Eleazar Wheelock sermons, 1734-1778 Rauner Manuscript MS-940

Biography

Born in Windham, Massachusetts, on April 22, 1711, Eleazar Wheelock attended Yale College and, on the 28th of March, 1734, was licensed to preach by the New Haven Association of Ministers. Wheelock was ordained June 4, 1735, in Lebanon (now Columbia), Connecticut, and began instruction as a means of supporting his family. December of 1743 Samson Occom (a converted Mohegan Indian, Occom would also be instrumental in raising the funds necessary to establish Dartmouth College) was received into Wheelock’s school and in July of 1755 Wheelock founded Moor’s Indian Charity School as a means of educating both Indians and whites alike to go as missionaries to the native tribes. Wheelock earned a D.D. degree from University of Edinburgh in June 1767, and in April 1769 land offered to Wheelock by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth as a location for establishment of his College was accepted by the Trustees. A charter for Dartmouth College was obtained from the Governor of New Hampshire in December 1769, and Wheelock was named President of the College. He served as President, Professor of Divinity, and Pastor of the College Church until his death, April 24, 1779, at the age of 68 years. Wheelock had four sons graduate from Dartmouth College, one of whom (John, Class of 1771) would succeed him as President of the College.

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