Ashpo, Samuel

first name (variants): Sam; Samul; John
last name (variants): Ashbow; Aspow; Ashpoe
Birth: 1718 in Mohegan
Death: November 7, 1795

Mohegan Indians; Moor's Indian Charity School


Educated by Jonathan Barber in his Mohegan school, and converted around the same time as Occom. Moor's Indian Charity School 1762-1763.


In his early career, Ashpo was sympathetic to "Brownist" beliefs (another sect of Congregationalism), although he had rejected these by the time he graduated from Moor's. In his later career (post 1767 suspension), he was sympathetic to Baptists.


Mohegan Indian


Schoolteacher and missionary, interpreter from 1757-1759, when he returned to teaching.

  • Mushantuxet (from 1753 to 1757)
  • Mushantuxet (from 1759 to 1762-09-25)
  • Moor's Indian Charity School in Lebanon, Connecticut (from 1762-09-25 to 1763-05-12)
  • Chenango (from 1763 to 1763)
  • Chenango (from 1766 to 1767-07-01)
Marital status

Married to Hannah Mamnack, a Wangunk, and had at least six children. Four of his sons died in the Revolution.


Ashpo was born into a very powerful Mohegan family, considered equal to the Uncas line, and became an influential Mohegan preacher. He was converted at Mohegan during the Great Awakening, and became a schoolteacher among the Indians at Mushantuxet from 1753 until 1757 and from 1759 until 1762, when he left to attend Moor's. Between 1757 and 1759, he worked as an interpreter, and supposedly struggled with alcohol. He attended Moor's for only six months, and then continued his teaching and missionary career on successive trips to Chenango (the first was cut short because of violence in the region). On July 1, 1767, the Connecticut Board dismissed him from their service because of further charges of drinking. He continued to preach successfully to various New England Indian tribes until his death in 1795. The variations of his name exist in part because Ashpo is an abbreviated form of Ashobapow.


Brooks, Joanna. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan: Leadership and Literacy in Eighteenth-Century Native America. Oxford 2006: Biographical details (413). Calloway, Colin, The Indian History of an American Institution. Dartmouth College Press 2010: Biographical details (189). Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899: Biographical details (74-78). McCallum, James. The Letters of Eleazar Wheelock’s Indians. Dartmouth College Press 1932: Biograhpical details and transcriptions (34-36).

General note

Ashpo also appears in six letters from the Dartmouth archives, quoted in McCallum, dated November 1 1761, July 29 1762, February 17 1763, May 12 1763, July 22 1763, September 19 1763, and July 1 1767. One incorrect ID of "John" in Boston Commission's Mshantuxet records, according to Love. First Chenango residence lasted six weeks, the second four to five months.