Today, July 14, 2020, is the first annual Samson Occom Day to be formally celebrated by the Brothertown Indians. The Nation’s Council issued a decree establishing the holiday during their monthly meeting this past June. The resolution, which passed unanimously, cites, in part, the Reverend Occom’s sizeable role in the organization and the propagation of the Brothertown tribe. While festivities will certainly be muted with this year’s pandemic, the event will not go unnoticed.
To commemorate this special day, tribal citizens will be offering up prayers in gratitude to God for the gift of Samson Occom’s life; speaking with their family members “about [his] story and what he stood for”; reading portions of his journals, letters, and sermons; watching YouTube videos about him; and, in imitation of one of the ways in which Occom supported his family financially, one person is planning to carve a wooden spoon.
If you are interested in participating in Samson Occom discussions, you might like to join the Calumet and Cross book club for our Wednesday evening chapter chat. We are currently on chapter 12 of William DeLoss Love’s, “Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England” (available online at https://archive.org/details/samsonoccomchris00love). For book club login info please click “contact me” above. Everyone is welcome.
For more about Samson Occom, please visit these links:
**A Short Narrative of My Life, Occom’s autobiography, is available to read at Dartmouth https://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/Library_Bulletin/Nov1999/Hoefnagel_Close.html Occom originally wrote his autobiography in 1765. He wrote this 2nd draft in 1768.
Samson Occom; a book by Harold Blodgett: https://archive.org/details/samsonoccom0000blod/page/n241
“SAMSON OCCOM”: A clipping from the Utica Morning Herald dated February 1894. Contains a lot of accurate (and some inaccurate) information on Samson Occom: Occom
Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England by William DeLoss Love and published in 1899: Includes an index with all of the known Brothertown Indians. samsonoccomchris00love
The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan by Joanna Brooks is available to preview on Google: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Collected_Writings_of_Samson_Occom_M.html?id=R9ELRhEdupMC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false
Occom’s 1774 hymn book, A Choice Collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs: Intended for the Edification of Sincere Christians, of All Denominations, (published as words only; no musical notation) contains many reprinted songs and a few of Occom’s own: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/evans/N10659.0001.001?rgn=main;view=fulltext).
Occom’s 1st publication, A Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul in 1772. https://archive.org/details/sermonatexecutio01occo
Dartmouth College hosts the Occom Circle site which contains both scans and transcripts of a significant number of Samson Occom letters and journals: https://www.dartmouth.edu/~occom/
Other original Occom documents are available through the Connecticut Historical Society at http://connecticuthistoryillustrated.org/islandora/search/occom?type=dismax
4 sermons recovered from Occom’s trip to England and not included in the Joanna Brooks book, The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan: https://brothertowncitizen.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/recently-discovered-samson-occom-sermons/
“A Brief Narrative of the Indian Charity School in Lebanon in Connecticut, New England”briefnarrativeof00whit_bw This is an interesting collection of letters, endorsements, and accounts from the early to mid-1760’s which, seemingly, were to be used by Reverends Occom and Whitaker on their mission trip to England. Some highlights are a detailed account of Occom’s 1761 meeting with the Oneida and the wampum belt received, Wheelock’s very clear statement of intent as to what he planned to do with the money raised by the Rev.’s overseas, and an appendix added in this second edition which provides updates from 1766-‘67.
Radio program on Occom with NPR’s Alex Nunes and Brothertown’s Kathleen Brown-Perez: https://thepublicsradio.org/episode/ep-4-the-betrayal-of-samson-occom
Joanna Brooks gave a Zoom video presentation to our citizens in 2017 which is available to watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxDDcpbiSYw&t=2s.
Tim Eriksen sings a Samson Occom carol called “O Sight of Anguish”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhO34_w1yW4
Brad Dubos, Rutgers graduate student, who is, in part, researching Samson Occom and the importance of place for the Brothertown Indians talks with Brothertown Forward: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SOeEt28rby0
CNAIR Symposium at Rutgers 2019 (Brad Dubos is the 2nd speaker in this episode – episode 2): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4B7Ka5V5zxE&list=PLJl9Zsw3ptuJ9eCjyLr9XcUPufzyhxk9_&time_continue=727