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Jacob Woolley, confession, 1763 July 25

ms-number: 763425.2

[note (type: abstract): Woolley's confession of drunkeness and blasphemy.][note (type: handwriting): Handwriting is formal and clear, with very few deletions and additions.][note (type: paper): Paper is in fair condition, with moderate staining, creasing and wear that results in minor loss of text. There is repair work at the creases.][note (type: ink): Brown.][note (type: signature): There are multiple signatures: that of Woolley and three others as witnesses.]
I Jacob Woolley[pers0040.ocp] acknowledge I have been [ſcandalouſly | scandalously]ſcandalouſlyscandalously guilty
of [ſeveral | several]ſeveralseveral [groſs | gross]groſsgross Breaches of the Law of God. Particularly, I have
been [ſcandalously | scandalously]ſcandalouslyscandalously guilty of drinking [ſtrong | strong]ſtrongstrong Drink to [Exceſs | excess]Exceſsexcess;
And of being in a very [ſinful | sinful]ſinfulsinful [Paſsion | passion]Paſsionpassion of Anger, which I [ſhewed | showed]ſhewedshowed by
a very [boiſterous | boisterous]boiſterousboisterous Behavior, doubling [& | and]&and [ſwinging | swinging]ſwingingswinging my [Fiſts | fists]Fiſtsfists, [ſtamping | stamping]ſtampingstamping
with my Feet, and many violent Motions [& | and]&and [Geſtures | gestures]Geſturesgestures of Body, attempting
to throw the Bed and Bed [Cloathes | clothes]Cloathesclothes out of the [above] ChamberChamber window; And also
by very vile [& | and]&and [prophane | profane]prophaneprofane Language, daring God Almighty to damn
me if I were guilty according to what had been reported of me
[when at the [ſame | same]ſamesame Time the Report was true] and frequently challenging
of God to it, [ſaying | saying]ſayingsaying I did not care if I was damned, threatening Vengeance
upon the Boy who had reported what he had of me, [ſaying | saying]ſayingsaying I would
be revenged if I were damned for it. And thus I [perſiſted | persisted]perſiſtedpersisted in
Imprecations of Damnation upon [myſelf | myself]myſelfmyself, and [blaſphemous | blasphemous]blaſphemousblasphemous Treatment
of the [ſacred | sacred]ſacredsacred Name, [againſt | against]againſtagainst the much repeated and [moſt | most]moſtmost forcible and
kind [& | and]&and urgent Entreaties of [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp] and [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Leſsly | Lesley]LeſslyLesley[pers0326.ocp], in [Oppoſition | opposition]Oppoſitionopposition
to [whoſe | whose]whoſewhose Entreaties to [ſpare | spare]ſparespare and [deſiſt | desist]deſiſtdesist from my irreverent and [abuſive | abusive]abuſiveabusive [Uſe | use]Uſeuse
and Treatment of the [ſacred | sacred]ſacredsacred Names, I [increaſed | increased]increaſedincreased in it with the more
Fury [& | and]&and Violence; And [alſo | also]alſoalso in attempting to go away with[gap: worn_edge][guess (h-dawnd): out]out
Leave or Advice from [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp], under [whoſe | whose]whoſewhose Conduct Providen[above] cece
has placed me, and [purſuing | pursuing]purſuingpursuing that [Deſign | design]Deſigndesign in a very tumultuous Manner,
which was aggravated by this [Circumſtance | circumstance]Circumſtancecircumstance, that it was on Saturday
Evening, Time [obſerved | observed]obſervedobserved as Holy by [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp] and Family, who
were kept in a Ruffle [till | 'til]till'til late in the Night; And [alſo | also]alſoalso by
many undutiful, proud, and ungrateful [Expreſsions | expressions]Expreſsionsexpressions towards [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp]
 And all this has been greatly aggravated by the peculiar
Obligations I am under to God [& | and]&and Man, by [whoſe | whose]whoſewhose [Goodneſs | goodness]Goodneſsgoodness [& | and]&and their
Charity I have been [ſo | so]ſoso [diſtinguiſhed | distinguished]diſtinguiſheddistinguished from all my Nation
 Hereby I have much [diſhonoured | dishonoured]diſhonoureddishonoured God, wounded the Hearts
of my [kindeſt | kindest]kindeſtkindest Friends and Benefactors, brought great [Diſhonour | dishonour]Diſhonourdishonour
upon the [Chriſtian | Christian]ChriſtianChristian Name, and done much to [diſcourage | discourage]diſcouragediscourage [& | and]&and cool
that [Chriſtian | Christian]ChriſtianChristian Charity, which has [ſo | so]ſoso remarkably appeared of late
towards my [periſhing | perishing]periſhingperishing Savage Bretheren, and particularly much
to [diſcourage | discourage]diſcouragediscourage [& | and]&and hurt the [Intereſt | interest]Intereſtinterest [& | and]&and [Progreſs | progress]Progreſsprogress of this School[org0098.ocp], in which
I have received [ſo | so]ſoso great Favours, and which I am under [ſo | so]ſoso
great Obligations by all [poſsible | possible]poſsiblepossible Means to encourage [& | and]&and promote.
I [deſire | desire]deſiredesire to be humbled in the [Duſt | dust]Duſtdust for [theſe | these]theſethese things before
God and Man, and to implore the divine Pardon [& | and]&and [Forgiveneſs | forgiveness]Forgiveneſsforgiveness
through the Blood of [Chriſt | Christ]ChriſtChrist. I ask [Forgiveneſs | forgiveness]Forgiveneſsforgiveness of [M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. Wheelock[pers0036.ocp],
[M.r | Mr.]M.rMr. [Leſsly | Lesley]LeſslyLesley[pers0326.ocp], and of the whole Family and School[org0098.ocp], and of all
my kind Benefactors who [ſhall | shall]ſhallshall hear of it. And [deſire | desire]deſiredesire they will
pray to God for me that Iniquity after all Endeavors [uſed | used]uſedused with
me may not prove my Ruin — and I do [ſolemnly | solemnly]ſolemnlysolemnly warn all the
Members of this [ſchool | school]ſchoolschool[org0098.ocp] [againſt | against]againſtagainst Pride of Heart [& | and]&and a [ſenſual | sensual]ſenſualsensual [Courſe | course]Courſecourse of Living,
[left] [Witneſes | Witnesses]WitneſesWitnesses[Witneſes | Witnesses]WitneſesWitnesses and that they take Warning by my Falls. not to imitate my Example

Jacob Woolley[pers0040.ocp]
Lebanon[place0122.ocp] July [ | 25th]25.th25th 1763[1763-07-25].
Signed in [Preſence | presence]Preſencepresence of us
Samuel Gray[pers0230.ocp]
David Fo[above] wwler[pers0155.ocp]
[Joſeph | Joseph]JoſephJoseph [Wooley | Woolley]WooleyWoolley[pers0041.ocp]

Moor’s Indian Charity School
Moor’s Indian Charity School was a grammar school for Native Americans that Eleazar Wheelock opened in North Lebanon, Connecticut in 1754. The school was named for Colonel Joshua Moor, also spelled More, who donated the land and school building. Moor’s was essentially an expansion of the grammar school that Wheelock opened in 1743 to support himself during the fallout from the First Great Awakening, when Wheelock, who'd participated in itinerant ministry during the Awakening, had his salary confiscated by the colony of Connecticut. In December of that year, Samson Occom asked Wheelock to teach him as well. Wheelock's work with Occom was so successful that Wheelock decided to replicate the experiment with other Native American boys. He accepted his first Indian students in 1754, and in 1761 began taking female students as well. Wheelock believed that in time, his school would become just one part of a larger missionary enterprise. He planned to send his Anglo American and Native American students to various tribes as missionaries and schoolmasters, with explicit instructions to pick out the best students and send them back to Moor’s to continue the cycle. His ultimate goal was to turn his school into a model Christian Indian town that would include farms, a college, and vocational training. However, Wheelock’s grand design did not survive the decade. Wheelock lost the vast majority of his Native American students; he fought with many of the best, including Samson Occom, Joseph Johnson, David Fowler, and Hezekiah Calvin, and other former and current students accused him of subjecting Native Americans to disproportionate amounts of manual labor. In 1769, perhaps due to concerns about corporal punishment, the Oneida withdrew all their children from Moor’s. When Wheelock relocated to Hanover in 1769, only two Native American students came with him, and it became clear that Wheelock’s focus was on Dartmouth and that Dartmouth was for white students. After Wheelock’s death in 1779, Moor’s Indian Charity School receded further into the background as John Wheelock, his father’s reluctant successor, stopped taking Indian students. Some Native American students were enrolled in Moor’s until 1850, when the school unofficially closed.

Lebanon is a town located in the state of Connecticut southwest of the town of Hartford. The land that became Lebanon was inhabited at least 10,000 years ago based on the archeological record. By the 1600s, the land was permanently inhabited by the Mohegan Indians, who used the area primarily for hunting. Lebanon was officially formed in 1700 when English settlers consolidated a number of land tracts, including several land grants by the Connecticut General Assembly and lands purchased from the Mohegans. However, these purchases were controversial. In 1659, the Mohegans entrusted their reserve land to Major John Mason, and in the following year, Mason transferred this land to the Connecticut colonial government with the understanding that there would be enough land left for the Mohegans to farm. The Mohegans claimed that they never authorized a transfer to the colonial government and only Mason’s heirs were entrusted with their land. In 1662, Connecticut, which included the Mohegan land that had been entrusted to the Masons, was incorporated by a royal charter. Based on this charter, the colony argued that the land was now the property of the government. In 1687, the colony began granting the Mohegan land to townships, and in 1704 the Masons petitioned the Crown on behalf of the Mohegans, claiming that such transfers of land to townships were illegal. Between the years of 1705 and 1773 legal disputes and controversies persisted, finally ending in a verdict by the Crown against the Mohegans. In 1755, Wheelock received property and housing in Lebanon that he would use as his house and school. While Lebanon was originally incorporated as a part of New London County in 1700, in 1724 it became a part of New Windham, before once again becoming a part of New London County in 1826. Lebanon was central to the American Revolution with half of its adult population fighting for the colonists and hundreds of meetings convened in the town for the revolutionary cause.

Woolley, Jacob

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.

Wheelock, Eleazar

Eleazar Wheelock was a New Light Congregationalist minister who founded Dartmouth College. He was born into a very typical Congregationalist family, and began studying at Yale in 1729, where he fell in with the emerging New Light clique. The evangelical network that he built in college propelled him to fame as an itinerant minister during the First Great Awakening and gave him many of the contacts that he later drew on to support his charity school for Native Americans. Wheelock’s time as an itinerant minister indirectly brought about his charity school. When the Colony of Connecticut retroactively punished itinerant preaching in 1743, Wheelock was among those who lost his salary. Thus, in 1743, he began operating a grammar school to support himself. He was joined that December by Samson Occom, a Mohegan Indian, who sought out an education in hopes of becoming a teacher among his people. Occom’s academic success inspired Wheelock to train Native Americans as missionaries. To that end, he opened Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1754 (where he continued to train Anglo-American students who paid their own way as well as students who functionally indentured themselves to Wheelock as missionaries in exchange for an education). Between 1754 and 1769, when he relocated to New Hampshire, Wheelock trained approximately 60 male and female Native American students from nearby Algonquian tribes and from the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of central New York. At the same time, he navigated the complicated politics of missionary societies by setting up his own board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, although he continued to feud with the Boston Board of the SSPCK and the London Commissioners in Boston (more colloquially called the New England Company). By the late 1760s, Wheelock had become disillusioned with the idea of Native American education. He was increasingly convinced that educating Native Americans was futile (several of his students had failed to conform to his confusing and contradictory standards), and, in late 1768, he lost his connection to the Haudenosaunee. With his inclination and ability to sponsor Native American missionaries largely depleted, Wheelock sought instead to fulfill his ultimate ambition of obtaining a charter and opening a college, which he did in 1769. To fund this new enterprise, Wheelock drew on the £12,000 that Samson Occom had raised for Moor’s Indian Charity School during a two-and-a-half year tour of Great Britain (1765 to 1768). Much of this money went towards clearing land and erecting buildings in New Hampshire for the Charity School’s relocation — infrastructure that also happened to benefit Dartmouth. Many of Wheelock’s contemporaries were outraged by what they saw as misuse of the money, as it was clear that Dartmouth College was not intended for Indians and that Moor’s had become a side project. Although Wheelock tried to maintain at least some commitment to Native American education by recruiting students from Canadian communities, the move did a great deal of damage to his public image. The last decade of Wheelock’s life was not easy. In addition to the problems of trying to set up a college far away from any Anglo-American urban center, Wheelock experienced the loss of relationships with two of his most famous and successful students, Samson Occom and Samuel Kirkland (an Anglo-American protégé). He also went into debt for Dartmouth College, especially after the fund raised in Britain was exhausted.

Lesley, James
Gray, Samuel

Samuel Gray was one of the first four graduates of Dartmouth College. He was the son of Samuel and Lydia (Dyer) Gray, of Windham, CT, and attended Moor's Indian Charity School. He was one of the students, along with David Fowler and Joseph Woolley, who witnessed and signed Jacob Woolley's confesson in 1763. Two years later, The Connecticut Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge considered appointing Gray as its "Scribe or Register," which included keeping the books and accounts for the Board and the School. He probably moved to Hanover with Wheelock and attended Dartmouth College as an independent student; along with John Wheelock (Eleazar's younger son), Sylvanus Ripley and Levi Frisbie, he graduated in the first class of 1771, but because of a lack of a quorum of Trustees, did not receive his official diploma until 1773. Because he was not a charity student, he was relieved of the obligation to become a missionary. Rather, he studied law, practiced in Windham, served as the Clerk of the Windham County Courts for more than 40 years, and also served as Commissary General during the Revolutionary War. He was an honored guest at the Dartmouth commencement of 1827, where he pointed out the site of the first College structures, including the place where a bbq was held at his own graduation.

Fowler, David

David Fowler was Jacob Fowler's older brother, Samson Occom's brother-in-law, and an important leader of the Brothertown Tribe. He came to Moor's in 1759, at age 24, and studied there until 1765. While at school, he accompanied Occom on a mission to the Six Nations in 1761. He was licensed as a school master in the 1765 mass graduation, and immediately went to the Six Nations to keep school, first at Oneida and then at Kanawalohale. Fowler saw himself as very close to Wheelock, but their relationship fragmented over the course of Fowler's mission, primarily because Wheelock wrote back to Kirkland, with whom Fowler clashed, but not to Fowler, and because Wheelock refused to reimburse Fowler for some expenses on his mission (767667.4 provides the details most clearly). Fowler went on to teach school at Montauk, and played a major role in negotiations with the Oneidas for the lands that became Brothertown. He was among the first wave of immigrants to that town, and held several important posts there until his death in 1807.

Woolley, Joseph

Joseph Woolley was a Delaware who died of consumption while keeping school at Onaquaga. He came to Wheelock in 1757 as a replacement for John Pumshire, and although Wheelock labeled him as "fit for college" in late 1761, he never attended. In the fall of 1764, Joseph went to the Six Nations with Kirkland to learn the Mohawk language and keep school, and in March 1765, he was officially approved as a schoolmaster and returned to Onaquaga to teach. He was very popular there, but died unexpectedly in late November 1765. Joseph was engaged to Hannah Garrett, who later married David Fowler, but a letter from David (765302.2) suggests that Joseph may also have pursued Amy (David's object of interest before Hannah).

Document Summary

People identified in this document:

id Text in document Role in header Authorized Name
pers0040.ocp Jacob Woolley writer Woolley, Jacob
pers0036.ocp M. r Mr. Wheelock mentioned Wheelock, Eleazar
pers0326.ocp M. r Mr. Leſsly Lesley mentioned Lesley, James
pers0230.ocp Samuel Gray mentioned Gray, Samuel
pers0155.ocp David Fo w ler mentioned Fowler, David
pers0041.ocp Joſeph Joseph Wooley Woolley mentioned Woolley, Joseph

Places identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
place0122.ocp Lebanon Lebanon

Organizations identified in this document:

id Text in document Authorized Name
org0098.ocp this School Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0098.ocp School Moor’s Indian Charity School
org0098.ocp this ſchoolschool Moor’s Indian Charity School

Dates identified in this document:

Standard Form Text
1763-07-25 July 25.th25th 1763

Regularized text:

Type Original Regularized
modernization ſcandalouſly scandalously
modernization ſeveral several
modernization groſs gross
modernization ſcandalously scandalously
modernization ſtrong strong
modernization Exceſs excess
modernization ſinful sinful
modernization Paſsion passion
variation ſhewed showed
modernization boiſterous boisterous
modernization ſwinging swinging
modernization Fiſts fists
modernization ſtamping stamping
modernization Geſtures gestures
variation Cloathes clothes
variation prophane profane
modernization ſame same
modernization ſaying saying
modernization perſiſted persisted
modernization myſelf myself
modernization blaſphemous blasphemous
modernization ſacred sacred
modernization againſt against
modernization moſt most
modernization M.r Mr.
variation Leſsly Lesley
modernization Oppoſition opposition
modernization whoſe whose
modernization ſpare spare
modernization deſiſt desist
modernization abuſive abusive
modernization Uſe use
modernization increaſed increased
modernization alſo also
modernization purſuing pursuing
modernization Deſign design
modernization Circumſtance circumstance
modernization obſerved observed
variation till 'til
modernization Expreſsions expressions
modernization Goodneſs goodness
modernization ſo so
modernization diſtinguiſhed distinguished
modernization diſhonoured dishonoured
modernization kindeſt kindest
modernization Diſhonour dishonour
modernization Chriſtian Christian
modernization diſcourage discourage
modernization periſhing perishing
modernization Intereſt interest
modernization & and
modernization Progreſs progress
modernization poſsible possible
modernization deſire desire
modernization Duſt dust
modernization theſe these
modernization Forgiveneſs forgiveness
modernization Chriſt Christ
modernization ſhall shall
modernization uſed used
modernization ſolemnly solemnly
modernization ſchool school
modernization ſenſual sensual
modernization Courſe course
modernization Witneſes Witnesses
modernization 25th
modernization Preſence presence
modernization Joſeph Joseph
variation Wooley Woolley

Expanded abbreviations:

Abbreviation Expansion
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This document's header does not contain any mixed case attribute values.

Summary of errors found in this document:

Number of dates with invalid 'when' attributes: 0
Number of nested "hi" tags: (consider merging the @rend attributes, or using other tags) 0
Number of tags with invalid 'rend' attributes: 0 (out of 10)
Number of people/places/organizations with unknown keys: 0 (out of 16)
Number of "add" tags with unknown 'place' attributes: 0 (out of 4)
Mixed case attribute values in header (potential error): 0 (out of 108)
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