1723–1792
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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.

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Biography

Occom—some­times giv­en as Ock­um or 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.

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