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Samson Occom, journal, 1743 December 6 to 1748 November 29

ms-number: 743656

abstract: Occom records his travels from 6 December 1743, to 29 November 1748.

handwriting: Occom's hand is clear and legible.

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, creasing and wear.

ink: Dark-brown ink is faded in spots.

noteworthy: On one recto and 24 verso, there are doodles and scribbles, as well as what appear to be handwriting exercises. On one recto, an editor, likely 19th-century, adds the note: "Samson Occom's Journal from Dec.6.1743 to Nov. 29. 1748—." This note has not been included in the transcription. On four recto, the identity of Mr. B is uncertain, and so he has been left untagged. On four verso, the identity of Da– O– is uncertain, and so he has been left untagged. The latin sentence on five recto likely translates to: "My mother and her two children [or two of her children] came to remain at Mr. Wheelock’s for a time." On six recto, the identity of the "Queen" is uncertain, and so she has been left untagged. On six verso, it is uncertain as to whom "Deacon Wheelock" refers and so he has been left untagged. It is uncertain for what "D:Inst." is an abbreviation, and so it has been left unexpanded in the modernized transcription. Persons whose names are not legible have not been tagged.


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


Samson Occom of
Mohegan [illegible] [illegible]
Elisabeth
Elisabeth E Elisz

Blank page.
Samson
Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.

1
December the 6th 1743

I went to the Rev. Mr. Wheelocks
of Lebanon Crank to Learn some
thing of the Latin tongue, and
was there about a week, and was
obliged to Come away from
there again to Mohegan, and
stayed about Fortnight at Mohegan
and then I returned up to Mr. Wheelock's
again. and sometime towards
Spring again I went home to
Mohegan, and Stayed Near
three weeks before I returned
to Mr. Wheelocks again. and
August the 7th A:D 1744 I went
away from Lebanon to Mohegan
and I got So far as Mr. B's at
Norwich that Night, and
In the Morning I set out from
thence, and I got home to
Mohegan just before Noon

2
August the 13th

I went from
Mohegan to Niantic, and
visited all the Indians, and I
returned Home again to Mohegan
in the 16th of D Instant, and So
immediately up to Mr. Wheelocks
And September the 7th we set
out from Lebanon for New-
Haven
, and we got there in
the 10th of September, and there
we had the plan of seeing the scholar's
commencement, and we returned home
ward again in the 12th of September.
and we Got home again in
the 20th of D:Instant

November the 7th AD: 1744

Da– O–
was taken Sick and I went
Down to See him in the 12
of D:Instant
, and I returned
again in the 17th of D:instant
to the Rev. Mr. Wheelock's —

January the 11th AD: 1745

I
set out from Lebanon
3
for Mohegan and I got there
about sunset and the
next Day to Mothers at boz
rah
— and in the 14th of D Instant
I returned again to the Rev. Mr.
Wheelock
s.

February the 23rd 1745

mater mea et Duo Libri Ejus
venierunt ad Dominum Wheelock
manere ibi Tempori,

March the
20th 1745

I went from Lebanon
to Mohegan and I there that
Night, and in the 4th of
April AD: 1745
Joseph John‐
son
and I went over to Groton
and there we Saw Joseph wa[illegible][guess: u]
the first time that ever I Saw
him, and we returned home
again in the 6th of D:Instant
and in the 11th of April I returned
home again up to Lebanon
and June 24th AD 1745 I went
Down to Mohegan and got
there that Day and was sick there, and I returned
again in the 14th of July to Lebanon

4
August the 20th 1745

I
went away from Lebanon
to Mohegan, and I returned
to Lebanon again in 23 of D
instant

August the 26th
AD: 1745

I set out from
Lebanon for Norwich and
from thence to Plainfield
and So next from there to
Canterbury and Wednesday I
got to Windham, and Thur
sday I got home to Lebanon

September the 7th AD: 1745

I set
out from Lebanon for
Mohegan and got there
Some time before Night
And in the 10th of September we
we set out from Mohegan
for Niantic, and in
the 12th of D:Instant we returned
again to mohegan, and
in the 13th of September
5
Many of us set out from
Mohegan for Long Island
and we got So far as New
London
that Night, and
in the Morning we set
Sail from there, and we
got to the Place of our
Desire in the Evening, and
Some of us lodged at queen's
wigwam that Night,
and there we were very
kindly entertained by all
of them, we had Several
Meetings together, and
there was Some Stir among
them — And in the 18th September
We all returned home
again to Mohegan, and
to Several Places where
we belonged, and we didnt
get home 'til the 19th of
September
sometime in the
Evening, And I went
6
to Lebanon 23rd of September

December the 16th 1745

we set
out from Lebanon Crank
for windham, and we got
there at night, and I lodged
at Deacon Wheelock's that
Night, and the Next day
at windham, and in the
18th of December between 2 and 3 o'
Clock in the afternoon,
the Poor Girl was Executed,
and I went right home to
Lebanon that Day —

May the 2nd AD 1746

I set
out from Crank for Mohegan
, and I arrived there about
3 o' Clock in the afternoon
and I returned in 16th of may

August the [illegible]d AD: 1746

I
set out from Lebanon for Mohegan
and got there before Night —
and returned again in the 8th of
August

7
August the 26th AD: 1746

I went from Lebanon to Mohegan
and got there the Same day —
And I returned to Lebanon again
the 27th of D instant April the
the 6th 1747
went from Lebanon
to Mohegan and got at Night —

April the 25th AD: 1747

I returned
to Lebanon

June the 7th AD: 1747

set out from Lebanon for
Mohegan and got about 1 o'clock
in the afternoon —

June the 25th

we set out from
Mohegan for Niantic,
and returned from thence again
to Mohegan the 28th of D:instant
and I returned to Lebanon the
30th of June

July the 7th

I
went to Enfield, and the next
Morning to Longmeadow and
from thence Right Back to
8
to Enfield and so Right through
to Windsor, and then to Hart‐
ford
, and then from thence to —
Lebanon Crank again —

July the [illegible]
16th

I went from Lebanon to Mohegan.
and got there the Same Day —

Tuesday August the 26th

I returned to Lebanon
From Last Spring to this
Time I have Lost 11 weeks

November the 2nd

went from Lebanon to
Mohegan — and returned to
Lebanon again, the 9th of said instant

November the 10th

I Left Lebanon Crank
and went Down to Some
parts of New-London, and
kept School there at the win‐
ter —

March the 12 AD 1748

I went up to Lebanon Crank, and
and got there about 3 o'clock 9
in the afternoon —
and March the 14th Sir
Maltby
and I set very Early
in the Morning from Lebanon Crank
for Hebron, and got there a
bout 8 o'clock — And March
the 16th
I set out from Hebron
for Mohegan and got there at
Night — and Came up
again to Hebron the 18th of said instant

May the 22nd

I went from Hebron
Down to Mohegan — and returned
to Hebron again in the 2nd of
June

June 17th

went from
Hebron to Mohegan — and
returned again in the 22nd of
said instant

August the 6th

Samuel Lee and I went from
Hebron to Lyme

August
the 10th

I set out from Niantic
for Mohegan, and got there
 before Night
10 (10)
and in the 11th of said instant I returned
Back to Hebron, and in the 13
said instant
I was at Mr. wheelocks —

September the 9 AD: 1748

I went
Down to mohegan and got there
before Night —

September the 15th

we set out from mohegan for
Niantic and we got there
sometime before Night —

September the 21st

I returned Back
to Mohegan

October the 3rd AD: 1748

I returned to Hebron, October
the 6th
I went Down to Norwich
and returned back to Hebron the
Same Day

Monday November the 14th

I went to Mr. Wheelocks — and
went to Hebron Same Day —

November the 17th 1748

I set out from
Mr. Pomeroy's to Lebanon, Intending
to Set out from thence to Boston;
But I was Disappointed, and So turned
my course to Mr. Wheelock's;
and Friday November the 18 I set out
from Mr. Wheelock's for Boston, and
got So far Mr. Bingham's in
Windham, and lodged there and was
Very kindly entertained, and Saturday
November the 19th
set out from thence
on my Journey, and stopped at Mr.
Moſley
's in ScotLand, about one
hour, and then went on and got So far
as Mr. William's in Pomfret, and
there tarried over the Sabbath, and
was Exceedingly Well Treated all
the while I stayed there —

November the 21 Monday Morning

I set out from Pomfret on my
Journey Still and got So far as
Hill's which is 30 Miles this
Side Boston

Tuesday November
the 22nd

as Soon as it was Day
we set out from thence onward,
and I Left my Company by the
way, and I got to Roxbury between
2 and 3 o'clock in the afternoon So
straight to Boston; and returned
to Roxbury in the Evening and
lodged at Capt. Williamss and was
entertained with all kindness etc. —

Saturday November the 26th,

I Left
Roxbury, and returned Home‐
ward, and So far as Natick
at Night, and lodged at
Deacon Ephraims, and was kin‐
dly received and entertained, and
Next Day I went to their
public worship, and found
too much Levity as I thought
and Monday I to visiting
amongst them and found
all very kind to a Stranger,

Tuesday November the 29th

I set
out from Natick, and Jacob
Chalkcom
and Isaac Ephraim
accompanied me 3 or 4 miles —
and So we parted —
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Boston

The first English immigrant to settle on a peninsula in a harbor on the northeastern coast of North America the local Algonquin Indians called "Shawmet" was William Blackstone in 1629. A year later, John Winthrop arrived with a group of English Puritans and other settlers and named the area Boston after his hometown in Lincolnshire, England. The colony quickly developed representative political institutions that would help shape a democratic nation. Over the next few centuries, Boston emerged as an intellectual and educational center, and, because of its excellent harbor, became a leading commercial hub and a primary port for North America. It is the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the largest city in New England. Boston was the home for the Boards of Commissioners of several overseas religious societies who sent missionaries throughout the colonies in the 18th century, and was the site of many important events of the American Revolution.

Mohegan

Mohegan is a village in southeastern Connecticut at the site of the present-day town of Montville, and is the location of the Mohegan Indian Reservation. The village gets its name from the Mohegan Tribe, or wolf people, who split from the Pequots in the early 17th century under the leadership of the sachem Uncas. In the 1720s, the Mohegans requested the colony of Connecticut provide them with an English educator. An English minister and schoolteacher named John Mason (no relation to Captain John Mason) moved to Mohegan in order to provide English-styled education to the Mohegans, convinced his sponsors, the New England Company, to build a schoolhouse at Mohegan, which eventually served as a boarding school for other Native American children from the surrounding area. During the 17th century, the Mohegan Tribe became embroiled in a complicated controversy over control of Mohegan land — known as the Mason Land Case or, more specifically, Mohegan Indians v. Connecticut — that included the village of Mohegan. The Tribe claimed that it never authorized a transfer of their lands, held in trust by the Mason family, to the colonial government. In 1662, the colony of Connecticut was incorporated by a royal charter, which included the disputed tribal land. The land controversy was revived in 1704 when descendants of John Mason, the original trustee, petitioned the Crown on behalf of the Mohegans, but the suit was finally decided against the Tribe in 1773. Born in Mohegan, Occom became involved in the Mason Land Case and vehemently argued for the rights of the Mohegan Indians to maintain their land, opposing Eleazar Wheelock and other ministers in the area. Although Occom left Mohegan for a 12-year mission with the Montauk Indians of Long Island, he returned at the end of 1763 with his large family to build a house in Mohegan, establishing it as his base of operations. Even after the creation of the Brothertown settlement in Oneida country, for which he served as minister, Occom continued to commute back and forth from Mohegan; he didn't sell his house in Mohegan and move his family to Brothertown until 1789. Many members of his family remained in Mohegan, including his sister Lucy Tantaquidgeon, who lived there until her death at 99 in 1830.

Lebanon

Lebanon is a town located in the state of Connecticut southwest of the town of Hartford. The land that became Lebanon was inhabited at least 10,000 years ago based on the archeological record. By the 1600s, the land was permanently inhabited by the Mohegan Indians, who used the area primarily for hunting. Lebanon was officially formed in 1700 when English settlers consolidated a number of land tracts, including several land grants by the Connecticut General Assembly and lands purchased from the Mohegans. However, these purchases were controversial. In 1659, the Mohegans entrusted their reserve land to Major John Mason, and in the following year, Mason transferred this land to the Connecticut colonial government with the understanding that there would be enough land left for the Mohegans to farm. The Mohegans claimed that they never authorized a transfer to the colonial government and only Mason’s heirs were entrusted with their land. In 1662, Connecticut, which included the Mohegan land that had been entrusted to the Masons, was incorporated by a royal charter. Based on this charter, the colony argued that the land was now the property of the government. In 1687, the colony began granting the Mohegan land to townships, and in 1704 the Masons petitioned the Crown on behalf of the Mohegans, claiming that such transfers of land to townships were illegal. Between the years of 1705 and 1773 legal disputes and controversies persisted, finally ending in a verdict by the Crown against the Mohegans. In 1755, Wheelock received property and housing in Lebanon that he would use as his house and school. While Lebanon was originally incorporated as a part of New London County in 1700, in 1724 it became a part of New Windham, before once again becoming a part of New London County in 1826. Lebanon was central to the American Revolution with half of its adult population fighting for the colonists and hundreds of meetings convened in the town for the revolutionary cause.

Lebanon Crank

Lebanon Crank was the name of an area in the northwest part of the town of Lebanon, Connecticut, on both sides of the Hop River, which was created by the Connecticut legislature in 1716, in response to the demand of residents who did not want to travel to the First Church in Lebanon proper for services. It was also known as Lebanon North Parish and the Second Society or Second Church in Lebanon, names that refer to religious organizations of the Congregational Church. The two dozen families who started the parish built their first meetinghouse near the site of the present structure, around which the religious and political life of the community revolved. Eleazar Wheelock served as minister in this parish from 1735 to 1769, and his house, built around 1735, is the oldest building still standing. Lebanon Crank played a major role in his life. It was his base of operations when he became an itinerant mininster during the religious awakenings of the 1730s and 1740s, and he presided over a revival in the Second Church in 1740. His Indian Charity school was located nearby in Lebanon, and his students attended the Second Church in Lebanon Crank as part of their education. The parish was so invested in Wheelock's School that they tried to keep him from moving it up to New Hampshire when he founded Dartmouth College, but failed. Lebanon Crank was subsequently renamed Columbia and established as a separate town in May 1804.

Groton

Groton is a town located in southeastern Connecticut between the Thames and Mystic Rivers. This land was originally settled by the Niantic tribe, who were forced out in the early 1600s by the Pequots. During the Pequot War in 1637, Captain John Mason’s soldiers and Indian allies attacked the Pequot’s Mystic fort, burning down the fort, killing mostly women and children, and largely displacing the Pequots. John Winthrop Jr. and his Puritan followers first settled Groton in 1646 as part of New London. In 1705, the General Court allowed the Groton inhabitants to incorporate as a separate town due to its increased population. The town was named Groton after Winthrop’s England estate. Farming, shipbuilding, and maritime trading sustained the Groton economy throughout the eighteenth century. Beginning in 1712, land disputes between the Connecticut government and the Pequot tribe in Groton ensued, and the Pequots sent many petitions and grievances to the Connecticut government. Legal battles concerning the colonists’ leasing of the 1,700 acres on which the Pequots lived continued throughout the 18th century, as missionaries came to the area to teach religion and establish schools. After the Revolutionary War, many Groton Pequots joined other Connecticut tribes and moved to the Brothertown settlement in upstate New York.

Windham

Windham is a town in Windham County in the northeastern corner of Connecticut. Historically, the area was home to the Nipmuck Indians, but when the English began to settle Connecticut in 1634, possession of what would become Windham passed to the Pequots. In 1637, following the Pequot War, the English-allied Mohegans took possession of the area and eventually sold what would become Windham County to John Winthrop Jr. in 1652. The town of Windham, named for Wyndham in England, is at the southwest corner of this land purchase and was incorporated in 1692. Eleazar Wheelock was born in Windham in 1711, the son of a prominent farming family. He lived on his family’s 300-acre farm until leaving for Yale in 1729. After graduating and moving to to Lebanon, CT–-a mere 6 miles from Windham-–Wheelock often returned to his hometown to preach and do other business. When Wheelock needed support to advance his “great design,” he turned to his friends in Windham, many of whom were members of the Windham Association, a group of Congregationalist ministers who examined and ordained area ministers. The Windham Association examined Occom in preparation for his ordination in 1757 at Wheelock’s Lebanon home. Like Wheelock, Occom also travelled through and preached in Windham throughout his life. After a period of growth due to mills and textile factories, Windham was incorporated as a city in 1893. A village within the modern-day city of Windham still keeps its Algonquin name, Willimantic or “land of the swift running water.”

Hebron

Hebron is a town located in central Connecticut, on the Connecticut River. The area was occupied by the Mohegan Tribe in the 17th century. During the Pequot War, the Mohegans under Chief Uncas allied with the English against the Pequots, and after the war, the Mohegans fought neighboring tribes with the help of the English. Following these battles, Chief Uncas and his two sons, Owaneco and Attawanhood (who was also known as Joshua), deeded particular Mohegan land to the English colonists. Attawanhood and Oweneco further aided the English settlers during Metacom’s War, and upon his death, Attawanhood’s will granted the land that would comprise Hebron to a variety of English colonists. The first English settlers of the deeded land came from Windsor, Saybrook, Long Island, and Northampton; the town of Hebron was eventually incorporated in 1704. But because some of those who were granted the land did not settle there and because of some Mohegan resistance, the town was slow to grow. With the help of the local government, the town grew large enough by 1711 to sustain a meeting house and a minister. A letter written in 1764 to the Committee of Correspondents with the Scotch Society appoints a number of representatives for the organization within Connecticut, including Benjamin Pomroy from Hebron. In 1768, missionary Aaron Kinne wrote a letter to Wheelock, who was staying in Hebron, to inform him of the state of the Indians in the Kanawalohale Indian School in upstate New York. Also, in a 1771 letter to his father Eleazar, Ralph Wheelock expresses his sorrow at the loss of his brother but informs him that all else is well in Hebron where he recently visited.

New London

New London is a city located in southeastern Connecticut along an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean called Long Island Sound. The area that would become New London was inhabited by the Pequots who called it Nameaug when the Europeans arrived in North America. Pequot villages bordered Long Island Sound and the Tribe had authority over the neighboring Tribes of the Mohegans and Niantics (all Algonquian-speaking tribes). The Dutch first explored this land in 1614 and established trade with the Native peoples, but the English soon gained possession of the land east of the Hudson in the 1630s. English animosity toward their Indian neighbors led to the Pequot War (1634-38), part of which took place in the present city of New London. The Pequots lost the war and their population deteriorated due to the violence and disease. The General Court of Massachusetts granted John Winthrop possession of Pequot territory in 1644 after which it was to be opened for settlement. By 1646, which is considered the official year of its founding, New London had permanent colonial inhabitants and municipal laws, and jurisdiction was granted to the colony of Connecticut in 1647. In 1658, the inhabitants renamed the town New London after London, England. New London was the colony of Connecticut’s first trading port and was a hub of trade with the West Indies and other colonies. Though initially part of the town of New London when it was first settled by the colonists, Groton, Montville, and Waterford were each separated from New London in 1705, 1786, and 1801 respectively. Present-day Salem was also part of New London when it was settled, but in 1819, it became a separate incorporated town composed of parts of Lyme, Colchester, and Montville. Occom kept a school in New London in the winter in 1748. New London was the home of Captain Nathaniel Shaw, one of the wealthiest merchants in the area, who gave money to Occom in the 1750s for the missionary cause and also sold materials to Occom for the building of his home. However, their positive relationship ended when Shaw refused to provide supplies for Mary Occom while Occom was in England. New London served as the port from which Occom and other missionaries traveled to reach Long Island. During the American Revolution, New London’s location and its status as a seaport made it both vulnerable to invasion and integral to colonial naval operations as well as the exchange of prisoners.New London was incorporated as a city in 1784.

New Haven

New Haven is a city in south central Connecticut on New Haven Harbor and the Long Island Sound. The Quinnipiac Indians, specifically the Momauguin band of the Algonquin-speaking Tribe, were the area’s original inhabitants. The Quinnipiacs lived along the banks of Connecticut's many rivers; fittingly, Quinnipiac means long water country. After Dutch explorer Adrian Block first sailed up the Connecticut River in 1614, Quinnipiac lands and peoples began to dwindle, especially as English settlement expanded. In 1638, Reverend John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton, a London merchant, sailed into New Haven Harbor from Massachusetts Bay Colony and formally established New Haven as a Puritan settlement. Though he did not have a royal charter for his new colony, Davenport signed a treaty with Quinnipiac sachem Momauguin in 1738, which gave the English formal ownership over the land. Davenport had left Massachusetts in the midst of the Anne Hutchinson controversy, likely coming to Connecticut to found his own Puritan theocracy. New Haven existed as its own colony distinct from Connecticut until 1665, when Charles II united the two under the Colony of Connecticut. From then on, New Haven referred to the city specifically, which in 1701 became the co-capital of Connecticut along with Hartford. In 1716, the college that would become Yale, where Eleazar Wheelock received his degree in 1733, moved to its permanent home in New Haven. From its creation, Yale was committed to training Christian missionaries; several of Wheelock’s Anglo-American missionaries studied at Yale while many of his Anglo-American students from Moor’s went on to study there. Wheelock took Occom to New Haven in 1744 to see Yale's commencement exercises, but due to terrible eye strain, Occom never attended the College. Because New Haven was the co-capital of Connecticut, any of Occom's or Wheelock’s dealings with the Colony of Connecticut often involved New Haven. By the Revolutionary War, the city had a population of 3,500, almost none of whom were Quinnipiac Indians. New Haven remained co-capital of Connecticut until 1873, when it lost to Hartford in what is known as the "single capital contest."

Niantic

Niantic is a village located in East Lyme, a seaside town in southeast Connecticut on the Long Island Sound. The land was occupied by the Niantic tribe when the Europeans arrived. The Dutch claimed the area in the 17th century, but when the British claimed this same land as part of their colonies, the Dutch forfeited it to the British in a 1627 trade agreement. The village housed both preachers and a schoolhouse, and missionaries came to the village for the purpose of converting and assimilating the tribe. This effort intensified in the 1740s with the influence of the First Great Awakening. Increasingly dispersed and dispossessed of land, many Niantic Indians followed Occom and Joseph Johnson to upstate New York in the 1770's where they settled Brothertown.

Norwich

Norwich is a city in New London County in the southeast corner of Connecticut. It was founded in 1659 when Major John Mason and Reverend James Fitch led English settlers inland from Old Saybrook, CT, on the coast. They bought land from Uncas, sachem of the local Mohegan tribe, and divided it into farms and businesses mainly in the three-mile area around the Norwichtown Green. In 1668, a wharf was built at Yantic Cove and in 1694 a public landing was built at the head of the Thames River, which allowed trade with England to flourish. The center of Norwich soon moved to the neighborhood around the harbor called "Chelsea." During the revolutionary period, when transatlantic trade was cut off, Norwich developed large mills and factories along the three rivers that cross the town: the Yantic, Shetucket and Thames, and supported the war effort by supplying soldiers, ships, and munitions. Norwich was the largest town in the vicinity in which Occom, Wheelock and their associates lived and worked, and it was possible to get there by water because of the harbor and access to the Long Island Sound. Lebanon, CT, the site of Wheelock's school, is 11 miles north and present-day Uncasville, the center of the Mohegan tribe, is a few miles south of Norwich. James Fitch did missionary work among the Mohegans in Norwich until his death in 1702, and Samuel Kirkland, the most important Protestant missionary to the Six Nations trained by Wheelock, was born in Norwich in 1741. On his evangelical tour of North America in 1764, George Whitefield planned to travel to Norwich to meet with Wheelock. The Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge frequently met in Norwich, and many letters by people involved in the missionary efforts of Wheelock were written from Norwich.

Lyme

Lyme is a town in southern Connecticut located along the Connecticut River. The Niantic tribe inhabited the area when, around 1590, the Pequot Indians displaced them. The area that became Lyme was founded as part of the Saybrook settlement, which is located at the mouth of the Connecticut River. The Earl of Warwick established Saybrook in 1631, but it was not yet settled by the English. The Dutch purchased the Saybrook territory in 1633 from local Native peoples, but in 1665, before the Dutch could fully occupy the territory, Governor Winthrop of the colony of Connecticut sent armed men to prevent the Dutch from holding the land. Subsequently, the English settled and named the land Saybrook. In 1665, the land on the east bank of the Connecticut River was formally separated from Saybrook, and the General Connecticut Court named the separated land Lyme after the town of Lyme Regis in England. In 1669, the colonists purchased an eight square mile area of river valley from a Mohegan Indian named Chapeto and then purchased the Joshuatown area from the son of the Mohegan sachem, Uncas. In 1839, East Lyme became a separate town, and in 1854, Lyme was regionally divided into Old Lyme in the south and Lyme in the north.

Windsor

Windsor is a town located in central Connecticut north of Hartford. The town is situated where the Farmington and Connecticut Rivers meet. These rivers served as fishing sources, and a means of transportation for the fur trade for the local River Indians, who called this place Matianuck. In 1631, the River Indians traveled to Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth hoping to create an alliance with colonists that would help protect them from the powerful and aggressive Pequot and Mohawk tribes. The River Indians’ descriptions of the land that would become Windsor enticed the colonists to settle in the area. This settlement occurred after the English colonists learned that the Dutch had settled in Hartford; led by William Holmes, a group of colonists in Plymouth journeyed to Connecticut to establish a trading post in what would become Windsor in 1633. The town was incorporated in the same year. The English named the settlement Dorchester. In 1636, the colony of Connecticut authorized John Mason of Windsor to command an offensive against the Pequot Indians during the Pequot War. This is the Mason to whom the Mohegans entrusted their lands in what would become the important Mason Land Case in which Occom was embroiled. Land in Windsor was divided among families, and the town served as a significant port throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The land that made up Windsor was so vast (16,000 acres) that townships continued to split from Windsor up until 1854.

Longmeadow

Longmeadow is a town in southern Massachusetts at the Connecticut border. The town was inhabited by Agawam Indians when William Pynchon and other Puritans arrived in 1636. Pynchon purchased the land, which was rich in beaver. The name Longmeadow is derived from the Agawam name Magacksic, which literally means long meadow. In 1645, the long meadow of the town was divided into lots, and around the same time settlers finished building a road from Springfield, MA to the meadows in order to transport beaver pelts. Longmeadow was considered a part of Springfield until 1703 when settlers began to establish their own community in the area. In 1714, a former captive of the 1704 battle at Deerfield, Reverend Stephen Williams (the brother-in-law of Wheelock’s first wife Sarah) was hired to serve as the minister for the first church, which he did until his death in 1782. As homes continued to be built, the population grew, and shops and businesses supplemented the farming economy of the town. As the town increased in size, residents of Longmeadow pushed for incorporation, but their plans were impeded by the outbreak of the American Revolution. Many residents of Longmeadow fought as both Tories and Patriots during the Revolutionary War. In 1783, the new Commonwealth of Massachusetts incorporated Longmeadow. In 1894, the East Village of Longmeadow split from the town and formed East Longmeadow.

Enfield

Enfield is a town located in Connecticut on the Massachusetts border in present day Hartford County. The Dutch were the first Europeans encountered by Native Americans in the Enfield area, but soon the English colonized the land. In 1674, the General Court of Massachusetts gave land to the town of Springfield that stretched into present day Enfield. The town was officially incorporated in 1683, and in 1688, the people purchased the town from Notatuck, a Podunk Indian, for 25 pounds sterling. Within a century after the arrival of Europeans, the native inhabitants of the area had died off or migrated. In 1642, Enfield was considered a part of Massachusetts Colony, but a 1695 survey revealed this to be an error, and in 1750 Enfield officially seceded from Massachusetts and became a part of Connecticut. Enfield became a central location for the Great Awakening of the mid-18th century; Jonathan Edwards preached his now famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” at Enfield’s second meeting house.

Hartford

Hartford is the capital city of Connecticut, located in the central part of the state. The land that would become Hartford was first inhabited by the Saukiog Indians (Saukiog was also the name of a village on the Connecticut River) along with the Podunks to the east and the Tunxis to the west. The Dutch explorer Adriaen Block was the first European to visit Saukiog, and by the early 1620s, the Dutch had established a fort in the area. They brought with them a smallpox epidemic that killed many Native Americans. By the mid-17th century the Dutch, outnumbered by the English, had retreated south. In order to protect themselves against the powerful Mohawk and Pequot Indians, tribes around Saukiog allied with the English. By 1635, the Puritan preacher Thomas Hooker and one hundred of his followers moved into the area, first calling their new home Newtown but later changing it to Hartford after Hertford, England. In a 1638 sermon, Hooker claimed that the new Connecticut government should authorize itself according to the consent of the people, words that inspired Connecticut’s Fundamental Orders, considered America’s first written constitution. Missionaries began to preach to the Tunxis near Hartford in 1670. By 1734, Indians at Hartford requested and received English ministers for reading and religious instruction, and used the missionary interest in their community to their advantage in several ways. Minister Samuel Woodbridge reported that Indians at Hartford would attend his church and learn to read if they had the proper clothing, and the New England Company sent blankets and primers as encouragement. Hartford served as the meeting place for Congregational ministers associated with Wheelock and his School to examine the acceptability of Native missionaries, such as Mohegan minister Samuel Ashpo. In 1775, Joseph Johnson went to the Hartford Assembly to deliver letters declaring the allegiance to the colonists of the Indians who had moved to upstate New York.

Long Island

Long Island is an island located in southeast New York State. In 1824, historian Silas Wood claimed that 13 different tribes inhabited the island when the Dutch and English arrived in 1639: the Canarsie, the Rockaway, the Matinecock, the Merrick, the Massapequa, the Nissequoge, the Secatoag, the Seatuket, the Patchoag, the Corchaug, the Shinnecock, the Manhasset, and the Montaukett. This is the commonly accepted tribal history of Long Island, and Wood’s theory is taught in New York textbooks today. Yet, in 1992, historian John Strong challenged this dominant narrative, arguing that tribal systems did not develop on Long Island until after Europeans arrived. Based on Dutch and English colonists’ accounts, the Algonquian communities on western Long Island likely spoke the Delaware-Munsee dialect and those to the east spoke languages related to the southern New England Algonquian dialects. These indigenous peoples organized themselves by language and kinship, but beyond village systems and the occasional alliance, there existed no formal tribal structure. Rather, internal structures arose among the Montauks, the Shinnecocks, the Poospatucks, and the Matinnocks to cope with English settlers, and became integral to these peoples’ survival. Although new diseases and land negotiations severely encroached on the freedom of Long Island’s Native population, these groups that developed tribal structures retain a sense of community today. By the 18th century, much of the island had fallen into the hands of the English, who were the sole European power on Long Island once the Dutch relinquished their claims to the land after the second Anglo-Dutch War in 1664. During the Great Awakening of the 18th century, Occom spent 12 years serving as a missionary to the Montaukett Indians of Long Island, along with Presbyterian minister Azariah Horton. Today, the western half of the island is densely populated due to its proximity to Manhattan, and its eastern half is mainly devoted to resort towns. The Shinnecocks and the Poospatucks retain autonomous reservations on Long Island.

Canterbury
Plainfield
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.

Occom, Sarah

Sarah Occom was Samson Occom's mother. There is some evidence that she was a member of the Groton Pequots, a remnant of the once powerful Pequot Tribe that was decimated by the war with the Puritans in 1636-37. (The Pequots and Mohegans were once a unified people until the Mohegan chief Uncas and a band of followers split off after a dispute with Sassacus, who became sachem of the Pequots.) One genealogy gives Sarah's birthdate as 1694, her maiden name as Wauby Sampson, her father as Sabientouset II (known as General Samson) and her mother as Hannah Wequot Uncas, of the line of the Mohegan's first sachem. Sarah married Joshua Occom (or Tomockham), a Mohegan, and they may have had up to five children: Joshua Jr., Samson, Jonathan, Lucy, and Sarah. In Samson's "Short Narrative" of his life, he notes that his parents "led a wandering Life up and down in the Wilderness" around Uncas Hill. Sarah was an early convert to Christianity during the revivals that swept the area, and Occom recounts that when he told her he wanted education in order to serve his Tribe, she went to Wheelock in nearby Lebanon, CT, because she heard "he had a Number of English youth under his Tuition," to request he take in her son. By 1743, Sarah was a widow, and Samson continued to visit and stay at his mother's house in Mohegan through the 1760s, though one source gives her death as 1782.

Johnson, Joseph
Wheelock, Eleazar

Eleazar Wheelock was a New Light Congregationalist minister who founded Dartmouth College. He was born into a very typical Congregationalist family, and began studying at Yale in 1729, where he fell in with the emerging New Light clique. The evangelical network that he built in college propelled him to fame as an itinerant minister during the First Great Awakening and gave him many of the contacts that he later drew on to support his charity school for Native Americans. Wheelock’s time as an itinerant minister indirectly brought about his charity school. When the Colony of Connecticut retroactively punished itinerant preaching in 1743, Wheelock was among those who lost his salary. Thus, in 1743, he began operating a grammar school to support himself. He was joined that December by Samson Occom, a Mohegan Indian, who sought out an education in hopes of becoming a teacher among his people. Occom’s academic success inspired Wheelock to train Native Americans as missionaries. To that end, he opened Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1754 (where he continued to train Anglo-American students who paid their own way as well as students who functionally indentured themselves to Wheelock as missionaries in exchange for an education). Between 1754 and 1769, when he relocated to New Hampshire, Wheelock trained approximately 60 male and female Native American students from nearby Algonquian tribes and from the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of central New York. At the same time, he navigated the complicated politics of missionary societies by setting up his own board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, although he continued to feud with the Boston Board of the SSPCK and the London Commissioners in Boston (more colloquially called the New England Company). By the late 1760s, Wheelock had become disillusioned with the idea of Native American education. He was increasingly convinced that educating Native Americans was futile (several of his students had failed to conform to his confusing and contradictory standards), and, in late 1768, he lost his connection to the Haudenosaunee. With his inclination and ability to sponsor Native American missionaries largely depleted, Wheelock sought instead to fulfill his ultimate ambition of obtaining a charter and opening a college, which he did in 1769. To fund this new enterprise, Wheelock drew on the £12,000 that Samson Occom had raised for Moor’s Indian Charity School during a two-and-a-half year tour of Great Britain (1765 to 1768). Much of this money went towards clearing land and erecting buildings in New Hampshire for the Charity School’s relocation — infrastructure that also happened to benefit Dartmouth. Many of Wheelock’s contemporaries were outraged by what they saw as misuse of the money, as it was clear that Dartmouth College was not intended for Indians and that Moor’s had become a side project. Although Wheelock tried to maintain at least some commitment to Native American education by recruiting students from Canadian communities, the move did a great deal of damage to his public image. The last decade of Wheelock’s life was not easy. In addition to the problems of trying to set up a college far away from any Anglo-American urban center, Wheelock experienced the loss of relationships with two of his most famous and successful students, Samson Occom and Samuel Kirkland (an Anglo-American protégé). He also went into debt for Dartmouth College, especially after the fund raised in Britain was exhausted.

Pomeroy, Benjamin

Benjamin Pomeroy was a school friend of Eleazar Wheelock and a lifelong supporter of his cause. Like Wheelock, he was a New Light evangelical and a staunch ally of James Davenport, a radical New Light preacher whose beliefs got him in trouble with the law. After graduating from Yale in 1733, Pomeroy received the ministry at Hebron, CT, in 1734, and assisted Wheelock in myriad ways until his own death in 1784. He kept Wheelock's school during 1746, when Wheelock's first wife, Sarah, was dying, and he tutored Occom (primarily in Hebrew) after Occom had completed his studies with Wheelock. Pomeroy also supported Wheelock as a trustee of Moor's, and, later, Dartmouth, and as a member of the Board of the Correspondents in Connecticut for the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Pomeroy and Wheelock also had close family connections: Pomeroy was married to Wheelock’s sister, Abigail, and one of Pomeroy’s daughters, Hannah, married David McClure, one of Wheelock's most illustrious graduates. Outside of his liturgical career, Pomeroy served as an army chaplain in the French and Indian War and the Revolution.

Shaw, Elizabeth
Lee, Samuel
Ephraim, Isaac
Chalkcom, Jacob
HomeSamson Occom, journal, 1743 December 6 to 1748 November 29
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