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James Cooper
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Birth: 1758, Ireland
Death: Dec. 31, 1780
Charleston County
South Carolina, USA

JAMES COOPER, born in Ireland about 1756 gave his life in the cause of freedom during the Revolutionay War.

Very little is known about him except that he came to America as a little child with his family from County Armagh, Ulster, Northern Ireland about 1760. His family first settled in New Jersey and from there he migrated with them to South Carolina some years later.

Few records were found with his name but the first was dated August 14, 1777 when he witnessed a deed from James Gill to his brother, John Cooper, so we know that he was of age at this time.

He was in his early twenties and unmarried when the British began to plunder and pillage the community where he lived during the Revolution.

On the morning that the Rev. John Simpson, Pastor of the Fishing Creek Church called for men to join him and bear arms against the marauding Tories who had begun to kill the innocent in the vicinity, James Cooper fell in with his two older brothers and took the field with the pastor.

The date of enlistment was June 10, 1780, and he served 149 days under Captain John Mills and 61 days under Capt. Hugh Whiteside. He was in the same battles as his brothers and fought along with them, but was not as fortunate, for he was captured by the British. The exact date of his capture is not known or the circumstances, but from the Revolutionary claim for his services, it appears that he was taken about the 8th day of November 1780.

His nephew, Col. Robert Melville Cooper, in a letter to Col. Lyman C. Draper of the Wisconsin Historical Society states that he was taken to Charleston, put on a prison ship there and later died. How long he lived after he was captured or where he is buried is not known.

A search of the Chester County, S.C. records did not disclose any records regarding an administration of his estate, but it may be that they are in Camden County as Chester County was not formed until 1785.

On September 8, 1786, his brother Capt. Robert Cooper signed a receipt for the payment of the claim for the services of James Cooper, deceased, in the Revolutionary War.

Although we know so little of James Cooper, we do know that his suffering before his death, like so many others, was unbearable. The British had no adequate facilities for keeping prisoners, and institued a system of holding them aboard old, derelick ships anchored in harbors. This, they felt, would make it difficult for the prisoners to escape and that hey would be free from disease. They were wrong.

Many a man swam to freedom and disease, especailly small pox was rampant. The sanitary conditions, the lack of medical facilities, overcrowding, vermin, disease, and the exposure to bitter cold in the winter and suffocation in the summer took the lives of some 8,000 prisoners. It is said that the British prison ships killed more American soldiers than all the battles of the Revolution.

One man wrote in his diary - " - at night suffer with cold and hunger." ... "Last night nothing but grones all night of sick and dying." Thus it was that the end came to the life of James Cooper. 
Family links: 
  Hugh Cooper (1720 - 1793)
  Mary Kelsey/ Kelso Cooper Amberson (1722 - 1815)
  Robert Cooper (1746 - 1798)*
  Elizabeth Cooper Ferguson (1748 - 1803)**
  John Cooper (1751 - 1804)*
  Jane Cooper (1752 - 1820)*
  James Cooper (1758 - 1780)
  William Amberson (1765 - 1849)**
  Jane Amberson Nichols Ardrey (1767 - 1831)**
  Nancy Agnes Amberson Jones (1769 - 1853)**
  Margaret Amberson Whitesides (1771 - 1857)**
  Matthew Amberson (1774 - 1846)**
  Rebecca Amberson Vandegrift (1777 - 1852)**
*Calculated relationship
Created by: Amby
Record added: Dec 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 102222727

- Amby
 Added: Jan. 21, 2013

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