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Samuel Ashpo, confession, 1742 February 12

ms-number: 742162.1

abstract: Ashpo confesses to forsaking the rules of Christian marriage by taking another wife after discovering that his first wife has been unfaithful.

handwriting: Handwriting is somewhat informal yet clear and legible.

paper: Single small sheet is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear.

ink: Black-brown.


Modernized Version -- deletions removed; additions added in; modern spelling and capitalization added; unfamiliar abbreviations expanded.


The confession of Samuel Ashpo of Mohegan
Some time Ago I went to Sea and was Gone 14 months When I Came
home I understood by Common public Report which had gained
Credit with Many and So far a I know a General belief the my
wife had before Sufficient Evidence been Guilty of gross adultery
In my absence and that She had for some time accompanied and traveled
about the Country with the Man She had been thus Guilty with
and that She was published to him — I Waited Some considerable
time to See if She would not come and make an acknowledgement
to me, and ask my forgiveness but She Did not Come than I took
another Wife after the Indian Manner—a few Days after she was married but Since I was
married I am Convinced that what I have Done was Evil in the
Sight of God and have been very Sorry
1. that I Cast her off without a trial of the Case and proving the fact
against her
2. in that Seeing She [gap: blotted_out] Did not Come to me that I Did not go
to her and use Endeavours to Convince her of her sin
3. I am sorry that I was married in the old Indian mode and not in
a Christian manner— and Whereas I was under some small Concern
and had Set up the form of Religion in my family before I was mar‐
‐ried and Such a procedure being So Contrary to the Laws and Rules
of Jesus Christ I am afraid it has been and will yet be unproved
much to the dishonour of God and Prejudice of Religion. Which
I have a Great desire So far as in me Lies to prevent but at
present know not how better than by confessing of it in the most
open manner to God and man and asking pardon and forgiveness of
all which I heartily do. and resolve by the help of Divine Grace
to Live Devoted to God and act in all respects according to the Laws
of Jesus Christ for time to Come
Samuel Ashpo
Lebanon
February 12. AD. 1742, 3.
Samuel Ashpo's Confession
AD 1742, 3.
Ashpo, Samuel

Ashpo was born into a very powerful Mohegan family, considered equal to the Uncas line, and became an influential Mohegan preacher. He was converted at Mohegan during the Great Awakening, and became a schoolteacher among the Indians at Mushantuxet from 1753 until 1757 and from 1759 until 1762, when he left to attend Moor's. Between 1757 and 1759, he worked as an interpreter, and supposedly struggled with alcohol. He attended Moor's for only six months, and then continued his teaching and missionary career on successive trips to Chenango (the first was cut short because of violence in the region). On July 1, 1767, the Connecticut Board dismissed him from their service because of further charges of drinking. He continued to preach successfully to various New England Indian tribes until his death in 1795. The variations of his name exist in part because Ashpo is an abbreviated form of Ashobapow.

Ashpo, Hannah (née Mamnack)
HomeSamuel Ashpo, confession, 1742 February 12
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