Page images
PDF
EPUB

past, has

two thousand acres, five hundred of which was pasturage and the residue grass and tillage.*

In a narrative published in 1773, he says, “ the “number of my laborers for six months

generally been from thirty to forty, besides " those employed at the mills, kitchen, and do- mestic servants.

The number of my students, dependant and independent, the last year was about eighty, and the number of my family to"gether consequently large; and, through the

pure mercy of God, I have been blessed with "a peaceable family, diligent and orderly stu“dents, and faithful laborers."

On the removal of the school from Connecticut, the Board of Correspondents, which was commissioned by the society in Scotland for propagating christian knowledge, was dissolved, and soon after its establishment in Hanover, Doctor Wheelock proposed to the Trustees of Dartmouth College, that they should act with him, in the responsibility, care, and management of Moor's School. They however declined the proposal, conceiving that the charter gave them the right of jurisdiction only over the College. They have ever since been considered and managed distinctly, although connected or incorporated by the charter. Each possesses appropriate funds för its different objects, and is independent of the other. The donations of lands in America were some to the College, some to the School, and some to both.

* In the summer of 1775, notwithstanding a severe drought, he harvested from this tract 800 bushels of grain, and in the fall of the same year sowed 114 acres of English grain, about 100 acres of which was on lands never before occupied.

MEMORIAL TO CONGRESS IN 1776.

Some idea of the expence of managing his new lands, may be formed from the single article of hay-seed for the above farm, which cost 180 dollars.

Doctor Wheelock considered the School as under a sort of parental government, and he accordingly so directed and managed its concerns, until his death. He was alone responsible to the Trust in Great Britain and to the public, for the management of all the interest and concerns of the School in America. In all important matters he had the advice and direction of the Trust in England, when it could be obtained; and also, when requested, the best counsel of the Trustees of the College, at their annual and occasional meetings.

[ocr errors]

SECTION VIII.

THE COLLEGE AND SCHOOL SUFFER BY THE REVOLUTIONARY

WAR-DONATIONS OF DOCTOR PHILLIPS AND MR. JOHNSON MUNIFICENCE OF MR. THORNTON, LONDON-INDIANS JOIN THE BRITISH.

THE spring of 1775 opened with a frowning aspect

on the School, the College, and the country. The noise of battle and the reports of war, absolved the attention of the public mind. The contest had commenced, which forever separated the colonies from “the mother country.” All intercourse with Great Britain was suspended. Though the fund in England for the School was exhausted, Doctor Wheelock had calculated on the continuance of aid from the pious and charitable in England, and from the fund in Scotland. Unprepared for this reverse of circumstances, it was a calamitous hour to Doctor Wheelock. About sixteen Indian youth and the same number of English were under his care, preparing for missions. All resources for their support were suddenly cut off; the country was electrefied with a military ardor; the young men were hurrying to the armies ; agriculture was in a considerable degree neglected ; laborers could not be hired for any reasonable stipend, and though great sums had been expended in the cultivation of the school lands, their produce would not compensate for the necessary labor.

The object of Doctor Wheelock, from the time of his removal into New Hampshire was, by means of the fund in England, to establish a permanent fund in America for the support of his Indian School. For this purpose he went largely into the business of clearing lands. From the annual rent of these farms, he expected to support a number of missionaries and school

masters in the wilderness, and Indian boys in the School. The war in a great measure deranged these enlarged and benevolent plans. The din of war drowned the feeble voice of science; men turned away from this school of the prophets, to hear tidings from the camp; the phy, sical strength of the country was exhausted in the support of armies, this vine in the wilderness was forgotten. Among other distresses, Doctor Wheelock was responsible for the payment of several debts, which had been necessarily contracted on the credit of the School's fund. In this embarrassment, however, some liberal and pious friends in this country, generously afforded assistance. The Hon. John Phillips, L. L. D. afterwards the noble founder of Phillips' Exeter Academy, gave three thousand three hundred and thirty three dollars, reserving to himself the mode of expending it for the benefit of the School. He was also a liberal friend to the infant College, making at different times various valuable donations. He is still held in grateful remembrance, and his name will go down to posterity as a principal benefactor of Dartmouth College. The Rev. Diodate Johnson, of Millington, in Connecticut, also left to the College a legacy of five hundred dollars, and his valuable library, This year, also, 1775, the Continental Congress made a grant of five hundred dollars to this infant seminary of New Hampshire.

Though the wicked mean not so, neither is it in their heart, yet they often render useful services to the friends of Christ. Though they know him not, yet like Cyrus they are the servants of God. While Dr. Wheelock, no longer enjoying the means of supporting his Indian boys, was in trembling fear of apparent indeli: cacy, and of giving offence, by sending them

home, the Popish priests in Canada, relieved him from this perplexing embarrassment. Such was their jealousy and opposition, that they persuaded the parents to send for their children at the school, alledging that while they were among protestants, they were in danger of eternal perdition, and threatening that they would cease to pray for them, if they suffered them to continue there any longer. At that gloomy time this event was a great relief to the Doctor, for most of his Indian scholars were from Canada. This is one from many instances, of the vast influence the Papal priests have over the minds of the American savages. They seem to have thoroughly studied their character, and found the secret of managing their most violent passions. “ The French jesuits would do more with the Indians in the war, which closed in 1763, than the Governors of all Canada beside.”* Is not this a lesson for protestant missionaries ? Shall we not be as zealous as they, in teaching doctrines more pure, and duties more reasonable? The war deprived Doctor Wheelock of one great source of comfort, his epistolary correspondence with many pious and generous friends in Great Britain; it deprived him of their charitable pecuniary assistance, which had often aided and animated him in his great designs. Among these, that friend of humanity, and most examplary christian, John Thornton, Esq. of Clapham, near London, had greatly distinguished himself. God blessed him with wealth and with an enlarged heart, as a good steward to use it for the honor of the Almighty Donor, and the benefit of mankind. With the name of the philanthropic Howard, that of Thornton will be united, as the friend of humanity and the ornament of the

* Letter from a missionary.

« PreviousContinue »