Our 2023 calendars, “Brothertown Botanicals”, are now available to ship! These are printed by Calumet and Cross Heritage Society, a 501(c)3, as our yearly fundraiser. Please check out all the wonderful things Calumet and Cross does at CalumetandCross.org.
237 years ago today, on another Monday, November 7, 1785, Reverend Samson Occom recorded our public formation and naming.
But now we proceeded to form into a Body Politick,— We Named our Town by the Name of Brotherton, in Indian Eeyawquittoowauconnuck— J: Fowler was chosen clerk for this town Roger Waupieh, David Fowler, Elijah Wympy, John Tuhy, and Abraham Simon were Chosen a Committee or trustees for the Town, for a Year and for the future, the Committee is to be Chosen Annually,— and Andrew Acorrocomb, and Thomas Putchauker were chosen to be Fence Viewers to Continue a Year (https://collections.dartmouth.edu/occom/html/diplomatic/785554-diplomatic.html p15v-16r)
While Occom is always readily remembered, today, let’s also be mindful of Roger Wauby, Elijah Wampey, John Tuhi, Abraham Simon, Andrew Curricomb, Thomas Patchauker, their wives and families, and all of our many courageous ancestors who worked hard to make the Brotherton dream a reality.
Planning and building Brothertown was an arduous task (read Joseph Johnson’s diaries for more details—-To Do Good to my Indian Brethren by Laura Murray) and many many more people were involved in the years between the first multi-tribal planning meeting on March 13, 1773 and our official formation on November 7, 1785. Over 12 years, the Revolutionary War, and several lives came and went, including the spark who began it all—Joseph Johnson (see his letter to Governor Trumbull in Murray, p 234).
The original wave of settlers were burned out of the community in 1777. Many moved to Stockbridge to wait out the war. Between 1783-1785, when some semblance of safety and normalcy had returned, they again made the long, expensive journey back to our reservation land (thank you, Oneida!) where they started over for a 2nd time. These ancestors included, besides those already named, “old Uncle Cornelius”, Daniel Mossuck, John and Sarah Adams, Samuel and Hannah (Squamp) Adams, David Tousey family, James and Barbara (Poquiantup) Niles, and many others.
Today, let us also remember all of those, over the years, who have devoted themselves to our tribe and have passed on. This is but a small sample—Irene Shady and her daughter, Linda Shady (who passed only a couple weeks ago), Lani Bartelt, June Ezold, Will and Rudi Ottery, Joan and Frank Waldvogel, Mark Baldwin, and Dick Welch.
Finally, let us also remember those who continue to carry the Brothertown torch each and every day—our Peacemakers, Council, volunteers, and citizens all across the US and around the world. Taubotni!
In honor of Samson Occom Day today, below is reprinted a letter written by Samson to his wife, Mary, and sister-in-law Esther Poquiantup Fowler. This was written in 1766 when he was in Great Britain and shows a lighter side of the Reverend. This is reprinted (with some spelling and punctuation updates) from Joanna Brooks’ book, The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan (/Brothertown); p78.
My dear Mary and Esther
Perhaps you may query whether I am well; I came from home well, was by the way well, I got over well, am received at London well, and am treated extremely well, yea I am caressed too well. And do you pray that I may be well; and that I may do well; and in time return home well? And I hope you are well, and wish you well, and as I think you’ve begun well, so keep on well, that you may end well, and then all will be well.
Taubut’ne, Oneida brethren! You became our elder brothers when you welcomed us through our forebear, Joseph Johnson in January of 1774. Thank you for always keeping the promise you spoke to us then to, “be ever ready to defend [us] and help [us].”
On Sunday, June 12 at 10am, there will be a memorial bench dedication at Brothertown’s Union Cemetery in honor of Mark Alan Baldwin. Mark was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin but later relocated to California’s Bay Area where he passed away suddenly, at his home, on April 25, 2021.
For over four decades, Mark worked in service of the Brothertown Indians. He began a contemporary tribal newsletter in the 1980s, spearheaded numerous grants, served on Tribal Council, and volunteered for countless projects and committees. A few years ago, Mark helped to establish, and served as president for, Calumet and Cross Heritage Society; an independent nonprofit that works to preserve and share the history of the Brothertown Indians.
One of Mark’s final projects with Calumet and Cross was to begin work on a series of historical markers for culturally important sites in and around Brothertown, Wisconsin. Union Cemetery is one of these sites and is the final resting place for many Brothertown Indians; including some of Mark’s relatives. The new bench will sit under the trees near the entrance; ready to offer assistance, as Mark always was, to anyone in need.
Taken from the Laura Murray book, To Do Good To My Indian Brethren
Some punctuation and spacing added
Well I remember home
O Mohegan O Mohegan
The time is long before I shall be walking
my wonted places which are on thee
Once there I was
but perhaps never again
but still I remember thee
In you is lodged my father and mother dear
and my beloved sisters and brothers
Keep them in thy womb Mohegan
til thou dost hear the voice of God
“O Mohegan give up thy dead”
then no longer prisoners
shall they be unto thee
The joyful hour is approaching
My soul, come meditate the day
and think how near it stands
when you must leave this house of clay
and fly to unknown lands
Hast my beloved fetch my soul up to thy Blest abode
fly for my spirit longs to see my Savior and my God
Mohegan is a lonesome place
oft have I sighed but sighed in vain
desired but desired in vain
cast down but no one to comfort me
in distress no one to relieve me
No friend to open my heart and vent my sorrows
I opened my mouth to the open air and told the stones my sorrow
Thus, O Mohegan have you treated me
and thinkest thou I can forget thee
or thy inhabitants
Thinkest thou or thine inhabiters
that I am desiring to be on thee
or with them?
Far far from me be such a thought
But still there is a precious few in thee
which causes my mind often to meditate of thee
Perhaps in due time
I may once more come on thy borders
But first I have to go, to distant lands; and far country
and different nations I have to walk through
before I see thee.
Thus, O Mohegan
I must bid you farewell
and shut the door of my heart
for I have a truer friend
to entertain in my heart
so good night
Today in Tribal History: On March 13, 1773, representatives from 7 Native communities met in Mohegan to discuss emigration to Oneida lands in upstate New York. Brothertown/Eeyawquittoowauconnuck is underway! That was 249 years ago today. Mark your calendars for March 13, 2023!
Coincidentally, it would be exactly 2 years later, March 13, 1775, when the first settlers would begin the trip to the new tribal lands in NY.
Calumet and Cross Heritage Society is raising funds to purchase and install a bench in Brothertown, Wisconsin’s Union Cemetery in honor of our friend and founding President, Mark Baldwin. Please go to https://gofund.me/663ae6f8 to learn more. All donations are appreciated.
UPDATE: Thanks to all who donated, we reached our goal within two days. Thank you!