Wampey, Elijah, 1734 - 1802

Elijah Wampey was a member of the Tunxis from Farmington, Connecticut who rose to a leadership position in the Christian Indian movement.  Love suggests that Wampey’s first wife was Eunice Wawowos (d. probably before 1774), and his second was Sarah Shoran, sometimes given as Jerusha.  Their children were Eunice (1764-1767), Elijah (1765-c. 1812), Eunice II (b. after 1767), Sarah, Hannah, Charles, Esther, and Sarah/Jerusha. Wampey enlisted in Captain William Wadsworth’s militia company from Farmington, Connecticut in 1757, serving 16 days, and in Captain John Patterson’s 4th Company of the 1st Regiment in 1761.  On his return from military service, he took up a leadership role among the Tunxis.  With two other tribal members, Cornelius and Patience, Wampey petitioned the Connecticut General Assembly in 1768 for permission to sell and purchase land.  It was in Wampey’s house that the Mohegan Joseph Johnson was first proposed as a schoolmaster in 1772 and the residence was frequently used for meetings and singing sessions.  In 1774, he was part of a delegation to the Oneida in the discussions about the establishment of the Brotherton community, to which he removed the following year.  Nevertheless, he retained his ties to Farmington and was a proprietor of Indian land there, receiving lot 1 on the west side of the Pequabuck River in 1777. While a supporter of Johnson initially, Wampey subsequently broke off good relations with him in 1776 and still remained active in political affairs.  He was a trustee at Brotherton until the community was disturbed by outbreak of the Revolutionary War.  Displaced from Oneida country, Wampey temporarily resided at Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1783.  Upon his return to Brotherton, he represented those who advocated renting land to American settlers. He resided there on lot 117 until his death.  Love, Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England, 364-365.  Bates, Rolls of Connecticut Men in the French & Indian War, 1755-1757, 239; Bates, Rolls of Connecticut Men in the French & Indian War, 1755-1762, 224.  Murray, To Do Good to My Indian Brethren, 151-6, 162, 176.  Brooks, The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, 426.

Born: 
1734
Died: 
c. 1802