Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Samson Occom, journal, 1786 December 11 to 1787 April 7

ms-number: 786661

abstract: Occom describes his travels as an itinerant preacher through Connecticut and New York. He also relates an episode involving a rumour that his son Aaron has been arrested for murder.

handwriting: Handwriting is largely clear and legible. There are several uncrossed t's, crossed l's, undotted i's, and dotted e's, which the transcriber has corrected.

paper: Several small sheets are folded into a booklet that was, at one time, bound with thread or twine. The paper is in good-to-fair condition, with light-to-heavy staining and wear.

ink: Brown ink varies in intensity throughout.

noteworthy: An editor, likely 19th-century, has overwritten Occom's hand in black ink and pencil; these edits have not been transcribed. On seven recto, it is uncertain to whom Occom refers when he mentions the “Man of the house,” and so this person has been left untagged.

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

[illegible][guess: Al]marck for Emanuel
1 Peter IV. 18. Hebrews IV. 11
 1 Samuel XII. 24 XXXV. 10
Mr. William Albertson
Blank page.

Monday December 11

About 12
I took leave of Esq. Woodwoths
Family, and went on to Stephen
, got to Mr. Tobiass
just before sunset and
tarried there, and was very
kindly entertained, by the Family
Lodged there. — — —

Tuesday December 12:

about 11
the People began to Collect
and there was Company of
People, for the season, it was
very Cold, and much snow
on the Ground, and it is a
scattered Place,— we began
the meeting, a little after 12
I Spoke from Matthew, VI. 10 and
the People attended with great
and Solemn attention, many
were much affected, — I lodged
here again, and had a Com
fortable rest. — —

Wednesday December 13:

Got up
early, and set off Soon, stopped
at Mr. Robensons a while
took ˄ there, and Soon after
Breakfast I went on again,
got to Esq. Skermehorns, about
11: and took Dinner with them
Soon after Dinner, went on
to Mr. Dimons, and found
them well, and was kindly
received, especially by
Mrs. Dimon, She is an old
acquaintance, and Friend
of mine, She came from
Rhode Island State, Lodged
there, and was very tenderly
entertained, Lodged Comfort
ably by the Fire, according
to my desire, — — —

Thursday December 14:

About 10
we went to Esq. Skermehorns
to meeting, the People got
together at 11, and I went
into a storehouse, where the
People Collected, and there
was a Prodigious concourse
of People. I Spoke from the
Revels of John I: Chapter X: 36
and there was a melting
attention amongst the People
many Tears were Shed, and
presently after meeting I
went home again with
Mr. Dimond and his Family
in their sleigh, and there
I lodged again. — —

Friday December 15.

got up very
early, and the whole Family got
up, also, and breakfast
was got ready Soon, and we ate
and Soon after eating Mr.
and his wife, and I
went to Stephen Town in his
sleigh, it is about 10 miles distant
we stopped at Mr. Jabez Spencers
a little while, and So passed on, and
about 10 o. c we got to Mr. Na-
than Brockway
s and there we
put up, he was not at Home,
and towards Night, he got home
and in the Evening, the People Col
lected together for meeting, and
there was a large assembly, and
I Spoke from XXV Matthew 43: and the
People attended with great Solemn
ity, many were affected much,
and after meeting, many Spoke
to me with tenderness. after the
People were gone, we Sung Several
Hymns, and had agreeable conver
sation, sat up very late, at last
went to bed quietly — —

Saturday December 16:

got up early
and had exercise in the Family
with my Cards, and the young people
attend with gravity and decency
and Some Time after break
fast we set off again, to return
to Philips-Town. got to Mr. Dimonds
house, about 1: and there stayed
again. — —

Sabbath December 17.

about 10 we
went to meeting at Esq. John
's and there was
the biggest number of People, that
ever was Seen in one meeting
in this wilderness Settlement, it
was thought there was about 500
People, We met in a large
Barn, — I Spoke from Amos
III. 4, and I think I had Some
sense of Divine things, and there
was an affectionate attention
through the assembly, the People
were bowed under the word, they
sat like criminals. under a
sentence of Death — Soon after
meeting I returned with Mr.
and his Family in a
sleigh;— In the evening a Compa
ny Came together, at Mr. Dimond
for meeting, there was but few
People, it was a Tedious Snowy
and rainy evening, I Spoke
from John IX: [gap: omitted] and the People
attended with great Solemnity
Some were affected.—

Monday December 18.

Soon after
breakfast Mr. Dimond got his
sleigh ready. and went Mr.
Samuel Wheeler
's to meeting
about 5 miles, we got there
about 11, and the People
just began to Collect, and there
considerable of People got toge
ther, I Spoke from Matthew V. 5
and it was a Solemn meeting,
Soon after meeting, we went
went back, got home before
sunset, and lodged there —

Tuesday December 19:

Got up
very early, and they got
breakfast directly, before
sunrise I took leave of the
Family, and went on my to
Stephen-Town; called at Mr.
s, at Mr. Joness, and
So on to Mr. Joshua Gardners
and there was a prodigious
Number of People Collected
together, and I begun the
exercise directly, I Spoke
from Ecclesiastes I: 15: and there
was very deep and Solemn at
tention through the assembly,
many Tears were Shed,—
Soon af[illegible]ter took Dinner
and then went with one
Mr. Ezekiel Shelden, and
had an Evening meeting there
and there was a considerable
of People I Spoke from Matthew V. 5
the People Seemed to attend
with Some feeling of the word
after I had done two or three
Spoke with Some affection,
I was Tenderly treated, lodged
at the Same house, and rest
ed Comfortably.

Wednesday December 20.

About 10
we went to one Hammond to
meeting, and there was a large
number of People, and I
Spoke from John VII. 37 and
there good attention Soon after
meeting, I we went back with
Mr. Shelden again in his sleigh
took Dinner with them, and
directly after eating, we went
to one Mr. Haywards and there
we had another meeting, I
I Spoke from Mark V: 4
and the People attended well,
one or two Spoke after I had,
here I lodged, — —

Thursday December 21,

After breakfast
Mr. Rufus Price and I went
to Mr. Brockway's and Mr.
went back, and Mr.
took me in his
sleigh, with his Family, to a meet
ing about 3. miles northward
got there [illegible][guess: a] 12: and a large
Number of People had Col
lected together, and I began
the exercise directly, I Spoke
from John VI 36: and there was
unCommon attention amongst
the People, there was a flow
of Tears, I believe the Lord
was present with his word,—
as Soon as ever the meeting
was done, I went back with
Mr. Brockway, — and in the
evening we had meeting
again and there was Consi
derable number of People and
I Spoke from 1 Peter [gap: omitted]
and the People attended with
great Solemnity, lodged at the
Same house — — —

Friday December 22,

Soon after
breakfast, I leave of the family
and went on to one Mr. Gard
s, upon the borders of
Handcock, and there was
a meeting to be, the People
began to Collect when I got
there, and there was large
Number of People — I began
about half after 11: I Spoke
from Acts VIII. [gap: omitted] and the people
were greatly attentive and
Some manifested affection
Soon after meeting I went
Home with Mrs. Goodrich and
her Son in a sleigh, got there
Some Time before night the
Place where they live is called
Jericho; took Dinner with
them, the Man of the house
is helpless as a Child, he is
troubled with a numb palsy,
in the Evening, we went in the
sleigh again to meeting at the
house of one Mr. Hammond, and
there was great many People,
I Spoke from [gap: omitted]
and the People appeared
very Serious and Some were
affected — Soon after meeting
˄ went back with Mr. Goodrich
and there I lodged, and was
kindly Treated, — —

Saturday December 23:

Soon af
ter eating, took leave of
the Family, and went on to
wards New Lebanon; stopped
a while at Mr. Patchins
his wife has been Sick a
long while, I had Some con
versation with her, She Com
plains of much darkness
but I believe She is a real
Christian; about 11: I went
on, a man went with me,
and he Conducted to the Pool
and it is a remarkable
Spring, and a Clump of
house are on and [guess: 'round],
was there but few minutes
and I went on to the meeting
house, and I put up at
Capt. Joness close by the Meet
ing house, and he and his
Wife were not at Home,—
in the evening they Came home
and they are agreeable Couple —
Lodged there and was kindly
entertained. — — —

Sabbath December 24:

It was very
Cold Day, I went into the meet
ing house, about 11: and there
was a considerable number of
People for the Cold season, I spoke
from the words there is at Jerusalem
a Pool, etc. — and there was a
good attention. after meeting
went to Capt. Joness again.
in the evening, went to one Mr.
s and there we had a meeting
and there was a great number
of People, and I Spoke from
1 Corinthians VII: [gap: omitted] and there was a
Solemn attention many I be-
lieve were much affected —
after meeting I went back to
Capt. Joness and lodged there a
gain, — — — —

Monday December 25:

got up,
very early, and took breakfast
and set away, and got to
Richmound, about 9: called
on Mr. Pery a minister of
the Place, and he and ano-
ther man, were very urgent
to have me Stop and preach
in the evening, and I consented
and I went to Mr. Millers and
there I put up, in the evening
we went to meeting to Mr. Collin,
and there was a considerable
number of People, and I spoke
from 1 Kings XIX: and the
People attended well, I lodged
at the Same house and they
were exceed kind to me. —

Tuesday December 26,

got up very
early, and they got breakfast
Soon, and we had exercise with
my Cards and it was very
agreeable to them; about 9
I set off, a young carried
me in a sleigh to Mr. Millers, and
about 10, I set away again
got to Stockbridge, before
12: took Dinner with Mr. Ser
, and then went Capt.
s, and he was not at
Home, and so I went back
to one Lucreshas and in
the evening went back to
Capt. Yokes: and Lodged
there, they being very glad
to See me, — —

Wednesday December 27:

got up
very early, and a little af
ter sunrise I went on my
way, got to Mr. Babcocks
in Canaan, and lodged
there, — — — —
Thursday December 28. got up
quite early set away, and
stopped at Several houses;
got to Mr. Enos before Sun
Set, and put up there —

Friday December 29:

got up
very early and got break
fast, and set off Soon, got
to Mr. Wallins before noon
and they desired me to Stay
over the Sabbath, and I con
sented, and lodged there —

Sabbath December 31:

about 10 the
People began to Collect, and
there was considerable num
ber of People, and I began
about 11: Spoke from Amos 3:3
and the People attended very
well, but not So Solemn
as I have Seen in other
Places.— took Dinner after
meeting; and Some Time
in the afternoon I set off
and got to Esq. Roberts in
the evening, and he desired
me to tarry all night with them
and I accepted of his kind
offer. and I went to bed Soon,
and rested Comfortably —
Thus I have Ended one year
more, and have experienced
much of the goodness of god
to me in many respects, though
I have been greatly and Shame
fully wanting in my Duty
to myself, to my fellow Creatures,
and to my Maker,— O god
Almighty freely pardon all my Sins
Wi[illegible][guess: l]tenbury

January 1: 1787

 In the morning, we had
exercise, in the Family
and it was very agreeable
to them, they were very Solemn
and I prayed in the Family.
Some Time in the Morning
Mr. Walcut Came, to the house
where I was, invited to his
house, he is the minister of
the Place, and the People
had Concluded, to have me
Preach on the next Day;
and Some Time past Noon
I left Esq. Roberts's and
went to See Mr. Samuel Eno
I called by the way at Mr.
s they were exceeding
glad to See me, and they
Sent for Deacon Manley
and he Soon Came he is an
old disciple, appears to be
an Israelite indeed, and we
had agreeable interview
after a while, I went on
and Saw Mr. Eno, he and
his wife were glad to See
me,— Just at Night I
went to Mr. Wolcotts and
was kindly received
Thus I began a New Year
The Lord enable me to
Live a New Life more
than ever I did, that I
might Live as a Dying
and accountable Creature
unto god. The Lord enable
me to do whatever work
I have before me; and that
I might resign myself, into
the Hands of god —

Tuesday January 2:

Near 10
Mr. Wolcott and I went to
meeting, and we found but
few People at the meeting house
Sat a while in a house, and
a little past 11: went into the
meeting house and there
was considerable Number
of People got together, and
I Spoke from Daniel V:25
and there was deep attention
many were much affected,
Soon after meeting, I went
into an house, and took Din
ner, and then I went on, and
Call on Mr. Rowland at old
, sat but few minutes
and passed on, got over the
River well, and went to my
Daughter Olives, got there
in the dusk of the evening
and found them all well,
Lodged there; sat up late —

Wednesday January 3:

got up
early, and took few mouth
fuls of Victuals, and So went
on my way; Call on Mr.
at Bolton, a minis
ter of the Place, and he was
exceeding Glad to hear of
the Work of god in the wilder
ness amongst the Indians,
took Dinner, and Soon after
eating, I passed on again, and
I got So far as Mr. Lomiss in
Lebanon, a Tavern keeper
went to Bed pretty Soon, and
rested Comfortably — —

Thursday January 4:

got up
early, and set off directly
and it was very bad rid
ing, it had been thawing
ever since last Saturday
stopped at Capt. Hide's and there
took breakfast, and Soon after
eating I went on my way Stopped
a little while at Mr. Champions
and there I heard a surprising
News, that one of my Sons
had been guilty of murder
near Boston, and was sen-
tenced to be hanged, and my
was Seen there about
three weeks ago, and was
mourning and weeping her
self almost to Death. and I
was somewhat surprised. and
began to think many things
but when I got in Town, I
found there was nothing in
it; about 2 in the after
noon, I got home, and
found my poor Family
all in good State of Health
blessed be the Name of the

Sabbath January 7:

went to meeting
to Deacon Henry Quaquaquids
but there was but very few
People, and I only gave
them the relation of my Jour
ney, and Prayed, — — —

Thursday January 11:

my wife
was robbed by a mulatto —

Friday January 19

The above
mentioned mulatto was tried
before two justices, and was
found guilty — — —

Saturday January 20:

went to
lower part of Groton, went
over the River at New London
got to Capt. Robert Latham's
a little before sunset, and
found them all well, and was
kindly received, and Lodged
there, and went to bed Soon
and rested Comfortably —

Sabbath January 21:

It was a Stormy
Day and was all last Night
about 10 went Meeting at Mr.
gidion Saunders
s, and there
was but a little number of
People, and I Spoke to them
from James II. 26
in the evening went to Mr.
abel Babcock
s and had
a meeting there, and there
was a large number of people
and I Spoke from James IV: 4
and the People attended with
great attention; I lodged at
the Same house, — — —

Monday January 22:

Soon after
breakfast went back to Mr.
s: and was there
but a little while, and then
went to See Mrs. Latham, sat
a little while, and So went on
to Mr. Street's, called at Mr.
s was there a while and
then went to Mr. Streets, and
was kindly received by the Fam
ily, about 1 began the meeting
and there was considerable
Number of People, though it
was a Snowy Day, and
I Spoke from Romans II. 28: 19
and the People attended well
after meeting took dinner
at the Same house, — and
in the Evening went to Mr.
s and had another
meeting, and there was
a great number of People
though the Storm Continued, and
I Spoke from James IV. 7
and the People attended with
great seriousness,—I lodged
at the Same house — — —

Tuesday January 23:

Some Time
after breakfast, I took leave
of the Family; and went
to Capt. Robert Lathams, and
took leave of them, and then
went down to the Ferry, and
went over to New London
and was there Some Hours
and So passed on, and got
Home Some Time before
Night, and found all
my Family well, through
the goodness of god. — —

Saturday January 27:

About 10.
set off from Home, and went
to a Place called Jewett City
got there Some Time before
sunset, put up at Mr. Eleizer
and was kindly received
Sat up somewhat late
and rested Comfortably —

Sabbath January 28.,

A little
past 11 went into the meet
ing, and there was a great
Number of People, and
I Spoke from Romans II: 28: 29
and there was a Solemn at
tention in the assembly,
after Service went to Mr. Jewett
and took Dinner there, and
Soon after Dinner took leave
of the Family, and went
to Deacon Tracy's, and there
had a meeting again
and there was a great
Number of People, I Spoke
from 1 Samuel XII: 24: and there
was a Solemn attention,
many Shed Tears, — Lodged
at the Same house, and
rested Comfortably —

Monday January 29;

got up
early, and had my horse
got ready Soon, and went
on my way, stopped at
one Mr. Reeds and took
breakfast there, and af
ter eating, had Some con
versation with an old
woman, 92: Years of age
or near, and had a little
exercise with a Card in the Family
and another Family Came
to the house,— and then
went on, got Home about
2 o'c: and found my family
well as Common —

Sabbath February 4:

About 11
set off from Home. and to Mrs.
s and it was extreme
Cold, wind Blew very hard
at northwest, and Snow
flew like fog, — got to the place
Soon, and there were Some
People, more than could be
expected for the Severity
of the weather, I began
the exercise about 12. or past
I Spoke from Ecclesiastes. III: 12
and there was a Solemn at
tention — after Service took
Dinner, and and towards
went home and Soon got
Home — — —

Wednesday February 7: 1787

Left home early in the mor
ning, and to one Mr. Smith
in Newent, Stopped a while
at Dr. Mash's. in Norwich
and took breakfast there
and Soon after went on, and
to Mr. Smith's about 10 and
they were glad to See me.
the old gentleman is quite
helpless, with numb palsy
and about half after 1: o. c
I began the meeting and
there was but few People,
I Spoke from Job: XXXV. 10
and the People attended
with great Solemnity:
Soon after meeting I
went back, and got home
in the dusk of the evening,
and was Somewhat tired
and went to Bed. Soon — —

Saturday February 10:

About 12
set off from my house, and
to groton Indian Town— got
there about sunset, and put
at Widow Pauhquunnup's
found them all well, and we
were glad to See each other
again once more this Side
of the grave, went to bed in
good season, and had a Com-
fortable rest, — —

Sabbath February 11:

we began
the Meeting near 12: and there
was considerable Number of
People, and I Spoke from,
1 Peter IV. 8 and the People at
tended well,— in the evening
we had another meeting, and
considerable number of People
for it was a Rainy evening,
and I Spoke from 1 Kings XXI. 29
and I had but a little sense of
Divine things. Yet the People at
tend well, — we sat up a long
while and Sung, Mr. Silus Spicer
lodged there, and many of the
Indians, went to bed at last and
I rested well, — — —

Monday February 12:

got up
and attended on Family Pray
and then set off soon, stopped a
while at Mr. John Williams, and
took breakfast there, and soon
after eating went on my
way, got home, a little past
Noon and found my Family
all well as usual — —

Friday February 16:

Towards night
went to Mr. Chappel's and a meeting
there, but few People got toge
ther, and I Spoke to them from
Psalm 146: 5: and the People at
tended Soberly, stayed at the
house all Night, we sat up late
yet had Comfortable rest by
Sleep in the Silent watches —

Monday February 17:

got up
early, and they breakfast
Soon, and I eat with them
and Soon after went Home
and stopped a while at Mr. T.
s, got home about 11—

Saturday February 24

Sun a
bout an Hour high, set off from
home and went to Canterbury
Called on Dr. Marsh, and sat
awhile and passed on, and
got Brother Clarkes Some
Time in the afternoon, and
found them all well, and
was kindly received; and
lodged there, — —

Sabbath February 25:

Soon after
breakfast, went to meet
ing, in Scotland, Mr. Palmers
meeting house; — and there
was but a little number
of People, — I Spoke to them
from Proverbs IV: 13: and in
the afternoon from Psalm 146: 5
Directly after meeting I
went back to Mr. Isaac Williams
and had a meeting there
in the evening and there
was a large Number of
People, and I Spoke from
Luke XXIII: 40 and there was
good attention, and So there
in the Day, lodged at the
Same house, and kindly en
tertained, went to bed Some
what late and had Com
fortable rest — —

Monday February 26:

set off
very early, stopped a few
minutes at Mr. Lions and
So passed on, stopped at Mr.
Joseph Smiths, and there
took breakfast, and Soon
after eating went on and
got home about 12: and
found my Family well
Thanks to the Father of
all mercies — —

Sabbath March 4:

Some Time
in the Morning set off from Home
and went over to groton, and
it was very bad riding, Snow
was somewhat deep, and drif
ted, and it snowed, again
got to Mr. Chapman, about
11, and the People began to
gather, and there was Condsi
derable number of People
and we began the meeting
about 12: and I Spoke from
James IV. 14: and there was
Solemn attention,— after meeting
took Dinner with the Family
and Soon after eating, set off
for Home. got home before
sundown — — —

Sabbath March 11.

Got up
Some Time before daybreak
and was getting to go up to
Canterbury, set off a little
after sunrise, stopped a few
minutes at Dr. Marshes
and So passed on, called at
Mr. Smith's also, and took
Some victuals, and Soon
got to Elder Lyon's near
12: and he directly Sent
out among the Neighbours
to give notice of my be-
ing in the Place, and
the People Collected Soon
and about 1: we began
the Service of god, — and
I Spoke from Matthew V. 5.
and the People attended
with great Solemnity —
after meeting took Dinner
with Brother Lyon, Just
before Night, we went to
Mr. Dyer Brewsters and
there we had another
meeting, and there was
considerable number of
People; and I Spoke from
Matthew VI: 9: and the Lord I
believe was present with
us; the Hearts of Some Chris
tians were warmed with the
Fire of Love. Some delivered
few words after I had done
I lodged at the Same house
and was entertained with
Brotherly kindness, rested
Comfortably; — —

Monday March 12:

breakfast, I went to See
Brother Sunsummon, found
all well, about 10 went
back, and Soon to Mr. Clarks
took Dinner with them,
from thence we went to
Brother Lyon's to meeting
about 2 began the meeting
and there was a great number
of People; and I Spoke from
1 Corinthians VII 29. 30 and I believe
the Lord was present with his
word, many of the People were
moved Some rejoiced and others
were bowed under the word
many tears were Shed. Brother
was So full he quite
boiled over, and he kissed us
all with a kiss of Charity
not with his mouth, but with
his Heart, — Stayed at the
Same house all Night, ——

Tuesday March, 13:

It was
a stormy Morning, it rained
very hard, and So stayed qui-
etly, had agreeable entertain
ment both with victuals and
Drink and conversation, took
Dinner with them, and the rain
Slacked, and So I set off, for home,
stopped a while at Mr. Joseph
's, prayed with them, and
went on again, got home
just after sunset. — —

Friday March 16:

went to
New London on the Tribes
business to See the Deeds of
Mr. John Raymond, and Mr.
Ebenezer Smith Jr.
I found
Smiths, but could not find Raymond
got home again Some Time in
the evening. — —

Sabbath March 18:

Went to Mr.
John Brown
s, called on Dr.
s, and sat there a while
and then went on,— got to the
Place, about 10. and we be-
gan the meeting near 12: and
there was considerable number
of People, for a wet Day
and I Spoke from Hosea IV. 1
and the People were very atten
tive.— after meeting took Din
ner with the Family, and
Soon after went homeward
got home just before sun
set, found my wife quite
poorly. —

Sabbath March 25

over to Esq. Asa Averys
and there was a large number
of People, and I Spoke
from Mark VI. 6: and
the People attended well
took Dinner with the
Family, after Meeting —
in the evening went
home again —

Thursday and Friday March 29.30

attended on Tribe affairs
with our overseers, went
on our business without
much Difficulty — —

Friday. April 6:

got up very
early and set off for New-
. got there there about
8 o: c and found a passage
going Directly to Sag Harbor
about 10 we set Sail
the vessel is called Starling
Packet, William Booth Master
and we had Contrary wind
and Small, and Contrary
Tide also and we were
obliged to return back
to New London, got a
Shore again before sun
set, and I went over to gro
and lodged at Mr.
s and was kindly
received.— had a Comfort
able rest — —

Saturday April 7:

up very early and went
down to the ferry, called
on Esq. Leadyard and
he desired me to take
breakfast there, but
I was in haste and the
woman gave me a good [illegible][guess: hunk]
of Bread and meat and
went directly over, and a
bout 8 we set Sail again
and had Small and Contra
ry, and we were obliged
to run into Saybrook and
there we Spent the Night
and I lodged aboard — —

Blank page.Blank page.Blank page.
Rev. Samuel Buell East Hampton
Mr. Woolworth Bridgehampton
Rev. Mr. Williams South Hampton
Rev. Mr. Rose Brookhaven
Rev. Nathan Woodhull, Huntington
Rev. Benjamin Gooldsmith. Aquebogue
Mr. Zech. Green Cutchogue
Mohegan Tribe
The Mohegans are an Algonquian tribe located in New London County, Connecticut. The Mohegan Tribe spent most of the 18th century struggling to regain control over its territory from the colony of Connecticut in a protracted affair known as the Mason Land Case. The groundwork for the dispute was laid in 1659, when Uncas, the first Mohegan sachem after the tribe separated from the Pequot, entrusted the Tribe’s lands to John Mason, an Anglo-American who had been Uncas’ ally in the war against the Pequot. The following year, the colony of Connecticut persuaded Mason to transfer his stewardship of the Mohegan land to the colony. However, since Mason continued to act as trustee, it was unclear to what degree the colony was the tribe’s legal steward. Nonetheless, in the 1690s, Connecticut began selling off the land specifically set aside for Mohegan use. The Tribe brought its first legal challenges in 1704, and the case was tried multiple times in the colonies and England before it was decided in favor of the colony in 1773. The case split the Mohegan Tribe into two camps and led to serious interference in tribal self-government. When the sachem Caeser died in 1723 (when his son Mahomet was too young to lead), the Tribe split over whether the new sachem should be Caesar’s younger brother Ben Uncas, or John Uncas Jr., a more direct descendent of Uncas I. When Ben took the post, John gathered his supporters and moved half a mile down the road in protest. The Mohegans thus split into “Ben’s Town” and “John’s Town” (these designations correlated with the “sachem party” and the “Mason party,” respectively). When Ben Uncas II, Ben Uncas I’s son, became sachem in 1726, he maintained his family’s shaky hold on power by allying himself with the colony of Connecticut. In an unstated quid pro quo, Ben Uncas II and his son, Ben Uncas III, did not pursue the Mason Case, and in return, they received favors and political support from the colony, which proved critical on multiple occasions when the Mohegans elected alternate sachems. The colony, meanwhile, got to parade a supposedly legitimate sachem in front of Anglo-American and British authorities as proof that the Mason party was composed of rabble rousers. Ben Uncas II and Ben Uncas III, as part of their project of tying themselves to the colony, worshiped at the Anglo-American parish in New London under the ministry of David Jewett, a minister sponsored by the New England Company, a powerful missionary organization. As a form of resistance to Jewett and, by extension, the sachem party, many Mohegans elected to worship with indigenous leaders such as Samson Occom and Samuel Ashpo. Jewett was none too pleased, and the affair drew the New England Company in on the side of the sachem party and inspired its backlash against Samson Occom and his mentor, Eleazar Wheelock, throughout the 1760s. Something of a resolution came in 1769, when Ben Uncas III died. At his funeral, the pallbearers (Occom included) dropped his coffin in front of the representatives from the Connecticut Assembly — a clear indication of what they thought of the company the sachem kept. The Tribe dissolved the office of sachem rather than instituting Ben Uncas III’s son Isaiah (who died shortly afterwards, in 1770), but the damage had been done. The case was decided in favor of the colony in 1773. Samson Occom and Joseph Johnson, both Mohegan, were essential architects of the Brothertown movement, a coalition of Southern New England Algonquians that migrated to Oneida territory in 1775 and again in 1783. However, the majority of the Tribe did not emigrate, and today the Mohegan Tribe is federally recognized and still holds land in Connecticut.
Tribal Overseers
Several of the early colonies appointed prominent men called overseers as "guardians" of Indian interests and affairs, especially concerning the sale of lands and the rights to land use. In the Colony of Connecticut, overseers dealt directly with Tribes on behalf of the General Assembly and reported to it, and were allowed to levy fines on white settlers for abridgment of Native lands rights. These were particularly thorny issues for tribes like the Mohegans, who had long-standing treaties and understandings with the Colony and shared lands under dispute with white settlers in the contentious Mason Land Case. Although the position of overseer was created to apprise Indians of their rights and protect them, the historical record indicates that overseers intervened in and disrupted Mohegan tribal governance and served colonial interests. In March 1764, tribal overseers met with the Mohegan sachem Ben Uncas III, considered by Occom and others as a puppet of the Colony, and received a lease of Mohegan lands from Uncas for a white farmer. This violated previous agreements about land between the Mohegans and the tribal overseers and also disregarded traditional Mohegan protocols of consensus. Occom complained to Wheelock about this situation in a letter of May 7, 1764 (J. Brooks 71). The overseer arrangement continued, at least in Connecticut and Massachusetts, after statehood.
Stephen Town
Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a U.S. state located in southern New England along the Atlantic coast. What would become Rhode Island was originally inhabited by the Narragansett, Niantic, and Wampanoag peoples, who established semi-permanent villages of longhouses. They hunted deer, fished for tautog and striped bass, grew corn, beans, pumpkin, and squash, and gathered clams, oysters, and quahogs. From the quahog shell, the Narragansett Indians made the Native American currency wampum, which bolstered their wealth among other tribes in the region. In 1636, Roger Williams founded Providence following his expulsion from the Massachusetts Bay colony for what was perceived as his radical religious beliefs. Williams advocated dealing fairly with Native Americans and purchased the lands for Providence from the Narragansett sachems Canonicus and Miantonomi. In 1644, Williams received a charter from the British Parliament incorporating the towns of Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport as Providence Plantation and guaranteeing religious liberty. A 1663 charter issued by Charles II more firmly established the colony of Rhode Island, which tolerated different religions and maintained friendly relations with Native Americans until the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675. This conflict resulted in the destruction of many colonial towns, including Providence. The Narragansett tribe was initially skeptical of missionaries, because of their experience of English land-grabbing, and because the church in Charlestown, RI had its own homegrown minister, a Narragansett separatist named Samuel Niles. Although the Narragansett tribal council approved the mission of Joseph Fish in 1765, which met with initial success, the tribe eventually asked Fish and Edward Deake, the schoolmaster he engaged, to leave Rhode Island in favor of Native ministers and teachers. Rhode Island residents actively protested British rule over the colonies and openly agitated for war. In 1772, a number of Rhode Islanders attacked and destroyed the British ship the Gaspee, and Rhode Island was the first state to openly declare independence from Great Britain prior to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Between two and five percent of Rhode Island Native Americans migrated to Brothertown.

Phillips Town
New Lebanon

Stockbridge is a small town on the Housatonic River in Berkshire County in western Massachusetts. The area was the home of the Mohekanew or Muh-he-ka-nuk people (people of the continually flowing waters), also known as the Mahicans, (or Mohicans and not to be confused with Mohegans from the Connecticut area), who had been driven there because of tensions with the Mohawk tribe over the expansion of the fur trade with the Dutch in the 17th century. European traders and settlers in the area brought disease and land greed, weakening the Mahicans and their traditional lifeways. In 1734, a missionary named John Sergeant from New Jersey came to live in the Mahican village of Wnahktukuk, baptizing those who accepted his teachings. In order to survive in a rapidly changing world, the Tribe accepted the misson and in 1736, the town of Stockbridge was created, named after a village in Hampshire, England, the last of the "praying towns" in Massachusetts, also known as "Indian Town." It was, for the English, strategically located along a military trail to Canada and created a Protestant buffer against Indian allegiance to the Catholic French. Sergeant built a church and schoolhouse, and brought four English families to settle there, ostensibly as models. Wappinger, Nipmuck and Tunxis Indians joined the community and the Mahicans made Stockbridge their chief village. They and the other Native peoples who lived there were called the "Stockbridge Indians." With the end of the French and Indian war, new settlers flooded into the town, buying up land and excluding the Indians from town government; the experimental community became divided into white and Indian neighborhoods. Although the Massachusetts General Court promised that the land given to the Indians as a reward for their service in the recent war and held in common would never be sold, that agreement was breached. In 1774, Indians from seven praying towns––Charlestown, Groton, Stonington, Niantic, Farmington, Montauk, and Mohegan––who were also in debt and dispossesed, accepted the invitaion of the Oneidas to settle on their lands in central New York state, but were driven back by the Revolution and retreated to Stockbridge. Eventually, in 1783 many Stockbridge Indians moved to Oneida lands and founded "new" Stockbridge near the Brotherton settlement established by Occom and other Mohegan Indians. Stockbridge, MA, was a destination for many of the missionaries trained by and associated with Wheelock and his Indian school, and eight Stockbridge Indians enrolled at Dartmouth College between 1771 and 1780. In 1778, Daniel Simon, a Narragansett Indian, one of five children in his family to go to Wheelock's Charity School, and the first Indian educated by Wheelock to receive a degree from Dartmouth College in 1777, was licensed to preach and taught at Stockbridge. As late as 1785, Occom recounts in his journals traveling to Stockbridge, MA to preach and visit Sergeant, Jr. and Kirkland, and finds the Indians "scattered," many removed to Oneida country.


The town of Cannan is located in northwestern Connecticut and is situated along the Housatonic River. Archeological evidence suggests that Native Americans inhabited this territory thousands of years ago. When the Europeans arrived in the early 18th century, the Weantinock tribe occupied the territory. An Indian trail called Berkshire Path ran through Canaan along the Housatonic River, connecting the Weantinock tribe with Indians from western Massachusetts to the North and the Pootatuck and Paugussett tribes to the South and stretched as far as Stratford, Connecticut. Several disputes over land and resources took place in the 18th century between the Indians and the settlers, which were decided by representatives of Connecticut’s General Court, who most often found in the settlers’ favor. The resources of the land that would become Canaan made this area attractive to settlers, who bid on townships in an auction organized by the General Assembly in the 1730s. In 1738, the town was sold in divisions of 53 shares and formally named Canaan after the biblical land. Canaan was incorporated in 1739, and the population quickly increased. By 1756, the Connecticut Assembly recorded only 1,000 Indians remaining in the colony. Throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries, many colonists in Canaan had slaves; however, slavery was slowly phased out through legal measures throughout this time period. During the French and Indian War, many people from Canaan fought against the French, and in 1760, Canaan men participated in a victorious siege against Montreal. Canaan colonists fought against the British in the Revolutionary War and the town provided goods and money for the cause. In 1858, the town was divided into Canaan and North Canaan.

Old Windsor

Groton is a town located in southeastern Connecticut between the Thames and Mystic Rivers. This land was originally settled by the Niantic tribe, who were forced out in the early 1600s by the Pequots. During the Pequot War in 1637, Captain John Mason’s soldiers and Indian allies attacked the Pequot’s Mystic fort, burning down the fort, killing mostly women and children, and largely displacing the Pequots. John Winthrop Jr. and his Puritan followers first settled Groton in 1646 as part of New London. In 1705, the General Court allowed the Groton inhabitants to incorporate as a separate town due to its increased population. The town was named Groton after Winthrop’s England estate. Farming, shipbuilding, and maritime trading sustained the Groton economy throughout the eighteenth century. Beginning in 1712, land disputes between the Connecticut government and the Pequot tribe in Groton ensued, and the Pequots sent many petitions and grievances to the Connecticut government. Legal battles concerning the colonists’ leasing of the 1,700 acres on which the Pequots lived continued throughout the 18th century, as missionaries came to the area to teach religion and establish schools. After the Revolutionary War, many Groton Pequots joined other Connecticut tribes and moved to the Brothertown settlement in upstate New York.

New London

New London is a city located in southeastern Connecticut along an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean called Long Island Sound. The area that would become New London was inhabited by the Pequots who called it Nameaug when the Europeans arrived in North America. Pequot villages bordered Long Island Sound and the Tribe had authority over the neighboring Tribes of the Mohegans and Niantics (all Algonquian-speaking tribes). The Dutch first explored this land in 1614 and established trade with the Native peoples, but the English soon gained possession of the land east of the Hudson in the 1630s. English animosity toward their Indian neighbors led to the Pequot War (1634-38), part of which took place in the present city of New London. The Pequots lost the war and their population deteriorated due to the violence and disease. The General Court of Massachusetts granted John Winthrop possession of Pequot territory in 1644 after which it was to be opened for settlement. By 1646, which is considered the official year of its founding, New London had permanent colonial inhabitants and municipal laws, and jurisdiction was granted to the colony of Connecticut in 1647. In 1658, the inhabitants renamed the town New London after London, England. New London was the colony of Connecticut’s first trading port and was a hub of trade with the West Indies and other colonies. Though initially part of the town of New London when it was first settled by the colonists, Groton, Montville, and Waterford were each separated from New London in 1705, 1786, and 1801 respectively. Present-day Salem was also part of New London when it was settled, but in 1819, it became a separate incorporated town composed of parts of Lyme, Colchester, and Montville. Occom kept a school in New London in the winter in 1748. New London was the home of Captain Nathaniel Shaw, one of the wealthiest merchants in the area, who gave money to Occom in the 1750s for the missionary cause and also sold materials to Occom for the building of his home. However, their positive relationship ended when Shaw refused to provide supplies for Mary Occom while Occom was in England. New London served as the port from which Occom and other missionaries traveled to reach Long Island. During the American Revolution, New London’s location and its status as a seaport made it both vulnerable to invasion and integral to colonial naval operations as well as the exchange of prisoners.New London was incorporated as a city in 1784.

Jewett City

Norwich is a city in New London County in the southeast corner of Connecticut. It was founded in 1659 when Major John Mason and Reverend James Fitch led English settlers inland from Old Saybrook, CT, on the coast. They bought land from Uncas, sachem of the local Mohegan tribe, and divided it into farms and businesses mainly in the three-mile area around the Norwichtown Green. In 1668, a wharf was built at Yantic Cove and in 1694 a public landing was built at the head of the Thames River, which allowed trade with England to flourish. The center of Norwich soon moved to the neighborhood around the harbor called "Chelsea." During the revolutionary period, when transatlantic trade was cut off, Norwich developed large mills and factories along the three rivers that cross the town: the Yantic, Shetucket and Thames, and supported the war effort by supplying soldiers, ships, and munitions. Norwich was the largest town in the vicinity in which Occom, Wheelock and their associates lived and worked, and it was possible to get there by water because of the harbor and access to the Long Island Sound. Lebanon, CT, the site of Wheelock's school, is 11 miles north and present-day Uncasville, the center of the Mohegan tribe, is a few miles south of Norwich. James Fitch did missionary work among the Mohegans in Norwich until his death in 1702, and Samuel Kirkland, the most important Protestant missionary to the Six Nations trained by Wheelock, was born in Norwich in 1741. On his evangelical tour of North America in 1764, George Whitefield planned to travel to Norwich to meet with Wheelock. The Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge frequently met in Norwich, and many letters by people involved in the missionary efforts of Wheelock were written from Norwich.

Sag Harbor
Old Saybrook

Old Saybrook is a town located in southeastern Connecticut on the west bank of the Connecticut River, where it meets the Long Island Sound. The land that would become Old Saybrook was the territory of the Niantic Indians until the late 16th century when they were conquered by the Pequots. The first Europeans to settle in the area were Dutch, but by 1623 the colony failed due to harsh conditions. In 1635, English Puritans led by John Winthrop Jr. established a colony called Saybrook Plantation, hoping to deter the return of the Dutch. During the Pequot War of 1636, the powerful Pequot tribe conducted a siege of Saybrook Fort for eight months, but their population was ultimately decimated by the effort. Yale University, originally called Collegiate School of Connecticut, was founded in Old Saybrook in 1700 and then moved to New Haven in 1718. Because of its location, Old Saybrook was a convenient stopping point for Occom on his trips between Mohegan and Montauk, on Long Island, and was a point of embarkation for travel to other coastal cities by water. At least one Native American in Old Saybrook, the son of Josiah Wolcott, wanted to attend Wheelock’s school. Old Saybrook is one of the oldest towns in the state and was incorporated in 1854.

East Hampton

East Hampton is a town in New York's Suffolk county on southeast Long Island, 14 miles southwest of Montauk. East Hampton was originally inhabited by the Algonquin-speaking Montauketts, who numbered over 10,000 and had a peaceful trading relationship with the nearby Pequots until early 17th century when English colonists played the two tribes off each other. In 1640, after the Pequot War, an English settler named Lion Gardiner purchased an island in the bay between the present-day towns of Montauk and East Hampton from the Montauketts, which began the English settlement, or seizure, of the land that would become East Hampton. The Montauketts called the island Manchonacke, or island where many died, while Gardiner named the island after himself. In 1648, the colonies of New Haven and Connecticut purchased more land from the Montauketts, spreading beyond Gardiner's Island onto Long Island and settling the town of East Hampton. In 1664, East Hampton was annexed to the colony of New York. As the number of English settlers increased, the Montauketts became increasingly dispossessed, economically tied to the English but relegated to the bottom of the social order. By 1687, the English had fenced off the majority of Montaukett land through a series of resolutions, changing the tribal structure of the Montauketts and leaving them open to conversion to Christianity. In 1749, Occom had been released from his preparatory studies for college because of poor eyesight and went on a summer fishing trip to Montauk; he decided to settle there and by November had established a school for the Montauketts. He frequented East Hampton on his travels to New York and New England from his home in Montauk beginning in 1750, often staying with Reverend Samuel Buell of the Presbytery of Suffolk County, who presided over Occom's 1759 ordination at the Presbytery. While traveling through East Hampton, Occom also stayed with William Hedges, a whaling captain and one of his benefactors. One of Occom's letters indicates that Hedges took care of Occom's family while he completed his mission to the Oneidas in 1761. Occom's relationship to East Hampton changed in the 1770s, however, when he started to believe that the pervasive English influence on Montaukett society had become corrosive. As a result of Occom's encouragement, many of the Montauketts of East Hampton moved to Brothertown in the late 1780s.


Bridgehampton is a town on the southeastern tip of Long Island about 20 miles southwest of Montauk, NY. Its name is derived from the bridge English settlers built over nearby Sagg Pond in 1686. English settlement began on Long Island in 1640, when colonists from Massachusetts obtained land from the island's Shinnecock Indians. It wasn't until 1656, however, that the town of Bridgehampton was settled, when Josiah Stanborough built a homestead on Sagg Pond. Bridgehampton is now a part of the town of Southhampton, NY. Occom was associated with the Presbytery of Suffolk County in Bridgehampton and its Reverend James Brown. After meeting Occom at least two years earlier, Reverend Brown presided over Occom's ordination on August 29, 1759. Later, during Occom's many travels between his post as a missionary in Oneida and his home in Montauk, he often stayed with Brown at his home in Bridgehampton; they were close friends. In 1769, Occom visited Bridgehampton after confessing to "intemperate drinking" in a letter to the Presbytery. On November 1 of that year, the Bridgehampton ministers gave Occom the benefit of the doubt, concluded that he had simply been intoxicated from lack of food and a small amount of alcohol, and indicated their resepct.

South Hampton

Aquebogue is a hamlet in Riverhead, NY, which is the seat of Suffolk County on Long Island. The hamlet, whose name is Algonquian for “end of water place” and has been spelled 23 different ways in town records, sits at the mouth of the Peconic River. Originally, the Algonquian-speaking Shinnecocks occupied the area. By the 1640s, however, English settlement on Long Island had spread to Aquebogue, and in 1661, the settlers compelled the Shinnecocks to sign an agreement to give their acquisition of Shinnecock land legal pretenses. By 1711, the entire area was allotted into 250-acre plots. At this time, Aquebogue was officially considered a part of Southold, a town on the northeastern tip of Long Island. In 1731, settlers constructed the Aquebogue Meeting House as a local church, and in the 1750s, the Meeting House split, as dissenters left to found what they called a "Strict Congregational Church." It is likely Occom visited Aquebogue during his travels in Long Island, especially given his acquaintance with Reverend Benjamin Goldsmith, the popular Presbyterian minister who presided over the Aquebogue church for 46 years. English troops occupied Aquebogue for the entire Revolutionary War after Washington’s defeat in the Battle of Long Island, and many residents signed loyalty oaths to their occupiers. In 1792, as Long Island fell under the jurisdiction of the State of New York, Southold, which encompassed Aquebogue, was divided into separate towns, including Riverhead, NY. Since then, Aquebogue has been a part of Riverhead.


Lebanon is a town located in the state of Connecticut southwest of the town of Hartford. The land that became Lebanon was inhabited at least 10,000 years ago based on the archeological record. By the 1600s, the land was permanently inhabited by the Mohegan Indians, who used the area primarily for hunting. Lebanon was officially formed in 1700 when English settlers consolidated a number of land tracts, including several land grants by the Connecticut General Assembly and lands purchased from the Mohegans. However, these purchases were controversial. In 1659, the Mohegans entrusted their reserve land to Major John Mason, and in the following year, Mason transferred this land to the Connecticut colonial government with the understanding that there would be enough land left for the Mohegans to farm. The Mohegans claimed that they never authorized a transfer to the colonial government and only Mason’s heirs were entrusted with their land. In 1662, Connecticut, which included the Mohegan land that had been entrusted to the Masons, was incorporated by a royal charter. Based on this charter, the colony argued that the land was now the property of the government. In 1687, the colony began granting the Mohegan land to townships, and in 1704 the Masons petitioned the Crown on behalf of the Mohegans, claiming that such transfers of land to townships were illegal. Between the years of 1705 and 1773 legal disputes and controversies persisted, finally ending in a verdict by the Crown against the Mohegans. In 1755, Wheelock received property and housing in Lebanon that he would use as his house and school. While Lebanon was originally incorporated as a part of New London County in 1700, in 1724 it became a part of New Windham, before once again becoming a part of New London County in 1826. Lebanon was central to the American Revolution with half of its adult population fighting for the colonists and hundreds of meetings convened in the town for the revolutionary cause.


The first English immigrant to settle on a peninsula in a harbor on the northeastern coast of North America the local Algonquin Indians called "Shawmet" was William Blackstone in 1629. A year later, John Winthrop arrived with a group of English Puritans and other settlers and named the area Boston after his hometown in Lincolnshire, England. The colony quickly developed representative political institutions that would help shape a democratic nation. Over the next few centuries, Boston emerged as an intellectual and educational center, and, because of its excellent harbor, became a leading commercial hub and a primary port for North America. It is the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the largest city in New England. Boston was the home for the Boards of Commissioners of several overseas religious societies who sent missionaries throughout the colonies in the 18th century, and was the site of many important events of the American Revolution.

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.

Albertson, William
Schermerhorn, John
Spencer, Jabez
Brockway, Nathan
Wheeler, Samuel
Gardner, Joshua
Shelden, Ezekiel
Price, Rufus
Sergeant, Jr., John

John Sergeant Jr., like his father, served as a minister in Stockbridge, MA. In 1773, Stephen West, the minister to the Stockbridge Indians since 1757, decided to leave his post and turned over ministering duties to John Sergeant Jr. Stockbridge, MA, which John Sergeant Sr. helped establish, failed as a Christian Indian town when the Stockbridge Indians lost ownership of their land. When the Oneida Tribe offered the Stockbridgers land in central New York after the American Revolution, many of them moved to the Brothertown and New Stockbridge settlements. The Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge funded Sergeant Jr. in 1787 to continue serving as a minister to the Stockbridge Indians who moved to New York. Sergeant travelled from Stockbridge, MA, to New Stockbridge every year to serve as their minister. In 1788, the Stockbridge Indians at New Stockbridge were divided in their support for Occom or John Sergeant as the town’s minister. Mohican sachem Hendrick Aupaumut led the community members who favored Occom. According to Sergeant, 30 members of the Tribe were in favor of Occom while 50 were in favor of him (later, half of Occom’s supporters defected to Sergeant). The relationship between Sergeant and Occom was contentious, with Occom disliking Sergeant’s manner of preaching. Occom moved to Munhegunnack or New Stockbridge in 1791 and suggests in a letter that many of Sergeant’s supporters were shifting support to Occom. In his sermons, Sergeant blamed the Indians’ loss of land on what he described as their drunkenness and idleness. He suggested that the whites’ encroachment on their lands was God’s punishment for their sins. Sergeant remained the New Stockbridge minister until his death in 1824.

Yoke, Jehoiakim

Captain Jehoiakim Yoke is likely a Stockbridge Indian who enlisted with colonial forces during the American Revolution. Yoke rose through the ranks to become the Captain of a company of Indian rangers. It appears that he primarily fought on the war's western front, often against Native Americans loyal to Great Britain, and was a part of the infamous Sullivan Expedition. In response to a number of successful raids by Native allies of the British, George Washington tasked General John Sullivan with destroying Indian villages and decimating Indian food supplies in western New York. By the end of the expedition, General Sullivan’s army had destroyed more than 40 villages. A Captain Jehoiakim Yoke is mentioned in the Revolutionary War writing of David Freemoyer. In Freemoyer’s account, Captain Yoke and Freemoyer’s men were involved in conflicts with Native American troops under the command of the Mohawk leader (and Moor's alumnus) Joseph Brant. In his Revolutionary War journal, Chaplain William Rogers refers to a Captain Jehoiakim, an Indian from Stockbridge. In his entries from June of 1779, Rogers describes an incident where Native allies of the British attempted to reconnoiter the Colonial encampment but were driven away. This Captain Jehoiakim and two other Stockbridge Indians pursued the Native Americans but were unsuccessful in capturing them. William DeLoss Love writes about a Timothy Yokens, who became a captain of a company of Indian rangers. Given the similar descriptions of this Stockbridge Indian captain, it seems that the sources may be referring to the same man, with whom Occom lodged several times in 1786.

Eno, Samuel
Adams, Olive (née Occom)

Olive was the fourth child and third daughter born to Mary Fowler Occom and Samsom Occom during their residence in Montauk on Long Island, where Occom served as minister and schoolteacher to the Montaukett Indians. She would have moved with the family back to Mohegan in Connecticut in 1763, but little else is known about her life. From a letter Occom wrote to Joseph Johnson on April 14, 1775 (manuscript 775264), we know that Olive married Solomon Adams, a Farmington Indian. Love reports that they had three children, that Solomon died around 1783, and that Olive lived on her husband's land in Farmington. However, Occom records in his journal for 1786 visiting Olive on his preaching and fundraising tours of New England to raise money for the Brothertown project, and she is living between Old Windsor and Bolton, CT, a location northwest of Farmington and on the other side of Hartford. The following year, Occom twice mentions in his journal "Olive's affair," that he "searched into" it "and Say Writings about it to my Satisfaction," and then "left" it with a Mr. Wadsworth (manuscript 787660.1). Love notes that Olive emigrated to Brotherton, and that her children sold the family plot at Farmington in 1801. J. Brooks speculates that the "affair" Occom negotiated for his daughter probably concerned the disposition of Olive's husband's Farmington lot.

Colton, George
Occom, Benoni

Benoni Occom (also known as Benjamin, Noney, and Nony) was Samson Occom and Mary Fowler’s seventh child and second son. Like Aaron Occom (Benoni’s elder brother, who died in 1771 after a wild young adulthood), Benoni did not live up to his parents’ standards for behavior. Unlike Aaron, he was not sent to Moor’s Indian Charity School; the difference may reflect Samson and Mary’s declining opinion of Eleazar Wheelock. Benoni’s behavior led Samson and Mary to kick him out of the house in July 1780, but the family had reconciled by 1788 (perhaps following 1787 rumors that Benoni had been hanged in Boston for murder). Although Benoni remained at Mohegan instead of moving to Brothertown, later letters from Occom to Benoni suggest that they were close and that Benoni visited his parents frequently. Later in life, Benoni was active in attempts to define Mohegan identity by petitioning to exclude anyone of African descent from tribal membership. His petition in this affair might indicate broader political involvement in tribal matters.

Occom, Mary (née Fowler)

Mary Occom (née Fowler) was a Montaukett woman who married Samson Occom. Although information about her is limited and often comes from male, Anglo-American sources, it offers a tantalizing glimpse of her strength, as well as an alternative to the Eleazar Wheelock-centered narrative of Occom’s life that often dominates the latter’s biography. Mary was born into the influential Fowler family at Montauk, Long Island. She met Samson during his missionary service there (1749-1761). Mary studied at Samson’s school along with her brothers David and Jacob, and was almost certainly literate. She and Samson married in 1751. Wheelock and several other Anglo-American powers opposed their union because they worried it might distract Occom from being a missionary (as, indeed, family life did), and thus many scholars have read in Samson and Mary’s marriage an act of resistance against Samson’s domineering former teacher. Little information about the minutiae of Mary’s life survives, but existing sources speak volumes about her character and priorities. In front of Anglo-American missionaries visiting the Occoms' English-style house at Mohegan, Mary would insist on wearing Montaukett garb and, when Samson spoke to her in English, she would only reply in Montaukett, despite the fact that she was fluent in English. Mary Occom was, in many ways, Wheelock’s worst fear: that his carefully groomed male students would marry un-Anglicized Indian women. It is not a stretch to imagine that Mary provided much of the incentive for Wheelock to begin taking Indian girls into his school, lest his other protégés replicate Samson’s choice. Much of our information about Mary comes from between 1765 and 1768, when Samson was fundraising in Great Britain. Despite promising to care for Samson’s wife and family (at the time they had seven children), Wheelock, by every objective measure, failed to do so, and Mary’s complaints are well documented. Hilary Wyss reads in Wheelock’s neglect (and in letters from the time) a more sinister story, and concludes that on some level Wheelock was holding Samson’s family hostage, in return for Occom curtailing his political beliefs on the Mason Case. Wyss also notes Mary’s remarkable survivance in this situation. Mary drew on various modes of contact, from letters to verbal communication with influential women (including Sarah Whitaker, the wife of Samson’s traveling companion, and Wheelock’s own daughters), to shame Wheelock into action and demand what she needed. One of the major struggles in Mary’s life, and in Samson’s, was with their sons. Both Aaron and Benoni failed to live up to their parents’ expectations. Aaron attended, and left, Moor’s Indian Charity School three times, and both Aaron and Benoni struggled with alcohol and refused to settle down. The Occom daughters did not cause similar problems. Given the nature of existing sources, little is known about Mary after Samson and Wheelock lessened their communication in 1771. Joanna Brooks has conjectured that Mary was likely influential in Samson’s Mohegan community involvement later in life, for instance, in his continued ministry to Mohegan and, perhaps, his increasingly vehement rejection of Anglo-American colonial practices.

Quaquaquid, Henry

Henry Quaquaquid was a Mohegan Indian who was active in both political and religious tribal affairs. In 1742 he, as a counselor, signed a petition that declared John Uncas as the rightful successor of Sachem Mahomet; however, the following year Quaquaquid, along with Occom and nine other counselors, signed Ben Uncas’s counter proclamation. As supporters of Ben Uncas, Occom and Quaquaquid lived in Ben’s Town rather than John’s Town, the home of the Ashpos. Nonetheless, they eventually changed their minds and joined the Ashpos in an effort to counteract tribal corruption and disunion. Around 1760, Ben Uncas III claimed that the rival faction had established Quaquaquid as sachem. Quaquaquid was also involved in the Mason case and acted as a messenger. He sought to protect the Mohegans’ native rights, and in 1785 signed a petition, along with Occom and four others, to the Connecticut General Assembly asking for unrestricted fishing privileges. In 1789, Quaquaquid and Robert Ashpo appealed to the Connecticut Assembly again seeking aid, and as in the original petition, stressed their friendship. Additionally, Quaquaquid often accompanied Occom during his missionary tours, such as those of 1757 and 1785. He also acted as a deacon, possibly at a church that Occom established in Mohegan. Quaquaquid did not move to Brothertown, but remained in Mohegan with his family.

Latham, Robert

Captain Robert Latham was part of the large, ferry-man and ship-building Latham families of Groton and New London, Connecticut, several of whom Occom mentions in his journals. Robert's father was Daniel Latham, born April 16, 1719 in New London and his mother was Elizabeth. He was the youngest of five. After that, there is no more information about Captain Robert Latham except what we learn from Occom's journals for 1784-89. In his itinerant preaching in the area, Occom held meetings at Captain Latham's house, lodged, dined with and called on Latham and his wife several times, and used his Christian cards for exercises with them, describing them as a "very agreeable and discreet couple." The Captain must have been fond of Occom, because he sent a present of tea to Occom's wife in 1784. Going back and forth between Groton and New London in southern Connecticut required a ferry across the Thames River. Robert was likely a descendant of the first ferryman in this area, Cary Latham, who appears in the record during the 1680s. His successors, William and Thomas Latham, operated a shipyard in Groton where they built and launched ships. In 1807, this became the Latham Brothers company. It is not clear if Robert's title refers to his seafaring or military service. Although there is no mention of a Robert Latham in the records, members of the extended Latham family from Groton served with distinction and were captured, wounded, or killed in the Revolutionary War, participating in the Battle of Groton Heights and the storming of Fort Griswold.

Saunders, Giddeon
Babcock, Abel

Mrs. Latham was the wife of Captain Robert Latham, who was part of the extensive Latham family in Groton and New London, Connecticut. She lived in Groton with her husband, who was a friend and supporter of Occom. We know from Occom's journals for 1784-89 that he held meetings at the Lathams' house, lodged, dined with and called on the Lathams on several occasions as he crossed back and forth from Groton to New London on the ferry, which was likely operated by a descendant of Cary Latham, the first ferryman there in the 1680s. Occom notes several intriguing facts about Mrs. Latham: that she "looks quite young," which suggests she was Captain Latham's second wife, that they have no children, and that on occasion -- for example, after William Avery's funeral in January 1786 -- he calls on her specifically .

Lester, Eliphalet
Jewett, Eleizer

Unidentified Smith.

Spicer, Silas
Williams, John
Avery, T.
Williams, Isaac
Smith, Joseph
Brewster, Dyer
Sunsummon, Jo
Raymond, John
Smith, Ebenezer Jr.
Brown, John
Avery, Asa
Booth, William
Ledyard, John
Buell, Samuel

Buell was a popular Presbyterian minister during the second half of the 18th century in Long Island, as well as a close friend of Samson Occom. He was ordained in November 1743, and was a popular itinerant minister before settling at Easthampton. He preached at Occom's ordination, published the sermon in 1761 to raise funds for Occom (he also wrote the letter addressed to Bostwick prefacing his publication), and stayed in close contact with Occom even after Occom's public break from Wheelock. Occom's diary is full of references to visiting Buell and to their close friendship. During the Revolution, Buell was the only minister on Long Island for 40 miles, and was very active in assisting the American cause. He also founded Clinton Academy on Long Island in 1785, which was the first private school chartered by the New York Board of Regents. This academy was also remarkable in that it admitted women. Multiple historical sources have misconstrued Samuel Buell as Sol or Solomon Buell, likely because Buell sometimes signed his name Sa.l, a creative abbreviation of Samuel. However, there was no Reverend Solomon Buell in Easthampton, or, it seems, Long Island, in the second half of the 18th century: Samuel had no brothers, and were there to be two Reverend S. Buell's within 10 miles of one another during the same period, related or not, doubtlessly someone would have commented on it. In addition, the handwriting in letters ascribed to "Sol" and those assigned to Samuel is identical. Lastly, the only source besides collection manuscript 765530.3 describing a "Solomon Buell" is an anthology of letters from the Revolution, which contain letters from a Rev. Sol. Buell, or S. Buell, about aiding the American cause. These letters correspond well with descriptions of Samuel's life in an 1809 biography of his life, and, as he was the only Reverend but one for 40 miles during the Revolution, it is likely that these letters belong to him.

Woodhull, Nathan
Goldsmith, Benjamin
Green, Zechariah
HomeSamson Occom, journal, 1786 December 11 to 1787 April 7
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only