Brothertown New York (Oneida lands)
The land encroachment problems that our Brothertown ancestors hoped they had left behind when moving from the East Coast, ultimately followed them to NY. After 1775, the New York Legislature split our reservation in half; whites on one side and Brotherton on the other. Unfortunately, this not only introduced many new problems, it also did not resolve the original issue of the encroachment of non-Indians on our lands. It soon became evident that the Brothertown would once again need to find a new home and start over.
This section begins with our first home as a tribe in New York but continues with the trials of removing to Wisconsin and then explores our new reservation upon the shores of Lake Winnebago It also investigates the nearly 40 years of treaties and relocations we endured before arriving in our Wisconsin home.
** Note – while these links go to a variety of sources, they are publicly available open pages (Many can be downloaded while others may require you to register for “free” – i.e., Academia.edu). Behind several links, we have created some of the publicly available information in pdf format for easier research and study. Information sources have been credited and the tribe maintains no ownership claims over this information.
Early Brothertown NY
- Joseph Johnson’s letter to the New England Indians December 24, 1773. Original letter in his own hand (credit: Dartmouth College: Occom Circle) (Abstract: Joseph Johnson letter to the Indians at Niantic, Mohegan, Groton, Stonington, Narragansett and Montauk, December 24, 1773). (View the original letter on Occom Circle, Dartmouth College.)
- Joseph Johnson communicating with the Oneida 1774 Joseph Johnson’s own words from a variety of sources. (Abstract: This pdf includes Johnson’s initial speech to the Oneida Indians January 20th, 1774. He was chosen to act on behalf of the New England Indians. Included are the three responses given by the Oneida in January (21,22 and 24) 1774).
- Reprint of New York Journal article from 2000 – Brothertown, New York, 1785 – 1796 – ANTHONY WONDERLY (credit: excerpt from NY history Journal Vol. 81 No.4 October 2000) ( Abstract: Brothertown was a new native nation created in the late 18th century by Christian Indians from several Algonquian communities on the East Coast. Hoping to escape the corrupting influence of the non-native world, they emigrated to land made available by the Oneida Iroquois…).
- The Whole Wilderness shall Blossom as the Rose: Samson Occom, Joseph Johnson and the Question of Native Settlement on Cooper’s Frontier by Drew Lopenzina (Credit: adademia.edu) (Abstract: A look at the “Brothertown” plan: civic-minded, quaint in its lack of formality and the apparent intimacy of its designers, loaded with the ideological language of a fledgling democracy is in many ways representative of the spontaneous and provisional formation of frontier towns in late-eighteenth-and early-nineteenth-century America.)
- The Brothertown Movement from New England to Oneida lands in New York (compiled from a variety of sources) (Abstract: although originally written for the youth of the tribe (and resides on our youth page) it gives a simple overview of this time in Brothertown history.)
- Annals and Recollections of Oneida County By Pomroy Jones 1851 (Credit: Astor Library, New York.) (Abstract: This book is an under-utilized resource when it comes to Brothertown history. There are several Brothertown references throughout the book. The book is 990 pages in length and an enlightening read filled with facts and every day events told in journal style.) Note: Due to the size of the book it takes a minute or two to load and download ( be patient). Once downloaded, the file opens in a second or two. As an added plus, this volume is fully searchable by word or phrase to help find specific information. Definitely worth the effort.
- Resituating Homeland: Motion, Movement, and Ethnogenesis at Brothertown (Springer, 2013) Craig N. Cipolla (Credit: adademia.edu) (Abstract: Though Occom often wrote of his pursuit of two related goals, first, was to raise funds to support his efforts to further the spread of Christianity among Native American communities. The second, (surely nearer and dearer to Occom’s heart), was his hope to gain access to the necessary resources to ensure the revitalization, survival, and perseverance of his native brethren in colonial North America.)
- Marshall Historical Society Article – Brothertowns in New York By Richard L. Williams, Kirkland/Clinton Historian(credit: Marshall Historical Society) (Abstract: Brief overview of Brothertown, New York.)
- Report on the Oneida, Stockbridge, and Brotherton Indians, 1796 (Published 1955) (Original Credit: Museum of the American Indian, HEYE FOUNDATION) originally written Jeremy Belknap and Jedidiah Morse) (Abstract: At the time, this was believed to be the only known publication. Due to its scarcity of this information, it was thought that a reprinting of the Belknap Morse findings would make them more readily avail-able to students interested in the condition of the Oneida, Stockbridge, and Brotherton groups at the end of the 18th century.)
- Genesis of the Brothertown Indian – Joseph Johnson By Caroline K. Andler (listing credit Brothertowncitizen.com) (Abstract: A scholarly and in-depth paper on Joseph Johnson including his live and impact on the Brothertown. Ms. Andler also includes many of the words and writings of Joseph Johnson.)
Meanwhile Occom is based in New England, but continues to travel between Mohegan and Brothertown, NY
- Hymns — “Come all my young companions, come,” “The Slow Traveller” — by Samson Occom; and “Nativity,” by Isaac Watts, 1773 (transcribed – Occom Circle, Dartmouth College) (Abstract: Occom’s hand is clear and legible. Three separate sheets are in good-to-poor condition: the first page (one recto/verso) is large, with moderate staining, creasing and wear. The second page (two recto/verso) is a smaller sheet, with heavy staining, creasing and wear that leads to a loss of text. The last sheet of paper (three recto/verso) is a large sheet folded in half to make four (blank) pages; it is in good condition, with light staining, creasing and wear, and holes that appear to have come from a binding.
- Occom’s 1774 hymn book, A Choice Collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs: Intended for the Edification of Sincere Christians, of All Denominations – Transcription of the original work. (credit: public domain, Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership, 2011quod.lib.umich.edu) (Abstract: This was originally “Printed and sold by Timothy Green, a few rods west of the court-house. ”. Although not much to look at (13 centimeters tall, wrapped in a rough paper over scaleboard and a cheap leather spine). Yet “Divine Hymns, or Spiritual Songs; For the Use of Religious Assemblies and Private Christians” (New London, Conn., 1797) became an engine of social and cultural change…) Download an original book scan (credit: State Library of Hartford)
- A short narrative of my life, Samson Occom (transcribed – Occom Circle, Dartmouth College) (Abstract: Although a few years before this time, it gives you an overview of him through this mini autobiography. Samson Occom writes his second draft of his autobiography.) *Note: although undated – many scholars believe he wrote the first draft in 1765 and this second draft in 1768.
- A sermon at the execution of Moses Paul, an Indian; who had been guilty of murder, preached at New Haven in America (Original book scan published in 1772 in New London CT) (archive.org) (Abstract: Occom’s powerful sermon in support of temperance became a classic missionary argument against drunkenness. The edition presented here was published while Occom was raising funds in London in 1789 and includes a short summary of his career and of missionary work among American Indians at the time.) Can be downloaded by clicking the three dots on the upper left. (Another additional scan of original Document can be found here). Also, you can download a translation of the sermon for easier reading: Download English Translation… (credit: Courtesy of, T. & S. Green, New Haven, Conn. – learner.org.) Also, an important telling of the story from Alanna Rice (queens college). Download this insightful pdf here…
- The journal of Thomas Dean Download – 1918 (credit: NY public library scan) (Abstract: Thomas Dean was born in Westchester County, New York in 1783, was the attorney and a respected and beloved agent to the Brotherton Indians. He left his home and family in New York an a mission t find new lands for the Brothertown Indians.)
- White River Indiana article written by Caroline Andler (listing credit Brothertowncitizen.com) (Abstract: this paper covers the events of the movement from NY to Indiana, beginning in 1791 by the initial visit by Good Peter, the aged father of the faith among the Oneida, to the Miami Tribe. Ultimately viewing a large tract of land on White River, now in Indiana. It follows the events and speeches, writings and background narrative – through to the time of migration with the help of Thomas Dean who traveled with them in 1817).
- Indian Affairs – Wobby Isaac – Abstract of Title – Yorktown Lot 19 (credit Brothertowncitizen.com) (Abstract; original scan of BIA documents on the deed agreement in Indiana.)
- Anatomy of The1818Treatiesof St Marys – Olson By A. Andrew Olson III (listing credit Brothertowncitizen.com) (Abstract: In the fall of 1818 alone six separate treaties were completed with a number of Tribes at St. Marys, Ohio between the US Government and the Wyandot, Seneca, Shawnees and Ottawas, Wyandot, Potawatomi, the Wea, the Delaware, and the Miami. These treaties brought vast amounts of land under control of the US and by reference Ohio and Indiana, ushering in the dramatic settlement and expansion of Indiana in particular.)
- The Brothertown Who Migrated to Indian Territory: an article by Caroline Andler (listing credit Brothertowncitizen.com) (Abstract: this paper documents highlights both the initial foundation of migration to Kansas by Rev. Isaac McCoy and covers the story in detail of the ultimate migration to Kansas of some of the Brothertown.)
- The Brothertown Indians in Minnesota: an article by Caroline Andler (listing credit Brothertowncitizen.com) (Abstract: This is the story of those who settled what was to be known as Whiteville, Minnesota, just west of today’s Long Prairie in Reynolds Township, Todd County. The story of the courageous Brothertown Indians who created a closely related community in the densely forested wilderness of Minnesota is one of perseverance and survival. From the east coast to New York, to Wisconsin, after the Civil War, many Brothertown families were on the move once again.)
The Brothertown Wisconsin Time period
- Thirty years in the itinerancy 1875 (by Miller, W. G. (Wesson Gage), 1822-1894 – Tip: While this is a long book – it can be searched by specific words in order to find specific terms. (Abstract: These memoirs, by Wesson George Miller, deal mainly with the early history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Wisconsin. Miller was born in upstate New York in 1822 and later emigrated with his family to Waupun, Wisconsin. Because he already had teaching experience as a Methodist, he was soon persuaded to take temporary charge of the Brothertown Indian Mission on the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago).
- Original Scan of Indian Melodies by Thomas Commuck published in 1815 (Credit: from the Library of Reverend Louis Fitzgerald)
- Sketch of the Brothertown Indians by Thomas Commuck.(credit Wisconsin Historical collections 1859) Download a facsimile scan of original document here…
- Commemoration, Community, and Colonial Politics at Brothertown – Craig N Cipolla (Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, 2011 from Academia.edu) (Abstract: Located in the Fox Valley of Wisconsin, on the east side of Lake Winneba-go, sits Brothertown, approximately 140 square kilometers in size and home to about 1,400 people…)