2023 Anniversary Bus Tour

Calumet and Cross Heritage Society, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and sharing the stories of the Brothertown Indians, is organizing a bus tour to take place in October of this year. This trip is in honor of two important Brothertown anniversaries. The first commemorates the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Reverend Samson Occom (1723) while the 2nd commemorates the 250th anniversary of the meeting in Mohegan to plan the Brothertown community (March 13, 1773).

If you’re interested in attending, please see the flyer below for more details—or feel free to contact me.

Additionally, mementos to commemorate this anniversary will be included, free of charge, to each person paying for a bus seat. For those who are not able to make the trip but are interested in mementos, a limited number of each are being made available for purchase to the general public.

Currently, journals are being offered in 1 of 2 styles for $17.73 apiece or $35/set. Please visit this link to order: https://www.calumetandcross.org/post/anniversary-journals-for-sale

Finally, if you are interested in helping to offset bus trip expenses or are interested in sponsoring an elder so that they can go on this trip, please reach out to Calumet and Cross or send your donation through the Paypal donate button at https://www.calumetandcross.org/donate-now. Don’t forget to mention whether you’d like your money to go to general bus trip expenses or whether you’re sponsoring an elder for the bus trip! Thank you for your generosity!


Building Brothertown: March 13, 1773-March 13, 2023


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‘March 13, 1773’ as envisioned by a Brothertown Youth (c)Brothertown Citizen

250 years ago today, on March 13, 1773, our ancestors gathered in Mohegan to discuss plans to form their own Native town, away from the decimating and demoralizing influence of the Europeans. Joseph Johnson (Mohegan/Brothertown), “the first mover of this design”1, called the Indians of Mohegan, Montauk, Narragansett, Niantic, Farmington, Stonington, and Groton together.

It was decided to ask the Oneida, our northwestern brethren, for a tract of land upon which we and our children could live in peace. Then, as now, our Oneida brothers welcomed us. In 1774, a land agreement was signed.

In March and April of 1775, the ablest individuals left their homes in Farmington, Montauk, and Narragansett, and went on ahead to forge the new town. They built homes and planted corn. Among them were Joseph Johnson, Elijah Wampy (Tunxis/Brothertown), David Fowler (Montauk/Brothertown) and Samuel Niles (Narragansett/Brothertown)2. More people followed.

A couple of years later, forced to flee for their lives amidst the dangers of the Revolutionary War, the majority of our people found temporary shelter with the Stockbridge in Massachusetts. After seven years, when the fighting had ceased, we returned to our Oneida home, bringing our Stockbridge brethren with us. Since then, our two tribes have been inseparable.

Shortly after their return, through the help and pen of Reverend Samson Occom (Mohegan/Brothertown), our formal naming and founding was memorialized. On Monday, November 7th, 1785 Occom wrote in his journal, “But now we proceeded to form into a body politick, we named our Town by the Name of Brotherton, in Indian Eeyawquittoowauconnuck.”

Happy 250th anniversary, Brothertown!


For a more in-depth look at the formation of the Brothertown Indians, please see “Building Brothertown: From Farmington To Brotherton” at https://brothertowncitizen.files.wordpress.com/2022/12/tunxis-project-final-draft-122922.pdf or find the video presentation at the bottom of this page: https://brothertowncitizen.com/stories-of-the-brothertown-indians-podcast-episodes/

1 See Joseph Johnson’s June 2, 1774 letter to Governor Jonathan Trumbull and the Connecticut Assembly in To Do Good to my Indian Brethren, by Laura Murray, pp233-234.

2See “Joseph Johnson to Colonel Guy Johnson” March 25, 1775 pp 255-256, and “David Fowler to Colonel Guy Johnson” Saturday, April 8, 1775 pp 259-260, in To Do Good to my Indian Brethren, by Laura Murray.

Kindred Spirits Gathering for the Holidays


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The Brothertown Peacemakers and Brothertown Forward would like to invite all Brothertown descendants (enrolled and non-enrolled) to our end of year family gathering via Zoom. The event will take place Saturday, December 10th, at 3pm Central/4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific. The Zoom link can be found at https://brothertownindians.org/events/kindred-spirits-gathering-for-the-holidays/. Below, please find an agenda and ground rules. We can’t wait to see you!

Proposed agenda:

  1. Welcome from both Chief Peacemaker and Brothertown Forward and opening prayer
  2. Acknowledge any elected officials who attend and thank them for their service
  3. Get-to-know you breakout session (10 minutes) Possible topics: give individuals the option of either once in the session.
    a. Which ancestral lines do you descend from? AND/OR
    b. Share one story of one grandparent.
  4. Back to the main gathering where we can lead a discussion on hopes and dreams for our Nation in 2023 (5 minutes)
  5. Breakout session (10 minutes)
    a. Share ideas about what they would like to see the tribe accomplish in 2023.
    b. Ask for a recorder to write the list and share it in the main chat room.
    c. Ask for a speaker to present one or two ideas to the main room.
  6. Ask for one or two ideas from each group to present and ask for each group to paste their ideas into the chat so that we can capture it for later. (10 minutes)
  7. Breakout session (10 minutes) where individual can share their family holiday plans.
    Update on offices up for election in 2023 and encourage people to step in and step up
  8. Closing prayer – blessings for safe and joyful holidays and acknowledging the losses families endured the past few years.

Ground Rules:

· We will treat each other with mutual respect
· We will maintain a decorum which exemplifies how our Ancestors lived
· Focus upon issues affecting our community today and tomorrow
· Arrive at this particular time with a good heart and spirit

Photo credit: antiquesandteacups.info

2023 “Brothertown Botanicals” Calendar Now Shipping


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Our 2023 calendars, “Brothertown Botanicals”, are now available to ship! These are printed by Calumet and Cross Heritage Society, a 501(c)3, as our yearly fundraiser. Please check out all the wonderful things Calumet and Cross does at CalumetandCross.org.

Calendars can be purchased for $15 each; 2 for $25; 5 for $50; or 10 for $100. To receive yours, please pay the appropriate amount through this Paypal link.

Continue reading

Happy Eeyawquittoowauconnuck Day, family!


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237 years ago today, on another Monday, November 7, 1785, Reverend Samson Occom recorded our public formation and naming.

But now we proceeded to form into a Body Politick,— We Named our Town by the Name of Brotherton, in Indian Eeyawquittoowauconnuck— J: Fowler was chosen clerk for this town Roger Waupieh, David Fowler, Elijah Wympy, John Tuhy, and Abraham Simon were Chosen a Committee or trustees for the Town, for a Year and for the future, the Committee is to be Chosen Annually,— and Andrew Acorrocomb, and Thomas Putchauker were chosen to be Fence Viewers to Continue a Year (https://collections.dartmouth.edu/occom/html/diplomatic/785554-diplomatic.html p15v-16r)

While Occom is always readily remembered, today, let’s also be mindful of Roger Wauby, Elijah Wampey, John Tuhi, Abraham Simon, Andrew Curricomb, Thomas Patchauker, their wives and families, and all of our many courageous ancestors who worked hard to make the Brotherton dream a reality.

Planning and building Brothertown was an arduous task (read Joseph Johnson’s diaries for more details—-To Do Good to my Indian Brethren by Laura Murray) and many many more people were involved in the years between the first multi-tribal planning meeting on March 13, 1773 and our official formation on November 7, 1785. Over 12 years, the Revolutionary War, and several lives came and went, including the spark who began it all—Joseph Johnson (see his letter to Governor Trumbull in Murray, p 234).

The original wave of settlers were burned out of the community in 1777. Many moved to Stockbridge to wait out the war. Between 1783-1785, when some semblance of safety and normalcy had returned, they again made the long, expensive journey back to our reservation land (thank you, Oneida!) where they started over for a 2nd time. These ancestors included, besides those already named, “old Uncle Cornelius”, Daniel Mossuck, John and Sarah Adams, Samuel and Hannah (Squamp) Adams, David Tousey family, James and Barbara (Poquiantup) Niles, and many others.

Today, let us also remember all of those, over the years, who have devoted themselves to our tribe and have passed on. This is but a small sample—Irene Shady and her daughter, Linda Shady (who passed only a couple weeks ago), Lani Bartelt, June Ezold, Will and Rudi Ottery, Joan and Frank Waldvogel, Mark Baldwin, and Dick Welch.

Finally, let us also remember those who continue to carry the Brothertown torch each and every day—our Peacemakers, Council, volunteers, and citizens all across the US and around the world. Taubotni!

Happy Eeyawquittoowauconnuck (Brothertown) Day!!

Happy Samson Occom Day!

In honor of Samson Occom Day today, below is reprinted a letter written by Samson to his wife, Mary, and sister-in-law Esther Poquiantup Fowler. This was written in 1766 when he was in Great Britain and shows a lighter side of the Reverend. This is reprinted (with some spelling and punctuation updates) from Joanna Brooks’ book, The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan (/Brothertown); p78.

My dear Mary and Esther

Perhaps you may query whether I am well; I came from home well, was by the way well, I got over well, am received at London well, and am treated extremely well, yea I am caressed too well. And do you pray that I may be well; and that I may do well; and in time return home well? And I hope you are well, and wish you well, and as I think you’ve begun well, so keep on well, that you may end well, and then all will be well.

And so, farewell,

Samson Occom

Taubut’ne, Oneida!



Taubut’ne, Oneida brethren! You became our elder brothers when you welcomed us through our forebear, Joseph Johnson in January of 1774. Thank you for always keeping the promise you spoke to us then to, “be ever ready to defend [us] and help [us].”

Honoring A Brothertown Indian


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On Sunday, June 12 at 10am, there will be a memorial bench dedication at Brothertown’s Union Cemetery in honor of Mark Alan Baldwin. Mark was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin but later relocated to California’s Bay Area where he passed away suddenly, at his home, on April 25, 2021.

For over four decades, Mark worked in service of the Brothertown Indians. He began a contemporary tribal newsletter in the 1980s, spearheaded numerous grants, served on Tribal Council, and volunteered for countless projects and committees. A few years ago, Mark helped to establish, and served as president for, Calumet and Cross Heritage Society; an independent nonprofit that works to preserve and share the history of the Brothertown Indians.

One of Mark’s final projects with Calumet and Cross was to begin work on a series of historical markers for culturally important sites in and around Brothertown, Wisconsin. Union Cemetery is one of these sites and is the final resting place for many Brothertown Indians; including some of Mark’s relatives. The new bench will sit under the trees near the entrance; ready to offer assistance, as Mark always was, to anyone in need.

A Selection From The Thursday, December 17, 1772 Diary Of Joseph Johnson (Mohegan/Brothertown)


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Taken from the Laura Murray book, To Do Good To My Indian Brethren

Some punctuation and spacing added


Well I remember home
O Mohegan O Mohegan
The time is long before I shall be walking
my wonted places which are on thee
Once there I was
but perhaps never again
but still I remember thee

In you is lodged my father and mother dear
and my beloved sisters and brothers
Keep them in thy womb Mohegan
til thou dost hear the voice of God
“O Mohegan give up thy dead”
then no longer prisoners
shall they be unto thee

The joyful hour is approaching
My soul, come meditate the day
and think how near it stands
when you must leave this house of clay
and fly to unknown lands
Hast my beloved fetch my soul up to thy Blest abode
fly for my spirit longs to see my Savior and my God

Mohegan is a lonesome place
oft have I sighed but sighed in vain
desired but desired in vain
cast down but no one to comfort me
in distress no one to relieve me
No friend to open my heart and vent my sorrows
I opened my mouth to the open air and told the stones my sorrow

Thus, O Mohegan have you treated me
and thinkest thou I can forget thee
or thy inhabitants
Thinkest thou or thine inhabiters
that I am desiring to be on thee
or with them?
Far far from me be such a thought

But still there is a precious few in thee
which causes my mind often to meditate of thee
Perhaps in due time
I may once more come on thy borders
But first I have to go, to distant lands; and far country
and different nations I have to walk through
before I see thee.

Thus, O Mohegan
I must bid you farewell
and shut the door of my heart
against thee
for I have a truer friend
to entertain in my heart
so good night


March 13, 1773: The Beginning of Eeyawquittoowauconnuck/Brothertown


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Today in Tribal History: On March 13, 1773, representatives from 7 Native communities met in Mohegan to discuss emigration to Oneida lands in upstate New York. Brothertown/Eeyawquittoowauconnuck is underway! That was 249 years ago today. Mark your calendars for March 13, 2023!

“March 13, 1773” (C) 2019 by a Brothertown youth

Coincidentally, it would be exactly 2 years later, March 13, 1775, when the first settlers would begin the trip to the new tribal lands in NY.

Check out the new Brothertown podcast now on Spotify-“Stories of the Brothertown Indians”: https://open.spotify.com/show/2NWo6wxOp4pEX4zmygBmo3?si=IeV2viGsSSSc9q1oqqa7UA.

Don’t forget to click subscribe!