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Marrant, John (15 June 1755– April 1791), minister and author, was born in the New York Colony to a family of free blacks. The names and occupations of his parents are not known. When he was four years old, his father died. Marrant and his mother moved to Florida and Georgia; subsequently Marrant moved to Charleston, South Carolina, to live with his sister and brother-in-law. He stayed in school until he was eleven years old, becoming an apprentice to a music master for two additional years. During this time he also learned carpentry. His careers in music and carpentry ended in late 1769 or early 1770, when he was converted to Christianity by the famous evangelical minister ...

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Occom, Samson (1723–14 July 1792), Presbyterian preacher and writer, was born into a Mohegan community near New London, Connecticut, the son of Joshua Occom and Sarah (maiden name unknown).

At seventeen Samson Occom was converted to Christianity by Rev. James Davenport during the “Great Awakening” (c. 1730–1740), when efforts to bring the gospel to New England Indians were rekindled by evangelists. In 1743 he enrolled in ...

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Samson Occom. Mezzotint on paper, 1768, by Jonathan Spilsbury (after Mason Chamberlin). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Opukahaia (1792–17 February 1818), Hawaiian student and first Hawaiian convert to Christianity, , known as Henry Obookiah, was raised at Kealakekua Bay on the island of Hawaii. His mother was Kamohoula; his father’s name is unknown. About 1802, during the wars of Kamehameha the Great...

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Other Day, John (1819?–30 October 1869), Christian farmer chief of the Wahpeton Dakotas, who became famous for leading white settlers to safety during the Dakota War of 1862, was born in southern Minnesota, the son of Scarlet Bird (Zitkadanduta), a war shaman. His mother’s name is not known. His Indian name was Anpetutokeca; he was also known as Good Sounding Voice, or Hotonhowaste....

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Tekakwitha, Kateri (1656–17 April 1680), Christian convert, whose baptismal name was Catherine, was born at the Mohawk village of Ossernenon, on the Mohawk River, the daughter of a Christian Algonquin mother and an Iroquois chief. Her mother had been taken captive at Three Rivers, Canada, by a band of raiding Mohawks who had adopted her; she later married into the tribe and had two children. A smallpox epidemic in 1660 killed both of Kateri’s parents and her brother and left her with pockmarks and a sensitivity to light that kept her indoors much of the time. After Iroquois custom, she was adopted by her paternal uncle....