APRIL 10, 1839


Apess was born January 31, 1798, in Colrain, Massachusetts.  With the Second Great Awakening, Apess embraced Methodism and considered Native Americans one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.  Despite being legally forbidden to preach without a license, starting in 1817, he proselytized throughout Connecticut and in the Albany area.  He was finally ordained in 1829.  That same year, Apess published his autobiography, A Son of the Forest.  In the 1830s, he wrote:  The Increase of the Kingdom of Christ: A Sermon (1831); The Experiences of Five Christian Indians of the Pequot Tribe (1833); Indian Nullification of the Unconstitutional Laws of Massachusetts Relative to the Mashpee Tribe; or, The Pretended Riot Explained (1835); and Eulogy on King Philip, as Pronounced at the Odeon, in Federal Street, Boston (1837).  Indian Nullification concerned Apess’ involvement in the 1833 “Mashpee Revolt” against Massachusetts’ efforts to deny the tribe of self-government.  He died in New York City. 

Sources:  “William Apess Facts,” Your Dictionary.  Retrieved 6/26/2019, http://biography.yourdictionary.com/william-apess.  “William Apess, Pequot Indian,” Early Native American Literature.  Retrieved 6/26/2019, http://nativeamericanwriters.com/apess.html
Image:  William Apress, from Son of the Forest (1831 edition).  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.

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