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Month: August 2022

August 30, 1759?

What is relevant to the Brothertown Indian Nation regarding this date?

Just over a month ago, on July 14th the Tribe celebrated Samson Occom Day. That is a hint…

Samson Occom

Many of us know about the great awakening” and the impact it had on a young Samson Occom. At 20 twenty (the year was 1743), he went to study with Rev. Eleazar Wheelock who ran a school. He attended the school with the intent of learning how to read so he could study the bible on his own. Since his own conversion Occom began to share the gospel with other Indians as well.  Even though he had very poor eyesight, he learned Latin and Greek as well as English. In fact, many of us also know he was one of the first American Indians to publish some of his works in English.

Eleazar Wheelock, began to think that he could use the other Indians (if they could be trained like Occom) – to carry the gospel to their own peoples. Soon he actively sought other Indians and used Samson Occom to travel to fill the school. Samson Occom had such an impact with spreading the gospel to other Indians, that he quickly became well known in religious circles in New England.  Presbyterian leaders on Long Island seriously began to notice Samson’s work.  They knew he did not complete college or his theological studies due to his poor eyesight. However on this date they ordained him August 30, 1759.  His mission from then on was chiefly to be a missionary to his own peoples. 

So now you know the importance of the date. (Now for some mystery about the specific date. Occom’s own diary mentions August 29th as the date of the ordination, and The “Sermon on the Ordination of Samson Occom” by Samuel Buell (you can download below) says August 29th – but Wikipedia and other sources mention he was “officially” ordained on August 30th so perhaps it only became “official” on August 30,, 1759 and the ordination ceremony/sermon was on the 29th.

Rather long way around, and Eleazar Wheelock was not quite finished with Samson Occom as he needed money for his Indian School and asked Samson to go to England to obtain funds – but that is another story for another time.

Interesting resources if you care to learn more: (Also, take a moment to investigate all the historical resources created for the new website, click on “Tribal Education and Reseach” which contains many links to our Tribal history and ancestors from athoritative and open sites...

Brothertown Graduates!

Just like in 2021, the year 2022 was a challenge for everyone, including you as students, but you prevailed. You were all impacted by the COVID pandemic in some way, having to learn new ways to succeed, and being away from your friends, but you survived, and you accomplished it!

“This is a time we reflect on the efforts of our ancestors, those relatives that have gone before us and those living that have simultaneously fought to gain traditional and western knowledge. That quest has historically, and continues to this day, to bring challenges that extend beyond the classroom for our Brothertown youth, as it has for other American Indians. As a Tribe, we acknowledge the effort you have put forth to achieve this significant goal and we honor your accomplishment. BE PROUD!”

Congratulations and best wishes to our graduates, from all the members of The Brothertown Indian Nation family!

Class of 2022

*We know this list is far from complete, if you know a Brothertown graduate we have missed, please send photo and information to be included …here…

Class of 2021