Woolley, Jacob

Variant last names: Wooley; Wolley
Birth: 1743 in Delaware
Affiliation:

Delaware/Lenape; Moor's Indian Charity School; College of New Jersey

Education:

Moor's Indian Charity School (1754-1759), College of New Jersey (1759-1762; did not graduate)

Nationality:

Delaware

Occupation:

Student; Itinerant

Residence:

Moor's Indian Charity School in Lebanon, CT (from 1754-12-18 to 1759-05)

College of New Jersey (from 1759-05 to 1762-09)

Moor's Indian Charity School in Lebanon, CT (from 1762-09)

Biography:

Jacob Woolley, a Delaware, was one of Wheelock's first two Indian students. He was the cousin of Wheelock's third student, Joseph Woolley. John Brainerd sent Jacob Woolley, along with John Pumshire, to Wheelock late in 1754. While Pumshire died in 1757, Jacob continued studying with Wheelock and entered the College of New Jersey in 1759. He studied there until 1762, when he was expelled for failing his studies and abusing alcohol. It is also likely that there was a woman involved. In 1763, Jacob briefly returned to College before running away and enlisting in the army. Joseph Woolley met a man in Sheffield who described someone like Jacob Woolley teaching there in the fall of 1764, but this identification is not definite. Jacob never seems to have been very invested in becoming a missionary. Especially after his expulsion from the College of New Jersey, he expressed doubts about Wheelock's plans for him and struggled with alcohol. It is likely that he ran away primarily because Wheelock was non-responsive to these concerns.

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Sources:

Calloway, Colin, The Indian History of an American Institution. Dartmouth College Press 2010. Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899. McCallum, James. The Letters of Eleazar Wheelock’s Indians. Dartmouth College Press 1932.