Variant name of place

New Betheleham

Geographic position

41.6392° N, 73.2086° W


Occom, Samson. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan. Ed. Joanna Brooks. Oxford: Oxford UP: 2006. Web. Geo coordinates from

General note

Bethlehem is a town located in Litchfield County, in western Connecticut. Colonists from the town of Stratford in the colony of Connecticut arrived on the land that would become Bethlehem in 1673 and purchased a 15-mile tract of land from the Native Americans who occupied western Connecticut, calling it Woodbury. In 1703, the Connecticut General Assembly allowed Woodbury to increase its land holdings. Woodbury inhabitants negotiated with Native Americans, and in 1710 signed a deed of sale with Nunawague and five other chiefs to purchase nearly 18,000 acres. This deed became known as the North Purchase. The area that would become Bethlehem was split into lots, and in 1734, British colonists began to settle these lots. The town was incorporated in 1787. By the mid-18th century, there was vibrant Congregationalist activity in Bethlehem, led by Pastor Joseph Bellamy. Occom stopped to preached in Bethlehem on one of his many tours of this region, as he recorded in his journal for 1785.