Records of grants for work among the Indians, 1720-1812

About this Collection

Harvard University , Corporation.
Collection Title
Records of grants for work among the Indians, 1720-1812
1.63 cubic feet (2 document boxes, 1 flat box, 2 microfilm boxes)
Harvard University Archives
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Aupaumut, Hendrick
Harrison, William Henry--Relations with Indians
Kirkland, Samuel
Sergeant, John
Corporation for the Promoting and Propagating the Gospel of Jesus Christ in New England, London.
Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the Parts Adjacent in America
Hamilton Oneida Academy.
Harvard University.
Six Nations
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Content Notes

These records document Harvard's administrative and financial sponsorship of missionary work among several New England Native American tribes between 1720 and 1812. They include the missionary journals of Samuel Kirkland (1741-1808), who lived among the Oneida tribe in New York for more than forty years, and John Sergeant (1747-1824), who lived among the Stockbridge tribe in Massachusetts and New York for almost fifty years. Other records in the collection include Harvard Corporation votes, correspondence, petitions, bonds, endorsements and reports related to missionary work.

Biographical Notes

In the eighteenth century, Harvard received financial contributions from the Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the Parts Adjacent in America, an English organization chartered for the purpose of converting the New England Indians to Christianity. The Company sponsored missionaries in New England from 1649 until the Revolutionary War. It did so by sending revenues from its investments to its Commissioners for Indian Affairs in New England, many of them Boston merchants, who in turn paid the missionaries or otherwise dispersed the funds as directed. Among the funds directed to Harvard College by the Company were bequests from two British men, Robert Boyle and Daniel Williams. These funds were administered by the Harvard Corporation and used to support the missionary work of several individuals, including: Oliver Peabody (1698-1752) and Stephen Badger (1726-1803) at Natick, Massachusetts; Stephen West (1735-1819) and John Sergeant (1710-1749) at Stockbridge, Massachusetts; Sergeant's son, John Sergeant, Jr. (1747-1824), at Stockbridge, Massachusetts and later New Stockbridge, New York; Samuel Kirkland (1741-1808) at Oneida, New York; Experience Mayhew (1673-1758) and Frederick Baylies (1774-1836) among the Chappaquiddick Indians in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; Gideon Hawley (1727-1807) at Mashpee, Massachusetts.