Samson Occom (1723-1792)
Samson Occom was a Native American minister, missionary, and writer whose influence helped promote more intimate ties between Native American and European culture. Born on a Mohegan settlement in southeastern Connecticut, Occom’s mother was a direct descendant of the Mohegan leader, Uncas. As a teenager, Occom taught himself to read and write in order to understand better the Biblical texts popularized during the Great Awakening. After spending two years as teacher in New London, and another 11 teaching on Long Island, Occom travelled to England and Scotland where he delivered sermons to raise money for the Wheelock’s Indian Charity School in Lebanon, Connecticut, which eventually moved to New Hampshire and became Dartmouth College.
A Mohegan and founding member of a pantribal group of Christian Indians, Occum sought to preserve Native autonomy by living apart from European communities. …[more]
“A Guide to the Samson Occom Papers.” Connecticut Historical Society, 2012. Link
“Digital Collection: Samson Occom.” Connecticut Digital Archive, 2015. Link
Barber, John Warner. Sampson Occum’s House in Mohegan, Montville.
ca 1836. Drawing, ink. Connecticut Historical Society. Link
Occom, Samson, and Jonathan Edwards. A Sermon at the Execution of Moses Paul, an Indian Who Had Been Guilty of Murder, Preached at New Haven in America. by Samson Occom, a Native Indian ... to Which Is Added a Short Account of the Late Spread of the Gospel, Among the Indians. Also Observations on the Language of the Muhhekaneew Indians by Jonathan Edwards, D.D.
New Haven, CT, 1788. Link
Occom, Samson, and Joanna Brooks. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan: Leadership and Literature in Eighteenth-Century Native America. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Brooks, Lisa Tanya. The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.