Samson Occom

1723-1792. Best-known American Indian preacher of the eighteenth century. Born in Mohegan, Connecticut, he was converted with his mother during the Great Awakening* in 1740. He studied theology with Eleazar Wheelock,* who began the Indian school that later developed into Dartmouth College. Occom served as teacher and minister to the Montauk Indians of Long Island from 1749 to 1764. Ordained in 1759, he also served as missionary to the Oneidas, 1761-63. From 1765 to 1768 he was in Great Britain, where he succeeded in raising £10,000 for Wheelock's school. He then returned to his preaching and missionary work with the Oneidas. He established the Indian town of Brotherstown, New York, in 1784, and published an Indian hymnal.