Samson Occom Day July 14, 2022
*This is an updated reprint of Brothertown Member Dr. Faith Ottery’s release from 2021.
The Reverend Samson Occom, born as a member of the Mohegan nation near New London, CT in 1723, is an integral part of history and legacy of the Brothertown Indian Nation, head quartered in Fond du Lac. As the day of Occom’s birth in 1723 is not documented, his death on July 14, 1792, is celebrated as Samson Occom Day and was officially acclaimed as such by a Brothertown Indian Nation Council on June 20, 2020. Occom’s 300 commemoration of his death will be recognized in 2023.
The early and lasting impact of Samson Occom’s has been broadly recognized beyond the scope of the Brothertowns (see resources below), with July 14 also recognized as the Day of Samson Occom, Witness to the Faith in New England in the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church.
Beyond the well-known history as one of the first and foremost English-speaking native missionaries in early New England, Occom:
- Was one of the first Native Americans to publish his writings in English and the first Native American to write his autobiography.
- Was critical to the founding of Dartmouth College, recognized by the Native American Alumni Association of Dartmouth College with erection of a memorial in 2019 on the site of Moor’s Charity School in Columbia, CT. This memorial is to commemorate and honor “Samson Occom for his contributions to the education of Native Americans and the founding of Dartmouth College.”
- Is recognized by named locations throughout New England, especially New Hampshire and Connecticut
- Has been honored with named recognitions such as the following:
- The Endowed Samson Occom Professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth
- The Endowed Samson Occom Legacy Award for American Indian and Native medical students at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
- World War II, United States Liberty Ship SS Samson Occom
The academic interest continues to be recognized, e.g., as with the Occom Circle Project, Dartmouth College
Join us in learning more about Samson Occom to celebrate his life and influence and the history and influence of Brothertown Indian Nation (some of these listings below link to additional information)
Below are several resources that you may find of interest in learning more about Sampson Occom and that Below are several resources that you may find of interest in learning more about Sampson Occom and that document Brothertown presence and history over more than 3 centuries. All can be located online for download (see select hyperlinks), and many are available the Brothertown Store or through any number of book sellers. To add to this listing or if you need help in locating a resource, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A Short Narrative of My Life. Rev. Samson Occom 1768 and Sermon: Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans VI. 23 published 1772; in Early American Writings ed. Carla Mulford 2002
- Sampson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England . W. DeLoss Love 1899
- A man called Sampson: The Ancestry and Progeny of Sampson, a Mashantucket Pequot Indian, Born in What is Now New London County, Connecticut, including Brief Descriptions of Family Connections to other Historic Native American Family Groups, the Ancient Pequot Tribe, the Pequot War, the Brothertown Tribe of New York, and the Brothertown tribe of Wisconsin. Will and Rudi Ottery 1989
- The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan: Literature and Leadership in Eighteenth-Century Native American Samson Occom (Author), Joanna Brooks (Editor), Robert Warrior (Foreword) 2006
For those who like or prefer audio resources: “The Betrayal of Samson Occom” from the Public’s Radio program website:
Brothertown Indian Nation Books:
- Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal Patty Loew 2013
- Becoming Brothertown: Native American Ethnogenesis and Endurance in the Modern World Craig N. Cipolla 2013
- Letters Home from the Brothertown “Boys” [a remarkable volume of handwritten and transcribed letters home from Brothertown Indian men who fought in the Civil War] Andrea R. Brucker and Caroline K Andler 2011
- Red Brethren: The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians and the Problem of Race in Early America. David J. Silverman 2010
- The Brothertown Nation of Indians Land Ownership and Nationalism in Early America 1740-1840 Brad D.E. Jarvis 2010
- History of the Brothertown Indians of Wisconsin Ronald H. Lambert Sr. 2010