Cooke, Henry David, 1825-1881

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Brother of banker Jay Cooke; first governor of Washington, D.C., 1871-1873.

From the description of Letter : Washington, to [Richard Cruikshank] 1871 Sept. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 22193964

From the description of Letter : Washington, to Gardner Rand, Troy, N.Y., 1873 Oct. 2. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 22205321

From the description of Letter : Washington, D.C., to Andrew J. Rogers, Washington, 1873 March 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 22194012

Henry David Cooke, American businessman, journalist, and politician. In 1846 he accompanied William G. Moorhead, his brother-in-law, consul and naval agent to Valparaiso. He then moved to California, where he was engaged in trade on the Pacific coast. In 1849 he married Laura S. Humphreys. Having lost his fortune, he returned to Ohio, his home state and, with the help of his brother Jay Cooke, became editor and owner of Sandusky Register and the Ohio State Journal. He was active in the state and national politics, supporting Salmon P. Chase and John Sherman. In 1861 became a partner in the house of Jay Cooke & Co. and was involved in raising money for the war effort. In 1871, he also acted as an intermediary for his brother in his interest in Cyrus W. Field's plan for a Pacific cable. A close friend of U. S. Grant, he was appointed the first governor of the District of Columbia, but resigned in 1873. For the last twenty years of his life he lived in Georgetown where he was noted for his charity works.

From the description of Papers of Henry David Cooke, 1838-1956 (bulk 1846-1881). (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 228732725

Henry David Cooke was born in Sandusky, Ohio, on Nov. 23, 1825. His father, Eleutheros Cooke, was a lawyer who served in the Ohio state legislature and in the United States Congress during the 1831/33 session. Henry also studied law, receiving his degree from the Transylvania University in Kentucky in 1844. Circa 1846, he went to Valparaiso, Chile, as an attache to the American consul there -- William G. Moorhead, who was married to Henry's sister, Sarah. During the next few years, Henry was often resident in California, pursuing business interests within the emerging economy there.

He was not a successful businessman, however, and soon returned to Ohio where he turned to journalism, becoming a part owner in the 'Sandusky register' and the 'Columbus state journal'. In the 1860s he moved to Washington, D.C., where he became a partner in his brother Jay's financial firm and was actively involved in the diplomatic/social life of the capital, particularly during the administration of U. S. Grant. He died in Georgetown on Feb. 29, 1881.

From the description of Gold rush letter, 1848 Nov. 29. (California State Library). WorldCat record id: 58924354

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Blaine, James Gillespie, 1830-1893 person
correspondedWith Bliss, Leslie Edgar, 1889-1977 person
associatedWith Burrows, Henry. person
correspondedWith Chase, Salmon P. (Salmon Portland), 1808-1873 person
correspondedWith Colton, Walter, 1797-1851 person
correspondedWith Cooke, Jay, 1821-1905 person
associatedWith Cooke, Laura Humpheys, person
associatedWith Crosby, Allyn J., 1874-1955. person
associatedWith Cruikshank, Richard. person
associatedWith District of Columbia. Board of Public Works. corporateBody
correspondedWith Erben, Henry, 1800-1884 person
correspondedWith Field, Cyrus W. (Cyrus West), 1819-1892 person
correspondedWith Grant, Julia Dent, 1826-1902 person
associatedWith Jerdone, Francis, 1721-1771. person
associatedWith Potts, John, Esq. person
associatedWith Rand, Gardner. person
associatedWith Rogers, A. J. (Andrew Jackson), 1828-1900. person
correspondedWith Sherman, John, 1823-1900 person
correspondedWith Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891 person
associatedWith Wright, W. Lloyd (William Lloyd), 1876-1950, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Washington (D.C.)--Georgetown
Washington (D.C.)
Great Falls of the Potomac (Md. and Va.)
South America
Washington (D.C.)
Political cartoons
Public libraries
Organ (Musical instrument)
Transpacific cables


Birth 1825-11-23

Death 1881-02-29



Ark ID: w6qj7gjg

SNAC ID: 51197449