Wympy, Elijah

Variant first names: Wimpy
Variant last names: Wampy; Wympi; Wimpsey; Wimpey; Weampy; Weampee
Birth: 1734 in Farmington, CT
Death: around 1802 in Brothertown
Affiliation:

Brothertown

Education:

school at Farmington

Faith:

Christian

Nationality:

Farmington (Tunxis) Indian

Occupation:

soldier, Trustee of Brothertown

Residence:

Farmington, CT (from 1734 to 1775)

Brothertown (from 1775 to 1802)

Stockbridge (from 1775 to 1783)

Marital status:

It is believed that he first married Eunice Waucus, who died at Farmington. His second wife was Jerusha. He had 8 children: Eunice, Elijah, Eunice, Sarah, Hannah, Charles, Ester, and Jerusha.

Biography:

Elijah Wympy was a prominent Farmington Indian who was instrumental in establishing Brothertown, yet he subsequently led a group that disregarded the primary vision of the community. In his early years he was a student at the school in Farmington, CT, and in 1757 he served in the Seven Years’ War. During negotiations around 1773 between the Oneida and New England Indians concerning a tract of land, Wympy acted as a delegate for Farmington and asked other tribes to send envoys too. The Oneidas granted the territory the following year, and in 1775 Wympy was among the first to move to what became Brothertown. He was chosen as a trustee of the town in 1785, but around this time the Oneidas attempted to reclaim the land. Accordingly, Wympy participated in the effort to maintain the territory. Fortunately, when the state of New York gained Oneida territory in 1788, it acknowledged the Christian Indians’ right to the tract as it had originally been granted; the state passed an act in 1789 that recognized the Indians’ property and instituted a 10-year limit on leases for lots. Wympy and his followers, comprised mainly of outsiders, thus leased numerous parcels, including invaluable ones, to white settlers. Occom strongly opposed this and petitioned the Assembly, which passed an act in 1791 restricting the power to lease lands to the council. While Occom and Wympy had previously been friends -- Wympy had even partaken in the movement to establish Occom as the local minister -- their disagreement on the issue of leasing Brothertown lands to whites opened a strong divide between them. Wympy apparently regretted his actions, for in 1794 he was among the signers of an address to the governor seeking to remove the whites. He remained in Brothertown until his death around 1802.

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Sources:

Brooks, Joanna. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. De Forest, John William. History of the Indians of Connecticut from the Earliest Known Period to 1850. Hartford: WM. JAS. Hamersley, 1853. Accessed via https://play.google.com/books/reader2?id=hNxf4YjU35AC&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PR1. Love, DeLoss W. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Boston: Pilgrim Press, 1899. Accessed via https://play.google.com/books/reader2?id=SYACAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PR2.