Occom, Benoni

Birth: May 1763 in Montauk, Long Island
Death: January 1829 in Mohegan, CT
Affiliation:

Mohegan Tribe

Nationality:

Mohegan

Marital status:

Benoni married and fathered one child, but by 1808 he was living alone at Mohegan.

Biography:

Benoni Occom (also known as Benjamin, Noney, and Nony) was Samson Occom and Mary Fowler’s seventh child and second son. Like Aaron Occom (Benoni’s elder brother, who died in 1771 after a wild young adulthood), Benoni did not live up to his parents’ standards for behavior. Unlike Aaron, he was not sent to Moor’s Indian Charity School; the difference may reflect Samson and Mary’s declining opinion of Eleazar Wheelock. Benoni’s behavior led Samson and Mary to kick him out of the house in July 1780, but the family had reconciled by 1788 (perhaps following 1787 rumors that Benoni had been hanged in Boston for murder). Although Benoni remained at Mohegan instead of moving to Brothertown, later letters from Occom to Benoni suggest that they were close and that Benoni visited his parents frequently. Later in life, Benoni was active in attempts to define Mohegan identity by petitioning to exclude anyone of African descent from tribal membership. His petition in this affair might indicate broader political involvement in tribal matters.

Documents written: retrieve them
Documents received: retrieve them
All related documents: retrieve them
Sources:

Brooks, Joanna. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan: Leadership and Literacy in Eighteenth-Century Native America. Oxford 2006. Genealogy.com. "Descendants of Tomockham alias Ashneon." http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/a/n/d/Caroline-K-Andler-Dousman/GENE3-0003.html Accessed 5/9/2014. Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899. Murray, Laura J. To Do Good To My Indian Brethren: The Writings of Joseph Johnson, 1751-1776. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press 1998.