The History of Dartmouth College
299 Pages
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The History of Dartmouth College


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299 Pages


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Project Gutenberg's The History of Dartmouth College, by Baxter Perry Smith
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Title: The History of Dartmouth College
Author: Baxter Perry Smith
Release Date: April 30, 2009 [EBook #28641]
Language: English
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BOSTON: HOUGHTON, OSGOOD AND COMPANY. The Riverside Press, Cambridge. 1878.
The Riverside Press, Cambridge: Printed by H. O. Houghton and Company.
In the preparation of this work the writer has deemed it better to let history, as far as possible, tell its own story, regarding reliability as preferable to unity of style.
The imperfect records of all our older literary institutions, limit their written history, in large measure, to a record of the lives and labors of their teachers.
To the many friends of the college, and others, who have kindly given their aid, the writer is under large obligations.
The following names deserve especial notice: Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, Hon. Charles L. Woodbury, Hon. R. R. Bishop, Wm. H. Duncan, Esq., Richard B. Kimball, Esq., Rev. Eden B. Foster, D.D., Hon. James Barrett, N. C. Berry, Esq., Dr. F. E. Oliver, Hon. J. E. Sargent, Dr. C. A. Walker, Hon. A. O. Brewster, Hon. A. A. Ranney, Dr. W. M. Chamberlain, Hon. James W. Patterson, Rev. Carlos Slafter, Hon. J. B. D. Cogswell, Gen. John Eaton, Rev. H. A. Hazen, Rev. S. L. B. Speare, H. N. Twombly, Esq., Caleb Blodgett, Esq., Hon. Benj. F. Prescott, Dr. C. H. Spring, Prof. C. O. Thompson, Hon. Frederic Chase, Rev. W. J. Tucker, D.D., L. G. Farmer, Esq., and N. W. Ladd, Esq.
With profound gratitude he mentions also the name of Hon. Nathan Crosby, but for whose valuable pecuniary aid the publication of the work must have been delayed; and the names of Hon. Joel Parker, Hon. William P. Haines, Hon. John P. Healy, Hon. Lincoln F. Brigham, John D. Philbrick, Esq., Dr. Jabez B. Upham, Hon. Harvey Jewell, and Hon. Walbridge A. Field, who have aided in a similar manner. Particular mention should also be made of the kindness of gentlemen connected with numerous libraries, especially that of Mr. John Ward Deane, and Mr. Albert H. Hoyt, and the late J. Wingate Thornton, Esq., of the New England Historic-Genealogical Society, by whose kindness the writer was furnished with the valuable letter from David McClure to General Knox, and Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, D.D., and Dr. Samuel A. Green, of the Massachusetts Historical Society, to whom he is indebted for the invaluable list of English donations given in the Appendix. Valuable aid has been rendered also by Messrs. Kimball and Secor, of the New Hampshire State and State Histori cal Society Libraries, at Concord. In this connection the well known names of W. S. Butler, Prof. F. B. Dexter, Hon. C. J. Hoadley, F. B. Perkins, Hon. J. Hammond Trumbull, and Hon. E. P. Walton also deserve notice.
The writer is deeply indebted to Hon. John Wentworth, of Chicago, for his kindness in examining the more important portions of the work previous to its publication.
For the carefully-prepared draught of the original college edifice, the writer is indebted to the artistic skill of Mr. Arthur Bruce Colburn.
In closing, especial mention should be made of the kindness of Prof. Charles Hammond, Marcus D. Gilman, Esq., and others representing the family of the founder, of the family of Hon. Elisha Payne, an early and honored Trustee, of the Trustees and Faculty of the college, and the courteous liberality of the publishers.
BROOKLINE, MASS.,June, 1878.
The most valuable part of a nation's history portrays its institutions of learning and religion.
The alumni of a college which has moulded the intellectual and moral character of not a few of the illustrious living, or the more illustrious dead,—the oldest college in the valley of the Connecticut, and the only college in an ancient and honored State,—would neglect a most fitting and beautiful service, should they suffer the cycles of a century to pass, without gathering in some modest urn the ashes of its revered founders, or writing on some modest tablet the names of its most distinguished sons.
The germ of Dartmouth College was a deep-seated and long-cherished desire, of the foremost of its founders, to elevate the Indian race in America.
The Christian fathers of New England were not unmindful of the claims of the Aborigines. The well-directed, patient, and successful labors of the Eliots, Cotton, and the Mayhews, and the scarcely less valuable labors of Treat and others, fill a bright page in the religious history of the seventeenth century. To numerous congregations of red men the gospel was preached; many were converted; churches were gathered, and the whole Bible—the first printed in America—was given them in their own language.
This interest in the Indian was not confined to our own country, in the earlier periods of our history. In Great Britain, sovereigns, ecclesiastics, and philosophers recognized the obligations providentially imposed upon them, to aid in giving a Christian civilization to their swarthy brethren, who were sitting in the thickest darkness of heathenism in the primeval forests of the New World. Societies, as well as individuals, manifested a deep and practical interest in the work.
We can only touch upon some of the more salient points of this subject. But it is especially worthy of note, that the elevation of the Indian race, by the education of its youth, was not an idea of New England, nor indeed of American, birth.
In Stith's "History of Virginia" (p. 162), we find in substance the following statements: At an early period in the history of this State, attempts were made to establish an institution of learning of a high order. In 1619, the treasurer of the Virginia Company, Sir Edwin Sandys, received from an unknown hand five hundred pounds, to be applied by the Company to the education of a certain number of Indian youths in the English language and in the Christian religion. Other sums of money were also procured, and there was a prospect of being able to raise four or five thousand pounds, for the endowment of a college. The king favored the design, and recommended to the bishops to have collections made in their dioceses, and some fifteen hundred pounds were gathered on this recommendation. The college was designed for the instruction of English, as well as Indian, youths. The Company appropriated ten thousand acres of land to this purpose, at Henrico, on James River, a little below the present site of Richmond. The plan of the college was, to place tenants at halves on these lands, and to derive its income from the profits. The enterprise was abandoned in consequence of the great Indian massacre, in 1622, although operations had been commenced, and a competent person had been secured to act as president. This is believed to have been the first effort to found a college in America.
Passing to the middle of the century, we find the distinguished Christian philosopher, Robert Boyle, appointed governor of "a company incorporated for the propagation of the gospel among the heathen natives of New England, and the parts adjacent in America," and that, after his decease, in 1691, a portion of his estate was given, by the executors of his will, to William and Mary's College, which was possibly, in a measure, the outgrowth of the efforts of Mr. Sandys and his coadjutors, for the support of Indian students.
In 1728, Col. William Byrd, in writing upon this subject, laments "the bad success Mr. Boyle's charity has had in converting the natives," which was owing in part, at least, to the fact, that the interest of their white brethren in their welfare was confined chiefly to their residence at college.
Pursuing these researches, we come to the name of another distinguished British scholar and divine, George Berkeley, who has been styled "the philosopher" of the reign of George II.
We quote a portion of a letter relating to his educational plans, from Dean Swift to Lord Carteret, Lieutenant of Ireland, dated Sept. 3, 1724, in which he says:
"He showed me a little tract which he designs to publish, and there your Excellency will see his whole scheme of a life academico-philosophic, of a college at Bermuda for Indian scholars and missionaries. I discourage him by the coldness of courts and ministers, who will interpret all this as impossible and a vision, but nothing will do. And therefore I do humbly entreat your Excellency either to use such persuasions as will keep one of the first men in this kingdom for learning and virtue quiet at home, or assist him by your credit to compass his romantic design, which, however, is very noble and generous, and directly proper for a great person of your excellent education to encourage."
The pamphlet alluded to begins, as one of his biographers informs us, by lamenting "that there is at this day little sense of religion and a most notorious corruption of manners in the English colonies settled on the continent of America, and the islands," and that "the Gospel hath hitherto made but very inconsiderable progress among the neighboring Americans, who still continue in much the same ignorance and barbarism in which we found them above a hundred years ago." After stating what he believes to be the causes of this state of things, he propounds his plan of training young natives, as missionaries to their countrymen, and educating "the youth of our English plantations," to fill the pulpits of the colonial churches. His biographer is doubtless correct in the opinion, that "it was on the savages, evidently, that he had his heart."
He obtained a charter from the crown for his proposed college, and a promise, never fulfilled, of large pecuniary aid from the government, and early in 1729 he arrived in America, settling temporarily at Newport, R. I. Failing to accomplish his purpose, he remained in this country but two or three years, yet long enough to form the acquaintance of many eminent men, and among them President Williams, of Yale College.
Finding that there was no prospect of receiving the promised aid for his college, Berkeley returned to England in 1731. Soon after, in addition to a large and valuable donation of books for the library, he sent as a gift, to Yale, a deed of his farm in Rhode Island, the rents of which he directed to be appropriated to the maintenance or aid of meritorious resident graduates or under-graduates.
Although he failed to carry out his plan of establishing a college himself, in America, perhaps he "builded better than he knew." Most fitting is it, as we shall see hereafter, for the current literature of our day to place in intimate association, the names of Boyle, Berkeley, and Dartmouth.
Passing to 1734, we find Rev. John Sergeant commencing missionary labor among the Indians at Stockbridge, Mass. After a trial of a few years, he writes in a manner showing very plainly that he believes civilization essential to any permanent success. In one of his letters to Rev. Dr. Colman, of Boston, he says: "What I propose, in general, is, to take such a method in the education of our Indian children as shall in the most effectual manner change their whole manner of thinking and acting, and raise them as far as possible into the condition of a civil, industrious, and polished people, while at the same time the principles of virtue and piety shall be instilled into their minds in a way that will make the most lasting impression, and withal to introduce the English language among them instead of their own barbarous dialect."
"And now to accomplish this design, I propose to procure an accommodation of 200 acres of land in this place (which may be had gratis of the Indian proprietors), and to erect a house on it such as shall be thought convenient for a beginning, and in it to maintain a number of children and youth." He proposes "to have their time so divided between study and labor that one shall be the diversion of the other, so that as little time as possible may be lost in idleness," and, "to take into the number, upon certain conditions, youths from any of the other tribes around." His plan included both sexes. Mr. Sergeant died in 1749. Besides accomplishing much himself, he laid the foundations for the subsequent labors of Jonathan Edwards.
This rapid glance at the earlier efforts in behalf of the Aborigines of our country, shows that the next actor upon the stage, undaunted by any lack of success on their part, measurably followed in the footsteps of learned and philanthropic predecessors.
Eleazar Wheelock, the leading founder of Dartmouth College, was a great-grandson of Ralph Wheelock, a native of Shropshire, in England, through whom Dartmouth traces her academic ancestry to the ancient and venerable
Clare Hall, at Cambridge, where he graduated in 1626, the contemporary of Thomas Dudley, Samuel Eaton, John Milton, John Norton, Thomas Shepard, and Samuel Stone.
Coming a few years later to this country, he became a useful and an honored citizen of the then new, but now old, historic town of Dedham, from which place he removed to Medfield, being styled "founder" of that town, where he remained till his death. He devoted his time largely to teaching, although, having been educated for the ministry, he rendered valuable service to the infant community as an occasional preacher. His name is also conspicuous among the [1] magistrates and legislators of that period.
His daughter Rebecca married John Craft, whose birth is the earliest on record among the pioneer settlers at Roxbury. Some of his descendants (by another marriage) are conspicuous in history. Medfield records connect the names of Fuller, Chenery, and Morse with the Wheelock family.
In the character of his son, Eleazar Wheelock, of Mendon, we are told there was a union of "the Christian and the soldier." Having command of a corps of cavalry, he was "very successful in repelling the irruptions of the Indians," although he treated them with "great kindness," in times of peace. From him, his grandson and namesake received "a handsome legacy for defraying the expenses of his public education," and from him, too, he doubtless acquired, in some measure, that peculiar interest in the Indian race which so largely moulded his character and guided the labors of his life.
Near the time of Ralph Wheelock's arrival in America, were two other arrivals worthy of notice: that of Thomas Hooker, at Cambridge, "the one rich pearl with which Europe more than repaid America for the treasures from her coasts," and that of the widowed Margaret Huntington, at Roxbury, of which there is still a well-preserved record, in the handwriting of John Eliot. The guiding and controlling influence of Hooker's masterly mind upon all, whether laymen or divines, with whom he came in contact, must be apparent to those who are familiar with the biography of one, to whom the learned and religious institutions of New England are more indebted, perhaps, than to any other single person. Hooker's settlement at Hartford is fitly styled "the founding of Connecticut."
When a little later the family of Margaret Huntington settled at Saybrook, their youthful pastor, who was just gathering a church, was James Fitch, a worthy pupil of Thomas Hooker. Not satisfied with their location, pastor and people sought an inland home, and in 1660 laid the foundations of what is now the large and flourishing town of Norwich. From this time Huntington and Fitch are honored names in the history of Connecticut.
A quarter of a century after the settlement of Norwich, an English refugee from religious oppression began the settlement of the neighboring town of Windham. To this place, Ralph Wheelock the younger, a grandson of the Dedham teacher and preacher, was attracted, marrying about the same time, Ruth, daughter of Dea. Christopher Huntington, of Norwich. Mr. Ralph Wheelock was a respectable farmer, universally esteemed for his hospitality, his piety, and the virtues that adorn the Christian character, and in his later years was an officer of the church.
[2] Of Mrs. Wheelock, it is said: "Every tradition respecting her makes her a woman of unusual intelligence and rare piety. Her home, the main theatre of her life, was blessed equally by her timely instructions, her holy example, and the administration of a gentle yet firm discipline." Their son Eleazar was born at Windham, April 22, 1711.
Huntington Family Memoir, p. 78.
The first minister of this honored town was Rev. Samuel Whiting, a native of Hartford, and trained in the "Hooker School." For a helpmeet he had secured a lineal descendant of that noble and revered puritan, Gov. Wm. Bradford. The labors of this worthy pair were largely blessed to their people. At one period, in a population of hundreds, it is said "the town did not contain a single prayerless family."
Thus kindly and wisely did the Master arrange, by long and closely blended lines of events, that the most genial influences should surround the cradle of one for whom He designed eminent service and peculiar honor.
The mother of Eleazar Wheelock having died in 1725, for a second wife his father married a lady named Standish, a descendant of Myles Standish, whose heroic character she perhaps impressed, in some measure, upon her adopted [3] son. "Being an only son," says his biographer, "and discovering, at an early age, a lively genius, a taste for learning, with a very amiable disposition, he was placed by his father under the best instructors that could then be obtained." At "about the age of sixteen, while qualifying himself for admission to college, it pleased God to impress his mind with serious concern for his salvation. After earnest,prayerful inquiry, he was enlightened and comforted with that hope in
the Saviour, which afterwards proved the animating spring of his abundant labors to promote the best interests of mankind." At the time of his admission to the Windham church, the distinguished Thomas Clap was its pastor.
Memoirs of Wheelock, by McClure and Parish.
Having made the requisite preparation, he entered Yale College, of which President Williams was then at the head, "with a resolution to devote himself to the work of the Gospel ministry." Among his college contemporaries were Joseph Bellamy and President Aaron Burr.
"His proficiency in study, and his exemplary deportment, engaged the notice and esteem of the rector and instructors, and the love of the students. He and his future brother-in-law, the late Rev. Doctor Pomeroy of Hebron, in Connecticut, were the first who received the interest of the legacy, generously given by the Rev. Dean Berkeley," for excellence in classical scholarship.
Soon after his graduation, in 1733, he commenced preaching. Having declined a call from Long Island, to settle in the ministry, he accepted a unanimous invitation from the Second Congregational Society in Lebanon, Connecticut, and was ordained in June, 1735.
This town occupies a conspicuous place in American history; for, whoever traces the lineage of some of the most illustrious names that grace its pages, finds his path lying to or through this "valley of cedars," in Eastern Connecticut. Here the patient, heroic Huguenot aided in laying foundations for all good institutions. Here the learned, indefatigable Tisdale taught with distinguished success. Here lived those eminent patriots, the Trumbulls. By birth or ancestry, the honored names of Smalley, Ticknor, Marsh, and Mason, are associated with this venerable town.
Mr. Wheelock's parish was in the northern and most retired part of the town, and the least inviting, perhaps, in its physical aspects and natural resources. The products of a rugged soil furnished the industrious inhabitants with a comfortable subsistence, but left nothing for luxury. It was at that period a quiet agricultural community, living largely within itself. As at the present day, there was but one church within the territorial limits of the parish. The "council of nine," selected from the more discreet of the male members, somewhat in accordance with Presbyterian usage, aided in the administration of a careful and thorough discipline.
There can be no doubt that Mr. Wheelock was accounted one of the leading preachers and divines of his day. Both as a pastor, and the associate of the eminent men who were prominent in the great revival which marked the middle of the last century, his labors were crowned with large success. Rev. Dr. Burroughs, who knew him intimately, says: "As a preacher, his aim was to reach the conscience. He studied great plainness of speech, and adapted his discourse to every capacity, that he might be understood by all." His pupil, Dr. Trumbull, the historian, says: "He was a gentleman of a comely figure, of a mild and winning aspect, his voice smooth and harmonious, the best by far that I ever heard. He had the entire command of it. His gesture was natural, but not redundant. His preaching and addresses were close and pungent, and yet [4] winning beyond almost all comparison." By an intermarriage of their relatives, he was allied to the family of Jonathan Edwards, whose high regard for him is sufficiently indicated in a letter dated Northampton, June 9, 1741, from which we make brief extracts. "There has been a reviving of religion of late amongst us, but your labors have been much more remarkably blessed than mine. May God send you hither with the like blessing as He has sent you to some other places, and may your coming be a means to humble me for my barrenness and unprofitableness, and a means of my instruction and enlivening. I want an opportunity to concert measures with you, for the advancement of the kingdom and glory of the Redeemer."
The venerable Prof. Stowe states that, when a professor in the College, he was informed by an aged man, living in the vicinity, that President Wheelock's earnestness in preaching at times led him to leave the pulpit, and appeal to individuals in his audience.
We are fortunate in having the testimony of a member of his own family, in regard to the beginning of Mr. Wheelock's more practical interest in the [5] unfortunate Aborigines. His grandson, Rev. William Patten, D.D., says, "One evening after a religious conference with a number of his people at Lebanon, he walked out, as he usually did on summer evenings, for meditation and prayer; and in his retirement his attention was led to the neglect [from lack of means] of his people in providing for his support. It occurred to him, with peculiar clearness, that if they furnished him with but half a living, they were entitled to no more than half his labors. And he concluded that they were left to such neglect, to teach him that part of his labors ought to be directed to other objects. He then inquired what objects were most in want of assistance. And it occurred to him, almost instantaneously, that the Indians were the most proper objects of the charitable attention of Christians. He then determined to devote half of his time to them."
Memoirs of Wheelock, p. 177.
We will now allow this eminent Christian philanthropist to speak for himself. In his "Narrative," for the period ending in 1762, after referring to the too general lack of interest in the Indian, he says:
"It has seemed to me, he must be stupidly indifferent to the Redeemer's cause and interest in the world, and criminally deaf and blind to the intimations of the favor and displeasure of God in the dispensations of His Providence, who could not perceive plain intimations of God's displeasure against us for this neglect, inscribed in capitals, on the very front of divine dispensations, from year to year, in permitting the savages to be such a sore scourge to our land, and make such depredations on our frontiers, inhumanly butchering and captivating our people, not only in a time of war, but when we had good reason to think (if ever we had) that we dwelt safely by them. And there is good reason to think that if one half which has been expended for so many years past in building forts, manning, and supporting them, had been prudently laid out in supporting faithful missionaries and schoolmasters among them, the instructed and civilized party would have been a far better defence than all our expensive fortresses, and prevented the laying waste so many towns and villages; witness the consequence of sending Mr. Sergeant to Stockbridge, which was in the very road by which they most usually came upon our people, and by which there has never been one attack made upon us since his going there." After referring to the ordinary obligations of humanity, patriotism, and religion, he says:
"As there were few or none who seemed to lay the necessity and importance of Christianizing the natives so much to heart as to exert themselves in earnest and lead the way therein, I was naturally put upon consideration and inquiry what methods might have the greatest probability of success; and upon the whole was fully persuaded that this, which I have been pursuing, had by far the greatest probability of any that had been proposed, viz.: by the mission of their own [educated] sons in conjunction with the English; and that a number of girls should also be instructed in whatever should be necessary to render them fit to perform the female part, as house-wives, school-mistresses, and tailoresses. The influence of their own sons among them will likely be much greater than of any Englishmen whatsoever. There is no such thing as sending English missionaries, or setting up English schools among them, to any good purpose, in most places, as their temper, state, and condition have been and still are." In illustration of his theory, he refers to the education, by the assistance of the [6] "Honorable London Commissioners," of Mr. Samson Occom, "one of the Mohegan tribe, who has several years been a useful school-master and [7] successful preacher of the Gospel."
Agents of the Corporation in London referred to on page 2, of which Robert Boyle was governor.
See Appendix.
"After seeing the success of this attempt," he continues, "I was more encouraged to hope that such a method might be very successful, and above eight years ago I wrote to Rev. John Brainerd [brother of the distinguished David Brainerd], missionary in New Jersey, desiring him to send me two likely boys for this purpose, of the Delaware tribe. He accordingly sent me John Pumpshire in the fourteenth, and Jacob Woolley in the eleventh years of their age. They arrived December 18, 1754.
"Sometime after these boys came, the affair appearing with an agreeable aspect, I represented it to Col. Elisha Williams, late Rector of Yale College, and Rev. Messrs. Samuel Moseley, of Windham, and Benjamin Pomeroy, of Hebron, and invited them to join me. They readily accepted the invitation. And [8] Mr. Joshua Moor, late of Mansfield, deceased, appeared, to give a small tenement in this place [Lebanon], for the foundation, use and support of a charity school, for the education of Indian youth, etc." Mr. More's grant contained "about two acres of pasturing, and a small house and shop," near Mr. Wheelock's residence.
Mr. M.'s own orthography is More.
This gentleman was one of the more prominent of the early settlers at Mansfield. He owned and resided upon a large estate on the Willimantic river, a few miles north of the present site of the village bearing that name. There is sufficient evidence to warrant the belief, that the first husband of Mr. More's mother was Mr. Thomas Howard (or Harwood), of Norwich, who was slain in the memorable fight at Narragansett Fort, in December, 1675, and that her maiden name was Mary Wellman. From the church records, he appears to have been of a professedly religious character, as early as 1721. As his residence was in the neighborhood of Mr. Wheelock's early home, and but little farther removed from Lebanon "Crank," as the north parish in that town was styled, Mr. More had ample opportunities for a thorough acquaintance with the person to whom he nowgenerouslya hel extended ping hand. It is not known that this
worthy man left any posterity, to perpetuate a name which will be cherished with tender regard, so long as the institution to which he furnished a home, in its infancy, shall have an existence.
In a summary of his work for the eight years, Mr. Wheelock says: "I have had two upon my hands since 1754, four since April, 1757, five since April, 1759, seven since November, 1760, and eleven since August, 1761. And for some time I have had twenty-five, three of the number English youth. One of the Indian lads, Jacob Woolley, is now in his last year at New Jersey College."
There is reason to believe that Occom would have taken a collegiate course, but for the partial failure of his health. On the whole, we are fully warranted in the opinion that, from the outset, Mr. Wheelock designed to have all his missionaries, whether Indian or English, "thoroughly furnished" for their work.
Before closing the "Narrative," he gives an interesting account of material resources.
"The Honorable London Commissioners, hearing of the design, inquired into it, and encouraged it by an allowance of £12 lawful money, by their vote November 12, 1756. And again in the year 1758 they allowed me £20; and in November 4, 1760, granted me an annual allowance of £20 for my assistance; and in October 8, 1761, they granted me £12 towards the support of Isaiah Uncas, son of the Sachem of Mohegan, and £10 more for his support the following year. In October, 1756, I received a legacy of fifty-nine dollars of Mrs. Ann Bingham, of Windham. In July, 1761, I received a generous donation of fifty pounds sterling from the Right Hon. William, Marquis of Lothian; and in November, 1761, a donation of £26 sterling from Mr. Hardy, of London; and in May, 1762, a second donation of £50 sterling from that most honorable and noble lord, the Marquis of Lothian; and, at the same time, £20 sterling from Mr. Samuel Savage, merchant in London; and a collection of ten guineas from the Rev. Dr. A. Gifford, in London; and £10 sterling more from a lady in London, unknown, which is still in the hands of a friend, and to be remitted with some additional advantage, and to be accounted for when received. And, also, for seven years past, I have, one year with another, received about £11 lawful money, annually, interest of subscriptions. And in my journey to Portsmouth last June, I received, in private donations, £66 17s. 7¼d., lawful money. I also received, for the use of this school, a bell of about 80 lb. weight, from a [9] gentleman in London. The Honorable Scotch Commissioners, in and near Boston, understanding and approving of the design of sending for Indian children of remote tribes to be educated here, were the first body, or society, who have led the way in making an attempt for that purpose. While I was in Boston they passed a vote, May 7, 1761, 'that the Reverend Mr. Wheelock, of Lebanon, be desired to fit out David Fowler, an Indian youth, to accompany Mr. Samson Occom, going on a mission to the Oneidas; that said David be supported on said mission for a term not exceeding four months; and that he endeavor, on his return, to bring with him a number of Indian boys, not exceeding three, to be put under Mr. Wheelock's care and instruction, and that £20 be put into Mr. Wheelock's hands to carry this design into execution.' In November, 1761, the Great and General Court or Assembly of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, voted that I should be allowed to take under my care six children of the Six Nations, for education, clothing, and boarding, and be allowed for that purpose, for each of said children, £12 per annum for one [10] year."
Agents of the Scotch "Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge."
For tribes represented in the school, and other donors to the school and college, see Appendix.
The importance of education to the welfare of any community, has been duly appreciated by the people of New Hampshire from the earliest periods of her history.
Such an item as the following is worthy of notice:
"At a publique Town Meeting held the 5: 2 mo. 58 [1658,] It is agreed that Twenty pounds per annum shall be yearly rayzed for the mayntenance of a [11] School-master in the Town of Dover." Harvard College being in need of a new building in 1669, the inhabitants of Portsmouth "subscribed sixty pounds, which sum they agreed to pay annually for seven years to the overseers of Harvard College. Dover gave thirty-two pounds, and Exeter ten pounds for the
[12] same purpose." Very few towns at the present day are as liberal, in proportion to their ability.
Dover Town Records.
Adams's Annals of Portsmouth, p. 50.
Classical schools were established in all the more populous towns, and these were furnished with competent teachers, who were graduates of Harvard College, or European universities.
In 1758, in the midst of the din and tumult of the French war, we find the clergy —ever among the foremost in laudable enterprise—making an earnest effort for increased facilities for liberal education.
We give official records:
"The Convention of the Congregational Ministers in the Province of New Hampshire, being held at the house of the Rev. Mr. Pike in Somersworth on the 26th day of Sept. 1758: The Rev. Joseph Adams was chosen Moderator." After the sermon and transaction of some business:
"The Convention then taking into consideration the great advantages which may arise, both to the Churches and State from the erecting [an] Academy or College in this Province, unanimously Voted that the following Petition shall be preferred to the Governor, desiring him to grant a Charter for said purpose:
"To his Excellency, Benning Wentworth, Esq., Capt.-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over his Majesty's Province of New Hampshire in New England. May it please your Excellency,—
"We, the Ministers of the Congregational Churches in this Province of New Hampshire under your Excellency's Government now assembled in an Annual Convention in Somersworth, as has been our custom for several years past, the design of which is to pray together for his Majesty and Government, and to consult the interests of religion and virtue, for our mutual assistance and encouragement in our proper business: Beg leave to present a request to your Excellency in behalf of literature, which proceeds, not from any private or party views in us, but our desire to serve the Government and religion by laying a foundation for the best instruction of youth. We doubt not your Excellency is sensible of the great advantages of learning, and the difficulties which attend the education of youth in this Province, by reason of our distance from any of the seats of learning, the discredit of our medium, etc. We have reason to hope that by an interest among our people, and some favor from the Government, we may be able in a little time to raise a sufficient fund for erecting and carrying on an Academy or College within this Province, without prejudice to any other such seminary in neighboring Colonies, provided your Excellency will be pleased to grant to us, a number of us, or any other trustees, whom your Excellency shall think proper to appoint, a good and sufficient charter, by which they may be empowered to choose a President, Professors, Tutors, or other officers, and regulate all matters belonging to such a society. We therefore now humbly petition your Excellency to grant such a charter as may, in the best manner, answer such a design and intrust it with our Committee, viz.: Messrs. Joseph Adams, James Pike, John Moody, Ward Cotton, Nathaniel Gookin, Woodbridge Odlin, Samuel Langdon, and Samuel Haven, our brethren, whom we have now chosen to wait upon your Excellency with this our petition, that we may use our influence with our people to promote so good a design, by generous subscriptions, and that we may farther petition the General Court for such assistance, as they shall think necessary. We are persuaded, if your Excellency will first of all favor us with such a charter, we shall be able soon to make use of it for the public benefit; and that your Excellency's name will forever be remembered with honor. If, after trial, we cannot accomplish it, we promise to return the charter with all thankfulness for your Excellency's good disposition. It is our constant prayer that God would prosper your Excellency's administration, and we beg leave to subscribe ourselves your Excellency's most obedient servants.
"Proceedings attested by SAMUELHAVEN, Clerk."
"The Convention of Congregational Ministers in the Province of New Hampshire being held at the house of the Rev. Mr. Joseph Adams in Newington on the 25th of September, 1759, the Rev. Mr. Adams was chosen Moderator. We then went to the house of God. After prayer and a sermon:
"A draught of a charter for a college in this Province being read: Voted, That the said charter is for substance agreeable to the mind of the Convention. Whereas a committee chosen last year to prefer a petition to his Excellency the Governor for a charter of a college in this Province have given a verbal account to this