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Joseph Johnson, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1768, May 2

ms-number: 768302

[note (type: abstract): Johnson writes of his progress among the Oneidas, and that the more distant tribes visited by Ralph Wheelock do not seem anxious for missionaries. He also mentions various Moor's students.][note (type: handwriting): Handwriting is small, though mostly clear and legible.][note (type: paper): One large sheet folded in half to make four pages is in fair condition, with moderate creasing, staining and wear. A large tear on two recto/verso appears to result in no loss of text.][note (type: ink): Black-brown.][note (type: noteworthy): The identity of Hannah's brother, mentioned on one recto, is uncertain, and so he has been left untagged. However, he is possibly William[pers0763.ocp]. On two verso, an editor, likely 19th-century, has written "IndMis, +" below the trailer. This note has not been included in the transcription.][note (type: signature): The signature is abbreviated after the body of the letter, yet complete after postscript.]

 [Revd | Rev.]RevdRev. and [Hond | Honoured]HondHonoured [Doct.r | Dr.]Doct.rDr.
I take this Opportunity to [Enform | inform]Enforminform you
that by the [above] kind andkind and Indulge[above] nnt providence of God I am well and would
hope that by the [ſame | same]ſamesame [goodneſs | goodness]goodneſsgoodness you [ſtill | still]ſtillstill Enjoy your [Valuble | valuable]Valublevaluable
Health. — I have, not as yet heard any News from [Onondage | Onondaga]OnondageOnondaga[place0180.ocp]
about what they have determined in Embracing the [Goſpel | Gospel]GoſpelGospel
but the Other day Couple of young Women came from there and
[Enformed | informed]Enformedinformed us that no man-kind was at home, not So much as the
great man; but were all gone a hunting. it looks very [diſcourage‐
‐ing | discourag
at [preſent | present]preſentpresent [amongſt | amongst]amongſtamongst the Back‐nations I fear that they are
too much overcome by french principles:([illegible][guess (h-dawnd): or]or [reather | rather]reatherrather fast in the [divils | devils]divilsdevils
cluches) yet I wonder not, that they dont Embrace the [Goſpel | Gospel]GoſpelGospel — they
have [ſuch | such]ſuchsuch good Examples from the Germans or Dutch and [Chuſe | choose]Chuſechoose
to go to heaven in that way in which they can gratify their vicious
and [deviliſh | devilish]deviliſhdevilish Inclinations. They hear that they [muſt | must]muſtmust not get drunk
if they Embrace the [Goſple | Gospel]GoſpleGospel which your [ſon | son]ſonson[pers0578.ocp] offered to them; which gos
goes hard [againſt | against]againſtagainst their deep Rooted Appetites but if they continue
as they are, they can get drunk and [practiſe | practice]practiſepractice all manner of Evil
and at [laſt | last]laſtlast Expe[above] cct to Enter the long [houſe | house]houſehouse which [the | they]thethey call heaven
[Some where | somewhere]Some wheresomewhere towards the [ſouth | south]ſouthsouth, where [the | they]thethey will be free f[illegible]rom all pain
and have nothing to [Exerciſe | exercise]Exerciſeexercise their minds — this is the Heaven
which the french [friers | friars]friersfriars have [promiſed | promised]promiſedpromised them. the Indians in
general [ſay | say]ſaysay that it is vain and talk very [discourageing | discouraging]discourageingdiscouraging and [ſay | say]ſaysay
that you need not look for them no more; their [be haviour | behaviour]be haviourbehaviour [Shews | shows]Shewsshows Enough
that they have [Refuſed | refused]Refuſedrefused.
I have Begun my [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool the [laſt | last]laſtlast week, and the [Onidasſ | Oneidas]OnidasſOneidas[org0075.ocp] [illegible: [guess (h-dawnd): [ſeem | seem]ſeemseem][ſeem | seem]ſeemseem]
Seem very much to have their minds [ſhuttered | shuttered]ſhutteredshuttered and in a [Ruffel. | ruffle]Ruffel.ruffle
the great men who are hounoured with the care over the Indians
I fear have greatly Erred in [ſome | some]ſomesome things and let too much of their
Cloven foot appear.
I had [propoſed | proposed]propoſedproposed coming down next week (but nNathan[pers0127.ocp] comes in
my Room) and bring down Hannah[pers0244.ocp] [& | and]&and Catarine[pers0113.ocp] to your [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool
and are Obliged to come before [illegible]the time your [ſon | son]ſonson[pers0578.ocp] [appointd | appointed]appointdappointed
and for [theſe | these]theſethese [Reaſons | reasons]Reaſonsreasons. [1.t | 1st.]1.t1st. that they are quite [Uneaſy | uneasy]Uneaſyuneasy to come
down to your [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool[org0098.ocp] [aſ | as]aſas [ſoon | soon]ſoonsoon as [poſsible | possible]poſsiblepossible and could by no
means wait [till | 'til]till'til Thomas[pers0643.ocp] and the [reſt | rest]reſtrest of the Indians came down
[2.d | 2nd.]2.d2nd. is that they have [ſuſpected | suspected]ſuſpectedsuspected [ſome | some]ſomesome Danger that they cant wait
and that is, they are [affraid | afraid]affraidafraid of being Bewitched if [the | they]thethey [ſtay | stay]ſtaystay
and they [ſay | say]ſaysay if they dont come down to your [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool[org0098.ocp] they
[muſt | must]muſtmust go [ſome | some]ſomesome where [Elſe | else]Elſeelse. hannah[pers0244.ocp], brother and [ſeveral | several]ſeveralseveral others are
[thretned | threatened]thretnedthreatened, [like w[illegible]iſe | likewise]like w[illegible]iſelikewise the queen[pers0619.ocp], and I was [adviſed | advised]adviſedadvised to go [of | off]ofoff with them
S[illegible]oon as could be, but the state of things at [preſent | present]preſentpresent I thought I
Would not [above] SufferSuffer for which [Reaſon | reason]Reaſonreason Nathan[pers0127.ocp] comes down. and other [reaſons | reasons]reaſonsreasons
his defect [& | and]&and [Uncapableneſs | incapableness]Uncapableneſsincapableness of [carriing | carrying]carriingcarrying on the [buſsineſs | business]buſsineſsbusiness which he
is [intruſted | entrusted]intruſtedentrusted with. and many other which he can better acquaint than
I can.

We Expect one of the French [Miniſters | ministers]Miniſtersministers here this [ſeaſon | season]ſeaſonseason
for which [Reaſon | reason]Reaſonreason I dont love to leave the Indians — —
I have nothing [ſtrange | strange]ſtrangestrange to Acquaint you at [preſent | present]preſentpresent I [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall
go with the Indians next week to their [illegible][guess (cassandrah): hunt]hunt (as all My [ſcholars | scholars]ſcholarsscholars
will go) I have only five Scholars at [priſent | present]priſentpresent and the [Oldeſt | oldest]Oldeſtoldest is 10
years of age hardly worth [ſtaying | staying]ſtayingstaying for. but according to your Sons[pers0578.ocp]
orders I Stay with them; I dont know when I [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall come down
to make a [ſhort | short]ſhortshort [vizit | visit]vizitvisit; I Seem to be [Intirely | entirely]Intirelyentirely Content to be —
[diſpoſed | disposed]diſpoſeddisposed of as Seems [beſt | best]beſtbest in your [ſight | sight]ſightsight. [& | and]&and to be wholly at your —
[diſpoſal | disposal]diſpoſaldisposal. I fare very well at [preſent | present]preſentpresent plenty of [pideons | pigeons]pideonspigeons in our woods.
I want to hear from you My Kind Benefactor (I have[above] havehave been
much troubled in dreams concerning you of late. I fear you are
not well. but this is too much of my Indian principles.) I feel
Sorry about [ſomethings | some things]ſomethingssome things that I did neglect when I was down
and have laid with great [wait | weight]waitweight upon my mind Ever [ſince | since]ſincesince;
I fear I did not do my duty in not hearing your kind advice
of binding [my ſelf | myself]my ſelfmyself to be the LLords however by Gods Grace
[Aſsisting | assisting]Aſsistingassisting me I Endeavour to keep [my ſelf | myself]my ſelfmyself [Uproted | uprooted]Uproteduprooted from the
world and make his word my Rule of Life. ——
no more at [preſent | present]preſentpresent, but I would [deſire | desire]deſiredesire humbly to recommend
[my ſelf | myself]my ſelfmyself to your [ day ly | daily] day lydaily prayers that he would never [ſuffer | suffer]ſuffersuffer me to
Act or do [any thing | anything]any thinganything that will at all [diſgrace | disgrace]diſgracedisgrace the [Cauſe | cause]Cauſecause or the
Religion of [Chriſt | Christ]ChriſtChrist. [& | and]&and to keep me humble, keep me from pride
and all high thoughts of [my ſelf | myself]my ſelfmyself.

is the [day ly | daily]day lydaily prayer of your
poor pupil and Humble [ſervant | servant]ſervantservant.

 [Joſph | Joseph]JoſphJoseph [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[pers0288.ocp].
 [Kanoarohare | Kanawalohale]KanoarohareKanawalohale[place0114.ocp] May [2.d | 2nd.]2.d2nd. [1768-05-02]
 AD 1768[1768-05-02]. —
PS. [pleaſe | please]pleaſeplease [ſir | sir]ſirsir to [over look | overlook]over lookoverlook my [haſt | haste]haſthaste,
and the many Blunders which I [Soppoſe | suppose]Soppoſesuppose
are in this paper. I have no time to write
it over or correct it. dont [Expoſe | expose]Expoſeexpose it. [ſo | so]ſoso
I remain your Humble [ſervant | servant]ſervantservant
 [Joſeph | Joseph]JoſephJoseph [Johnſon | Johnson]JohnſonJohnson[pers0288.ocp].
[below] To —To —
 [below] [Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Eleazar Wheelock[pers0036.ocp] D.D.[Mr | Mr.]MrMr. Eleazar Wheelock[pers0036.ocp] D.D.

[note (type: editorial): Blank page.]
From [Jos: | Joseph]Jos:Joseph Johnson[pers0288.ocp]
 May [2.d | 2nd.]2.d2nd. 1768[1768-05-02]

To. —
 The [Revd | Rev.]RevdRev. [Doctr | Dr.]DoctrDr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp].
 [New-Eng-land | New England]New-Eng-landNew England [place0158.ocp]
[left] [Pr | Per]PrPer favour of}
Nathan Clap}[pers0127.ocp]
[Pr | Per]PrPer favour of}
Nathan Clap}[pers0127.ocp]
Oneida Nation
The Oneidas are one of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Six Nations. During the 18th century, they were largely considered the most Christianized Haudenosaunee tribe. The Oneidas had a rich tradition of indigenous ministers, including Good Peter, Deacon Thomas, and Isaac Dakayenensere, and played host to several Moor’s missionaries, including Samson Occom, David Fowler, Samuel Ashpo, Joseph Johnson, Joseph Woolley, Titus Smith, and Samuel Kirkland (who went on to found Hamilton Oneida Academy, now Hamilton College). They were also the interpreter James Dean’s adoptive tribe. Notable Oneida towns included Onaquaga, Kanawalohale, and Old Oneida. Onaquaga was the central fire of the Six Nations. By the 18th century, it also had a sizeable contingent of Onondagas and Tuscaroras. Good Peter and Isaac Dakayenensere taught there, as did Joseph Woolley. Kanawalohale and Old Oneida were more predominantly Oneida. The Oneidas were involved in several crucial moments in the history of Moor's Indian Charity School. Onaquaga was the site of the 1765 confrontation between Wheelock and the New England Company, in which the New England Company disrupted Titus Smith's mission, first by sending their own missionary, and second by repossessing Elisha Gunn, the interpreter they had agreed to "loan" to Titus Smith. Left without an interpreter, Titus Smith was forced to abandon his mission (Wheelock repaid the favor a few years later by hiring James Dean away from the New England Company). A few years later, in 1769, Deacon Thomas led the Oneidas in withdrawing all their children from Moor's. The Oneidas' departure struck a devastating blow against Wheelock's Indian education plans, and provided more momentum for his shift to educating predominantly Anglo-Americans. The Oneidas sided with the colonists during the Revolution, but they were still affected by the general devastation in Six Nations territory, especially the Sullivan Expedition (1779). After the Revolution, the Oneidas granted tracts of their land to two Christian Indian organizations: the Brothertown tribe, a composite tribe of Moor’s alumni from New England, and the Stockbridge Indians. It was not long before the groups came into conflict with one another. Encroachment from the new State of New York put increasing pressure on Oneida land, and the Oneidas tried to renegotiate their treaties with the Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians to compensate. The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians fought back, but by the 1820s all three groups had lost, and many of them relocated to Wisconsin.
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.

Kanawalohale was a village located in the present-day town of Vernon in central New York state. In the 18th century, it was an Oneida village located about 60 miles west of the Mohawk village Canajoharie. Because the village’s name was similar to the Mohawk village of Canajoharie, many sources conflate the two. Founded in the mid-18th century, Kanawalohale was made up of a cluster of about 40 homes along the Oneida Creek, south of Oneida Lake. The name means head on a post in reference to an enemy soldier's skull displayed in the village. In 1765, David Fowler established an Indian school in Kanawalohale, where Wheelock’s son, Ralph, worked. Between the years of 1765 and 1767, Kanawalohale hosted many of Wheelock's missionaries including Samuel Kirkland, Joseph Johnson, David Avery, and Aaron Kinne. The Indians of Kanawalohale used their relationship with missionaries such as Kirkland to gain prestige over the formerly central Oneida village, Old Oneida. Kirkland often wrote in his journal about the dialogues he had with the Indians at Kanawalohale, who refused to receive his teachings silently. The Christian Indian population grew throughout the 1760s with at least 200 Indians attending church in the village. In 1780, Joseph Brant, a Mohawk allied with the British, led a war party against the revolting colonists, with whom the Oneidas had allied, that destroyed the Oneida village of Kanawalohale. This area is known today as Oneida Castle.


Onondaga village was the primary settlement of the Onondaga Nation in Onondaga territory, an area in upstate New York, southeast of Lake Ontario. The Onondagas are one of the original Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). Because their traditional homeland was centrally located, with the Cayuga and Seneca Nations to the west and the Oneida and Mohawk, and later the Tuscarora, Nations to the east, Onondaga village became the capital or place of the council fire in the figurative longhouse of the Confederacy. Thus, the Onondagas are known as "the keepers of the fire." The name "Onondaga" means hill place, but the location of the village changed several times, until in 1720, it was moved to Onondaga Creek. In 1764, Wheelock sent Samuel Ashpo, a Mohegan separatist minister who attended Moor's Indian School briefly as an adult, as missionary for a season to the Onondagas, where he met with moderate success. On the eve of the American Revolution, Occom reported in his journal for 1774 that the Six Nations were called to gather at Onondaga for a Grand Council. In his attempt to recruit young Native children from more remote tribes, Wheelock sent his son Rodolphus (aka Ralph), accompanied by Joseph Johnson as interpreter, to the Onondaga and Seneca Tribes in April 1768. A difficult ambassador (who probably suffered from epilepsy and was prickly even at his best), Ralph was unsuccessful. In ms. 768302 Johnson speculates that the "Back nations . . . are too much overcome by french principles or reather fast in the divils clutches" to accept a Congregational missionary. Although the Onondagas tried to remain neutral during the Revolutionary War, some fought with the British. In retaliation, in April 1779, Continental troops targeted the village of Onondaga and destroyed the fifty houses along Onondaga Creek that had been abandoned as their inhabitants fled. Many took refuge with Mohawk leader (and Moor's graduate) Joseph Brant in Six Nations, Ontario, and their homeland was ceded to the state of New York, but some land was kept for a Reservation. In 1798, the town of Onondaga was incorporated from parts of other towns settled by Anglo-Americans that were former sites of the Onondaga capital and named for the Tribe. The Haudenosaunee government continues to meet on the Onondaga Reservation, located south of the city of Syracuse.

New England
Johnson, Joseph

Joseph Johnson was a Mohegan who studied at Moor’s Indian Charity School and became one of the most important organizers of the Brothertown Movement (a composite tribe composed of Christian members of seven Southern New England Algonquian settlements). He was a prolific writer and his papers are relatively well-preserved. Johnson’s writing is especially noteworthy for his skillful use of Biblical allusion and his awareness of the contradiction that he, as an educated Native American, presented to white colonists. Johnson arrived at Moor’s in 1758, when he was seven years old, and studied there until 1766, when he became David Fowler’s usher at Kanawalohale. He continued teaching in Oneida territory until the end of 1768, when Samuel Kirkland sent him home in disgrace for drunkeness and bad behavior. After a stint teaching at Providence, Rhode Island, and working on a whaling ship, Johnson returned to Mohegan in 1771 and became a zealous Christian. He opened a school at Farmington, CT, in 1772, for which he seems to have received some minimal support from the New England Company. From his base at Farmington, he began organizing Southern New England Algonquians for the Brothertown project. The goal was to purchase land from the Oneidas, the most Christianized of the Six Nations, and form a Christian Indian town incorporating Algonquian and Anglo-American elements. Johnson spent the rest of his short life garnering necessary support and legal clearance for the Brothertown project. Johnson died sometime between June 10, 1776 and May 1777, at 25 or 26 years old, six or seven years before Brothertown was definitively established in 1783. He was married to Tabitha Occom, one of Samson Occom’s daughters. She lived at Mohegan with their children even after Brothertown’s founding, and none of their children settled at Brothertown permanently. Like most of Wheelock’s successful Native American students, Johnson found that he could not satisfy his teacher's contradictory standards for Native Americans. Although Johnson's 1768 dismissal created a hiatus in their relationship, Johnson reopened contact with Wheelock after his re-conversion to a degree that other former students, such as Samson Occom, David Fowler, and Hezekiah Calvin, never did.


William Oneida was the son of the Oneida preacher Deacon Thomas. He attended Moor’s briefly between November 1767 (when he left Kanawalohale) and November 1768, when he accompanied his sister Hannah Hail back to Kanawalohale. William Oneida does not seem to have returned after his visit home. In Wheelock’s estimation, he learned no English while at Moor’s, and the following January his father withdrew the remaining Oneida children from the school.

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.

Clap, Nathan
Hail, Hannah

Hannah was an Oneida girl who studied at Moor’s between 1767 and 1769. She was the daughter of Thomas, the Oneida deacon who pulled all six Oneida children, including Hannah, out of Moor’s on January 20, 1769 (likely a decisive event in Eleazar Wheelock’s decision to move away from Native American education). The ostensible reason for the children’s departure was that Hannah’s mother had died and they were all going home for a visit, but they never returned — likely because of Oneida (and Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, in general) opposition to Wheelock’s violent pedagogy. Hannah’s brother William also studied at Moor’s (1766-1768). As in the cases of many other Haudenosaunees who studied at Moor’s briefly, we have no information about Hannah’s later life.


Thomas was an essential figure in Oneida Christianity and an important ally for Samuel Kirkland. While it is unclear when he converted to Christianity, by the 1750s he was preaching and leading services at Kanawalohale. By all accounts, he was a compelling speaker and talented at rendering Christian theology in terms compatible with Oneida cosmology. Thomas was instrumental in supporting Kirkland's mission: he often protected the Anglo-American missionary and helped him translate his ideas more effectively. Thomas also played an important role in the history of Moor's. His daughter, Hannah, was a student there, and in July 1768 he visited her. He returned the following January to pull her out of school following her mother's death, and he took the remaining five Oneida children with him. Later statements by Oneida chiefs (reported to Kirkland and David Avery) made clear that a large part of the Oneidas' reason for withdrawing their children was Wheelock's harsh discipline. Thomas was also present for Ralph Wheelock's 1768 outburst at Onaquaga, and was Avery's 1772 source for what had taken place there. Despite his disagreements with Wheelock, Thomas continued to support Kirkland's mission. Thomas was killed by British troops in 1779 while on a diplomatic visit to the Mohawks at Kahnawake (a site across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal). His murder gave the Oneidas yet another reason to side with the colonists during the Revolution.

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.

Queen, the
Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0578.ocp your ſon son mentioned Wheelock, Rodulphus
pers0127.ocp Nathan mentioned Clap, Nathan
pers0244.ocp Hannah mentioned Hail, Hannah
pers0113.ocp Catarine mentioned Catarine
pers0643.ocp Thomas mentioned Thomas
pers0244.ocp hannah mentioned Hail, Hannah
pers0619.ocp the queen mentioned Queen, the
pers0578.ocp your Sons mentioned Wheelock, Rodulphus
pers0288.ocp Joſ ph Joseph Johnſon Johnson writer Johnson, Joseph
pers0288.ocp Joſeph Joseph Johnſon Johnson writer Johnson, Joseph
pers0036.ocp Eleazar Wheelock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0288.ocp Jos: Joseph Johnson writer Johnson, Joseph
pers0036.ocp Rev d Rev. Doct r Dr. Wheelock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0127.ocp Nathan Clap} mentioned Clap, Nathan

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0114.ocp Kanoarohare Kanawalohale Kanawalohale
place0180.ocp Onondage Onondaga Onondaga
place0158.ocp New-Eng-land New England New England

Organizations identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
org0075.ocp OnidasſOneidas Oneida Nation
org0098.ocp your ſchoolschool Moor’s Indian Charity School

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1768-05-02 May 2,d2nd 1768
1768-05-02 May 2.d2nd.
1768-05-02 AD 1768
1768-05-02 May 2.d2nd. 1768

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
variation Kanoarohare Kanawalohale
modernization 2,d 2nd
modernization Revd Rev.
modernization Doct.r Dr.
variation Enform inform
modernization ſame same
modernization goodneſs goodness
modernization ſtill still
variation Valuble valuable
variation Onondage Onondaga
modernization Goſpel Gospel
variation Enformed informed
variation diſcourage‐
modernization preſent present
modernization amongſt amongst
variation reather rather
variation divils devils
modernization ſuch such
variation Chuſe choose
modernization deviliſh devilish
modernization muſt must
variation Goſple Gospel
modernization ſon son
modernization againſt against
variation practiſe practice
modernization laſt last
modernization houſe house
variation Some where somewhere
modernization ſouth south
modernization Exerciſe exercise
variation friers friars
modernization promiſed promised
modernization ſay say
variation discourageing discouraging
variation be haviour behaviour
variation Shews shows
modernization Refuſed refused
modernization ſchool school
variation Onidasſ Oneidas
modernization ſeem seem
modernization ſhuttered shuttered
variation Ruffel. ruffle
modernization ſome some
modernization propoſed proposed
variation appointd appointed
modernization theſe these
modernization Reaſons reasons
modernization 1.t 1st.
modernization Uneaſy uneasy
modernization aſ as
modernization ſoon soon
modernization poſsible possible
variation till 'til
modernization reſt rest
modernization 2.d 2nd.
modernization ſuſpected suspected
variation affraid afraid
modernization ſtay stay
modernization Elſe else
modernization ſeveral several
variation thretned threatened
modernization like w[illegible]iſe likewise
modernization adviſed advised
variation of off
modernization Reaſon reason
modernization reaſons reasons
variation Uncapableneſs incapableness
variation carriing carrying
variation buſsineſs business
variation intruſted entrusted
modernization Miniſters ministers
modernization ſeaſon season
modernization ſtrange strange
modernization ſhall shall
modernization ſcholars scholars
variation priſent present
modernization Oldeſt oldest
modernization ſtaying staying
modernization ſhort short
variation vizit visit
variation Intirely entirely
modernization diſpoſed disposed
modernization beſt best
modernization ſight sight
modernization diſpoſal disposal
variation pideons pigeons
variation ſomethings some things
variation wait weight
modernization ſince since
variation my ſelf myself
modernization Aſsisting assisting
variation Uproted uprooted
modernization deſire desire
variation day ly daily
modernization ſuffer suffer
variation any thing anything
modernization diſgrace disgrace
modernization Cauſe cause
modernization Chriſt Christ
variation day ly daily
modernization ſervant servant
modernization Johnſon Johnson
modernization pleaſe please
modernization ſir sir
variation over look overlook
variation haſt haste
variation Soppoſe suppose
modernization Expoſe expose
modernization ſo so
modernization Joſeph Joseph
modernization Mr Mr.
modernization Doctr Dr.
variation New-Eng-land New England

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
Hond Honoured
the they
& and
Joſph Joseph
Jos: Joseph
Pr Per

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 40)
Number of people/places/organizations with unknown keys: 0 (out of 23)
Number of "add" tags with unknown 'place' attributes: 0 (out of 8)
Mixed case attribute values in header (potential error): 0 (out of 123)
HomeJoseph Johnson, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1768, May 2
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