Nicholas Cooke Photo

Nicholas Cooke

Death: Sep 14, 1782

Birthplace: Providence

Nationality: United States

Nicholas Cooke

Date of Death : Sep 14, 1782
Birth Place : Providence

Nicholas Cooke was a governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations during the American Revolutionary War, and after Rhode Island became a state, he continued in this position to become the first Governor of the State of Rhode Island. Born in the maritime town of Providence, he early in life followed the sea, eventually becoming a Captain of ships. This occupation led him to become a merchant, becoming highly successful in this endeavor, and he ran a distillery and rope-making business as well. He is depicted as one of the affluent merchants in John Greenwood's satirical painting from the 1750s entitled Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam. Cooke first became politically active in 1752 when elected as an Assistant from Providence, which position he held for a total of four years. He devoted most of his energy to mercantile pursuits and local government in the 1760s, and in 1766 represented his Congregational Church in becoming a trustee of the new college in Rhode Island, later named Brown University. In 1768 he was elected as Deputy Governor of the Rhode Island colony under Josias Lyndon as Governor.


  • Hannah Sabin
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