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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.

of Aſhes — good for
Indian Alm
good for Sore mouth
geepbiyanbuſ [illegible] [illegible] good
for young Children that
are inclining to
fits, Start[illegible] [guess: l]ed
— Cowachink
good for Cole
witch Root good for
Bait for Muſk
wehſuc.k or Bitter Root
good to kill Liſe
the Same Root with
Some Powder and Salt
Soked in water and
take a bout one Spoon
full at a time — then
wet the Same in
Salt water from the
Sea to Rub all over
the Body, for Eich
Maſter w[illegible] [guess: or]t good for
one Sort of headake
the Same Rt and the
Little Sor of willow rt
thetake wil rt firſt — one Spoon
good for kings Evil —
Eating Rt & Poiſon Iviy
wVine Sap
A Long Notched Leaf
good Boil
Maſter over witch
A Rt for fits Pound
the Rt and Soke in
water about half an
hour 4 Rts will do[illegible] [guess: e]
Long Fever herb take
it the Leaves & throw
them into hot water
and Put them upon
the wrſts hallow of the
[illegible] feet and upon the
Indian fl [illegible] ax [illegible] [guess: a] Rt Boild
good for Bloody flux
Indian hamp good
for to Draw anything
out of Sores
Robbin Planting Soup
good to Draw Corrup
an herb good for worms
Poplar Rt and teeth Rt
Boild good for Rumatick
S[illegible] [guess: cen]ts good to make one
S[illegible] [guess: cen]ts alſo good for
humerous Sores
Toad Sorril good for
Winter-green and
anothter herbe boild
in 3 Quarts of water
till it is Conſum’d to
a pint and then take
a jill honey to it
good for Throat Cankerd
an herb good to make
women bear Children
Prety high Sto[illegible] [guess: r]k and
Long Leaves
wores Rt good to Draw
young mens to Young
a wead good to Reſtrain
women from bearing
Children —
Horſe Penroial and
five fingers Leaves
boild togather good
for Fever-Ague
[illegible] An herbe good for
Rattle Snakes bite
Solonom Seal and Swamp
penroal penroial and water
Criſſis Seal m[illegible] [guess: oſ]t boild
togather — good for Conſum
Prickly Leav’d and
Thorns Rts moſt of the
thorn. boild in about
3 Quarts of water till
Conſumd to a Quart —
good for Heart born
An herb good for green
wound a Small Slinder
Stalk with Buſhee top
another wead Some
w [illegible] hat 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 Rt take
and boil and take the
Rt after it is boil’d and
Pound it fine to mLay
upon f[illegible] [guess: a]x Sore and
[illegible]ce of the water of
for it is good for it
Sweet flag good for
Cloted Blood
Augeet good for buſt
take the Rt and Pound
it in hot water and
lett about a jill 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 Saſarfax
and milk wead and
Pound them together
2 thrids of the firſt and
third of the Laſt
the Docter muſt kake
an herb and Rub
his hands with it
wile he is Dreſſing
the Patien
Muſk, with Some his fat
and Furr w Mixt togather
good for Ear ake
Wauhtouwox and Grape
Vine Sap good for flme over
the Eye
another herb and Saſſar‐
fax heart and Speccle
beans Good for Sore
Herb good to heal
brocken bones fingers and about the [below]foot
Pitch Pine Budes and
Small wiled Cherry Tree
but 2 third of the Latter
Boild togeg — good for
young Women whoſe
Flowers are Stopt by
weakneſs of Nature
Dears horn [illegible] and Mut
[illegible] [guess: ly youbuck], but the
horn ſhoud be gated
mak about a jill
and boil it in about
6 jills of water and
Let it boil away half
then the other into it
goo for Young Women
When their Monthly
Sickneſs over flows
an herb boild in 2
gallon of water and
boil it about half away
and then Cool it. and
then Put about 3 Qurts
of Pound it flax Seed
good fror to Eaſe women
that are in Traval
40 50
S[illegible] [guess: uqee]t and [illegible] Sp[illegible] [guess: ec]knand
and healing wead, that
are buſhee sgood to heal
brocken bones about
Thighs Legs and arms
51 41
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 ye 13
the[illegible] [guess: ſe] far from my thoughts
Blank page.
Look upon my Self of all
Creatures moſt InDebtted to god
in that he has Shewn Suck
Diſtinguiſhing Favours to me
in giving [illegible] greater advantages
to me, to know him and his
ways, Particularly By Stir‐
ing 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 [illegible] [guess: which] which your
Self is on one of the
and Shall always Look
upon my Self [illegible] Greatly
beholden to you, [illegible] Even as
Long as I Shall have my
wright Sinces about me,
for the Book and Money
that you have Sent me
by the Hands of the Revd Mr
of Lebanon, may
god Reward you out of his
Emence Treaſure of Spiritual
Rewards and gifts, the Psal [illegible]
Says, Beleſsed is he that Con
ſidereth the Poor — and Since
you have Shewn Such Favour
to me, Maynt I have an In‐
truſt in your addreſses at
the Throne of grace
Blank page.

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.


Montauk is an unincorporated hamlet located on the eastern tip of Long Island in southeastern New York. The town was named after the Montaukett Indians who lived on much of eastern Long Island when Europeans first made contact in the 17th century. Archeological records show that Native Americans occupied eastern Long Island at least 3,000 years prior to European contact. The Montaukett Indians derived their name from the land they lived on, Montaukett meaning hilly country. The Montauketts made great use of Long Island’s abundant resources, and the nation subsisted by growing crops such as corn, squash, and beans as well as gathering berries, herbs, and roots. In addition to game such as deer and fish, the Montauketts also hunted whales and used every part of the whale, including its oil, which they burned in large clamshells. Living on an island at first isolated the Montaukett people, but they soon became a strong economic force in the region thanks to the production of the American Indian currency wampum. Wampum was constructed out of polished sea shells, which were found in abundance along Long Island’s beaches. The Montauketts' rich resources, however, led to wars with surrounding Indian nations, including the Pequots and Narragansetts to the north. The Pequots eventually forced the Montauketts to forfeit wampum as tribute. By the early 17th century, the Montauketts were faced with wars against surrounding Native Americans and an onslaught of European diseases, and in order to preserve his nation’s territorial integrity, the Montaukett sachem, Wyandanch, established an alliance with English settlers in Connecticut in 1637. Over time, however, the Montauketts' began selling off land to the English settlers, and disease further decimated their numbers. A 1650 smallpox epidemic killed around two-thirds of the Montaukett people. In 1665, Wyandanch granted the English permission to pasture livestock on Montaukett lands. In 1686 a group of East Hampton settlers known as the Proprietors bought the territory of Montauk from the Montauketts, and would continue to hold on to the land in a joint trust for the next 200 years. Despite attempts over the years, the town has never been incorporated as a village. Many years later, the Montauketts attempted to reassert their land rights on Long Island by petitioning New York State Judge Abel Blackmar in 1909. Blackmar refused to recognize the Montauketts as an Indian tribe, which has to this day left them without a reservation on the land that still bears their name.

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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