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The Papers of Samuel Kirkland in the Dartmouth College Library

WMAN MS-867

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Kirkland, Samuel
Title Remainder: Papers. 1764-1837
Dates: 1764-1837
Identification: MS-867





Other Descriptive Data

MS-867

Samuel Kirkland Papers

Introduction

Samuel Kirkland was born in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1741. After preparation at Eleazar Wheelock's school in Lebanon, Connecticut, he entered the College of New Jersey in 1762. He received his degree in 1765 in absentia, having left to serve as a missionary to the native peoples of New York. Kirkland was ordained in 1766 in Connecticut and returned to the Oneida peoples that year to serve for the next four decades as a missionary. In 1769, he married Jerusha Bingham, a niece of Eleazar Wheelock. The following year, after a disagreement with Wheelock, Kirkland placed himself under the auspices of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, receiving his salary from that organization and from Harvard College. Kirkland is credited with preventing several conflicts between the native peoples and British and American colonists. He also founded Hamilton Oneida Academy, later Hamilton College, in 1793. Kirkland's activities are documented in the Narratives published by Eleazar Wheelock. Samuel Kirkland died in 1808, having served as a missionary to the Oneida peoples his entire life.

As one of his responsibilities to the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, Kirkland was obliged to keep a journal or diary of his activities and forward the record to Boston and thence to Scotland. While he disliked doing this, he faithfully kept a journal, had fair copies transcribed, and then sent on as required. When the early records of the Society were deposited in H. M. General Register House in Edinburgh, the journals were missing. Thus, the rough drafts and retained copies of the journals are vital to the understanding of Kirkland's work. Fully a third of this collection are his retained copies of the journals, from 1764 to 1808.

A second third of the collection consists of correspondence from 1770 to 1807. Much of this portion of the collection consists of letters of Kirkland's son, John Thornton Kirkland, to his father describing his activities and reacting to his father's letters. Also included is a series of letters of John Thornton Kirkland to his sister Jerusha that also contains fascinating information. Among other correspondents are the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, Timothy Pickering, Samuel Phillips, John Wheelock, Edward Wigglesworth, and John Thornton. The correspondence reflects both Kirkland's interests and his concerns.

The final portion of the collection contains several of Samuel Kirkland's sermons, commonplace books, and his 1794 “Vindication” of charges levied against him by the Oneida peoples. Also included in this portion of the collection are deeds, accounts, and a series of notebooks of John Thornton Kirkland.

The Samuel Kirkland papers are housed in one box (1.5 linear feet). The collection was for many years on deposit at the Massachusetts Historical Society. In 1999, the Lothrop family who had placed the collection on deposit, withdrew the collection and offered it for sale to Dartmouth College. The purchase was made possible through the generosity of the Friends of the Dartmouth Library and the Benz Fund.






Diaries



(a) 1. 1764 November 16—1765 May 2



(b) 2. 1771 September 23—1771 November 13



(c) 3. 1775 July 21—1775 September 3



(d) 4. 1786 November 27—1787 January 26



(e) 5. 1788 May 7—1788 August 12



(f) 6. 1790 March 16



(g) 7. 1790 May 3—1791 February 16



(h) 8. 1791 February 19—1791 June 7



(i) 9. 1791 February 19—1791 May 31



(j) 10. 1791 June 13—1791 October 14



(k) 11. [1792] February 18—[1792] February 29



(l) 12. 1792 July 16—1793 December 24



(m) 13. 1792 July 16—1794 January 16



(n) 14. 1792 July 16—1794 January 2



(o) 15. [1795] August 23—[1795] November 4; 1796 August 10—1796 November 21



(p) 16. 1801 November 7—1804 August 21



(q) 17. 1802 March 7—1803 May 29



(r) 18. 1803 June 5—1803 August 23



(s) 19. 1803 August 29—1803 December 31



(t) 20. 1803 August 29—1803 December 31



(u) 21. 1804 January 1—1804 March 31



(v) 22. 1804 October 7—1806 March 30



(w) 23. 1805 June 18—1805 August 18



(x) 24. 1806 April 2—1806 November 10



(y) 25. 1806 April 6—1807 February 1



(z) 26. 1807 February 4—1807 March 8; 1808 January 13—1808 January 31



Correspondence



(a) 27. 1770-1779



(b) 28. 1784



(c) 29. 1785



(d) 30. 1786



(e) 31. 1787



(f) 32. 1788



(g) 33. 1789



(h) 34. 1790



(i) 35. 1791, January—May



(j) 36. 1791, June—December



(k) 37. 1792, January—May



(l) 38. 1792, June—September



(m) 39. 1792, October—December



(n) 40. 1793



(o) 41. 1794



(p) 42. 1795



(q) 43. 1796



(r) 44. 1797



(s) 45. 1799



(t) 46. 1800



(u) 47. 1801



(v) 48. 1802



(w) 49. 1803



(x) 50. 1804, January—May



(y) 51. 1804, June—December



(z) 52. 1805



(aa) 53. 1806



(ab) 54. 1807



(ac) 55. Undated



Writings, Documents, Miscellaneous



(a) 56. Sermon, 1745



(b) 57. Sermon Fragments



(c) 58. Vindication, 1794



(d) 59. Essay [on Edmund Burke?]



(e) 60. Commonplace book, 1790



(f) 61. Commonplace book, 1790



(g) 62. Composition miscellaneous, 1793



(h) 63. Accounts, 1788-1797



(i) 64. Deeds, 1788-1803



(j) 65. Petition for land, 1803



(k) 66. Harvard College faculty minutes, 1781



(l) 67. Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, to the Oneida peoples



(m) 68. Nicholas Cooke, Governor of Rhode Island, to the Oneida peoples, cover only



(n) 69. John Thornton Kirkland, commonplace book, 1786



(o) 70. John Thornton Kirkland, commonplace book, 1789



(p) 71. John Thornton Kirkland, commonplace book, undated



(q) 72. John Thornton Kirkland, commonplace book, undated



(r) 73. John Thornton Kirkland, essays, undated



(s) 74. John Thornton Kirkland, essays, undated



(t) 75. John Thornton Kirkland, essays, undated



(u) 76. John Thornton Kirkland, diary, 1829 April 10—1831 August 2



(v) 77. John Thornton Kirkland, diary, 1832 March 1—1832 August 23



(w) 78. John Thornton Kirkland,, diary, 1837 March 7—1838 June 5



(x) 79. Joseph S. Buckminster, translation of Cicero's Laelius, 1796



(y) 80. Joseph Keane, sermon fragment



(z) 81. David Tappan, address to students of Phillips Academy, 1791



(aa) 82. On the pastoral office, two documents



(ab) 83. Miscellaneous



(ac) 84. Fragments