Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)

Quick Views

View Options



Color Key

block letters
gap/damage: +++++
unclear: #####
alternate readings
hidden markup
[note: ....]
added text
deleted text
[date 'when' attribute]
[person, place or org. id]
Mary Secutor, confession of drunkeness, 1767 December 27

ms-number: 767677

[note (type: abstract): Mary Secutor confesses to drunkenness and lewd conduct.][note (type: handwriting): Document is written in Eleazar Wheelock's hand, exclusive of the signature.][note (type: paper): Single small sheet is in fair-to-good condition, with light-to-moderate creasing, yellowing and wear.][note (type: ink): Black-brown.][note (type: signature): Ralph Wheelock and Bezaleel Woodward sign as witnesses. Mary Secutor’s signature is likely in her own hand.]
I Mary [Sequatar | Secutor]SequatarSecutor[pers0468.ocp] acknowl[illegible]edge, and [deſire | desire]deſiredesire to do it with Shame
and [Bluſhing | blushing]Bluſhingblushing before God and all who are acquainted with my
Sins, that I have been repeatedly Scandalously guilty of
the Sin of [Drunkeneſs | drunkenness]Drunkeneſsdrunkenness, and partic[illegible]ularly [laſt | last]laſtlast Evening being the
Evening following the Lords Day [Dec.r | December]Dec.rDecember 27. 1767. I went into
the School[org0098.ocp] while I was intoxicated with Liquor and there
behaved [myſelf | myself]myſelfmyself in a [Lude | lewd]Ludelewd and very [immodeſt | immodest]immodeſtimmodest manner among
the School Boys, I also in a vile manner [profained | profaned]profainedprofaned the [Secred | sacred]Secredsacred
name of God. Whereby I have brought Reproach and Ruin
upon [myſelf | myself]myſelfmyself my Character and my precious Soul, have [greived | grieved]greivedgrieved
the Heart of my Reverend Patron[pers0036.ocp] Who has been unwearied
in his Labours of Love [& | and]&and Care and [kindneſs | kindness]kindneſskindness for me and for
the School[org0098.ocp], I have brought irreparable Reproach upon
the School[org0098.ocp] and the important [Cauſe | cause]Cauſecause which I ought to have
regarded more than even my own Life, and have awfully
[diſappointed | disappointed]diſappointeddisappointed [& | and]&and [blaſted | blasted]blaſtedblasted all the hopes that have been conceived
that I might in my Place have [born | borne]bornborne my part in furthering
the Same. I have Set a [moſt | most]moſtmost Ill Example before the [Schollars | scholars]Schollarsscholars
which if they follow they can expect nothing but that the [Cauſes | causes]Cauſescauses
of God denounced [againſt | against]againſtagainst Such will take place upon them, and that

that with me they [muſt | must]muſtmust Bear their part in that eternal [miſery | misery]miſerymisery to
Which I Stand [Juſtly | justly]Juſtlyjustly [condemd | condemned]condemdcondemned. but [moſt | most]moſtmost of all is the wound which
I have given, to, and the Reproach I have Cast, upon the Name
of God, and the [Cauſe | cause]Cauſecause of the dear Redeemer — this I have done
[againſt | against]againſtagainst multiplied learning [Councils | counsels]Councilscounsels, [Inſtructions | instructions]Inſtructionsinstructions and all [appointd | appointed]appointdappointed
means and Endeavours from Day to day used with me.
I desire [above] toto humble [myſelf | myself]myſelfmyself before God and man for What I have done
and implore divine pardon through the Blood of Christ. I also [aſk | ask]aſkask
[forgiveneſs | forgiveness]forgiveneſsforgiveness of the [Revd | Rev.]RevdRev. [Doctr | Dr.]DoctrDr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp], and of all his family [& | and]&and
School[org0098.ocp] and of all who are knowing to my heinous offenses —
and I [promiſe | promise]promiſepromise by divine Grace to walk humbly and in all [Reſpects | respects]Reſpectsrespects
circumspectly, in all [Reſpects | Respects]ReſpectsRespects for time to come — and it is my full
purpose to leave off the use of all Spirituous Liquors for time to
come — I [confeſs | confess]confeſsconfess it is [Juſt | just]Juſtjust if I am [ſent | sent]ſentsent away with [diſgrace | disgrace]diſgracedisgrace from
this School[org0098.ocp] as unworthy [illegible][guess (cassandrah): Such]Such the Honour of being a member of
it, but if it m[illegible]ay [conſiſt | consist]conſiſtconsist with the Glory of God [& | and]&and the Reputation
of this School[org0098.ocp] I [earneſtly | earnestly]earneſtlyearnestly [& | and]&and humbly [deſire | desire]deſiredesire I may yet be continued
upon trial, and if my fruits Shall be becoming a [penitant | penitent]penitantpenitent, that I
[illegible]may be admitted [above] [reſtored | restored]reſtoredrestored[reſtored | restored]reſtoredrestored and my Scandalous Crimes be [conceald | concealed]concealdconcealed as much
as may be from my Nation and from the world.

Mary Secutor[pers0468.ocp]
{Ralph Wheelock[pers0578.ocp]
{[Bezal | Bezaleel]BezalBezaleel Woodward[pers0610.ocp]
[left] [guess (h-dawnd): [Teſt | Test]TeſtTest][Teſt | Test]TeſtTest[illegible]
[guess (h-dawnd): [Teſt | Test]TeſtTest][Teſt | Test]TeſtTest[illegible]
Mary Secuter[pers0468.ocp]s Confession
[Jan.y | January]Jan.yJanuary or [Feby | February]FebyFebruary — 1768

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.
Secutor, Mary

Mary Secutor, the daughter of John Secutor, grew up on the Narragansett tribal lands. In December of 1763 she became one of the few women to study with Eleazar Wheelock at Moor's Indian Charity School. Upon her arrival she met Hezekiah Calvin and the two remained at school together for a year and a half before Hezekiah was sent to teach school to Mohawk children. Later Calvin requested Mary's father's permission for the two to marry. John did not give his consent and asked Wheelock to intervene. Despite this, the two became engaged. However, Mary and Hezekiah never married. Mary appears to have been a model student initially, but began to falter as time went on. In December of 1767 she confessed to sins, taking the name of God in vain, and lewd behavior in front of male members of the school while intoxicated. She pledged to cease this behavior, but in March of 1768 she confessed again to unseemly conduct while under the infulence of alcohol. In July of 1768 she wrote to Wheelock expressing that she did not feel worthy and no longer wished to attend the school, and asking his permission to leave.

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.

Woodward, Bezaleel

Bezaleel Woodward was an integral figure at Dartmouth College and the greater Hanover community; and like that of Eleazar Wheelock, Woodward’s career consisted of a blend of education, religion, and local affairs. After attending Moor’s and graduating from Yale in 1764, he became a preacher. Upon his return to Lebanon in late 1766, he began to hold various positions at Moor’s and became the first tutor of college department in 1768. Woodward later was a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Dartmouth College, as well as a member and clerk of the Board of Trustees. In 1772, he solidified his connection to Wheelock even further by marrying Wheelock’s daughter, Mary. Woodward also held numerous titles outside of the school. He was an elder of the Presbytery and attained multiple appointments in the local court system. A natural leader, Woodward was an influential member and clerk of several committees, representing both Hanover and the Dresden college district. He was thus a leading figure in the Western Rebellion, promoting several towns’ secession from New Hampshire and union with Vermont. Although Woodward resigned from his professorship in 1778, supposedly disassociating himself from Dartmouth while he engaged in politics, it was merely a formality. Upon Wheelock’s death, Woodward acted as president of the college from April to October 1779. Woodward continued to perform many of the executive tasks even after Wheelock’s son and successor, John Wheelock, took over the position, and also held the late Wheelock’s post of treasurer. Claiming to be finished with politics, he officially returned to Dartmouth as tutor in 1782, and performed the president’s duties while Wheelock was abroad in 1782 and 1783. Nonetheless, Woodward continued to participate in local affairs — in 1783 he unsuccessfully attempted to have the New Hampshire General Assembly approve Dresden’s status as a separate town; and in 1786, he became the county treasurer and register of deeds. Woodward remained a prominent figure at Dartmouth and the surrounding area throughout his life. He was, for instance, involved in the construction of Dartmouth Hall in 1784, and was part of the committee formed in 1788 to regulate the contested use of the fund raised by Occom and Whitaker in Great Britain for Moor’s. Woodward died August 25, 1804, at the age of 59.

Wheelock, Rodulphus

Ralph Rodulphus Wheelock was Wheelock's oldest son and heir apparent. While Wheelock believed that Ralph showed great aptitude for the "Indian business," others saw Ralph as arrogant and abrasive. He also suffered from epilepsy, which seriously impeded his ability to work. He died in Hanover as an invalid under almost constant care and guardianship. Wheelock's struggle to accept his son's illness and his son's struggle to overcome it provide an undercurrent for some of the stranger events in the history of Moor's Indian Charity School and Dartmouth College. Ralph grew up surrounded by and dedicated to Indian education, but also with an inflated sense of Wheelock's, and his own, importance, which stayed with him for much of his life. Joseph Brant recounts a telling anecdote: Ralph once ordered William Major, Sir William Johnson's son, to saddle his horse on the grounds that he was the son of a gentleman and William Major was not. Ralph was unable to finish coursework at the College of New Jersey, which he attended from 1761-1763, although he graduated from Yale in 1765. He made three tours of the Six Nations (in 1766, 1767, and 1768), assisting ministers in bringing back children and negotiating with tribes. He taught at Moor's for two years, and was briefly considered as a companion for Occom on the Fundraising Tour. Wheelock formally named him as his heir in the 1768 draft of his will. However, Wheelock's reliance on Ralph brought disastrous consequences for the school. In the spring of 1768, Wheelock sent Ralph to the Onondagas and Oneidas to negotiate about schoolmasters and missionaries. Once there, Ralph managed to offend the assembled chiefs beyond repair. Ralph blamed his failure on Kirkland, and it was not until 1772 that Wheelock learned the truth of the matter. It is likely that Ralph's conduct influenced the Oneidas' decision to pull their children out of Moor's later in 1768: Wheelock himself implied as much in his 1771 Journal. By the early 1770s, Wheelock had realized that Ralph was never going to take over Dartmouth College. In a later will, Wheelock provided Ralph with £50 per annum for his care, to be paid out by the College, and stipulated that his other heirs should look after his oldest son. Because Ralph was unable to serve as Wheelock's heir, the presidency of the College passed to John Wheelock, a soldier who had no theological training or desire to run a college.

Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0468.ocp Mary Sequatar Secutor writer Secutor, Mary
pers0036.ocp Reverend Patron mentioned Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0036.ocp Wheelock mentioned Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0468.ocp Mary Secutor writer Secutor, Mary
pers0578.ocp Ralph Wheelock mentioned Wheelock, Rodulphus
pers0610.ocp Beza l Bezaleel Woodward mentioned Woodward, Bezaleel
pers0468.ocp Mary Secuter writer Secutor, Mary

This document does not contain any tagged places.

Organizations identified in this document:

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

This document does not contain any tagged dates.

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
variation Sequatar Secutor
modernization deſire desire
modernization Bluſhing blushing
modernization Drunkeneſs drunkenness
modernization laſt last
modernization myſelf myself
variation Lude lewd
modernization immodeſt immodest
variation profained profaned
variation Secred sacred
variation greived grieved
modernization kindneſs kindness
modernization Cauſe cause
modernization diſappointed disappointed
modernization blaſted blasted
variation born borne
modernization moſt most
variation Schollars scholars
modernization Cauſes causes
modernization againſt against
modernization muſt must
modernization miſery misery
modernization Juſtly justly
variation condemd condemned
variation Councils counsels
modernization Inſtructions instructions
variation appointd appointed
modernization aſk ask
modernization forgiveneſs forgiveness
modernization Revd Rev.
modernization Doctr Dr.
modernization promiſe promise
modernization Reſpects respects
modernization Reſpects Respects
modernization confeſs confess
modernization Juſt just
modernization ſent sent
modernization diſgrace disgrace
modernization conſiſt consist
modernization earneſtly earnestly
modernization reſtored restored
modernization Teſt Test

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
Dec.r December
& and
penitant penitent
conceald concealed
Bezal Bezaleel
Jan.y January
Feby February

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 6)
Number of people/places/organizations with unknown keys: 0 (out of 13)
Number of "add" tags with unknown 'place' attributes: 0 (out of 3)
Mixed case attribute values in header (potential error): 0 (out of 96)
HomeMary Secutor, confession of drunkeness, 1767 December 27
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only