Samuel Cooper, Captain’s Clerk, Purser

Samuel Cooper. Samuel Cooper was the third son and fifth surviving child of William Cooper, Esq. (1721-1809) and Katharine Wendell (1726-1796) who were married on 25 April 1745. Although seventeen children were born to the couple, only seven lived to adulthood. William Cooper, a merchant and Boston Town Clerk from 1761 until his death in 1809, was one of the “Sons of Liberty” and served on many important public committees leading to the American Revolution. He was the son of the Rev. William Cooper- President of Harvard College, minister of Boston’s Brattle Street Church from 1715-1743 and oldest brother of the eminent clergyman Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper. Samuel Cooper was presumably named for this uncle who followed in his grandfather’s footsteps serving as Harvard’s President and pastor of the Brattle Street Church until 1783. An older brother of the same name who was born several years earlier on 19 August 1755, died young prior to the birth of Samuel Cooper on 2 January 1759. Three week old Samuel was baptized by his uncle on 21 January 1759. Like his older brother William, Jr. who became Captain’s Clerk and 2nd Lieutenant of Marines of the frigate Boston, Samuel attended the Boston Latin School in 1766. According to testimony in the pension application of his widow #W-24834, Samuel Cooper served as Captain’s Clerk on the frigate Hancock under the command of Captain John Manley in 1777 and was captured with the ship and taken to Halifax. The Hancock was one of the first thirteen frigates in the Continental Navy authorized by the Continental Congress on 13 December 1775 and built at Newburyport, MA. The 32-gun frigate was placed under the command of Captain John Manley on 17 April 1776 and reportedly launched on 4 July 1776, the birthday of the nation. The Hancock spent the entire winter of 1776-1777 in Boston waiting for cannon while fitting out and manning her crew. Cooper sailed with the fleet on the Hancock’s first cruise from Boston leaving Wednesday 21 May 1777 on a voyage to St. George’s Bank in search of British fishing vessels. Also onboard was congregational minister Edward Brooks, commonly recognized as the first chaplain to serve in the Continental Navy. In concert with the Continental frigate Boston under the command of Hector McNeill, the Hancock captured the 28 gun British privateer Fox on 7 June 1777 “in a smart action” as Samuel’s younger brother John described the bloody action in his pension affidavit. The two captains got along like oil and water, their relationship destined to end in catastrope as the uncle of the Captain’s Clerk, Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper predicted in a 3 April 1777 letter to John Adams, “Manly and McNeal do not agree. It is not, I believe, the Fault of the first . . . If they are not better united, infinite Damage may acrue.” One month later on 8 July 1777, after being abandoned by McNeill and the Boston, the frigate Hancock along with the prize ship Fox were captured by the British 44-gun Rainbow and 32-gun Flora after a thirty-nine hour chase. Samuel Cooper was carried to Halifax as a prisoner of war with 228 other officers and men of the ship where he was confined for ten months. The pension application reads, “During part of the time he was kept in a dungeon for attempting to escape from jail by undermining. Dr. John Jeffries, who had been a physician in Boston, procured his release from the dungeon & caused him to be placed in the hospital, representing that he was sick.” Harvard educated Loyalist Dr. John Jeffries (1744-1819) was a military surgeon with the British army in Nova Scotia and New York during the war and afterward is better known for accompanying Jean-Pierre Blanchard on his 1785 balloon crossing of the English Channel. Some mention of Samuel Cooper’s imprisonment may be extant in his wartime correspondence in the Jeffries Family Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Cooper was exchanged sometime about early May 1778. Samuel Cooper’s precise activities between May 1778 and July 1779 are not known with certainty; however, it appears Cooper may have sailed again as Purser on the 16-gun Continental armed brig Resistance under the command of Captain William Bourke shortly after his exchange. An intriguing letter located at the Lenox Library from Samuel Adams to his father William Cooper dated 30 September 1778 at Philadelphia suggests that Samuel Cooper may have sailed, been captured and exchanged a second time in the span of four months. Adams writes, “I have the pleasure of committing this Letter to the Care of your youngest Son who having been unfortunately taken in the Brig Resistance, was sufferd to come to this City to be exchangd for the Purser of the British Ship Mermaid who is now in N York on his Parole. This Exchange I effected without Delay; and procured from the Navy Board here an Advance of fifty Dollars, for which he is to account with the Eastern Navy Board in the settlement of his Wages. I apprehended this Sum would not be sufficient to discharge the Expence of his Board in this very expensive place & carry him through his Journey & therefore I advancd him forty Dollars more, taking his Draft upon you which you will please to repay to Mrs Adams in Boston. I introducd your Son to your old Friend the President who receivd him with great Courtesy. Upon my hinting to the President that if he had publick Letters to send to Boston, this young Gentleman would take good Care of them, and it would be the Means of providing him with an Horse for his Journey, he very politely told me he should be glad [to] serve him in that Way, He as well as Monsr Girard having Letters which mt be as well sent by him as by any other Person. I assure you it is not Flattery to tell you that I am exceedingly pleasd with your Son. His modest Assurance is very engaging. If his Life is spared and his Morals well fixed, I think he will make an excellent Citizen. That the Children of N England may rise and serve God & their Country in the Room of their Fathers is the most ardent Prayer of your cordial Friend.” The letter refers to the youngest son of William Cooper, Esq. whose name was John. It is probable that Samuel Adams mistakely thought of Samuel as the youngest, as John Cooper is not known to have served as Purser or at sea during the Revolution and it was customery to exchange an officer of equal rank. Earlier in March 1778, the brig Resistance was engaged in a bloodly conflict that took the lives of her captain and 2nd lieutenant. Lieutenant William Leeds brought the ship into Boston where Bourke took command on 30 May 1778, within a month of Samuel Cooper’s return. Before her orders dated 24 August were received commanding the brig cruise in company with the frigate Raleigh under newly appointed Captain John Barry, the Resistance sailed from Boston searching for the French fleet of Admiral D’Estaing. Missing the allied squadron, the brig fell into the enemy fleet of Admiral Howe on 28 August 1778 and was captured by the British frigate Ariel without a fight. William Cooper’s son, whether John or the more likely Samuel, was exchanged for the Purser of the ship Mermaid under the command of James Cockran which had been made a prize of the Resistance the previous year on 16 November 1777. An examination of the accounts of the brig Resistance located in Box 3, Folder 7 of the Jeremiah Olney Papers in the Rhode Island Historical Society collection may provide a definitive identification. One reasonable speculation for Samuel Cooper’s activities between early October 1778 and late July 1779 is the possibility he joined his former Captain John Manley’s compliment of men on the 20-gun Massachusetts ship Cumberland at Boston in December 1778. The privateer sailed for the West Indies in early 1779 but was captured a short time later on 26 January by the British frigate Pomona and taken into Bridgetown, Barbadoes three days later. Manley and his men escaped from prison by bribing the jailer and commandeered a Bermudian sloop, sailing the vessel to Martinique. Captain Manley reached Boston on 9 April 1779 and the balance of his crew who did not escape with him were released about mid-July, making it a possibility that Cooper sailed with the daring Manley a second time. We are certain that Samuel Cooper next served as Purser on the frigate Warren under Captain Dudley Saltonstall in the ill fated expedition to Penobscot Bay, sailing from Boston on 24 July 1779. In June, while the Warren was refitting in Boston, the British established a military presence near present day Castine, Maine. Saltonstall was given command of the American fleet which included three Continental Navy warships, sixteen Massachusetts State Navy ships and other private armed vessels and transports. The campaign lasted over two weeks, ending disasterously with the American armada fleeing up the Penobscot River pursued by the reinforced British as described simply by Captain’s Tailor Joseph Lilley who served on both the Warren and Alliance with Samuel Cooper, “we commenced an ignominous flight up the river where our fleet was destroyed.” The officers and men of the scuttled ships were left to their own devices in the overland flight back to Boston with no provisions or arms. In the pension application, Cooper’s widow relates his particular experience after the loss of the Warren on 14 or 15 August 1779. “In this expedition he lost every thing he had with him except the clothes upon him. He made his way through the woods of Maine with his boy, observing the Indian tracks & making a fire at night to keep off the wild beasts. After enduring much fatigue and hardship, they arrived at Falmouth (now Portland) where he was taken sick with a fever brought on by exposure & suffering in the service & was detained by severe illness several weeks at the house of Samuel Freeman, Esq. in Portland.” Samuel Cooper’s service on the Warren including the time he was “dangerously ill” recovering in “Judge Freeman’s house” lasted four months until about October 1779. Initially a land surveyor, Probate Judge Samuel Freeman (1743-1831) served on the Committee of Correspondence, was appointed Portland’s first postmaster and served in as many as twenty-two positions of public trust at one time, mostly in the court system. For his failure to properly coordinate the land/sea invasion and his reluctance to engage British naval forces, Cooper’s commander Saltonstall was blamed for the bungled expedition, court-martialed, found guilty and dismissed from further service in disgrace. According to the pension application, Samuel Cooper volunteered again and was next appointed Purser of the frigate Alliance under Captain John Barry, in which rate he served from August 1780 until the vessel was laid up at Philadelphia at the close of the war in 1783. Cooper succeeded Nathaniel Blodgett who was carried as Purser of the ship as late as 31 May 1780. According to one testimony in the pension application, “the Purser’s duty was to distribute clothing, blankets & shoes among the men.” He was “also the officer whose duty was to pay the men.” The Steward, also known as the Purser’s Steward, was the petty officer under his charge whose “duty was to deliver out the food to the men daily.” Captain John Barry arrived in Boston on 19 September 1780 to take command of the frigate Alliance from former Captain Pierre Landais. Landais was facing court martial for his handling of the ship, as was his Lieutenant James A. Degge for relieving the captain of his duties at sea on 11 August 1780. Degge took command for himself, bringing the frigate into Boston on 19 August 1780. After the commotion of the court martial and while the ship was preparing for sea, the purser is referenced in Alliance Captain of Marines Matthew Parke’s journal, in his son’s possession in 1838. The journal entry for 24 December 1780 describes the desertion of four men who “stole away the cutter.” A general search ensued with “Mr. Fletcher & Mr. Cooper being dispatched after them towards Providence,” apprehending them the following day. Prior to the Alliance’s sailing, Samuel’s brother John Cooper relates in the pension application, “I frequently visited the ship while the said Cooper was Purser.” Samuel Cooper and the Alliance departed on their first cruise under Captain Barry’s command on 11 February 1781, arriving in France on 9 March 1781 with Thomas Paine aboard, one of three passengers. Alliance Captain of Marines Matthew Parke’s journal, includes the following notation for 30 March 1781, the day the ship departed L’Orient. “Samuel Dowes came to Samuel Cooper Purser and informed him that a conspiracy was formed to take the ship on. Nahomman, an Indian, who informed him said that sixty or seventy were concerned. Soon after this Mr. Cooper sent for Nahomman into his cabin who informed him that the man before him on the larboard watch bill was the principle. Capt. Barry immediately sent for him & ordered him in irons hands and feet & ordered the Purser to stop his allowance of provisions & liquor which was done.” The log of the Alliance for Sunday 31 March 1781 reads “At 5 P. M. put Cullen in irons for mutiny. At 11 found out a number more that was concerned in the mutiny. The names of those that were punished: Thos. Stokes, P. Shelden, Hugh Mallady, George Green, John Chalford, John McDaniel, Wm. McElhaney, John Downey, Jas. Martin, Walter Crooker, William Vanderpole. Latitude 45.58.” Barry remarked later in a letter, “Unhappily for us we had no Seaman on board but disaffected ones, and but few of them, I believe a Ship never put to sea in a worse Condition as to Seamen.” It is not clear if Samuel Cooper’s brother John was incorrectly speaking of this conspiracy or another when he testified in the pension application that he “often heard Matthew Parke my brother-in-law since deceased who was the Captain of Marines speak of said Cooper’s services in detecting and defeating a conspiracy that was formed by the crew for rising and taking the ship into an english port when she was bound to France with Marquis deLafayette and other French officers as passengers.” The intriguing pension application testimony of mariner Joseph Ferdinand of Boston who sailed as Seaman aboard the frigate Alliance with Samuel Cooper on the December 1780 to June 1781 cruise from Boston to L’Orient states Cooper “was Purser of the ship & sometimes on Sundays he read prayers to the men on the Quarterdeck.” In an addendum Ferdinand adds, “said Cooper on the Lord’s day read prayers on the Quarterdeck & at funerals he officiated as chaplain. He was always attentive to his duty as Purser & as Chaplain.” To further clarify his statement, Ferdinand notes “He was always called & known on board the ship as Purser.” It is not certain if the eighty year old Seaman is correctly remembering Samuel Cooper or confusing the Purser with his brother William Cooper, Captain’s Clerk and Chaplain of the frigate Boston on which Ferdinand also served. It is known that the roll of the Alliance included Benjamin Balch as Chaplain between October 1780 and June 1781. Balch was immediately preceeded in that rate by John Watkins from May 1779 to June 1780 and followed by James Geagan from December 1781 until July 1782. It is possible that Samuel Cooper assumed the duties of Chaplain between them or when Geagan’s rate was changed to Surgeon from July 1782 until the arrest of both officers late in 1782. Another journal entry penned by Captain Parke on 26 May 1781 while the ship was on her trans-Atlantic return crossing two weeks out of Boston notes the Purser “weighed the bread on board, find(ing) sufficient to last six weeks by Mr. Cooper’s account. Sailing from France on 29 March 1781, the Alliance was engaged in a hot action with the British brig Atalanta on the homeward bound leg just before her arrival at Boston on 6 June 1781. According to the pension testimony of William Cooper Parke, Samuel Cooper “acquired a wound in the temple from a splinter during some fight aboard the ship.” It is likely this battle or an earlier engagement with the privateer Fox to which the Purser’s nephew is referring. During the Summer of 1781, the ship refitted as Captain John Barry recuperated from a grapeshot wound to his shoulder sustained in an action with the Atalanta. During this time, payroll records of 481 officers and men who would serve on the frigate Alliance during the next twenty months until May 1783 was commenced beginning 15 August 1781. Also extant is a ledger with entries beginning on the same day itemizing the cost of supplies issued from the ship’s stores to 354 officers and men, in the hand and signed by Purser Samuel Cooper. Both Alliance payroll and ledger records are reposited in the Barry-Hayes Collection of the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia and are available to view online at www.phillyseaport.org/BarryHayesOnline . This payroll records Samuel Cooper entering service again as Purser for both his and Captain Barry’s second cruise on the Alliance on 1 November 1781. Richard Cooper, one of Samuel’s younger brothers, joined the ship as Master’s Mate six weeks later, just a week before the Alliance sailed. The frigate departed Boston on 23 December 1781, arriving at L’Orient, France with supercargo Marquis de Lafayette aboard on 18 January 1782. Lafayette was returning home after the surrender of Cornwallis. The frigate made a short unsuccessful cruise to the Bay of Biscay from L’Orient in February before sailing for home again on 16 March 1782. Just ten days before the Alliance sailed, Purser Samuel Cooper wrote Benjamin Franklin on 6 March 1782 begging for Franklin to procure the release of his eldest brother William from Mill Prison at Plymouth, England. William Cooper was Captain’s Clerk of the ship Lyon under the command of Philadelphia’s Captain John Green when the ship was taken by the British the previous year on 29 June 1781. Whether it was Franklin’s doing or changing public sentiment in Britain toward the war after the loss of Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown in October 1781; the Rev. Samuel Cooper penned Franklin on 6 September 1782 that his kinsman William Cooper was arrived in Boston “with many others of his countrymen.” The Alliance took no prizes on the homeward voyage with eight men dying at sea within six weeks. On 10 May 1782, the Alliance encountered and then eluded a sixty-four gun British warship off Cape Henlopen three days before her arrival at New London. The large number of crew who died at sea were followed by an additional ten deaths during the two months immediately following the ship making port. Samuel Cooper is noted as Purser on the list of officers and men of the Alliance at New London dated 17 May 1782. Samuel’s brother, Master’s Mate Richard Cooper was discharged there on 19 May 1782, just two days after their arrival. The vessel remained at New London until she departed again with Cooper as Purser on her third long cruise under Captain Barry on 4 August 1782. Almost immediately after leaving, the Alliance recaptured the prize RI brigantine Adventure and sent her in to New London. Barry then “proceeded as fast as possible off Bermudas” taking the schooner Polly along the way on 10 August 1782, which he sent in to Boston. On 25 August 1782, the Alliance retook the Connecticut sloop Fortune. The frigate then sailed to the banks of Newfoundland where she took the Nantucket whaling brigantine Somerset in early September, sending the prize into Boston. Several days later on 18 September 1782, the Alliance captured a damaged brigantine from Jamaica which was also sent to Boston. With intelligence gleaned from this latest prize Barry and the Alliance pursued the Jamaica fleet, taking two stray ships on 24 September 1782, the Britannia and Anna. Two additional ships from the fleet, the snow Commerce and the dismasted Kingston, were also captured by the Alliance on 27 and 28 September 1782 before all four prizes made sail with her to France. The little flotilla reached Groix Roads on 17 October 1782. While at L’Orient six officers, including Purser Samuel Cooper, who had not received pay demanded that Captain Barry obtain their arrears from American consul Thomas Barclay. Barry ignored their demand and ordered them to return to duty aboard the ship. When the six refused to obey orders to rejoin the Alliance, he ordered their arrest and detainment in France to face trial upon their return to the United States, reporting them as deserters. According to the Barry-Hayes collection payroll records, Cooper himself was not arrested until 6 December 1782, just before the ship sailed. The Purser remained attentive to his duty as late as the day of the ship Surgeon’s arrest on 26 November 1782 when he wrote to James Geagan on behalf of Captain Barry, “Sir, I expect you will get the stores you have indented for for the Alliance as soon as possible as the Ship is already to proceed to Sea but for want of them. If you find any Difficulty in procuring them you will lett me know. You will likewise Deliver Mr Eayres the amount of the Slops of the men he may want. I remain Mr Saml Cooper. Purser Sir Yours Of The Frigate Alliance.” It has not been determined if Samuel Cooper’s name appears on the list of officers and men of the Alliance dated 8 December 1782, the day she hurriedly sailed from L’Orient, located in the John Barry Papers at the Library of Congress. After making port at Martinique, St. Eustatius and Cape Francois; the frigate Alliance reached Havana on 31 January 1783. Awaiting the Alliance there was the 20-gun Duc de Lauzun under the command of Captain John Green bearing orders for both ships to depart for the United States immediately with a cargo of specie for Congressional use. Sailing from Havana on 7 March 1783, the Alliance engaged the British warship Sybil three days later, suffering ten wounded in an action off Cape Canaveral. After the battle, the Lauzun’s cargo of specie was transferred to the Alliance as the unprotected warship had jettisoned her guns to escape the Sybil. The two ships were separated off Cape Hatteras, the Lauzan arriving in Philadelphia on 21 March 1783. The Alliance sailed to Newport arriving on 20 March 1783 and shuttling to Providence several days later, anchoring just below the city where the officers and men were paid off and discharged. Despite the fact his brother John Cooper relates in the pension application that the Alliance’s Purser served the Alliance “until the ship was hauled up at Philadelphia & the officers belonging to Boston returned home by land,” Samuel Cooper likely returned to Philadelphia on the ship General Washington. Formerly the prize vessel General Monk, “the good Ship called the Washington” under the command of Captain Joshua Barney left L’Orient about five weeks after the Alliance on 17 January 1783, arriving in Philadelphia on 12 March 1783, nine days before Captain Green and the Duc de Lauzun. Much of what happened next is taken from The Papers of Robert Morris, 1781-1784 edited by Elmer James Ferguson (1973). On behalf of the Marine Committee of Congress, Robert Morris issued a “Warrant appointing a Court-Martial for the trial of Samuel Cooper late Purser of the frigate Alliance” on 13 May 1783. A similar warrant was issued for the trial of his brother-in-law Matthew Parke, Captain of Marines, on the same day. Continental Navy Captains James Nicholson, Hoysted Hacker, John Green and Silas Talbot along with Lieutenants Luke Matthewman and Joshua Barney and Captain of Marines Joseph Hardy were ordered to adjudicate the trial. Coincidentally, commander of the frigate Duc de Lauzun, Captain John Green was Cooper’s eldest brother William’s former captain on the ship Lyon and cellmate at Mill Prison in England. The trial was commenced on 15 May 1783 “on Board the Continental Ship General Washington in the Harbor of Philadelphia” with Jasper Moylan acting as Judge Advocate. The charge against both men was “Disobedience of Orders the Consequence was the Detaining of the Ship in port for sundry Days and causing an additional expense.” Both pleaded guilty to the first count of the charge but denied any actions causing the ship to be detained. Both officers also challenged Joshua Barney’s presence on the court, but ironically it was largely Barney’s testimony which accounted for their being found not guilty on the second count of the charge. Captain Barry’s letters were not permitted to be admitted as evidence although Cooper was able to demonstrate that he did not leave the ship until all necessary stores were placed on board for her sailing. The Purser did admit however to refusing to surrender the Alliance’s books when he left her service which later complicated paying off the crew at Providence. The trial was completed on the following day with the decision of the court following several days later; Robert Morris entering in his diary on 20 May “wrote to Mr. Cooper to know the Sentence of the Court Martial upon him.” The public reading of the verdict was delivered to Congress on 23 May confirming the sentence of the Court Martial held on Friday 16 May 1783 wherein the former Purser of the Alliance was “sentenced to forfeit his Warrant with Provisoe that such Sentence should not Affect any Wages or Monies due to the said Samuel Cooper on or before the 7th day of December on which the Disobedience of Orders happened.” Found guilty of only the admitted first count, both Cooper and Parke were exonerated of the charge of delaying the departure of the Alliance from L’Orient. The day before Cooper’s public sentencing, Robert Morris wrote on behalf of the Marine Committee to the President of Congress Elias Boudinet a sympathetic letter praising the Purser, “This Sentence I have confirmed and it now becomes my Duty to mention to the Court while they pronounced that Sentence from a Consideration that Disobedience of Officers is of the most evil Tendency and should therefore in all Cases be punished in the most exemplary Manner to deter others from offending in the like Way, have prayed Leave from the long and faithful Services of the said Samuel Cooper to recommend him to the honorable Congress of the United States.” Within days, both Parke and Cooper inquired with Morris concerning their wages and prize monies due. Robert Morris drafted a curt response dated 27 May 1783, “ I have received your Letter this Morning dated the twenty eighth. In answer I have to inform you that the Ship is paid off at Rhode Island in which Place alone you can receive your Money.” Subsequently, the brothers-in-law traveled to Providence where they received their pay. It is assumed that their accounts were settled at the same time Samuel Cooper attested to the final accounting of the Alliance Ledger in the Barry-Hayes collection dated at Providence 21 June 1783. According to a notation in Cooper’s hand, the text appears to have begun as the sequential volume to a previous ledger which was copied (presumably the one kept behind in France by the careful Purser) with entries added on Christmas Day 25 December 1782 while the ship was bound from France to the West Indies. After a long engagement spanning the entire war, Samuel Cooper was married to Margaret Phillips by the Rev. Peter Thacher (aka Thatcher) at the Brattle Street Church on Thursday 8 December 1785. The eighty-four year old widow’s own testimony in the pension application reveals that she “was engaged to be married to him (Samuel Cooper) before the commencement of the war.” Margaret Phillips, born at Boston on 25 May 1762, was the daughter of William Phillips and Margaret Wendell. Her brother John Phillips would become the first mayor of Boston. Margaret was known as Peggy as an 18 April 1771 entry in the Diary of Anna Green Winslow (1894) reveals, “Some time since I exchang’d a piece of patchwork, which had been wrought in my leisure intervals, with Miss Peggy Phillips, my schoolmate, for a pair of curious lace mitts with blue flaps which I shall send, with a yard of white ribbin edg’d with green to Miss Nancy Macky for a present. I had intended that the patchwork should have grown large enough to have cover’d a bed when that same live stock which you wrote me about some time since, should be increas’d to that portion you intend to bestow upon me, should a certain event take place.” When their intentions to marry were published, Margaret Phillips was familiarly identified as Peggy. The 26 December 1785 edition of the Independent Ledger records that Rev. Thacher, the pastor who married the couple just weeks before, named their newborn son Samuel Cooper Thacher in honor of the groom’s uncle. All of the couple’s children were born in Boston including: Katharine Wendell baptized 12 July 1789 who died young; a second Katharine Wendell baptized 30 May 1790 who also died young; William Phillips baptized 27 November 1791 who died young; a second William Phillips born 29 May 1795 who was baptized 31 May 1795, first married to Elizabeth Hawley in 1823, was married again to Caroline L.F. Abbott on 29 October 1840 and who died on 4 December 1845; Samuel Thatcher born 10 May 1799 who was baptized 19 May 1799 and who died on 8 November 1872; and the youngest George baptized on 5 April 1801 who was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps on 28 March 1820 and died unmarried at Charlestown, MA on 25 September 1823. For the first ten years of their married life, as the couple shared the loss of their first three children, Samuel Cooper served as clerk of the Senate from 1785 until 1795. Between the years 1789 and 1806, Cooper also served as a notary public and justice of the peace for Suffolk County. From 1799 until his death in 1809, Samuel Cooper served as a Special Justice or Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Suffolk County, his office address at 67 State Street. According to the Columbian Centennial, Samuel Cooper died on Saturday morning 14 January 1809. The New England Palladium reports his death as Sunday 15 January 1809. The funeral was held on Wednesday afternoon 18 January 1809 “at half after 3 o’clock from his late dwelling house in Oliver Street.” All three Boston mortuary notices remember the late Judge as “an officer in the Navy of the United States during the revolutionary war.” Samuel Cooper’s widow Margaret served as Vice-President of Boston’s Female Missionary Society in 1816. In 1830, Margaret Cooper bought what is today known as the Frye-Cooper House at 85 Central Street in Andover, MA from widow Ann W. Evans. The earliest portion of the house was built in 1811 for Elizabeth Frye, widow of Revolutionary War Marine veteran Benjamin Frye. In 1831, Margaret bought adjacent land allowing her to construct a large addition to the North side of the double house. By 1836 Margaret Cooper’s situation had taken a turn for the worse when she first commenced receiving a widow’s pension for her late husband’s naval service. The pension benefits were abruptly cut off five years later in March of 1841. In presenting her case to the government for the restoration of benefits, the elderly widow eloquently pleaded, “I am the widow of an Revolutionary Naval officer- at the age of 84- have had three sons in the service of their beloved country- but my husband, where is he- my children, where are they….when I most needed it- it was discontinued- it cannot impoverish the nation to “Remember the widows and fatherless in their affliction.” Margaret Phillips Cooper, widow of Samuel Cooper, died 19 February 1844 in Andover, MA. In February 1850, son Samuel T. Cooper of Andover petitioned the House of Representatives “praying compensation for the services of his late father, Samuel Cooper, deceased, on board the United States frigate Alliance, during the war of the Revolution.” The petition was referred to the Committee on Revolutionary Claims and presumably lost in bureaucratic silence. The Frye-Cooper House of his mother remained in the family possession until seven years after the 1872 death of Samuel and Margaret Cooper’s last surviving child Samuel Thatcher Cooper, when the property was sold to developers.

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