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Samuel Cooper Papers: Finding Aid
mssCO 1-271  
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Collection Details
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  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Samuel Cooper Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1718-1798
    Collection Number: mssCO 1-271
    Creator: Cooper, Samuel, 1725-1783.
    Extent: 271 pieces in 3 boxes and 1 folder
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the papers of Massachusetts scholar and Congregational minister Samuel Cooper (1725-1783). Includes sermons by Cooper and his father William Cooper (1694-1743), dating from 1718-1783 (strongest for the period 1740-1759) and correspondence, covering international politics in relation to the American colonies (1769-1783), French officers in North America (1778-1783), and the Cooper family affairs.
    Language: English and French.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Samuel Cooper Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Chiefly purchased from Marvin C. Taylor, 1926.
    Diary and miscellaneous account (1775, Apr. 18 -- Sept 23 ) Purchased from Mary O'Neal, Nov. 1, 2010.

    Custodial History

    Diary and miscellaneous account (1775, Apr. 18 -- Sept 23) was held on deposit at The Massachusetts Historical Society until 1999.

    Biographical Note

    Samuel Cooper (1724-1784), scholar and Congregational minister, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Following in the footsteps of his father, William Cooper, he was educated for the ministry and was graduated from Harvard in 1743. In the same year, before his ordination took place, he was called to be assistant pastor of the Brattle Street Church in Boston. Four years later he became sole incumbent and remained in the same pastorate to the end of his life.
    For many years Dr. Cooper was a member of the Corporation of Harvard College. He was an ardent patriot, and took an active part in the politics of his day. He numbered among his most intimate friends many famous Americans, and all of the distinguished Frenchmen who visited Boston during the course of the war.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains the letters, manuscripts (including sermons, 4 diaries, and 1 poem), and documents. Includes 195 sermons by William Cooper and Samuel Cooper, 1718-1783 (strongest for the period 1740-1759) and correspondence, covering international politics in relation to the American colonies (1769-1783), French officers in North America (1778-1783), and the Cooper family affairs (1759-1798). Some pieces are in French. Among the correspondents are John Adams (3 pieces), Charles Hector d'Estaing (3 pieces), Benjamin Franklin (5 pieces), Gideon Hawley (2 pieces), Anne César de la Luzerne (6 pieces), Charles Gravier de Vergennes (2 pieces). There are two letters (1771, Feb. 25 and 1776, Jan. 8) from Gideon Hawley describing his life among the Indians. There are 177 pieces of Samuel Cooper and 43 pieces of William Cooper.
    Some notable items include:
    • Cooper, Samuel. Letter to the Corporation of Harvard, declining the presidency of the college. [February 10, 1774]
    • Hawley, Gideon. Two letters to Dr. Cooper, describing his life among the Indians. February 25, 1771 and January 8, 1776
    • Lee, Arthur. Letter to Dr. Cooper, regarding the mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line. Jan. 18, 1781
    • Lovell, James. Letter discussing the neutrality of Russia and Denmark and the possible action of Holland; also, Virginia's relinquishment of [UNK]to western territory. February 1, 1781
    The diaries cover the periods 1764 January 1 - 1765 February 2; 1769 October 22 - December 31; 1775 April 18 - September 23; and 1775 April 19 - May 17, 1776. The 1769 diary was published in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 55 (1901), pp. 145-149, and the 1775-1776 diary was published in The American Historical Review, vol. 6 (Jan. 1901), pp. 301-341.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Cooper, William, 1694-1743.
    Cooper, Samuel, 1725-1783 -- Archives.
    La Luzerne, Anne-César, chevalier de, 1741-1791 -- Correspondence.
    Estaing, Charles Henri, comte d', 1729-1794 -- Correspondence.
    Hawley, Gideon, 1727-1807 -- Correspondence.
    Vergennes, Charles Gravier, comte de, 1719-1787 -- Correspondence.
    Church in Brattle Square (Boston, Mass.)
    Harvard College (1636-1780)
    Sermons, American -- Early works to 1800.
    Congregationalism -- New England -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
    Indians of North America -- Massachusetts -- Early works to 1800.
    Missionaries -- Massachusetts -- Correspondence.
    Boston (Mass.) -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
    United States -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 -- Sources.
    United States -- History -- Sermons -- Early works to 1800.
    United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Sources.
    United States -- Foreign relations -- France.
    France -- Foreign relations -- United States.


    Diaries -- United States -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
    Diaries -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States 18th century.
    Sermons -- United States -- 18th century.
    Personal papers -- United States -- 18th century.
    Family papers -- United States -- 18th century.

    Alternate Authors

    Cooper, William, 1694-1743.
    Adams, John, 1735-1826.
    La Luzerne, Anne-César, chevalier de, 1741-1791.
    Estaing, Charles Henri, comte d', 1729-1794.
    Hawley, Gideon, 1727-1807.
    Vergennes, Charles Gravier, comte de, 1719-1787.