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upon impressions and impulses. ... They were strangely uncharitable, expressing themselves censoriously of most others. They had no opinion of any but themselves on a religious account.” 1
Wheelock seems to have taken no immediate notice of this savage attack; but when, sixteen years later, the influence of Dr. Chauncey and the charges in his book came up to threaten the success of the school, Wheelock was impelled to take notice of it. He writes accordingly to Rev. Ebenezer Pemberton (Oct. 24, 1759) to let Dr. Chauncey know what injury is likely to arise from these old slanders, which, he says, “contain no less than a dozen palpable falsehoods." He denies any knowledge of most of the circumstances that Dr. Chauncey mentioned.
"I challenge all the world [says he] truthfully to mention one principle which I vented in my belief contrary to Calvinism. ... I was upon the same road to New Haven when that Doctor passed through this government (as I understand), to fill his crop with material for that piece, and I came several times within scent of him (for he left a savor of what he fed upon where he lit), and should have freely given him a full and true account of that whole affair, had he desired to know the truth." :
No accommodation was reached; and we shall fall many times upon the traces of the quarrel, which it is but fair to say was wholly of Dr. Chauncey's making, without, so far as we know, any personal provocation whatever.
Wheelock is said by his biographers to have had, by patrimony and by marriage, a competency at the time of his removal to Hanover.3 But in the early years of his pastorate 1 Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New England, 1743, pp. 201,
See also Dr. Chauncey's sermon at the ordination of Joseph Bowman, 1762. 2 American Presbyterian Review (1871), iii. 474.
8 A will executed by Wheelock at Lebanon in 1768, superseded afterwards but still preserved, mentions landed and other property as follows : 1. The lot of twenty acres on which he dwelt, bounded west on the common or meeting-house green, and south and east on Coventry road. 2. The “Spinning-mill Pasture,” of thirty-one acres, bounded east on the Hartford road, and north and west on Pine Swamp road. 3. A farm bought of Benoni Wright, bounded west by Hartford road, north by Jabez Wright, and south by John Fowler and Preserved Wright. 4. A farm in Windham, west of the Shatucket River, which was to furnish portions for his five younger chil. dren. 5. A farm in Lebanon, bought for his wife of John English ; and other lands adjoining it. 6. A farm belonging to his wife in Milford. Of personal property besides furniture, books, sheep, and swine, he disposes of two yoke of oxen, four cows, four horses, and five negro slaves, whom he afterwards brought to Hanover; namely, Brister, Exeter, Chloe, a boy Archelaus, and a girl Peggy. For lack of another negro girl he bequeathed to one of his daughters £20.
his resources seem to have been quite inadequate to the demands of an increasing family. His salary, small at the best, was by no means promptly paid, and even then often in grain at high prices; so that at times he received no more than a third of its value during the entire year. He was thus driven to eke it out by devoting a part of his time to the private instruction of youth in preparation for college, according to the custom till of late quite usual with clergymen in New England. This business of teaching grew shortly to be an important and permanent part of his regular occupation, and was continued without interruption, excepting for about a year, in 1744-45, when the school was conducted for Wheelock at Hebron by Alexander Phelps (afterwards his son-in-law), then just graduated from Yale College.
There is no reason to suppose that Wheelock's thoughts in this work were at first in any way directed to the Indians, though the remnants of the local tribes settled at various points in that region were the object of much attention from the pastors in their vicinity, and of greater interest to many from the current belief in their identity with the lost Israelites. To this opinion Wheelock himself subscribed. “When I get leisure for it,” he wrote to Dr. Erskine in July, 1763, “I will endeavor to hint to you some of the reasons why I think the Indians of this land are the Ten tribes of the House of Israel.”
The Indians nearest to Wheelock were the Mohegans, at their town between Norwich and New London. The other tribes most accessible to him were at Montauk, Narragansett, and Stonington. Apparently the first to present himself for instruction was a Mohegan named Samson Occom (or Occum). He had become a Christian through the influence of Rev. John Davenport in the revival of 1741-42, and was now about nineteen years of age. His mother came to Wheelock in his behalf; and at her solicitation, but with some hesitancy, it would seem, he was received Dec. 6, 1743. He was aided by the London Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and remained with Wheelock until March 14, 1748, excluding, of course, the year when he was at Hebron with the rest of Wheelock's scholars under Phelps.
Six years elapsed, after Occom left, before Wheelock shaped his plans for taking other Indian boys, though he continued to devote himself as before to the work of fitting English boys for college. But in 1754 Wheelock's thoughts took a new and decided turn towards the Indians, in connection apparently with a radical enlargement of his plan, when, in consequence probably of growing numbers, it took for the first time the shape of a regular school, with a hired assistant, or “master."
Devotion to the Indian was even then not the only occasion of the change. His earliest biographer and zealous friend tells us expressly that “other considerations had their influence with him, particularly his want of such extensive fields for industry and success in his ministry as he wished. Although his ministrations had been divinely blessed to many souls, yet the bounds of a small parish were too confined, and ordinary labors too limited, for his ardent and active mind." 1
The improvement and conversion of the Indian tribes was of course no new object of desire; it had long occupied the attention of philanthropists on both sides of the Atlantic, and missionaries of English blood had been sent among them in various directions by the great societies of London and Edinburgh, entitled respectively “ The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,” and “The Society in Scotland for propagating Christian Knowedge.” The first, founded in 1701, was controlled by the English Church; the second, founded in 1709, by the Scotch Presbyterians. The London society had for a long time maintained a Board of Commissioners in Boston. A similar board had been established in that town by the Scotch society in 1730, which ceased in 1737, and was revived in 1756. The Scotch society had also a “Board of Correspondents” in New York city, which (established in 1741, and afterwards removed to Princeton, N. J.) had since 1744 supported the two Brainerds successively as missionaries among the Delawares of New Jersey. There had been recent brief missions among the Mohawks and the Oneidas, but none to any other tribes of the Six Nations. Rev. John Sergeant, missionary of the London board among the Stockbridge Indians, had already a flourishing boarding-school, supported by charitable contributions, which had been established by his father (of the same name) at Housatonic in 1748 (the year before his death), six years in advance of Wheelock's school, and on a plan substantially like it.
1 Memoirs of Wheelock, p. 18.
But Mr. Sergeant's school was situated in the midst of the Indians themselves, and devoted exclusively to them. Wheelock conceived the idea that better success might be attained by removing the children for a term of years entirely from their native influences, and bringing them in contact with English youth in a mixed school. He designed also to educate his Indian pupils especially for missionaries, believing that they would accomplish much more among the Indians than missionaries of English blood. His plan contemplated the reception of Indians of both sexes, and also of English youth consecrated to Indian missions, who would there enjoy excellent facilities for learning the native language and customs. For all these Wheelock counted on finding support from charity. Other students were to be received, as before, who would pay their own charges.?
In pursuance of this plan Wheelock in May, 1754, wrote to Rev. John Brainerd at Bethel, N. J., to send him, by way of trial, two likely boys of the Delaware tribe. On the 18th of December, 1754, there arrived accordingly at his house in Lebanon, John Pumpshire, in the fourteenth year of his age, and Jacob Woolley, not yet eleven. These came about two hundred miles on foot and alone through a country which they had never passed before, and with no guide but the paper given them by Mr. Brainerd. They excited a deep interest among the good people of Lebanon, who took pleasure in providing them from time to time with the various necessaries of life, and “they behaved as well as could be reasonably expected."
In the meantime Wheelock's plan was canvassed among his friends, and found favor. Stimulated by the arrival of Pumpshire and Woolley, subscriptions were obtained, with Pomeroy's assistance, in the following year, to the amount of about five hundred pounds, proclamation money, to stand as a permanent fund for the school, each subscriber promising for the present, until the school should be incorporated, to pay the annual interest upon his subscription at six per cent.
While making up this fund, Wheelock visited Col. Joshua More, - a wealthy farmer of Mansfield, residing near the river,
1 See Wheelock's Narrative, 1763.
four miles north of the present village of Willimantic, - and, as he says, proposed to him to devote to this object a part of his large estate. Colonel More was pleased with the idea, and at Wheelock's suggestion purchased for the school, June 28, 1755, at a cost of five hundred pounds (old tenor), a parcel of land, containing about two acres of pasturage, contiguous to Wheelock's mansion in Lebanon, having on it a “small dwellinghouse and a shop or school-house," capable all together of affording a rental of about four pounds lawful money net annual income. The land lay southeasterly of the meeting-house and on the west side of the Hartford road, extending seventeen and one half rods on the road, and running back twenty-two rods to “Dam Brook.” It was bought of Moses Barrett,“ late schoolmaster in Lebanon; and as one Moses Barrett figures from 1754 as the first "master,” or “preceptor," of the new school, we are led to conjecture that Wheelock's school was at the time of the new departure consolidated with a pre-existing school of the Barretts.
Matters being in this shape, in order to inspire confidence in the stability of the enterprise and encourage subscriptions, it was thought best to organize, if possible, something like a body corporate. Wheelock accordingly “represented the affair to Col. Elisha Williams, Esq., late rector of Yale College,” to Rev. Samuel Moseley, of Windham, and to his brother-in-law, Rev. Benjamin Pomeroy, of Hebron, “ and invited them to join him; and they readily accepted the invitation, the affair appearing with an agreeable aspect, and it being a time of profound peace. And a gentleman learned in the law supposed there might be such an incorporation among themselves as might fully answer to the purpose." These three gentlemen, therefore, with Wheelock and More, joined in the execution of a deed of indenture, dated July 17, 1755, whereby More conveyed the parcel of land to them and their successors in trust “ for the founding and supporting of a charity school in said Lebanon
1 of Barrett, Wheelock writes Whitefield, 1756, “ Mr. Moses Barrett, who was schoolmaster in this place, has, since you were here, become a preacher of the Gospel at New Fairfield, where you advised that people to invite him; and there is a very wonderful revival of religion under his ministry, like to what was in this country fourteen years ago." We suppose him to be the same who graduated at Princeton, 1754. He preached as stated supply in New Fairfield, 1756-57, and died in England, 1762.