Samson Occom, Petition, to the Connecticut General Assembly, 1785


abstractOccom writes on behalf of five other signatories representing Mohegan and Niantic Indians, to express dismay over restrictive fishing prohibitions and to petition for their removal.

handwritingOccom's hand is clear and legible.

paperSingle sheet is in fair condition, with moderate-to-heavy creasing, staining and wear that leads to a slight loss of text.

inkBrown ink is somewhat faded.

noteworthyThis document appears to be a draft. An editor, likely 19th-century, has amended spellings, puncuation, etc., in dark ink. These edits occasionally obscure Occom's hand; however, the transcriber has attempted to ignore them whenever possible. The same editor has added the note "1785 by Occom &c" after the trailer; this note has not been included in the transcription.

signatureThere are six signatures, all in Occom’s hand.

  To the moſt Hon:l general Aſembly of Connecticut Convened  at Hartford, in may, in the Year of our Common Lord &  Saviour Jeſus Christ one Thouſand Seven Hundred Eighty  and five Years 
Your Steady, Cloſe and Faithful Friends the Tribe  of Mohegan, and the Tribe of Nahantick Sendeth  greetting. —   Sincere Friends and Brethren May Talk freely  together without offence. Such we Conclude, the Engliſh  of Connecticut, and Mohegans, and Nahantick are —  Your Exellencies may well remmember, that we Sent  a Memorial to the General Aſembly, held at New Haven  last Octor, Requeſting, not a [illegible]Privilledge, which we  never had before, But a Protection in in our Natural  Privillidges, which the King of Heaven Gave to our f[gap: hole][guess: o]re  Fathers and to their Children forever, — When we receiv'd  an Anſwere or Grant to our Petition, we were all amaze^d^  and Aſtoniſhed beyondd Meaſure, What? to have only  half a Sein allowed to M[illegible][guess: o]nooya[illegible][guess: u]hegunnewuck, from  the beſt Friends to the leaſt Friends — We are ready to Con clude, that the meaning muſt be, that in Time to Come  we muſt not have only one Can[illegible][guess: oo], one Bow, one Hook  and Line, among[gap: hole][guess: ſt] two Tribes, and we muſt have  Taxes Impoſed upon us alſo, &c &c — whileſt the Kings  Of England had authority over here they orderd no Such  things upon us[illegible][guess: , —] alas where are we — if we were Slaves  under Tyrants, we muſt have [illegible]Submitt; if we were Cap tives we muſt be Silent and if we were Strangers we  muſt be Contented, — ^or if we had fo[illegible][guess: rfeted] our Privile[illegible] at your Hands^ ^[below]by any of our agreaments we Shoud have nothing to Say^ when ever we went to war againſt  your and our Enemies, one Bow, and ^[illegible]^ Hatchet will ^woud^  not do, for two Tribes — And what will the Various Tri[gap: hole][guess: be][gap: worn_edge][guess: s]  of Indians, of this Boundleſs Continent Say, when they  hear of this Reſtraint of Fishing upon us[illegible][guess: ;] will they  not all Cry out mmauh, mmauh, theſe are the good  that the Mohegans ever gloried and Boaſted of — Certain^ly^  We can not Hunt [illegible][guess: to] the Public ^by fiſhing^ we never had more ^than^  tow S[illegible][guess: o]ins in Mohegan and two in Nahantick and  and many Times not one in Mohegan for [illegible][guess: 10] or 15 years together   
and we fiſh but very little in the Seaſon —  We Conclude Your Excellencies muſh have  miſt[illegible][guess: ook] our Requeſt[illegible] — And therefore we earneſtly  Pray again, that the Honorable Aſembly woud Protect  us in our Natural Privilledges, that none may forbid  hinder, or Reſtrain us from Fiſhing in any of the where  we uſe to fiſh heretofore[illegible] — This is the earneſt Reques[gap: worn_edge][guess: t]  and P[illegible][guess: i]tition of   
your approved and True Friends   Samſon Occom  Henry Quaquaquid  Robert Ashpo  Phillip Cuiſh  Joſeph Upp[illegible][guess: uc]qui^yantu[illegible][guess: p]^  Isaac Upp[illegible][guess: uc]qui[illegible][guess: y]antup 
Petition to the  Connecticut Asbly