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Eleazar Wheelock, letter, to George Whitefield, 1764 September 26

ms-number: 764526.2

[note (type: abstract): Wheelock addresses the various conflicts regarding Occom and his employers, would-be and otherwise.][note (type: handwriting): The majority of the document appears to be in a hand other than Wheelock's. It is relatively clear, with few additions and deletions. The postcript added to the bottom of two recto is clearly in Wheelock's hand.][note (type: paper): Large sheet folded in half to form four pages is in fair condition, with moderate staining and wear. There is a significant separation caused by wear on the lower crease.][note (type: ink): Ink on most of the document is medium brown; the postscript is in black ink.][note (type: noteworthy): The letter is likely in response to Whitefield's letter of September 5, 1764; this document is likely a draft or copy.][note (type: signature): The full signature is possibly not that of Wheelock; the postscript is signed with initials, and those are Wheelock's.]

events: Jewett Controversy, Building of Occom’s house, Occom returns to Mohegan, Fundraising Tour of Great Britain, Occom’s inoculation

My dear and [Hond | Honoured]HondHonoured Sir

Yours by [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] came while I was on a Journey.
And I now take the [earlieſt | earliest]earlieſtearliest Opportunity to acknowledge the Favour,
and inform you that when I heard that [Genl | Gen.]GenlGen. Johnson[pers0292.ocp] was returned,
I was [ſorry | sorry]ſorrysorry that [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] [& | and]&and David[pers0155.ocp] were [ſet | set]ſetset out on their Journey,
as the principal Ends of their Journey could not likely be [accompliſhed | accomplished]accompliſhedaccomplished,
[vizt | viz.]viztviz. their [ſeeing | seeing]ſeeingseeing Parties from remote Tribes together, in Order to
recommend the [Deſign | design]Deſigndesign, [& | and]&and prepare the Way for [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool [Maſters | masters]Maſtersmasters [ & | and] &and [ Miſsiona­
ries | missiona
among them, and [alſo | also]alſoalso procure a Number of likely youth
from [diſtant | distant]diſtantdistant Parts for this [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool[org0098.ocp], which the [Commiſsioners | commissioners]Commiſsionerscommissioners[org0034.ocp] appre-
hended he might have a more favorable Opportunity for by such
a Meeting with the General[pers0292.ocp] than we have [Reaſon | reason]Reaſonreason [otherwiſe | otherwise]otherwiſeotherwise
to expect [ſoon | soon]ſoonsoon. Nor can I in [Conſcience | conscience]Conſcienceconscience [ſay | say]ſaysay it was an imprudent
[ſcheme | scheme]ſchemescheme [till | 'til]till'til I have [ſome | some]ſomesome other [Reaſon | reason]Reaſonreason than I have heard or thought
of to convince me of it. It is true we were misinformed of the
Time of [Genl | Gen.]GenlGen. Johnson[pers0292.ocp]’s Return from Niagara[place0167.ocp], but I don’t know
that we were to blame for that Misinformation.
The [Commiſsioners | commissioners]Commiſsionerscommissioners in [Boſton | Boston]BoſtonBoston[org0095.ocp] had a principal View to [Nehantic | Niantic]NehanticNiantic[place0168.ocp]
([tho’ | though]tho’though Mohegan[place0143.ocp] [ waſ | was] waſwas mentioned) in [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp]’s Appointment, but as
he was not a Proprietor at [Nehantic | Niantic]NehanticNiantic[place0168.ocp], he was obliged to build
[& | and]&and [ ſettle | settle] ſettlesettle at Mohegan[place0143.ocp], which interferes with [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Jewett[pers0023.ocp]’s appoint-
ment; and a [Controverſy | controversy]Controverſycontroversy was commenced and began to [riſe | rise]riſerise high
[& | and]&and [threatned | threatened]threatnedthreatened much [Miſchief | mischief]Miſchiefmischief. [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Oliver[pers0031.ocp] ([tho’ | though]tho’though he did not fully
know how bad the [Caſe | case]Caſecase was) [expreſsed | expressed]expreſsedexpressed his Concern about it to me
at Concord[place0047.ocp], which [tho' | though]tho'though not agreeable to write was a [Conſideration | consideration]Conſiderationconsideration
of Weight in my Mind in taking him out of the Hands of [thoſe | those]thoſethose
[Commiſsioners | commissioners]Commiſsionerscommissioners[org0095.ocp] [ & | and] &and employing him in the [Miſsion | mission]Miſsionmission he was [deſigned | designed]deſigneddesigned for.
I mentioned to the [Commiſsioners | commissioners]Commiſsionerscommissioners[org0034.ocp] when they were together their
writing to you on the Affair of [ſupporting | supporting]ſupportingsupporting [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp]’s [Miſsion | mission]Miſsionmission;
but a Lecture appointed by our [Praeſes | praeses]Praeſespraeses obliged [uſ | us]uſus to [diſpatch | dispatch]diſpatchdispatch the
[Buſineſs | business]Buſineſsbusiness with [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch Precipitancy that it was not [conſidered | considered]conſideredconsidered as it
should have been. But there was nothing [ſaid | said]ſaidsaid, nor do I [ſuſpect | suspect]ſuſpectsuspect there
was a Thought among them, of your having taken [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] under
your Patronage, or that you looked upon him under more Obligations
to you as his Patron than [above] anyany other Man for whom you have done
a [Kindneſs | kindness]Kindneſskindness, or that you had any more [Reaſon | reason]Reaſonreason to expect to be
[conſulted | consulted]conſultedconsulted in that Affair than in any other Affair of equal Importance, [below] inin
in which you have [ſhewn | shown]ſhewnshown your [Friendſhip | friendship]Friendſhipfriendship [ & | and] &and Concern. Nor did I
ever [underſtand | understand]underſtandunderstand the [Caſe | case]Caſecase [till | 'til]till'til this very Day, or what you meant
by ill Treatment by our taking [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] into our Hands with-
out [conſulting | consulting]conſultingconsulting you therein. Had I [underſtood | understood]underſtoodunderstood the [Caſe | case]Caſecase as I now do
I [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould by no Means have moved or [conſented | consented]conſentedconsented therein —
The [Commiſsioners | commissioners]Commiſsionerscommissioners[org0034.ocp] (as I [underſtand | understand]underſtandunderstand them) were of Opinion that
his [Circumſtances | circumstances]Circumſtancescircumstances which were [publickly | publicly]publicklypublicly known, viz, his being [ſo | so]ſoso much
in Debt, [& | and]&and nothing like to be done, (that they knew of) to free him,
His Expence in moving, [& | and]&and [ Loſs | loss] Loſsloss of Goods [& | and]&and [ Proviſions | provisions] Proviſionsprovisions in his [Paſsage | passage]Paſsagepassage, and
nothing done to repair his [Loſs | loss]Loſsloss, or to [aſsiſt | assist]aſsiſtassist him in [ſupporting | supporting]ſupportingsupporting his
Family, or provide a [Houſe | house]Houſehouse for them, he not having received a Farthing
from the [Commiſsioners | commissioners]Commiſsionerscommissioners [above] at [Boſton | Boston]BoſtonBoston at [Boſton | Boston]BoſtonBoston[org0095.ocp] and they at [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch a [Diſtance | distance]Diſtancedistance from him, and [ſo | so]ſoso out
of the Way of [Accquaintance | acquaintance]Accquaintanceacquaintance with his [Circumſtances | circumstances]Circumſtancescircumstances [&c | etc.]&cetc., were [ſufficient | sufficient]ſufficientsufficient
to [juſtify | justify]juſtifyjustify his [Deſire | desire]Deſiredesire to be under our Care, [& | and]&and us in receiving him.
Had the [Commiſsioners | commissioners]Commiſsionerscommissioners[org0034.ocp] viewed the [Caſe | case]Caſecase in the Light which you did, or had
they only had the [leaſt | least]leaſtleast Intimations, which they could rely upon, that you
[deſigned | designed]deſigneddesigned to help him under his [Neceſsities | necessities]Neceſsitiesnecessities, [tho’ | though]tho’though they might likely
have [repreſented | represented]repreſentedrepresented to you the [Greatneſs | greatness]Greatneſsgreatness of them, it would have
been the [fartheſt | farthest]fartheſtfarthest from their thoughts to take him out of your Hands.
[Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] tells me, “He told me [ſomething | something]ſomethingsomething of it before.” But I
never [underſtood | understood]underſtoodunderstood it. It was my [Compaſsion | compassion]Compaſsioncompassion to him, not knowing
what [above] elseelse to do with him that moved me to act at all in the Affair.
I [intirely | entirely]intirelyentirely agree with you, that we [muſt | must]muſtmust be agreed in the
Plan, [& | and]&and that it is [reaſonable | reasonable]reaſonablereasonable [& | and]&and [neceſsary | necessary]neceſsarynecessary, that you [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould approve of
it, as we expect the Benefit of your Friendship [& | and]&and Influence.
And what we have [propoſed | proposed]propoſedproposed is, to [ſend | send]ſendsend among godly well
accomplished youth, in the Capacity of [Miniſters | ministers]Miniſtersministers [& | and]&and School [Maſters | masters]Maſtersmasters
to the [ſeveral | several]ſeveralseveral Tribes as we can obtain [& | and]&and find means to [ſupport | support]ſupportsupport. I have
now 10 Indians in this [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool[org0098.ocp] well [accompliſhed | accomplished]accompliſhedaccomplished for [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool [Maſters | masters]Maſtersmasters,
excepting that [ſome | some]ſomesome of them want Age. I have [alſo | also]alſoalso 4 English youth
who are very [promiſing | promising]promiſingpromising [ & | and] &and would do well to go with the [Miſsionaries | missionaries]Miſsionariesmissionaries
to learn the Indian Languages, and while they are doing that, may,
under the Conduct of the [Miſsionaries | missionaries]Miſsionariesmissionaries, be [uſeful | useful]uſefuluseful as [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool [Maſters | masters]Maſtersmasters, and
after that return with [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch likely Boys as they can find to [finiſh | finish]finiſhfinish
their Learning here.
[Pleaſe | Please]PleaſePlease [ſir | Sir]ſirSir to write me on what I have written, [& | and]&and make
what [Propoſals | proposals]Propoſalsproposals you [pleaſe | please]pleaſeplease, and I will endeavour to have a
Meeting of the [Commiſsioners | commissioners]Commiſsionerscommissioners[org0034.ocp], [& | and]&and lay what you [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall write before
them as [ſoon | soon]ſoonsoon as may be. The [Conſequence | consequence]Conſequenceconsequence of which you [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall hear
by the [Poſt | post]Poſtpost. I hope you will have [Goodneſs | goodness]Goodneſsgoodness enough to overlook
a [thouſand | thousand]thouſandthousand Blunders, [& | and]&and Patience enough to correct [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch as
you [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall think material.
I am now [ſick | sick]ſicksick with a [Dyſsentery | dysentery]Dyſsenterydysentery, have wrote in
great Pain [& | and]&and [Confuſion | confusion]Confuſionconfusion interrupted often by my [Diſtemper | distemper]Diſtemperdistemper
Things are in great [Confuſion | confusion]Confuſionconfusion at Mohegan[place0143.ocp]. I [wiſh | wish]wiſhwish [ M.r | Mr.] M.rMr.
could be quite unconcerned in them, The [Caſe | case]Caſecase is
too long to write. They have had [ſeveral | several]ſeveralseveral Meetings to give
in their [Reaſons | reasons]Reaſonsreasons why they reject [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Clelland[pers0011.ocp] as their [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool
[Maſter | master]Maſtermaster, and are this Day to meet to give their [Reaſons | reasons]Reaſonsreasons
why they will not hear [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Jewett[pers0023.ocp] preach [&c | etc.]&cetc.
[Pleaſe | Please]PleaſePlease to direct yours to the Care of [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Graves[pers0228.ocp]
of [N London | New London]N LondonNew London[place0164.ocp]. I have put Money in his Hands to
pay the [poſtage | postage]poſtagepostage of my Letters — My dear Brother,
pray for a poor Creature, who is with much

yours in the dear [Jeſus | Jesus]JeſusJesus
Eleazar Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]
[Revd | Rev.]RevdRev. [G. | George]G.George Whitefield[pers0038.ocp]
Ps. The [Com̅iſsrs | Commissioners]Com̅iſsrsCommissioners in [Boſton | Boston]BoſtonBoston[org0095.ocp] will allow [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] [ y.e | the] y.ethe £30 [w.c | which]w.cwhich they voted
for [y.e | the]y.ethe Curr[illegible]ent Year. but [ſeem | seem]ſeemseem not [Senſible | sensible]Senſiblesensible [ yt | that] ytthat his [Neceſsities | necessities]Neceſsitiesnecessities are in any
[meaſure | measure]meaſuremeasure [ſo | so]ſoso great as they are.
I went to Norwich[place0174.ocp] [myſelf | myself]myſelfmyself and with [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Whitaker[pers0037.ocp]s [aſsiſtance | assistance]aſsiſtanceassistance
procured 40 Days Labour gratis towards his House. but expence for
materials and for what he has, and will have, [occaſion | occasion]occaſionoccasion to Hire
I [underſtand | understand]underſtandunderstand will be [conſiderable | considerable]conſiderableconsiderable and much beyond what I expec­
[pleaſe | please]pleaſeplease to write whether it will, or not, be expedient that [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp]
ſh[stain: oul]d be [Enoculated | inoculated]Enoculatedinoculated, in order to his going with you to England[place0068.ocp]
and whether you would take either of the Boys of this [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool with
you — If you [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould think of taking one of the [Mohocks | Mohawks]MohocksMohawks[org0062.ocp], it may be [beſt | best]beſtbest
he [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould make a visit to his Friends this fall. —
Salutation: I am
 yours [&c | etc.]&cetc.

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.
Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
The Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the SSPCK was founded in 1764 at Wheelock's request. He wanted a public board's support so that his school would seem more credible since it was a private organization with no charter. The Boston Board of the SSPCK would not do since they generally opposed Wheelock, so his solution was to petition the SSPCK for his own board. The SSPCK acquiesed, and the board met for the first time on July 4, 1764. While the board was nominally separate from Wheelock's school, in practice, he exercised considerable control over it. The members of the board were Wheelock's handpicked friends and supporters: Jonathan Huntington, Elisha Sheldon, Samuel Huntington, Solomon Williams, Joseph Fish, William Gaylord, Samuel Moseley, Benjamin Pomeroy, Richard Salter, Nathaniel Whitaker, David Jewett, and Wheelock himself. Wheelock used this board to send Occom and Whitaker to England, hold exams for Moor's Indian Charity School, and generally support his designs. When Wheelock moved to New Hampshire, he tried to establish a New Hampshire Board as well, but by that point the SSPCK was much more cautious when it came to Wheelock's plans and refused. The Connecticut Board dissolved in 1771 as Wheelock was its raison d'etre.
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.
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.

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.


Niantic is a village located in East Lyme, a seaside town in southeast Connecticut on the Long Island Sound. The land was occupied by the Niantic tribe when the Europeans arrived. The Dutch claimed the area in the 17th century, but when the British claimed this same land as part of their colonies, the Dutch forfeited it to the British in a 1627 trade agreement. The village housed both preachers and a schoolhouse, and missionaries came to the village for the purpose of converting and assimilating the tribe. This effort intensified in the 1740s with the influence of the First Great Awakening. Increasingly dispersed and dispossessed of land, many Niantic Indians followed Occom and Joseph Johnson to upstate New York in the 1770's where they settled Brothertown.


Mohegan is a village in southeastern Connecticut at the site of the present-day town of Montville, and is the location of the Mohegan Indian Reservation. The village gets its name from the Mohegan Tribe, or wolf people, who split from the Pequots in the early 17th century under the leadership of the sachem Uncas. In the 1720s, the Mohegans requested the colony of Connecticut provide them with an English educator. An English minister and schoolteacher named John Mason (no relation to Captain John Mason) moved to Mohegan in order to provide English-styled education to the Mohegans, convinced his sponsors, the New England Company, to build a schoolhouse at Mohegan, which eventually served as a boarding school for other Native American children from the surrounding area. During the 17th century, the Mohegan Tribe became embroiled in a complicated controversy over control of Mohegan land — known as the Mason Land Case or, more specifically, Mohegan Indians v. Connecticut — that included the village of Mohegan. The Tribe claimed that it never authorized a transfer of their lands, held in trust by the Mason family, to the colonial government. In 1662, the colony of Connecticut was incorporated by a royal charter, which included the disputed tribal land. The land controversy was revived in 1704 when descendants of John Mason, the original trustee, petitioned the Crown on behalf of the Mohegans, but the suit was finally decided against the Tribe in 1773. Born in Mohegan, Occom became involved in the Mason Land Case and vehemently argued for the rights of the Mohegan Indians to maintain their land, opposing Eleazar Wheelock and other ministers in the area. Although Occom left Mohegan for a 12-year mission with the Montauk Indians of Long Island, he returned at the end of 1763 with his large family to build a house in Mohegan, establishing it as his base of operations. Even after the creation of the Brothertown settlement in Oneida country, for which he served as minister, Occom continued to commute back and forth from Mohegan; he didn't sell his house in Mohegan and move his family to Brothertown until 1789. Many members of his family remained in Mohegan, including his sister Lucy Tantaquidgeon, who lived there until her death at 99 in 1830.

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.


Norwich is a city in New London County in the southeast corner of Connecticut. It was founded in 1659 when Major John Mason and Reverend James Fitch led English settlers inland from Old Saybrook, CT, on the coast. They bought land from Uncas, sachem of the local Mohegan tribe, and divided it into farms and businesses mainly in the three-mile area around the Norwichtown Green. In 1668, a wharf was built at Yantic Cove and in 1694 a public landing was built at the head of the Thames River, which allowed trade with England to flourish. The center of Norwich soon moved to the neighborhood around the harbor called "Chelsea." During the revolutionary period, when transatlantic trade was cut off, Norwich developed large mills and factories along the three rivers that cross the town: the Yantic, Shetucket and Thames, and supported the war effort by supplying soldiers, ships, and munitions. Norwich was the largest town in the vicinity in which Occom, Wheelock and their associates lived and worked, and it was possible to get there by water because of the harbor and access to the Long Island Sound. Lebanon, CT, the site of Wheelock's school, is 11 miles north and present-day Uncasville, the center of the Mohegan tribe, is a few miles south of Norwich. James Fitch did missionary work among the Mohegans in Norwich until his death in 1702, and Samuel Kirkland, the most important Protestant missionary to the Six Nations trained by Wheelock, was born in Norwich in 1741. On his evangelical tour of North America in 1764, George Whitefield planned to travel to Norwich to meet with Wheelock. The Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge frequently met in Norwich, and many letters by people involved in the missionary efforts of Wheelock were written from Norwich.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jewett, David

David Jewett was a white minster at Mohegan who developed a hostile relationship with Samson Occom. He become the pastor of the North Church in New London, CT (now Montville) in 1739. Jewett initially served as the clergyman for the English congregation, and attempts to merge the white church with the local Indians were unsuccessful. In 1742, when plans to establish a pastor for the Indians also proved to be futile, Jewett became the minister for them as well, supported by the Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America (New England Company). Indians received religious materials, and many, including Sarah Occom, Samon's mother, became members of his parish. In 1756 when Connecticut gathered a regiment to go to Crown Point, Jewett served as chaplain. He also became a member of the Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SSPCK) when Wheelock assembled it in 1764. In addition to his role as minister, Jewett oversaw Robert Clelland’s school at Mohegan, which became one source of his animosity toward Occom. Occom criticized Clelland’s performance as schoolmaster, implicating Jewett as the supervisor, and Jewett rejected Occom’s intrusion. Furthermore, since Occom had been appointed to preach at Mohegan, several Indians as well as English, primarily those who sided with the Indians in the Mason Case, left Jewett’s church to follow Occom, as Jewett supported the Colony due to his land interests. Jewett brought charges against Occom to the Boston Board of the SSPCK and to the New England Company Commissioners, and the Connecticut Board of the SSPCK tried Occom in March of 1765. They found Occom to be innocent except for his involvement in the Mason Case; therefore, the Board declared that Jewett must write to the Boston Commissioners again to clear Occom. Although Jewett assented to the task, he did not pen the letter until Wheelock pressured him that June. While Jewett and Occom’s relationship was officially mended, bitterness remained until Jewett’s death in 1783.

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.

Clelland, Robert

Robert Clelland was the Scottish schoolmaster at Mohegan who became a contentious figure. He began as schoolmaster in 1752, supported by the Boston commissioners of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Clelland resided in an apartment that was either adjacent or close to the school, and although he had a limited income, the Colony provided him with bread daily. Clelland had a close relationship with Reverend David Jewett, the white minister at Mohegan who oversaw the school and often lectured there; both Clelland and Jewett supported Connecticut in the Mason Case. However, Clelland conflicted with many other leaders in Mohegan. He repeatedly wrote to Eleazar Wheelock complaining about Ben Uncas III and his drunkenness, even though the sachem did not oppose the colony in the Mason Case and Clelland typically supported him. Clelland also developed a hostile relationship with Samson Occom; notably they held opposing positions during the Mason Case. Occom brought concerns regarding Clelland to the commissioners’ attention. He claimed the schoolteacher preferred the paying English students to the point that their presence was displacing Mohegan pupils, and criticized other ways in which Clelland ran the school. On September 19, 1764, the commissioners voted to release Clelland of his duties as schoolmaster. Notwithstanding, he remained until he was dismissed again on July 5, 1765. Occom’s involvement with Clelland’s dismissal further disrupted what was already a contentious relationship between him and Jewett. Clelland appears to have remained in Mohegan even after his dismissal.

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.

Whitaker, Nathaniel

Nathaniel Whitaker was an outspoken Presbyterian minister with a long and wide-ranging career. Between his ordination in 1755 and his death in 1795, Whitaker ministered to five different congregations. His longest tenure was at Chelsea, CT (near Norwich), from 1761-1769, during which he joined Occom on his two-and-a-half-year fundraising tour of Britain. While in Chelsea, Whitaker was very involved in Wheelock's project. The two engaged in frequent correspondence, and Whitaker served on Eleazar Wheelock's Board of Correspondents in Connecticut, as well as on the Board of Trustees of Moor's Indian Charity School. At one time, he was Wheelock's presumed successor, but Dartmouth's Trustees demanded that Wheelock appoint another. Wheelock, in part due to his strongly-held belief that Native Americans were childlike and rash, was convinced that Occom needed an Anglo-American supervisor on his fundraising tour. After several candidates turned down the job, Wheelock selected Whitaker. He proved to be a poor choice; he was, by many accounts, a difficult man to get along with, and many of Wheelock’s British allies, including George Whitefield and the English Trust (the organization that took control of the money Occom raised in England) preferred to deal with Occom, although Whitaker insisted on handling the tour’s logistics. Furthermore, in Britain, Occom was the obvious star of the tour, and it was unclear to many why Whitaker asserted himself so prominently. Whitaker’s poor decisions seriously alienated the English Trust and increased their suspicion of Wheelock’s later dealings and treatment of Occom. He gave the English Trust the impression that they would have control over money raised in Scotland (which was in fact lodged with the parent organization of the SSPCK), and he was the executor of the “Eells Affair,” a plan initiated by the CT Board of the SSPCK to bring the money that Occom and Whitaker raised back to the colonies by investing it in trade goods and selling them at a profit (Eells was one of the merchants who was to help with the resale of goods). The English Trust learned about the plan by reading letters that Whitaker had given them permission to open in his absence, and were immediately shocked. The wording of certain letters made it appear that only a percentage of the profit from the resale of the goods would go towards Moor’s Indian Charity School, but beyond that detail, the English Trust was scandalized at the thought of money raised for charity being invested in trade. The English Trust blamed Whitaker entirely for these affairs, and issued specific instructions for Occom to notarize all documents requiring Whitaker’s signature. In short, they wanted Occom to supervise Whitaker, when Wheelock had envisioned the opposite relationship (both Occom and Whitaker seem to have ignored their instructions, preferring to have as little contact with one another as possible). In 1769, a year after his return to Connecticut in 1768, Whitaker found himself dismissed by his Chelsea congregation (likely because he had spent two and a half years away from them). He went on to serve several more congregations before his death in 1795. Whitaker was an outspoken Whig, and during the Revolution he published several pamphlets on his political opinions.

Jewett Controversy
This crisis comes to a head in 1764 when Occom returns to Mohegan from Montauket and gains a following among the Indians and English. Robert Clelland, schoolmaster at Mohegan, fears he is being supplanted, and his patron, the minister David Jewett, thinks Occom is interfering and not sufficiently respectful. More importantly, Occom supports the Mohegan tribe’s claims in the Mason Land Case, in which Jewett, who opposes them, stands to lose considerable property. Finally, Jewett brings an official complaint to the Boston Board of Correspondents for the Society in Scotland for progagating Christian Knowledge (SSPCK), which employs Clelland, and to his own employers, the New England Company. The Connecticut Board of Correspondents for the SSPCK (of which Jewett was a member) tries Occom, and acquits him on all charges except that of involvement in the Mason Case. Despite a nominal reconciliation, bitter feelings linger between Occom and Jewett.
Building of Occom’s house
In December 1763, Occom returns to Mohegan to choose a site for his house, close to the Mohegan Chapel. The project engages several Indian laborers, cost about £100, and is a notable structure, clapboarded with cedar.
Occom returns to Mohegan
In March 1764, after three missions to the Oneida and heavily in debt, Occom and Mary move their family from Montauk to Mohegan across the Long Island Sound, and because of bad weather lose many of their household possessions in the process.
Fundraising Tour of Great Britain
After many months of planning and shifting personnel, Occom, accompanied by the minister Nathaniel Whitaker, sets sail in December 1765 for a two-and-a-half year tour of England and Scotland in order to solicit contributions to Wheelock’s Indian Charity School and missionary efforts. Introduced to aristocrats and prominent clergy by the minister George Whitefield, Occom preaches many sermons, travels widely, and collects a large sum of money.
Occom’s inoculation
On March 11, 1766, during their tour of London, Nathaniel Whitaker inoculates Occom against smallpox, a controversial practice that involves inserting scabs into an incision, causing a mild case of the disease, which produces immunity to it.
Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0030.ocp M. r Mr. Occom mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0292.ocp Gen l Gen. Johnson mentioned Johnson, William
pers0155.ocp David mentioned Fowler, David
pers0292.ocp General mentioned Johnson, William
pers0030.ocp M r Mr. Occom mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0023.ocp M. r Mr. Jewett mentioned Jewett, David
pers0031.ocp M. r Mr. Oliver mentioned Oliver, Andrew
pers0030.ocp M. r Mr. Occom mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0011.ocp M r Mr. Clelland mentioned Clelland, Robert
pers0228.ocp M r Mr. Graves mentioned Graves, Matthew
pers0036.ocp Eleazar Wheelock writer Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0038.ocp Rev d Rev. G. George Whitefield recipient Whitefield, George
pers0037.ocp M. r Mr. Whitaker mentioned Whitaker, Nathaniel
pers0036.ocp EW writer Wheelock, Eleazar

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0122.ocp Lebanon Lebanon
place0167.ocp Niagara Niagara
place0168.ocp Nehantic Niantic Niantic
place0143.ocp Mohegan Mohegan
place0047.ocp Concord Concord
place0164.ocp N London New London New London
place0174.ocp Norwich Norwich
place0068.ocp England England

Organizations identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
org0098.ocp this ſchoolschool Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0034.ocp Commiſsionerscommissioners Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
org0095.ocp Commiſsionerscommissioners in BoſtonBoston The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0095.ocp Commiſsionerscommissioners at BoſtonBoston The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0034.ocp the Commiſsionerscommissioners Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
org0095.ocp Com̅iſsrsCommissioners in BoſtonBoston The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0062.ocp MohocksMohawks Mohawk Nation

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1764-09-26 26th26th Sept.rSeptember 1764

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
modernization 26th 26th
modernization M.r Mr.
modernization earlieſt earliest
modernization Genl Gen.
modernization ſorry sorry
modernization ſet set
modernization accompliſhed accomplished
modernization vizt viz.
modernization ſeeing seeing
modernization Deſign design
modernization ſchool school
modernization Maſters masters
modernization Miſsiona­
modernization alſo also
modernization diſtant distant
modernization Commiſsioners commissioners
modernization Reaſon reason
modernization otherwiſe otherwise
modernization ſoon soon
modernization Conſcience conscience
modernization ſay say
modernization ſcheme scheme
variation till 'til
modernization ſome some
modernization Boſton Boston
variation Nehantic Niantic
modernization waſ was
modernization Mr Mr.
modernization ſettle settle
modernization Controverſy controversy
modernization riſe rise
variation threatned threatened
modernization Miſchief mischief
modernization Caſe case
modernization expreſsed expressed
modernization Conſideration consideration
modernization thoſe those
modernization Miſsion mission
modernization deſigned designed
modernization ſupporting supporting
modernization Praeſes praeses
modernization uſ us
modernization diſpatch dispatch
modernization Buſineſs business
modernization ſuch such
modernization conſidered considered
modernization ſaid said
modernization ſuſpect suspect
modernization Kindneſs kindness
modernization conſulted consulted
modernization ſhewn shown
modernization Friendſhip friendship
modernization underſtand understand
modernization conſulting consulting
modernization underſtood understood
modernization ſhould should
modernization conſented consented
modernization Circumſtances circumstances
variation publickly publicly
modernization ſo so
modernization Loſs loss
modernization Proviſions provisions
modernization Paſsage passage
modernization Loſs loss
modernization aſsiſt assist
modernization Houſe house
modernization Diſtance distance
variation Accquaintance acquaintance
modernization &c etc.
modernization ſufficient sufficient
modernization juſtify justify
modernization Deſire desire
modernization leaſt least
modernization Neceſsities necessities
modernization repreſented represented
modernization Greatneſs greatness
modernization fartheſt farthest
modernization ſomething something
modernization Compaſsion compassion
variation intirely entirely
modernization muſt must
modernization reaſonable reasonable
modernization neceſsary necessary
modernization propoſed proposed
modernization ſend send
modernization Miniſters ministers
modernization ſeveral several
modernization ſupport support
modernization promiſing promising
modernization Miſsionaries missionaries
modernization uſeful useful
modernization finiſh finish
modernization Pleaſe Please
modernization ſir Sir
modernization Propoſals proposals
modernization pleaſe please
modernization ſhall shall
modernization Conſequence consequence
modernization Poſt post
modernization Goodneſs goodness
modernization thouſand thousand
modernization ſick sick
modernization Dyſsentery dysentery
modernization Confuſion confusion
modernization Diſtemper distemper
modernization wiſh wish
modernization M.r Mr.
modernization Reaſons reasons
modernization Maſter master
modernization poſtage postage
modernization Jeſus Jesus
modernization Revd Rev.
modernization Com̅iſsrs Commissioners
modernization y.e the
modernization y.e the
modernization ſeem seem
modernization Senſible sensible
modernization yt that
modernization meaſure measure
modernization myſelf myself
modernization aſsiſtance assistance
modernization occaſion occasion
modernization conſiderable considerable
variation Enoculated inoculated
variation Mohocks Mohawks
modernization beſt best

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
Hond Honoured
Sept.r September
& and
& and
tho’ though
tho' though
N London New London
G. George
w.c which

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Number of nested "hi" tags: (consider merging the @rend attributes, or using other tags) 0
Number of tags with invalid 'rend' attributes: 0 (out of 40)
Number of people/places/organizations with unknown keys: 0 (out of 46)
Number of "add" tags with unknown 'place' attributes: 0 (out of 4)
Mixed case attribute values in header (potential error): 0 (out of 148)
HomeEleazar Wheelock, letter, to George Whitefield, 1764 September 26
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