DescriptionEleazar Wheelock Archive, dated 1735-1771 and containing twenty-three letters and one document, totaling thirty-one pages of text. Most of the letters are written to Wheelock, a New England Congregational minister, concerning congregational councils and problems, church membership, movements of members between congregations, announcements of new ministers, and more. Four of the letters are signed by Wheelock. One three-page handwritten document dated June 1769 consists of the "Minutes of my Conduct in the Affair of Mr. Judson." Nineteen of the letters contain the signatures of New England ministers or church committee members. These documents are age toned with minor soiling.
These letters and one document were written at a time of great social and religious change in New England. Some historians date the First Great Awakening, which brought challenges to New England's religious leaders, between 1731 and 1755. During most of that time, Eleazar Wheelock (1711-1779) served as one of the most effective Congregational ministers in New England, pastoring the Lebanon Second Congregational Church for thirty-five years from 1735-1769 while also taking an interest in preaching to New England Indians (he established a school for Indians in Lebanon). In 1769, Wheelock received a charter from King George III to establish a new school primarily for English colonists in Hanover, New Hampshire, which he named Dartmouth College after Lord Dartmouth. Wheelock served as the first president. In one letter written in January 1770, as he prepared to transition to his new school, Wheelock writes from Lebanon, "Mather informs me that he has recovered a comfortable State of health, and therefore as I have hired one Indian Tutor into my School I must think it will be left for him." In another letter dated February 1772, after Wheelock had left Lebanon for New Hampshire, Lieutenant Asahel Clark of Lebanon informs Wheelock that "I am impatient to see you & your Family and School in their Distant & Quite new Situation & of which I have Formd some idea."
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