Kirkland, Samuel

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Kirkland, Samuel

Samuel Kirkland, 1741–1808, American missionary, b. Norwich, Conn. He visited the Oneida tribe in 1764 and in 1766 began living with them according to their customs, preaching to them, and becoming a valued counselor. Kirkland kept the Oneida loyal to the colonists throughout the American Revolution; after the war he assisted in making peace treaties with the Iroquois and in working out plans for their welfare. He again (1790–92) pacified the Six Nations when there was some danger of their joining the Ohio tribes in revolt. In 1793 he received—through the aid of Alexander Hamilton—a charter from New York state to found Hamilton Oneida Academy for the education of both white and Native American youths. Few Native Americans attended, however, and as Hamilton College it changed over to a regular curriculum.

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