Cook, Daniel P.

Born: 1794-XX-XX Scott County, Kentucky

Died: 1827-10-16 Scott County, Kentucky

Daniel P. Cook did not receive a formal education and went to Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, as a boy to work in a shop. He began studying law under Nathaniel Pope and was admitted to the bar in the Illinois Territory. He was twice appointed clerk of the territorial legislature and became joint owner of the Illinois Intelligencer in 1816. Governor Ninian Edwards appointed Cook auditor of public lands that same year but Cook only served for a few months before traveling to Washington, D.C., in 1817 to secure a federal appointment. James Monroe selected Cook to travel to London, England, to inform John Quincy Adams of his appointment as secretary of state. Monroe subsequently appointed Cook as judge of the Western Illinois Circuit in 1818 and Cook soon became the state's first attorney general. He won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1819, where he remained until 1826. He married Julia Edwards, Ninian's oldest daughter, in 1821 and was instrumental in preventing the 1822 attempt to legalize slavery in Illinois. Cook's health began to fail during the end of his time in Congress and he died while visiting his family home in Kentucky in 1827.

Josephine E. Burns, "Daniel P. Cook," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 6 (April 1913), 425-444.