Occom, Samson

Occom or Occum, Samson

(both: ŏk`əm), 1723–92, Native American clergyman, b. near Norwich, Conn. He became one of the first pupils of Eleazer WheelockWheelock, Eleazar
, 1711–79, American clergyman, founder of Dartmouth College, b. Windham, Conn., grad. Yale, 1733. He became (1735) the pastor of a Congregational church in the part of Lebanon, Conn., that is now Columbia.
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, and in 1749 he went to Long Island, N.Y., to serve the Montauk as pastor and schoolmaster. Occom was ordained in 1759, and later he went (1766) to England to help raise the funds used to establish Dartmouth College.
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Occom, Samson

(1723–92) Mohegan educator, Presbyterian religious leader; born near present-day New London, Conn. Ordained by the Long Island Presbytery (1759), he traveled to England in 1765 to raise money for Wheelock's Indian Charity School (later Dartmouth College), becoming the first Native American to preach in that country. He helped to create the Brotherton Community of Indians in Oneida County, New York (1786).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.