COCKE, William (1748-1828)

COCKE, WILLIAM, (father of John Cocke and grandfather of William Michael Cocke), a Senator from Tennessee; born in Amelia County, Va., in 1748; pursued preparatory studies; studied law; admitted to the bar and practiced; in company with Daniel Boone explored the territory of eastern Tennessee and western Kentucky; successfully led four companies of Virginians against hostile Indians in 1776 in Tennessee; member, Virginia house of burgesses and a colonel of militia; moved to Tennessee in 1776; member of the State constitutional convention in 1796; upon the admission of Tennessee as a State into the Union was elected to the United States Senate and served from August 2, 1796, to March 3, 1797; was appointed his own successor, as there had been no election by the legislature, and served under this appointment from April 22, 1797, to September 26, 1797, when a successor was elected; again elected to the United States Senate as a Democratic Republican and served from March 4, 1799, to March 3, 1805; appointed judge of the first circuit in 1809; moved to Mississippi, and was elected to the Mississippi legislature in 1813; served under Gen. Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812; was appointed by President James Madison as Indian agent for the Chickasaw Nation in 1814; died in Columbus, Miss., on August 22, 1828 and interred in that city.

Alabama Department of Archives and History
Montgomery, AL
Papers: Correspondence in the John Coffee papers, 1796-1887.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 1 item.

Knox County Public Library
McClung Historical Collection
Knoxville, TN
Papers: 81 miscellaneous items.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Archives Division
Madison, WI
Papers: In the Draper manuscripts: Draper's notes, 1841-1868, and Daniel Boone papers, 1760-1911. Finding aid.

Tennessee Historical Society
Nashville, TN
Papers: 1811-1812. 15 items. Pertaining to his impeachment as a judge. Additional papers in various collections.

Tennessee State Library and Archives
Nashville, TN
Papers: Letters and biographical sketches in various collections.

  • McKellar, Kenneth. "William Cocke," in Tennessee Senators as seen by one of their Successors. Kingsport, Tenn.: Southern Publishers, Inc., 1942, 39-48.
  • Williams, Samuel C. "The Admission of Tennessee into the Union.'' Tennessee Historical Quarterly 4 (December 1945): 291-319.