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James Cooley

December 29, 1779
September 20, 1851
Home Town:
East Granville, MA
Later Residences:
Granville, MA
Almira Parsons Cooley (June 13, 1805)
Biographical Notes:
James Cooley was the son of Captain William and Sarah (Mather) Cooley. After attending the Litchfield Law School, James studied for many years in the office of John Phelps of West Granville, MA. Cooley was admitted to the bar in Hampden County, MA in 1814 and settled in Granville. In 1805 he married Almira Parsons, the daughter of Israel and Mary (Marvin) Parsons. They had five children. Cooley received an honorary masters degree from Williams College in 1818 and was actively involved in state politics. He died in Granville, MA at the age of seventy-two.

Years at LLS:

Profession / Service
Political Office
Admitted To Bar:
Hampden County, MA in 1814
Training with Other Lawyers:
He studied in the law office of John Phelps of West Granville, MA.
State Posts:
State Representative (MA) 1815-1819, 1825-1829
State Senator (MA) 1850

help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School (Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany, and Company, 1849), 4.
Secondary Sources:
Cooley, Mortimer Elwyn, et al, comp. The Cooley Genealogy. Rutland, VT.: The Tuttle Pub. Co., 1941; Davis, William T. Bench and Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, vol. 2. Boston: the Boston History Company, 1895.

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