« السابقةمتابعة »
Litchfield, Mr. Samuel Huntington, attorney "at law, in Norwich, the Rev. Messrs. Solo"mon Williams, of Lebanon, Joseph Fisk, of "Stonington, Nathaniel Eells, of Stonington, "William Gaylord, of Norwalk, Samuel Mosely, "of Windham, Eleazar Wheelock, of Lebanon, Benjamin Pomroy, of Hebron, Richard Salter, "of Mansfield, Nathaniel Whitaker, of Norwich, and David Jewett, of New London, as "their correspondents in the Colony of Con"necticut aforesaid; authorizing them to re"ceive donations from well disposed persons, "and to employ the same for promoting chris"tian knowledge, in such manner as shall be "directed by the donors, and failing such di"rection, to devise schemes for propagating our holy religion among the Indians, and to carry "them into execution. They, the said correspondents, always, from time to time, acquaint66 ing this society with their proceedings. And "the said Committee of Directors hereby dé"clare, that they will, so far as circumstances permit, give all due encouragement towards forwarding and promoting the endeavours of "their correspondents.
"And they hereby empower their said corres"pondents to appoint the time and place of "their meetings, to choose their Proses, Treas"urer, Secretary, Accomptant, Comptroller, "Clerk, and other officers, and to do every thing "else, necessary for carrying this laudable
pose into execution. And they likewise re"commend it to their said correspondents, to "transmit the names of such other persons, as
they judge proper, to be added to their board, "that the said Society may send them commis"sions, to the effect above mentioned.
"Given under the common seal of the said so
"ciety, and signed by the Proses of the Com"mittee of Directors, and Clerk of the Society, at Edinburgh, the thirteenth day of March, "in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven "hundred and sixty four."
"JAMES SMOLLET, Præses.”
"ALEXANDER STEVENSON, Clerk."
Two years previous to the foregoing commission, several ministers of the gospel, living in the vicinity of Mr. Wheelock, published to the world, a recommendatory letter of his design, expressing their willingness to promote "the noble and charitable undertaking." (g)
Although Mr. Wheelock began the charitable business at his own risk, numerous, generous benefactors, and some public bodies, soon appeared to assist him in carrying it on. The Hon. Legislature of Connecticut, recommended a contribution in all the congregations throughout the colony. As early as 1761, the Hon. Scotch Commissioners, in Boston, patronized the design, and directed that three Indian boys, might be supported at the school for a season, at their expense. The General Assembly of the Province of Massachusetts also, the same year, granted the avails of a generous legacy, given by Sir Peter Warren, towards the support of six children of the Six Nations, at said school. The General Assembly of New Hampshire, made a handsome donation to promote the design. The Hon. London Commissioners, in Boston, made several grants for the same purpose. Contributions were sent in, from various christian congregations, and smaller societies in the neighboring colonies.
Were it possible, respect to the individual benefactors of the school, would demand an
honorable mention of all their names. friends and patrons were found among all orders and conditions of people. While some favored it with their mite, others gave of their abundance. The friends of the Redeemer, and the souls of men, who promoted the generous charity, and encouraged its benevolent founder, have, in heaven, received the glorious reward of their works, done for Christ upon earth.* But few of them are now living.
The fame of the Indian school having reached Great Britain; he, in whose hands are the hearts of all men, disposed many of the pious and worthy, to contribute to the furtherance of the design. The Right Hon. the Marquis of Lothian, in 1762, sent Mr. Wheelock a donation of one hundred pounds sterling. A like sum was also given by a lady in England, unknown. The generosity of Messrs. Samuel Savage, Charles Hardy, and the Rev. Doctor Andrew Gifford, of London, and of the Rev. Doctor John Erskine, and Messrs. William Dickson, and Walter Scott, of Edinburgh, ought not to remain unnoticed. It cannot be invidious to mention these honorable and worthy benefactors, because they were among the earliest patrons of the institution. The friends of the school, both in England and America, whose contributions for its support, at a subsequent period, were truly liberal, are too numerous to be here recited. So far as they were known, they are recorded in the printed narratives of the school.
* Among the benefactors of the school, in its infancy, were Mr. John. Smith, merchant, Mr. Jonathan Williams and Samuel Austin, Esq. of Boston, Lady Pepperill, of Kittery, Mr. Moses Little, of Newburyport Hon. John Phillips, of Exeter, Hon. Robert Hooper, of Marblehead, Benjamin Pemberton, Esq. of Roxbury, Mr. S. Moor, of Mansfield, Mrs. Anne Bingham, of Windham, Doctor Daniel Lathrop, of Norwich, Doctor Redman of Philadelphia, and many of the clergy.
On the fourth of July, 1764, the board of correspondents, commissioned by the society in Scotland, met at Lebanon, accepted their appointment, and were organized. They again met, March 12th, 1765. At this meeting, two young gentlemen, Messrs. Titus Smith and Theophilus Chamberlain, both of whom had finished their education at Yale College, presented themselves for examination, as candidates for the gospel ministry, to undertake a mission to the Mohawks and Oneidas. They were approved, and soon after ordained. Eight Indian youths, educated in the school, were, at the same meeting, examined, and found fully adequate to accompany those missionaries, in the capacity of schoolmasters. They had learned to speak the English language with considerable facility; they were acquainted with the rudiments of grammar, and wrote handsomely. Their appearance and deportment were very pleasing, and their honored patron and friends were ready to predict their great and extensive usefulness, among their savage countrymen. Thus early, the good fruits of Mr. Wheelock's charitable institution appeared abundant.
They were all equipped for their departure to the wilderness, when the funds of the school were found unexpectedly exhausted, and means were wanting to defray the necessary expenses of their journey. Mr. Wheelock in this, as in various other dilemmas of a similar complection, proceeded with unshaken confidence, as if an adequate fund were at his command. As he had usually been supplied at the most critical moment, in some unforeseen manner; so in this instance, the requisite aid was furnished; the missionaries and their companions were not detained; but on the day prefixed, they departed with ample sup
plies. The Indians of several villages received them with respect; schools were collected and the masters appointed to them.* The missionaries were entrusted with the patronage of these schools; they treated the instructors with parental kindness; frequently visited them; counselled and encouraged them in their important undertaking.
The whole number of Mohawks and Oneida children, received into the several schools, amounted to one hundred and twenty seven. They generally appeared fond of instruction, and made pleasing progress. The Indian masters were attentive to their schools for many months. Some of them however, notwithstanding the best efforts of their missionary friends and patrons, unhappily returned, in a very considerable degree, to those roving and savage habits, from which it was hoped they were completely rescued. Others maintained their integrity, became respected, and remained useful to their brethren. As a specimen of disposition, talents, and acquirements, extracts from two or three of their letters, addressed to Mr. Wheelock, their friend and patron, are here inserted.
Extract of a letter from David Fowler, of the Montauk tribe.
"Kanavarohare, in Oneida, June 15, 1765. 66 HONORED AND REV. SIR,
"This is the twelfth day since I began my school; and eight of my scholars are now in the third page of their spelling book. I never saw children exceed these in learning. The number
*The Indian school masters were, David Fowler, a Montauk; Joseph Woolley and Hezekiah Calvin, Delawares; Moses, Peter Johannus, Abraham primus, and Abraham secundus, Mohawks; Jacob Fowler, a Montauk, was also soon qualified, and went afterwards to the Oneida country, in the same capacity.