Guide to the Samson Occom collection, circa 1743 - 1790Manuscript MS-1237

Introduction to the Collection

The Samson Occom collection is made up of journals, sermons, an herbal, an autobiographical statement and a confession. The collection documents Occom's early life, his conversion to Christianity and education under Eleazar Wheelock. It also provides insight into contemporary social and political conflicts such as Oneida land settlements and Shawanese fighting in Virginia. The collection also documents Occom's ministries with the Mohegan in Connecticut, the Pequot in Montauk, NY and in Brothertown (a settlement of Christian Indians founded by Occom in Oneida territory) as well as his travels within New England and New York to preach, perform marriages, visit with the sick, and preside over funerals. The collection also contains limited documentation on his time in England where he solicited funds for Wheelock's school (the funds were later used to found Dartmouth College) from potential donors such as George Whitefield, William Legge, Lord Dartmouth and King George III. Additionally, the collection contains documentation of Occom's preaching, theology and biblical interpretation as well as his knowledge of herbal medicinal remedies. Of particular note is a confessional statement of faith by a Montaukett woman, Temperance Hannabal, transcribed by Occom during her conversion to Christianity.

Finding Aids