Rev. Samuel Kirkland (1741 – 1808) was a Presbyterian missionary among the Oneida and Tuscarora people in North America. He was the founder (in 1793) of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy (later Hamilton College). Kirkland was a student of Native American languages and lived many years with Indian tribes.
Samuel Kirkland was born in Norwich, Connecticut and died in Clinton, New York. He began his missionary work as a protégé of Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, but the two parted company in 1770. He became an advisor and ambassador for the Iroquois during the American Revolutionary War and was able to persuade many Oneidas and Tuscaroras to assist the American revolutionaries. After the war he maintained good relations with the Indians and helped negotiate treaties and keep peace between Indians and whites.
The town of Kirkland, New York is named after him.