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Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to George Whitefield, 1761 November 25

ms-number: 761625.1

[note (type: abstract): Wheelock writes on the progress of the school and various missions, describes some of his Indian students, notes the support of William Johnson, and touches on Occom’s recent mission to the Oneidas.][note (type: handwriting): Informal handwriting is small and crowded, with several deletions and additions that interfere with legibility. There are some uncrossed t’s that have been corrected by the transcriber.][note (type: paper): Large sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good-to-fair condition, with moderate creasing, staining and wear. The worn outside edge of one recto results in a minor loss of text.][note (type: ink): Dark-brown ink varies in intensity.][note (type: noteworthy): This document is likely a draft. The contents of this document are very similar to those of manuscript 761616. The identity of the "Farmington Boy" is uncertain, and so he had been left untagged. Wheelock makes reference to Occom’s journal from his mission to the Oneidas. Two journals in Rauner Special Collections at Dartmouth, and included in the Occom Circle, chronicle this mission: 761330.1, and 761515.1. An edtior, likely 19th-century, has added the note “Nov.r 1761," after the trailer on two verso. This note has not been included in the transcription.][note (type: signature): The letter is signed twice; both signatures are abbreviated.]

events: Occom’s First Mission to the Oneidas


[Opener]

[Rev.d | Rev.]Rev.dRev. and dear Sir
[Laſt | Last]LaſtLast week, I was [inform'd | informed]inform'dinformed by a Letter
from [Miſs | Miss]MiſsMiss. Smith[pers0498.ocp] of Boston[place0013.ocp] that You have
[rec.d | received]rec.dreceived of [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Hardy[pers0246.ocp], a Donation [above] to this Indian School[org0098.ocp]to this Indian School[org0098.ocp] of £25. Sterling
for this Indian School.[org0098.ocp] The Lord return a [thouſand | thousand]thouſandthousand
fold into his generous [Booſom | bosom]Booſombosom, And reward this Liberality with [above] hishis [everlaſting | everlasting]everlaſtingeverlasting Loving [kindneſs | kindness]kindneſskindness. It comes
at a time when it is much wanted, and I [truſt | trust]truſttrust in [anſ | ans]anſans-
-wer to Prayer. I [beleive | believe]beleivebelieve there is Much Peace, and
[Quietneſs | quietness]Quietneſsquietness, in [Truſting | trusting]Truſtingtrusting in, and living upon God. but I
am [ſo | so]ſoso dull a [Schollar | scholar]Schollarscholar, [ſo | so]ſoso [heedleſs | heedless]heedleſsheedless, forgetful and So open to a
[Thouſand | thousand]Thouſandthousand Allurements, that I [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): make but poor Proficiency in the]make but poor Proficiency in the
Art of living by Faith keep the Road but a little [illegible][illegible][guess (h-dawnd): while]while [togathe[gap: worn_edge][guess (h-dawnd): r]r | together]togathe[gap: worn_edge][guess (h-dawnd): r]rtogether
and make but poor Proficiency in the Art of living by faith.
It is good for me to be often tried [above] [croſsed | crossed]croſsedcrossed[croſsed | crossed]croſsedcrossed and [diſopointed | disappointed]diſopointeddisappointed, and there by taug[gap: worn_edge][guess (h-dawnd): h[above] tt]h[above] tt
to make but little [acco.t | account]acco.taccount of my own Plans, and Devices. [above] and know [yt | that]ytthatand know [yt | that]ytthat The Council of
the Lord that Shall [ſtand | stand]ſtandstand. 'Tis enough [illegible]that I [ſee | see]ſeesee my way Step by Step,
and [illegible]know that Providence [above] willwill Steers a better [Courſe | course]Courſecourse than I can [deviſe | devise]deviſedevise, [tho' | though]tho'though
often quite out of My Sight [till | 'til]till'til the End be [accompliſhed | accomplished]accompliſhedaccomplished. And when I
[ſee | see]ſeesee the [Courſe | course]Courſecourse of Divine Providence from time to time [above] in Many [Inſtances | instances]Inſtancesinstancesin Many [Inſtances | instances]Inſtancesinstances in many [Inſt | inst]Inſtinst
-ances In favour of the great [Deſign | design]Deſigndesign I am [purſuing | pursuing]purſuingpursuing [above] and [illegible]and [illegible] [notwithſtanding | notwithstanding]notwithſtandingnotwithstanding
all the [Oppoſition | opposition]Oppoſitionopposition of My unbelief, [diſtruſt | distrust]diſtruſtdistrust and carnal [ſelf | self]ſelfself, I [above] amam [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): cant]cant
[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): be]be[Senſibly | sensibly]Senſiblysensibly encouraged to think [y.t | that]y.tthat it is really of God, and that he [deſigns | designs]deſignsdesigns to
own and [bleſs | bless]bleſsbless it.
when I came home from [Boſton | Boston]BoſtonBoston[place0013.ocp] this Fall, I found one of my [Mo-
-hawke | Mo-
hawk]
Mo-
-hawke
Mo-
hawk
Boys in a low State of Health, which I [ſupposed | supposed]ſupposedsupposed was [occaſion[above] dd | occasioned]occaſion[above] ddoccasioned
by his eating three Times a Day and too much at a Time, [togather | together]togathertogether
with his Inactivity. The common Road in which, I [ſuppose | suppose]ſupposesuppose, Num
-bers have [loſt | lost]loſtlost their Lives [ſoon | soon]ſoonsoon after they have been devoted to
Learning. And it was peculiarly difficult to [reſtrain | restrain]reſtrainrestrain him
by [Reaſon | reason]Reaſonreason of his Jealous Temper [above] [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): Make]Make, and his Ignorance of our Language [& | and]&and our[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): Make]Make, and his Ignorance of our Language [& | and]&and our not being able to Under-
-[ſtand | stand]ſtandstand a word of [Engliſh | English]EngliſhEnglish when he came. [illegible] and [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): we]we could find
none [above] [any body | anybody]any bodyanybody[any body | anybody]any bodyanybody who could [diſcourſe | discourse]diſcourſediscourse him [ſo | so]ſoso freely as [above] EnoughEnough to make him under
[ſtand | stand]ſtandstand the [Reaſons | reasons]Reaſonsreasons of [illegible][above] [illegible][illegible][illegible] of ourany Conduct [above] towards himtowards him if we had tried[below] which [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould be at all out of [ye | the]yethe usual [courſe | course]courſecourse it was peculiarly Difficultwhich [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould be at all out of [ye | the]yethe usual [courſe | course]courſecourse it was peculiarly Difficult
to [reſtrain | restrain]reſtrainrestrain him. [Doct.r | Dr.]Doct.rDr. Huntington[pers1363.ocp] [adviſed | advised]adviſedadvised me to [ſend | send]ſendsend him
Home [ſoon | soon]ſoonsoon, while he was able to ride. [& | and]&and Accordingly I [ſent | sent]ſentsent
him away [Oct.r | October]Oct.rOctober 13[1761-10-13]. with another of My [Mohawke | Mohawk]MohawkeMohawk Boys to ac-
-company him. And on the [3.d | 3rd]3.d3rd [Inſtant | Instant]InſtantInstant[1761-11-03] I [ſent | sent]ſentsent Young Kirt-
-land[pers0315.ocp]
an [Engliſh | English]EngliſhEnglish Charity [Schollar | scholar]Schollarscholar, [illegible]of whom I wrote you [above] in my [laſt | last]laſtlastin my [laſt | last]laſtlast acco-
-mpanied by the other [Mohawke | Mohawk]MohawkeMohawk Youth, with [deſign | design]deſigndesign that [illegible]when
these two [above] have made their [viſit | visit]viſitvisit to their Friendshave made their [viſit | visit]viſitvisit to their Friends he Sh[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): ould]ouldall [illegible] accompany [y.m | them]y.mthem back to this School[org0098.ocp] [above] withwith four
more of those Nations[org0062.ocp] if [Gen.l | Gen.]Gen.lGen. [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[pers0292.ocp], according to his
hope [& | and]&and Expectation had found Such as are likely and willing
to come. And I expect theymwill return as[above] veryvery [ſoon | soon]ſoonsoon as those [above] [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): two]two[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): two]two Boys who
went from hence have made their [viſit | visit]viſitvisit to their Friends. I have also
ordered Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] to bring the Farmington Boy with him, when
he returns.
My black Son [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp], has [above] latelylately [returnd | returned]returndreturned from his [Miſsion | mission]Miſsionmission to
the [Onoyadas | Oneidas]OnoyadasOneidas[org0075.ocp] [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): there]there

And the [laſt | last]laſtlast week I had the [Pleaſure | pleasure]Pleaſurepleasure to [ſee | see]ſeesee him with one of
theat [Onoyadas | Oneidas]OnoyadasOneidas[org0075.ocp][above] Nation[org0075.ocp]Nation[org0075.ocp] (who [deſigns | designs]deſignsdesigns to winter with him and learn
the [Engliſh | English]EngliſhEnglish TongueLanguage [& | and]&and teach [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] [Mohawke | Mohawk]MohawkeMohawk) and I
was [agreably | agreeably]agreablyagreeably entertained with [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp]'s Journal. [above] onlyonly a few
things [moſt | most]moſtmost material [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): in which I]in which I it I can [above] onlyonly [ſuggeſt | suggest]ſuggeſtsuggest to you a few things
[moſt | most]moſtmost material in it. And [above] toto begin where I left off. in my [Laſt | last]Laſtlast
when we [firſt | first]firſtfirst came among them they [ſeemd | seemed]ſeemdseemed [ſhy | shy]ſhyshy of him [thro' | through]thro'through
a [Jealoſie | jealousy]Jealoſiejealousy that there was [ſomething | something]ſomethingsomething [above] [waſ | was]waſwas[waſ | was]waſwas [deſigned | designed]deſigneddesigned by the [Engliſh | English]EngliſhEnglish [againſt | against]againſtagainst
them. but when [Gen.l | Gen.]Gen.lGen. [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[pers0292.ocp] had read his Letters Recomenda-
-tory, they appeared well [Satiſfied | satisfied]Satiſfiedsatisfied [& | and]&and much [pleaſed | pleased]pleaſedpleased. and as a
[Teſtimony | testimony]Teſtimonytestimony of it the Kings of the [Onoydas | Oneidas]OnoydasOneidas[org0075.ocp], and [Tuſcarar[illegible]as | Tuscaroras]Tuſcarar[illegible]asTuscaroras[org0104.ocp], [& | and]&and
many others of their [Cheifs | chiefs]Cheifschiefs came a [ſhook | shook]ſhookshook hands with him
and bid him [wellcome | welcome]wellcomewelcome among them. their [Cheifs | chiefs]Cheifschiefs then held a
council to fix upon the [beſt | best]beſtbest methods to [accomodate | accommodate]accomodateaccommodate him with
that which was [neceſsary | necessary]neceſsarynecessary for his comforta[illegible]ble [Subſiſtance | subsistence]Subſiſtancesubsistence among
them. and You would not wonder that their [Cheifs | chiefs]Cheifschiefs held a [councel | council]councelcouncil
upon this Head if You knew how [extreamly | extremely]extreamlyextremely poor they are, having
[Scarſe | scarce]Scarſescarce [any thing | anything]any thinganything that may be [calld | called]calldcalled Bread or any thing else except-
-ing what they get by Hunting to [ſubſiſt | subsist]ſubſiſtsubsist upon, they proposed
to [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] to [illegible][Chuſe | choose]Chuſechoose where to Live, and whether to live in a
[houſe | house]houſehouse already Built. he [choſe | chose]choſechose the Place and let them know [y.t | that]y.tthat
he [choſe | chose]choſechose to live with David[pers0155.ocp] (my Indian [Schollar | scholar]Schollarscholar) and to live
by [themſelves | themselves]themſelvesthemselves. they [im̅ediately | immediately]im̅ediatelyimmediately built him a [Houſe | house]Houſehouse the Structure
where of which could the Form, [& | and]&and [workmanſhip | workmanship]workmanſhipworkmanship thereof be truly
[repreſented | represented]repreſentedrepresented, [above] might gratify not a little the [Curioſity | curiosity]Curioſitycuriosity of amight gratify not a little the [Curioſity | curiosity]Curioſitycuriosity of a[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): would [doubtleſs | doubtless]doubtleſsdoubtless by]would [doubtleſs | doubtless]doubtleſsdoubtless by [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): [Brittons | Britons]BrittonsBritons][Brittons | Britons]BrittonsBritons, be [eſteemed | esteemed]eſteemedesteemed rare, [& | and]&and enter-
-taining, though there was nothing in it [y.t | that]y.tthat [reſembled | resembled]reſembledresembled the Temple
of old [ſave | save]ſavesave this that there was not the [Noiſe | noise]Noiſenoise of Axes or Hammers
in the Building of it. The Materials were the [ſimple | simple]ſimplesimple Product
of Nature. the Remains of The [Oakes | oaks]Oakesoaks [& | and]&and [Cheſtnuts | chestnuts]Cheſtnutschestnuts, fell many Years
ago by the violence of wind, comp[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): act]act [togather | together]togathertogether without the [Em-
-beliſhments | em
bellishments]
Em-
-beliſhments
em
bellishments
of Art.
— many of them attended his [Miniſtry | ministry]Miniſtryministry
[above] [& | and]&and appeared attentive[& | and]&and appeared attentive Numbers from [diſtant | distant]diſtantdistant Nations came to hear him. And [ſome | some]ſomesome
[Seemd | seemed]Seemdseemed really [deſirous | desirous]deſirousdesirous to [underſtand | understand]underſtandunderstand and know the truths which
[moſt | most]moſtmost nearly [concernd | concerned]concerndconcerned them. And when he was about to leave
them their [Cheifs | chiefs]Cheifschiefs held another Council. The [conſequence | consequence]conſequenceconsequence of which
was, that Old Connoquies[pers0805.ocp] (who had been King among the
[onoydas | Oneidas]onoydasOneidas[org0075.ocp] but [above] had nowhad now [reſignd | resigned]reſigndresigned by [Reaſon | reason]Reaſonreason of Age) The King of the [Tuscar-
-rars | Tuscar
oras]
Tuscar-
-rars
Tuscar
oras
[org0104.ocp]
and other [Cheifs | chiefs]Cheifschiefs, [preſented | presented]preſentedpresented him a Belt of wampum to
be delivered to [thoſe | those]thoſethose Gentlemen who [ſent | sent]ſentsent [illegible] him with
these [Inſtructions | instructions]Inſtructionsinstructions which he received from Old Connoquies[pers0805.ocp]. viz.
1. we are glad from the [inſide | inside]inſideinside of our Hearts that You are come
[hear | here]hearhere to teach us the right way of God. we are also thankful to
those who [ſent | sent]ſentsent you. and above all to God.
2. We intend by the help of God to repent of all our [ſins | sins]ſinssins and all
our [heatheniſh | heathenish]heatheniſhheathenish ways [& | and]&and [Cuſtoms | customs]Cuſtomscustoms. we will put them all behind
our Backs, and will never look on them again but will look
[ſtrait | straight]ſtraitstraight forward, and run after [Chriſtianity | Christianity]ChriſtianityChristianity.
3. if we [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall try to [ſet | set]ſetset up a School we beg the [Aſsiſtance | assistance]Aſsiſtanceassistance of
the [Engliſh | English]EngliſhEnglish, if they [ſee | see]ſeesee fit.
4. we [deſire | desire]deſiredesire that [ſtrong | strong]ſtrongstrong Drink may be prohibited, that it may
not be brought Among us, for we find it kills our Bodies
and souls; and we will try to hinder ait here.
5. we [deſire | desire]deſiredesire to be protected on our Lands, that none may [mo-
-leſt | molest]
mo-
-leſt
molest, or [incroach | molest]incroachmolest upon, us.
6 This Belt of Wampum [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall bind us [faſt | fast]faſtfast [togather | together]togathertogether in perpetual
Love, and [Friendſhip | friendship]Friendſhipfriendship.
[M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] delivered it to those Gentlemen to whom it
was directed, but [obtaind | obtained]obtaindobtained their Leave to bring it hither.
to gratify my [Curioſity | curiosity]Curioſitycuriosity, and a Curious Girdle it is [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr.
occom[pers0030.ocp]
[ſays | says]ſayssays it could not be made for [leſs | less]leſsless than £15. [ſterlg | sterling]ſterlgsterling

David[pers0155.ocp] has made good Proficiency in their Language which
is [ſome | some]ſomesome [compenſation | compensation]compenſationcompensation for riding a [thouſand | thousand]thouſandthousand miles, and
more among them. it is [thot | thought]thotthought that under [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch advan-
-tages he might become a [Maſter | master]Maſtermaster of their Language in
one year more [& | and]&and I am more and more [ſatiſfied | satisfied]ſatiſfiedsatisfied of
the Expediency of fitting their youth, who live among
the [Engliſh | English]EngliſhEnglish both for Interpreters [& | and]&and [Miſsionaries | missionaries]Miſsionariesmissionaries.
[M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] is now [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): [Envyed | envied]Envyedenvied][Envyed | envied]Envyedenvied at home but not among
them
one of [ye | the]yethe Girls which [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Brainerd[pers0004.ocp] [ſent | sent]ſentsent was taken
[ſick | sick]ſicksick at E[illegible] Harbour, before [ſhe | she]ſheshe went on board the
[veſsel | vessel]veſselvessel and returned. the other is come and is a [pritty | pretty]prittypretty
little black [Chriſtian | christian]Chriſtianchristian I think [ſhe | she]ſheshe walks in [ye | the]yethe fear of
God and in the Comfort of the Holy [Ghoſt | Ghost]GhoſtGhost. the Fruit
of dear [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Brainerd[pers0004.ocp]s Labour among them.
There is [moſt | most]moſtmost certainly a very general and un-
-[uſual | usual]uſualusual concern among the Indians. and a great
[deſire | desire]deſiredesire to be fully [Informd | informed]Informdinformed of that which by the
Report of one and another they [underſtand | understand]underſtandunderstand
concerns their future and Eternal [ſtate | state]ſtatestate. I long to
have my Boys fit for [y.r | their]y.rtheir [Miſsion | mission]Miſsionmission among them.
who knows my dear Sir, but God [deſigns | designs]deſignsdesigns to honour
you to be a [principle | principal]principleprincipal [Inſtrument | instrument]Inſtrumentinstrument of Supporting [& | and]&and
carrying on this great [Deſign | design]Deſigndesign. [bleſsed | blessed]bleſsedblessed be his
Name for the [ſucceſs | success]ſucceſssuccess of your Endeavours already
used.
The [Rev.d | Rev.]Rev.dRev. [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Graves[pers0228.ocp] Epi[illegible]scopal [Miſs y | missionary]Miſs ymissionary at New[place0164.ocp]
London has Sent me word [y.t | that]y.tthat if I will procure
him a likely Indian Boy he will Educate him at
his own Expence. and I have by Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] informed
[Gen.l | Gen.]Gen.lGen. [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[pers0292.ocp] of the generous proposal, and [deſired | desired]deſireddesired
him to find and [ſend | send]ſendsend [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch a Boy to him.
A [thouſand | thousand]thouſandthousand things more I would communicate
and you would Love to hear which [muſt | must]muſtmust be [omittd | omitted]omittdomitted
my dear Sir,
pray for

[Closer]

Yours in [ye | the]yethe [Deareſt | dearest]Deareſtdearest Bonds

[Eleaz.r | Eleazar]Eleaz.rEleazar Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]

The [Rev.d | Rev.]Rev.dRev. [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Whitefield[pers0038.ocp]

[Postscript]
P.S. [above] [Nov.r | November]Nov.rNovember 26[1761-11-26]. [Nov.r | November]Nov.rNovember 26[1761-11-26]. [laſt | last]laſtlast Evening [above] MyMy Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] Returned and informs me [y.t | that]y.tthat
he left the [Mohawke | Mohawk]MohawkeMohawk Youth who went up with with two
more Boys of [y.e | the]y.ethe Six Nations[org0090.ocp] at albany[place0001.ocp] on their way
hither and that he left [y.e | the]y.ethe other who accompanied him
[y.t | that]y.tthat was Sick, at Mount [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[place0146.ocp] in order to accompany
four more as Soon as they return from their Hunting perhaps
[above] within four or 5 weekswithin four or 5 weeks he Says that [Gen.l | Gen.]Gen.lGen. [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[pers0292.ocp] is [illegible][above] greatlygreatly [pleaſed | pleased]pleaſedpleased with the
[Deſign | design]Deſigndesign and [promiſes | promises]promiſespromises to use his Influence with a
Number of Gentlemen of his Acquaintance (I [ſuppose | suppose]ſupposesuppose
In Ireland[place0108.ocp]) in favour of it [above] [& | and]&and[& | and]&and the [above] [genl | Gen.]genlGen.[pers0292.ocp][genl | Gen.]genlGen.[pers0292.ocp] writes [above] meme very [Frendly | friendly]Frendlyfriendly indeed to [y.e | the]y.ethe
[above] Same [purpoſe | purpose]purpoſepurposeSame [purpoſe | purpose]purpoſepurpose The Indians [above] alsoalso [ſeem | seem]ſeemseem well [pleaſed | pleased]pleaſedpleased [& | and]&and willing to let their Children come
[Nov.r | November]Nov.rNovember 27[1761-11-27]. The Three [Mohawke | Mohawk]MohawkeMohawk Lads [above] BoysBoys are now come, and
you would laugh to [ſee | see]ſeesee how [pleaſed | pleased]pleaſedpleased the poor little
Naked Creatures look they cant [ſpeak | speak]ſpeakspeak a word of [Engliſh | English]EngliſhEnglish
nor any way to communicate but by Joseph[pers0093.ocp] [ye | the]yethe
Youth before mentioned. I [illegible]
the Farmington Boy will be here within a few Days.
by all [accots | accounts]accotsaccounts he is a real [Chriſtian | Christian]ChriſtianChristian, and a very [promiſing | promising]promiſingpromising
Youth indeed.
[Gen.l | Gen.]Gen.lGen. [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[pers0292.ocp] [Deſigns | designs]Deſignsdesigns to Send an Indian Boy to [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Graves[pers0228.ocp]
I have wrote [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. DeBerdt[pers0014.ocp] [y.t | that]y.tthat we much want a Bell [y.t | that]y.tthat
may be well heard a Mile (not for Ornament for we are all
in the [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): R]Rough but for the Benefit of the School[org0098.ocp]. and it [wo.d | would]wo.dwould
indeed be very useful, the [Maſters | masters]Maſtersmasters complain [y.t | that]y.tthat It is [above] oftenoften difficult
to get [ye | the]yethe Boys [togather | together]togathertogether at their Proper Hours. And 'tis likely
it would make us more regular in all our [Exerciſes | exercises]Exerciſesexercises. [&c | etc.]&cetc.
[pleaſe | please]pleaſeplease to let our Good [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Smith[pers0497.ocp] have the Sight of this if he
be yet in England[place0068.ocp]. I am My [Hon.d | honoured]Hon.dhonoured and Dear Sir,
yours [moſt | most]moſtmost heartily
[Eleaz.r | Eleazar]Eleaz.rEleazar Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]

[Trailer]
[left] Letter to [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Whitefield[pers0038.ocp].
1761[1761]. [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Hardy.s | Hardy's]Hardy.sHardy's[pers0246.ocp] Donation
Bell. =
Letter to [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Whitefield[pers0038.ocp].
1761[1761]. [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Hardy.s | Hardy's]Hardy.sHardy's[pers0246.ocp] Donation
Bell. =


Moor’s Indian Charity School
Moor’s Indian Charity School was a grammar school for Native Americans that Eleazar Wheelock opened in North Lebanon, Connecticut in 1754. The school was named for Colonel Joshua Moor, also spelled More, who donated the land and school building. Moor’s was essentially an expansion of the grammar school that Wheelock opened in 1743 to support himself during the fallout from the First Great Awakening, when Wheelock, who'd participated in itinerant ministry during the Awakening, had his salary confiscated by the colony of Connecticut. In December of that year, Samson Occom asked Wheelock to teach him as well. Wheelock's work with Occom was so successful that Wheelock decided to replicate the experiment with other Native American boys. He accepted his first Indian students in 1754, and in 1761 began taking female students as well. Wheelock believed that in time, his school would become just one part of a larger missionary enterprise. He planned to send his Anglo American and Native American students to various tribes as missionaries and schoolmasters, with explicit instructions to pick out the best students and send them back to Moor’s to continue the cycle. His ultimate goal was to turn his school into a model Christian Indian town that would include farms, a college, and vocational training. However, Wheelock’s grand design did not survive the decade. Wheelock lost the vast majority of his Native American students; he fought with many of the best, including Samson Occom, Joseph Johnson, David Fowler, and Hezekiah Calvin, and other former and current students accused him of subjecting Native Americans to disproportionate amounts of manual labor. In 1769, perhaps due to concerns about corporal punishment, the Oneida withdrew all their children from Moor’s. When Wheelock relocated to Hanover in 1769, only two Native American students came with him, and it became clear that Wheelock’s focus was on Dartmouth and that Dartmouth was for white students. After Wheelock’s death in 1779, Moor’s Indian Charity School receded further into the background as John Wheelock, his father’s reluctant successor, stopped taking Indian students. Some Native American students were enrolled in Moor’s until 1850, when the school unofficially closed.
Mohawk Nation
The Mohawk Nation is one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. As the “eastern door” of the Confederacy, or easternmost Haudenosaunee nation, the Mohawks were perceived throughout the colonial period as a gateway to wider alliances, trade, and religious influence with the Six Nations as a whole. Thus, they received heavy missionary attention from Jesuits, Anglicans, and Congregationalists as early as the 17th century. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the Mohawks and Six Nations more generally were a point of heated competition between Britain and France, as well as between Protestant Christian sects. Wheelock sent several missionaries and schoolmasters to the Mohawks between 1765 and 1767, including Theophilus Chamberlain (Anglo-American), Hezekiah Calvin (Delaware), Abraham Major and Minor (Mohawks), Peter (Mohawk), Moses (Mohawk), and Johannes (Mohawk). The two main towns or "castles" that the mission was based at were Canajoharie and Fort Hunter. Two of the most important figures in Mohawk history as it pertains to Moor’s Indian Charity School were Sir William Johnson and Joseph Brant. Sir William Johnson was the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Northeast, one of the most powerful men in British North America. He married into the Mohawk Tribe and had substantial influence among the Six Nations. Initially he supported Wheelock’s missionary project, but by 1769 he was endorsing Anglican missionaries instead. Joseph Brant was Sir William Johnson’s brother-in-law. He was the first of 19 Mohawk students at Moor’s, where he studied from 1761-1763. Although his time at the school was short, Brant entertained a deep affection for it. He went on to be an influential Mohawk war chief and may have protected Dartmouth College from raids during the Revolution. The Revolution fractured the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, with some tribes siding with the colonists and others with the British. The Mohawks sided with the British, and many of them, Joseph Brant included, relocated to the Grand River Reserve in Canada after the war. There was also a substantial Mohawk settlement established by 1700 at Kahnawake in New France (Canada), which hosted Jesuit missionaries. The Kahnawake Mohawks were often called “Canadian Mohawks” and Wheelock recruited students from them after his move to Hanover.
Oneida Nation
The Oneidas are one of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Six Nations. During the 18th century, they were largely considered the most Christianized Haudenosaunee tribe. The Oneidas had a rich tradition of indigenous ministers, including Good Peter, Deacon Thomas, and Isaac Dakayenensere, and played host to several Moor’s missionaries, including Samson Occom, David Fowler, Samuel Ashpo, Joseph Johnson, Joseph Woolley, Titus Smith, and Samuel Kirkland (who went on to found Hamilton Oneida Academy, now Hamilton College). They were also the interpreter James Dean’s adoptive tribe. Notable Oneida towns included Onaquaga, Kanawalohale, and Old Oneida. Onaquaga was the central fire of the Six Nations. By the 18th century, it also had a sizeable contingent of Onondagas and Tuscaroras. Good Peter and Isaac Dakayenensere taught there, as did Joseph Woolley. Kanawalohale and Old Oneida were more predominantly Oneida. The Oneidas were involved in several crucial moments in the history of Moor's Indian Charity School. Onaquaga was the site of the 1765 confrontation between Wheelock and the New England Company, in which the New England Company disrupted Titus Smith's mission, first by sending their own missionary, and second by repossessing Elisha Gunn, the interpreter they had agreed to "loan" to Titus Smith. Left without an interpreter, Titus Smith was forced to abandon his mission (Wheelock repaid the favor a few years later by hiring James Dean away from the New England Company). A few years later, in 1769, Deacon Thomas led the Oneidas in withdrawing all their children from Moor's. The Oneidas' departure struck a devastating blow against Wheelock's Indian education plans, and provided more momentum for his shift to educating predominantly Anglo-Americans. The Oneidas sided with the colonists during the Revolution, but they were still affected by the general devastation in Six Nations territory, especially the Sullivan Expedition (1779). After the Revolution, the Oneidas granted tracts of their land to two Christian Indian organizations: the Brothertown tribe, a composite tribe of Moor’s alumni from New England, and the Stockbridge Indians. It was not long before the groups came into conflict with one another. Encroachment from the new State of New York put increasing pressure on Oneida land, and the Oneidas tried to renegotiate their treaties with the Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians to compensate. The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians fought back, but by the 1820s all three groups had lost, and many of them relocated to Wisconsin.
Tuscarora Nation
The Tuscarora Nation is an Algonquian-speaking group related to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) peoples, who migrated south and occupied lands on the Roanoke, Neuse, Taw, and Pamlico Rivers in North Carolina. Their name means “hemp gatherers,” from the Apocynum cunnabinum, or Indian hemp, a plant native to the area and used for many purposes by the Tuscaroras. They became populous and powerful, expanding their territory and establishing many large towns. But European settlers arrived who did not recognize their land rights, and met Tuscaroran resistance with broken treaties, kidnapping, rape, murder, enslavement of children, and appropriation of their towns. From 1711 to 1713, the Tuscaroras fought two devastating wars with the colonists of North Carolina, who were aided by settlers from South Carolina, Virginia, and the colonists’ Indian allies. Many Tuscaroras were killed, while others were sold into slavery. About 1,500 remaining Tuscaroras asked the Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee for sponsorship and were accepted by the Oneidas, migrating north to live in central New York and Pennsylvania. In 1722, they became the sixth nation of the Confederacy. Another 1,500 sought refuge in Virginia, the majority of those ultimately returning to North Carolina, where the reservation set aside for them was eventually appropriated piecemeal by settlers. By the time of Occom's first mission to the Oneidas in 1761, the Haudenosaunee had been missionized by the French, the British, and colonial missionaries from the New England Company. The Tuscaroras were closely associated with their sponsors and neighbors, the Oneidas, but while the Oneidas welcomed missionaries and established their own Christian practice, the Tuscaroras did not. In 1764, Wheelock sent Occom north specifically to missionize to the Mohawks, Oneidas, and Tuscaroras. The missionary Samuel Kirkland reported that one Tuscarora sachem “continues to oppose & reproach the work of god with all his might, & uses every Artifice to dissuade his people from attending divine worship within here.” During the Revolutionary War, some of the Tuscaroras and Oneidas allied with the Americans while the majority of the Confederacy supported the British, and these pro-British Indians formed the main forces that attacked frontier settlements of the central Mohawk and Cherry valleys. The pro-British Tuscaroras followed Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant north to to Ontario, establishing the reserve of the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. In 1803, a final group of southern Tuscaroras migrated to New York to the Tribe’s reservation in the town of Lewiston, Niagara County, NY. They are a federally recognized Tribe.
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).
Lebanon

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.

Boston

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 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.

Albany

Albany is a city located in eastern New York. When Netherlander Henry Hudson arrived in what would become Albany in 1609, the Mohican Indians lived in several villages in the area. The Mohicans gave Hudson’s crew furs, and the Dutch East India Company sent representatives to trade with the Native peoples. The Dutch established the village of Beverwyck within the territory of the New Netherlands. Beverwyck hosted a diverse population of Germans, French, Swedes, English, Irish, Scots, Dutch, and Africans. After the fall of New Netherlands to Britain in 1664, Beverwyck was renamed Albany in honor of the colony’s proprietor James, Duke of York and Albany. In 1686, Albany was granted a charter that incorporated the city and provided it the sole right to negotiate trade with Native Americans. During the French and Indian War, Albany was designated as the British military headquarters in the Americas. During the Revolutionary War, most Albany residents supported the revolution because of their opposition to British trade restrictions.

Mount Johnson
Ireland

The country of Ireland occupies an island that is located northwest of mainland Europe and west of England. Ireland’s geographic isolation allowed it to develop a unique cultural identity linked to the Gaelic language. During most of the period of Gaelic Ireland, which lasted into the 17th century, there was no single overarching government. Instead, the land was divided into a number of different patchworks controlled by various clans. Christianity was introduced to the island in the fifth century when a wave of missionaries started organizing expeditions to Ireland. Beginning in the 12th century, English kings attempted to establish control over Ireland, culminating in the Plantation of Ulster, a 17th-century project of exporting English law and people in order to colonize Ireland. By the 18th century, England had established a policy of Protestant Ascendancy that favored the Protestant minority, made up of mostly English, over the Catholic majority, made up of mostly Irish. Today, the island is divided politically into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the latter covering one-sixth of the land mass and remaining part of the United Kingdom. In 1765, Wheelock wrote a letter to his supporters in England, Scotland and Ireland imploring them to contribute funds for his Indian school project in the North American colonies so that American-Indians may be “civilized, and taught the Knowledge of the only true God and Saviour.” In 1767, Occom writes to his wife, Mary, from London, telling her that he is headed for the English countryside and that he might even go to Ireland before he returns once again to London.

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.

Whitefield, George

George Whitefield, the English itinerant preacher who helped spark the Great Awakening, was an essential supporter of Eleazar Wheelock’s project. Whitefield studied at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he met the pioneers of Methodism, John and Charles Wesley. He was ordained in 1736, and he made the first of his seven trips to America two years later. While abroad in 1740, Whitefield founded an orphanage in Georgia, and went on a preaching tour during which he met Wheelock and spread ideals that prompted the Great Awakening. Although Whitefield was ordained in the Church of England, his enthusiastic preaching style and charismatic personality made him a controversial figure, and traditional clergyman on both sides of the Atlantic censured him. Nonetheless, he continued to be an important contact and friend of Wheelock’s, and his dedication to Wheelock’s vision was evident. He contributed money to the cause, secured various other funders, and donated an eighty-pound prayer bell to the school. More importantly, Whitefield not only suggested to Wheelock the idea of a fundraising tour in Great Britain, he hosted Occom and Whitaker shortly after they arrived in England, provided a house for them to reside in for the remainder of their tour, and introduced the pair to influential figures such as William Legge, the Earl of Dartmouth. Whitefield tabernacle’s was the setting of Occom’s first sermon in England on February 16, 1766, and many believe that Whitefield wrote the introduction to a pamphlet printed in London during the campaign (although he was not credited). Whitefield continued to be involved in Wheelock’s work until he died in Newburyport, MA in September of 1770.

Hardy, Charles

Charles Hardy was a prominent London lawyer, and one of four executors of the affairs in England of the evangelical minister, George Whitefield (along with Robert Keen and Daniel West). Through these connections, Hardy learned about Wheelock’s Indian Charity School, and as early as 1761, he donated £25 to Whitefield for the school. He probably met Occom and Whitaker when they arrived in London at the beginning of their fundraising tour. In 1766, Hardy was one of nine Englishmen who formed the Trust to manage the funds that Occom and Whitaker raised on their tour of Great Britain from 1765-1768. During the fundraising tour, Hardy personally donated £50 to the cause. He continued as member of the Trust until the funds ran out in 1775.

Huntington, Jonathan Sr.

Dr. Jonathan Huntington was the first practicing physician in Windham, CT. Eleazar Wheelock hired him regularly from 1737 to 1768 to attend to the students at Moor’s Indian Charity School. Even after Wheelock moved to New Hampshire in 1770, Dr. Huntington continued to take care of Ralph Wheelock, Wheelock’s epileptic son. Dr. Huntington’s nephew, Jonathan Huntington, was also a doctor and also took care of students at Moor’s; thus, the two are sometimes referred to as Dr. Jonathan Huntington Jr. and Sr., respectively, to avoid confusion. Dr. Huntington also had a brief political career: he was on the colony council from 1754 until 1758 and he served as a local judge from 1749 until 1757.

Kirkland, Samuel

Samuel Kirkland (b. Kirtland) was Eleazar Wheelock’s most famous Anglo American student. He conducted a 40-year mission to the Oneidas and founded Hamilton College (established in 1793 as Hamilton Oneida Academy). Kirkland won acclaim as a missionary at a young age by conducting an adventurous and risky mission to the Senecas, the westernmost of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Six Nations. After his year and a half among them, which was well publicized by Wheelock, he was ordained and sent as a missionary to the Oneidas under the auspices of the Connecticut Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. He spent most of the rest of his life serving the Oneidas as a minister. Kirkland’s sincere devotion to serving as a missionary was excellent publicity for Wheelock’s program, but it also brought the two men into conflict. Wheelock became jealous of Kirkland when the school’s British benefactors began urging Wheelock to make Kirkland his heir, and Kirkland, meanwhile, was upset that Wheelock had failed to provide him with sufficient supplies on his mission — a complaint that he was unafraid to publicize (and that almost all of Wheelock’s other students shared). The breaking point came in 1770, when Kirkland split from Wheelock’s Connecticut Board and affiliated with the New England Company, a missionary society that had abruptly turned against Wheelock in 1765. Wheelock and Kirkland briefly made up in 1771, but their relationship quickly dissolved into further acrimony. Although Kirkland spent most of his life as a missionary to the Six Nations, he generally held disparaging views of Native Americans. He did not approve of Wheelock’s plan to educate Indians as missionaries, and was haughty towards the Moor’s alumni that worked with him (notably David Fowler, Joseph Johnson, and Joseph Woolley). Prior to the Revolution, Kirkland had been stringent in his refusals to take Oneida land, even when offered to him. The Revolution seems to have shifted his loyalties from the Oneidas to local Anglo Americans. Kirkland served as a chaplain in the American army and was instrumental in convincing the Oneidas to remain neutral (or, more accurately, to side with the Americans). At one point he was the chaplain with General Sullivan’s army, the force sent to ransack Seneca and Cayuga territory in 1779. It is unclear what emotions this aroused in Kirkland, who had served the Senecas less than 15 years earlier, yet after the war, Kirkland freely engaged in Oneida dispossession. Along with James Dean, another Wheelock alumnus with close ties to the Oneidas, Kirkland played a pivotal role in urging the Oneidas to sell land illegally to the state of New York. The land deals that resulted gave Kirkland the property, financial capital, and connections to establish Hamilton Oneida Academy. The last decades of Kirkland’s life were difficult. He found himself in a three-way battle with Samson Occom and John Sergeant Jr., who were also ministers in Oneida territory, for the hearts and minds of their congregations; he was fired as a missionary in 1797, although he continued to serve sans salary; one of his son’s business enterprises failed, leaving Kirkland nearly destitute; and two of his three sons died unexpectedly. Hamilton Oneida Academy, like Moor’s Indian Charity School, largely failed at its goal of educating Indians, and in 1812, four years after Kirkland’s death, it was re-purposed as Hamilton College, a largely Anglo-American institution. At some point in the mid-to-late 18th century, Kirkland changed his name from Kirtland, although the reasons for this are uncertain.

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.

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.

old Connoquies
Brainerd, John

John Brainerd was an ardent missionary with an important role in Wheelock's design. He was the younger brother of the famous missionary David Brainerd, who died as a young man after being expelled from Yale and serving as a missionary to New Jersey tribes. John completed his Yale degree and was immediately commissioned to replace David. Even in his own time, he was seen as a man as pious as, but less talented than, his brother, though Brainerd missioned to Indians during a more volatile period, and saw his congregation forcibly removed from their lands in 1755 and relocated at Brothertown in 1758 (this Brothertown should not be confused with the one founded in New York after the Revolution by many Moor's alumni). Brainerd was extremely devoted to the Indian cause. He often had the opportunity to serve wealthy English congregations, but preferred to remain an Indian missionary. He invested signficant sums of his own money into his missions, for which he was never reimbursed. Brainerd was a very prominent Presbyterian figure, active in the Presbytery and Synod of New York, holding several elected positions, and in the Presbtery and Synod of New York and Philadelphia once the two reunified in 1758. He was a Trustee of the College of New Jersey from 1754 until his death, and a member of the New York Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Occom had planned to work with Brainerd in 1750, but political upheaval prevented it. Brainerd was one of several men nominated to accompany Occom to England, but the New York Board refused to let him go. While Brainerd and Wheelock were not close personal friends, the two had a similar interests and a long-lasting correspondence. John Brainerd sent Wheelock his first Indian boys, and also recruited female students in the 1760s. Throughout their lives, Brainerd and Wheelock updated one another on Indian missions, and Brainerd seems to have been one of Wheelock's "point people" in the Presbyterian Church.

Graves, Matthew

Matthew Graves was an Anglican minister and missionary in New London, CT, whose friendship with Occom led to a minor controversy. Graves was born on the Isle of Man, of Irish descent. Sometime in his mid-30s, when he was master of a Latin grammar school and rector of a church in Chester, England, he was inspired by the religious revivals led by the Wesleys in western England to volunteer for foreign mission service through the The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG). In 1745, the organization sent him to St. James Church in New London, CT, where the pulpit had been empty for some time. His brother John also volunteered and was sent to a church in Providence, RI. The parishoners in New London, however, proved unwelcoming, and Graves began attending dissenting church services and missionizing to slaves and Indian tribes in the area. Through these activities, he became acquainted with Wheelock's missionary work and with Occom, with whom he was on friendly terms. Graves wrote a glowing testimony of him for the fundraising tour of Great Britain. According to Love, Occom joked in Graves' presence that on the trip he would "turn Episcopalian," a hope Graves communicated to his Bishop, who did offer to ordain Occom, which he refused, causing some offense and a flutter in the newspapers. Sharply disappointed, in 1771, Graves turned against both Occom and Wheelock. He served in New London for 33 years but came to a bad end. In 1778, when he refused to change the traditional prayer for King George to a prayer for the new American Congress, he was summararily ejected from his church, and in 1779 he asked to be allowed to move to New York, behind enemy lines, with his sister Joanna. There he acted as a pastor to Loyalist refugess and died suddenly the following year.

Brant, Joseph

Joseph Brant studied briefly with Wheelock and went on to be a very influential Mohawk leader. He was born into a prominent Mohawk family, and his connections only improved when his sister, Molly, began a long-lasting relationship with Sir William Johnson. Brant came to study with Wheelock in 1761. He played the part of a model pupil, as he was already partially assimilated and took to his studies quickly. Wheelock had high hopes for him, but in 1763, Brant visited Mohawk country with CJ Smith and never returned. This was likely a result of Johnson's increasing desire to promote only Anglican missionary efforts, as Brant seems to have harbored no ill-will towards Wheelock: Calloway hypothesizes that Brant's influence protected Dartmouth during the Revolution, and in 1800 Brant sent two of his sons to Moor's Indian Charity School. After leaving Wheelock, Brant went on to accumulate influence both as a British civil servant and Mohawk leader (historians debate how much genuine power and influence he had among the Mohawks and Six Nations more generally). The British government employed him as an interpreter, and in 1775, he visited England to argue for Mohawk interests. During the Revolution, he remained loyal to the British and encouraged other tribes to do the same. After the Revolution, when the British abandoned Indian land interests, he battled militarily and politically for Native land rights. Culturally, Brant was very much a pro-assimilation Anglican. He translated the Gospel of Mark, as well as other religious documents, into Mohawk, and lived a generally anglicized lifestyle, although he criticized what he saw as severe moral failings in white society.

DeBerdt, Dennys

Dennys DeBerdt was a London merchant of Dutch descent, a dissenter who took an avid interest in American affairs and politics. Although he was not especially prominent in British eyes, many Americans, including Wheelock, venerated him as a valuable ally. DeBerdt tried to help Wheelock secure a charter for Moor's, but his efforts failed because the Connecticut Assembly was opposed. Otherwise, DeBerdt helped Wheelock in much the same way as other supporters did: he collected and forwarded donations and circulated information. He also hosted Occom, Whitaker, and J. Smith on their fundraising tour. In 1765, the Massachusetts Assembly elected DeBerdt as their agent in London, a post he held until his death in 1770. He also served as an agent for the Assemblies of Connecticut and Delaware. He frequently advocated for American interests in London, and was instrumental in the repeal of the Stamp Act. DeBerdt invested heavily in American trade, with poor results for his estate. Perhaps because he was a Dissenter and enjoyed limited opportunities in England, he thought American religious freedom was well worth defending. Virtually all correspondence between DeBerdt and Wheelock dates from between 1757 and 1763. DeBerdt's last letter to Wheelock was written in 1763, and Wheelock wrote to DeBerdt only sporadically after that (his last two letters are dated October 1765 and February 1767). It is not clear why the two men stopped corresponding.

Smith, John

John Smith was an affluent Boston merchant who supported Wheelock’s school throughout the 1760s. It is likely that Smith and Wheelock were introduced by George Whitefield or someone similarly involved in evangelical and missionary efforts in the British Atlantic world: John Smith made somewhat regular trips to London for business, and had been in contact with Whitefield since the 1740s. Like the other Boston merchants who supported Moor’s Indian Charity School (including Moses Peck, William Hyslop, and Nathaniel Eells), Smith traded with Wheelock and kept him up to date on political developments in Boston, especially as they concerned attitudes towards Moor’s Indian Charity School. However, Smith was better educated (and likely more affluent) than the other merchants that Wheelock worked with, and, correspondingly, played a more important role than his brethren in Wheelock’s efforts. Smith publicized the school independently (his letter to an unnamed friend, catalogued as 764318.2, is one of the most cited letters on the organization of Moor’s) and assisted Wheelock in publishing the Narratives. John Smith’s greatest contribution to Wheelock’s design was his support during Samson Occom and Nathaniel Whitaker’s fundraising tour of Great Britain (1765-1768). Smith set out for Britain in July 1765 to improve his health, and while there, acted as a vanguard for Occom and Whitaker. He managed their correspondence, suggested destinations, and served on an ad hoc advisory council that included George Whitefield, Samuel Savage, Robert Keen, and several other influential men. The pace of the journey caught up with John Smith, however, and he died in 1768 while in Britain.

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
pers0498.ocp Miſs Miss . Smith mentioned Smith
pers0246.ocp M. r Mr. Hardy mentioned Hardy, Charles
pers1363.ocp Doct. r Dr. Huntington mentioned Huntington, Jonathan Sr.
pers0315.ocp Kirt- -land mentioned Kirkland, Samuel
pers0292.ocp Gen. l Gen. Johnſon Johnson mentioned Johnson, William
pers0315.ocp Kirtland mentioned Kirkland, Samuel
pers0030.ocp M. r Mr. Occom mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0155.ocp David mentioned Fowler, David
pers0805.ocp Old Connoquies mentioned old Connoquies
pers0030.ocp M. r Mr. occom mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0004.ocp M. r Mr. Brainerd mentioned Brainerd, John
pers0004.ocp M r Mr. Brainerd mentioned Brainerd, John
pers0228.ocp M. r Mr. Graves mentioned Graves, Matthew
pers0036.ocp Eleaz. r Eleazar Wheelock writer Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0038.ocp M. r Mr. Whitefield recipient Whitefield, George
pers0292.ocp Gen. l Gen. Johnſon Johnson mentioned Johnson, William
pers0292.ocp gen l Gen. mentioned Johnson, William
pers0093.ocp Joseph mentioned Brant, Joseph
pers0014.ocp M. r Mr. DeBerdt mentioned DeBerdt, Dennys
pers0497.ocp M. r Mr. Smith mentioned Smith, John
pers0246.ocp M. r Mr. Hardy. s Hardy's mentioned Hardy, Charles

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0122.ocp Lebanon Lebanon
place0013.ocp Boston Boston
place0013.ocp Boſton Boston Boston
place0164.ocp New New London
place0001.ocp albany Albany
place0146.ocp Mount Johnſon Johnson Mount Johnson
place0108.ocp Ireland Ireland
place0068.ocp England England

Organizations identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
org0098.ocp Indian School Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0098.ocp Indian School. Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0098.ocp this School Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0062.ocp Nations Mohawk Nation
org0075.ocp OnoyadasOneidas Oneida Nation
org0075.ocp Nation Oneida Nation
org0075.ocp OnoydasOneidas Oneida Nation
org0104.ocp TuſcararasTuscaroras Tuscarora Nation
org0075.ocp onoydasOneidas Oneida Nation
org0104.ocp Tuscar--rarsTuscaroras Tuscarora Nation
org0090.ocp Six Nations Six Nations
org0098.ocp the School Moor’s Indian Charity School

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1761-11-25 Nov.rNovember 25. 1761
1761-10-13 Oct.rOctober 13
1761-11-03 3.d3rd InſtantInstant
1761-11-26 Nov.rNovember 26
1761-11-27 Nov.rNovember 27
1761 1761

Regularized text:

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modernization pleaſe please
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Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
Nov.r November
inform'd informed
rec.d received
acco.t account
tho' though
& and
Oct.r October
thro' through
im̅ediately immediately
ſterlg sterling
Miſs y missionary
Eleaz.r Eleazar
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Hon.d honoured

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HomeEleazar Wheelock, letter, to George Whitefield, 1761 November 25
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