Samson Occom, letter, to a Minister of Albany, 1791 December 26


abstractOccom writes that he cannot attend an ordination due to ill health, that he has moved to Munhegunnack (or New Stockbridge), and that many Indians are coming to New Stockbridge to hear preaching.

handwritingHandwriting is small, but mostly clear and legible. The letter “a” is frequently unclosed at the top, which causes it to look like the letter “u.”

paperSingle large sheet is in poor condition, with heavy creasing, staining and wear that results in some loss of text. Repairs have been made on particularly heavy creases.

inkBrown ink is faded.

noteworthyThe identity of the minister to whom Occom writes is unknown.

  Revd and much eſteemed Sir, 
I dont think I Can be at the ordination, in Balls­ Town, it is a long way, and I am old, and Lame, and I muſt be  at the Preſbytery next March at Albany if live, and Shall be  well; I want to be at the ord[illegible][guess: e]rnation; and one or two of our men  with me but it Cant be so now — I am now moving my Family to  Munhegunnack or New-Stockbridge, I told you it was Calld Tuſ­ c[illegible][guess: a]rora, but that is not the Proper name of it, — Capt Hindrick who  will deliver this to You, is one of our Church; he is juſt Come  from the weſtward, amongſt the Indians, and he has a large Tract  of [gap: tear][guess: land] offerd him if he and his people would move there — I think  it woud be [gap: tear][guess: a fine open]ing for the Goſpel, — Our Church have  willingly and Cheerfully adopted the Confeſsion of Faith of the  Preſbyterian Church of the United States in America. They Joy­ fully put themſelves under the Care and inſpection of Albany  Preſbytery — And thankfully receive the Goſpel Fellowſhip  open'd for them — And from This Time, we Shall look upon our­ Selves one of the leaſt Branches of the Religious Family of the  Preſbyterians in America — — We are try^ing^ to inſtruct our Children  in Letters, but we are very weak, we want a little help — one Jo–  Quinney keeps the School, without any Proſpect of Reward,  and he [gap: hole][guess: is] our Singing Maſter too, and he is Inſtructing the People  in Sin[gap: hole][guess: ging] Conſta[gap: hole][guess: ntl]y, two or three Evenings every week and  he demands no pay — and he and his Family, are very deſtitute  of Cloathing, — Our Profiſsers keep on S^t^eady in Religion, and  our Church and Society rather increaſes, — our Singers are  in want of Psalm Books — what harm woud it be, if You wou'd  try to beg a few, amongſt Your Friends and Neighbours in  Albany, we uſe Dr Watts's Psalms altogether — I have no  more to Say at this Time, — Pray for us — This with much  Esteem is from  your most unworthy fellow Labourer  in the Goſpel of Jeſus —  Samson Occom 
PS.   Capt Hindrick is our Elder, and Joſeph Qunney  is our Deacon; We have but very little Buſineſs  [gap: worn_edge]Elder and Deacon, and think, one of each is enough for the  [gap: worn_edge]   
Janr 8  Sir   The fore going was Sent by Capt Hindreck, but was  oblidged, to return back, and forgot to give it, to Samuel  Littleman, who, I Conclude Call'd upon You, in his way to  New-Jerſey — There Seems to be a Strange inclination among  the Indians, to hear the word of God preach'd, the Come to our  meets from Tuſcarora, most all of them, which they nev[gap: worn_edge][guess: er]  did before, and Mr Kirklands People come very thick too  and they deſire, that I might Spend Some Sabbaths, — great  many Come to our meet^ing^ to Day, tho Mr Kirkland went there  this morning, and they know of his Coming, — Mr Kirkland is  going away again, and I Shall go to his People next Sab bath — Several of them, have [gap: hole][guess: a] great Deſire to Join us in  full — and ^Some of^ Mr Sargeant's people are Coming to us alſo, and  they will Join us in full, — I have an Evening School for the  young People, and a Number comes, I am Inſtructing to read &  to Speak Engliſh proper, and Come on well —   
I am &c —   Samſon Occom