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Samson Occom, journal, date unknown

ms-number: 771101.2

abstract: Occom describes his travels around the East coast and in Philadelphia.

handwriting: Handwriting is clear and legible.

paper: Several small sheets folded together into a booklet and bound with twine or thread are in poor conditon, with significant fading, staining and wear that leads to a significant loss of text. The tops of six verso and seven recto, and 10 verso and 11 recto, are uncut and thus impossible to scan. There are no images for these pages; however, they are blank.

noteworthy: An editor, likely 19th-century, has overwritten portions of faded text; in instances where Occom’s original hand is impossible to discern, these edits have been transcribed. This editor appears to be the originator of the date listed for the document in the Dartmouth archives. Although the year is likely, the actual date is uncertain. There are red and grey pencil marks on one recto.

ink: Brown ink is heavily faded in spots.

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[gap: stain] and we lodged
at the Same Houſe again

Tueſday Decr 18

[gap: faded] got up
early and to took Victuals
and then took leave of the
Family and went on our way

Sabb: 24

was at Quakſon

Sab March 2

at Burdentown

Sab march 9:

New Ark Mountains

Sab March 16

New York

[illegible] Sab March 13

New York

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Sab march 16:

New York

Sab March 13

Eliſabeth Town

Sab March 30:

Saild from N York

Sab: April 6:

at Mohegan

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Tueſday Janr 1:

got up
early and went on our
way and got to Mr Balwins
towards Night, in And Lodged
there — —

Wedneſday Janr 2:

here all Day, in the
evening had a meeting
in the Place, and there
was great Number of
People and I Spoke
from and the People at
tended well, wa Lodged
at the Same ſe Houſe — —

Thirdsday Janr 3:

to Mr grovers in P[illegible] [guess: a]rſepaney
and in the evening Preach

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in Mr Beaverrout's, and
Lodged there — —

Fryday Janr 4

Breakfaſt we Sot of and
Calld at the Revd Mr greens
and from thre paſt on to
Newark Mountans, got
to Mr Chapman's a [illegible: [guess: llitle ] ] paſt
12: and took Dinner there,
and Soon after we went on
to Crain Town,— and in the
evening had a meeting in
a School Houſe, and there
was a large number of
People, and I Spoke from
1 John V: 10: and the People
were very Solemn many were
much affected — Lodgd at
one Mr Crains. — —

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Saturday Janr 5:

eating we went on to Horſ
, and we put up at
Esqr Crains and it was
very Cold weather —
Sab. Janr 6

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Tueſday Janr 22:

we arrivd
to Philadelphia, and we went
to Docr Sprout's, and Devuldgd
our Buſineſs to him, and he
appeard very Friendly to us, &
So went on to viſit, Miniſters of all
Denominations, and they were
all very Friendly, Dind with
DGentlemen allmost every Day
we Lodged 2 Nights at Mr
s, and then we were
invited by mr Innes a Brewer
a Scotchman and a good man
and the whole Family is very
agreable we were treated with
great Kindneſs. — —

Sabb Janr 27

in the after noon
Preachd in Docr Duffields m
in the evening Preachd in Docr
s meeting, and they
made Collections for me. — —

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This week viſited every
Day and found kindneſs
by all Sorts of People— —

Febr 3:

on Sabb: in the
morning Preachd at Docr
s, in the after noon
Preahd in a Baptiſt meeting
and there was a large Numbr
of People. — — —

Sabb Febr Fryday Frebr 8

This evening a number of Ladies
and gentlemen, and we, went
to take Tea with Capt Dehoſe
in his Ship, he is a Dutch [illegible]
and had a genteel entertain
ment — and after Teat the
Company Plaid, a litle man
which died very often — Stayd
till near 9: and we Indians
took good leave of the Company
and returnd to our Quaters —

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Sabb. Februr 10:

Preahd in
in the morning, in Docr Duffields
meeting Houſe,— in the Evening
Preach'd in Docr Ewings meeting
and they made me a Collection —
This week went on in our Viſits
amongſt all Denominations; and
were kindly treated by all: — —

Sabb Febr 17

I went in the morn
ing to Docr Sprouts and it was a
Sacrament Day Mr Green Preachd
and I partook the ordernance
with them and it was a Solemn
Day with me, and I believe with
others. in the after Noon, I went
to Baptiſt Meeting, and heard
Mr Enſtick one of the Baptiſt
Miniſters in the City and we were
now geting ready to leave the
City. and it was hard work to
take leave of the People. for all
Denominations were exceeding
kind to us. uſe us with great

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Friendſhip, and had good Suc
ceſs in our applications: and
the Friends or Quakers were
Friends indeed to us they Com
municated their Su [illegible] bſtance to
us more than any People
in this great City, were ate
and Drank with them from
Day to Day —

Fryday Febr 22:

About 10
we left Philadelphia, and
it was bad Croſsing the

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Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, more popularly known as Quakers, is a Christian group founded in mid-17th century England, who believed that all people contained a spark of the divine, which they called the "inward light," a direct apprehension of God that must guide all their actions. From this central belief flowed many influential practices that distinguish Quakers from other Protestant sects: they are pacifists, dress simply, believe in the equality of all people and religious toleration, and worship together in silent "meeting" until the spirit moves someone to talk. This movement began in the 1640s during the Puritian Revolution against King Charles I, when several charismatic ministers, including George Fox and James Nayler, galvanized the small groups of "Seekers" that had gathered together, unhappy with both the Church of England and the various forms of Puritan reform churches. They converted people mostly from all social classes except the aristocracy, and were persecuted savagely by Puritan clergy in England and in North America, where Quakerism was beginning to spread. Quakerism took hold in Massachusetts, in Rhode Island where they were a majority for a long time, and in New Jersey and North Carolina. Charles II granted a charter to Willian Penn in 1681 to found the colony of Pennsylvania along Quaker principles. Often speaking out as witnesses to injustice, Quakers have been in the forefront of many campaigns for social reform. One of the best known Quakers is John Woolman, who in the mid-18th century persuaded Pennsylvania Quakers to free their slaves and advocated the abolition of slavery. It is not surprising that Occom was strongly drawn to the Quakers he met on a preaching and fundraising tour in winter 1771 to Philadelphia. He notes "the Friends or Quakers were Friends indeed to us they Communicated thier Substance to us more than any People in this great City, we ate and Drank with them from Day to Day" (manuscript 771101.2). Similarly, on another preaching tour in 1787, Occom noted that Quakers in New York "were exceeding kind to us and Freely Communicated their Substance to help our People in the Wilderness," especially the Indian children of families who had moved up to Oneida land (manuscript 787660.1).
Newark Mountains
New York City

Located just northwest of Staten Island, Elizabeth, New Jersey, was originally called Elizabethtown. Richard Nicolls, governor of the territories of North America, gave permission to John Bailey, Daniel Denton, and Luke Watson to purchase 500,000 acres from the Indians of Staten Island in 1664; however, the whole of New Jersey had been conveyed to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, who commissioned his relative Philip Carteret to be governor. Governor Carteret established Elizabethtown, named after George Carteret’s wife, as the capital of the province of New Jersey. In 1855 the legislature of New Jersey officially established this land as the City of Elizabeth. Josiah Wolcott wrote a letter from Elizabethtown to Eleazar Wheelock asking to enroll his son into Wheelock’s school.


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.

Crain Town
Horseneck Tract

Horseneck Tract was a 13,500-acre parcel of land bordered by the Passaic River and the Watchung Mountains in what is now northern New Jersey's Essex County. Originally, the Algonquin-speaking Lenni Lenape lived in the area, but by the end of the 1600s, they were devastated by disease and warfare with both European settlers and the Haudenosaunee tribes from the north. European interest in what would become Horseneck Tract began in 1699, when Puritans who had come to nearby Newark from New Haven Colony wanted more land. The area's Lenape Indians sold these Puritans Horseneck Tract for a small sum in March 1702. The settlers' purchase, however, did not receive the necessary approval from the Lord Proprietors of East Jersey who saw themselves as owning the land. This oversight eventually resulted in the Horseneck Riots of the 1740s, a major challenge to English authority a full 30 years before the Revolution. By the Revolutionary War, Horseneck Tract was littered with small hamlets whose residents wanted a church, but its construction was delayed by fighting in the area. Horseneck Tract's most famous patriot was Rev. James Caldwell, also known as the Fighting Parson. The Tract's first Presbyterian Congregation named themselves in his honor in 1787. Occom visited Horseneck around this time while on preaching tours of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He often stayed with Mr. Crane, a member of the area's prominent Crane family that helped found Newark. In 1798, a large area of Horseneck Tract became Caldwell Township, which also took its name from the Fighting Parson. Other New Jersey towns in what was formerly Horseneck Tract include Essex Falls, Verona, Livingston, West Orange, and Fairfield.

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.

Duffield, George

George Duffield was a Presbyterian minister who served as pastor to the famous "Church of the Patriots" in Philadelphia, a missionary, and a faithful supporter of Occom and the Brothertown movement. He was born in Lancaster County, PA in 1732, and educated at Newark Academy in Delaware and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), a Presbyterian stronghold. Graduating in 1752, he served as tutor there for two years and was ordained in 1759. Duffield married Elizabeth Blair in 1756, but after her early death in 1757, he remarried Margaret Armstrong in 1759. That same year, Duffield was appointed minister to Presbyterian churches on the Pennsylvania frontier in Carlisle, Big Spring (now Newville) and Monaghan (now Dillsburg). In the summer and fall of 1766, he and Reverend Charles Clinton Beatty conducted a missionary tour through the western valleys of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, establishing churches, converting Indians, and ministering to the scattered settlers. Duffield published an account of this tour in 1766. In 1771, he was offered the pulpit of the Pine Street (now Third) Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, which he almost did not take because Old Side (Old Light) members objected to his adherence to New Side (New Light) revivalist ideas. Weathering the controversy, Duffield served at Pine Street until his death in 1790, preaching American independence from the pulpit with fervor and eloquence, and leaving during the War to serve as both Chaplain of the Pennsylvania Militia and co-Chaplain of the Continental Congress. Sixty of his parishoners followed him, and the British put a price on his head. After the war, Pine Street Church became known as "The Church of the Patriots."

Ewing, John

John Ewing was an influential Presbyterian minister in Philadelphia, a professor, and a noted mathematician. He and a twin brother, James, were born on June 22, 1732 in Nottingham, Maryland to Nathaniel and Rachel (Porter), who had emigrated from Ireland. He received his early education with Francis Alison, a noted Presbyterian clergyman, and remained at Alison's academy for three years as a tutor in Latin, Greek and mathematics, in which he excelled; he graduated the year he matriculated at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) in 1754. He served as tutor at the College for two years and was licensed to preach. In 1759, he was called to pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, where he served as a popular and eloquent preacher until his death in 1802. He also joined the faculty of the College of Philadelphia as Professor of Ethics from 1758 to 1762 and Professor of Natural Philosophy from 1762 to 1778. Joining the American Philosophical Society in 1768, he contributed to several noted scientific experiments (charting the transit of Venus) and public works (surveying the boundary with Delaware). In 1773, he was commissioned to travel to Great Britain to solicit funds for the Academy of Newark, in Delaware, where he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from University of Edinburgh and met with promiment figures (including Lord North, the prime minister, and Samuel Johnson) to advance the cause of American independence. When the College of Philadelphia was reorganized as the University of Pennsylvania, Ewing became its first provost in 1780. Occom preached and collected funds in Ewing's Church on his tour of Philadelphia in 1771. While in London, Ewing likely met members of the Trust for Wheelock's Indian School, because Occom reports to John Thornton in 1777 that he learned about the exhaustion of the Trust from Ewing (manuscript 761290), one of the influential ministers who collected money for Occom and Brothertown in 1771.

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