Wheelock, Eleazar (ĕlēāˈzər hwēˈlŏk) [key], 1711–79, American clergyman, founder of Dartmouth College, b. Windham, Conn., grad. Yale, 1733. He became (1735) the pastor of a Congregational church in the part of Lebanon, Conn., that is now Columbia. Here he became interested in Native American education, and he founded and conducted (1754–67) a school for Algonquin and Iroquois youth. One of his first students, Samson Occom, went to England and helped to raise funds for the project, and when an endowment of some $50,000 had been collected, Wheelock moved to what is now Hanover, N.H., and established (1770) Dartmouth. He became its first president and guided the college through the early days of the American Revolution.
See biography by J. D. McCallum (1939, repr. 1969).