Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Samson Occom, journal, 1774 December 19 to 1775 February 9

ms-number: 774672.3

abstract: Occom's journal describes his travels as an itinerant preacher during the period from December 19, 1774, to February 9, 1775.

handwriting: Occom's hand is small but consistently clear and legible. As is common with Occom, there are several uncrossed t's and crossed l's; these have been corrected by the transcriber.

paper: Several small sheets folded into a booklet and bound with thread or twine are in good-to-fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining and wear. One recto/verso is heavily damaged, which results in a significant loss of text.

ink: Brown ink varies in intensity throughout.

noteworthy: Although the missing text on one recto/verso makes it difficult to tell for certain, the "Indian Town" mentioned on one recto is likely Farmington. On four recto, it is uncertain to where Occom refers when he mentions the "Indian Place." Illegible person and place names have not been tagged. An editor, likely 19th-century, has overwritten several letters, words and phrases, as well as punctuation. These edits have not been transcribed.


[gap: tear]
[gap: tear] River
[gap: tear]Some Time: I reachd
[gap: tear] [illegible]
[gap: tear] kept Sabbath at this
[gap: faded] Preachd at m[gap: faded]
[gap: faded] to a tronged A[gap: faded]
[gap: faded] very [gap: faded][guess: pleaſent] Day

Monday Decr 19:

left the place
about 10 [gap: faded] and [illegible] my way, and
it was a Dreadful Storm of
Rain and [illegible] in it all
[gap: faded] Farmingtown got
[gap: faded] before Sun Set
[gap: faded] very wet Lodged at E[gap: faded]h[gap: faded]

Dec.r 20

[gap: faded] at the Place
[gap: faded]
[gap: tear]
hig[gap: tear]od [gap: tear]
a g[gap: tear]

Wedneſday Decr 21:

[gap: tear]
Indian Town about [gap: tear] the
morning, and it w[gap: tear] Cold;
towards Night Stopt a[gap: tear][guess: t] one Mr
Wiard
's and the People were urgent
to have me Stay till next Day and
give them a Diſcourſe and I Com
plyd; that Night it Snowd very
hard, all Night— —

Thirdſday Decr 22

it Snowd
Still Yet a great Number of People
Came together at the apointed Time
after meeting went home with one
Mr Weſt. Seven Day Baptiſt Preacher.
a godly man I believe a very
meek and humble man and
well reported by his Neighbours,
his wife is a Moravian woman
by Profeſsion a Pious woman by
[gap: tear] with
them, this Night

Fryday Dec[illegible][guess: r] 23

was with
Mr weſt all Day Lodged with
them again —

Saturday Decemr 24:

as this is
their Sabbath So the People got
together for meeting at their Uſu
al Hour and I preachd to them
as Soon as I had done Mr green
preachd, a Short Diſcourſe, and
after meeting, I went back to Mr
Wiard
s and Lodgd there—

MondaySabbath Decem 25:

People got
together about 11: a great Numbr
and I preachd to them twice in
the evening went to M.r Mechams
my good old Friend, he Came from
Weſterly and Lodgd there I was
very Poorly this Night I was Trou
bled with a Diſorder in my Bow
els very much — —

Monday Decem 26:

was very Com
fortable this morning my Diſorder
was gone, about 10 went to Hering‐ton
Meeting Houſe Calld on one [illegible]
from there went to Mr Wooddroff[illegible][guess: 's],
and there put up my Horſe at
and went to meeting Preached to
a large aſsemble, and the People
attended with great Solemnity —
in the evening went to See Mr
Batholomew
the old miniſter of the
Place he has layd down Preaching
by reaſon of Infirmities, he Seem
ed to be a good ſort of a man— Lodgd
with Mr Wooddroff

Tueſday Decer 27

after Breakfast went
on my Journey, Stopt at Letchfield a
few minutes Juſt to eat at a Tavern
and then Sot off again, and directed
my Courſe towards New Milford; reachd
the Place Juſt before night. Calld on
one Mr Balwin and Tarried there
all night, and appointed a meeting
10 o:c for the next Day, this Night
we had a Terrible Storm of Snow —

Wedneſday Decemr 28:

Storm Conti
nued very Hard Yet we went to meet
ing and there was a Conſiderable Num
ber of People, went to Mr Tallors the
miniſter of the Place and was very
kindly and tenderly entertaind —

Thirdsday Decr 29:

went with
M.r Tallor to attend upon a Lecture
which Mr Ta[illegible][guess: y]llor had appointed Some
Days before a bout 7 miles South from
the Town, I preachd, and there
was a Number of People got toge‐
ther, Conſidering the Deep Snow; after
Service, the people were very urgen[gap: faded][guess: t]
to have another meeting in the even
ing, and I Conſented, and So preachd
again; and we had very Solemn
meeting, the people in general
were greatly affected — after meet
[illegible][guess: ing] went home with one Mr Hitchcock
and Lodgd there, I believe the man
and his wife were true Chriſtians,
Sot up till late and then went to
Bed quietly Mr Ta[illegible][guess: y]llor went home
this evening and I deſird him to Send
word to New Preſton, that I woud
be there on the next Day and give
them a Short Diſcourſe towards
evening,

Fryday Janr Decr 29:

after Breakfast
returnd to N. Milford got about 12
and found Mr Tayl[illegible][guess: a]r had not Sent
word to N Preſton, and I Past by
as Soon as Coud, one Deacon Hoge
kins
accompanyd me, and we got
there a little before Sun Set, and
they gave notice to the People, and
begun our Meeting in the evening
and there was a great Number of
People, and they attended well,
as Soon as the meeting was done we
went back again to New Milford
This Night Lodged with one Mr
Camble
a Seperate Miniſter and
a very man I believe, — — —

Saturday Decr 31

had a meeting
at one Deacon Balwins, among
the Seperates, had a Comfortable
meeting, after meeting went into
Town, Lodgd at Mr Taylor, —

Sabb Decemr Janr 31

Preach at the
Place all Day to amazing Num
ber of People —
Lodgd at Mr Hynds whoſe wife
is a very good woman, was very
kindly entertaind, this evening
two young women Came to me
under great Concern of Soul and
I gave them a word of advice
and Coun[illegible][guess: c]el

Monday Janr 2

left New Milford
early in the morning and went
on to New fairfield got there about
10 o:c Call in at Mr Sills the
Miniſter of the Place a few minuetes
and then went to meeting, preachd
to a large Number of People, after
meeting went to Mr Sills and Dind
and Soon after Dinner left the
Place and went on towards
Kint Mr Sill went with me, went
thro Pe[illegible]ſ[illegible]ttokook, Stopt a few
Minutes at the Indian Place
but there was no Indians at home
Scarſely, and So we paſt on, got
to Mr Bodwell about 7 in the eveng
and they Sent word all round that
Night to have a meeting next
Day about 10 in the morning

Tueſday Janr 3:

went to meetg
about 10 and had a great
Number of People to Preach to
and the People attended with
great Solemnity and affecti
on, after meeting went to Mr
Bodwell
s and Din'd there, and
Soon after Dinner went on my
towards 9 Partners and got to
Esqr Hopkinss about 7 in the
evening and Lodgd there —

Wedneſday Jan.r 4:

preachd
at the red meeting Houſe, —

Thirdsday Janr 5:

preachd
at a priv[illegible][guess: a]tt Houſe, in the
Place — —

Fryday Janr 6:

went to Mr
Knibloe
s in Esqr Hopkinss
Slay, got there before noon
about 1 went to meeting
and it was extre[illegible][guess: am] Cold, I
deliverd a Short Diſcourſe,
after meeting went to mr
Plat
's and Dind there, and
than went on our way Home
to Esqr Hopkins, got there
Juſt after Sun Set — — —

Saturday Janr 7:

was at
Esqr Hopkins all Day —

Sabb Janr 8:

preachd here
all Day, jut at night left
the Place and went over
the Mountain to Mr Wood's
Weeting Houſe, and preachd
there, and it was extre[illegible][guess: eam]
Cold, went home with Mr
Fowler
in his Slay and
Lodgd there — — — —

Monday Jan r 9:

left Mr Fowlers early
in the morning and went on towards
Pleaſent Vally, Got to mr Caſe's before
Night, Mr Caſe was not at Home
in the evening he Came Home
and we had a Joyful meeting he
and his Family were very well,
and his People Lodgd there —

Tueſday Janr 10:

towards evening
went to the Hollow and Mr Caſe went
with me I preachd at the Houſe of one
Mr Struit, a Young Dutchman who
is under great Conviction of Soul
we had a great Number of People and
very Solemn meeting we had, — —

Wedneſday Janr 11:

we went 8: or 9
miles Northweſt ward to one Mr Saml
Smith
s and preachd there in the eveg
to a Crowd of People, and they attended
e[illegible][guess: c]eeding well — Lodgd in the Same
Houſe one Mr ward brought heither
in his Slay from mr Caſe's —

Thirdsday Janr 12:

went off very
early in the Morning towards States
bourough
got there about 10 in the
morning put up at Mr Struits young
Mr Struit
brought us here, mr Ham
Came with us in the after noon about
1 began a meeting, there was not a great
Number of People at this time they
Came by miſtake the meeting
was appointed at evening, —
in the evening a great Number
Came together, and I gave them
another Diſcource, the People here
are Chiefly Dutch, and I found
Some excellent Chriſtians amongſt
Lodg'd at Mr Struits [illegible][guess: T]

Fryday Janr 13:

Sot off very
early in the morning towards
Pleaſent Valley, for we had
appointed meeting there at 1
o'c this Day, got there juſt a
bout meeting Time, and there
was a great Number of People
I preachd, — after meeting I
went with one Mr Newcom a Bap
tiſt
Brother, a man of great Riches
was very kindly entertaind, Lodgd
here, with much Satiſfaction —

Saturday Janr 14:

this morning
I made uſe of my Printed Notes or
Christian Cards — [illegible] about
11 I walkd Down to Mr Caſe's
Mr Newcom went with me,
Spent [illegible] the reſt of the Day
with Mr Caſe, he is quite a
Clever Sort of a man —

Sab: Janr 15:

preachd at
the place again to a vaſt
Crowd of People, and we had
a very Solemn meeting many
were brought to Floods of Tears
[illegible][illegible] it was
a Sacrament with the People
and I Join the People it was
a Comfortable Seaſon, — as Soon
as the service was over we
went to a Place Calld Oswago
about 6 miles off, got there
in the Duſk of the evening
found a prodigious Number
of People, preachd to them,
Mr Caſe made the last Prayer
I Lodgd with one Mr Plat

: Monday Janr 16:

went to a
nother part of Oswago about
7 miles off, to a Baptist meet
ing Houſe
, meeting began abot
1 in the afternoon, and there
was a great multitude of
People of all Sorts and Deno
minations, the greater part
of the People Cou'd not get in
to the Houſe, and we had a
Solemn meeting — as Soon as
the meeting was done we went to
wards Poughkeepsy, and had a
meeting in the evening at one
Capt Hagmans and had a pro
digious great Number of People
and the People attended with much
affection —

Monday Tueſday Janr 17:

early
in the morning went on to Pough
keepſy
and Stopt a Little while at
a publick Houſe, and So paſt by
and went on towards the Ferry
about four miles Down the River
Mr Caſe and Mr Ward went with
me about a mile out the Town
and there took leave of me each
other in Friendſhip — and I went
to the Ferry, there met with mag
major Durgee of Norwich in
his return Home from Suſqueha
nah
, got over before Sun Set &
went Down to Mr Debois's and
Lodgd there Found them all
well except his wife, they were
very glad to See me, and receivd
with all kindneſs — —

Wedneſday Janr 18:

after Break
faſt went Down to New Windſor Calld
on Mr Luml Co[illegible]ling and alſo one
Mr Cl[illegible][guess: ea]rk my old friends and ac
quaintances they were extree[illegible][guess: m]ly
glad to See me and Stopt no more
till I got Butter Hill where one
Mr Joſeph Wood Lives he is an old
Diſciple indeed, we had a joy‐
ful meeting, we had not Seen each
other in Ten Years I felt as if
I was in my Fathers Houſe S[illegible][guess: o]t
up till good bed Time and then
took our Repoſe for the Night

Thirdſday Janr 19:

was at Mr
Wood
s till towards Night, then
went to meeting at mr Cl[illegible][guess: ea]rks
there were So many People they
Coud not all get in, and we
had a Comfortable meeting
after meeting returnd Home
with Mr Wood again and S[illegible][guess: o]t
up Some Time after we got Home

Fryday Janr 20:

was at
Mr Woods again till toward Night
again and went to New Windſor
for Meeting had a meeting in
one of Elders Houſe, returnd
home again with Mr Woods —

Saturday Janr 21:

left Mr woods
early in the Morning and on
towards Malborough. Stopt at
New Windſor Breakfaſted with
Mr Cloſe, after Breakfaſt went
on my way got to Malborough
before Night Stopt at Mr Cl[illegible][guess: ea]rks
Mr Caſe the general Postmas‐
ter Brought me here in his
Slay from Newborough he
is one of my good old Friends
here I wentLodgd and mr Caſe went
home, and Lodgd with him —

Sab Janr 22:

about 10
went to the meeting Houſe and
a Multitude of People Came to
meeting, and we had a Solemn
meeting in the evening went
to Mr Deboiss Houſe and had
a meeting there and a great
Number of People were toge‐
ther again I Baptized two
Children we had the power
of god with us many were
brought to floods of Tears —
I Lodgd here,

Monday Janr 23:

in the morning
went back again to Newborough
and preachd there in the Church
of England
to a great Number of
People as Soon as the meeting was
over I went up to Malborough &
preachd in the School Houſe to
a Crowded People and they atten
ded with affection — after meetg
—went back to mr Cl[illegible][guess: ea]rks and
Lodgd there — —

Tueſday Janr 24:

went away
early in the morning Mr Cl[illegible][guess: ea]rk
went with me. and Mr Dayton
alſo went to wards Wall Hill got
to Mr Tolton's about 11 where
we were to have a meeting, a
bout 12 [illegible] we begun Meeting &
there was a Multitude of People
I had Some freedom in Speaking
this Night Stayd with Mr Tolton

Wedneſday Janr 25:

Held
a meeting not far from Mr
Tolton
's in a Dutch mans H
a great number of People
came together again — —
in the evening had another
meeting not far the Place
where had a meeting in the
Day and I believe the Lord
was with us of a Truth there
was great Trembling in the
Congregation This night
Lodgd with one Mr Norton
had a long Converſation with
them, the were Baptiſts

Thirdsday Janr 26:

in the
morning went away to another
place, about 6 miles off, g
where we had apointed a
meeting at a Dutch mans
Houſe, we got there about 11
about 12 went to meeting in
a Barn, the Peopl Crouded
like Bees and we had a Solem
meeting, after meeting I went
with a gentleman 2 or 3 miles
Norward, in the evening a Numr
of Neighbours Came in to
meeting tho we did not men‐
tion any meeting, and I gave
a word of HExhortation
Lodgd here — —

Fryday Janr 27:

Sot off in
the morning and to Blooming
grove
, about 20 miles off got
there about 5 in the after
Noon was kindly entertaind
by one Mr Brewster Lodgd
there — —

Saturday Janr 28:

was at
Mr Brewsters all Day in
the evening one Hoseah Came
to See me he is a multoe man
Reckend a Christian man
we had Some Converſation
together in Prodigious mat
ters — —

Sab: Janr 29:

preachd at the
Place to a vast Croud of People
and I had but little Senſe of
Divine things, ho[illegible]e however,
the People attended with great
attention — — towards Night went
Oxford about 4 miles off there
we had an evening meeting to
a Crouded Audience and I had
Some Senſe of Divene things &
the People were much affected
I believe Lord was with us of
Truth,— Lodgd at Deacon Little's

Monday Janr 30:

in the morning
quite early I Sot off for Smiths
Clove
Deacon Little accompanied
me, got the there about 10 a
bout 12 we began Div[illegible][guess: e] Service
and there was a great multi
tude of People, and I had much free
dom in Mind and Speech and many
People were melted into floods of
Tears, as Soon as the Meeting was
done I went Down to Murtherers
Ch Creek
got there before night
went to Mr Woods found them all
well, in the evening went meet
ing towards the Creek, and had
Some what Solemn meeting, af
ter meeting went to the Creek
and Lodgd there with one [illegible][guess: Mr –]

Tueſday Febru Janr 31:


went off early in the morning
in order to get over the River,
Stopt a little while with Mr Cloſe
at New Windſor there was no
paſsing there, and So I went to
Newborough, Breakfaſted at
Mr [gap: omitted] and then went
to the ferry, about 11 went over
to Fiſhkills Side, and went one
to the Center of the Place, got to
the Preſbyterians Meeting Houſe
about 3 in the after-Noon, the
People Stopt me to have a meetng
on the next Day, and I went
to one [gap: omitted] and Lodgd
there, and was very kindly
treated and entertaind, —

Wedneſday: Febr 1: 1775

about 11 O:C went to meeting
and there was a great multi
tude of People, and had a Solemn
meeting, As Soon as the meeting
was over, I went on towards the
mountains, Lodgd with one Mr
Judge
— and was very kind
ly entertaind and he Sayd, yt
ever I Shoud Come there again I
Shoud make his Houſe my Home

Thirdsday: Febr 2:

went off very
early in the morning, to a Place
Calld the Mills, there I had a meet
ing, begun about 12: preachd
in a Barn to a vast great Concorſe
of People, and the Power of God
was manifeſt amongſt us, there
was great trebling among the
People after meeting went with
one Mr Lawrence a Baptiſt Minis
ter he lives in the mountains, and
I Lodgd at his Houſe, —

Fryday: Febr 3:

about 12 went
to meeting, preachd to Amazing Num
ber of People in the woods, and we had
very good meeting the Spirit of god
moved upon the people, after meet
ing went Home with Mr Lawrence, in
the Evening Mr Lawrence and I went
to Capt Champlins, and we had long
and Friendly Converſation together
in Religious Matters, Lodgd here this
Night, and was extre[illegible][guess: am]ly we[illegible][guess: ell] uſ'd
and entertain —

Saturday Morning Febr 4:


left the Place and went over
to Dover Mr Miller went with
me we got to Mr Waldos about
10: he is a Baptiſt Miniſter of
the Place, and he receivd me
with Brotherly kindneſs and Love
Lodgd here —

Sabb Febr 5

about 10 went
to meeting, and there was great
Number of People Got toge‐
ther, and I preachd with
much freedom the People were
affected many of 'em, after
meeting, went Down to New
Fairfield
, got to Mr Sills be‐
fore Night, the meeting was
appointed at his Houſe, and
the People Came in So thick
there was not half Room enough for
them, and juſt as we were
about to begin Divine Service
a Meſsenger Came from the
meeting Houſe which is a mile
off and Said there was great
Number of People got together
there, and we were obligd to
remove to the meetg Houſe and when
we got there we found a great
Number of People, the meetig
Houſe was Crouded, and the
Lord gave me freedome in
Speaking, after meeting
went back with Mr Sill and
Lodged there —

Monday: Febr 6:

in the morn-
ing went Down to a Town Houſe
of Fairfield and there Preachd;
began about 12 and there was
a great Number of People got
together and we had a Comfortable
meeting, as Soon as the metetg
was over I went towards New
Milford
, got there towards Night
Stopt at Mr Hindss: and
there were very urgent to have
me Stay and have a meeting
they Pled So hard it was very
hard for me to paſs by the them,
there was one Young Convert
in particular Intreated with
Tears in her Eyes to have me
Stay they pul'd very hard
upon my very Heart Strings
and it Hard work to get
a way from them, however
I did get a way, and went
on towards New Preſton, got
there Some Time in the eveng
put up at Mr Cogswells a
Tarvern and he gave me my
Entertainment —

Tueſday Febr 7:

Sot of very
early in the morning, and
reachd to Farmington Some
Time in the Evening, put
up at Elijah Wympy's
found them all well — —

Wedneſday Febr 8,

went
off very early in the morning
and Got So far as Mr
Cornwell
s East Side of the
Connecticut River a bout
10 miles, I intended to have
gone further, but the Land
Lord Cornwell urgd to have
me Stay, and I Conſented
at laſt, and preſently it
was Noiſed about I was
there, and they had a Notio[below]n
of haveing a meeting, and
at last I Conſented, this
was about half an hour
after Sun Set, and in about
more the Houſe was Crouded
with People. and I preached
and I had Some Freedom—
and after meeting went
to Reſt quietly, —

Thirdsday Febr 9:

took
leave of [illegible][guess: 'em] very early
in the morning, and on
my way, made but little
Stops by the way, arriv'd
to my Houſe Juſt before
Night, and found all my
family in good State of
Health, — Bleſsed be the
Lord god of Heaven & Earth
for his goodneſs to me and
to my Family, that he has
carried me out and brought

Occom, Samson

Samson Occom was a Mohegan leader and ordained Presbyterian minister. Occom began his public career in 1742, when he was chosen as a tribal counselor to Ben Uncas II. The following year, he sought out Eleazar Wheelock, a young Anglo-American minister in Lebanon, CT, in hopes of obtaining some education and becoming a teacher at Mohegan. Wheelock agreed to take on Occom as a student, and though Occom had anticipated staying for a few weeks or months, he remained with Wheelock for four years. Occom’s academic success inspired Wheelock to open Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1754, a project which gave him the financial and political capital to establish Dartmouth College in 1769. After his time with Wheelock, Occom embarked on a 12-year mission to the Montauk of Long Island (1749-1761). He married a Montauk woman, Mary Fowler, and served as both teacher and missionary to the Montauk and nearby Shinnecock, although he was grievously underpaid for his services. Occom conducted two brief missions to the Oneida in 1761 and 1762 before embarking on one of the defining journeys of his career: a fundraising tour of Great Britain that lasted from 1765 to 1768. During this journey, undertaken on behalf of Moor’s Indian Charity School, Occom raised £12,000 (an enormous and unanticpated amount that translates roughly to more than two-million dollars), and won wide acclaim for his preaching and comportment. Upon his return to Mohegan in 1768, Occom discovered that Wheelock had failed to adequately care for his family while he was gone. Additionally, despite the vast sums of money that he had raised, Occom found himself unemployed. Wheelock tried to find Occom a missionary position, but Occom was in poor health and disinclined to leave his family again after seeing the treatment with which they had met while he was in Britain. Occom and Wheelock’s relationship continued to sour as it became apparent to Occom that the money he had labored to raise would be going towards infrastructure at Dartmouth College, Wheelock’s new project, rather than the education of Native Americans. After the dissolution of his relationship with Wheelock, Occom became increasingly focused on the needs of the Mohegan community and increasingly vocal in criticizing Anglo-Americans’ un-Christian treatment of Native Americans. In September of 1772, he delivered his famous “Sermon on the Execution of Moses Paul,” which took Anglo-American spiritual hypocrisy as one of its major themes, and which went into four printings before the end of the year. In 1773, Occom became further disillusioned when the Mason Land Case was decided in favor of the Colony of Connecticut. The details of the Mason Case are complicated, but to summarize: the Colony of Connecticut had gained control of Mohegan land early in the 18th century under very suspect circumstances, and successfully fended off the Mohegan’s 70-year-long legal challenge. The conclusion of the case came as a blow to the Mohegans, and further convinced Occom of Anglo-American corruption. Along with David Fowler (Montauk Tribe), Occom's brother-in-law, and Joseph Johnson (Mohegan), Occom's son-in-law, Occom helped found Brothertown, an Indian tribe formed from the Christian Mohegans, Pequots, Narragansetts, Montauks, Tunxis, and Niantics. They eventually settled in Oneida country in upstate New York. Occom moved there with his family in 1789, spending the remaining years of his life serving as a minster to the Brothertown, Stockbridge, and Mohegan Indians. Harried by corrupt land agents, the Brothertown and Stockbridge groups relocated to the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago, though Occom died in 1792 before he could remove himself and his family there. Occom's writings and legacy have made him one of the best known and most eminent Native Americans of the 18th century and beyond.

Bartholomew
Baldwin, Theophilus

Theophilus Baldwin served as the Separatist Congregationalist Deacon of New Milford, Connecticut. According to Occom's journal, Occom lodged at his home and met with him on at least two occasions.

Hitchcock
Hitchcock
Smith, Samuel
Wood, Joseph
Little, Ebenezer

Ebenezer Little was a Massachusetts merchant and a supporter of Wheelock's school, who shipped goods to Wheelock and helped the design however he could. His commitment to Wheelock's Indian School was such that the Reverend Parsons mentioned it in his sermon at Little's funeral. Manuscript 764662, not included in the Occom Circle, relates to Wheelock and Little's trade relationship. Little was very involved in the Presbyterian Church at Newburyport, as well as local government.

Champlen, Nathan
Coggswell
Wympy, Elijah

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.

HomeSamson Occom, journal, 1774 December 19 to 1775 February 9
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only