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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (C)
Cook, Daniel P.


Bought the first newspaper printed in Illinois, Matthew Duncan's "The Illinois Herald" with Robert Blackwell. They changed the name to "The Intelligencer" and changed it from three columns to four. In 1820, they moved it to Vandalia, the new state capital. Daniel Cook was born in Kentucky in 1795 of Scottish parentage. He came to Kaskaskia, Illinois, in 1815 and began to practice law. Believing his future lay in the nation’s Capitol, he moved to Washington and in 1817 was sent to London to bring back John Quincy Adams. Adams was being requested to serve as Secretary of State under President Monroe. He soon tired of Washington and returned to Illinois where he purchased a newspaper from another Scot by the name of Matthew Duncan. Cook became an ardent supporter of statehood and using his newspaper, The Western Intelligencer, began to influence the Territorial Legislature. When the legislature convened on December 2, 1817, there was an immediate move to make Illinois the twenty-first state. Not only would Illinois be ratified as a state through the efforts of Daniel Cook, it would be a slave-free state. In 1819, Cook was elected to Congress as the sole representative from Illinois. He served four terms being finally defeated by Joseph Duncan, another Scot. In Congress, Cook served on the committee on Public Lands and later on the Ways and Means Committee. He secured a grant of government lands to aid in the construction of the Illinois-Michigan Canal. In 1824, he had as sole congressman from Illinois cast the vote of the state for Adams, thus practically deciding the decision. Daniel Cook always suffered from poor health and died October 16, 1827, at the age of 33. Four years after his death, a county in Illinois was named in his honor. He probably never visited the area we call Cook County. Ninian W. Edwards, the son of the first territorial governor of Illinois said "...it should be a matter of pride with the citizens of Chicago that so eminent and illustrious a man as Daniel Cook is thus honored. In respect of his high character, his great ability, his honorable name, and of the inestimable service he rendered to our great commonwealth, the County of Cook should erect a monument in his memory." Not only did Chicago never build a monument to Daniel Cook, it is doubtful that many have ever heard his name. The location of his grave remains unknown, but is thought to be somewhere in Kentucky. His legacy lived on through his son, General John Cook, who fought on the side of the Union during the Civil War.

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