Samson Occom wrote a brief (26 pages) autobiography in 1768 and a much-briefer one (only one page) in1765. His motivation for writing (historians believe), had something to do with his preaching tour of England and Scotland, in which people were puzzled over the reality that an Indian could actually be both educated and "civilized" according to white standards. If a man could preach and behave that well, they wondered, could he have ever been a true "wild" Indian?
Thus Occom's autobiography begins: "I was born a Heathen and brought up in Heathenism, till I was between 16 & 17 years of age, at a place called Mohegan, in New London, Connecticut... My parents livd a wandering life, for did all Indians at Mohegan, they Chiefly Depended upon Hunting, Fishing & Fowling for their living and had no connection with the English, excepting to traffic with them in their small trifles."
Occom acknowledged that preachers sometimes came into the area, but they did not appeal to him until "When I was 16 years of age, we heard a Strange Rumor among the English, that there were Extraordinary Ministers Preaching from Place to Place and a Strange Concern among the White People." As Bernd Peyer explains in a footnote, Occom was describing what is known to history as " 'the Great Awakening,' a massive religious revival which began in Europe around 1720 and then spread along the entire English-speaking Atlantic seaboard during the 1730's and 1740's."
Given the remarkable person Samson Occom was, I can guarantee more posts to come about him. His autobiography is on the web. [Bernd Peyer's background notes are found in American Indian Nonfiction: An Anthology of Writings, 1760s - 1930s, (University of Oklahoma Press, 2007). ]