Cherokee Phoenix

From the Connecticut Observer

Published June, 25, 1831

Page 2 Column 1b

From the Connecticut Observer


The remains of this tribe dwell in the town of Montville where they have a reservation of 2700 acres of land-300 of which are undivided property, styled the Fort Hill Farm. This is occupied by a white tenant, and here the Indians draw their rations. The reservation contains 23 houses, half of which are rented by whites and the others are occupied by the Indians. More than 20 Mohegans are residing in other places. Sixty years since, a missionary and schoolmaster were supported among the Mohegans, by the Legislature of the State. But for years little had been done to promote their welfare-until lately a Meeting House capable of containing 200 has been erected, principally through the liberality of persons in the vicinity.

The following account of the dedication of the Mohegan Meeting House is from the Norwich Courier:-

Mohegan Indians.-The church which has been erected for their accommodation is furnished, and was dedicated to the worship of Almighty God on Friday last, 20th inst.- Nearly all the Indians resident upon their lands were present, with about two hundred persons from the towns of Norwich and Montville, and listened with attention to the services, which were very solemn and interesting. Rev. Mr. Landlear, of Montville, invoked a blessing upon this benevolent enterprise, and read the fifth chapter of Lamentations, a portion of scripture peculiarly appropriate to the condition of this neglected and unhappy race. Elder Palmer of the Baptist church, in the same town, selected and read a hymn.- Prayer was then offered by Rev. Mr. Everest of this town. The sermon by Rev. Mr. Hyde, from Genesis XXVIII.22:-

And this stone, which I have set for a pillar shall be God's House, was exceedingly well adapted to the occasion.

The Reverend speaker alluded to several points in the early history of the connections between the English and the Indians, and in order to show that the attempts now making to improve the condition of the latter, are by no means to be considered 'as of grace but a debt,' he mentioned the following historical fact:

'About the year 1650, the Narragansett and Mohegan Indians being at war, the Mohegans were closely besieged by the Narragansetts on a hill about seven miles from New London, (supposed to be what is now called Fort Hill,) and being almost destitute of provisions, and having no prospect but they must soon surrender, Thos. Leffingwell, William and Samuel Hyde, and 30 others, sailed from Saybrook with boats laden with provisions, proceeded up the river Thames by night, and succeeded in relieving the garrison of the Mohegans. As soon as this was discovered by the Narragansetts, they raised the siege and returned home. For this service, Uncas, the Chief of the Mohegans gave to Thomas Leffingwell and his associates a tract of land 9 miles square, to which they gave the name Norwich, after the city of that name in England, from which it is supposed they had emigrated.'

Rev. Mr. Mitchell offered the Consecrating Prayer, after which the following beautiful hymn, written expressly for that occasion, by Mrs. Sigourney of Hartford, was sung-the services being concluded by the Apostolic Benediction, from Rev. Mr. Alden.


For the dedication of the Mohegan Church.

Not to the God's our Fathers served

Have in this native shape,

To whom their heathen rites and vows

Were ignorantly paid

But unto Thee, ETERNAL KING,

The good, the wise, the great,

This temple of our Christian hope

We humbly consecrate.

Here may the knowledge of thy truth

Restore us, when we stray;

And faith, and penitence, and peace,

Their heavenly fruits display.

Here may our unborn offspring taste

A blest Redeemers love,

And share that Holy Spirits grace,

Which guides the souls above,

We may not to our alter, Lord,

More costly gift impart,

Than incense from a broken race,

And from a broken heart;

Yet what is all the pomp and pride,

And wealth of earth and sea,

Weighed with the glory of the soul

That hath its trust in Thee?