Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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COOPER, Ezekiel, clergyman, born in Caroline county, Maryland, 22 February, 1763; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 21 February, 1847. He was the son of a revolutionary officer, and at the age of fourteen was so impressed by a sermon delivered by the Rev. Freeborn Garrettson, that he at once determined to unite with the church. In 1784 he was placed upon circuit under Bishop Francis Asbury, and in 1787 admitted to membership in the conference. His first appointment in 1785 was to Long Island, and he had that entire territory for his circuit. A year later he was assigned to East New Jersey, and in 1787 to Trenton. in 1788 he was appointed to Baltimore, then to Annapolis, and afterward to Alexandria. During 1792-'3 he was presiding elder of the Boston district, after which he was successively in New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Wilmington, in 1798 he became chairman of the Book Concern. and from 1799 till 1802 was stationed in Philadelphia as editor and general agent of that establishment. In this capacity he displayed rare ability, and during his administration imparted to it such impulse and organization that it has become one of the largest religious publishing establishments in the United States. Its capital stock, which was almost nothing when he first became connected with it, rose to nearly $50,000 during his period of office. He continued with the depository after its removal to New York, where, in 1804. he was stationed as preacher, after which he resumed his itinerant labors. In 1820 he was appointed to St. George's church in Philadelphia, but was soon afterward placed on the supernumerary list. He was distinguished for pulpit eloquence, logical ability, and varied knowledge. At the time of his death he was older in the ministry than any in the itinerancy of the Methodist church, either in Europe or America. He published sermons on the death of Bishop Francis Asbury (Philadelphia, 1819) and of the Rev. John Dickinson.
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