumentality of good men tooand by the [Inſtrumentality | instrumentality]Inſtrumentalityinstrumentality of good men too it may Justly awaken our Fear and I hope will [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): [perſwa[above] dede | persuade]perſwa[above] dedepersuade][perſwa[above] dede | persuade]perſwa[above] dedepersuade
[above] [illegible] [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): to [accompany | accompany]accompanyaccompany [& | and]&and introduce dear [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Thompſon | Thompson]ThompſonThompson[pers0540.ocp] [accordg | according]accordgaccording to ye [Comrs | Commissioners]ComrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp] [deſire | desire]deſiredesire]to [accompany | accompany]accompanyaccompany [& | and]&and introduce dear [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Thompſon | Thompson]ThompſonThompson[pers0540.ocp] [accordg | according]accordgaccording to ye [Comrs | Commissioners]ComrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp] [deſire | desire]deſiredesire[illegible] [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): to [accompany | accompany]accompanyaccompany [& | and]&and introduce dear [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Thompſon | Thompson]ThompſonThompson[pers0540.ocp] [accordg | according]accordgaccording to ye [Comrs | Commissioners]ComrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp] [deſire | desire]deſiredesire]to [accompany | accompany]accompanyaccompany [& | and]&and introduce dear [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Thompſon | Thompson]ThompſonThompson[pers0540.ocp] [accordg | according]accordgaccording to ye [Comrs | Commissioners]ComrsCommissioners[org0095.ocp] [deſire | desire]deſiredesire
[left] # and I hope [y.e | the]y.ethe [Conſider.n | consideration]Conſider.nconsideration will [Effectivelly perſwade | effectively persuade]Effectivelly perſwadeeffectively persuade you to
comply with [y.e | the]y.ethe [Deſ.r | desire]Deſ.rdesire of [y.e | the]y.ethe [Hon.le Com̅rs | Honourable Commissioners]Hon.le Com̅rsHonourable Commissioners[org0095.ocp], at [leaſt | least]leaſtleast [ſo | so]ſoso far as to
[accompy & | accompany and]accompy &accompany and introduce dear [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Thompſon | Thompson]ThompſonThompson[pers0540.ocp], if he [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall accept the
[Miſsion | mission]Miſsionmission.
# and I hope [y.e | the]y.ethe [Conſider.n | consideration]Conſider.nconsideration will [Effectivelly perſwade | effectively persuade]Effectivelly perſwadeeffectively persuade you to
comply with [y.e | the]y.ethe [Deſ.r | desire]Deſ.rdesire of [y.e | the]y.ethe [Hon.le Com̅rs | Honourable Commissioners]Hon.le Com̅rsHonourable Commissioners[org0095.ocp], at [leaſt | least]leaſtleast [ſo | so]ſoso far as to
[accompy & | accompany and]accompy &accompany and introduce dear [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Thompſon | Thompson]ThompſonThompson[pers0540.ocp], if he [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall accept the
[Miſsion | mission]Miſsionmission.

 [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] [ſeems | seems]ſeemsseems to have a good [Underſtanding | understanding]Underſtandingunderstanding of [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): Satans]Satans
Devices [above] of [y.t | that]y.tthat [ſort | sort]ſortsortof [y.t | that]y.tthat [ſort | sort]ſortsort and has [ſome | some]ſomesome [thots | thoughts]thotsthoughts he [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall make [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): them]them a [viſit | visit]viſitvisit to
[Jeningo | Chenango]JeningoChenango[place0110.ocp] before he returns from his [Miſsion | mission]Miſsionmission. If you
[ſhould | should]ſhouldshould chance to meet him there [above] [& | and]&and [illegible] [y.r | there]y.rthere [illegible] it will [illegible][& | and]&and [illegible] [y.r | there]y.rthere [illegible] it will [illegible] it may be very happy
[above] look like a very favourable Providence.look like a very favourable Providence.
and [pleaſe | please]pleaſeplease [ſir | sir]ſirsir to favour [illegible] [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): with]with your a [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): [viſit | visit]viſitvisit][viſit | visit]viſitvisit whenever you have [occaſion | occasion]occaſionoccasion to [paſs | pass]paſspass [thro' | through]thro'through Connecticut[place0048.ocp] I [wiſh | wish]wiſhwish you
Divine directive, [above] inin [& | and]&and [Bleſsing | Blessing]BleſsingBlessing upon all your pious [Endrs | endeavours]Endrsendeavours to
build up the Kingdom of the Great Redeemer I am [Revd | Rev.]RevdRev. [& | and]&and dear [above] [ſr | Sir]ſrSir[ſr | Sir]ſrSir
and with [Kindeſt | Kindest]KindeſtKindest Salutations to you and your [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): dear]dear
[ſpouse | spouse]ſpousespouse[pers1799.ocp]
am [Rev.d | Rev.]Rev.dRev. [& | and]&and dear [ſir | Sir]ſirSir
Yours in the [Deareſt | Dearest]DeareſtDearest Bonds
[Eleaz.r | Eleazar]Eleaz.rEleazar Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]

Letters to [A | Andrew]AAndrew Oliver[pers0031.ocp] [Esq.r | Esq.]Esq.rEsq.
[& | and]&and Rev. [Gid. | Gideon]Gid.Gideon Hawley[pers0021.ocp].
[abo.t | about]abo.tabout [Sam.l | Samuel]Sam.lSamuel [Aſhpo | Ashpo]AſhpoAshpo[pers0002.ocp].
June 1761[1761-06-10]
Six Nations
The Six Nations (often called the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois) is a confederacy composed of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras. The first five tribes unified at some point before European contact (dates differ by centuries), and the Tuscaroras joined them in 1722, after colonial violence drove the tribe out of Carolina. The Haudenosaunee occupied much of what is now central New York, and, thus, were sandwiched between French, English, and Dutch territories. They allied with the English against the French early on, just as their arch-enemies, the Huron, allied with the French. Despite the Six Nations’ unity, the constituent nations experienced European contact in different ways. The Mohawks and Oneidas, as the two easternmost tribes, had by far the most contact with the English, while the Senecas and Cayugas, the westernmost nations, had little contact with the English (although both hosted French Jesuit missionaries). Mohawk territory was the site of Johnson Hall, the administrative center and home of Sir William Johnson, the British Superintendent for Indian Affairs in the Northeast. The Oneidas, meanwhile, played host to several prominent Anglo-American missionaries and were thought of as the most Christianized Haudenosaunee tribe by many colonists. Eleazar Wheelock became fixated on the Haudenosaunee soon after he established Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1754. He saw in them the opportunity for a fresh start, since he believed that New England Indians had assimilated to Anglo-American norms in all the wrong ways (too much rum, too little Christianity). Wheelock established contact with the Haudenosaunee through Sir William Johnson and made the Mohawks and Oneidas the focal point of his missionary efforts for much of the 1760s. The American Revolution had dramatic repercussions for the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Mohawks, Senecas, Onondagas, and Cayugas sided with the British, while the Oneidas and Tuscaroras sided with the Americans. Since all Haudenosaunee hold membership in both a tribe (Mohawk, Oneida, etcetera) and a matrilineal clan (bear, wolf, and others), the tribes’ divergent alliances brought about political schism and violence within extended families. Furthermore, Haudenosaunee territory was devastated during the war, especially in General Sullivan’s 1779 raid on Cayuga and Seneca territory. After the Revolution, many Haudenosaunee who had affiliated with the British relocated to the Grand River Reserve in Canada, while many of the Oneidas and Tuscaroras remained in New York. The Haudenosaunee at the Grand River Reserve established their own council fire, which operated in parallel with the original council fire at Onondaga. Today, both council fires are still active, and each tribe also has its own independent government (as do displaced Haudenosaunee populations, such as the Oneidas of Wisconsin).
The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America was a missionary society active in America from 1649 until 1786. It was first called the "New England Company" in 1770. Most secondary literature uses that name for convenience and to distinguish it from other missionary societies. The company was first chartered in 1649 as the "President and Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England," largely in response to John Eliot's missionary efforts. After the Restoration (1660), it was rechartered as the "Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America." The New England Company was very powerful and influential, in large part because it was a coalition between Anglicans and Dissenters. It supported a range of missionaries from the Mayhews to the Sergeants to Moor's alumnus Samuel Kirkland. After the Revolution, the New England Company refocused its attentions on New Brunswick and Canadian Indians. Wheelock had a very rocky relationship with the New England Company. Initially, it supported Wheelock's efforts. The Company funded Occom's education at Moor's and paid him a small salary during his time among the Montauketts. However, from 1765 onwards, its relationship with Wheelock rapidly deteriorated. The Company opposed the fundraising tour of Great Britain and went so far as to interfere with it by sending a widely circulated letter to England questioning Occom's background. The New England Company also interferred with Titus Smith's mission to Onaquaga by sending a rival missionary, Mr. Moseley, and stealing Titus' interpreter, Elisha Gunn. In 1767 it formally withdrew its financial support from Wheelock on the grounds that the fundraising tour had raised sufficient money. It is unclear what led the New England Company to suddenly change its stance towards Wheelock. Perhaps it wanted exclusive power over missionary distribution in New England, or perhaps it was thought that focusing on education over numbers in the field was counterproductive. Most secondary sources have conflated the New England Company's Boston Board and the Society in Scotland for Promoting Christian Knowledge's Boston Board, an easy mistake to make since both are sometimes referred to as the Boston Board and both vigorously opposed Wheelock. Any secondary source's statement about either should be carefully researched.
Mohegan Tribe
The Mohegans are an Algonquian tribe located in New London County, Connecticut. The Mohegan Tribe spent most of the 18th century struggling to regain control over its territory from the colony of Connecticut in a protracted affair known as the Mason Land Case. The groundwork for the dispute was laid in 1659, when Uncas, the first Mohegan sachem after the tribe separated from the Pequot, entrusted the Tribe’s lands to John Mason, an Anglo-American who had been Uncas’ ally in the war against the Pequot. The following year, the colony of Connecticut persuaded Mason to transfer his stewardship of the Mohegan land to the colony. However, since Mason continued to act as trustee, it was unclear to what degree the colony was the tribe’s legal steward. Nonetheless, in the 1690s, Connecticut began selling off the land specifically set aside for Mohegan use. The Tribe brought its first legal challenges in 1704, and the case was tried multiple times in the colonies and England before it was decided in favor of the colony in 1773. The case split the Mohegan Tribe into two camps and led to serious interference in tribal self-government. When the sachem Caeser died in 1723 (when his son Mahomet was too young to lead), the Tribe split over whether the new sachem should be Caesar’s younger brother Ben Uncas, or John Uncas Jr., a more direct descendent of Uncas I. When Ben took the post, John gathered his supporters and moved half a mile down the road in protest. The Mohegans thus split into “Ben’s Town” and “John’s Town” (these designations correlated with the “sachem party” and the “Mason party,” respectively). When Ben Uncas II, Ben Uncas I’s son, became sachem in 1726, he maintained his family’s shaky hold on power by allying himself with the colony of Connecticut. In an unstated quid pro quo, Ben Uncas II and his son, Ben Uncas III, did not pursue the Mason Case, and in return, they received favors and political support from the colony, which proved critical on multiple occasions when the Mohegans elected alternate sachems. The colony, meanwhile, got to parade a supposedly legitimate sachem in front of Anglo-American and British authorities as proof that the Mason party was composed of rabble rousers. Ben Uncas II and Ben Uncas III, as part of their project of tying themselves to the colony, worshiped at the Anglo-American parish in New London under the ministry of David Jewett, a minister sponsored by the New England Company, a powerful missionary organization. As a form of resistance to Jewett and, by extension, the sachem party, many Mohegans elected to worship with indigenous leaders such as Samson Occom and Samuel Ashpo. Jewett was none too pleased, and the affair drew the New England Company in on the side of the sachem party and inspired its backlash against Samson Occom and his mentor, Eleazar Wheelock, throughout the 1760s. Something of a resolution came in 1769, when Ben Uncas III died. At his funeral, the pallbearers (Occom included) dropped his coffin in front of the representatives from the Connecticut Assembly — a clear indication of what they thought of the company the sachem kept. The Tribe dissolved the office of sachem rather than instituting Ben Uncas III’s son Isaiah (who died shortly afterwards, in 1770), but the damage had been done. The case was decided in favor of the colony in 1773. Samson Occom and Joseph Johnson, both Mohegan, were essential architects of the Brothertown movement, a coalition of Southern New England Algonquians that migrated to Oneida territory in 1775 and again in 1783. However, the majority of the Tribe did not emigrate, and today the Mohegan Tribe is federally recognized and still holds land in Connecticut.

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.


The first English immigrant to settle on a peninsula in a harbor on the northeastern coast of North America the local Algonquin Indians called "Shawmet" was William Blackstone in 1629. A year later, John Winthrop arrived with a group of English Puritans and other settlers and named the area Boston after his hometown in Lincolnshire, England. The colony quickly developed representative political institutions that would help shape a democratic nation. Over the next few centuries, Boston emerged as an intellectual and educational center, and, because of its excellent harbor, became a leading commercial hub and a primary port for North America. It is the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the largest city in New England. Boston was the home for the Boards of Commissioners of several overseas religious societies who sent missionaries throughout the colonies in the 18th century, and was the site of many important events of the American Revolution.

New York City

Onaquaga (more than 50 different spellings have been documented) was a cosmopolitan Indian town on the Susquehanna River, now the site of the town of Windsor, New York. It was initially established as an Oneida settlement by those seeking an alternative to the power politics of Kanawalohale, the new chief village of the Oneidas, and Old Oneida, the former capital. However, from the end of the 17th century onwards it became an immigration destination for displaced Indians from a wide range of tribes. Yet, from the late 1760s onward, Onaquaga’s cosmopolitan composition proved to be its undoing. The community was fragmented by disputes over the extent and the proper style of Christian practice, with Sir William Johnson and Joseph Brant (who owned a farm at Onaquaga) urging Episcopalianism and the New England Company urging Congregationalism. An influx of Mohawk immigrants in the years after the 1768 Fort Stanwix treaty led the inhabitants of Onaquaga to side with the Crown in the Revolution, rather than with the colonies as most Oneida towns did, and it became Joseph Brant’s base of operations. The town was destroyed by the Continental Army in 1778 as part of the wave of violent retaliation for British and Indian attacks on frontier communities that culminated in General Sullivan’s ravaging of Cayuga and Seneca territory. The area was resettled by Americans after the Revolution.

New London

New London is a city located in southeastern Connecticut along an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean called Long Island Sound. The area that would become New London was inhabited by the Pequots who called it Nameaug when the Europeans arrived in North America. Pequot villages bordered Long Island Sound and the Tribe had authority over the neighboring Tribes of the Mohegans and Niantics (all Algonquian-speaking tribes). The Dutch first explored this land in 1614 and established trade with the Native peoples, but the English soon gained possession of the land east of the Hudson in the 1630s. English animosity toward their Indian neighbors led to the Pequot War (1634-38), part of which took place in the present city of New London. The Pequots lost the war and their population deteriorated due to the violence and disease. The General Court of Massachusetts granted John Winthrop possession of Pequot territory in 1644 after which it was to be opened for settlement. By 1646, which is considered the official year of its founding, New London had permanent colonial inhabitants and municipal laws, and jurisdiction was granted to the colony of Connecticut in 1647. In 1658, the inhabitants renamed the town New London after London, England. New London was the colony of Connecticut’s first trading port and was a hub of trade with the West Indies and other colonies. Though initially part of the town of New London when it was first settled by the colonists, Groton, Montville, and Waterford were each separated from New London in 1705, 1786, and 1801 respectively. Present-day Salem was also part of New London when it was settled, but in 1819, it became a separate incorporated town composed of parts of Lyme, Colchester, and Montville. Occom kept a school in New London in the winter in 1748. New London was the home of Captain Nathaniel Shaw, one of the wealthiest merchants in the area, who gave money to Occom in the 1750s for the missionary cause and also sold materials to Occom for the building of his home. However, their positive relationship ended when Shaw refused to provide supplies for Mary Occom while Occom was in England. New London served as the port from which Occom and other missionaries traveled to reach Long Island. During the American Revolution, New London’s location and its status as a seaport made it both vulnerable to invasion and integral to colonial naval operations as well as the exchange of prisoners.New London was incorporated as a city in 1784.


Chenango, a small Oneida Indian settlement near present-day Binghamton, New York, was known as "Jeningo" before 1787, when it was settled by Anglo-Americans and then incorporated as a town. Wheelock sent the Mohegan Indian Samuel Ashpo to Jeningo/Chenango to preach among the Indians in 1760, 1761, 1763, and 1766 with moderate success. The Oneida Indians there requested Ashpo specifically in 1760, wanting a Native-American rather than white missionary living among them. In 1762, Wheelock writes a letter to a British supporter, Dennys DeBerdt, recounting Ashpo and Charles Jeffrey Smith’s missionary expedition to Jeningo/Chenango. Ashpo writes to Wheelock in 1763 that “Onohoquagee and Jeningo Indians” are in need of missionaries since their missionary left and proposes that Ashpo go himself. In 1769, Wheelock writes to Occom asking that he and Jacob Fowler go to Jeningo/Chenango to establish a village for Christianized Indians.

New England

Connecticut is a state in southern New England that borders Massachusetts to the north and the Long Island Sound to the south. Its name is derived from the Algonquian "Quonehtacut," meaning "long river," referring to the Connecticut, which runs from the border with Canada into the Long Island Sound. The area was originally inhabited by Algonquian-speaking Pequots, Mohegans, and Quinnipiacs. European settlers took advantage of tribal divisions to establish dominance in the region. Dutch explorer Adrian Block sailed up the Connecticut River in 1614, establishing an active Dutch trading post at what is now Hartford. English claims to Connecticut began in 1630, but settlement truly began when Thomas Hooker, a Congregationalist minister now known as "The Father of Connecticut," left Boston to found Hartford in 1636. Hartford became the center of the Colony of Connecticut, which did not receive its charter until 1662 when Governor John Winthrop, Jr. secured it from Charles II. In 1665, the Colony of New Haven, established in 1638 by the Puritan minister John Davenport, joined the Colony of Connecticut under this charter. Early settler relations with local Indians were tense, and encouraged the New England colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven to unify as the "United Colonies" or "New England Confederation" and fight together, with Indian allies, in the Pequot War and again in King Philip's (Metacom's) War. These wars helped establish a specifically Connecticut and specifically American identity; the latter drove the colony to join the rebellion against Britain in 1776. Occom, born into a Mohegan household in Connecticut, was closely associated with the Colony and retained strong ties to the region throughout his life. He converted to Christianity in 1743 when the Great Awakening spread through Connecticut, and inspired Wheelock's Indian Charity School, which was founded in Lebanon, CT in 1754. He also became involved in the Mason Land Case, a long-standing dispute over the ownership of reserve Mohegan lands in Connecticut. Wheelock also had strong ties to Connecticut, moving his Indian Charity School only when the colony would not grant it a charter.

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.

Oliver, Andrew

Andrew Oliver was an influential Boston merchant and politician, who was a member of several societies that funded Eleazar Wheelock, including the Boston Board of the New England Company (treasurer) and Massachusetts General Assembly (secretary). Oliver played an important political role in pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts and, as a firm advocate of Indian missions, attended multiple conferences with Indian tribes. He believed that Anglican and Dissenter missionaries and societies could cooperate, and after Oliver and Wheelock were introduced in 1756, Oliver helped Wheelock access funding from the New England Company, the Massachusetts Assembly, and the Boston Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Their relationship deteriorated, however, when the London Board of the New England Company turned against Wheelock late in 1765. Wheelock became aware of the London Board’s change of heart through the “Oliver letter,” a letter purportedly written by Oliver (actually written by Ebenezer Pemberton) that was “injurious” to the characters of Wheelock, Whitaker, and Occom. In 1765, Wheelock also lost his funding from the Massachusetts Assembly. It is unclear what role Oliver played in these events. On the one hand, the breach between Wheelock and the New England Company coincided with the collapse of Oliver’s political career over his attempts to enforce the Stamp Act. Oliver may have been too preoccupied to be involved in the London Board’s change of heart; after all, Boston mobs were burning him in effigy. On the other hand, if Oliver was not involved, it is more difficult to explain why his correspondence with Wheelock ended abruptly in 1767 or why Wheelock lost funding from the Assembly and the London Board at the same time. Oliver would be the obvious link; but of course, Wheelock had many detractors in Boston and another explanation is certainly possible.

Hawley, Gideon

Gideon Hawley was born in Stratford (Bridgeport) CT, the son of Gideon, a descendant of Joseph Hawley, who immigrated to America in 1629, and Hannah Bennett, daughter of Lieutenant James Bennett of Stratford. Hawley's mother died at his birth, and his father died when he was three; he was raised mostly by his older brother. A very good student, Hawley graduated from Yale College in 1749 and was liscensed to preach by the Fairfield East Association. Sponsored by the Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the Parts Adjacent in America (the New England Company), Hawley accepted a position as schoolteacer in Stockbridge in 1752, under the supervision of the noted theologian Jonathan Edwards, who was a preacher to whites and Housatonic Indians in the region. But because of the contentious politics in Stockbridge, Hawley accepted the NEC's offer to take over the mission among the Six Nations on the Susquehanna, in the multi-tribal town of Onaquaga, where Elihu Spencer has served five years before as missionary. Hawley was ordained in 1754 and acted successfully as missionary and interpreter, but was forced to leave in May 1756 during the hostilities of the French and Indian War. He returned to Boston and accepted a commission as chaplain to Colonel Richard Gridley's regiment, but resigned because of illness. The NEC then sent him to the large plantation of Mashpee Wompanoags at Plymouth, MA, who approved of him and requested his permanent appointment in 1758. Hawley was a staunch supporter of traditional tribal land ownership and Indian rights; the Mashpees enlisted his help in petitioning the Massachusetts General Court for their rights to self-government. During the Revolution, Hawley did not enlist in order to protect the tribe, and in 1789, he succeeded in abolishing Masphee as a "district" subject to state rule and served as the only resident overseer and treasurer until 1795. He opposed the mixing of whites and Indians, as in Stockbridge, which ultimately disenfranchised and drove out the Indians, but insisted the Mashpee Wampanoags learn English, the only language in which he preached, and practice agriculture. He married Lucy Fessenden in 1759; they had five children, four of whom lived to maturity. Their youngest son graduated from Harvard in 1792. Lucy died in 1777 and at age 50, Hawley remarried Mrs. Elizabeth Burchard in 1778, a widow twice over with a large estate. He died beloved and respected by the Mashpee Wampanoags, whose village he helped to sustain.

Hawley, Lucy (née Fessenden)
Dean, Jesse
Gunn, Elisha

Elisha Gunn was a gunsmith who resided in Onaquaga for a number of years and served as an interpreter for several different missionary societies. Although he was a well-known interpreter in missionary circles, there is little information about him. He is identified as a resident of Montague, MA, where his three children were born, but he and his family seem to have spent much of the 1760s living in Onaquaga. It is unclear where Gunn learned Haunenosaunee (Iroquois) languages, but his services were certainly in high demand: he was the interpreter over whom the Connecticut Board of the SSPCK and the Boston Board of the New England Company clashed in 1765. One of Wheelock's main goals was to train missionaries who could serve as their own interpreters, because he believed that existing interpreters were too scarce, too expensive, and too untrained in theology. What little we know of Gunn certainly supports Wheelock's arguments. He seems to have been one of the few available interpreters (if not the only one), his services cost the New England Company £50 sterling a year (more than three times Occom's salary at the same time), and his surviving letters show a reliance on extremely phonetic spelling and suggest a lack of formal education. NB: One genealogical website puts Gunn's birth year at 1723, a decade earlier. It would be easy for a researcher to mix 1723 and 1733, especially if the record is poorly written, and neither year is unreasonable.

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.

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.

Lyman, Phineas

General Phineas Lyman was a longtime friend of Eleazar Wheelock’s and a supporter of his school. He was born in Durham, CT in 1715 and studied law at Yale. After graduating in 1738, Lyman became a tutor then successful lawyer, and he managed a law school in Suffield, MA. When Suffield was incorporated into Connecticut, Lyman became involved with the Connecticut General Assembly. He served in the French and Indian War, commanding 5,000 Connecticut troops, and was integral in the battle of Lake George in 1755 although General Johnson was credited with the victory. After the war, General Lyman went to England in search of acknowledgment for his war endeavors, and to secure land on the Mississippi or Ohio River for himself and fellow officers. Lyman assured Wheelock he would endeavor to incorporate his school into the territory. However, in April of 1769, Lord Dartmouth wrote to Wheelock indicating that General Lyman had excluded the school from his plea; Sir William Johnson had denounced Wheelock for supposedly deterring Indians from ceding their property. In 1774, after 11 years of negotiations, General Lyman finally obtained the grant for the Mississippi and Yazoo lands; nonetheless, Wheelock had already established his school in New Hampshire. In 1775, General Lyman died en route to the newly acquired territory in West Florida.

Johnson, William

Sir William Johnson was a powerful British colonial official who amassed wealth and influence by integrating into the Mohawk tribe. For a brief window of time (1761-1768), he provided support for Wheelock’s missionary efforts among the Six Nations. He also helped the Brothertown Nation of Indians procure land from the Oneidas. Johnson was born in Ireland in 1715. His family had been part of the Catholic elite, but after William of Orange’s 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne, they at least nominally converted to the Episcopalian Church. In 1738, Johnson emigrated to America to manage his uncle Peter Warren’s estate in Mohawk territory. Over the next decade, Johnson became wealthy in his own right through trade and land sales, acquiring a vast estate crowned by his manor house, Johnson Hall, which became the central location for British and Indian treaty making. In 1745, Johnson began collecting official British titles and positions. He played an important military role in the French and Indian War and was named Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1756 and first baronet of New York in 1757. Much of Johnson’s success was due to his influence among the Mohawks, which he obtained by learning their language and customs and integrating himself into their society. He participated in Mohawk rituals and entered into a common-law marriage with a powerful Mohawk woman, Molly Brant (also called Mary Brant). Because Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) society is matrilineal, this marriage was an essential element of his participation in Indian affairs. Wheelock desperately wanted to wield missionary influence among the Six Nations, and sought to obtain Johnson as an ally in his endeavors. At first, the two found grounds for cooperation. Wheelock sent Occom as a missionary to the Oneidas in 1761 and again in 1762, and sent a substantially larger group of missionaries and schoolmasters in 1765, 1766, and 1767. Johnson, meanwhile, encouraged Haudenosaunee children, including his brother-in-law Joseph Brant, to attend Moor’s. Johnson’s support proved indispensible to missionaries in the field; he helped with supplies, language skills, and relations with the Mohawks and Oneidas. Wheelock also valued Johnson for his influence in Britain, and drew on him for recommendations and public statements of support numerous times. From 1763 on, however, Johnson found himself decidedly uncomfortable with Wheelock’s missionary efforts, and by 1769, their relationship had dissolved completely. In 1766, Johnson was invited to join the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG), the largest and most influential Anglican missionary society in the 18th-century British-Atlantic world. He began working to place Anglican missionaries, rather than Congregationalist and Presbyterian ones, among the Six Nations, which alarmed Wheelock. Johnson was generally supportive of Native American tribes’ efforts to maintain their land and sovereignty. As the historian Linford Fisher has noted, “virtually every major Native group in southeastern New England successfully petitioned Johnson to act on their behalf during the late 1760s and early 1770s.” Among these groups was the Brothertown Nation, a Christian composite tribe formed by Southern New England Algonquian Moor’s alumni. Johnson helped them negotiate with the Oneidas, which proved essential to their successful land purchase and relocation to central New York.

Ashpo, Samuel

Ashpo was born into a very powerful Mohegan family, considered equal to the Uncas line, and became an influential Mohegan preacher. He was converted at Mohegan during the Great Awakening, and became a schoolteacher among the Indians at Mushantuxet from 1753 until 1757 and from 1759 until 1762, when he left to attend Moor's. Between 1757 and 1759, he worked as an interpreter, and supposedly struggled with alcohol. He attended Moor's for only six months, and then continued his teaching and missionary career on successive trips to Chenango (the first was cut short because of violence in the region). On July 1, 1767, the Connecticut Board dismissed him from their service because of further charges of drinking. He continued to preach successfully to various New England Indian tribes until his death in 1795. The variations of his name exist in part because Ashpo is an abbreviated form of Ashobapow.

Occom’s First Mission to the Oneidas
Recruited in November by the New York Commissioners of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, Occom leaves in May 1761 with his brother-in-law David Fowler, for a mission among the Oneida in western New York. He preaches, establishes a school, and recruits three young Mohawk men to attend Wheelock’s Indian Charity School. He returns home at the end of September.
Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0164.ocp M. r Mr. Jeſse Jesse Dean mentioned Dean, Jesse
pers0020.ocp M. r Mr. Gunn mentioned Gunn, Elisha
pers0021.ocp M. r Mr. Ha w lley Hawley recipient Hawley, Gideon
pers0030.ocp M. r Mr. Occom mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0155.ocp David Fowler mentioned Fowler, David
pers0344.ocp Gen. l Gen. Lyman mentioned Lyman, Phineas
pers0155.ocp David mentioned Fowler, David
pers0292.ocp Gen l Gen. Johnſon Johnson mentioned Johnson, William
pers0036.ocp Eleaz r Eleazar Wheelock writer Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0002.ocp Sam. l Samuel Aſhpo Ashpo mentioned Ashpo, Samuel
pers0002.ocp Aſhpo Ashpo mentioned Ashpo, Samuel
pers0540.ocp M. r Mr. Thompſon Thompson mentioned Thompson
pers0540.ocp M. r Mr. Thompſon Thompson mentioned Thompson
pers1799.ocp your dear ſpous e spouse mentioned Hawley, Lucy (née Fessenden)
pers0036.ocp Eleaz. r Eleazar Wheelock writer Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0031.ocp A Andrew Oliver recipient Oliver, Andrew
pers0021.ocp Rev. Gid. Gideon Hawley recipient Hawley, Gideon

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0122.ocp Lebanon Lebanon
place0013.ocp Boſton Boston Boston
place0308.ocp New York New York City
place0182.ocp Onohoquagke Onaquaga Onaquaga
place0164.ocp N New London New London
place0182.ocp onohoquage Onaquaga Onaquaga
place0110.ocp Jeningo Chenango Chenango
place0158.ocp New England New England
place0048.ocp Connecticut Connecticut

Organizations identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
org0095.ocp Honlehonourable Com̅iſsrsCommissioners The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0095.ocp Com̅iſsrsCommissioners The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0090.ocp Six Nations Six Nations
org0095.ocp HonleHonourable Com̅iſsrsCommissioners The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0095.ocp Com̅iſsrsCommissioners The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0063.ocp Mohegan Mohegan Tribe
org0095.ocp CommiſsrsCommissioners The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0095.ocp Honle Com̅iſsrsHonourable Commissioners The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0095.ocp ComrsCommissioners The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0095.ocp Hon.le Com̅rsHonourable Commissioners The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1761-06-10 June 10. 1761.
1761-06-10 June 1761

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
modernization incloſed enclosed
variation Cheifs chiefs
modernization laſt last
modernization M.r Mr.
modernization Jeſse Jesse
modernization deſign design
modernization Viſit visit
modernization Boſton Boston
modernization ſoon soon
variation Ha[above] wwlley Hawley
modernization incloſe enclose
modernization unſeald unsealed
modernization y.t that
modernization y.r your
modernization Reſt rest
modernization ſee see
modernization pleaſe please
modernization ſir sir
modernization ſet set
modernization y.e the
modernization Gen.l Gen.
modernization Recom̅ended recommended
modernization Deſign design
modernization ſend send
modernization Genl Gen.
modernization Johnſon Johnson
modernization beſpoke bespoke
modernization Friendſhip friendship
modernization Aſsiſtance assistance
variation calld called
modernization wod [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): n't]n't wouldn't
modernization &c etc.
modernization Rev.d Rev.
modernization ſhould should
modernization ſeveral several
modernization ſince since
modernization ſaw saw
variation were where
modernization loſt lost
variation longd longed
modernization ſpend spend
modernization caſe case
variation Onohoquagke Onaquaga
modernization whoſe whose
variation Engliſh man Englishman
modernization ye moſt the most
variation agreable agreeable
modernization moſt most
modernization proſpect prospect
variation ſuceſs success
modernization whatſoever whatsoever
modernization thoſe those
modernization ye the
modernization ſome some
modernization preſent present
modernization ſtate state
modernization ſuch such
modernization leaſt least
modernization viſit visit
modernization withſtand withstand
modernization Aſhpo Ashpo
variation Supposd supposed
modernization Chriſtian Christian
variation till 'til
variation ſaylors sailors
variation ſeemd seemed
modernization ſatiſfying satisfying
modernization deſired desired
variation publick public
modernization Confeſsion confession
modernization ſuppose suppose
variation nevertaſted never tasted
modernization ſpiritous spiritous
variation ſeducd seduced
variation Appeard appeared
variation Conſorious censorious
modernization ſort sort
modernization Browniſtic Brownistic
modernization ſadly sadly
modernization exerciſe exercise
modernization laſt Last
variation onohoquage Onaquaga
variation lodgd lodged
variation informd informed
modernization eſpecially especially
variation Jeningo Chenango
variation inclind inclined
modernization yt ye that the
modernization Engliſh English
modernization leſt lest
modernization Schoolmaſter schoolmaster
variation Some thing something
modernization Converſion conversion
modernization Inſtances instances
modernization earneſtly earnestly
modernization ym them
modernization honeſt honest
variation ingagd engaged
variation any thing anything
modernization yr their
variation miſcheifs mischiefs
variation perſwaded persuaded
modernization utmoſt utmost
modernization ſack sack
modernization miſtake mistake
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modernization himſelf himself
modernization ſilent silent
variation ſsuſpect suspect
modernization ſhort short
modernization Intereſt interest
modernization ſaddeſt saddest
modernization unleſs unless
modernization Diſcretion discretion
modernization Reaſon reason
modernization ſo so
modernization Miſchiefs mischiefs
variation threatned threatened
modernization nouriſh nourish
modernization Cheriſh cherish
variation Beginings beginnings
variation accq ac
modernization intereſt interest
modernization courſe course
variation Reconds reckons
modernization Harveſt harvest
modernization Bleſsings blessings
variation encouragd encouraged
modernization beſt best
modernization Deſpair despair
modernization yt that
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variation Angil angel
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variation perſwa[above] dede persuade
modernization accompany accompany
modernization Thompſon Thompson
modernization deſire desire
variation Effectivelly perſwade effectively persuade
modernization ſhall shall
modernization Miſsion mission
modernization ſeems seems
modernization Underſtanding understanding
modernization y.r there
modernization occaſion occasion
modernization paſs pass
modernization wiſh wish
modernization Bleſsing Blessing
modernization Revd Rev.
modernization Kindeſt Kindest
modernization ſpouse spouse
modernization ſir Sir
modernization Deareſt Dearest
modernization Esq.r Esq.

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
Hon.d Honoured
s.d said
Honle honourable
Com̅iſsrs Commissioners
Hon.r honour
& and
tho' though
Honrs Honours
Eleazr Eleazar
Lettrs letters
pp people
Affecnſ affections
openg & opening and
Encouragg encouraging
w.c which
Honle Honourable
acco.t account
Sam.l Samuel
Ch-h Church
N New
informd informed
Exhortrs exhorters
independ.t independent
rec.d received
Ch-h church
spl special
cred.t credit
bec. because
Gen.l general
unwillg unwilling
Minier minister
Commiſsrs Commissioners
Fav.r favour
Spreadg spreading
Affrs affairs
Conſeqces consequences
y.r Acquant.e your acquaintance
accots accounts
periſhg perishing
Fav.r & favour and
Honle Com̅iſsrs Honourable Commissioners
Eſpecly especially
accordg according
Comrs Commissioners
Conſider.n consideration
Deſ.r desire
Hon.le Com̅rs Honourable Commissioners
accompy & accompany and
thots thoughts
thro' through
Endrs endeavours
ſr Sir
Eleaz.r Eleazar
A Andrew
Gid. Gideon
abo.t about

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Summary of errors found in this document:

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Number of nested "hi" tags: (consider merging the @rend attributes, or using other tags) 25
Number of tags with invalid 'rend' attributes: 0 (out of 132)
Number of people/places/organizations with unknown keys: 0 (out of 47)
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HomeEleazar Wheelock, letters, to Andrew Oliver and Gideon Hawley, 1761 June 10
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