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Mr. Thornton," and keep an open house for such as are worthy of entertainment; help the poor and needy ; I will statedly allow you two hundred pounds a year, and readily send whatever you have occasion to draw for more. " Mr. Newton supposed that he had received of Mr. Thornton upwards of three thousand pounds sterling in this way, during the time he resided at Olney.
The frontier situation of the College exposed it to the terrors of war, and especially to the Indians, an enemy most to be dreaded. These in great numbers had joined the British armies in Canada. In 1776, a fleet and army under Gen. Carlton, passed up lake Champlain, within about 60 miles of the College, and destroyed our maritime force commanded by Arnold. In 1777, a more formidable force, under Gen. Burgoyne, passed the same rout for conquest and plunder; a general panic seized the public mind, and the country was under alarming apprehensions of being overpowered. The barbarous deeds of the savages were remembered, and their name was terrible. These distressing apprehensions were not lessened by the circumstance that some of them had been members of Doctor Wheelock's school, and received' every attention of parental kindness. It had been found in a few instances that an English education had not eradicated the ferocity of the savage, but qualified him to be more extensively mischievous.' The College suffered greatly during the unhappy war; its usefulness was abridged ; its light obscured ; its resources almost annihilated; yet the pious founder was not dismayed or discouraged. With unshaken confidence he trusted in God, that he would succeed the work, which he had so wonderfully prospered, that he would make it a great and extensive blessing to the heathen; to the numerous settlements forming around him, and to future generations. Events have proved that his hopes were well founded,
THE ADVANTAGEOUS LOCAL SITUATION OF DARTMOUTH COL
LEGE-DR. WHEELOCK's SICKNESS, AND HIS DEATH.
THE local situation of the College displayed the foresight of the venerable founder. While other Colleges were near the sea coast, this is inJand, surrounded by a fertile country, increasing in resources and population ; between the old settlements of New England and the province of Canada; near the bank of the noble river Connecticut, which for a great distance waters the most fertile, populous, and pleasant country in the continent. The building, which had been hastily put together, for the accommodation of the students, eighty feet long, thirty two wide and two stories high, was in a few years so de: cayed as to be scarcely tenantable. The ex. pence of the repairs, and the increasing number of students, rendered a larger building necessary. Doctor Wheelock was desirous that before his death a more commodious edifice might be erected. For this purpose assistance was solicit ed. The Legislature of New Hampshire gave sixteen hundred sixty-six dollars, and the grant of a lottery; thirteen or fourteen thousand dollars were generously subscribed by the friends of the university; but the confusion of the times stopped the progress of the building. Like the father of Solomon, Dr. Wheelock made preparations and began the work, but left the labor, and further expence of building to his son and successor.
Doctor Wheelock did not live to see the beams of peace dawn upon his beloved country. The hardships of the wilderness, his deep solicitude to promote the conversion of the Indians; his grievous disappointments in several of those pupils; the crowd of business which incessantly poured in upon him, and demanded his constant attention; the distressing embarrassments of the war, and the gloomy prospects of the country and church, all
combined to weaken his strength and shorten his life. His constitution had always been slender. For four years previous to his death, his health had visibly declined ; in this time he very much remitted his attention to his correspondents in Europe and America; but in no degree relaxed his labors for the School and College. For several years he was afflicted with the asthma ; yet his labors, as a minister of the gospel, were almost incessant. Regularly and zealously he continued his useful and impressive ministrations. When unable to walk
e was repeatedly carried in his easy chair to the chapel. When he was no longer able to be caried to the chapel, his flock, by his permission, very gladly assembled in his house ; where, seat. ed in his chair, too feeble to support himself
, yet with a soul too heavenly to be silent, he performed the various exercises of public worship. ACcording to his frequent prayer, that he might not outlive his usefulness, divine instruction ceased not to flow from his lips, till they were sealed in death,
Jan. 6, 1779, he was seized with violent epileptic fits, which brought him very low. From these he, however, so far recovered, as to ride se veral times on horseback; but in the beginning of April he appeared rapidly to decline, and so continued to the 24th of that month, which was his last and happiest day. In the morning he walked the room with assistance, and with much composure conversed on various important subjects, particularly relating to the eternal world.
He repeatedly declared his firm belief that his son, whom he had appointed his successor, would exert himself to promote the great object, which he had himself so long pursued, and that God would be with him and bless him.
Shortly before his death, being sensible that his end was nigh, he manifested great anxiety for the speedy execution of a legal instrument of importance to be completed by him, and dispatched a messenger for the necessary magistrate. About the same time he requested that all his family might attend him; accordingly those who were in the vicinity convened agreeably to his wishes. From a visible alteration in his
countenance, all present were in mournful expectation that their father and head was about to be taken from them. His lady asked him what were his views of death. He replied, “I do not fear death with any amazement." Soon after he repeated the fourth verse of 23d Psalm ;“ Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” He then added, “I have a desire to depart and to be with Christ.” After leaving an affectionate remembrance for particular friends who were absent, he requested a clergyman, who was present, to join with him in prayer, to the fountain of goodness. He then addressed those present in the following words, “Oh my family be faithful unto death ;” and immediately expired without a struggle or a groan. The peace and joy of his mind, in the moment of death, impressed a pleasing smile on his countenance, which continued after the immortal spirit had fled. Blest image of the saint sleeping in Jesus. He had completed sixty eight years of his age. Nine from the founding of the College, and twenty five from the time of his extending the aid of his Charity School to the benighted Indians. His death was on Saturday, and the Monday following his funeral was attended by a large and respectable concourse of people, who united their