Amos, Joseph, Rev., 1805 - 1869

Born into the Mashpee community on the shore of Mashpee Lake in Mashpee, Massachusetts, Reverend Joseph Amos (Blind Joseph) (1805-April 15, 1869) was the son of Jeremiah and Ophelia Amos, and the husband of Abigail Wickham.  The couple were the parents of Anna F. Webquish, Rebecca C. Hammond, Sarah B., Cordelia B., Benjamin Pompey, and possibly Isaac Amos.  Joseph married Phoebe Ann Pompey/Weadon in Nantucket on September 17, 1854 and had one daughter, Cordelia.

According to Mashpee historian Russell H. Gardiner, while Amos was blind since a child, he memorized the Bible chapters his mother read to him, and with this knowledge, he began organizing religious services among the Mashpee in 1830.  In 1832, Amos became the Native minister to the Indian Baptist Church at Gay Head but returned home to Mashpee the following year to become the pastor of a similarly-denominated church there.  In 1834, he joined William Apes to lead an act of civil disobedience in what would become known as the Mashpee Wood Revolt or Riot.  Mashpee's official Baptist Society was established at Amos' house on January 4, 1838. 

Throughout his life, remained a spiritual and political to the Wampanoag.   Amos later served as the minister to the Herring Pond.  In 1859, he with other representatives of his community voiced strong opposition to changing the Mashpees' enfranchisement status and the limitations on the sale of their lands. While he was enumerated at Newport, Rhode Island within the household of Isaac and Dorcas Chummuck in the census of 1865, his last pastorate was among the Chappaquiddick on Martha's Vineyard.  He died in Edgartown of a stomach ulcer in April of 1869.

Margaret Knight, "Chappy," Vineyard Gazette, February 9, 2012. Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915, Ancestry.  Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841- 1915.  Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1626-2001, Family History, LDS.  State Enumeration (Mashpee, Massachusetts, 1855), (Rhode Island, 1865).  "Constitution of the Baptist Church in Mashpee," Christian Watchman, March 30, 1828.  The Schenectady Reflector, February 5, 1858, 4. "Marshpee District--A Public Meeting on the Civil Condition of the Indians," Boston Post, August 29, 1859, 2. Image courtesy of the Mashpee Wampanoag  Tribal website.  

April 15, 1869