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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesTennessee

William COCKE

(1748-1828)
Senate Years of Service:
1796-1797; 1799-1805
Party:
Democratic Republican; Democratic Republican

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.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Williams, Samuel C. “The Admission of Tennessee into the Union.” Tennessee Historical Quarterly 4 (December 1945): 291-319.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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