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.

Modernized Version Deletions removed; additions added in; modern spelling and capitalization added; unfamiliar abbreviations expanded.

  To the most Honourable general Assembly of Connecticut Convened  at Hartford, in may, in the Year of our Common Lord and  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 Niantic send  greeting. —   Sincere Friends and Brethren May Talk freely  together without offence. Such we Conclude, the English  of Connecticut, and Mohegans, and Niantics are —  Your Excellencies may well remember, that we Sent  a Memorial to the General Assembly, held at New Haven  last October, requesting, not a privilege, which we  never had before, But a Protection in in our Natural  privileges, which the King of Heaven Gave to our fore fathers and to their Children forever, — When we received  an answer or Grant to our Petition, we were all amazed  and astonished beyond measure, What? only  half a seine 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 canoe, one Bow, one Hook  and Line, amongst two Tribes, and we must have  Taxes imposed upon us also, etc. etc. — whilst the Kings  Of England had authority over here they ordered no Such  things upon us[illegible][guess: , —] alas where are we — if we were Slaves  under Tyrants, we must submit; if we were Cap tives we must be Silent and if we were Strangers we  must be Contented, — or if we had forfeited our Privile[illegible] at your Hands by any of our agreements we should have nothing to Say whenever we went to war against  your and our Enemies, one Bow, and [illegible] Hatchet would  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 — Certainly  We can not Hunt [illegible][guess: to] the Public by fishing we never had more than  two seines in Mohegan and two in Niantic 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 must have  mist[illegible][guess: ook] our request[illegible] — And therefore we earnestly  Pray again, that the Honorable Assembly would Protect  us in our Natural privileges, 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 petition of   
your approved and True Friends   Samson Occom  Henry Quaquaquid  Robert Ashpo  Phillip Cuish  Joseph Upp[illegible][guess: uc]quiyantu[illegible][guess: p]  Isaac Upp[illegible][guess: uc]qui[illegible][guess: y]antup 
Petition to the  Connecticut Assembly