Peabody, Oliver a Congregational minister, was born in 1698 at Boxford, Mass. He graduated at Harvard College in 1721, and was immediately employed by the commissioners for propagating the Gospel to preach at Natick (1721). There were then but two families of white people in the town. The Indian Church, which the apostolic Eliot had founded, was now extinct, the Indian preacher, Tahhowompait, having died in 1716; and all records were lost. A new Church was formed, Dec. 3, 1729, consisting of three Indians and five white persons, and Peabody was ordained at Cambridge, Dec. 17. Through his influence many of the Indians were induced to abandon savage life, and to attend to husbandry as the means of subsistence. He had the happiness of seeing many of the Indian families with comfortable houses, cultivated fields, and flourishing orchards. But his chief aim was to teach them the religion of Jesus Christ. There were added to the Church in the first year twenty-two persons, several of whom were Indians; in July, 1743, he stated that in the two preceding years about fifty had been received into the Church. Against the vice of intemperance among the Indians he set himself with great zeal and much success. Altogether during his residence at Natick he baptized one hundred and eighty-nine Indians and four hundred and twenty-two whites; and he received into the Church thirty-five Indians and thirty whites; and there died two hundred and fifty-six Indians, one of whom was a hundred and ten years old. During one season he went on a mission to the Mohicans. He died in great peace. Feb. 2. 1752. Mr. Peabody was eminently pious, and greatly beloved and lamented. He published Artillery Election Sermon (1732): — On a Good and Bad Hope of Salvation (1742). See Panoplist, 7:49-56; Allen, Amer. Biogr. s.v.; Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, 1:318.