Timothy M. Cooley journal  1803, 1876 (bulk 1803)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This "Missionary Journal" chronicles Congregational minister Timothy Mather Cooley's missionary trip to the New York counties of Oneida, Onondaga, and Chenango between June and October 1803. During his travels, he preached 108 sermons, visited 27 schools, baptized 53 people (of whom 50 were children), and helped establish a church in Verona, New York. He left his home on June 5, 1803, and headed for Northampton, where he received his formal commission from the Hampshire Missionary Society. From there, he went to Utica, and spent the next several months traveling around rural New York. Throughout his travels, he kept a log of his activities in various settlements, which often included delivering sermons, distributing literature, and talking to local residents; he frequently composed footnotes giving a general outline of each town. These notes usually recorded the year of the town's settlement, the number of families, churches, and schools, and the number of people who belonged to other Christian denominations, most frequently Baptists and Methodists. Though generally optimistic about his mission, he often commented that local residents were "poor, stupid, and ignorant" or, in one case, "stupid and vicious" (June 24). On July 9, he copied two drawings of coins resembling those Judas received for betraying Christ, and on July 23 described a visit to Baron von Steuben's gravesite. He also occasionally met with Native Americans, and described Oneida buildings (August 2) and a tour of an old burial ground (August 25). Often accompanied by the Reverend Peter Fish, he helped establish a church in Verona, New York, in August. He returned home on October 5. The back of the volume contains Cooley’s summary of his trip, a chart of distance traveled, sermons preached, schools visited, people baptized, donations received, and books distributed, and a note by C. Green, MD, a later owner of the journal, providing evidence for Cooley's authorship (December 1876).

The journal's maps include:

  • Map of Black River Settlements (June 24) (Housed in the Map Division)
  • Map of Chenango County (August 14)
  • Map of Onondaga County (October 5)
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