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March 9, 1998
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v2.1 Reference

To Do Good to My Indian Brethren

The Writings of Joseph Johnson, 1751-1776

Edited by Laura J. Murray
This book brings together the writings of Joseph Johnson, a Mohegan Indian preacher, schoolteacher, and leader of the movement to relocate eastern Christian Indians to "Brotherton" in upper New York state.

Johnson's diaries, written between 1771 and 1773, document daily life in the Indian Christian communities of Mohegan and Farmington, Connecticut, with a remarkable richness and intimacy. His letters— to his teacher, Eleazar Wheelock, and other white benefactors, as well as to his fellow Native Americans—reveal both an uncommon talent for diplomacy and a powerful vision of Indian solidarity.

Commentary by Laura J. Murray illuminates the meaning of Johnson's writings in their historical context. One essay traces the cultural changes and political conflicts at Mohegan in the generations before Johnson's; other essays illuminate the rhetorical challenges Johnson faced as a literate Indian in the eighteenth century.

About the Author

Laura J. Murray is assistant professor in the English department at Queen's University.


"An impressive piece of work. The writings themselves are carefully transcribed and thoughtfully and thoroughly annotated. In addition, there are quite lengthy introductory sections on aspects of Mohegan history and on the general context of Indian writing. All in all, Murray does a very good job of indicating the various contexts in which Johnson's writings can be seen as both interesting and significant. . . . A valuable addition to the scholarly material available on Indian writers."—David Murray, University of Nottingham
University of Massachusetts Press
Native Americans of the Northeast

9781558491274 : to-do-good-to-my-indian-brethren-murray
Paperback / softback
344 Pages
$25.95 USD

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