Samson Occom, Petition, to the Connecticut General Assembly, 1785

Author Occom, Samon


ms number785340

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.

Persistent Identifier
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 forefathers 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 Conclude, 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 Captives 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
Petition to the Connecticut Assembly