Born: 1723, Mohegan (near Norwich), Connecticut.
Died: August 2, 1792, Tuscarora, New York.
Buried: A Brothertown Indian cemetery, near Bogusville Hill, southwest of Kirkland, New York.
Occom—sometimes given as
Occum—was a Mohican Indian (the tribe immortalized in James Fennimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans).
He came to Christ under George Whitefield around 1740, and was educated by Revs. Eleazor Wheelock and Benjamin Pomeroy.
In 1748, he moved to Montauk, Long Island, New York, where he worked among a remnant of Indians there. In 1759, he was ordained a Presbyterian minister.
In 1766–67, he traveled to England. As he was the first Indian preacher who had visited there, he drew immense audiences. In a little over a year, he preached four hundred sermons (including one for John Newton at Olney), and collected over $45,000 for his cause of an Indian Charity School, but Eleazor Wheelock betrayed Occom and used the funds to purchase land for himself and help fund what is now Dartmouth College.
Occom spent his later life among the Indians on Long Island, and, from 1786 on, in Oneida County, New York.