Manuscript materials related to Rev. Samuel Kirkland (1741-1808), founder of Hamilton Academy which became Hamilton College soon after his death.
Includes 647 letters, legal documents and memos, some of which are written in the Iroquois language. 102 of the letters have been transcribed and can be searched by keywords or phrases. Ask the Archives (email@example.com) about others.
Supplemental resource: Correspondence of Samuel Kirkland: Summaries and Index (PDF).
Samuel Kirkland was born in 1741, the son of a Congregational minister in Norwich, Connecticut. He studied for the ministry at Nassau Hall, in New Jersey College, where he decided to become a missionary to the American Indians. He studied the Mohawk language and in 1764 went to a remote region of central New York state to minister to the Seneca Indians. This mission did not go well, so a few years later he relocated to live among the Oneida indians in Kanonwarhare, New York. In 1766 he brought a few other missionaries from the Indian school of the Rev. Dr. Wheelock, in Lebanon, Connecticut, to help him set up a school for the Oneidas. Their endeavors were interrupted for several years by the American Revolution during which Kirkland served in the Army away from the mission. In 1785 he returned to resume his work among the Oneidas. In 1794, Kirkland founded the Hamilton-Oneida Academy for the education of the Oneidas. It's reputation grew and non-Indians soon began attending as well. After forty years of living among the Indians, Kirkland died at Paris, Oneida County, on March 18, 1808, at the age of 65. Four years after his death, in 1812, the Academy became Hamilton College.
Digitization of this collection was done in-house at 600 dpi, 24-bit color and saved as uncompressed TIF images. Images are delivered using JPEG2000, which provides for zoom and pan viewing.
Every document has been fully cataloged and can be searched by the name of the creator, recipient, date, geographic locations and subject headings.
Typescripts of 102 of the letters made by the College Archives during the 1970's were digitized in 2008 and can now be searched by keywords or phrases.
Full view books about Samuel Kirkland (books.google.com)
The journals of Samuel Kirkland: 18th century missionary to the Iroquois, government agent, father of Hamilton College, by Samuel Kirkland, Walter Pilkington, editor (Clinton, N.Y.: Hamilton College, 1980), 459 p. E99.I7 K5 1980
Katherine Collett, Archivist
Telephone: (315) 859-4471
Hamilton College Archives
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
Copyright © 2007-2010, The Trustees of Hamilton College. All rights reserved.