Scope and Content
Title: Reverend Thomas R. Cook journals
Identifier/Call Number: ARC Mss 82
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
Language of Material:
0.4 linear feet
(1 document box)
Date (inclusive): 1870-1936
Date (bulk): 1870-1881
Consists of fifteen journals written by Reverend Thomas Cook, a Methodist preacher, who wrote about his experience growing
up during the Western Expansion, Civil War, and life as Reverend preaching across the mining towns of Colorado.
Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara
Cook, Thomas R., Reverend, 1848-1937
Purchased by Special Research Collections in 2016.
[Identification of Item], Reverend Thomas R. Cook journals, ARC Mss 82. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara
Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given
on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
Reverend Thomas R. Cook was born on May 18, 1848 in Middletown, Pennsylvania, to William Cook, a saddlemaker and later a farmer,
and Mary Katherine Rice Cook. As a young child Cook’s family journeyed from Ohio to Iowa in 1853 to begin a life of farming.
At the time, Iowa was largely unsettled and had only received statehood seven years prior. In 1858, Cook’s mother died of
consumption and soon after his father remarried. During the Civil War, Cook’s father and two uncles joined the 35th Regiment
of Company K, a Muscatine located Union volunteer infantry, leaving Cook to take on the responsibilities of the farm and family.
In 1870, Cook graduated from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. The college was founded in 1853 by Methodist minister
from North Carolina, one of the many colleges stemming from the Third Great Awakening. Cook initially took up teaching but
by 1875 had become a Methodist preacher himself and moved to Colorado. Cook would preach among the small mining towns and,
as his journals indicates, tutor a Chinese immigrant. His adult life was filled with descriptions of the Western Expansion
experience with community conflicts during the Civil War, Native Americans (aftermath of the Meeker Massacre), and mining
town life. By 1879, Cook had married a family friend by the name of Mary and settled in Fairplay, Colorado. They had a daughter,
Leonara and a son, who died as infant. At the age of eighty-nine Cook died in Sierra Nevada, California.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of fifteen journals detailing Reverend Thomas Cook's life and work. A few of the journals detail his
childhood, which include accounts his family's move to Iowa and the conflicts within the community between Union and Confederate
neighbors. Moreover, one of the journals detail Cook's short career as a teacher. The bulk of the journals relate to Cook's
life as a Methodist preacher throughout Colorado. Those journals include poems, funeral service descriptions, drafts of letters,
spiritual text, church adminstrative notes, and stories chronicling his ministery.
Maintains original file titles of the creator.
Arranged roughly in chronological order.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Gold mines and mining--Colorado
Iowa--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
Missouri--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Anecdotes