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!
Happy Eeyawquittoowauconnuck (Brothertown) Day!!