The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 318
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
most of his early education. In 1835, Absalom returned to col-
lege, this time attending Augusta College in Kentucky, and
graduating with an A.B. degree in 1836.2
During the interim between his sessions at college, Wooldridge
was licensed to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church and
following graduation he accepted a pastoral assignment at Clin-
ton and Raymond, Mississippi. It was not long until the youthful
pastor and his family began having financial difficulties because
of the almost non-existent salaries paid to young ministers. In an
effort to ease the situation, Wooldridge entered the educational
field. Under sponsorship of the Methodist Church, Wooldridge
was appointed a tutor at the College of Louisiana, which also
was called Louisiana Institute and the University of Louisiana.
Rising to the position of professor of Ancient Languages, Wool-
dridge continued his reading programs, his preaching, and ac-
tively participated in the life of the community and college.
While still at the college, Wooldridge experienced difficulty
reconciling his knowledge and faith and after much soul-search-
ing, made the decision to become a Unitarian. After submitting
his resignation to the Methodists, the professor continued to
preach the Unitarian doctrine when he could find a congregation
or meeting place. Wooldridge's conversion was the subject of
faculty meetings, newspaper articles, and town gossip, and a less
determined man would not have been able to stand the pressure.
In 1843, Wooldridge found himself without employment. As
happened so frequently to educational institutions in the early
years of the United States, the College of Louisiana blossomed,
only to fade and die as attendance and local support failed to live
up to expectations. In an effort to find a suitable position, Wool-
dridge moved to New Orleans where he served as postmaster.
Although the job did not meet the ex-professor's intellectual
requirements, it did enable his family to live relatively well.
While in New Orleans, Mrs. Wooldridge died, survived by three
daughters of the seven she bore, and by her husband. Less than a
month later, one of the little girls also died.
Unable to care for his children, Wooldridge sent them first to
2A. Church, President of Franklin College, signed statement, April 28, 1832;
diploma from Augusta College to Absalom D. Wooldridge, graduate, August 5, 1836
(originals in possession of Mabel Wooldridge Benson, Austin).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/376/: accessed January 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.