New Stockbridge Indians, letter, to Samson Occom, 1787 August 29


abstractThe New Stockbridge Indians testify to their faith in the Christian religion and request that Occom become their pastor.

handwritingHandwriting is possibly that of Joseph Johnson; it is small yet mostly legible. Letter case, especially with regard to the letter "S" is difficult to discern.

paperHeavily creased sheet of paper has been treated with silk overlay. This repair work is beginning to age, particularly on the verso. Separated creases lead to some loss of text.

inkBrown ink is slightly obscured by the silk overlay.

noteworthyLetter is a contemporary copy. On the bottom left of one verso, the word "Call" appears to be written in Occom's hand. On one verso, written in pencil underneath the trailer is the note: "Ind. Miſ. This is a copy of the call to Occom 1787 Original in C.H.S."

signatureThere are nine signatories, yet the signatures are all in the same hand.

Brother in the Lord — 
We the Muhheacunnuk Tribe, will now manifiſt to  you — our opinions Deſires and veiws of the Chriſtian Religion.  we believe that there is but one, the only true and living God, And  that he is the Maker and preſerver of our lives, and upholder of the  Same — that he has Send his only begotten Son into this w[illegible]orld, to be the  Saviour of mankind, and we believe that this God has brought u[illegible]s up  in to this wilderneſs — where we might begin to Serve him in Sincerity  and in truth — Further we believe that this God has raiſed you u[gap: tear][guess: p]  and have kept you alive untill this time. and that he has Send you up  as an Ambaſsador into this wilderneſs upon this purpoſe that you might  be the firſt inſtrument or means to Stir up you own Nation — to try embrace  His whole Religion. And the, ^resons^ why we have such thoughts becauſe we have  felt a great weight of your errand — And in coming such a manner, and  from such a quarter — as we did not expect — when we look back, and  Consider, what poor progreſs the Re[illegible]ligion of Jeſus Chriſt, has made  amongſt the Natives of this Continent not withſtanding ^of^ the great  pains, that have taken with them in some Places the Indians appeared  well and promiſing, but soon decay. — and now it looks very dark  upon us, all helps from a Broad are gone — and we are now brought to  look about [gap: tear][guess: and] Conſider of our Situation and we bel[gap: tear][guess: ieve] that  this will be the laſt. that God will make a trial with us — if this w[gap: tear]  not set us to contrive for our own souls — God will leaves us to our [illegible]  own Deſtruction — Theſe and other conſiderations induceth us — to believe  that God d[illegible]oes require from our own hands — to contrive — and to  try to bigin to support and maintain Religion among us — we  therefore, a Number of us chearfully agreed to begin to purſue  what we bilieve to be our Duty since we have felt and ex= =perience the great goodneſs of God — for raiſing and fiting one of  our own Collour — to be inſtrumental to build up the Cauſe and  the Kingdom of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt — we therefore feel in duty  [gap: tear][guess: boun]d to come to requeſt you to come and settle with us — and to  take the charge over us — and to die with us. in Conjunction with  Brotherton if it be agreable to them. so that we may enjoy all the  Previlidges and ordinances of the Goſpel which our Saviour has  left us in his word — So we the Subſcribers wittingly to begin with  twenty shillings — in firſt year and so in proportion that we  shall increaſe in Number and Subſtance — till we shall be  able to support you fully — so we done at present what we  feel to be our duty and the reſt ^we^ will submitt to Gods will  and pleaſure —   
Joſeph Sauquethquaut  Hendrick Aupaumut  Joſeph Quonnekanut  Peter Pohquannop[illegible]eet  David Neſhoonnuhhuk  John Pohpmon  John Baldwin  Samuel Pa[illegible][guess: uphaun]hum  David N[illegible][guess: aun]annuknuck
Rev.d Mr  Samson Occom  New Stockbridge Auguſt  29th 1787
N. Stockbridge  confeſsion of Faith  1787 ^[left]Call^