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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COCKE, William, senator, born in Virginia about 1740. He received an English education and began the practice of law. After serving as a member of the Virginia legislature and a colonel of militia he went to Tennessee, where he became brigadier-general of militia. When Tennessee was admitted into the Union in 1796, Cocke and William Blount were elected as its first United States senators. Cocke served from 5 December, 1796, till 1797, and again from 1799 till 3 March, 1805. He was a member of the legislature in 1813, a judge of the circuit court, and in 1814 appointed by President Madison Indian agent for the Chickasaw nation. The date of his death is not on record.--His son, John, soldier, born in Brunswick, Nottaway County, Virginia, in 1772; died in Rutledge, Granger County, Tennessee, 16 February, 1854. He went with his father to Tennessee early in life, and, after receiving a common-school education, studied law and was admitted to the bar. He was a member of the first legislature in 1796, speaker of the house for many years, and afterward became a member of the state senate. He was made major general of the East Tennessee six-months' volunteers on 25 September, 1813, commanding them in the Creek war, was made colonel of a regiment of Tennessee volunteers on 13 November, 1814, and served under Jackson at New Orleans. He was elected to congress for four successive terms, serving from 6 December, 1819, till 3 March, 1827, after which he devoted himself to planting.
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