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Minutes of the meeting of the Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, 1765 September 18

ms-number: 765518

[note (type: abstract): Two copies of minutes from a meeting of the Connecticut Board that approve Wheelock’s expenses for the School, and list items to be considered, including sending Whitaker and Occom to Europe.][note (type: handwriting): Version of minutes written in Wheelock's hand is informal yet largely clear and legible. Another in an unknown hand, likley that of Nathaniel Whitaker, is more formal and slightly more legible.][note (type: paper): There are two separate sheets of paper -- one small sheet, and one long sheet torn lengthwise from a larger one. Both are in good-to-fair condition, with light creasing, staining and wear. Repair work has been done on the central crease of the long, thin sheet.][note (type: ink): Dark brown, and brown-black.][note (type: noteworthy): On two verso, the meaning, or intended meaning, of the word "theer" is uncertain, and so the word has been left untagged. Non-contemporary notes have been made on each document in pencil; these notes have not been transcribed.][note (type: signature): Wheelock appears to initialize the copy in his hand; otherwise, there is no signature.]
The Board of [Corriſpondts | Correspondents]CorriſpondtsCorrespondents[org0034.ocp] [havng | having]havnghaving Examined the [Accots | accounts]Accotsaccounts
of the [Rev.d | Rev.]Rev.dRev. [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp] relative to the Indian Charity
under his Care [above] from [Nov.r | November]Nov.rNovember 27. 1762.[1762-11-27] tofrom [Nov.r | November]Nov.rNovember 27. 1762.[1762-11-27] to and also for the fitting out and [ſuppot | support]ſuppotsupport
of the [Miſsrs | missionaries]Miſsrsmissionaries [& | and]&and [School Maſters | schoolmasters]School Maſtersschoolmasters, by us Authoured and [ſent | sent]ſentsent
into the Indian Country [above] from [Nov.r | November]Nov.rNovember 27. 1762[1762-11-27]. tofrom [Nov.r | November]Nov.rNovember 27. 1762[1762-11-27]. to do judge his Charges there into
be quite [reaſonable | reasonable]reaſonablereasonable. and we dont See but that he has
from the [firſt | first]firſtfirst [exerciſed | exercised]exerciſedexercised great Care and Prudence to pre­
vent any [unneſeſsary | unnecessary]unneſeſsaryunnecessary [Expences | expenses]Expencesexpenses.
Minutes of Thing to be [conſidered | considered]conſideredconsidered and done by
the Board of [Corriſpondents | Correspondents]CorriſpondentsCorrespondents[org0034.ocp] [Septr | September]SeptrSeptember 18. 1765[1765-09-18].
1. Whether they will Send [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Whitaker[pers0037.ocp] to Europe[place0070.ocp]
to beg for the School[org0098.ocp] [& | and]&and Support of [miſsrs | missionaries]miſsrsmissionaries.
or only Recommend him.
2. Whether they will Send [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] with him
3. Whether they will apply to the Society[org0095.ocp] = for
a [Commiſsion | commission]Commiſsioncommission for Indian Affairs = and for
4. Whether they will [addreſs | address]addreſsaddress the Corporation of [Naſsau | Nassau]NaſsauNassau
for a Degree for [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Kirtland[pers0315.ocp].
5. Whether [y.a | they]y.athey will return the Thanks of this Board[org0034.ocp]
to Sir [Wm | William]WmWilliam [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[pers0292.ocp] for his Favourable [Recom̅endn | recommendation]Recom̅endnrecommendation
of our Indian Affairs
6. Whether we [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall not [deſire | desire]deſiredesire the non attending
members of this Board[org0034.ocp] to [Reſign | resign]Reſignresign.
7. whether we will apply for Incorporation.
[right] ewew
[note (type: editorial): Blank page.]
Things to be [conſidered | considered]conſideredconsidered by
the Board[org0034.ocp] at their meeting [Sept.r | September]Sept.rSeptember [18th | 18th]18th18th

1. Whether they will Send [m:r | Mr.]m:rMr. Whita
to Europe[place0070.ocp]
2. Whether they will Send [mr | Mr.]mrMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp]
with him
3. Whether they will apply to the So­
ciety in London [fo.r | for]fo.rfor [propogating | Propagating]propogatingPropagating the
[Goſpel | Gospel]GoſpelGospel in New England [& | and]&and Parts adja­
for a [Commiſſion | commission]Commiſſioncommission
4. Whether they will [addreſs | address]addreſsaddress the [Corpora[illegible] | Corporation]Corpora[illegible]Corporation
of [Naſſau | Nassau]NaſſauNassau[org0108.ocp]
to give [mr | Mr.]mrMr. Kirtland[pers0315.ocp] his
5. Whether the Board[org0034.ocp] will examine [& | and]&and
certify my [Acc.ts | accounts]Acc.tsaccounts
6. Whether they will return thanks to
[Sr | Sir]SrSir [W.m | William]W.mWilliam[pers0292.ocp] for his favourable recommen­
dation of this School[org0098.ocp]
7. Whether they will apply for an in­
corporation from the Crown.
8. [Whethe | Whether]WhetheWhether the not attending members of
this board[org0034.ocp] Shall not be [deſired | desired]deſireddesired to [re­
ſign | re
9. Whether a [commiſſion | commission]commiſſioncommission Shall be given
to [mr | Mr.]mrMr. [Ch. | Charles]Ch.Charles J. Smith[pers0500.ocp]
10. Whether they will [conſidr | consider]conſidrconsider the application of the
Indians at [onokwaga | Onaquaga]onokwagaOnaquaga[org0077.ocp] for illegible help to build
mills [&c. | etc.]&c.etc. among them. This was [propoſed | proposed]propoſedproposed [& | and]&and
talked of b by [mr | Mr.]mrMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp] to the Board[org0034.ocp], [& | and]&and
Some talk upon it; but the board[org0034.ocp] objected [yt | that]ytthat
it was out their Sphere to promote any Such
thing as a board, but Said it was a good thing, [& | and]&and
that it was well to encourage it, [& | and]&and that they
think it proper as [oppertunity | opportunity]oppertunityopportunity offers, to Speak
encouraging of Such a Scheme, but declined
doing any thing [illegible]by vote or oth by any act
of the Body
[wch | which]wchwhich are [imployed | employed]imployedemployed [Scho[above] oolmſters | schoolmasters]Scho[above] oolmſtersschoolmasters
[& | and]&and five are to be [impolyed | employed]impolyedemployed
as [Schoolmaſters | schoolmasters]Schoolmaſtersschoolmasters or [Uſhers | ushers]Uſhersushers
as the [miſſrs | missionaries]miſſrsmissionaries Shall judge [beſt | best]beſtbest
to us, members of [Sd | said]Sdsaid board[org0034.ocp]
who are hereafter mentioned.
(The [illegible][circumſtances | circumstances]circumſtancescircumstances [& | and]&and [diſtance | distance]diſtancedistance
of the other theer of this board[org0034.ocp]
does not allow of their tending
attending Our meetings
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.
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.
Princeton Corporation
Like most of the oldest universities and colleges in the US, and all the members of the Ivy League except Cornell University, Princeton University has a corporation that is chartered in its own right and has the authority to govern the institution, set policy, and grant degrees. Princeton's board is comparatively large: 40 members, including the President of the University, the Trustees, several academic officers, and the Governor of New Jersey. In 1765, when the Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the SSPCK wrote to the Long Island Presbytery for help in defraying Occom's debts, Princeton University was known as Nassau Hall, after the single large building that housed all its activities.
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.
Onaquagas refers to the Indians who lived in Onaquaga. Onaquaga (over 50 different spellings have been documented) was a cosmopolitan Indian town on the Susquehanna River. It was initially established as an Oneida settlement by those seeking an alternative to the power politics of Kanawalohale and Old Oneida. However, from the end of the 17th century onwards it became an immigration destination for displaced Indians from a wide range of tribes. The Tuscaroras settled at Onaquaga in the early 18th century, and in the decades before the Revolution they were joined by Stockbridge Indians, Delawares, Shawnees, Miamis, Tutelos, Nanticokes, and others. The relationship between this town and the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Six Nations was a symbiotic one: displaced peoples gained a home, and the Haudenosaunee bolstered their southern buffer zone against colonial encroachment. Between 1743 and 1775, Onaquaga was evangelized by missionaries from the New England Company (NEC), including Elihu Spencer, Gideon Hawley (especially popular, since he arrived fresh from his mission at Stockbridge), Eli Forbes, Ebenezer Moseley, and Aaron Crosby. A rich indigenous Christian tradition also developed in the town under the guidance of Isaac Dakayenensere and Gwedelhes Agwirondongwas (Good Peter). Onaquaga earned a reputation as an especially Christian, Anglicized town. Its citizens were adept at manipulating their religion towards political ends and negotiating the tricky conflicts between missionary societies (for instance, Eleazar Wheelock’s feud with the New England Company, which manifested itself in 1765 when both sent young missionaries to Onaquaga). From the late 1760s onward, Onaquaga’s cosmopolitan composition proved to be its undoing. The community was fragmented by disputes over the extent of Christian practice and the proper style of Christian practice, with Sir William Johnson and Joseph Brant (who owned a farm at Onaquaga) urging Episcopalianism and the NEC urging Congregationalism. An influx of Mohawk immigrants in the years after the 1768 Fort Stanwix treaty led the Onaquagas to side with the Crown in the Revolution, rather than with the colonies as most Oneida towns did, and it became Joseph Brant’s base of operations. The town was utterly destroyed in 1778 in the wave of violence that culminated in General Sullivan’s ravaging of Cayuga and Seneca territory. The area was resettled by Americans after the Revolution, and today it is the town of Windsor, NY.
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.

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.

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.

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.

Smith, Charles Jeffery

Charles Jeffery Smith was an independently funded Presbyterian missionary and itinerant preacher. After his father's early death, Smith inherited a large private income. Instead of enjoying a life of leisure, he chose to complete his education at Yale and then become a missionary. After graduating, he taught at Moor's Indian Charity School, gratis, for a few months in 1763. His first mission, and his only mission among Indians, was a 1763 endeavor to the Six Nations, accompanied by then-student Joseph Brant as an interpreter. However, Pontiac's War forced them to return. Although Smith continued his missionary career, he focused on slaves in the Mid/South-Atlantic region and English-colonist congregations. Smith held several important roles in Wheelock's Grand Design. He was Wheelock's heir-once-removed (after Whitaker) in Wheelock's 1767 will, and was proposed as Occom's companion on the 1765 fundraising tour. Wheelock consulted Smith about the location of what was to be Dartmouth College (Smith proposed Virginia or South Carolina), and solicited him as an envoy to the Six Nations in 1768; when Smith refused, the job fell to Ralph Wheelock, who severely alienated the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and Sir William Johnson. Smith's residence was in Virginia at the time of his death, but he actually died in Long Island while visiting his family, from a gunshot wound sustained while hunting. It is unclear whether this was murder, an accidental shot, or suicide.

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.

Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0036.ocp M. r Mr. Wheelock mentioned Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0037.ocp M. r Mr. Whitaker mentioned Whitaker, Nathaniel
pers0030.ocp M. r Mr. Occom mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0315.ocp M. r Mr. Kirtland mentioned Kirkland, Samuel
pers0292.ocp Sir W m William Johnſon Johnson mentioned Johnson, William
pers0037.ocp m: r Mr. Whita ker mentioned Whitaker, Nathaniel
pers0030.ocp m r Mr. Occom mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0315.ocp m r Mr. Kirtland mentioned Kirkland, Samuel
pers0292.ocp S r Sir W. m William mentioned Johnson, William
pers0500.ocp m r Mr. C h . Charles J. Smith mentioned Smith, Charles Jeffery
pers0036.ocp m r Mr. Wheelock mentioned Wheelock, Eleazar

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0070.ocp Europe Europe

Organizations identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
org0034.ocp Board of CorriſpondtsCorrespondents Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
org0098.ocp Indian Charity School Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0034.ocp Board of CorriſpondentsCorrespondents Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
org0098.ocp the School Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0095.ocp Society The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0108.ocp Corporation of NaſsauNassau Hall Princeton Corporation
org0034.ocp this Board Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
org0034.ocp this Board Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
org0034.ocp the Board Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
org0095.ocp So­ciety in London fo.rfor propogatingPropagating the GoſpelGospel in New England &and Parts adja­cent The Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America
org0108.ocp CorporaCorporation of NaſſauNassau Princeton Corporation
org0098.ocp this School Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0034.ocp this board Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
org0077.ocp Indians at onokwagaOnaquaga Onaquagas
org0034.ocp the board Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
org0034.ocp Sdsaid board Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge
org0034.ocp this board Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1765-09-18 Sept.September 27 Nov.November 1765
1762-11-27 Nov.rNovember 27. 1762.
1762-11-27 Nov.rNovember 27. 1762
1765-09-18 SeptrSeptember 18. 1765
1765-09-18 Sept.rSeptember 18th18th 1765.

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
modernization Rev.d Rev.
modernization M.r Mr.
variation School Maſters schoolmasters
modernization ſent sent
modernization reaſonable reasonable
modernization firſt first
modernization exerciſed exercised
variation unneſeſsary unnecessary
variation Expences expenses
modernization conſidered considered
modernization Corriſpondents Correspondents
modernization Commiſsion commission
modernization addreſs address
modernization Naſsau Nassau
modernization y.a they
modernization Johnſon Johnson
modernization ſhall shall
modernization deſire desire
modernization Reſign resign
modernization 18th 18th
modernization m:r Mr.
modernization mr Mr.
modernization fo.r for
variation propogating Propagating
modernization Goſpel Gospel
modernization Commiſſion commission
modernization Naſſau Nassau
modernization deſired desired
modernization re­
modernization commiſſion commission
variation onokwaga Onaquaga
modernization &c. etc.
modernization propoſed proposed
modernization yt that
variation oppertunity opportunity
variation imployed employed
variation impolyed employed
modernization Schoolmaſters schoolmasters
modernization Uſhers ushers
modernization beſt best
modernization circumſtances circumstances
modernization diſtance distance

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
Sept. September
Nov. November
Corriſpondts Correspondents
havng having
Accots accounts
Nov.r November
ſuppot support
Miſsrs missionaries
& and
Septr September
miſsrs missionaries
Wm William
Recom̅endn recommendation
Sept.r September
Corpora[illegible] Corporation
Acc.ts accounts
Sr Sir
W.m William
Ch. Charles
conſidr consider
wch which
Scho[above] oolmſters schoolmasters
miſſrs missionaries
Sd said

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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 36)
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Mixed case attribute values in header (potential error): 0 (out of 115)
HomeMinutes of the meeting of the Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, 1765 September 18
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