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Samson Occom, journal, 1757 June 28 to 1761 March 31

ms-number: 757378

abstract: Occom details his travels throughout Long Island and New England, as well as his ordination and the events leading up to it. He takes his son Aaron to be raised by Wheelock.

handwriting: Handwriting is clear and legible. There are several uncrossed t’s and crossed l's, which the transcriber has corrected.

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

ink: Dark-brown.

noteworthy: When Occom mentions an “Indian Town,” or "Indian Place," he is likely referring to Indian villages associated with each place that he visits; specifics are uncertain and so these places have been left untagged. On five verso, the Latin exegesis translates to: "Whether a heathen/pagan who never hears the gospel, may obtain eternal salvation," or, in more colloquial Calvinist terms, "If a heathen never hears the gospel, can he be saved." An editor, likely 19th-century, has overwritten the journal in spots; these overwrites have not been transcribed.

events: Occom’s Ordination, Occom’s Mission to the Montauketts

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Samson Occom
1757 - 1760

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Tueſday June ye 28 AD: 1757

I Sot out from Montauk for N.
, in order to Paſs an Ex‐
amination there &c — And wed‐
Morning I Sot out from
Eaſthampton , with the Revd
Mr Pomroy
and Woodbrige and
others, Down to Northweſt, &
about 12 o C. we went aboard of
Mr Dayton, and emediately
weighted Anchor, and Spread Sail
to the Winds, and away towards
New-England Shores, and we
got to the Mouth of Seabrook
[illegible] Harber
about 9 at Night, and
for Fear of the Flats, we Dropt
Anchor at a Diſtance from Shore
and there taried all Night,
and in the Morning of the 29 30 Jue
we a Roſs, and weighted [illegible]
Anchor, and [illegible] [guess: P]at to Shore, and
Mr Pomroy and the two young
Women went a Shore, and I
Shifted aboard of another Boat

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whoſe owner was one Mr Horton
who Came Down fr the River
from up Country, and was
removing With his Family
to Stoningtown — And he Sot
me a Shore at Black-Point
and I went to Indian Town —
and found My Friends generaly
well — and taried at my Aunt
that Night —

Morning Junely ye 30th 1st

I Sout out
from Nahantick , for Mohegan
and got there at Night to
Mothers, and found all my
Relitives in good Health &c —
and there kept the Sabbath —
and Monday July ye 4, I went
from Mohegan for Lebanon
[illegible] and got there to Mr Wheelock's
Juſt before Sun Set, and was
very kindly Receiv'd, and found
them all in good Health — and
after a Little Converſation,

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Mr Wheelock Concluded, and appointed
the 12th Inſt to be the Day of my
Examination, at his Houſe —
and Emediately Sent and gave
Notice, and Deſired the aſſistance
in the Examination, of 5 Neigh‐
bouring Miniſters, viz, Mr Solo:
of Lebanon old Society
and Mr Benjn Pomroy of Hebron
and Mr Nathan Strong of New Coven‐
, and Mr Stephen White of
Windham, and Mr Saml Moſley
of Canada

Tueſday July ye 12

Expected the Gentlemen to attend
the Examination, But we were
Diſapointed the Voice of one Crying, — there was none Come,
But the Revd Mr Pomroy , —
we Judg'd the Weather Hinder'd
them, it being wet Day, — and
Mr Wheelock and Mr Pomroy
Conſider'd the Matter, and Con‐
cluded to Send [illegible] to the Miniſters
that Day — to Come together on
the next Day, which was the 13
of July
, at the Houſe of the

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the Revd Mr Williams, and
accordinly they Come together
about one o.C PM — and
there I Paſs'd an Examination
Before the Revd Me[illegible] [guess: n]ſrs Solomon
Eleazer Wheelock
Benjamin Pomroy Nathan Strong
and Stephen White, — and they were
So far Satiſfied, as to Conclude to pro‐
ceed, to and ordination hereaf‐
ter &c — And Juſt before Sun
Set I went Down towards Mohe‐
, and got So far as Norwich
, and taried at the Houſe
of one Deacon Huntington, a —
Tavern keeper, —

Thirdſday July
ye 14th

I went on my Journey and
got to Mohegan about 11. o'C
AM, and found my Relitives
well in [illegible] General,

July ye 15th

my Brother and I went Down to
N. London in a Conoo, — and I taried
there that Night, —

July the 16th

I went aboard of one
Daviſe Williams of StoningTown

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and we got to Maſons Island
Some time in the after Noon,
and there I Stay'd over the
Sabbath, —

Monday July ye 18th

[illegible] bout 1 in the after Noon we
went aboard again, and Sot
Sail, for Fiſhe's Island and got
there Some time after Sun Set,
and Tueſday July ye 19th we Sot
Sail very Early for Long Island
and we tailed all the Day in
the Sound, and Some time in
ye Night we got Near by Gardener's
, and there we Dropt An‐
chor, and Taried all Night —

Wedneſday Morning July ye 20th

weighed Anchor and Hoiſted Sail
and Steered towards Napeeg
, and Reachd there about
10 in the Morning, there I went a Shore and then
I went by Land to Montauk, and
I got home about 2 PM, and
found my Poor Family in Comfort
able Circumſtances, — Praiſe be
to god for his Tender Mercies to us
ward —

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May ye 7th AD: 1759 —

I Sot out from montauk for Eaſt‐
, In order to go over to New
, with Some Expectation of
Paſsing an Ordernation there, and
Lodg'd at Mr Hedges that Night —

Tueſday Morning May ye 8

went Down to Northweſt, and I
Taried there at the Houſe of one
Mr [illegible] Ebenezer Hedges that Night
and Wedneſday the May ye 9 we
went aboard of mr Dayton, and
Croſst the Sound, and got over a-
about 9 at Night, and we
Lodg'd at my Aunt Juſtice's Houſe —

Thirdſday May the [illegible] 10th

Sot out very Early in the Morning
for Mohegan, and got there before
Sun Set, at my Mother's,

May the 11

I went from Mohegan
for Lebanon, got there Some Time
before Sun Set, found Mr Wheelock

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Wheelocks Family very Poorly
with the Meaſels Eſpecially our

May the 15

the Revd Aſſociation
Sot at Mr Wheelocks Houſe, &
Conſulted my Caſe, and Concluded,
and to to Referd my ordernation to the
Revd Preſpetery on Long-Island
and Accordingly wrote, and Re‐
fer'd [illegible] me to the Revd P [illegible] reſpetery
on Long Is [illegible] land, —

Thirdſday May ye 17th

to the Island, and Stopt att
Mohegan and kept the Sabath
there with Indians —

Monday May ye 21

we went
Down to New-London, and tari‐
ed there that Night —
and Tueſday May ye 22 we
went a Board of Mr Gardeners
Boat, of Isle of White, got [illegible] to

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to the Island after Sun Set, and
we Taried there Two Nights —

Thirdſday May ye 17

we went
over to the Fire Place, got there
about 1 o'C in the after Noon,
from thence I went to Town, got
there about 3 in the after Noon
& I Deliver Revd Aſſociation's Letter to Mr Buell

Fryday May ye 18

I went home
to Montauk, Go [illegible] t there about
Noon, and found my Poor Family
wiell, and Moſt of Neighbours
Praiſe be to god there fore —
after this I heard the Revd
on long-Island Receiv'd
the Letter, — and Apointed the
29 of Auguſt 1759 for my orderna‐
tion — and they Sent a Text to
me out of 72 Pſalm the 9 w verſe

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8 they yt Dwell in the Wilderneſs
Shall bow before him —
and alſo an Exegeſis — in theſe
words — An Ethnicus qui Evan‐
gelium Nunquam Audiat, Eter‐
[illegible] nem Salutem otinere Poſit

And the Apointed Time Being Come
I appear'd before the Revd Preſpetry
at Eaſthampton , and Paſs'd an
Examination —, and Thirdſday Augt
ye 30th
in the after Noon the Revd
Procee [illegible] ded in Solemnity
of my ordernation, the Revd Mr
of Eaſthampton , made the
firſt Prayer, and Preach'd from
Gal. 1.16, and the Revd Mr
of Bridghampton Deman-
ded my Pu [illegible] plick Aſſent to the
Chriſtian Doctrines and the Arti‐
cles of Faith, which I did — —

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then Emediately Proceeded to ye
Impoſition of the Hands — the
Revered Mr Brown Preſided,
made the ordernation Prayer;
the Revd M.r Barker of South
Gave the Right Hand
of Fellowſhip; and the Revd
Mr Prime
of Huntington Gave
the Charge and made the laſt
Prayer, thus the Solemnity End‐
ed. Laus te Deum

Montauk Ocr ye 8 AD: 1759

I Sot out from Montauk for the
old Mans where the Preſbytery was
to Set and Mr Reeves was to be ord
ain'd, and got So far as Sebaunuck
and Preach'd there and taried all
Night among the Indians,

ocr ye 9

I Sot out very Early on my
Journey, and got to the old mans
about O'C PM, and went Directly

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to Meeting, Mr Brown of BridgHampn
P 'd from Prov. 11.30, and Taried
one Mr Miller's where the Preſbytery
Sot — Thirſday Morning the Preſbyr
brock up, the Miniſters Diſparſd a
bout 11 in the Morning, and I went
down to South, and got to Maſtick
about 4 PM found the Indians
very Sickly, Preach'd to them at
Evening, they Seem'd to give very
good atention —

Fryday Ocr ye 12

Sot out from Maſtick very Early in
the Mo [illegible] rning, homeward, and got ſo
far as Mr Browns at BridgHampn
and Tarried there all Night, — and
Saturday Ocr ye 13 about 9 I Sot out
from thence, onward and got Home
little after Sun Set, and found
my Poor Family in Health [illegible]
Praiſe be to God —

April ye 1 1760

went to Smith town where the
Preſbytery was to Set, and
got So far as Connoo Place

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that Night, and Tueſday
April the 2
Sot out early
in the Mornig, and got to
Smith Town about 4 O.C
P M. and Wedneſday the Pres
Sot at Esqr Philip's, and
Thurſday about 3 O.C in the
the Preſbytery Broke up
and I imedately Sot out
from thence to Mr Reeve's
at South and got there Juſt
about Day light in, and
was Kindly Receiv'd by
Mr Reeve, and Fryday
April the 4
I away from
thence homeward and got
So far as Mr Brown's at
Night and there I met with
Mr Horton and we taryed
there all Night

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and Saturday April the
about 9 o. c in the morng
we took Leave of one another
and I Home about Son Set
and all well at Home —

April ye 26 AD: 1760

a Number of us went from
Montauk in our Whale Boat
for New England, and got
over to N London about 3 PM
and Stopt there till Juſt
before Son Set and then
we Sot out from thence
for Mohegan and got there
about 9 at Night fou‐
nd my Relatives all well

Sabath April ye 27

kept the
Sabbath at Mohegan with
the Indians I Preach'd Both
Parts of the Day found nothing
Special among them —

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Monday April ye 28

my Wife
and Father Fowler and I
and my Little Son Aar [illegible] on
went to Lebanon to MSee
Mr Wheelock, and we got
there before Night found all
well, and Deliver up my
Lettle Son Aaron to the Revd
Mr Eleazer Wheelock
to be
Brought [illegible] up by him —

Tueſday Aprill ye 29

Returnd to Mohegan again
and got there before Night
and Stay'd at Mothers yt

Wedneſday April ye 30

about 9 in the Morning we
Sot out from thence towards
home and got So far as N
and there Stay'd at
Cap:t Shaw's yt Night

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Thurſday AprilMay ye 1

Sot away from N London
for Home and get no further
than Harbers Mouth and
Stay'd all Night at one Mr
Coopper Houſe, and

Fryday May ye 2

we Sot
Sail very Early in the morng
from thence and got upon
Montauk Shore about 10
in the Morning and found
all well &c —

June the 25 may ye 18 AD: 1760

I Preach'd
at Eaſthampton , —

Saturday May ye 24

I went from
Montauk for Weſtward, and got So far
as Mr Brown's and there kept the
Sabbath, with Mr Brown and re‐
ceived the Sacred Supper of the Lord with
the People of Bridgehampton

w Monday may ye 25

Mr Brown &
I went together weſtward, and we

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we got to Quaugg and Lodg'd [illegible] at one
Mr Howell's that Night, and Tueſday
May ye 26
we Sot out from thence
on ward and got to Smithtown at
Night and Lodg'd with one Juſtice
over the River, Wedneſday
may ye 27
we Sot away from thence
about 9 in the Morning, and got
to Huntington about 1 in the after
Noon, and the People had gone to
meeting, and we went directly to meeting
and heard Mr Reeve of South, — after
meeting we Return'd to Mr Pri[illegible] [guess: m]e's where
the Preſbytery Sat, and Examin'd two
young Men in order to ordination —
Nex day finiſh'd the examinations
with them, and then emediately went
to the Houſe of god and Proceeded to in
the Prelimminaries of the ordernation,
Mr Brown Preach'd the ordernation
Sermon, Mr Prime made the ordirna‐
t[illegible] [guess: e]on Prayer Dureing the impoſſion
of hands upon Mr Barrat. and
Mr Brown made the Prayer dure‐
ing the Impoſiſtion of Hands upon
Mr Smith, and Mr Prime gave ye
Right hand of Fellowſihp and ye
ca[illegible] [guess: r]ge, and Mr Occom made

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the Concluding Prayer
Fryday may ye 30 the Preſby‐
Brok up about 10 in the morn
and the Miniſters Diſperſd emme‐
diately, I Preach'd at Huntington
in the after Noon, and towards
Night I went to oiſter Bay, —
Saturday may and Taried at
Widow Wicks, and Saturday
may the 31
I Preach'd at oiſter-
, from 16. 13.

Sabbath June ye 1

I Preach'd there
there again all Day from Eph 5.14
and Can.t 5.16.

Monday ye 2

I return'd from oiſter
, got to Huntington about 11
AM. and about 1 in the after N
I Sot out from thence Homeward
got to Smithtown Juſt before Sun
Sot and Taried at Juſtice Phillips
Wm Phillips's that Night, and
Tueſday June ye 3 Preach'd at
Smithtown began about 10 AM
from Rev. 22.12 and after meet‐
ting I went Down to Seetauket
and Preach'd there that after Noon
from Matt. 22.42 Taried at
Mr Tallmadge's that Night

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M Wedneſday June ye 4.

So [illegible] tt out
from Mr Tallmadges about 9 AM.
and went Down to South, and got
to Mr Hedges's about 12 o.c. and
Ta [illegible] ried there about one Hour and-
half, and then Sot away from thence
Eaſtward and got the Indian Place
Juſt before Sun Set, and had a
Short Diſcourſe with them in the

Thurſday June ye 5

gave a word of exhortation to the
Indians, very Early in the morning
and then took Leave of them, and
Journied Eaſtward and got So
far as South Hampton, and there
Taried all Night with one Mr
Steph [illegible] en Foſter
, and was very kind
ly Entertaind, —

Fryday Morning
June 6.

was very Stormy Weather
and [illegible]it was [illegible] Faſt Day with
the Southhamptoners, and I went
to meeting with the [illegible] People in the
fore Noon, and heard Mr White

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Preach from Levit 26. 40.41.42
In the after Noon ithe Storm mode‐
rated, and went on my Journey home
ward, went to See [illegible] Mr Pane and Mr
by the way, and So Paſs on
and I got to Eaſthampton Juſt be‐
fore Sun Set met with Mr Buell
who had Juſt got home from the
Main, Brought a Tragical News
Concerning a [illegible] Young Woman —
I Lodg'd at Mr Buell's,

day June ye 7

Sot away from
Eaſthampton for home, and got
to Montauk about 3.o.c in the
After Noon, and found all well at
Home, &c —

Monday Sepr ye 1 1760

I Sot
out from Montauk with John
of N: London, for New-
, and we got a Shore at
N. London Harbers Mouth Tueſday
morn cing
— and from thence I Sot away
by Land for mohegan [illegible] and got there
Juſt after Sun Set, and found all

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all my Relations well in general
at mohegan, and Stayed there two

Fryday Sepr ye [illegible]5

out from Mohegan for Lebanon
got there Juſt before Sun Set,
found all well as Common at Mr
W [illegible] heelock's
, And Saturday Sepr.
ye 6
David Fowler an accompand.
me to Farming Town , and we got
there about Juſt after Sun Set
and there we found our Friends
Some from Mohegan Some from
Nahantick and Some from Groton.
and we held a Meeting at one Solo‐
Houſe, I Deliverd a Short diſ‐
cource to them,

Sabath Day Sepr
ye 7

we Met g together again at
the Same Houſe, I Preachd to them
again, [illegible] Monday Sepr ye 8
we Sot out from thence Ho ſ me‐
ward, and I got to Mr Pomroy's
at Night and I Taried there
but David went to Mr Wheelocks

Tueſday Sepr ye 9

I left Mr Pom‐

[bottom] New London Sepr ye 2 I went to See the Red
Mr Graves
, and he gave me 9 Books and
one Dollar

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and went to Mr Wheelocks, and about
10 o.C. the Indian Scholars and I went
Down to mohegan, and got there at Night

whedneſday Sepr ye 10th

we Taried at Mohegan
Thurſday we went to New London, and
Fryday we Stay'd at N. London. Satur
we went to Nahantick and Stayday
there the Sabbath over, and Monday Sepr
ye 15
we Spent the Day there Tueſday we
Sot out for Mohegan again, and got
there about 2 in the after Noon, and
wedneſday and Thurſday we Spent at
Mohegan, and Fryday Sepr ye 19
about 10 o.c we went a Board of Mr
, and Sail'd Down to N. London
and a Number of us Lodg'd at Cap
, and many that Come with us
were Bewitch'd with Strong Drink,

Saturday Sepr ye 20

a few of us went
over to Nahantick again, and got
there about Noon, to the Surprize
of my Friends, being unexpected there
found them all well — &c
Sabbath Day Sepr 21 we kept
the Sabbath there MonlDay we went
Back to New London got the there
about 8 in the morning and Spent
the Day there, and Saw the exerſ[illegible] [guess: ie]s

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of Joy in New London on acount
of the Victory gain'd in Canada over
the French, Taried at Capt Shaw's
that Night again,

Tueſday Sepr ye 23

we Sot out
from NL for Long-Island and Saild
[illegible] moſt all that NDay and Night
Towards morning we got to oiſter
Po [illegible] nd
, and Some of us went a Shore
about went a Board again
and Saild for Shelter Island
being Wind Bound we Saild in
to Shiller Island Harber ,
at Night went to Houſe found
nothing but negroes and Indians
In it but they were [illegible] Very kind
to I [illegible] us. the Indians in ye
hearing I was on the Island,
a number Cam to gether to
hear the word of god, I gave
a Short Diſcourſe —

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Thirdſday September ye 25

we got up every Early in
the Morning, and a Board
and Sot Saile for Montautk,
Arriv'd there Sometime in ye time before
Night, found all our Friends
well, — 17:3 [illegible] [guess: 1/3]

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Zechariah Johnſon — — 1
Henry Quaquaquid —x X 2
Simon Chaujoy — — 3
John Tantuckquecheen 4
Samſon Occom — — 5
Moſes Mazzen — 6

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March ye 31 1761

Recd of Mr. Sam.l Powers
for Jonathan Hedges 2.4-0
6.. : Payd to Mr Powers
out of it
Presbytery of Suffolk County
The Presbytery of Suffolk County, established April 1747, was the governing body for Presbyterian churches in the East Hampton area of Long Island. The Presbytery ordained Occom on August 29, 1759 and remained his ally and supporter throughout his life. It is likely that the Presbytery's support for Occom stemmed in part from the presence of Samuel Buell, who was one of the Presbytery's founders, an extremely influential member, and Occom's close friend. Several of Occom's missions fell under the Presbytery's authority, including his early work among the Montauks and his missions to the Six Nations in the early 1760s. The Presbytery ceded their claims to Occom in 1765 so that he could go on his fundraising mission under the authority of the Connecticut Board. Occom was again involved with the Presbytery after his return from Great Britain. In 1791, he transferred his allegiance to the Albany Presbytery because it was closer to Brothertown. The Suffolk Presbytery was a member of the Synod of New York (after 1758, the Synod of New York and Philadelphia).
Windham Association
The Windham Association was a group of Congregationalist ministers in eastern Connecticut who examined and ordained ministers in the area beginning in the early part of the 18th century. Documents confirm that in July of 1757, Wheelock convened a meeting of the Association at his house in Lebanon to examine Occom in preparation for his ordination, which did not happen until two years later, under the aegis of the Long Island Presbytery. In July 1757, the Association consisted of ministers who were all associates of Wheelock: Solomon Williams of Lebanon, Benjamin Pomeroy of Hebron, Nathan Strong of New Coventry, Stephen White of Windham, and Samuel Moseley of Hampton. We have little information about the Association's activities besides the fact that Wheelock convened it to advance his "great design," and saw the value of a public association that could lend credibility to his School, which was a private organization without a charter. Thus, in the summer of 1764, he petitioned for and organized a Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, composed mainly of the members of the Windham Association.
Congregational Church, Hampton, CT
The Congregational Church in Hampton, CT, was orginally the Second Congregational Church in Windham Village, CT, also known as the Canada Society Church. Organized on June 5, 1723, it took its name from Canada Parish, comprising all of the village of Windham, which was named after David Canada, who built the first house in this area and kept the first tavern. Windham village later become the town of Hampton in 1786, and this church became the Congregational Church in Hampton. The Reverend Samuel Moseley, a close friend and supporter of Eleazar Wheelock's Indian School, was the pastor there from 1734 until his death in 1791.
Lebanon Old Society
Lebanon, CT, was incorporated in 1700 by James Fitch and John Mason, who had been given plots of land by the Mohegan Indians, the original inhabitants of the area. Its population was then 350 people, and as the town grew, it was divided into ecceliastical societies or parishes, the arm of the Congregational Church that handled secular business. When new societies were established for each new church, they were often named numerically ("First" or "Second") or descriptively, sometimes after the neighborhood or new town that formed around them. Thus, "Lebanon Old Society" refers to the first eccesiastical society established to manage the affairs of the earliest Congregational Church in the town. When it was provisionally divided in 1732 (and actually in 1804), it was referred to as "South Society," while the "new" parish was called "North Society."
Old Saybrook

Old Saybrook is a town located in southeastern Connecticut on the west bank of the Connecticut River, where it meets the Long Island Sound. The land that would become Old Saybrook was the territory of the Niantic Indians until the late 16th century when they were conquered by the Pequots. The first Europeans to settle in the area were Dutch, but by 1623 the colony failed due to harsh conditions. In 1635, English Puritans led by John Winthrop Jr. established a colony called Saybrook Plantation, hoping to deter the return of the Dutch. During the Pequot War of 1636, the powerful Pequot tribe conducted a siege of Saybrook Fort for eight months, but their population was ultimately decimated by the effort. Yale University, originally called Collegiate School of Connecticut, was founded in Old Saybrook in 1700 and then moved to New Haven in 1718. Because of its location, Old Saybrook was a convenient stopping point for Occom on his trips between Mohegan and Montauk, on Long Island, and was a point of embarkation for travel to other coastal cities by water. At least one Native American in Old Saybrook, the son of Josiah Wolcott, wanted to attend Wheelock’s school. Old Saybrook is one of the oldest towns in the state and was incorporated in 1854.


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.


Stonington is a town on the Long Island Sound by the Pawcatuck River in the southeastern corner of Connecticut. Before colonists arrived, the Algonquin-speaking Pequots who originally inhabited the area referred to it as “Mistack.” In 1649, however, Europeans opened a trading house near the Pawcatuck, and in 1666 they named the town Stonington. Relations between the Pequots and colonists were tense, especially because of the 1637 massacre of Pequot Indians at nearby Mystic, CT. Eventually, settlers set aside North Stonington for the Pequots, establishing one of the earliest Indian reservations that the Pequots have continually occupied since 1670. The town grew in the years leading up to the Revolution as a result of the shipbuilding and fishing industries. Occom visited Stonington to preach, often to crowds of Pequots in North Stonington, which became its own town in 1724. Its high Pequot population led some to call North Stonington “Stonington Indian Town.” Occom was acquainted with Joseph Fish, a Congregationalist minister, who in the 1760s opened a school for local Pequots and Narragansetts in Stonington. Moor’s alumni John Shattock Jr. and Jacob Fowler both spent time as schoolmasters there. During the Revolutionary War, Stonington was the site where patriots successfully deterred two British naval attacks. Following the war, many Stonington Pequots, along with other New England tribes, settled in Brothertown, in central New York.


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.

Connoo Place

Canada is a country located in the uppermost part of the North American continent bordering the United States to the south and the state of Alaska to to the west. Native peoples occupied Canada for tens of thousands of years prior to European arrival in 1497 when John Cabot, an Italian navigator commissioned by the English, set out to find the northwest passage. The name "Canada" derives from a Haudenosaunee (Iroquoian) word "kanata," meaning village or settlement. Throughout the 17th century, Canadian land changed hands among French Catholics, French Huguenots, the English, and Native peoples. Then, in 1754 the French and Indian War erupted in North America, an extension of the European conflict between Great Britain and France, which Great Britain won. According to the 1763 Treaty of Paris ending the war, France was forced to cede all of its territory east of the Mississippi River to Great Britain. The various provinces that developed in the geographic area confederated in 1867 as the country of Canada, which became independent of Britain in 1931. Today, it is both a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, a member of the British Commonwealth, recognizing the Queen of England as its head of state, a multi-ethnic country recognizing its Native inhabitants as "First Peoples," and officially bilingual. Wheelock looked to Canada as a source of Native recruits after the Oneidas withdrew their children from his school in 1769. Wheelock himself, as well as other associates, went on recruiting parties and brought back students from the Mohawk community at Kahnawake, near Montreal, the Abenaki community at St. Francis, now Odanak, and the Huron community at Lorette near Quebec. While the rumblings of the American Revolution threatened to interrupt future missions, the positive relations already established brought Canadian tribes into the orbit of Wheelock's influence. He also argued that their presence in the town of Hanover, on a direct river route from Canada to Massachussetts, was the best safeguard against Indian attack from Canada. For the next 80 years, boys from the community of St. Francis made up more than half of the Indian students attending Dartmouth and preparatory schools funded with its monies.

New England

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.

Gardiners Island
Long Island Sound
Mason's Island
New Coventry
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.


Southold is located in northeast Long Island, New York and is the oldest English town in the state of New York. The Corchaug Indians, who occupied the land that would become Southold until Puritans from the New Haven colony settled the land in 1640, called the area Yennecott and had cleared much of the land before the Puritans’ arrival. The New Haven magistrates bought the title to the land making up present-day Orient Point to Wading River from the Corchaug Indians, and the colonists soon after built a church that served as the religious and political center of the town. As the population increased in the second half of the 17th century, large divisions of land were made. The Indians in the area contracted fatal diseases, were pushed out, were enslaved, or later intermarried with black slaves and had children who were enslaved. In 1664, Southold severed ties with Connecticut and became the subjects of the Duke of York, and Southold was granted the land from Plum Island to Wading River. As English subjects, 150 men went to Ticonderoga after 1754 and fought in the French and Indian War. During the Revolution, British troops occupied Southold, and many Southolders left for Connecticut while others were loyalists. When the British left New York in 1784, many Southolders who had left returned to Southold and helped to rebuild the town. In 1767, Occom suggested a tract of land in Long Island near Southold as a new location for the Indian school. He also visits the town later as an intinerant preacher. In a 1771 letter to Wheelock, David Avery writes of a revival in religion in Southold.

South Hampton
Shiller Island Harbor
Shelter Island
Oyster Pond
Oyster Bay
Norwich Farms
Black Point

Black Point is one of nine beach communities encompassed in the village of Niantic, which is in the town of East Lyme Connecticut, on the south-central coast of the state on Long Island Sound. The name "Niantic" means "point of land," and Black Point is located at the tip of a peninsula of land that reaches into Niantic Bay. The area around present day Niantic was occupied by the Niantic Tribe, which because of war and disease, allied itself with the more powerful Tribes in the area, the Narragansetts and Pequots. The Dutch arrived and began trading in the early 17th century, but the English Puritans who arrived in 1630 drove them out, caused a rift in the area's Indigenous people, and wiped out most of the Niantic tribe in the Pequot War of 1636-37. Black Point was part of an important water route in southern New England used by colonists and traders. Missionaries came to the village to convert its inhabitants, an effort that intensified in the 1740s with the Great Awakening. From Long Island's eastern-most village of Montauk, boats would put in at Old Saybrook and then stop at Black Point/Niantic on their way east to New London, and north up the Thames River.


The Tunxis Indians first established a village on the east side of a river (now named the Farmington River) and called it Tunxis Sepus, meaning at the bend of the little river. English settlers renamed it Plantation at Tunxis in 1640, and in 1645, the Connecticut General Assembly incorporated the land, in central Connecticut, as the town of Farmington. Throughout the 18th century, the Tunxis Indians attended church and school with the settlers. In a letter to George Whitefield, Wheelock wrote of a 14-year-old Farmington Indian who demonstrated a gift for learning and knew how to read and write English, indicating that the young Indian might make a great addition to his school. At least six male students who were possibly from Farmington entered the Indian Charity School between 1761 and 1762. Also, Occom's son-in-law, Joseph Johnson, resided in and wrote a letter from Farmington prior to establishing the Brothertown settlement in upstate New York. According to Calloway, the possible Farmington students were Moses, Samuel Ashpo, Daniel Mossuck, and Jacob Fowler, Enoch Closs, Samuel Tallman. However, the letter does not indicate whether the student Wheelock mentions ever attended the school.


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.

East Hampton

East Hampton is a town in New York's Suffolk county on southeast Long Island, 14 miles southwest of Montauk. East Hampton was originally inhabited by the Algonquin-speaking Montauketts, who numbered over 10,000 and had a peaceful trading relationship with the nearby Pequots until early 17th century when English colonists played the two tribes off each other. In 1640, after the Pequot War, an English settler named Lion Gardiner purchased an island in the bay between the present-day towns of Montauk and East Hampton from the Montauketts, which began the English settlement, or seizure, of the land that would become East Hampton. The Montauketts called the island Manchonacke, or island where many died, while Gardiner named the island after himself. In 1648, the colonies of New Haven and Connecticut purchased more land from the Montauketts, spreading beyond Gardiner's Island onto Long Island and settling the town of East Hampton. In 1664, East Hampton was annexed to the colony of New York. As the number of English settlers increased, the Montauketts became increasingly dispossessed, economically tied to the English but relegated to the bottom of the social order. By 1687, the English had fenced off the majority of Montaukett land through a series of resolutions, changing the tribal structure of the Montauketts and leaving them open to conversion to Christianity. In 1749, Occom had been released from his preparatory studies for college because of poor eyesight and went on a summer fishing trip to Montauk; he decided to settle there and by November had established a school for the Montauketts. He frequented East Hampton on his travels to New York and New England from his home in Montauk beginning in 1750, often staying with Reverend Samuel Buell of the Presbytery of Suffolk County, who presided over Occom's 1759 ordination at the Presbytery. While traveling through East Hampton, Occom also stayed with William Hedges, a whaling captain and one of his benefactors. One of Occom's letters indicates that Hedges took care of Occom's family while he completed his mission to the Oneidas in 1761. Occom's relationship to East Hampton changed in the 1770s, however, when he started to believe that the pervasive English influence on Montaukett society had become corrosive. As a result of Occom's encouragement, many of the Montauketts of East Hampton moved to Brothertown in the late 1780s.

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.


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.


Bridgehampton is a town on the southeastern tip of Long Island about 20 miles southwest of Montauk, NY. Its name is derived from the bridge English settlers built over nearby Sagg Pond in 1686. English settlement began on Long Island in 1640, when colonists from Massachusetts obtained land from the island's Shinnecock Indians. It wasn't until 1656, however, that the town of Bridgehampton was settled, when Josiah Stanborough built a homestead on Sagg Pond. Bridgehampton is now a part of the town of Southhampton, NY. Occom was associated with the Presbytery of Suffolk County in Bridgehampton and its Reverend James Brown. After meeting Occom at least two years earlier, Reverend Brown presided over Occom's ordination on August 29, 1759. Later, during Occom's many travels between his post as a missionary in Oneida and his home in Montauk, he often stayed with Brown at his home in Bridgehampton; they were close friends. In 1769, Occom visited Bridgehampton after confessing to "intemperate drinking" in a letter to the Presbytery. On November 1 of that year, the Bridgehampton ministers gave Occom the benefit of the doubt, concluded that he had simply been intoxicated from lack of food and a small amount of alcohol, and indicated their resepct.

Fishers Island

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.


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.”

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.

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.

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.

Strong, Nathan
White, Stephen
Chaujoy, Simon
Foster, Stephen
Harris, John
Hedges, Ebenezer
Hedges, Jonathan
Hedges, William

William Hedges was a resident of Easthampton, Long Island, and a supporter of Occom during his mission at Montauk. He was the second son of William Hedges (b. 1679, d. November 4, 1768) and and Abiah Mulford (b. August 20, 1685, d. October 27, 1763). Both were descendants of the original settlers of Easthampton; Hedges' father was the grandson of the original William Hedges, a devout Puritan who fled with his wife from Kent in England to Lynn, Massachusetts in 1644, and finally moved to the new settlement of Easthampton on Long Island in 1650. There is little in the records about Hedges and his activities. He was close enough with Occom and his family on Long Island to be entrusted with the funds collected from local Long Island congregations to support the Occom family during Occom's first and second missions to the Oneidas, when the New York Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge grew lukewarm about the missions. Hedges was also a close friend of Samuel Buell, the Presbyterian minister who sponsored Occom's ordination. Buell entrusted Jacob, one of the young Indian boys from Wheelock's school visting on Long Island, to Hedges' care.

Johnson, Zecheriah
Phillips, Justice
Phillips, William
Powers, Samuel
Davise Williams
Buell, Samuel

Buell was a popular Presbyterian minister during the second half of the 18th century in Long Island, as well as a close friend of Samson Occom. He was ordained in November 1743, and was a popular itinerant minister before settling at Easthampton. He preached at Occom's ordination, published the sermon in 1761 to raise funds for Occom (he also wrote the letter addressed to Bostwick prefacing his publication), and stayed in close contact with Occom even after Occom's public break from Wheelock. Occom's diary is full of references to visiting Buell and to their close friendship. During the Revolution, Buell was the only minister on Long Island for 40 miles, and was very active in assisting the American cause. He also founded Clinton Academy on Long Island in 1785, which was the first private school chartered by the New York Board of Regents. This academy was also remarkable in that it admitted women. Multiple historical sources have misconstrued Samuel Buell as Sol or Solomon Buell, likely because Buell sometimes signed his name Sa.l, a creative abbreviation of Samuel. However, there was no Reverend Solomon Buell in Easthampton, or, it seems, Long Island, in the second half of the 18th century: Samuel had no brothers, and were there to be two Reverend S. Buell's within 10 miles of one another during the same period, related or not, doubtlessly someone would have commented on it. In addition, the handwriting in letters ascribed to "Sol" and those assigned to Samuel is identical. Lastly, the only source besides collection manuscript 765530.3 describing a "Solomon Buell" is an anthology of letters from the Revolution, which contain letters from a Rev. Sol. Buell, or S. Buell, about aiding the American cause. These letters correspond well with descriptions of Samuel's life in an 1809 biography of his life, and, as he was the only Reverend but one for 40 miles during the Revolution, it is likely that these letters belong to him.

Occom, Aaron

Aaron Occom was Samson and Mary Occom’s prodigal second child and oldest son. He was born in 1753, during Samson’s mission to the Montauketts of Long Island. The Occoms entered Aaron in Moor’s Indian Charity School when he was seven, in the hope that he would “be Brought up.” However, Aaron proved ill-suited to school, and returned home in October 1761. He had two more brief stints at Moor’s Indian Charity School: the first in December 1765, after Samson departed for his two-and-a-half-year fundraising tour of Great Britain, and the second in November 1766, when Mary found herself unable to control Aaron’s wild behavior (which included attempting to run away with “a very bad girl” and forging store orders in Mary’s name). After his last enrollment at Moor’s, Aaron ran away to sea. He had returned to Mohegan by November 1768, and at age 18, he married Ann Robin. Aaron died in 1771, leaving a son also named Aaron. Samson periodically entertained the idea of apprenticing Aaron to a master, but never seems to have done so. One letter written by Aaron survives: an epistle to Joseph Johnson, another young Mohegan who studied at Moor’s.

Fowler, James

James Fowler was a notable Montaukett and the father of Mary Fowler Occom, David Fowler, and Jacob Fowler. He married Elizabeth (Betty) Pharaoh, a member of the prominent Pharaoh/Faro family (the current sachem of the Montaukett tribe, as of 2013, is a Pharaoh). When Occom arrived at Montauk in 1749, he took a special interest in the Fowler family and began courting Mary. They married in 1751, and, through Occom’s influence, the Fowler family became quite Christian. David and Jacob Fowler both attended Moor’s Indian Charity School and played important roles in the founding of Brothertown. James’ health deteriorated in the 1760s and 1770s. He died around 1774.

Fowler, David

David Fowler was Jacob Fowler's older brother, Samson Occom's brother-in-law, and an important leader of the Brothertown Tribe. He came to Moor's in 1759, at age 24, and studied there until 1765. While at school, he accompanied Occom on a mission to the Six Nations in 1761. He was licensed as a school master in the 1765 mass graduation, and immediately went to the Six Nations to keep school, first at Oneida and then at Kanawalohale. Fowler saw himself as very close to Wheelock, but their relationship fragmented over the course of Fowler's mission, primarily because Wheelock wrote back to Kirkland, with whom Fowler clashed, but not to Fowler, and because Wheelock refused to reimburse Fowler for some expenses on his mission (767667.4 provides the details most clearly). Fowler went on to teach school at Montauk, and played a major role in negotiations with the Oneidas for the lands that became Brothertown. He was among the first wave of immigrants to that town, and held several important posts there until his death in 1807.

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.

Justice, Hannah
Moseley, Samuel

Rev. Samuel Moseley was the minister of the Second Church (also called the Canada Society) in Windham, CT (reincorporated as Hampton in 1786), from 1734 until his death in 1791. After graduating from Harvard in 1729, he kept school in Dorchester, MA and served as chaplain at Castle William until his ordination in 1734. It is a testament to his ministerial abilities that he was able to keep the post until his death in 1791, especially since he held a conservative view of church hierarchy (he even considered Episcopalian ordination), doubtlessly a difficult stance to maintain during the tumultuous period of the First Great Awakening. Moseley was an early proponent of Eleazar Wheelock’s plan for a charity school. He worked with Wheelock and Benjamin Pomeroy to solicit George Whitefield’s support in the 1750s, and he was a member of the original board entrusted with the land deeded by Joshua More. Moseley was also one of the ministers who examined Samson Occom prior to his ordination in 1759, and he was named to the Connecticut Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge when it was formed in 1764. In 1767, there was a potentially awkward incident when the New England Company hired Ebenezer Moseley, Samuel’s son, to conduct a mission to the Onaquaga -- a village to which Wheelock had also sent a missionary. However, Wheelock interpreted the spiritual coup as a political machination by the Boston Board and did not hold E. Moseley responsible. Due to the low volume of letters between Wheelock and S. Moseley, it is unclear whether this incident affected their relationship.

Brown, James
Occom, Mary (née Fowler)

Mary Occom (née Fowler) was a Montaukett woman who married Samson Occom. Although information about her is limited and often comes from male, Anglo-American sources, it offers a tantalizing glimpse of her strength, as well as an alternative to the Eleazar Wheelock-centered narrative of Occom’s life that often dominates the latter’s biography. Mary was born into the influential Fowler family at Montauk, Long Island. She met Samson during his missionary service there (1749-1761). Mary studied at Samson’s school along with her brothers David and Jacob, and was almost certainly literate. She and Samson married in 1751. Wheelock and several other Anglo-American powers opposed their union because they worried it might distract Occom from being a missionary (as, indeed, family life did), and thus many scholars have read in Samson and Mary’s marriage an act of resistance against Samson’s domineering former teacher. Little information about the minutiae of Mary’s life survives, but existing sources speak volumes about her character and priorities. In front of Anglo-American missionaries visiting the Occoms' English-style house at Mohegan, Mary would insist on wearing Montaukett garb and, when Samson spoke to her in English, she would only reply in Montaukett, despite the fact that she was fluent in English. Mary Occom was, in many ways, Wheelock’s worst fear: that his carefully groomed male students would marry un-Anglicized Indian women. It is not a stretch to imagine that Mary provided much of the incentive for Wheelock to begin taking Indian girls into his school, lest his other protégés replicate Samson’s choice. Much of our information about Mary comes from between 1765 and 1768, when Samson was fundraising in Great Britain. Despite promising to care for Samson’s wife and family (at the time they had seven children), Wheelock, by every objective measure, failed to do so, and Mary’s complaints are well documented. Hilary Wyss reads in Wheelock’s neglect (and in letters from the time) a more sinister story, and concludes that on some level Wheelock was holding Samson’s family hostage, in return for Occom curtailing his political beliefs on the Mason Case. Wyss also notes Mary’s remarkable survivance in this situation. Mary drew on various modes of contact, from letters to verbal communication with influential women (including Sarah Whitaker, the wife of Samson’s traveling companion, and Wheelock’s own daughters), to shame Wheelock into action and demand what she needed. One of the major struggles in Mary’s life, and in Samson’s, was with their sons. Both Aaron and Benoni failed to live up to their parents’ expectations. Aaron attended, and left, Moor’s Indian Charity School three times, and both Aaron and Benoni struggled with alcohol and refused to settle down. The Occom daughters did not cause similar problems. Given the nature of existing sources, little is known about Mary after Samson and Wheelock lessened their communication in 1771. Joanna Brooks has conjectured that Mary was likely influential in Samson’s Mohegan community involvement later in life, for instance, in his continued ministry to Mohegan and, perhaps, his increasingly vehement rejection of Anglo-American colonial practices.

Williams, Solomon

Solomon Williams was a Congregationalist pastor in Lebanon, CT from 1722 until his death in 1776. As pastor at Lebanon, Williams rose to prominence as a theologian and engaged in extensive correspondence and debate with some of the most eminent minds of the day. He was one of the rare truly moderate New Lights during the Great Awakening: he managed to maintain the respect of both Charles Chauncy, the rabid anti-revivalist, and George Whitefield, the famous evangelical. Williams also established a library in Lebanon and a very well-known grammar school, which became something of a feeder for Yale. Williams supported Eleazar Wheelock and Moor’s Indian Charity School through much of the 1750s and 1760s. He was something of a mentor to Samson Occom, and he became president of Wheelock’s Connecticut Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SSPCK). It is unclear why Williams is not named as a trustee of Moor’s in Wheelock’s 1768 will; perhaps Wheelock feared that Williams would not outlive him. Williams continued to run the Connecticut Board even after Wheelock relocated to New Hampshire in 1770. Despite the SSPCK’s disappointment in Wheelock, Williams and Wheelock seem to have remained on cordial terms. Their correspondence ceased in 1772, after Wheelock tried (and failed) to open a New Hampshire Board to replace the one in Connecticut (with, it might be added, the Connecticut Board’s blessing).

Mazeen, Moses
Tantaquidgeon, John

John Tantaquidgeon, son of Ester Uncas and John Tantaquidgeon, was a Mohegan Indian who acted as a counselor to Ben Uncas III. He married Samson Occom’s sister, Lucy, and they had at least three children. He is a forefather of the modern-day Tantaquidgeon family.

Quaquaquid, Henry

Henry Quaquaquid was a Mohegan Indian who was active in both political and religious tribal affairs. In 1742 he, as a counselor, signed a petition that declared John Uncas as the rightful successor of Sachem Mahomet; however, the following year Quaquaquid, along with Occom and nine other counselors, signed Ben Uncas’s counter proclamation. As supporters of Ben Uncas, Occom and Quaquaquid lived in Ben’s Town rather than John’s Town, the home of the Ashpos. Nonetheless, they eventually changed their minds and joined the Ashpos in an effort to counteract tribal corruption and disunion. Around 1760, Ben Uncas III claimed that the rival faction had established Quaquaquid as sachem. Quaquaquid was also involved in the Mason case and acted as a messenger. He sought to protect the Mohegans’ native rights, and in 1785 signed a petition, along with Occom and four others, to the Connecticut General Assembly asking for unrestricted fishing privileges. In 1789, Quaquaquid and Robert Ashpo appealed to the Connecticut Assembly again seeking aid, and as in the original petition, stressed their friendship. Additionally, Quaquaquid often accompanied Occom during his missionary tours, such as those of 1757 and 1785. He also acted as a deacon, possibly at a church that Occom established in Mohegan. Quaquaquid did not move to Brothertown, but remained in Mohegan with his family.

Shaw, Nathaniel

Captain Nathaniel Shaw was one of the wealthiest merchants in New London during the mid-18th century. In the early 1730s, after building a fortune through sea trade with Ireland, he settled in New London to oversee his business. Captain Shaw was sympathetic to the Company for Propagation of the Gospel in New England and the Parts Adjacent in America (often called the New England Company), and assisted them by transmitting money to Samson Occom in the 1750s, when the New England Company was providing him with financial support. Captain Shaw also had a private trade relationship with Occom, and sold him many household supplies and much of the equipment for his house at Mohegan. However, while Occom was in England (late 1765-mid 1768), Shaw refused to supply Mary Occom with goods, which put her in severe straits. Eleazar Wheelock hypothesized that Shaw was lashing out at Mary over Samson’s stance in the Mason Case, which, along with other circumstances, had turned the New England Company vehemently against Wheelock and Occom. However, it is perhaps more likely that Shaw refused to supply Mary because Wheelock had shown no indication that he planned to pay Occom’s debts (see 768114). During the Revolution, Captain Shaw and his son Nathaniel Shaw Jr., who took over much of the business around 1763, were noted patriots. They opened their mansion to wounded sailors, as well as to George Washington himself, helped to organize New London’s participation in the war, and turned their merchant ships into a privateering fleet.

Occom, Jonathan
Graves, Matthew

Matthew Graves was an Anglican minister and missionary in New London, CT, whose friendship with Occom led to a minor controversy. Graves was born on the Isle of Man, of Irish descent. Sometime in his mid-30s, when he was master of a Latin grammar school and rector of a church in Chester, England, he was inspired by the religious revivals led by the Wesleys in western England to volunteer for foreign mission service through the The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG). In 1745, the organization sent him to St. James Church in New London, CT, where the pulpit had been empty for some time. His brother John also volunteered and was sent to a church in Providence, RI. The parishoners in New London, however, proved unwelcoming, and Graves began attending dissenting church services and missionizing to slaves and Indian tribes in the area. Through these activities, he became acquainted with Wheelock's missionary work and with Occom, with whom he was on friendly terms. Graves wrote a glowing testimony of him for the fundraising tour of Great Britain. According to Love, Occom joked in Graves' presence that on the trip he would "turn Episcopalian," a hope Graves communicated to his Bishop, who did offer to ordain Occom, which he refused, causing some offense and a flutter in the newspapers. Sharply disappointed, in 1771, Graves turned against both Occom and Wheelock. He served in New London for 33 years but came to a bad end. In 1778, when he refused to change the traditional prayer for King George to a prayer for the new American Congress, he was summararily ejected from his church, and in 1779 he asked to be allowed to move to New York, behind enemy lines, with his sister Joanna. There he acted as a pastor to Loyalist refugess and died suddenly the following year.

Huntington, Ebenezer

Ebenezer Huntington was a deacon and tavern keeper in Norwich, CT. He inherited both posts from his father, Simon Huntington III, who died in 1736. Despite the fact that he, along with the rest of the Huntington family, was quite influential in Norwich at this time, little information about him survives. He was the cousin of Dr. Jonathan Huntington, Windham’s first doctor and the physician that served Wheelock’s students for many years.


Unidentified Smith.

Occom’s Ordination
In November 1756, the Boston Board of Commissioners of the London Society for Propagating the Gospel recommends Occom for ordination as a Congregational minister. When he is recruited in 1758 by the Presbyterian minister Samuel Davies of Virginia for a mission to the Cherokees, Occom needs to be ordained quickly, and the task is referred to the Suffolk Presbytery on Long Island, where he is living. Occom is examined and ordained a Presbyterian minister on August 29 and 30, 1759.
Occom’s Mission to the Montauketts
After being released from his studies in the summer of 1749 because of acute eyestrain, Occom goes on a fishing expedition to Montauk, Long Island and decides to establish a school there and become a missionary to the Montaukett Indians. He serves in that role for 12 years.
HomeSamson Occom, journal, 1757 June 28 to 1761 March 31
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