Thomas Cooper

In 1631, Sir Richard Saltonstall and other London merchants obtained a patent to lands in New England including Windsor, CT and most of that state as well. To organize and managed this plantation, Saltonstall engaged Francis Stiles of Millbrook, Bedfordshire, England, a member of the Carpenter's Guild. Stiles recruited a party to colonized Connecticut under his leadership.

On "March 16, 1634/5, theis underwritten names are to be transported to New England, imbarqued in the Christian out of Lo[don] John White Mr bound thither, th Men having taken the [oath of] Allegance and Supremacie, Mildred, Bredstreet".

Thomas, frequently mentioned in the records as Ensign or Lieut. Thomas, was enrolled at London as a passenger for New England on this ship Christian at the age of 18 years, thus making his birth date ca 1617. Of Thomas's early life in England nothing has been discovered. Since he was a member of Stiles's party it's reasonable to surmise that he may have been acquainted with Stiles himself or some member of the group and possibly lived near them.

That Thomas Cooper was apprenticed to Francis Stiles is evidenced by an order of the Court at Hartford, CT March 28, 1637: "ord that Mr Francis Stiles shall teach Geo[rge] Chapple, Tho[mas] Coop[e]r & Tho[mas] Barber his servants in the trade of a carpenter according to his promise for their service of their term behind 4 days in a week only to saw and slit their own work that they are to frame themselves with their own hands together with himself or some other master workman, the time to begin for the performance of this order 14 days hence without fail."

Thomas Cooper's first residence was Windsor, CT. In 1636 William Pynchon and a group from Roxbury started a settlement in Springfield. For the first few years this settlement was attached to the Connecticut towns for its government. In 1638, Agawam (Springfield) seceded from its relationship with the CT towns and elected Pynchon magistrate for the Plantation.

The first assertion of the claims of the Saltonstall CT patentees was the appearance in Windsor of the party headed by Stiles. With the Dorchester group in residence, [of which Roger Ludlow was a leading member] the arrival of Stiles' party and the claim of Plymouth to the area, there arose a three-cornered dispute from which Plymouth emerged the winner. The Saltonstall-Stiles group thus lost out and their plans for a settlement never came to fruition. It is possible that this dispute and the owning of the land by others convinced Cooper that opportunity lay elsewhere. At any rate, he appeared in Springfield around 1641. During this transition period when Springfield was linked with the CT towns under the leadership of William Pynchon it is quite possible that Cooper became acquainted with him and was persuaded to leave Windsor for Springfield, by which time he had married Sarah Slye.

Sarah was the daughter of George Slye about whom nothing else is known. She was baptized on October 29, 1615 in Lapworth, Warwickshire, England and was the sister of Capt. Robert Slye who settled in Bushwood, on St. Clement's manor, St. Mary's County, Maryland. Capt. Slye made his will on January 18, 1670 and it was proved March 13, 1670. He mentioned "Should all my children die under age, and without issue, then I giveÉRich Neck, on St. Clement's manor, to the eldest son of my dear sister Mrs. Elizabeth Russell of London; my plantation called Lapworth to my nephew Timothy Cooper, and Norwood, Lapworth Lodge, and Clear Doubt to my nephew Thomas Cooper, both of Springfield in New England." Capt. Slye mentioned three nephews, one (unnamed) son of his sister Elizabeth Russell of London, and the Cooper brothers of Springfield.

On January 27, 1642 the inhabitants of Springfield sold "to the said Thomas Cooper the dwelling house and fouer acres of meddow, more or less, appertayning to the house and fouer acres and about one halfe of the wet marish, before his house, and one acre and one halfe of the corner meddow fenced, and seven acres just over against it on the other side of the river and in future dividents according to a single lott of fouer acre to a house lot." The next year, 1643, he was allotted a house lot of five acres.

On April 6, 1643 Thomas Cooper was granted a five-acre house lot, two acres of meadow and one acre of meadow "on the other side of the Great River" at Springfield. His homelot was the one granted to John Cable, who sold it to the town on his departure for Fairfield, CT. Thomas purchased it of the town for £25. It was 14 rods wide and extended from the river eastward across the wet meadow and thence upon the highland, eighty rods beyond. It was situated next north of William Pynchon's homelot, and was where the railroad now crosses Main Street.

On January 22, 1651/2, "Ther is granted to Tho Cooper, upon Mill River below Rich Sikes his meddow, a psel about an acre and one halfe of meddow, in 2 or 3 lotts, which is dew him in lew of 1 acre & one halfe he falls short on ye other side of ye river. This he accepts though it hold out not one acre and one halfe."

In May 1654, Thomas sold from his homelot purchase the "Hassky" meadow containing 2 acres lying between the street and the upland to the east, for 30 shillings to John Pynchon.

On January 2, 1655/6, Thomas was granted "four acres next above Robert AshlyÉ& this upon condition he stay 5 years in town." On December 10, 1658, he was granted the "2d portion of land on this side of Woronoco River." On January 27, 1659/60, he was granted "a parcel of swamp land lying by Agawam River side."

With three other men, Thomas was granted "all the meadow that lies upon the north branch of the next brook that runs into the Great River below Agawam River" on February 12, 1660/1. The transaction was particularly interesting in that Thomas and three other men were granted land to be shared equally among themselves and decided among themselves where each man's land should lie.

On March 13, 1660/1, he was granted "twenty acres of upland & swamp over Agawam River...also...a little piece of meadow land on the west side of the swamp." Thomas was granted "eight or ten acres of land upon the hill northwesterly from his cellar over Agawam River" on June 1664. And on October 12, 1670, he was granted "16 acres of lowland on the most southerly branch of the 3 mile brook."

On November 8, 1662 "Ensign Thomas Cowper of Springfield" deeded to "his brother [in-law?] Henry Glover of New Haven...all his right, title & interest...which the said Ensign Cowper hath in & unto one-quarter part or one-fourth part of all those lands which were granted to him the said Ensign Cowper which lands lie at or by the place called Woronoco on the west side of the River Connecticutt."

In 1644 the government of Springfield was changed to place it in the charge of a group of selectmen. Of the first such group Thomas Cooper was a member. The record of the town meeting of July 26 of that year reads: "It is agreed this day by General Courte that Henry Smith, Tho cooper, Daniel Chapin, Richard Sikes and Henry Burt shall have power to order anything they shall judge for ye good of ye town and to order in all prudential affairs they shall have power for a year space to prevent damage of ye town & they five or any three of them shall also be given power & virtue also to hear complaints, to arbitrate controversies, to lay out High ways, to make bridges, to repair High waies specially to order ye making of ye way over muxie meddow, to see to the scouring of ditches and to the killing of wolves and to training up of the children to some good calling or any other thing they shall judge to be ye profit of ye town." During the next thirty years Cooper would be chosen to be a selectman eighteen times. In some years there was no election and the incumbents would be held over for another term in office. The dates on which he was elected selectman were:

September 26, 1644
September 23, 1646
November 2, 1647
November 6, 1648
November 5, 1650
November 4, 1651
November 1, 1653
October 31, 1654
November 6, 1655
November 4, 1656
November 2, 1658
February 5, 1660/1
February 3, 1662/3
February 6, 1665/6
February 4, 1667/8
February 1, 1669/70
February 4, 1672/3
January 9, 1673/4


1645 was a busy year for Thomas since earlier he had agreed to build the meeting-house. On February 28, 1644/5 "a bargain made by the inhabitants of Springfield with Thomas Cooper for the building of a meeting-houseÉto be finished by the 30th September 1646, in consideration of which work the plantation do covenant to pay him four score pounds." This was the first meeting-house in Springfield. It was to be forty feet long and twenty-five feet in width, with two large windows on each side and one on each end. There were to be two turrets, one for a bell and the other to serve as a watch tower. The building was completed by the end of September and at a contract price of £80. After being under construction for less than a month the town agreed that Thomas had satisfactorily completed his contract. He was to receive payment in "wheate, pork, wampum, debts and labor." Thomas was a member of a committee to assign the seats in the meeting-house. On December 23, 1659 and again on February 23, 1662/3, Thomas Cooper was in the front pew. Later on February 3, 1673/4, Thomas was on the committee on crowded conditions in the meeting-house.

Thomas took the oath of fidelity on February 6, 1648/9. He was sworn as freeman (as "Ensign Thomas Cooper") on May 8, 1663. He was elected a Deputy to the General Court on April 29, 1688 (as "Lieut. Tho[mas] Cooper"); on May 27, 1668, "Lieut. Clarke & Lieut. Cooper, on their request, having been long absent from their homes, are dismissed the service of this Court."

Thomas served on many, many important committees of a public nature. He served on the Hampshire petit jury, February 8, 1643/4, April 10, 1645, March 2, 1653/4, March 1, 1654/5, September 27, 1659, March 27, 1660, September 25, 1663, September 26, 1665, September 25, 1666. Thomas was a member of the Coroner's jury April 7, 1660. He was on the committee on highways and bridges between Springfield and Hadley September 30, 1662, and the committee on highway between Hadley and Windsor September 29, 1663.

In 1645 Cooper was appointed measurer of lands for the town of Springfield on January 8, 1645/6, September 4, 1646, November 3, 1646, February 21, 1649/50, March 14, 1653/4. In this capacity surveyed the lands of "Longe Meddow" [Long Meadow] in 1646.

On October 21, 1669, Thomas was appointed by the General Court to serve on the committee of ministerial maintenance at Hadley, and the committee for "the erecting of a township [Suffield] on the west side of the River Conecticott lying southward of Springfield & Westfield bounds," on October 12, 1670.

Thomas was appointed Assessor on February 10, 1652/3, February 7, 1661/2, and August 16, 1672. He was made Highway Surveyor February 7, 1659/60. The next year on August 14, 1662, Thomas was appointed Constable in addition to his other duties.

The town elected Thomas Clerk of the Writs for Springfield February 3, 1662/3. On March 31, 1663, "Ensign Cooper of Springfield being presented to this court as chosen by the said town for Clerk of Writs, the Court allowed of him for that work & service." He was Clerk of the Writs for many years, so must have been educated above the norm. The duties of this office included the issue of summons, granting of writs of attachment in civil cases and to enter in the town books details as to births, deaths and marriages. On March 29, 1664, Ensign Thomas Cooper petitioned the court to permit him to be relieved of his appointment as Springfield Clerk of the Writs, but the Court did not permit this relief.

He was also made a member of a permanent committee to make grants of land in the Plantation - a task formerly falling to the selectmen. He was on the committee to distribute land May 19, 1645, November 21, 1654, February 5, 1660/1, February 4, 1661/2, May 11, 1663, and on the committee to purchase Mr. Moxon's land September 14, 1652. Thomas was on the committee to "dispose of the land at Woronoco" January 7, 1655/6 and the committee to "make a draft of the lands to be presented to the Court" February 15, 1660/1. The year 1661 saw Ensign Cooper along with Thomas Dumbleton appointed to lay out the highway to Chicoppe, now Chicopee, in accordance with their complete discretion as to location and width. He served on the committee on highways December 30, 1664.

Thomas had many transactions with the Indians in the purchase and mortgage of land. It was sometimes hard to determine which Sachem had the authority to transfer title. In 1660 Cooper gave a mortgage on a parcel of land supposedly owned by a Woronoco Indian named Amoacussen. In 1664, upon the failure of the Indian to make good on the mortgage, an absolute deed to the property was granted. Three other Sachems now appealed to the court alleging that they, as well as Amoacussen, were owners of the land in question. The court sustained their contention and Cooper was obliged to pay them one hundred ten fathoms of wampum which was to be recovered from Amoacussen. Most of the settlers were unskilled in dealing with the Indians and often employed experienced traders to conduct negotiations for them in the purchase of land. As such an experienced trader the Plantation of Quabaug, now Brookfield, appealed to Thomas to secure for them the Indian title to the land they were then occupying. In view of the current interest in Indian land titles this transaction is of more than passing interest: "At a General Court held at Boston 20th May 1660: In Answer to the peticion of severall Inhabitants of Ipswich, This Court Judgeth it meete to Graunt the petitioners sixe miles square or so much land as shall be conteyned in such compasse in a place near Quabaugponds, provided they have twenty families there resident within 3 years, & that they have an able minister, settled there within said terme, such as the Court shall approve, and that they shall make due provision in some way or other for the future, either by setting apart of land or what else shall be thought meete for the continuance of the ministry among them; And if they should fail in any of these particulars above mentioned this Graunt of the Court to be voyed and of none effect." This grant was dated 31 May 1660. In order to begin a settlement and take possession it was necessary to secure title from the Indians who were the owners. The deed to this tract follows:

Here followeth the Deed of the Purchase of the lands at Quabaug, now called Brookfield, from the Indian Shattoockquis together with Lieut. Cooper his designation of the said deed to the Inhabitants of Quabaug now called Brookfield for the said deed was framed in the Name of Lieut. Cooper but indeed for ye only use and behalfe of ye Inhabitants of ye said Plantation called Brookfield; also ye coppy of ye said Lieut. Cooper's acknowledgement of his said resignation before ye worspll Mjr Pynchon.

These presents Testify, that Shattoockquis alias Shadookis the sole and proper owner of certayne lands at Quabaug hereafter named hath for good and valuable consideration him the said Stattoockquis thereunto having given, bargayned and sold and by these presents Doth fully, clearly & absolutely give, Graunt & sell unto Ensign Cooper of Springfield for the use and behoofe of the present English Planters at Quabaug & their Associates, and their successors & to them & their heirs for Ever, certain pcells of land at towards or about the north end of Quabaug pond...etc.

...All of which land afore described together with the trees waters stones profits Commodityes & Advantages thereof & thereupon belonging, the said Ensign Cooper for himself and for the present Planters at Quabaug and their Associates & successors to have and to hold and to enjoy for-Ever.

Also the said Shattoockquis as well as for other considerations as also for & in consideration of the sum of Three Hundred fathom of Wampameage in hand received doth bargayne graunt and Sell All & Singular the aforenamed tract of Land to Ensigne Cooper his successors & assigns as aforesaid & to their heirs for Ever; and the said Shattoockquis doth hereby covenant & promise to & with the said Ensigne Thomas Cooper that he will save ye said Thomas Cooper harm less from all manner of claymes of any person of psons lawfully clayming any right or interest in the said lands hereby sold or in any part thereof & will defend the same from all or any molestation & incumbrance by any Indians lawfully laying clayme or title thereto: In witness whereof the said Shattoockquis hath hereunto sett his hand this the tenth day of November 1665.

Subscribed and delivered in ye presence of Elizur Holyoke, Samuel Chapin & Haphett Chapin.

The mark of Shattoockquis." [picture of a 4-legged animal resembling a fox.]

The mark of Mettawomppe an Indian witness who challenging some interest in the land above sold & received part of ye payment and consented to the sale of it all." [picture of mark resembling a child's swing set]

Shattoockquis an Indian above mentioned did own and acknowledge this to be his act and deed giving up all his right title & interest in the lands above mentioned unto Thomas Cooper his Associates & Assignes as above said this tenth day of November 1665. Before me, John Pynchon.

All of this activity proved to be too much and in the year 1665 he was fined six pence for failing to attend the March 20th town meeting and being unable to provide an acceptable excuse. Up to this time the local corn mill had been able to supply the needs of the Plantation but with the population growth it was no longer able to do so. Cooper was one of a committee appointed February 6, 1665/6 to make the necessary improvements or recommendations for constructing a new one.

In the meantime he served on a committee to draw up plans of the lands of the Plantation to be presented to the General Court for ratification, on another committee to appraise the livestock of the Plantation and on a third to adjudicate the requests of certain settlers to change their lots around to be more convenient for use. At the town meeting of February 4, 1667, Cooper, with Elizur Holyoke, was chosen to audit the accounts of the selectmen for the previous year. This was a chore he continued to discharge for many years.

In 1666 he was one of a committee to consider the poor estate of some of the settlers in the Plantation, and in need of relief, reporting to the town with recommendations as to what should be done. In 1667 the minister reported that the minister's residence needed to be enlarged, but that he did not have sufficient funds for the purpose. Cooper served on the committee to make the necessary arrangements and have the work done. The following year £20 was raised to pay the Indians for the Plantation land and of this Cooper's share was eleven shillings. Later some of the settlers failed to pay their allotted shares of this expense. The committee was empowered to recover the overdue payments. At the town meeting of August 16, 1672 Cooper was appointed to join the selectmen in setting the tax rate.

In 1674 a commission, of which he was a member, was appointed to examine the highways on the west side of the river, damaged by floods, and make recommendations for repairs or relocation as appeared necessary.

By this time the population of the Plantation had increased to a point where the original meeting house was no longer adequate. The town decided to build a new one and Cooper was added to the original group which had been chosen to supervise the work on the new building.

Thomas, like all adult men, served in the town's militia. He was chosen ensign of Springfield train band on October 23, 1657 and lieutenant of train band on September 24, 1667. In the midst of all of this activity he was literally unable to keep all of his fences mended, high water due to flooding of the river, saved him from being fined.

Thomas held a variety of occupations besides that of carpenter. On January 10, 1658/9, there is "liberty granted to Tho[mas] Cooper to keep a ferry at the lower wharf & to land people below the mouth of Agawam River, & none are to carry over any persons, horses, or cattle over the Great River to take any pay except they allow & pay it to the said Tho[mas] CooperÉAnd the privilege of this ferry is granted to him for 21 years from this year 1658."

Both Thomas and his wife were medical practitioners. Thomas in particular had considerable skill as a bone setter, being often called upon throughout the County of Hampshire, as there was no regular physician or surgeon available. On May 28, 1655, John Pynchon, writing to John Winthrop, Jr. about his wife's health, referred to "Goodwife Cooper who hath formerly tended my wife in her weakness," and, on March 7, 1659/60, Pynchon thanked Winthrop for "those prayers of cordial powder you sent my wife by Ensign Cooper." On March 30, 1675, "Lt. Cooper sending his desires to this Court that seeing he is upon necessity put to go so often to & fro for setting of broke bones & that frequently he hath little or nothing for his labors & for the good done through God's blessing by his means, that the Court would order him he shall be satisfied for such his labors &c. The Court refer consideration thereof to the next Court at Springfield, that he may be consulted & that done which is convenient, for this Court doth judge it altogether reasonable that he should have suitable recompense for such works." (Nothing was ever done in this matter, as Lt. Thomas Cooper was dead six months later.)

Thomas was also an active businessman and fur trader in association with both William and John Pynchon, who supplied with large quantities of beaver pelts and other goods which he exchanged with the Indians. In May 1652, Pynchon made this entry in his books: "Sold him the Commoditys here following, to be pd in Bever at current prices or in good wampum Sometime wthin ye yeare." In this purchase was 107 yards of Red Shag Cotton at 3s. pr. yd., £16 1s.; "Blew" trading cloth, 206 yards, £90 18s. 9d. In the credits were 206 lbs. of beaver at 9s., £92 14s.; 399 1/2 lbs. of beaver at 10s., £199, 15s.

Under date of February 14, 1658, is this entry: "I Thomas Cooper Doe hereby acknowledge to have Recd of Mr. John Pynchon a pscell of English goods as they cost in England to ye Sum of Seventeene pounds, wch sum of Seventeene pounds sterling I ingage to pay in England by michalstide next, to whom Mr. John Pynchon shall appoint me in London in England, I ingage to make such allowance as is fit & meete & hereto set my hand this 14th Febr 1658. Thomas Cooper."

Below in Pynchon's hand, as was the above agreement, is this: "Acots concerning this £17 were examined & set to rights by Brother Holyoke & Deacon [Samuel] Chapin, & all differences & offences have Issued & satisfied, I abated 20s. & ye rest is pd me this 17 of January, 1660." The balance in the accounts against Cooper in 1653 was £262, in 1655, £391, in 1658, £682, but sale of beaver and work performed at different times reduced them to a much smaller amount at some period in the year. There does not appear to have been any stated time with Pynchon for settlement with any of his customers, the amount of the account appears to have determined the time of striking a balance to which the debtor set his hand.

It is interesting that Cooper frequently had accounts with Pynchon that were, in those times, very large sums. There seem to have been no serious disagreements, save for one incident involving a trifling amount. This time Cooper resorted to legal action in a dispute over a few shillings. He lost the suit but the court scaled down the amount he was obliged to pay.

Thomas Cooper was not untouched by the witchcraft trials and gave a deposition in the trial of Hugh Parsons in 1651.

The Springfield settlers had lived in peace with their Indian neighbors, Agawams and Pocumtucks, for nearly forty years, with daily and friendly dealings. It was supposed that they had not entered into a conspiracy with Philip (King Philip's War). The Indians professed steadfast friendship for the settlers and had even given hostages who had been sent to Hartford, CT for greater security. The residents of Springfield felt secure in their daily lives. There was an Indian, Toto, living with the family of a Mr. Walcott in Windsor, CT, twenty miles away. On the evening of October 4, 1675 Toto seemed very disturbed and distraught. Upon questioning, he revealed that a plot had been under way for the destruction of Springfield. Aroused after midnight, the settlers took refuge in three fortified houses. Among the group was Thomas Cooper, Lieut. of the militia company, who a short time before had led a party of soldiers from Springfield to the relief of the besieged Brookfield. These were the older men of the town. The younger men under the leadership of Major Pynchon were at Hadley at this time.

By the next day nothing out of the ordinary had occurred and many thought that this had been a false alarm. One of those questioning the accuracy of the alarm was Thomas Cooper. He determined to find out the true state of affairs by a personal visit to the Indian fort. For many years he had dealt with the Agawams and Pocumtucks and knew many of them by name. He felt that no harm could come to him from their hands. Taking with him Thomas Miller, the two rode to the fort. They had gone about a quarter of a mile beyond the last house to the south of the settlement when they were fired upon by unseen foes. Miller was killed instantly. Thomas was fatally wounded, but being an energetic and resolute man, he managed to remount his horse and ride at full gallop back to the nearest house. Before reaching it, he was shot again by the Pocumtucks in hot pursuit. He died upon reaching the house. The Pocumtucks then burst upon the settlement with the greatest fury, burning houses and barns and destroying the livestock.

The killing of Thomas Cooper by the Indians when they burned Springfield must have caused a great shock to the community and his tragic death brought a realizing sense of the defenseless condition of every settlement exposed to a treacherous foe. That Thomas should have had perfect confidence in his ability to dissuade the Indians from their hostile action is not strange. He had been among them for many years and was on familiar terms with many of them for miles around within the vicinity of Springfield. At this time Thomas was a man just under sixty years of age, and a resident of the town for more than thirty years.

In the personal journal of John Pynchon is the entry: "Lieut Thomas Cooper died 5 October 1675." These events may be seen in perspective from the account which John Pynchon gave to Governor Leverett:

To Governor John Leverett, M.A, Springfield, 8 October 1675

Honored Sir:

I desired Mr Russell to give you an account of the sore stroke upon poor distressed Springfield, which I hope will excuse my late doing of it. On the 4th of October our soldiers which were at Springfield I had called off, leaving none to secure the town because the Commissioners order was so strict. That night post was sent to us that 500 Indians were about Springfield intending to destroy it, so that the 5th of October with about 200 of our soldiers I marched down to Springfield where we found all in flames: about 30 dwelling houses burnt down and 24 to 25 barns, my corn mill, sawmill, and other buildings. Generally men's hay and corn is burnt and many men whose houses stand had their goods burnt in other houses which they had carried them to.

Lieutenant Cooper and two more slain and four persons wounded, two of which are doubtful of their recovery. The Lord hath made us drink deep the cup of sorrow; I desire we may consider the operation of his hand, and what he speak, yet that the town did not utterly perish is cause of great thankfulness. As soon as our forces appeared the Indians all drew off, so that we saw none of them. Sent out scouts that night and the next day, but discovered none, neither can we satisfy ourselves which way they are gone, their tracks being many ways, we think, are gone down the river; our last discovery was of a considerable track upwards. Our endeavors here are to secure the houses and corn that is left, for this sad providence hath obstructed our going out with the army and what can be done I am at great loss. Our people are under great discouragement, talk of leaving the place; we need your orders and direction about it. If it be deserted how woefully do we yield to encourage our insolent enemy and how doth it make way for the giving up of all the towns above it. If it be held, it must be by strength, and many soldiers, and how to have provisions, I mean bread for want of a mill, is difficult; the soldiers here already complain on that account although we have flesh enough; and this very strait. I mean no mill will drive many of our inhabitants away especially those that have no corn, and many of them no houses which fills and throngs up every room of those that have together with our soldiers no (which yet we can not be without) increasing in number. So that indeed it is uncomfortable living her, and for my own particular it were far better for me to go away because here I have not anything left. I mean no corn, neither Indian or English, and no means to keep one beast here, nor can I have relief in this town because so many are destitute. But I resolve to attend to what God calls me to, and to stick it as long as I can, and though I have such great loss of my comforts, yet to do what I can for defending this place. I hope god will make up in himself what is wanting in the creature to me and to us all. This day a post is sent up from Hartford to call off Major Treat with a part of his soldiers, from intelligence they have of a party of Indians lying against Wethersfield on the east side of the river. So that matters here do linger exceedingly, which makes me wonder what the Lord intends with his people, strange providences diverting us in all our hopeful designs and the Lord giving opportunity to the enemy to do us mischief and then hiding them and answering all our prayers by terrible things in righteousness.

Sir, I am no capable of holding any command, being more and more unfit and almost confounded in my understanding. The Lord direct you to pitch on a meeter person than ever I was; according to liberty from the Council I shall devolve upon Captain Appleton unless Major Treat return again, until you shall give your orders as shall meet to yourselves.

To speak my thoughts, all these towns ought to be garrisoned, as I have formerly hinted, and had I been left to myself I should think have done that which possibly might have prevented this damage. But the express order to do as I did was by the wise dispensing hand of God who knew it best for us, and therein we must acquiesce and truly go out after the Indians in the swamps and thickets is to hazard all our men unless we knew where they keep, which is altogether unknown to us, and God hides from us for ends best known to himself.

I have many times thought that the winter were that time to fall on them, but there are such difficulty that I shall leave it, yet suggest it to consideration. I will not trouble you at present, but earnestly crave your prayers for the Lord's undertaking for us and sanctifying all his stroke to us. I remain, Your unworthy servant, John Pynchon.

We are at great hazard if we do not stir out of our wood to be shot down by skulking Indians.

The inventory of the estate of "Thomas Cooper Senior" presented March 28, 1676, totaled £287 8s. of which £150 was real estate: "houses & lands" £150. His inventory included "wheels & cooper's ware" valued at £3 4s.

On March 28, 1676 [w]idow Sarah Cooper of Springfield presented to this Court the inventory of the estate of her late husband Lt. Thomas Cooper, deceased, who died intestate, which inventory is on file with the recorder of this Court, & the said widow desiring administration upon the estate, power of administration upon the estate is granted unto the aforesaid widow Sarah Cooper, & for the settlement of the estate (according to the motion of the said widow Cooper) her son John Cooper shall have & enjoy the housing & half the orchard & land on the hill over Agawome, where Lt. Cooper lived, & ten acres of the plowed land at the lower side of the land in the meadow next Richard Sikes, & four acres of meadow down along by the former land, & half the wet meadow on Small Brook, yet all to be for the widow's maintenance till John Cooper attains to the age of one & twenty years and then she to have her thirds & half the housing while she lives a widow, Rebecca the daughter to have ten pounds out of the estate, the other children, especially Timothy & Thomas (as is presented in this Court) having had from their father in his lifetime a competency are not here mentioned.

On November 15, 1676 at Springfield, Sarah remarried. Her second husband was Lieut. William Clark of Northampton.

On September 30, 1679, Thomas Cooper & his sisters presenting their petition to this Court that they would please to make distribution or a settlement of their father's estate, this Court having heard the allegations & pleas of persons concerned and consdiering that Thomas Cooper is the only surviving on of his father Lt. Thomas Cooper & it appearing by a letter of his father to Mrs. Goodyer that the said Lt. Cooper before his son's marriage with her daughter did signify to encourage her that he did not question but that he should make his portion worth about a £100 & it appearing by the inventory of the said estate that the said estate is £287 8s. & £47 in debts that the clear estate is £240 of which £150 is set out by this Court, some to the relict of the said Lt. Thomas Cooper, other some to the daughters of Lt. Thomas Cooper. This Court therefore doth order that Thomas Cooper the only surviving son of Lt. Thomas Cooper have all the lands & estate, he being to pay his mother £20 out of the moveables in such goods as his mother shall desire and the 3ds {thirds} of whole lands & housings during her natural life and that he make up his eldest sister Sarah Day her portion £40 and that he making the other three sisters portions £30 apiece and that he pay the debts of the estate.

On March 30, 1680, Mrs. Clark, formerly widow to Lt. Cooper of Springfield deceased, appearing in Court & desiring that her 3ds {thirds} of all her former husband's lands that she hath not passed away by any act of hers, might by some meet persons be set out to her according to the law, that is to say the use of it from the time of her husband's death, this Court order & empower Rowland Thomas, Japhet Chapin & John Barber of Springfield to set out by metes & bounds ther said Mrs. Clark widow's dowry as aforesaid and the said Thomas Cooper being ordered the payment of twenty ounds as per order September 24, 1679, this Court do judge is meet & likewise order the said Thomas Cooper to make her payment of the said twenty pounds in the best or most desired goods of the estate to the satisfaction & content of his mother." On September 28, 1680, "Mr. W[illia]m Clark of Northampton made a demand at this Court in behalf of his wife, the relict of Lt. Thomas Cooper, that the thirds of the said Lt. Thomas Cooper his estate which used to be accounted the esate of Timothy Cooper might according to law be set out to her.

Sarah died in Northampton on July 18, 1690.

I'd be happy to exchange family information.
Please send e-mail to Sam Behling.

See lineage of Cooper Family

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