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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.


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


[gap: tear]
[gap: tear] River
[gap: tear]Some Time: I reached
[gap: tear] [illegible]
[gap: tear] kept Sabbath at this
[gap: faded] Preached at m[gap: faded]
[gap: faded] to a tronged A[gap: faded]
[gap: faded] very [gap: faded][guess: pleasant] Day

Monday December 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]

December 20

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

Wednesday December 21:

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

Thursday December 22

it snowed
Still Yet a great Number of People
Came together at the appointed 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

Friday December 23

was with
Mr. West all Day Lodged with
them again —

Saturday December 24:

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

Sabbath December 25:

People got
together about 11: a great number
and I preached to them twice in
the evening went to Mr. Mechams
my good old Friend, he Came from
Westerly and lodged there I was
very Poorly this Night I was Trou
bled with a disorder in my Bow
els very much — —

Monday December 26:

was very Com
fortable this morning my disorder
was gone, about 10 went to Herington
Meeting House called on
from there went to Mr. Woodroff[illegible][guess: 's],
and there put up my horse
and went to meeting Preached to
a large assembly, and the People
attended with great Solemnity —
in the evening went to See Mr.
Batholomew
the old minister of the
Place he has laid down Preaching
by reason of Infirmities, he Seem
ed to be a good sort of a man— lodged
with Mr. Woodroff

Tuesday December 27

after Breakfast went
on my Journey, stopped at Litchfield a
few minutes just to eat at a Tavern
and then set off again, and directed
my course towards New Milford; reached
the Place just before night. called on
one Mr. Baldwin and Tarried there
all night, and appointed a meeting
10 o'clock for the next Day, this Night
we had a Terrible Storm of Snow —

Wednesday December 28:

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

Thursday December:

went with
Mr. Taylor to attend upon a Lecture
which Mr. Taylor had appointed Some
Days before about 7 miles South from
the Town, I preached, 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 preached
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 lodged there, I believe the man
and his wife were true Christians,
sat up 'til late and then went to
Bed quietly Mr. Taylor went home
this evening and I desired him to Send
word to New Preston, that I would
be there on the next Day and give
them a Short discourse towards
evening,

Friday December 29:

after Breakfast
returned to New Milford got about 12
and found Mr. Tayl[illegible][guess: a]r had not Sent
word to New Preston, and I passed by
as Soon as could, one Deacon Hoge
kins
accompanied me, and we got
there a little before sunset, 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 Separate Minister and
a very man I believe, — — —

Saturday December 31

had a meeting
at one Deacon Baldwins, among
the Separates, had a Comfortable
meeting, after meeting went into
Town, lodged at Mr Taylor, —

Sabbath January 31

Preach at the
Place all Day to amazing Num
ber of People —
lodged at Mr. Hinds whose wife
is a very good woman, was very
kindly entertained, this evening
two young women Came to me
under great Concern of Soul and
I gave them a word of advice
and counsel

Monday January 2

left New Milford
early in the morning and went
on to New fairfield got there about
10 o'clock Call in at Mr. Sills the
Minister of the Place a few minutes
and then went to meeting, preached
to a large Number of People, after
meeting went to Mr. Sills and dined
and Soon after Dinner left the
Place and went on towards
Kint Mr. Sill went with me, went
through Peſ[illegible]tokook, stopped a few
Minutes at the Indian Place
but there was no Indians at home
scarcely, and So we passed on, got
to Mr. Bodwell about 7 in the evening
and they Sent word all round that
Night to have a meeting next
Day about 10 in the morning

Tuesday January 3:

went to meeting
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 dined there, and
Soon after Dinner went on my
towards 9 Partners and got to
Esq. Hopkinss about 7 in the
evening and lodged there —

Wednesday Jan.r 4:

preached
at the red meeting House, —

Thursday January 5:

preached
at a private House, in the
Place — —

Friday January 6:

went to Mr.
Knibloe
s in Esq. Hopkinss
sleigh, got there before noon
about 1 went to meeting
and it was extreme Cold, I
delivered a Short discourse,
after meeting went to Mr.
Plat
's and dined there, and
than went on our way Home
to Esq. Hopkins, got there
just after sunset — — —

Saturday January 7:

was at
Esq. Hopkins all Day —

Sabbath January 8:

preached here
all Day, just at night left
the Place and went over
the Mountain to Mr. Wood's
meeting House, and preached
there, and it was extreme
Cold, went home with Mr.
Fowler
in his sleigh and
lodged there — — — —

Monday January 9:

left Mr. Fowlers early
in the morning and went on towards
Pleasant Valley, 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 lodged there —

Tuesday January 10:

towards evening
went to the Hollow and Mr. Case went
with me I preached 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 January 11:

we went 8: or 9
miles northwestward to one Mr. Samuel
Smith
s and preached there in the evening
to a Crowd of People, and they attended
exceeding well — lodged in the Same
house one Mr. ward brought hither
in his sleigh from Mr. Case's —

Thursday January 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 afternoon 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 discourse, the People here
are Chiefly Dutch, and I found
Some excellent Christians amongst
lodged at Mr. Struits

Friday January 13:

Set off very
early in the morning towards
Pleasant Valley, for we had
appointed meeting there at 1
o'clock this Day, got there just a
bout meeting Time, and there
was a great Number of People
I preached, — after meeting I
went with one Mr. Newcom a Bap
tist
Brother, a man of great Riches
was very kindly entertained, lodged
here, with much satisfaction —

Saturday January 14:

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

Sabbath: January 15:

preached 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] 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 called Oswego
about 6 miles off, got there
in the dusk of the evening
found a prodigious Number
of People, preached to them,
Mr. Case made the last Prayer
I lodged with one Mr. Plat

: Monday January 16:

went to a
nother part of Oswego about
7 miles off, to a Baptist meet
ing House
, meeting began about
1 in the afternoon, and there
was a great multitude of
People of all Sorts and Deno
minations, the greater part
of the People could not get in
to the House, and we had a
Solemn meeting — as Soon as
the meeting was done we went to
wards Poughkeepsie, 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 —

Tuesday January 17:

early
in the morning went on to Pough
keepsie
and stopped a Little while at
a public House, and So passed 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 each
other in friendship — and I went
to the Ferry, there met with
major Durgee of Norwich in
his return Home from Susquehan
na
, got over before sunset and
went Down to Mr. Debois's and
lodged there Found them all
well except his wife, they were
very glad to See me, and received
with all kindness — —

Wednesday January 18:

after break
fast went Down to New Windsor called
on Mr. Luml Co[illegible]ling and also one
Mr. Clark my old friends and ac
quaintances they were extremely
glad to See me and stopped no more
'til 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 Sat
up 'til good bed Time and then
took our repose for the Night

Thursday January 19:

was at Mr.
Wood
s 'til towards Night, then
went to meeting at Mr. Clarks
there were So many People they
could not all get in, and we
had a Comfortable meeting
after meeting returned Home
with Mr. Wood again and sat
up Some Time after we got Home

Friday January 20:

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

Saturday January 21:

left Mr. woods
early in the Morning and on
towards Malborough. stopped at
New Windsor Breakfasted with
Mr. Close, after breakfast went
on my way got to Malborough
before Night stopped at Mr. Clarks
Mr. Case the general Postmas‐
ter Brought me here in his
sleigh from Newburgh he
is one of my good old Friends
here I went
home, and lodged with him —

Sabbath January 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 lodged here,

Monday January 23:

in the morning
went back again to Newburgh
and preached there in the Church
of England
to a great Number of
People as Soon as the meeting was
over I went up to Malborough and
preached in the School House to
a Crowded People and they atten
ded with affection — after meeting
—went back to Mr. Clarks and
lodged there — —

Tuesday January 24:

went away
early in the morning Mr. Clark
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 and
there was a Multitude of People
I had Some freedom in Speaking
this Night Mr. with Mr. Tolton

Wednesday January 25:

Held
a meeting not far from Mr.
Tolton
's in a Dutch mans house
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
lodged with one Mr. Norton
had a long Conversation with
them, they were Baptists

Thursday January 26:

in the
morning went away to another
place, about 6 miles off,
where we had appointed a
meeting at a Dutch mans
house, we got there about 11
about 12 went to meeting in
a Barn, the people crowded
like Bees and we had a solemn
meeting, after meeting I went
with a gentleman 2 or 3 miles
northward, in the evening a number
of Neighbours Came in to
meeting though we did not men‐
tion any meeting, and I gave
a word of Exhortation
lodged here — —

Friday January 27:

Set off in
the morning and to Blooming
grove
, about 20 miles off got
there about 5 in the after
Noon was kindly entertained
by one Mr. Brewster lodged
there — —

Saturday January 28:

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

Sabbath: January 29:

preached at the
Place to a vast crowd of People
and I had but little sense of
Divine things, however,
the People attended with great
attention — — towards Night went
Oxford about 4 miles off there
we had an evening meeting to
a crowded Audience and I had
Some sense of Divine things and
the People were much affected
I believe Lord was with us of
Truth,— lodged at Deacon Little's

Monday January 30:

in the morning
quite early I set off for Smiths
Clove
Deacon Little accompanied
me, got the there about 10 a
bout 12 we began Divine 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 Murderers
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 lodged there with one [illegible][guess: Mr. –]

Tuesday January 31:


went off early in the morning
in order to get over the River,
stopped a little while with Mr. Close
at New Windsor there was no
passing there, and So I went to
Newburgh, Breakfasted at
Mr. [gap: omitted] and then went
to the ferry, about 11 went over
to Fishkills Side, and went on
to the Center of the Place, got to
the Presbyterians Meeting House
about 3 in the afternoon, the
People stopped me to have a meeting
on the next Day, and I went
to one [gap: omitted] and lodged
there, and was very kindly
treated and entertained, —

Wednesday: February 1: 1775

about 11 o'clock 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, lodged with one Mr.
Judge
— and was very kind
ly entertained and he said, that
ever I should Come there again I
should make his house my Home

Thursday: February 2:

went off very
early in the morning, to a Place
called the Mills, there I had a meet
ing, begun about 12: preached
in a Barn to a vast great concourse
of People, and the Power of God
was manifest amongst us, there
was great trembling among the
People after meeting went with
one Mr. Lawrence a Baptist Minis
ter he lives in the mountains, and
I lodged at his house, —

Friday: February 3:

about 12 went
to meeting, preached 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. Champlens, and we had long
and Friendly conversation together
in Religious Matters, lodged here this
Night, and was extremely well used
and entertain —

Saturday Morning February 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 received me
with Brotherly kindness and Love
lodged here —

Sabbath February 5

about 10 went
to meeting, and there was great
Number of People Got toge‐
ther, and I preached with
much freedom the People were
affected many of them, 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 obliged to
remove to the meeting House and when
we got there we found a great
Number of People, the meeting
House was crowded, and the
Lord gave me freedom in
Speaking, after meeting
went back with Mr. Sill and
Lodged there —

Monday: February 6:

in the morn-
ing went Down to a Town House
of Fairfield and there preached
began about 12 and there was
a great Number of People got
together and we had a Comfortable
meeting, as Soon as the meeting
was over I went towards New
Milford
, got there towards Night
stopped 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 entreated with
Tears in her Eyes to have me
Stay they pulled very hard
upon my very Heart Strings
and it Hard work to get
away from them, however
I did get away, and went
on towards New Preston, got
there Some Time in the evening
put up at Mr. Coggswells a
tavern and he gave me my
Entertainment —

Tuesday February 7:

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

Wednesday February 8,

went
off very early in the morning
and Got So far as Mr.
Cornwell
s East Side of
Connecticut River about
10 miles, I intended to have
gone further, but the Land
Lord Cornwell urged to have
me Stay, and I consented
at last, and presently it
was noised about I was
there, and they had a Notion
of having a meeting, and
at last I consented, this
was about half an hour
after sunset, and in about
more the House was crowded
with People. and I preached
and I had Some Freedom—
and after meeting went
to rest quietly, —

Thursday February 9:

took
leave of them very early
in the morning, and on
my way, made but little
Stops by the way, arrived
to my house just before
Night, and found all my
family in good State of
Health, — Blessed be the
Lord god of Heaven and 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.

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