1723-1792
portrait

1723, Mohegan (near Norwich), Connecticut.

August 2, 1792, Tuscarora, New York.

A Brothertown Indian cemetery, near Bogusville Hill, southwest of Kirkland, New York.

portrait

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 once 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. His works include:

  1. Awaked by Sinai’s Awful Sound
  2. Now the Shades of Night Are Gone
  3. O Turn Ye, for Why Will Ye Die?
  4. When Shall We Three Meet Again?