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Samson Occom, herbal remedies and letter fragment

ms-number: 754900.2

abstract: Herbal remedies and a letter fragment.

handwriting: Occom's hand is largely clear and legible; however, within the context, many letters and words are difficult to decipher.

paper: Several small sheets folded into a booklet and bound with thread are in good condition, with light-to-moderate staining and wear.

ink: Brown ink is faded on some pages. There is some spattering that occasionally makes it difficult to differentiate between ink spots and punctuation.

noteworthy: When Occom's intention regarding a word or abbreviation is uncertain, the word or abbreviation has been left unmodified in the modernized transcription. Lines separating each numbered section of the herbal remedies have not been transcribed. The contents of the letter fragment are very similar to those of manuscript 756900.2.

layout: The journal fragment is, relative to one recto, written upside-down and meant to be read from the back of the booklet.

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

of ashes — good for
Indian Elm
good for Sore mouth
geebiyanbuſ[illegible] good
for young Children that
are inclining to
fits, Start[illegible][guess: l]ed
— Cowachink
good for [guess: cold]
witch Root good for
Bait for musk
wehsuck or Bitter Root
good to kill lice
the Same Root with
Some Powder and Salt
soaked in water and
take about one Spoon
ful at a time — then
wet the Same in
Salt water from the
Sea to Rub all over
the Body, for itch
Masterwort good for
one Sort of headache
the Same root and the
Little sort of willow root
take willow root first — one Spoon
good for kings Evil —
Eating root and poison
Vine Sap
A Long Notched Leaf
good Boil
master over witch
A root for fits Pound
the root and soak in
water about half an
hour 4 roots will do[illegible][guess: e]
Long Fever herb take
it the Leaves and throw
them into hot water
and Put them upon
the wrists hollow of the
[illegible] feet and upon the
Indian flax [illegible][guess: a] root boiled
good for Bloody flux
Indian hemp good
for to Draw anything
out of Sores
Robbin Planting Soup
good to Draw Corrup
an herb good for worms
Poplar root and teeth root
boiled good for rheumatic
S[illegible][guess: cen]ts good to make one
S[illegible][guess: cen]ts also good for
humerous Sores
Toad sorrel good for
Wintergreen and
another herb boiled
in 3 Quarts of water
'til it is consumed to
a pint and then take
a gill honey to it
good for Throat cankered
an herb good to make
women bear Children
Pretty high stalk and
Long Leaves
wores root good to Draw
young mens to Young
a weed good to restrain
women from bearing
Children —
horse pennyroyal and
five fingers Leaves
boiled together good
for Fever-Ague
[illegible] An herb good for
rattlesnake's bite
Solomon's Seal and Swamp
pennyroyal and water
Crissis Seal most boiled
together — good for consump
Prickly leaved and
Thorns roots most of the
thorn. boiled in about
3 Quarts of water 'til
consumed to a Quart —
good for heartburn
An herb good for green
wound a Small slender
Stalk with bushy top
another weed Some
what Like the other herb
good for Sore Eyes caused
by Cold with a So[illegible][guess: r]e
heated Put upon the
hinder part the Neck
water Dock root take
and boil and take the
root after it is boiled and
Pound it fine to Lay
upon f[illegible][guess: a]x Sore and
[illegible]ce of the water of
for it is good for it
Sweet flag good for
clotted Blood
Augeet good for bust
take the root and Pound
it in hot water and
let about a gill at once
twice a Day
A little Sort of Indian
flax for a person to
take 2 Days together
that has French Pox
and then take sassafras
and milkweed and
Pound them together
2 thirds of the first and
third of the last
the doctor must cake
an herb and Rub
his hands with it
while he is dressing
the patient
Musk, with Some his fat
and fur mixed together
good for earache
Wauhtouwox and Grape
Vine Sap good for film over
the Eye
another herb and sassa‐
fras heart and speckle
beans Good for Sore
Herb good to heal
broken bones fingers and about the foot
Pitch Pine buds and
Small wild Cherry Tree
but 2 third of the Latter
boiled together — good for
young Women whose
Flowers are stopped by
weakness of Nature
Deer's horn and Mut
[illegible][guess: ly youbuck], but the
horn should be grated
make about a gill
and boil it in about
6 gills of water and
Let it boil away half
then the other into it
Good for Young Women
When their Monthly
sickness overflows
an herb boiled in 2
gallon of water and
boil it about half away
and then Cool it. and
then Put about 3 quarts
of [guess: pounded] flax Seed
good for to ease women
that are in travail
S[illegible][guess: uqee]t and Sp[illegible][guess: ec]knand
and healing weed, that
are bushy sgood to heal
broken bones about
Thighs Legs and arms
Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.
Montauk January the 13
these far from my thoughts
Blank page.
Look upon myself of all
Creatures most indebted to god
in that he has shown such
distinguishing Favours to me
in giving greater advantages
to me, to know him and his
ways, Particularly By stir‐
ring up the Hearts of many of
his People, to take notice of
me with an Eye of Pity and
compassion, in that they have
received me in their Favour
and have manifested their
Pity to me, in endless instances
amongst which your
Self is on one
and Shall always Look
upon myself Greatly
beholden to you, Even as
Long as I Shall have my
right senses about me,
for the Book and Money
that you have Sent me
by the Hands of the Rev. Mr.
of Lebanon, may
god Reward you out of his
immense treasure of Spiritual
Rewards and gifts, the Psal[illegible]
Says, Blessed is he that con
sidereth the Poor — and Since
you have shown Such Favour
to me, Maynt I have an in‐
terest in your addresses at
the Throne of grace
Blank page.
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.

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.

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