Anglican minister and philanthropist Thomas Bray devoted himself to the cause of educating and proselytizing blacks and Indians in British America. In 1724, a group calling themselves the Associates of Dr. Bray coalesced in the colonies with the aim of ministering to slaves, freedmen, and Native Americans. One of Bray’s friends gifted a tenth of his estate plus a royal pension to support the organization.
The Associates sent teachers and shipments of books and Bibles throughout the colonies—providing some of the very first instruction to African Americans and Indians.
The group eventually opened a school in Philadelphia aimed at providing literacy and spiritual formation. Its success led to similar schools in New York, Newport, Williamsburg, and elsewhere.
- Brief history, encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2536600521.html
- John Van Horne (ed.), Religious Philanthropy and Colonial Slavery: The Correspondence of the Associates of Dr. Bray (University of Illinois Press, 1985)