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Miriam Storrs, letter, to Eleazar Wheelock, 1768 November 24

ms-number: 768624

[note (type: abstract): Storrs writes about her time in New York, and the temptations and dangers she has avoided with God's help.][note (type: handwriting): Handwriting is very uneven, yet mostly legible.][note (type: paper): Small single sheet is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.][note (type: ink): Black ink is heavy and bold.][note (type: noteworthy): In the 11th line of one verso, it is possible that the word "but" is a variant spelling for boat.]
[Revd | Rev.]RevdRev. [& | and]&and [Honnrd | honoured]Honnrdhonoured [ſir | sir]ſirsir
[ſir | sir]ſirsir I arrived ahere 19 of this
and I am to go this week from
here but I keep good courage hoping
to be where I [ſhlou[above] lld | should]ſhlou[above] lldshould be. I have been
[ſick | sick]ſicksick [ſome | some]ſomesome of the time but nothing to wha[above] tt
I [deſerve | deserve]deſervedeserve I was well treated I have work
Enough people would [illegible] have me tarry with
the them but I have got long [ſo | so]ſoso far
but the [Doctr | Dr.]DoctrDr. will need the Greeks to
read my writing if I had common [ſ | s]ſsillegible
[ſence | sense]ſencesense I [ſhould | should]ſhouldshould form [illegible][guess (h-dawnd): my]my this [illegible] writing
better [ſir | sir]ſirsir I have heard but one prayer
[ſince | since]ſincesince I went from norwich[place0174.ocp]. [ſince | since]ſincesince I went
from thy the [houſe | house]houſehouse [inſtead | instead]inſteadinstead of prayers
filthy talk [&c. | etc.]&c.etc. — —
I found no [reſt | rest]reſtrest [till | 'til]till'til I put my whole
[truſt | trust]truſttrust in god [illegible] who [illegible] was my [illegible] [beſt | best]beſtbest
[preſerver | preserver]preſerverpreserver then was I lifted up above
any [tempation | temptation]tempationtemptation I have been under
many trials but god was my d[illegible]
Deliverer h[above] eeavy [temtations | temptations]temtationstemptations [preſt | pressed]preſtpressed down
to the d [duſt | dust]duſtdust which [cauſed | caused]cauſedcaused me for to
weep nights and hours when
I Saw [every one | everyone]every oneeveryone out of my [ſight | sight]ſightsight
Dear [ſir | sir]ſirsir I want [ſee | see]ſeesee the [D[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): oct]oct | Dr.]D[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): oct]octDr.
again. I lay [illegible] many a
night [illegible] and for fear of one [illegible]
[left] mansmans bad intention in [illegible] his heart
as I thought [illegible] and he dtold me
after he went to [ſhore | shore]ſhoreshore that was
his end and aimillegible but he found
he was mistaken he [ownd | owned]owndowned
a but I [illegible] did keep clear of him
which I [illegible] have [reaſon | reason]reaſonreason to [praiſe | praise]praiſepraise
my redeemer for all my days
and hope to go to him in 'Due time
 May God of infinite grace
grant me it for his [ſake | sake]ſakesake
No more from your
unworthy [ſubject | subject]ſubjectsubject
Miriam [ſtorrs | Storrs]ſtorrsStorrs[pers0524.ocp]
P: S to Remember
to all the Family
I am in health
[illegible] and to the [illegible]
School[org0098.ocp] [illegible]y
[Mr | Mr.]MrMr.

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.


Norwich is a city in New London County in the southeast corner of Connecticut. It was founded in 1659 when Major John Mason and Reverend James Fitch led English settlers inland from Old Saybrook, CT, on the coast. They bought land from Uncas, sachem of the local Mohegan tribe, and divided it into farms and businesses mainly in the three-mile area around the Norwichtown Green. In 1668, a wharf was built at Yantic Cove and in 1694 a public landing was built at the head of the Thames River, which allowed trade with England to flourish. The center of Norwich soon moved to the neighborhood around the harbor called "Chelsea." During the revolutionary period, when transatlantic trade was cut off, Norwich developed large mills and factories along the three rivers that cross the town: the Yantic, Shetucket and Thames, and supported the war effort by supplying soldiers, ships, and munitions. Norwich was the largest town in the vicinity in which Occom, Wheelock and their associates lived and worked, and it was possible to get there by water because of the harbor and access to the Long Island Sound. Lebanon, CT, the site of Wheelock's school, is 11 miles north and present-day Uncasville, the center of the Mohegan tribe, is a few miles south of Norwich. James Fitch did missionary work among the Mohegans in Norwich until his death in 1702, and Samuel Kirkland, the most important Protestant missionary to the Six Nations trained by Wheelock, was born in Norwich in 1741. On his evangelical tour of North America in 1764, George Whitefield planned to travel to Norwich to meet with Wheelock. The Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge frequently met in Norwich, and many letters by people involved in the missionary efforts of Wheelock were written from Norwich.

New York City
Storrs, Miriam
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
pers0524.ocp Miriam ſtorrs Storrs writer Storrs, Miriam
pers0036.ocp M r Mr. Wheelock recipient Wheelock, Eleazar

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0308.ocp New york New York City
place0174.ocp norwich Norwich
place0122.ocp Lebanon Lebanon

Organizations identified in this document:

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

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1768-11-24 NovbrNovember 24 1768
1768-11-19 19 of this month

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
modernization Revd Rev.
modernization ſir sir
modernization ſhlou[above] lld should
modernization ſick sick
modernization ſome some
modernization deſerve deserve
modernization ſo so
modernization Doctr Dr.
modernization ſ s
modernization ſence sense
modernization ſhould should
modernization ſince since
modernization houſe house
modernization inſtead instead
modernization &c. etc.
modernization reſt rest
variation till 'til
modernization truſt trust
modernization beſt best
modernization preſerver preserver
variation tempation temptation
variation temtations temptations
modernization preſt pressed
modernization duſt dust
modernization cauſed caused
variation every one everyone
modernization ſight sight
modernization ſee see
modernization D[illegible][guess (h-dawnd): oct]oct Dr.
modernization ſhore shore
variation ownd owned
modernization reaſon reason
modernization praiſe praise
modernization ſake sake
modernization ſubject subject
modernization ſtorrs Storrs
modernization Mr Mr.

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
Novbr November
& and
Honnrd honoured

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 7)
Number of people/places/organizations with unknown keys: 0 (out of 6)
Number of "add" tags with unknown 'place' attributes: 0 (out of 4)
Mixed case attribute values in header (potential error): 0 (out of 92)
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