Tragedy and Triumph, Empire and Nativity – Exploring the Life of Native American Convert Samson Occom through the Dialectical Historiography Method: Analyzing the Conflicts of the Central but Apposing Metanarratives of His Life.

Tragedy and Triumph, Empire and Nativity – Exploring the Life of Native American Convert Samson Occom through the Dialectical Historiography Method: Analyzing the Conflicts of the Central but Apposing Metanarratives of His Life.






Submitted by Matthew Lipscomb

Religion in the Age of Wesley, Whitefield, and Edwards,

Spring 2012, REL/HIST 4999,

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Dr. Jonathan M. Yeager, 4/18/2012


Introduction: Subject, Method, and Goal


            The little round box had languished in obscurity for decades, covered both in dust and intricately carved adornments, its origin and purpose unknown to the curators of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.  It was not until emissaries of the Mohegan Nation came to visit one day in 1995 that it was recognized as something of profound importance. The visitors sent a picture of it to an aged, tribal medicine woman in their nation, Gladys Tantaquidgeon, and it was only then – through her deep knowledge of the tribe and its troubled, convoluted past – that its secrets were finally unlocked. Tantaquidgeon recognized that a story was being told in the designs that had been inlaid upon the bark by long-dead Native American craftsmen. It was a history of the Mohegan tribe, as told through the manner of the ancients and sent as a gift by a certain, venerated individual, to his sister, Lucy Occom Tantaquidgeon.  That man was one Samson Occom: a pivotal individual in an immensely conflicted and wrenchingly turbulent time for both the Mohegan tribe and the entirety of the colonial world. Occom lived in a time of extreme opposites that in turn defined, shaped, and controlled his world. This essay will attempt to explore these opposites without disregarding their extremes, through a dialectical[1] approach. The attempt will be made to make use of what is essentially a relatively old historical method. It will be applied to an equally old historical individual, to unlock and interpret a true relevance and meaning for his time. It is through the juxtaposition of these conflicts that the dialectical method will be shown as the best way to understand the profound importance of Occom and the critical roles he played in the respective theaters of colonial religion, culture, and politics.


An Introductory Note on Method: Understanding Dialectical Historiography

            The dialectical method used here comes from the German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel (1770 – 1831). For Hegel, the crucial aspects of life revolved around events or concepts that were in opposition to one another: those things that we could observe (phenomenal)[2] vs. those things that were potentially beyond our senses (noumenon),[3] and the interplay between what could seem sensible on one hand vs. that which may or may not be able to be understood on its own. For Hegel, the interplay of these formed a new process or a new creative space[4] for understanding what he then termed the ‘dialectic.’ Hegel believed dialectic served as a tool for intuition into the intellectual content of an idea as well as a ways and means of authentic and meaningful cognitive reflection into the larger essence of both the structured meaning (philosophy) and an approachable rhetorical assimilation (definition) of not just the respective, conflicting ideas/situations, but the larger context within which they were mutually and sometimes irrevocably conjoined.[5] Hegel believed that by employing this process of contrasting extremes, a more authentic and meaningful penetration into the essence or nature of the potential understandability of the reality of the situation or the individual could be grasped; much more so then that which was attainable through traditional or conventional ways of doing philosophy. In the following sections an exploration will be attempted across five different contexts of the respective conflicts that Occom found in his historical situation. If this method is successful, then we will see both Occom and each of his situations in profoundly different but much more powerful and insightful ways.

            It should be noted that applying the dialectical method to historical interpretation (dialectical historiography) is only one method among many. Other methods that are often used include Early Colonialist (Pre-modern),[6] Marxist,[7] Postcolonialist,[8] and even Postmodern[9] historiographies. Examples in currently available historical research related to Occom (which have also been employed here) include Dana D. Nelson’s essay ‘ “(I Speak Like A Fool But I Am Constrained)” Samson Occom’s Short Narrative of the Racial Self,’ in Helen Jaskowski’s Early Native American Writing – New Critical Essays, where she employs a Postcolonialist historiographical method to explore the power differential between individuals situated within the Empire and those who are potentially subjugated by it (in respective colonies) by the expansion of and effects of colonization.  A second example is Margaret Connell Szasz, in her introduction to W. DeLoss Love’s 1899 book on Occom entitled Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Szasz points out the essentially “pre-modern” view that served as Love’s way of understanding early Colonial History. Love would have been influenced by the notion of “manifest destiny” – or that it was essentially a divine right and worthy goal to colonize the world by through the expansion of ‘empire’, which in turn could possibly (as it often did) oppress differing cultures and impress their own values and other social and economic apparatuses upon them, usually to the colonized individual’s detriment. Throughout her introduction, Szasz praises Love’s work but then also points out what she views as its terrible flaws.


Dialectic One: Native vs. Puritan Religion, Occom’s Conversion to the Puritan Religion

             One very important conflict in Occom’s early life was between the religion of his Indian ancestors and that of the Puritan colonialists which he converted to.  Occom made clear that he considered his native religion to be a “heathen” religion.[10] Occom began his childhood immersed in both his native religious culture and his native language. He understood very little English, and neither did most of his fellow Indians that he knew as a child.[11] Occom recounted both the low level of agricultural and organizational sophistication of his native culture as well as how he was first exposed to the Christian faith.[12] Occom’s interest in the Christian religion was initially kindled by an awareness that there was something tremendous going on, amongst the Colonists and their religious meetings. A tangible excitement had infected everyone who heard about it.[13]

            In addition to this excitement, there was a second factor that figured into the conflict between Native and Colonial religious traditions: the natives’ belief that the power of their own shamans had been significantly weakened in its struggle against the religion of the Colonists. One seemed to be stronger than the other. In 1650, a well-known shaman converted when his guardian spirit, which was that of a snake, was unable to injure the first convert in Martha’s Vineyard named Hiacoomes.[14] Occom very much believed in the power and efficacy of this own native religion, even as he had taken note of its perceived lack of power against that of the Puritan colonists.  In 1761, he lived among the Montauk and served as a schoolteacher there. In describing the Montauk shamans, he writes:

As for the Powaws, they say they get their art from…the devil,. But then partly by dreams or night visions, and partly by the devil’s immediate appareance to them by various shapes; sometimes in the shape of one creature, sometimes in another, sometimes by taking a voice…  And I don’t see for my part, why it is not as true, as the English or other nations’s witchcraft, but is a great mystery of darkness. [15]


            Occom’s transition from the Indian to Puritan religion was marked by an intense six months of having a personal feeling of experiencing great darkness and deep, intense struggle within his heart.[16] His conversion marked a change not just in his spiritual condition but also his understanding for a need to gain an education – specifically, how to speak the English language.

After I was awakened and converted…I began to Learn the English Letters; got me a Primer, and used to go to my English Neighbors Frequently for Assistance in Reading…[17]


            On December 6, 1743, Occom traveled to Lebanon Crank, Connecticut, to the home of Eleazar Wheelock with the goal of preparing for college. Occom spent four years with Wheelock, who proved to be a very important figure throughout Occom’s life. Occom continued to dive deeper into studies of his adopted religion, leaving Wheelock after four years to study under Benjamin Pomeroy in Hebron, Connecticut. Under Pomeroy’s tutelage, Occom moved farther past the relative simplicity of his native religion and into much greater sophistication. Setting the ambitious goal of attending Yale, he studied Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.[18]  The first of two significant frustrations to his religious advancement plagued him in 1749, as he was unable to continue his studies due to debilitating eyestrain: his own health did not allow him to proceed.[19] Occom also encountered a second considerable frustration that would plague his ability to see things through to the completion he hoped for in his heart: racism. Years later, in a letter from 1768, he bemoans his bishops reluctance to support his missions work, and he tells his superiors:

It seems to that they are very indifferent whether the poor Indians go to Heaven or to Hell. I can’t help my thoughts; and I am apt to think they don’t want the Indians to go to Heaven with them.[20]


            For Occom, the embrace and growth in of his adopted religion brought him many opportunities. But it is was also a harbinger of further complexities and even more oppositions that would eventually darken and deeply challenge him in future years.


Dialectic Two: The Politics of Empire – Religious vs. Political ambitions the Mohegan-mason land and Brotherton Lands ordeals

            In addition to religious conflict, Occom lived in a time of tremendous political controversy. Occom’s tribe – the Mohegans – was an offshoot of the Uncas tribe.[21] Long before Occom was born, the Mohegans had been involved in political conflicts, which served to create their identity as a people. In the early years of colonization, the Mohegans had become friends with the United Puritan Colonies and helped fight against the Narragansett in King Phillips war and then later in the American Revolution.[22]

            The source of the controversy began when the tribal founder, Uncas, deeded all Mohegan lands to his patron John Mason. It was generally understood by the tribe that Uncas did this as a preemptive measure so that he could help assure political stability insofar as the land would then be in a trust. Connecticut eventually stated they in fact owned it all, and that they were the final arbiters of the land’s use and its general leasing policy. In 1671, Mason created a large tract known as the Sequestered Lands. The descendants of Mason and many fellow Mohegans sought royal control rather than colonial, and the Connecticut assembly wound up supporting the generational control by sachems. But this eventually split the Mohegans. By 1740 most of the tribe of 400 had converted to Christianity and owned 5,000 acres. However, due to the number of white settlers who had moved into areas and then fenced them off, they were unable to practice their traditional hunter-gatherer means of economic and culinary self-sustenance.[23] Amid this ongoing, inter-generational controversy, Occom became an advocate for those who apposed the traditional, linage-mediated leadership of the sachems because he knew that ultimately it meant that the state of Connecticut was in control and not the tribe.  Occom became so involved in the controversy that he was eventually accused of heresy because of it in 1765.  Occom apologized for his political activities and was later acquitted.[24]

            But these huge conflicting oppositions left huge marks upon Occom. To preserve what he could of his native lands in the face of continued conflict with advancing settlement of native lands, Occom synthesized new strategies and new ways of dealing with continuing conflicts, in what could be argued to be a true Dialectic. Occom’s “synthesis” was to place greater emphasis on education in terms of knowledge and pacifism in terms of war and political allegiances.  

The grand controversy which has subsisted between the colony of Connecticut and the Mohegan Indians above seventy years, is finally decided in favor of the colony. I am afraid the poor Indians will never stand a good chance with the English in their land controversies; because they are very poor, they have no money, Money is almighty now-a-days; and the Indians have no learning, no wit, no cunning: the English have all.[25]


            When the Revolutionary War began, Occom seemed to draw upon his experience in the conflicts of politics throughout his lifetime in that he enjoined his fellow Indian brethren to declare neutrality, arguing that the right decision was “not to meddle with the Family Contentions of the English but will be at peace and quietness, Peace never does any hurt, Peace is from the God of Peace and Love…Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.”[26]


 Dialectic Three: The Dynamics of Personal Identity in Occom as Native vs. Intellectual.

            Samuel Occom could change his religious faith, his clothes, his occupation, his deportment and even his language, but he could not change the fact that he was a Native American. Because of who he was, he was often asked to visit different places, such as London in December of 1765. He was there for two and a half years, working with Nathaniel Whitaker. The trip had been organized by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock with the express purported goal of raising money for his project of Moore’s Indian Charity School.[27]

            Occom’s experience in London highlighted the two separate identities that he held existentially in tension.  His appearance as a theological sophisticate, who had learned to speak English well and had studied Latin, Greek, and Hebrew,[28] spurred an ordination offer by the Episcopalians who were moved and impressed by his impassioned sermons.[29] He preached between 200 to 300 exhorations[30] and collected seven thousand pounds in newly raised funds for what he thought would be the Indian school.[31]

            But for all his rhetorical skills and education, he was still simply a savage in the eyes of many others. He generated a great stir insofar as he was openly lampooned, not just on the street corners, but in the London Theaters, where normally one would assume the highest acolytes of advanced society would have rather spoken their graces.  But Occom heard only ridicule and derisions from their stages.  In a 1771 letter to Wheelock,[32] Occom described himself as being “gazing stocke, yea even a Laughing Stocke.”

            Occom’s reaction, however, is dialectical. He retreated into neither extreme, but instead formulated a new space to inhabit existentially.  He did not stubbornly defend his intellectual vigor (he refused the offer of the Episcopalians) nor did he simply resign himself to be a fool. His movement/synthesis is that he resigns himself to be a fool for Christ, perhaps knowing that a Godly-oriented intellect is sure to be foolish in the eyes of any fellow man.

If I was no fully Persuaded and Asure’d that this work was of god, and I had had an undoubted Call of god to Come over into this Country, I wou’d not have come over, like a fool as I did, without any Countenance from our Board, but I am Will Still to be a fool for Christ Sake – this Eleviats my Heart amidst all my Burdens, and Balances all my Sorrows at Times, or enables me to bear my Trials, that I am in the way of my Duty, and the Lord use me in any Shape to promote his kingdom in the World[33]


            In Dana D. Nelson’s essay on Occom, she suggests that in Occom’s words “…and the Lord use me in any Shape to promote his kingdom in the World,” provides a window into the pain induced by the aforementioned intellectual vs. native dialectic-conflict/synthesis.  It is understood that Occom came back from the trip a very different man.[34] The force of these two natures and his process of dealing with them had begun to have an effect on a second set of contradictions in his life and experience.


Dialectic Four: The Dynamics of Personal Identity in Occom as Native vs. Colonist, His Eventual Break with Wheelock

            Although Occom had worked with Wheelock for 28 years – since his early days in Wheelock’s home as a young student – his return from London marked a change in their relationship.[35]  Wheelock argued that the seminary would be better built in New Hampshire,[36] much to Occom’s dismay. Occom saw the fruits of his labor evaporate before his eyes.

            In Nelson’s essay, she argues for a Postcolonialist, Historiographical method as being the most proper to understand Occom, arguing that both his behavior within the colonial empire during his early years, and his break with Wheelock in his later years, represent an acknowledgement of his own oppression by the ‘colonial empire dynamic,’ which “creates a game he can’t win.”[37]

            What follows, however, is arguably another ‘synthesis,’ in that Occom neither embraces the assumed structures of colonial life for Indians (which would be represented by a continued subservience to Wheelock) and neither does he reject its Christian message. He again charts another course – even in the greatest of difficulty – in the face of imperialism and racism.  In his Narrative Occom tells a parable after questioning why other missionaries were paid 12 times more per year.

I can’t think of any thing, but this as a Poor Indian Boy Said, Who was Bound out to an English Family, and he used to Drive Plow for a young man, and he whipt and Beat him almost every Day, and the young man found fault with him and Complained of him to his master and the poor Boy was Called to answer for himself before his master, and he was asked, what it was he did, and that he was So Complained of and beat almost every Day. He Said, he did not know, but he Supposed it was because he could not drive any better; but says he, I Drive as well as I know how; and at other Times he Beats me, because he is of a mind to beat me: but says he believes he Beats me for most of the time “because I am an Indian.[38]


            Nelson argues that Occom sees himself “as that beaten Indian boy, carrying out his mission of Christianizing and civilizing for the benefit of the colony as well, he says, ‘as I know how.’ “ This, again, is Occom finding a new place to exist, sandwiched between two imposing realities: the grace that he finds in the Christian faith and the harshness of colonial imperialism and its correlating, intrinsic racism. Occom moves on, continuing to minister to his people, but outside of the structures, wishes, and imperatives of the organization (the colonial religious structure) and the personality (Wheelock) that gave birth to him.

Now you See what difference they made between me and other missionaries; they gave me 180 Pounds for 12 years Service, which they gave for one years Services in another Mission, —In my Service (I speak like a fool, but I am Constrained) I was my own Interpreter. I was both a School master and a Minister to the Indians, yea I was their Ear, Eye & Hand, as Well as Mouth, I leave it with the World, as wicked as it is, to Judge, whether I ought not to have had half as much… [39]


            Eventually, Wheelocks’ terrible treatment of Occom would become legendary and Occom would move his tribe into what he hoped would eventually be the safety of Oneida, N.Y.,[40] essentially leaving behind all of his former, white, evangelical support.[41]


Dialectic Five: The struggle with cultural idioms & artifacts both native and foreign, Occom’s struggle with alcohol and racism.

            Some of the strongest oppositional forces that Occom struggled to mitigate were related to the respective cultures that he found himself within. He was a child of Indian culture, yet he was also an adopted son of the Puritans.  Although Occom could find or resolve for himself an otherwise transcendent or multifaceted relation to both of the cultures that eventually defined him, it was not always easy for those around him to understand this “place” that he had arrived for himself in an existential or otherwise personal way. He was often subjected to inordinately repetitious explanations of Indian cultural life by both the curious but genuinely benign, and also by the malignant, condescendingly reactionary, racist individuals he often encountered.[42] There was never an end of potential things to talk about for both the inquisitive and the hateful that he encountered, as even the naming of newborn children was different between the cultures.[43] Occom no doubt welcomed and enjoyed the intellectually engaged individuals who were fascinated by what was otherwise an authentically cultural, dialectical space that he had painstakingly and creatively synthesized to inhabit for himself. For others, however, there was no allowable place for such “existential innovation;” his existence was a harsh deviation from inalterable presuppositions. He was simply intolerable in his very existence as an Indian convert. In a letter to Eleazar Wheelock dated March 17, 1769, Occom wrote “…sometimes – them pretended Christians are seven times worse then the Savage Indians…”[44]

            Indeed, Wheelock seemed to fall suspect to this line of thinking, when instead he spent the money that had been raised for purposes of missions to the Indians on the founding of Dartmouth College. Wheelock argued that Indian education has become an altogether useless endeavor, citing Occom’s own occasional drunkenness.[45] Alcohol had indeed become a very common stumbling block for ministers who were not immune to the dangers of alcohol addiction and abuse. Another Indian convert who became a Baptist minister, Samuel Ashbow (1718-95) established a reputation as being an advocate for temperance – but he also himself went through periods where he struggled with alcohol.[46] In a sermon entitled “Wo Unto Him That Givest His Neighbour Drink,” Occom writes:

This is the Miserable Situation if mankind, he is now prone to all manner of Sin, – alas, Where is man and What is man? The most Nobel Creature is become the most Ignoble Creature, from being almost an Angel, is become a Divil, – and amoungst the various committed, Drunkenness is one of the Worst, yet it is growing amongst all all Nations. – – –[47]


            Occom never denied this struggle that was taking place within him, regarding ‘white man’s drink’. In a letter dated January 4, 1769 Occom writes to the Connecticut Board of Correspondents of the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SPCK) and said:

As I Stand in Connection to you, So I find it my Duty to make my Faults know to you.  – I have been shamefully over taken With Strong Drink, by Which I have greatly Wounded the Cause of God, and Blemished the Pure Religion of Jesus Christ, and blackened my own Character, and brought a reproach on the ministry…[48]


            In March of that same year, Occom writes Wheelock to says

I don’t remember that I have been overtaken with strong drink this winter, but many White people make no bones of it to call me a drunkard, and I expect it, as I have many enemies round about here, yea they call me a lyar and rogue and what not, and they curse & damn me to the lowest Hell. [49]


            Occom was acquitted essentially because he had openly confessed to his struggle,[50] but then again in 1770 Wheelock received more letters that Occom was again struggling with alcohol[51] in a “public and aggravated manner.”[52] Two of Occom’s friends – John Thornton, Esq. and David McClure – responded to his defense. Thornton wrote to Wheelock “Pray my dear Sir, use him tenderly, for I am much mistaken if his heart is not right with God.” McClure echoes Thornton in telling Wheelock, “The crimes of intemperance…with which he has been charged are very much extenuated by the temptations that he was under.” Wheelock’s faith in him was broken – and he considered Occom to be a lost cause, as he has already lost a number of his other boy schoolmasters to alcoholism. [53]

            After his break with Wheelock following the London trip, he engaged himself to work with other Native American leaders in New England to migrate many of the Christian Indians to live among the Oneidas in New York. Occom did this with the express purpose of shielding them from outside influence and non-Indian leadership,[54] which despite their many blessings on his own life, he had come to see as also a great burden and disappointment.


Conclusions – Interpreting the Contours of Occom’s life through a Dialectical Light

            Just like Occom’s box, much of history and its meaning can become buried, out of sight and out of mind for forthcoming generations of historians. The hustle and bustle of the now settles like dust, obscuring our connections with our pasts, and in turn, subsequently, our own selves. We may look at them, but because we don’t care to look differently their secrets remain obscured and unknown. The character and story of Samson Occom remains a subject that bears the worth of our renewed consideration and attention and just like the carvings on his box which told a story in their own, ancient, traditional method we can gain an understanding of his history by dialectically tracing the contours of the opposing conflicts of his own life carved upon him by the difficulties and conflicts he endured. His life then becomes a box of carvings that can themselves be read dialectically and with a new and before unseen light. Far from being insignificant, the story of his life bears a torchlight that can be carried into the dark, troubling questions of his time. And like his carvings without the generationally imparted interpretive skills of a tribal elder – without dialectic they cannot be understood. They cannot speak. Being both an Indian and a Christian convert, he authentically straddled between two worlds, and through a Dialectical Historiography, his torch is significantly brighter and more informative than many other characters who did not face such monumental, cultural, existential, and religious impositions, subsequent choices and/or syntheses. In tracing these conflicts dialectically, we can appropriate a much deeper understanding for ourselves all of the issues and challenges of that time; much more than we could, otherwise, with other historical methods or arguably even other historical individuals.

            In a world that continued to seemingly shrink, both economically and culturally, Occom strove to preserve his native identities while still pushing forward with his own. He struggled to be both multicultural and yet to still embrace and celebrate his own culture. In many ways he succeeded. In a few ways – he failed. Occom’s life shows that even in the midst of tremendous oppositional choices and realties, it was and still is possible to boldly move forward through tragedy to find triumph and pain to find success. This is the greatest value that Occom can bring us: any hope that we may try to find for the present is always also critically rooted in the past. If we forsake an understanding of the struggles and contentions, resolutions and syntheses, personal identities and national agendas of the past, we may in fact forsake not just a deeper knowledge of the contradicted past, but also a profound knowledge of our own conflicted future.












































Britannica, Encylopedia. “Merriam Webster Online Dictionary.” Phenomenal – Definition from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2012 йил 12-April.


—. Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. 2012 йил 12-April.


Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture. Early Native American Writing – New Critical Essays. Edited by Helen Jaskowski. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1996.


DeForrest, John William. History of the Indians of Connecticut From the Earliest Known Period to 1850. Connecticut Historical Society. New Haven, CT: Nabu Public Domain Reprints, 1851.


Frederick Copleston, S. J. A History of Philosophy. Vol. Third. New York, NY: Doubleday, 1985.


Graff, Barzun. The Modern Researcher. Vol. Fourth. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1985.


Kidd, Thomas S. The Great Awakening – The Root of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial American. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.


Love, W. Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2000.


Oxford University Press. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan – Leadership and Literature in Eighteenth-Century Native America. Edited by Joanna Brooks. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006.


Poster, Mark. Cultural History + Postmodernity – Disciplinary Readings and Challenges. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1983.


Simmons, William S. Spirits of New England Tribes – Indian History and Folklore, 1620-1984. London: University Press of New England, 1986.


University of Oklahoma Press. American Indian Nonfiction. Edited by Bernd C. Peter. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007.




[1] Please see the following section for a definition of this term, as it is used here.

[2] Phenomenal, as used here, means “Known though the senses rather then through thought or intuition.”

[3] Noumenon, as used here, means “A posited object as it appears in itself independent of perception by the senses.”

[4] Hegel defines this space as a “Synthesis,” which results from a unity between conflicts (“Thesis” vs. “Antithesis”). S. J. Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, Vol. Third (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1985), 175.

[5] Copleston,167.

[6] Barzun Graff, The Modern Researcher, Vol. Fourth (New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1985), 210-215.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] An example of this is Cultural History + Postmodernity, Disciplinary Readings and Challenges, by Mark Poster.

[10] “I was born a Heathen and Brought up In Heathenism.”

University of Oklahoma Press, American Indian Nonfiction, ed. Bernd C. Peyer (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007), 43.

[11] “And to this Time we were unacquainted with the English Tongue in general though there were a few, who understood a little of it.” Ibid.

[12] “Once a fortnight, in ye Summer Season, a Minster from New London used to come up” give blankets & try to teach – but this time period soon passed. …and all this Time there was not one amongst us, that made a Profession of Christianity— Neither did we Cultivate our Land, nor kept any Sort of Creatures except Dogs… “ Ibid.

[13] “…we heard a Strange Rumor among the English, that there were Extraordinary Ministers Preaching from Place to Place and a Strange Concern among the White People. Ibid.


[14] William S. Simmons, Spirits of New England Tribes – Indian History and Folklore, 1620-1984 (London: University Press of New England, 1986), 76, 77.

[15] Simmons, 92.

[16] John William DeForrest, History of the Indians of Connecticut From the Earliest Known Period to 1850, Connecticut Historical Society (New Haven, CT: Nabu Public Domain Reprints, 1851), 454.

[17] Peyer, ed., 43.

[18] Oxford University Press, The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan – Leadership and Literature in Eighteenth-Century Native America, ed. Joanna Brooks (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006), xxi.

[19] DeForrest, 455.

[20] Brooks, ed., 86.

[21] Simmons, 31.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Simmons, 32-36.

[24] W. Deloss Love, Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2000), 125-129.

[25] DeForrest, 461.

[26] Thomas S. Kidd, The Great Awakening – The Root of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial American (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007), 305.

[27] Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture, Early Native American Writing – New Critical Essays, ed. Helen Jaskowski (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 46.

[28] DeForrest, 454.

[29] Jaskowski, ed., 46.

[30] DeForrest, 458.

[31] DeForrest, 459.

[32] Jaskowski, ed., 46.

[33] Jaskowski, ed., 47.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Kidd, 209-210.

[36] DeForrest, 458.

[37] Jaskowski, 58.

[38] Jaskowski, ed., 59.

[39] Peyer, ed., 47.

[40] Love, 247.

[41] Kidd, 212.

[42] Jaskowski, ed. 56.

[43] Simmons, 47.

[44] Brooks, ed., 89.

[45] Jaskowski, ed., 48.

[46] Simmons, 84.

[47] Brooks, ed., 214.

[48] Brooks, ed., 87.

[49] Brooks, ed., 89.

[50] Love, 164.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Love, 165.

[54] Kidd, 211.


About hollerscholar

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