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John Kingdon, letter, to Nathaniel Whitaker, 1766 September 17

ms-number: 766517

[note (type: abstract): Kingdon writes to invite Whitaker and Occom to preach at Croscomb.][note (type: handwriting): Formal handwriting is stylized, yet mostly clear and legible. The trailer appears to be in Whitaker's hand.][note (type: paper): Small single sheet is in poor condition, with heavy staining and wear. Light preservation work has been done on particularly heavy creasing.][note (type: ink): Brown ink is somewhat faded]

events: Fundraising Tour of Great Britain

Dear [& | and]&and [revd | Rev.]revdRev. Sir

Your Favour of Yesterday came
duly to Hand, [& | and]&and the [inclosed | enclosed]inclosedenclosed together with a
Narrative I have forwarded to Lord Park[pers0403.ocp]
Yesterday I also [recd | received]recdreceived a Letter from [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Williams[pers0597.ocp]
a Gentleman of Frome Shopton-mallet[place0212.ocp], who having
heard by [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Jillard[pers0280.ocp] of your Intention (Deo volente)
to be at Shopton[place0212.ocp] on Tuesday has taken the Liberty
to apppoint give Notice of your or [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Occoms[pers0030.ocp]
Preachings at Croscomb[place0055.ocp] on Wednesday — Croscomb[place0055.ocp]
is [abt | about]abtabout 3 Miles from Shopton[place0212.ocp], illegiblea few [Diſsenters | Dissenters]DiſsentersDissenters meet
there, [& | and]&and this [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Williams[pers0597.ocp] is one of them, [tho' | though]tho'though residing
at Shopton[place0212.ocp] — This Gentleman supposing you [& | and]&and
[Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] to ride desired you to send your Horses
to his Stable — He begs me to inform him whether
you are engaged illegible Wednesday [ye | the]yethe [24th | 24th]24th24th[1766-09-24], the Day appointed
for your Preaching at Croscomb[place0055.ocp] but that Information
I must leave you to convey —
Am a little [surpriz'd | surprised]surpriz'dsurprised at your Disappointment
from Warminster[place0237.ocp]., but tis not in Man to direct his Steps—
Hope all will be for the best — illegibleMany Friends here desire
[left] their [xian | Christian]xianChristian Respects to yourself [& | and]&and [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] —I've heard several Persons say that
the Lord made your Sermons refreshing to their Souls especially that Lords-day [Morng | morning]Morngmorning
from [Tit | Titus]TitTitus 2.13 – Beg my kind Respects to [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp], [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Gibbs[pers0220.ocp], Peach[pers0410.ocp], Crosby[pers1801.ocp]'s [&c | etc.]&cetc. [&c | etc.]&cetc. – M[gap: worn_edge][guess (h-dawnd): a]ay the Lord water you
every Moment [& | and]&and keep you Night [& | and]&and Day! — I remain your unworthy [Bror | brother]Brorbrother
their [xian | Christian]xianChristian Respects to yourself [& | and]&and [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp] —I've heard several Persons say that
the Lord made your Sermons refreshing to their Souls especially that Lords-day [Morng | morning]Morngmorning
from [Tit | Titus]TitTitus 2.13 – Beg my kind Respects to [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Occom[pers0030.ocp], [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Gibbs[pers0220.ocp], Peach[pers0410.ocp], Crosby[pers1801.ocp]'s [&c | etc.]&cetc. [&c | etc.]&cetc. – M[gap: worn_edge][guess (h-dawnd): a]ay the Lord water you
every Moment [& | and]&and keep you Night [& | and]&and Day! — I remain your unworthy [Bror | brother]Brorbrother

[& | and]&and most humble [Serv | servant]Servservant [gap: illegible] John Kingdon[pers0307.ocp]
From the [Revd | Rev.]RevdRev. [mr | Mr.]mrMr.
[Jn.o | John]Jn.oJohn Kingdon[pers0307.ocp] of
[Froom | Frome]FroomFrome[place0083.ocp][Sep. | September]Sep.September 17. 1766[1766-09-17]


Frome is located south of Bath on the eastern side of Somerset County in southwestern England. The name Frome is derived from an Old English word meaning fair or brisk, which was used to describe a local river. Starting in the 14th century, Frome became known for its wool production, an industry that would flourish well into the eighteenth century. In a letter written from Frome to Nathaniel Whitaker, John Kingdon writes about a group of Protestant dissenters who meet in Croscomb, and are interested in hearing Occom preach.


Croscomb is a village in Somerset, southwestern England. John Kingdon writes to Whitaker informing him that Croscomb is a place where "a few Dissenters meet," one of whom invites him and Occom to stable their horses at his house while they are engaged in preaching at Croscomb during their fundraising tour of southwest England in 1766.

Kingdon, John
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.

Jillard, Peter
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.

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.
Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0403.ocp Lord Park mentioned Park
pers0597.ocp M r Mr. Williams mentioned Williams
pers0280.ocp M r Mr. Jillard mentioned Jillard, Peter
pers0030.ocp M r Mr. Occoms mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0030.ocp M r Mr. Occom mentioned Occom, Samson
pers0220.ocp M r Mr. Gibbs mentioned Gibbs
pers0410.ocp Peach mentioned Peach
pers1801.ocp Crosby mentioned Crosby
pers0307.ocp John Kingdon writer Kingdon, John
pers0307.ocp Jn. o John Kingdon writer Kingdon, John

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0083.ocp Frome Frome
place0212.ocp Shopton-mallet Shopton-mallet
place0212.ocp Shopton Shopton-mallet
place0055.ocp Croscomb Croscomb
place0237.ocp Warminster Warminster
place0083.ocp Froom Frome Frome

This document does not contain any tagged organizations.

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1766-09-17 17th17th SeptrSeptember 1766
1766-09-24 Wednesday yethe 24th24th
1766-09-17 Sep.September 17. 1766

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
modernization 17th 17th
modernization revd Rev.
variation inclosed enclosed
modernization Mr Mr.
modernization Diſsenters Dissenters
modernization ye the
modernization 24th 24th
variation surpriz'd surprised
variation xian Christian
modernization &c etc.
modernization Revd Rev.
modernization mr Mr.
variation Froom Frome

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
Septr September
& and
recd received
abt about
tho' though
Morng morning
Tit Titus
Bror brother
Serv servant
Jn.o John
Sep. September

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 23)
Number of people/places/organizations with unknown keys: 0 (out of 23)
Number of "add" tags with unknown 'place' attributes: 0 (out of 1)
Mixed case attribute values in header (potential error): 0 (out of 111)
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