Eleazar Williams papers
Missionary to the Oneida Indians in New York and Green Bay, Wis. The mixed Indian-white descendant of Indian captive Eunice Williams of Deerfield, Mass., Williams was appointed a lay reader and catechist by Episcopal bishop John Henry Hobart and began work among the Oneida following the War of 1812. Three letters (1812-1858) and a claim decision (contemporary copy, 1838), together with twenty-nine sermons, letters, autobiographical excerpts, documents, essays, Indian language manuscripts, etc., originally contained in a scrapbook (1758-1846) consisting of materials by Williams, documents pertaining to Oneida and Menominee affairs, and manuscripts by and about Williams family members. The document and single letters with correspondents including Jedediah Morse and N.Y. Lieut. Gov. John Tayler concern the publication of Iroquois language tracts, Oneida factions and government relations, and Williams' efforts to obtain U.S. government compensation for his efforts in acquiring Wisconsin lands for the tribe. Materials by Williams in the scrapbook include his autobiography, 1803-1823, and several religious and historical essays, some concerning Rev. John Williams of Deerfield. Additional Williams family items include sermons, 1758-1794, and drafts of letters on religious topics written by Eleazer Williams from Mansfield, Conn., and Longmeadow, Mass., during the Second Great Awakening. There are memorials to the U.S. government and other documents concerning Oneida and Menominee lands in New York and Wisconsin. Among the Indian language materials are a religious piece, music, and an alphabet. There is also an engraving of Hobart, a pamphlet of Sabbath songs (1820), and a newspaper clipping re Williams' claim to be the French Dauphin.
- Creation: 1758-1858
- Williams, Eleazer, 1787-1858 (Person)
Biography of Eleazar Williams
Missionary to the Oneida Indians in New York and Green Bay, Wis. The mixed Indian-white descendant of Indian captive Eunice Williams of Deerfield, Mass., Williams was appointed a lay reader and catechist by Episcopal bishop John Henry Hobart and began work among the Oneida following the War of 1812. He was instrumental in arranging the tribe's acquisition of Menominee and Winnebago lands near Green Bay and moved there in 1823. Williams taught school and preached until the early 1830s when he was repudiated by the Oneida. Later claiming to be the lost Dauphin of France, he spent his remaining impoverished years in New York as a minister to the St. Regis Indians.
0.4 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Language of Materials
Single letters and document (Box 1) arranged chronologically. Items removed from scrapbook (Box 2) arranged in original order.
Ownership and Custodial History
Forms part of the Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library)
Butler, R.L. Checklist of Mss. in the Ayer Coll., 999-1000.
Processing Information Note
Formerly known as Ayer MS 999, 999a, 1000, and 1000a.
- Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library) (Organization)
- Hobart, John Henry, 1775-1830 -- Portraits (Person)
- Morse, Jedidiah, 1761-1826 (Person)
- Tayler, John, 1742-1829 (Person)
- Williams, Eleazer, 1787-1858 (Person)
- Williams, Eleazer (Person)
- Williams, John, 1664-1729 (Person)
- Williams family (Family)
Genre / Form
- Indians of North America -- Languages -- Texts
- Indians of North America -- New York (State) -- History -- Sources
- Indians of North America -- Wisconsin -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
- Menominee Indians -- Land tenure -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
- Missionaries -- New York (State) -- Biography
- Missionaries -- New York (State) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
- Missionaries -- Wisconsin -- Biography
- Missionaries -- Wisconsin -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
- Oneida Indians -- Government relations -- Sources
- Oneida Indians -- Land tenure -- History -- Sources
- Second Great Awakening -- Sources
- Sermons, American -- 18th century
- Catalog Record Only
- Language of description
- Script of description