NEW LONDON, Conn. — The author of a 238-year-old manuscript has been identified as a minister from the Mohegan Tribe, a finding by Yale researchers that tribal members say provides insight into one of the most revered figures in their history.

The document dated Dec. 24, 1776, gives the account of deathbed utterances from a young woman who had returned to Mohegan after some time away.

The Day of New London reported that editors with the Yale Indian Papers Project concluded that the manuscript was written by Samson Occom, one of the first American Indians to be ordained as a Christian minister.

“It’s a great discovery, a treasure,” said Faith Davison, a retired Mohegan archivist who serves on the Yale project’s board of advisers.

The researchers could not determine the dying woman’s name. In Occom’s account, she refers to her father, believed to be Robert Ashbow, and “Uncle Sam,” who researchers believe to be Samuel Ashbow Sr., an Occom mentor. Samuel Ashbow Jr., who would be the woman’s cousin, was the first Native American killed in the Revolutionary War. In the manuscript Occom appears to be trying to assure that she died “a true Christian.”