Adams, Samuel (Tunxis), 1734 - 1800

Samuel Adams was the son of Adam, a Quinnipiac tribal leader, and the husband of Hannah Squamp, a Wangunk woman. Their son Solomon Adams (d. 1783) married Olive Occom, the daughter of Samson and Mary Occom.  Samuel enlisted in Captain John Patterson’s company in 1756 and in Captain Timothy Northam’s company of the First Regiment, New York troops in 1762 where he served with James Wawowos, a Tunxis Indian.  

In May of 1765, Adams and his wife were signatories to a Wangunk petition requesting the sale of those lands and a distribution of the proceeds to individual members or assign them shares of land, should they wish to hold on to it.  In 1770, he was given the right to negotiate with Samuel Bishop and John Strong in selling Quinnipiac rights at East Haven to buy land elsewhere, which was subsequently determined to be Farmington, Connecticut.  He may have been influenced in the choice of Farmington by his acquaintance with Wawowos.

Some years later, he moved his family there to live among the Tunxis, where he became a councilor and landowner.  Joseph Johnson, the Mohegan minister at Farmington, held religious singing sessions and public meetings at Adams’ house in the winter of 1772 and took up residence there for a short time.  Samuel became an early settler at Brothertown in Oneida, however, during the American Revolution was forced to relocate to Hancock, Massachusetts.  He appears on a petition addressed to the Connecticut General Assembly written from Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1783. He later returned to Brothertown and received lot 7, where he had built his first house. 

In the fall of 1786, a newspaper article appeared highlighting a physical oddity of four Tunxis men, two of which were from Farmington.  Their skin was turning white.  One, whose name was Samuel Adams, had become almost entirely white.  This Indian had told Mr. Hart, that his skin had been gradually changing color for fourteen years.  He was a very healthy man; nor was he sensible of any pain or disease which occasioned the change.  His skin appeared perfectly smooth and fresh, delicately white.  His hair, also, had become in part grey, like that of aged white people.

Ezra Stiles made a notation into his diary: "Rev. [Noah] Benedict tells that there lives in [New ] Lebanon an Indian Samuel Adams, age about 50, who within two years last past has been gradually turning white, his Indian skin coming off. The skinning began on his breast and gone over all his body, but the extremities of head, hands, feet, all which are now skinning, the skin young, clear, and delicate.  Three white persons compared with him, and he was whiter than either. Captain [Jarvis] Mudge confirmed the same thing, frequently hiring this Indian."  Love approximates Solomon Adams' death around 1800.  

Bates, Rolls of Connecticut Men in the French & Indian War 2: 350. DeLoss Love, Samson Occom, 336.  Murray, To Do Good to My Indian Brethren, 153, 157-64, 259. Franklin Bowditch Dexter, ed., The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, 3 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1901), 3:243, 259.

c. 1800