Today, November 7, 2018, is the 233rd anniversary of the “incorporation” and naming of Brothertown. It was on a Monday in 1785 that Occom commemorated 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 J. Fowler was chosen clarke for the 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 chosento be Fence Vewers to continue a year. Concluded to have a Centre near David Fowlers House, the main Street is to run North and South & East and West, to cross at the centre. Concluded to live in Peace, and in Friendship and to go on in all their Public Concerns in Harmony both in their Religious and Temporal concerns, and every one to bear his part of Public Charges in the Town. They desired me to be a Teacher amongst them. I consented to spend some of my remaining [days] with them, and make this Town my Home and center”(https://collections.dartmouth.edu/occom/html/diplomatic/785554-diplomatic.html).
According to the Peacemaker’s record book (part of The Brothertown Collection), the first recorded court meeting of the Brothertown Indian Peacemakers was held in Brotherton, New York on the first Monday in September of 1797 (which fell on the 4th that year). Our first Peacemakers were David Fowler, John Tuhie, John Skeesuck, Isaac Wauby, and Samuel Scipio.
Happy 221st anniversary, Brothertown Peacemakers, and thank you for your continued service to our people!
Yes, you read that correctly! Whether you live in California, Texas, Maine, Hawaii, Taiwan, or anywhere in between, you can now pull up a seat and attend a General Membership meeting right from your own computer, tablet, smartphone, or landline.
To attend, you need to be enrolled and fill out a short form which asks for your full name, email address, and enrollment number. If you don’t know your number, no worries, just fill out what you can. Once your enrollment has been verified, you will be emailed a link with login information.
The first meeting happened on August 18, 2018 with the second one set to occur September 15 at 10am CT/11am ET. There are 4 General Membership meetings per year; typically August, September, February, and April.
If you’re interested in attending please contact Council person Seth Elsen at SethElsen@gmail.com or follow this link to fill out the verification form:
If you’re not sure yet if you can attend the next meeting, please go ahead and fill out the form.
See you there!
If you’re not a frequent visitor to the Brothertown Facebook page, you may not yet be aware that Council has posted an invitation to members to attend the August General Membership meeting ONLINE. This will be the first time since October of 2016 that members unable to travel to Wisconsin for monthly meetings will be able to see and hear the proceedings.
If you’re interested in attending you will need to follow this link (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSffhwOkN5PAj8_mwyNk7v6ZFIidZZ48GCZY0oS6gAH46WDzgw/viewform) and fill out a very short verification form. Even if you’re not sure yet if you can attend, please go ahead and fill out the form. Login instructions will be emailed to you once your membership has been verified.
The General Membership meeting will begin Saturday morning August 18th at 10CT/11ET/8PT. See you there!
Brothertown has been significantly blessed throughout the centuries with industrious, well-educated, and noteworthy citizens who have spent their lives in service to our people and others. Joseph Johnson, David Fowler, William Fowler, Alonzo D. Dick, William H. Dick, and Thomas Commuck are a few of these names. Probably the most well-known, however, is the name of Samson Occom (Mohegan/Brothertown).
Occom’s notoriety goes well beyond Brothertown, Native America, or even the century in which he lived. He was instrumental in the founding of Dartmouth College, helped establish the community of Deansboro (“old Brothertown”) in New York and fathered the Brothertown Tribe; all of which continue to exist more than two centuries later. He wrote hymns that are still sung; was the first person to publish an interdenominational hymnal; wrote the first Native American autobiography; and penned letters, sermons, and journals that are read and studied in classroom settings across the nation. Occom was the second Native American to be published (about 6 months after son-in-law Joseph Johnson (Mohegan/Brothertown)), and the first to be published internationally when his A Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul was printed and sold in England.
Occom died in New York on July 14, 1792. Although he was a Presbyterian minister, the Episcopal Church has set this date aside as an annual feast day in tribute to him. Let us mark our own calendars and join them each year on July 14th in remembering this truly remarkable Brothertown man.
“Oh! what a mockery!! to confound justice with law. Will you look steadily at the intrigues, bargains, corruption and log-rolling of your present Legislatures, and see any trace of the divinity of justice? And by what test shall be tried the acts of the old Colonial Courts and Councils?”
Brothertown held its first annual election on the 7th of November 1785. On that day, as can be read in Occom’s journal, the names of the elected were as follows: Jacob Fowler was chosen Town Clerk, Roger Waupieh, David Fowler, Elijah Wympy, John Tuhy, and Abraham Simon were chosen to be Trustees; and Andrew Acorrocomb and Thomas Putchauker were chosen as Fence Viewers. This board of Trustees would have handled Tribal business and responsibilities very much like our current Council is tasked with. The Fence Viewers, while not quite Peacemakers (a position which did not exist in Brothertown until 1796), did help to maintain the peace as far as livestock was concerned. For example, it would’ve been their job to make sure that any fences were secure. Even where there were no fences, it would have been their duty to ensure that one family’s horse was not eating another family’s corn. If such a thing did happen, they would find a solution to keep it from happening again.
On May 19th, the Tribe will hold its next annual election. I encourage all of you to participate in this 233-year-old Brothertown tradition and exercise your right to vote. As of this writing (Monday May 7, 2018), there are still 11 more mailing days before absentee ballots have to be in Fond du Lac in order to be counted. If you have not mailed your ballot and verification form back yet, please do so today. If you haven’t decided who to vote for, you may find it helpful to watch Brothertown Forward’s recorded Meet-the-Candidates presentation (link available for the asking).
Carry on our 233-year-old Brothertown tradition and vote!
245 years ago today, March 13, 1773, our ancestors gathered in Mohegan for the first planning meeting for the community that would eventually become Brothertown. Happy Anniversary, Brothertown!
This Sunday, March 4th at 6:00pm CT/7:00 ET, Ms. Laura Murray, author of To Do Good to My Indian Brethren, will be speaking to us about her research and book on Joseph Johnson, the youngest of our Brothertown founding fathers. Not only is this a unique opportunity to gain insight and to speak with a knowledgeable researcher and author on Joseph Johnson, but it is also a great opportunity to connect with your Brothertown family no matter where you live. Don’t miss out!
This is a family-friendly event and is open to the public. See you there!
Sunday, February 25th at 6:30pm CT/7:30 ET, Brothertown Forward will be hosting an online community discussion on the Thomas Commuck shape note singing event held at Yale on February 3rd. This event is open to everyone; whether you attended and would like to discuss your experience there or would simply like to hear how it went. To log in, please go to https://zoom.us/j/2529226987 or dial +1 646 876 9923 and enter the Meeting ID: 252 922 6987.
For a sneak peek of the day itself, please see https://youtu.be/h42vaBNZLUo.
Sunday March 4th at 6:00pm CT/7:00 ET, Ms. Laura Murray, author of To Do Good to My Indian Brethren, will be speaking to us about her research and book on Joseph Johnson, the youngest of our Brothertown founders. The log in information for this discussion is the same as the one above.
Saturday June 2nd, we will be meeting in “Old Brothertown” New York to perform annual cleaning and maintenance at our Brothertown cemeteries. In addition to overgrowth and the accumulation of trash, normal yearly rainfall causes dirt to run over onto the slabs where grass and weeds quickly begin to grow. Without yearly maintenance, the graves of our ancestors not only fall into ruin and decay but run the risk of being lost to us forever. Please consider donating one weekend every year, or even every few years, to go to New York and fulfill your duties to those who have walked ahead. We are working on putting carpools together as well as trying to obtain sponsorship to defray the cost of lodging, eating, and other travel-related expenses. If you would like to donate your time but travel costs are prohibitive; if you are willing to drive or looking to carpool; if you can’t attend but would like to make a donation; or if you’d simply like to be put on a contact list for future trips, please contact me at brothertown citizen at aol.com.
For a calendar listing additional Brothertown-related dates, please see the Tribe’s website at BrothertownIndians.org.