Died: 14 July 1792
Samson Occom "was a member of the Mohegan nation, from near New London, Connecticut, who became a Presbyterian cleric. Occum was the first Native American to publish his writings in English, and also helped found several settlements, including what ultimately became known as the Brothertown Indians. Together with the missionary John Eliot, Occom became one of the foremost missionaries who cross-fertilized Native American communities with Christianized European culture." (Wikipedia)
"An examination of the hymns in Samson Occom's  collection reveals the fact, hitherto, we think, unknown, that there are a considerable number which are not found in earlier books, and are not noted, or are unassigned by hymnologists. The conclusion is that he was himself the author of such. Was not this probably the reason why the book was announced as "Mr. Occom's Collection of Poems"? The collection contains one hundred and eight numbered hymns, with some doxologies and graces. Of these the greater part are known as by Watts, Wesley, Madan and others. He undoubtedly took them from hymn-books which were at hand. As to the remainder, some, which are unclaimed by authors so far as we are aware, do not seem to exhibit his style of composition, while others have distinctly his earmarks in certain expressions. We give the first lines of a number of these, which must be assigned to Occom, unless other authorship is proven:
View the Wikipedia article on Samson Occom.
Settings using hymns by Samson Occom
Settings of text by Samson Occom
- Angel's Hymn (Jeremiah Ingalls)
- Infant-Savior (William Knapp)
- Radiant Seraph (Oliver Holden)
- Slow Traveler (Jeremiah Ingalls)
- Sunday (Oliver Brownson)
- Occom, Samuel, Compiler. 1774. A Choice Collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs. New London, Connecticut: Thomas and Samuel Green.
- Brooks, Joanna. 2003. American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African-American and Native American Literatures. New York: Oxford University Press. 272 pp.
- Brooks, Joanna. 2006. Collected Works of Samson Occom, Mohegan. New York: Oxford University Press. 480 pp.
- Love, William D. 1899. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England, Boston: The Pilgrim Press. 379 pp.