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David Crosby, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1768 March 12

ms-number: 768212.1

[note (type: abstract): Crosby writes asking to be admitted to the school and expressing his desire to be useful.][note (type: handwriting): Formal handwriting is clear and legible. The trailer is in an unknown hand.][note (type: paper): Large sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good-to-fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear.][note (type: ink): Brown.][note (type: layout): The first page of the letter is on one recto, but the second page is on two recto, not one verso.]
Reverend [& | and]&and [honour'd | honoured]honour'dhonoured [Doc.r | Doctor]Doc.rDoctor
The [laſt | last]laſtlast time you was [pleaſed | pleased]pleaſedpleased to honour me
with [yr | your]yryour [compony | company]componycompany in Your [Stody | study]Stodystudy. You was [pleaſ'd | pleased]pleaſ'dpleased to [obſerve | observe]obſerveobserve
that you [alow'd | allowed]alow'dallowed [yr | your]yryour [Scholors | scholars]Scholorsscholars, [freequently | frequently]freequentlyfrequently to write to you, and
of Things [indeferend | indifferent]indeferendindifferent, when Things of greater [Importence | importance]Importenceimportance
did not [accru. | accrue]accru.accrue By which [meens | means]meensmeans as you [ſaid | said]ſaidsaid, you [illegible]had the
Advantage of making [Obſervations | observations]Obſervationsobservations, [uſeful | useful]uſefuluseful to [yourſelf | yourself]yourſelfyourself, as
well as of gaining [oppertunity | opportunity]oppertunityopportunity to [ſet | set]ſetset them right in
their notions of Things. And although I may not as
yet claim the right of a Scholar, yet I [muſt | must]muſtmust o[illegible]
[oan | own]oanown, that the [deſires | desires]deſiresdesires I feel, [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): and]and hope I [cheriſh | cherish]cheriſhcherish,
and [deſires | desires]deſiresdesires I feel of being [Sone | some]Sonesome time or other, [ſo | so]ſoso
to happy as to be taken [above] into [yr | your]yryour [ſervis | service]ſervisservice andinto [yr | your]yryour [ſervis | service]ſervisservice and under you care and —
protection, has moved me at this time to [uſe | use]uſeuse a[illegible] [Li‐
burty | li‐
, which perhaps will not be granted. I do not [meen | mean]meenmean
by this to [ſugjeſt | suggest]ſugjeſtsuggest as though I thought that [any Thing | anything]any Thinganything I could
write could be of Advantage to you, Yet as I know it is
in the [goodneſs | goodness]goodneſsgoodness of your Nature to do good to all Men,
[ſo | so]ſoso I am [incoureged | encouraged]incouregedencouraged to hope, that it may by [ſome | some]ſomesome [meens | means]meensmeans, or‐
other give you [O[above] pppertunity | opportunity]O[above] pppertunityopportunity of doing good to me. and whatever
I have writ or may write, I beg you would correct as you
may [ſee | see]ſeesee [occaſion | occasion]occaſionoccasion, but [Indulgue | indulge]Indulgueindulge me at this time with fling‐
ing [myſelf | myself]myſelfmyself a[illegible]t [yr | your]yryour Feet and [requeſting | requesting]requeſtingrequesting the Thing of you,
you was [pleaſ,d | pleased]pleaſ,dpleased to [obſerve | observe]obſerveobserve I [ſtood | stood]ſtoodstood in [ſo | so]ſoso much need of
viz. of being in [yr | your]yryour [Houſe | house]Houſehouse [& | and]&and [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool[org0098.ocp], to be made acquainted
with good Rules, [& | and]&and taught to follow good Examples, in order
thereby to be the better fitted for [futer | future]futerfuture [Uſefulneſs | usefulness]Uſefulneſsusefulness. I am [ſo | so]ſoso

[note (type: editorial): Blank page.] [annimated | animated]annimatedanimated ywith [deſires | desires]deſiresdesires of being made [ſerviſable | serviceable]ſerviſableserviceable to God,
and [uſeful | useful]uſefuluseful to my fellow Men, the little time I may yet
hbe continued in Life, as that I am impatient of Delay
If you could [ſee | see]ſeesee it in your wWay to let me come into
[yr | your]yryour [Famoly | family]Famolyfamily [& | and]&and [ſerve | serve]ſerveserve with [yr | your]yryour [meeneſt | meanest]meeneſtmeanest [ſervents | servants]ſerventsservants, methinks
I [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould count no [ſerviſes | services]ſerviſesservices [to | too]totoo hard, nor nothing too dear
to [illegible]part with, to [porches | purchase]porchespurchase [ſhuch | such]ſhuchsuch a [Faivour | favour]Faivourfavour. If it [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould
[ſeem | seem]ſeemseem good to you [ſir | sir]ſirsir, to make [uſe | use]uſeuse of [ſhuch | such]ſhuchsuch a Method in
order to be better [aquainted | acquainted]aquaintedacquainted with my Motives [& | and]&and [ſincear | sincere]ſincearsincere
[deſires | desires]deſiresdesires [& | and]&and [popoſes | purposes]popoſespurposes, I can [aſſure | assure]aſſureassure you [illegible] there can be no Method
I can think of that [ſo | so]ſoso much falls in with my own
Inclination ofr for which I [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould look on [myſelf | myself]myſelfmyself more
obligated to you. If it should [ſeem | seem]ſeemseem good to you to make
[tryal | trial]tryaltrial in this Way, as I [obſerv'd | observed]obſerv'dobserved: and after all you [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould
[left] notnot think fit to [imploy | employ]imployemploy me in any [above] [futer | future]futerfuture [futer | future]futerfuture [ſervis | service]ſervisservice[ſ | s]ſss whereby [illegible]I
might make you amends for the Pains and trouble
I may give you, yet I hope [thro' | through]thro'through the [bleſsing | blessing]bleſsingblessing of a
kind Providence, and the [ſmiles | smiles]ſmilessmiles of Heaven on an [honeſt | honest]honeſthonest
[Induſtery | industry]Induſteryindustry, to be enabled to make you amends [ſome | some]ſomesome o‐
ther way. But as I fear I have already been too [preſuiming | presuming]preſuimingpresuming
I [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall only add that I beg [yr | your]yryour Prayers to Almighty
God for me, that I might be [keept | kept]keeptkept [continualy | continually]continualycontinually in his
Love Fear, [& | and]&and [ſerviſ | service]ſerviſservice. aAs [alſo | also]alſoalso that I am,
[Reverand | Reverend]ReverandReverend Sir P

In all [illegible][Reſpects | Respects]ReſpectsRespects [& | and]&and Obedience yours to [ſerve | serve]ſerveserve
 David [Croſby | Crosby]CroſbyCrosby[pers0145.ocp]
Lebanon[place0122.ocp] March [12th | 12th]12th12th}
PS. I have [porpoſe | purpose]porpoſepurpose of [adviſing | advising]adviſingadvising with ([ſo | so]ſoso [ſoon | soon]ſoonsoon as [Opertunity | opportunity]Opertunityopportunity
[ſhall | shall]ſhallshall [ſerve | serve]ſerveserve) about [putintg | putting]putintgputting [myſelf | myself]myſelfmyself under [yr | your]yryour [Paſtorial | pastoral]Paſtorialpastoral care [& | and]&and
watch of this the Church

David Crosby[pers0145.ocp]'s
March [12[gap: stain][guess (h-dawnd): th]th | 12th]12[gap: stain][guess (h-dawnd): th]th12th 1768[1768-03-12]

To the Reverend Doctor
[Eleazer | Eleazar]EleazerEleazar Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]
[Paſtor | Pastor]PaſtorPastor of a Church
of [Chriſt | Christ]ChriſtChrist in Lebanon
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.

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.

Crosby, David

David Crosby was born, 1729, in Billerica, MA to David Crosby and Sarah Foster. There is very little information about his life. He married Elizabeth [Unknown] in 1756. They would have three children. By Sept. 1766, Crosby was acquainted with Eleazar Wheelock, whom Crosby admired and championed. He wrote and visited Wheelock at least through the late 1760’s. It is likely that Elizabeth died within the few months following November 1767. Mentioning his own mortality and his wish for a useful life, Crosby writes to Wheelock in March 1768 offering to indenture himself in order to join Wheelock’s school and be prepared as a missionary. Sometime after June 10, 1768, he married Anne Thomas of Lebanon, CT. They would have four children together. Crosby then returned to or settled in East Hartford where he died in 1819; Anne died there also the following year.

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.

Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0145.ocp David Croſby Crosby writer Crosby, David
pers0145.ocp David Crosby writer Crosby, David
pers0036.ocp Eleazer Eleazar Wheelock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0122.ocp Lebanon Lebanon

Organizations identified in this document:

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

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1768-03-12 March 12th12th} 1768
1768-03-12 March 12th12th 1768

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
modernization laſt last
modernization pleaſed pleased
variation compony company
variation Stody study
modernization obſerve observe
variation Scholors scholars
variation freequently frequently
variation indeferend indifferent
variation Importence importance
variation meens means
modernization ſaid said
modernization Obſervations observations
modernization uſeful useful
modernization yourſelf yourself
variation oppertunity opportunity
modernization ſet set
modernization muſt must
variation oan own
modernization deſires desires
modernization cheriſh cherish
variation Sone some
modernization ſo so
variation ſervis service
modernization uſe use
variation Li‐
variation meen mean
variation ſugjeſt suggest
variation any Thing anything
modernization goodneſs goodness
variation incoureged encouraged
modernization ſome some
variation O[above] pppertunity opportunity
modernization ſee see
modernization occaſion occasion
variation Indulgue indulge
modernization myſelf myself
modernization requeſting requesting
modernization ſtood stood
modernization Houſe house
modernization ſchool school
variation futer future
modernization Uſefulneſs usefulness
variation annimated animated
variation ſerviſable serviceable
variation Famoly family
modernization ſerve serve
variation meeneſt meanest
variation ſervents servants
modernization ſhould should
variation ſerviſes services
variation to too
variation porches purchase
variation ſhuch such
variation Faivour favour
modernization ſeem seem
modernization ſir sir
variation aquainted acquainted
variation ſincear sincere
variation popoſes purposes
modernization aſſure assure
variation tryal trial
variation imploy employ
modernization ſ s
modernization bleſsing blessing
modernization ſmiles smiles
modernization honeſt honest
variation Induſtery industry
variation preſuiming presuming
modernization ſhall shall
variation keept kept
variation continualy continually
variation ſerviſ service
modernization alſo also
variation Reverand Reverend
modernization Reſpects Respects
modernization Croſby Crosby
modernization 12th 12th
variation porpoſe purpose
modernization adviſing advising
modernization ſoon soon
variation Opertunity opportunity
variation putintg putting
variation Paſtorial pastoral
variation Eleazer Eleazar
modernization Paſtor Pastor
modernization Chriſt Christ

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
& and
honour'd honoured
Doc.r Doctor
yr your
pleaſ'd pleased
alow'd allowed
accru. accrue
pleaſ,d pleased
obſerv'd observed
thro' through

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 5)
Number of people/places/organizations with unknown keys: 0 (out of 5)
Number of "add" tags with unknown 'place' attributes: 0 (out of 4)
Mixed case attribute values in header (potential error): 0 (out of 93)
HomeDavid Crosby, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1768 March 12
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