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David Fowler, confession, 1764 November 20

ms-number: 764620

[note (type: abstract): Fowler confesses to leaving school without permission.][note (type: handwriting): Handwriting is Wheelock's; it is informal yet largely clear and legible.][note (type: paper): Single sheet is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.][note (type: ink): Black-brown.][note (type: signature): Although the confession is not in Fowler's hand, it appears to be signed by Fowler.]
I David Fowler[pers0155.ocp] acknowledge, that while [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp] was
abroad on a Journey, I being in a bad State of Health and not
able to [purſue | pursue]purſuepursue My Studies, and [underſtanding | understanding]underſtandingunderstanding that my aged
Father[pers0202.ocp] was much in Debt and reduced to great [Diffecully | difficulty]Diffecullydifficulty [ther
‐by | there
which moved My [Compaſsion | compassion]Compaſsioncompassion towards him, and made me
[earneſtly | earnestly]earneſtlyearnestly [Deſire | desire]Deſiredesire to contribute to his Relief which I [ſupposed | supposed]ſupposedsupposed
I was able to do [tho’ | though]tho’though My [Indiſposition | indisposition]Indiſpositionindisposition was [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch as would
not allow me to [proſecute | prosecute]proſecuteprosecute my Studies. I went away with
out [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]s Leave, and continued [abſent | absent]abſentabsent [till | 'til]till'til [yeſterdy | yesterday]yeſterdyyesterday
In doing which I acknowledge I acted Disorderly, and gave
a bad Example to others which if they [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould follow [muſt | must]muſtmust
Terminate in the [Diſgrace | disgrace]Diſgracedisgrace and ruin of this School[org0098.ocp], and
[reſtrain | restrain]reſtrainrestrain charitably [Diſposed | disposed]Diſposeddisposed [Perſons | persons]Perſonspersons from further [Expreſsions | expressions]Expreſsionsexpressions
of their Charity towards it, or Endeavours to promote it.
I did not doubt but my [Reaſons | reasons]Reaſonsreasons were such as [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]
would have thought Sufficient if I had Submitted them to his
[Judgment | judgement]Judgmentjudgement and Determination. and I acknowledge that in
my neglecting to do it as I did I have treated [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]
unworthily. I [aſk | ask]aſkask his [Forgiveneſs | forgiveness]Forgiveneſsforgiveness and also [forgiveneſs | forgiveness]forgiveneſsforgiveness of
[M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Lathrop[pers0320.ocp] my [School Maſter | schoolmaster]School Maſterschoolmaster. and pray I may be continued
a Member of this School[org0098.ocp], and [promiſe | promise]promiſepromise by divine grace I
will walk orderly, and [Shew | show]Shewshow proper [Reſpect | respect]Reſpectrespect to the Authority
of the School[org0098.ocp] for Time to come. And I [earneſtly | earnestly]earneſtlyearnestly [Deſire | desire]Deſiredesire
that my [above] latelate conduct may not encourage Others to do the like.
and I do now declare it is my Settled Determination to
keep the great End of My being Continued in School in view
viz. the Spreading the Gospel among the Pagans, and to be
governed in that Affair by Such [Chriſtian | Christian]ChriſtianChristian Rules and [above] byby Orders
of Such as Providence Shall give Shall provide, [agreable | agreeable]agreableagreeable
to the Word of God.

as [Wittneſs | witness]Wittneſswitness My Hand.
David Fowler[pers0155.ocp]
Dated. [Nov.r | November]Nov.rNovember 20. 1764[1764-11-20]
David Fowler[pers0155.ocp]s
[Confeſsion | Confession]ConfeſsionConfession
[Nov.r | November]Nov.rNovember 20. 1764.[1764-11-20]
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.
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.

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.

Fowler, James

James Fowler was a notable Montaukett and the father of Mary Fowler Occom, David Fowler, and Jacob Fowler. He married Elizabeth (Betty) Pharaoh, a member of the prominent Pharaoh/Faro family (the current sachem of the Montaukett tribe, as of 2013, is a Pharaoh). When Occom arrived at Montauk in 1749, he took a special interest in the Fowler family and began courting Mary. They married in 1751, and, through Occom’s influence, the Fowler family became quite Christian. David and Jacob Fowler both attended Moor’s Indian Charity School and played important roles in the founding of Brothertown. James’ health deteriorated in the 1760s and 1770s. He died around 1774.

Lathrop, John

John Lathrop was mentored by Eleazar Wheelock and taught at Moor's Indian Charity School for several years after his graduation from Princeton. In 1765, he became minister of the Old North Church (Second Church) in Boston. He first wife was Mary Wheatley, who first taught the slave poet Phyllis Wheatley to read and write. John's cousins Daniel and Joshua Lathrop had business dealings with Wheelock and the Charity School.

Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0155.ocp David Fowler writer Fowler, David
pers0036.ocp M. r Mr. Wheelock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0202.ocp Father mentioned Fowler, James
pers0320.ocp M. r Mr. Lathrop mentioned Lathrop, John

This document does not contain any tagged places.

Organizations identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
org0098.ocp this School Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0098.ocp this School Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0098.ocp the School Moor’s Indian Charity School

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1764-11-20 Nov.rNovember 20. 1764
1764-11-20 Nov.rNovember 20. 1764.

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
modernization M.r Mr.
modernization purſue pursue
modernization underſtanding understanding
variation ther
modernization Compaſsion compassion
modernization earneſtly earnestly
modernization Deſire desire
modernization ſupposed supposed
modernization Indiſposition indisposition
modernization ſuch such
modernization proſecute prosecute
modernization abſent absent
variation till 'til
variation yeſterdy yesterday
modernization ſhould should
modernization muſt must
modernization Diſgrace disgrace
modernization reſtrain restrain
modernization Diſposed disposed
modernization Perſons persons
modernization Expreſsions expressions
modernization Reaſons reasons
variation Judgment judgement
modernization aſk ask
modernization Forgiveneſs forgiveness
modernization forgiveneſs forgiveness
variation School Maſter schoolmaster
modernization promiſe promise
variation Shew show
modernization Reſpect respect
modernization Chriſtian Christian
variation agreable agreeable
variation Wittneſs witness
modernization Confeſsion Confession

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
tho’ though
Nov.r November

This document's header does not contain any mixed case attribute values.

Summary of errors found in this document:

Number of dates with invalid 'when' attributes: 0
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 8)
Number of people/places/organizations with unknown keys: 0 (out of 12)
Number of "add" tags with unknown 'place' attributes: 0 (out of 2)
Mixed case attribute values in header (potential error): 0 (out of 93)
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