Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Timothy M. Cooley Journal, 1803; 1876

Duane Norman Diedrich Collection

Finding aid created by
Richard C. Bates and Meg Hixon, January 2012

Summary Information
Title: Timothy M. Cooley journal
Creator: Cooley, Timothy Mather, 1772-1859
Inclusive dates: 1803, 1876
Bulk dates: 1803
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
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.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1982. M-1990.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Timothy M. Cooley journal, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Biography

Reverend Timothy Mather Cooley was born in Granville, Massachusetts, in 1772, and was educated privately between the ages of 12 and 15. He began coursework at Yale College in 1788, and graduated in 1792; following his graduation, he spent another year studying religion, and then preached in Salisbury, Connecticut, and Granville, Massachusetts. He was ordained as a Congregational minister in 1796, and led the Granville congregation for most of the rest of his life. He spent several months of the summer and fall of 1803 on a missionary trip to northern New York, and helped the Reverend Peter Fish establish a church at Verona, New York. Cooley married Content Chapman on May 6, 1796. He died in 1859.


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)
Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Chenango County (N.Y.)--Description and travel.
    • Congregationalists--Missions.
    • Hampshire Missionary Society.
    • Indians of North America--New York (State)
    • Missions--New York (State)
    • Oneida County (N.Y.)--Description and travel.
    • Onondaga County (N.Y.)--Description and travel.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Coins, Ancient.
    Contributors:
    • Green, C.
    Genre Terms:
    • Journals (accounts)
    • Manuscript maps.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Volume   1  
    Timothy M. Cooley journal,  1803; 1876 [series]:
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Alternate Locations

    One map is housed in the Map Division:

    Cooley, Timothy Mather. A Map of Black River Settlements. 1803.

    Related Materials

    Two of the journal's maps have been individually cataloged:

    The Book Division holds three related books:

    Bibliography

    Chapman, Frederick William. The Chapman Family: or the Descendants of Robert Chapman, one of the First Settlers of Say-Brook, Conn., with Genealogical Notes... Hartford: Case, Tiffany, and Company, 1854.