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Eleazar Wheelock (Eleazar Wheelock)

Eleazar Wheelock

Educator. Born in Windham, Connecticut, child of Ralph Wheelock and Ruth Huntington. In 1733, he graduated from Yale College, having won the first award of the Dean Berkeley Donation for distinction in classics. He continued his theological studies at Yale until he was licensed to preach in May 1734. after beginning as pastor of a church for two months, he married Sarah Davenport, in April of 1735. She died in 1746. They managed a farm in addition to his pastoring, and he was an itinerant preacher during the 1730s and 1740s. He married a second time to Mary Brinsmead, a widow with two children. In total he had eight children with his wives and two step-children. Eleazar  was installed as the pastor of the Second Congregational Church of Lebanon, Connecticut, in February 1735. He served as their minister for 34 years, while also acting as an itinerant preacher during the Great Awakening. He participated fully and enthusiastically in the Great Awakening, a religious revival that had begun to sweep the Connecticut River Valley around the time of his graduation from Yale. He was one of its greatest proponents in the state, serving as the “chief intelligencer of revival news”. In addition, Eleazar was deeply concerned about Native Americans in New England, whose numbers had declined rapidly due to disease, warfare and social disruption, including continued encroachment on their lands by colonists. After sending Occom and another minister on a speaking tour of England to raise money for the charity school, Eleazar decided to enlarge it, as well as adding college classes for the education of English colonists in the classics, philosophy, and literature. He began to search for another location for the schools. He obtained a charter from King George III in December, 1769. Having worked and raised funds for the education of Native Americans, Occom and the British Board of Trustees headed by Lord Dartmouth opposed the addition of the college to benefit colonists’ sons. Eleazar kept the lord’s donation and named the college after him, as Dartmouth College. He chose Hanover, New Hampshire, for the location and became the college’s president. In 1771, four students were graduated in Dartmouth’s first commencement, including his own son John. While some Native Americans attended Dartmouth, it primarily served the sons of English colonists. The Rev. Eleazar Wheelock died during the Revolutionary War, on April 24, 1779. His writings include “Narrative of the Indian School at Lebanon.” He was 68 years old. (bio by: Shock)  Family links:  Parents:  Ralph Wheelock (1683 – 1748)  Ruth Huntington Wheelock (1682 – 1725)  Spouses:  Mary Brinsmead Wheelock (1714 – 1783)*  Sarah Davenport Wheelock (1702 – 1746)*  Children:  Eleazer Wheelock (1737 – 1737)*  Mercy Wheelock (1737 – 1738)*  Ruth Wheelock Patten (1740 – 1831)*  Rhodolphus Wheelock (1742 – 1817)*  Eleazer Wheelock (1744 – 1744)*  Mary Wheelock Woodward (1748 – 1807)*  Abigail Wheelock Ripley (1751 – 1818)*  John Wheelock (1754 – 1817)*  Eleazar Wheelock (1756 – 1811)*  James Wheelock (1759 – 1835)* *Calculated relationship Inscription:In Memoriam ELEAZARI WHEELOCKDivinitatis DoctorisAcademiae Morensiset Collegii DartmuthensisFundatoris et Praesidis primiEvangelium inter Aborigines AmericanesPromulgavit et lucem inter Christianesfudit. MDCCX natus. MDCCLXXIX o[biit]Sacred to the memoryof Eleazar WheelockDoctor in DivinityFounder and first Presidentof Moor’s School and Dartmouth CollegeHe published the Gospel among the Hea-then, and spread light among Christians.He was born in the year 1710, and died 1779.


  • April, 22, 1711
  • USA


  • April, 04, 1779
  • USA


  • Dartmouth College Cemetery
  • USA

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