m. 18 SEP 1750
Facts and Events
William Cooper (December 2, 1754 – December 22, 1809) was an American merchant, land speculator and developer, the founder of Cooperstown, New York. A politician, he was appointed as a county judge and later served two terms in the United States Congress, representing Otsego County and central New York. He was the father of James Fenimore Cooper, who became a noted writer of historical novels related to the New York frontier.
William was descended from James Cooper, of Stratford-on-Avon, England, who immigrated to America in 1679 and made extensive purchases of land from the original proprietaries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He and his immediate descendants were Quakers, and for a long time many of them remained on the lands thus acquired.
In 1785, William had examined lands on which settlement had failed in Otsego county, N. Y., and disposed of large areas in May 1786; lived at the south end of Otsego lake until 1790, and then removed his family from Burlington, N. J., to the growing settlement now known as Cooperstown. William was appointed (February 17, 1791) judge of the first court of common pleas for Otsego county; and was Representative from New York in the Congress of the United States for the sessions December 7, 1795-March 3, 1797, and December 2, 1799-March 3, 1801.