Mar 4 – Paul Cuffee

Mar 4 - Paul Cuffee

Paul Cuffee
Witness to Faith Among the Shinnecock
4 March 1812

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From the Satucket Lectionary

A little west of the junction of the old road to Riverhead is a small tract of land owned by the Shinnecock tribe of Indians, although how it came into their possession is unknown. Upon this tract is a plain marble tombstone, surrounded by a neat fence. This marks the last resting place of Rev. Paul Cuffee. The tombstone tells its own story: “Erected by the New York Missionary Society, in memory of the Rev. Paul Cuffee, an Indian of the Shinnecock tribe, who was employed by the Society for the last thriteeen years of his life, on the Eastern part of Long Island, where he labored the fidelity and success. Humble, pious and indefatigable in testifying the gospel of the grace of God, he finished his course with joy on the 7th of March, 1812, aged 55 years and 3 days”. . . . The journeyings of Paul Cuffee extended from Poosepatuck to Montauk, and were made on foot.

— from A History of Long Island, from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. 2, by William S Pelletreau (1905).

Note that this Paul Cuffee shold not be confused with a far better known, contemporaneous Paul Cuffee, who lived in the same general area (Westport, Mass.). That Paul Cuffee was a devout Quaker of mixed Indian / Black ancestry who worked to repatriate African-Americans to Sierra Leone.



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