Search billions of records on


Hudson Riverfront View - Poughkeepsie, New York
Circa 1865 - Harper's Weekly

Dr. Samuel Cooke

b. About 1738, Likely New York State, d. May 26 1783, Poughkeepsie, New York


Samuel Cooke played an important role in the Revolutionary War and the details are scattered throughout documents and books. I will be refining the content and its formatting presented on this page in the coming weeks.
I you have any information to share on any of the Cooke family members or have corrections to the data I have posted please let me know.

Marriage and Building a Family

Samuel Cooke marries Temperance Hodges
Temperance Hodges was born in 1736, likely New York state
Source: Headstone, Newport, New York

Over the next several years Samuel and Temperance had 7 children.

1761: a son was born

1765: a son was born

Samuel Cooke in Poughkeepsie, New York

1767: 29 year old, Samuel Cooke is practicing medicine as a respected surgeon in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Tragedy Strikes the Cooke Family

June 29, 1773 Dr. Cooke of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, two sons of, ages 8 and 12 drowned June 29 in Kearny’s Mill Dam (7/5)
Source: N.Y. Gazette-Mercury , 7/5/1773

A son, William Hodges Cooke was born

1774: A daughter, Temperance was born

A son, George Whitefield Cooke was born

A daughter, Ann was born about 1774

A son, Samuel was born

Land Dealings in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

March 9, 1774, Dr. Joseph Sprague of Wilkes-Barre deeded to Dr. Samuel Cook of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., for £52, 8 sh., Lot No. 46, 1st Division, or Meadow Lots — 35 acres at Jacob's Plains. This lot lay along the river and was about where Port Bowkley now is. This sale must have fallen through, for on July 28, 1774, Dr. Sprague conveys the same lot to Dr. Wm. Hooker Smith, for £100.
Source: Pioneer Physicians Of Wyoming Valley, p.56

Revolutionary War Era Begins in New York

Signing the Articles of Association

One of the first acts of the Provincial Congress, after Delegates were elected, was the endorsement of the "Articles of Association". Copies of the documents were placed in the hands of committees to circulate through the counties for signatures. The primary purpose of this "Pledge" was to bring the people up to the point of associated effort, and had no direct reference to an appeal to arms and separation from the English government.

In Dutchess County there were 1820 signers, and 964 persons who refused to sign. Some qualified their signatures by certain restrictions. Lists were recorded of those who signed and of those who refused to sign, and are preserved in the American Archives. They show a radical difference in the views even of members of the same family, and in some of the Precincts, almost an equal division in numbers. Source: History of Dutchess County, p.95-96

June – July 1775, Samuel Cook signed the Articles of Association document as a resident of the Poughkeepsie Precinct.
Source: History of Dutchess County, p.107

Henry Livingston Jr. & Samuel Cook Relationship

Henry Livingston Jr. was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, on Oct. 13, 1748. The Livingston family was one of the important colonial and revolutionary families of New York.

Known for his encyclopedic knowledge and his love of literature, Henry Livingston was a farmer, surveyor and Justice of the Peace, a judicial position dealing with financially limited criminal and civil cases. One of the first New Yorkers to enlist in the Revolutionary Army in 1775, Major Henry Livingston accompanied his cousin's husband, General Montgomery, in his campaign up the Hudson River to invade Canada, leaving behind his new wife, Sarah Welles, and their week-old baby, on his Poughkeepsie property, Locust Grove. Following this campaign, Livingston was involved in the War as a Commissioner of Sequestration, appropriating lands owned by British loyalists and selling them for the revolutionary cause.

Letter from Harry Livingston to Colonel James Clinton RE: Dr. Samuel Cooke

1775, August 19th Letter as follows:

Poughkeepsie August 19th 1775

Dr. Sir

I have the pleasure to inform you that yesterday afternoon my wife was a Joyful mother of a fine daughter- -a circumstance in providence I highly rejoice at- -You know the feelings of a father Sir on these occasions However I expect to be ready almost or quite as soon as the men here. As no man enters with more zeal into the service of his country than myself - Captain Dubois is now by me & tells me His men are in high spirits & want to be in motion & only want camp kettles & blankets to march immediately- Captain Billings writes to you himself- I must with sorrow tell you the Committees of this county had had but very little success(?) in purchasing arms Only the Committee of Poughkeepsie have done well. That precinct alone have furnished between 30 & 40 flintlocks that with little of the gunsmiths aid may do very well- I waited the result of the County Committees proceedings before I proceed (to) take any other method, & wait now for further orders in this particular - The county committees however I am informed this moment are resolved to impress arms from these gentlemen that state the liberties of America - perhaps a line from you directing in this affair may be very necessary.

If by your influence Sir you can any way get Doctor Cooke with us this would give universal satisfaction- I know the man, & our family & neighborhood have long experienced the effects of his skill & for my part it would considerably alleviate the evils of a campaign to have a surgeon at hand whose abilities was well apprised of & could confide in, My Brother Doctor Livingston was with me yesterday & desires his love to you.

I am sir your humble servant

Henry Livingston Junior


August 21, 1775 – Letter to Provincial Congress from Maj. H. Livingston, RE: Doctor Samuel Cooke

A Letter from Major Henry Livingston, Jun., of the 21st instant, was read and filed, and is in the words following:

"Poughkeepsie, August 21, 1775.

"SIR: I am desired by Colonel Clinton to inform the honourable the Provincial Congress, that drums are wanting for the respective Companies that compose his Regiment. He also desired me to mention our medicine chest; suppose, however, we shall find that and the drums at Albany. With respect to Dr. Samuel Cooke, the gentleman nominated Surgeon to our Regiment, I am authorized to inform your, Sir, that he attended several days in New-York for his examination, but at length by one contingency or other came away without it. He at first applied to Dr. Jones, who would not examine him unless Dr. Bard (who was out of Town) was present. The matter was stated to the Congress, who ordered that one of the members should wait on Dr. Jones, and inform him that an examination by him alone would satisfy them. Dr. Jones, however, declined. After Dr. Bard’s return, there was a day appointed for the business, but that day both Dr Jones and Bard were called to Long Island. Dr. Cooke, being very unwell at the time, could stay no longer, having attended several days to no purpose.

"Those officers and soldiers who are acquainted with Dr. Cooke and his practice, and good success both as physician and surgeon, are very desirous to have his appointment confirmed, and as we expect to march in two or three days, are exceedingly anxious that he may be acquainted with it, and follow us as soon as possible.

"I am, Sir, your obedient humble servant,


"To the Hon. Peter V. B. Livingston, Esq."

Source: [1775-08-21] Livingston, Henry, Jr., Major; New-York, Congress. [S4-V3-p0555]

Samuel Cooke, Certification, Surgeon 3rd New York Regiment

1775, August 25 New York Congress Located in New York City

Ordered, That Dr. Samuel Cooke be appointed Surgeon, and be is hereby appointed Surgeon to the Third Regiment of Troops raised in this Colony, and at the request of Mr. Henry Livingston, Jun., the Major of the said Regiment, which he says is with the consent of a considerable number of the said Regiment.

Ordered, That the examination of Dr. Samuel Cooke be dispensed with, and that he be appointed Surgeon, notwithstanding he has neglected to be examined according to the standing order of this Congress, but that this shall not be a precedent in any other instance.

Mr. John Stephenson sent into Congress a certificate of Dr. John Jones and Dr. Bard, which was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

"This is to certify that we, the subscribers, agreeable to an order of the Provincial Congress, have examined Mr. John Stephenson, respecting his knowledge in physick and surgery, and that we find him competently qualified to act as a Surgeon' s Mate.



Ordered, That Mr. John Stephenson be appointed, and he is hereby appointed, Surgeon' s Mate to the Third Regiment of Troops now raised in this Colony; and Ordered, That he join his Regiment with all possible dispatch. Mr. Bedford Williams, who was on the 16th instant appointed Surgeon' s Mate to the Second Regiment, agreeable to a standing order of this House, produced a certificate of Dr. John Jones and Dr. Bard, which is in the words following, to wit: "This is to certify that we, the subscribers, agreeable to an order of the Provincial Congress, have examined Mr.

Page v3:556

Bedford Williams, respecting his knowledge in physick and surgery, and that we find him competently qualified to act as a Surgeon' s Mate.



Ordered, That Mr. Bedford Williams' s appointment of Surgeon' s Mate stand confirmed, and that he join his Regiment with all possible dispatch.

Source: [1775-08-25] New-York, Congress. [S4-V3-p0555-556]

Summons and Arrival of Samuel Cooke, Surgeon 3rd New York Regiment

August 29, 1775: A rainy day in Albany, New York. Captain Daniel Denton arrived with his company – sent a letter by an express from Colonel Van Schaack to P. B Livingston, Mr. Curtenius & Doctor Cook.

September 2, 1775: Samuel Cooke and Lt. John Langdon arrived at Albany.
Source: Journal of Major Henry Livingston of the Third New York Continental Line August to December 1775

Christies Auction House - Dr. Samuel Cooke Letter

COOKE, Samuel,Surgeon, Continental Army (1738-1783)

Autograph letter signed ("Samuel Cooke"), probably to General James Clinton, "Head Quarters before Quebec, 6, January 1776.
Dr. Cook announces defeat at Quebec." A New York surgeon with the Canada expedition reports on the American defeat and begs for medical assistance:
"Before this you have heard I doubt not of our defeat. Our loss is too great in so good a cause and we have more than forty officers killed & taken [prisoner]. Our Regiment is praying for your arrival...for we are sheep without a shepherd....Pray be pleased to order my mate [fellow surgeon] down we have great numbers of sick & wounded. I understand he has far as Point a Trembles & returned again to Montreal...."
--COOKE, Samuel.
Autograph manuscript "Account of the Names of Prisoners taken at the Parish of St. Peters...Canada...."
"An acct. of Prisoners taken below Quebec." The list contains some 44 French and English names arranged in two columns; at the head is "Revd. Mr. Borga wounded in the Belly." On the back Cooke notes that some men were "taken by a party of Continental & Canadian troops under...Major Lewis Dubois."
Provenance: See note preceding 316. Spring of 1777 3rd New York was stationed at Fort Mongtomery not sure Cooke was there, working on confirmation.

Samuel Cooke, Surgeon in Canada

1776, February, 28, Tenth Company: Robert Johnson, Samuel Cooke, Surgeon.
Source: [1776-02-28] Anonymous. [S4-V4-p1531]

Letter from Dr. Samuel Cooke to Captain Platt, July 24, 1776

POUGHKEEPSIE, July 24, 1776. SIR: I understand the Provincial Congress have ordered two regiments raised from the Militia of this County for our common defence, and I am informed that the Congress have the appointment of the Surgeons. Dr. Forman has a desire of serving in one of them, if the Congress would think proper to appoint him. He has served the last war as Surgeon' s Mate, by which means he has had an opportunity of being acquainted with disorders incident to an Army; and as he has ever been engaged in the cause of his country, and is desirous to serve them in that capacity, would be glad of your assistance in a particular manner. I am informed that Colonel Graham has promised him his assistance to procure him a surgeoncy in his regiment. I am, sir, your humble servant, SAMUEL COOKE. To Captain Zephaniah Platt, in Provincial Congress. P. S. All your family and friends are well. Source: American Archives Series 5, Volume 1, Page 1450, Document ID: S5-V1-P01-sp06-D0569

Samuel Cooke, Surgeon Service in Canada, November 1776

1776, November, List of officers who served in Canada last winter Source: [1776-11] [S5-V3-p0949] Document ID: S5-V3-P01-sp22-D0004

Tory Property Seized and Sold

May, 1777: By order of the Court of New York, and of the Circuit Court of the United States a Board of Sequestration was created by the State to take charge of and lease the property forfeited by Tories, and in 1784 an act of the Legislature was passed, further providing for the "speedy sale of confiscated and forfeited estates" by the Commissioners of Forfeiture.

Dr. Samuel Cooke of Poughkeepsie called the attention of these Commissioners to the twenty-three acre lot, for which Mr. Beardsley had been given a deed originally, but which the charter had confirmed to the Church. Dr. Cooke was a resident physician, in practice at Poughkeepsie from 1767, who seemed to be alive to the chance of obtaining bargains in real estate through the sales made by the Commissioners of Forfeiture. He bought, as has been mentioned, ninety-six acres of Mr. Crannell's land, and apparently attempted to secure the twenty- three acre lot by having it confiscated as the property of the departed Tory clergyman.

William Emott wrote Mr. Beardsley, later, regarding Dr. Cooke's action, that the confiscation "was Averted By our personal appearance before the Governor, Attorney-General, and board of Commissioners, Where our title was duly examined, And your Agency manifested by the Records remaining in the Secretary's office, whereby you obtained the title and confirmation for the Corporation, without any reservation; expressly declaring that the Church were the sole proprietors of the said lands."

Although the church was closed while the war lasted, and many of its members regarded with suspicion by the 1 Appendix, Beardsley papers, No. 14.
Source: Records of Christ church volume II

5th Regiment Listing from the state comptroller of NY (Document 1779 JOURNALS OF THE MILITARY EXPEDITION OF MAJOR GENERAL JOHN SULLIVAN AGAINST THE SIX NATIONS OF INDIANS IN 1779 WITH RECORDS OF CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS (doc available see this section for excellent detail on DuBois and his resignation Very important book must download describes conditions in winter of Du Bois regiment Must download book

Dr. Samuel Cooke Writes His Will

In the name of God, Amen. I, Samuel Cooke, Physician of Pokeepsie Precinct, Dutchess County, being weak in body, this third day of May, 1783. All my just debts and funeral charges to be paid within some convenient time after my decease. I leave to my well beloved wife Temperance, one equal third part of my real estate for life, and in lieu of dower; Also, all moveable estate in my possession which was given by her father at our marriage or any time since. Also, one equal sixth of all my personal estate (except a depreciation note herein willed to my son, William Hodges Cooke). Unto my said son, in fee simple, one equal fourth of all my landed estate in Dutchess County or elsewhere; Also, said note amounting to near L100; Also one sixth of my moveable estate (except what is willed to his mother). Unto my sons George Whitefield Cooke and Samuel Cooke like portions of my real and personal estate in like manner. Unto my daughters, Temperance and Anna Cooke, an equal eighth of my real estate and one sixth of said movable estate in like manner. Should any of my children die under age or without lawful issue, or a conveyance made such children’s portions shall be equally divided among their survivors. I make my wife and well-beloved friend John Bailey, Esq., executors.
Witnesses, William Terry, tailor, Sebre Fish, hatter, both of Poughkeepsie Precinct, James Livingston.
Proved, August, 18, 1783.

Source:Page 120 Abstract of Wills – Liber 36m

May 3, 1783: Samuel Cooke wrote his will with William Terry, tailor, Sebre Fish, hatter, both of Poughkeepsie Precinct, James Livingston Proved Aug 18 1783

Dr. Samuel Cook dies at Poughkeepsie, New York

May 26, 1783: Dr Samuel Cook about 45 years old died in Poughkeepsie, New York. . Of liberal education; practitioners of physic; surgeon in Continental Army; army service broke his constitution; left a family

May 28, 1783: Funeral sermon and burial at the Dutch Church in Poughkeepsie was officiated by Rev. Wheeler Case.

Buried 5/28 at the Dutch Church burial ground in Poughkeepsie.
Source: 10,000 vital records of New York p56 – 57, Death Notice in Dutchess County p. 30

August 31, 1804: Temperance Cook Land in Poughkeepsie

From the survey of Dutchess Turnpike Map 29A Filed August 31, 1804 S58E 16 16 Over the Old Road on the land of Temperance Cook to a stake in Peter Deremer’s Land East of his house and north of Old Road.
Source: The Eagle’s History of Poughkeepsie p n85


Coat of Arms Library Name Evolution Other Links Research Links