Stockbridge Tribe

Variant name:

Stockbridge Church

Address:

Stockbridge, MA and New Stockbridge, NY

Description:

The Stockbridge Indians were the inhabitants of the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, a Christian Indian town modeled on John Eliot’s 17th-century “praying towns” (Indian towns where the inhabitants lived an Anglicized life style). Established in 1734, Stockbridge was composed of Mahicans, Housatonics, Wappingers, and Esopus (at the end of the 18th century, the Stockbridge Indians also adopted many New Jersey Delaware). The Stockbridge Indians had close ties to the Brothertown Nation, a composite tribe of Algonquian Indians from around the Long Island Sound which was organized by alumni of Moor’s Indian Charity School. The town played host to a series of famous missionaries and ministers, including John Sergeant Sr., Gideon Hawley, Jonathan Edwards, and John Sergeant Jr. (Sergeant Sr. established a boarding school at Stockbridge that provided the model for Eleazar Wheelock’s Moor’s Indian Charity School.) Eventually, the problems that the Stockbridge Indians encountered with white families who owned land in their town (most notably the Williams family) convinced them of the dangers of white land expansion and influenced their later land policies. In 1785, the Stockbridge Indians relocated to a tract of land in Oneida territory adjacent to the Brothertown settlement. (During the Revolution, Stockbridge played host to displaced Brothertown and Oneida Indians who had fled central New York. These ties were extremely influential in the decision to relocate.) They called their town New Stockbridge. By the turn of the 19th century, land pressures again overwhelmed the Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians and, along with many Oneida, they sought land in the west where they could attempt to escape white expansion.

All related documents: retrieve them
Sources:

Fisher, Linford. The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America. New York: Oxford University Press 2012. Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899. Silverman, David J. Red Brethren: The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians and the Problem of Race in Early America. Ithaca: Cornell University Press 2010. Szasz, Margaret. Indian Education in the American Colonies, 1607-1783. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988.