1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 Nicholas Cooke Papers

 Governor of Rhode Island, 1775-1778.

 Papers, 1764-1778. Bulk, 1775-1777.

 Size: 0.5 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 365

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, August 1996

 USE MICROFILM    E445 .R4, part 2, reel 9

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Nicholas Cooke (1717-1782) spent his early life as a sea captain, and later operated a distillery and a ropemaking business. He was twice elected for one-year terms as Deputy Governor of Rhode Island, in 1768 and in 1775. He became Governor in November 1775 after Tory sympathizer Joseph Wanton was deposed. He served through May 1778, then declined another term.

            Cooke married Hannah Sabin in 1740 (d. 1792), and had 12 children.

Biographical Cyclopedia of Rhode Island, p. 98-99.

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Scope and content:

            This collection consists of letters received by Gov. Cooke, and drafts of letters sent. See inventory for details.

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            The bulk of this collection probably comprises the gift of papers made by Caroline Cooke, widow of one of Gov. Cooke's sons, in 1865. Other early gifts may have been included; Rufus Babcock donated one letter in 1859 that found its way into this collection. On the other hand, many early Cooke letters donated before 1890 were not placed here; they were interfiled in the miscellaneous Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts collection.

            After the collection was disbound in 1982, some items were added, including some Babcock letters. Those who are interested in pursuing this matter further can easily determine which items were in the collection in 1890, by comparing the current list with the list made at that time. Also, items removed from the 1890 scrapbook still bear signs of a distinctive off-white paper glued to the reverse.

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Processing note:

            This collection was originally organized chronologically and bound into a scrapbook circa 1890. An item list was prepared at this time, which can still be found at the repository. A Dec. 23, 1778 letter from General Ezekiel Cornell was reported stolen from the collection in 1899 and never recovered. By 1982, the Cooke Papers had been dismounted, and some items not directly relating to Cooke were moved to other collections. In particular, 36 Ephraim Bowen letters dated 1778 to 1780 (mostly retained copies of letter to Nathanael Greene) were transferred to the Bowen Family Collection at that time.

            There are many other Cooke items scattered throughout other collections at the repository, which can be accessed through the card catalog.

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1764/06/25     Letter from John Turner & Son, at Amsterdam.

1768/07/24     Letter from Phineas Potter, at St. Johns, Three Rivers. Canadian fisheries.

1768/12/24     Warrant for arrest of James Dunwen.

1771/09/18     Deed of Negro man named Prince from Josias Lyndon.

1772/05/05     Power of attorney, Cooke et al to James Rogers.

1772/11/14     Letter from Cooke? to John Chambersley of London.

1773/04/14     Receipt from Joseph Tillinghast for cargo to Joseph Swasey.

1773/04/14     Letter from Joseph Swasey, at Granada.

1773/05/03     Receipt from Joseph and William Russell for linen and one Bible.

1775/04/05     Letter from John Pownell, at Whitehall.

1775/06/26     Draft to Provisional Congress of Massachusetts.

1775/07/01     Draft to Gov. Trumbull.

1775/07/01     Draft to "The Sachems, Warriours and females Governesses of Oneida".

1775/07/07     Draft to Committee of Safety.

1775/07/08     Draft to Genl. Greene.

1775/07/26     Copy of letter from George Washington.

1775/08/06     Letter from John Potter, at South Kingstown.

1775/08/09     Copy of letter on behalf of Geo. Washington to Col. Leffingwell and William                         Hubbard.

1775/08/30     Draft to George Washington

1775/08/31     Draft to Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward.

1775/09/01     Letter from John Potter, at South Kingstown.

1775/09/01     Letter from Joseph Stanton Jr., at Charlestown.

1775/09/02     Draft to Genl. Washington.

1775/09/06     Letter from [James Rhodes?] at New Shoreham.

1775/09/08     Draft to James Rhodes.

1775/09/11     Letter from John Potter, at South Kingstown.

1775/09/11     Letter from John Potter to Samuel Segar and George Potter, at South Kingstown.

1775/09/13     Letter from James Rhodes at New Shoreham.

1775/09/14     Draft to James Rhodes.

1775/09/15     Letter from James Rhodes, at New Shoreham.

1775/09/19     Letter to R.I. General Assembly from Samuel Whitmarsh, et al, at Port Petre,                         Guadaloupe.

1775/09/23     Letter from James Rhodes, at Westerly.

1775/09/29     Draft to Ethan Clarke.

1775/09/29     Draft to Genl. Bradford.

1775/09/29     Draft to Genl. Washington.

1775/10/06     Draft to John Hancock.

1775/10/08     Letter from B.? Peckham, at South Kingstown, foe Committee of Correspondence

1775/10/10     Draft to onathan Trumbull.

1775/10/10     Draft to Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward.

1775/10/10     Letter from John Waterman, at Warwick.

1775/10/11     Tracing of letter, Cooke to Col. Waterman.

1775/10/11     Letter from Ethan Clarke, at New Shoreham.

1775/10/12     Town council minute, Newport - proposed agreement with Capt. Wallace.

1775/10/19     Letter from Ambrose Page, at Providence.

1775/10/20     Order to William Wilbour.

1775/10/21     Draft to Esek Hopkins.

1775/10/25     Draft to Genl. Washington.

1775/10/26     Copy of act of Congress.

1775/11/12     Draft to Capt. Whipple. Glued to 10/25 letter.

1775/11/21     Order to Abraham Whipple.

1775/11/22     Letter from Metcalf Bowler, at Middletown.

1775/11/25     Draft to William Bradford.

1775/11/27     Draft to Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward.

1775/11/27     Letter from William Richmond, at Camp Rhode Island.

1775/12/02     Letter from Nathaniel Mumford et al, at Philadelphia.

1775/12/11     Draft to Genl. Washington.

1775/12/16     Memoranda taken at Chelsea and Dorchester of ship movements.

1775/12/17     Draft to Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward.

1775/12/22     Letter from William Richmond, at "Headquarters."

1776/01/07     Letter from Samuel Ward, at Philadelphia.

1776/01/30     Letter from Walter Burke, at Antigua.

1776/01/30     Letter from Peter Begorrat, "Devoted Friend of America", at St. Pierre, France.

1776/03/19     Letter from Moses Brown, at Providence.

1776/03/18     Draft to Genl. Washington.

1776/03/26     Letter from William Greene, at Warwick.

1776/04/??      Letter from Henry Babcock.

1776/04/01     Letter from John Babcock, at Westerly.

1776/04/03     Letter from John Trumbull, at Lebanon.

1776/04/04     Letter from Cromwell Child, at Warren.

1776/04/04     Draft to Genl. Washington. Glued to 3/18 letter.

1776/04/06     Letter from Henry Babcock, at R.I. headquarters.

1776/04/09     Order to John Grimes. Glued to 3/18 letter.

1776/04/11     Letter from William Richmond, Christopher Lippitt and Caleb Gardner, at              Middletown, R.I.

1776/04/11     Letter from William Richmond and Caleb Gardner, at Headquarters.

1776/04/13     Letter from Henry Babcock, at R.I. Headquarters.

1776/04/18     Letter from Joshua Babcock, at Westerly

1776/04/19     Letter from Joshua Babcock, at Westerly.

1776/04/23     Draft to Gov. Hopkins.

1776/04/25     Letter from Joshua Babcock, at Westerly.

1776/04/29     Copy of unsigned letter, at New York, marked "probably from Gen.                        Washington."

1776/05/06     Letter from Pierre Long, at Portsmouth, N.E.

1776/05/14     Letter from John Trumbull, at Hartford. Glued to 4/3 letter.

1776/06/24     Draft to Gov. Trumbull.

1776/07/22     Letter from John Grimes, at Newport.

1776/07/24     Draft, to [unknown?].

1776/07/26     Letter from Nicholas Biddle, aboard the Andrew Doria.

1776/08/13     Draft to Stephen Hopkins and William Ellery.

1776/08/17     Draft to Gov. Trumbull.

1776/08/27     Draft to Stephen Hopkins and William Ellery.

1776/08/30     Copy, letter of Col. Livingston to Gov. Trumbull, at Sag Harbor.

1776/08/30     Copy of letter, Samuel Buell to Gov. Trumbull, at Sag Harbor.

                        Glued to 8/30 letter.

1776/08/31     Copy of letter from Robert Hempstead, [to Gov. Trumbull?] at Southhold, L.I.

1776/09/01     Letter from Joseph Trumbull to his father, at New York.

1776/09/03     Draft to Gov. Trumbull.

1776/09/05     Copy of letter from [Trumbull?] to Cooke, at Lebanon.

1776/10/05     Draft to Trumbull.

1776/11/20     Letter from officers of Col. Richmond's regiment to R.I. assembly.

1776/11/??      Letter from William Bull, at Newport.

1777/01/01     Copy of testimony of William West.

1777/03/14     Letter from Josias Lyndon, at Warren.

1777/05/08     Letter from William Ellery, at Philadelphia.

                        Also attached enclosure: extract in Ellery's hand from letter by Arthur Lee dated                         2/20/1777.

1777/05/08     Letter from John Gibson, at Philadelphia.

1777/05/12     Letter from William Greene, at Warwick

1777/05/17     Letter from Jer. Powell, for the Massachusetts Council.

1777/05/20     Letter from Genl. Spencer, at Providence.

1777/05/20     Letter from Joseph Noyes, at Westerly.

1777/05/21     Letter from William Bradford, at South Kingstown.

1777/07/20     Letter from Genl. Varnum, at Peekskill.

1777/07/23     Letter from Massachusetts Council.

1778/11/28     Letter from Henry Marchant, at South Kingstown.

Undated          J. Swasey, account of sales of cargo aboard sloop Ranger. Ca. 1773?

Undated          C. Lippitt, memorandum on contents of chest rec'd from Mr. Champlin.

Undated          Eight envelopes with no apparent matching letters.

The collection also includes typescripts of 13 letters from George Washington to Cooke, dated 1775-1777, available in photostat form from the R.I. State Archives.

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Babcock, Henry

Ellery, William (1727-1820)

Trumbull, Jonathan (1710-1785)

Rhode Island - Politics and government - Revolution, 1775-1783

United States - History - Revolution, 1775-1783

Washington, George (1732-1799)

Most of the items in this collection are indexed through the card catalog at the repository.

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