Figure of the Week

John Travers Cooke

Born 1755 - Died 1819

Col. John Travers Cooke (1755-1819) was the son of Travers Cooke (1730-1759) and Mary Doniphan.  He lived at West Farm, which adjoined Clifton and Dipple in upper Wide Water on the Potomac River.  For much of the eighteenth century a ferry operated from Cooke’s Bar at West Farm across the Potomac River to the Maryland shore.  In the 1780s John served as a magistrate in Stafford.  He was actively engaged in the quarry business on Aquia Creek and owned at least two freestone quarries there.  In partnership with Daniel Carroll Brent (1759-1815) of Richland, he operated a store in Brent’s Mill.  He was also in the lumber/timber business with his son, George Mason Cooke (1792-1866).  John married Mary Thomson Mason (1762-1806), the daughter of his neighbor, Thomson Mason (1733-1785) of Chappawamsic Farm.  She was the granddaughter of George Mason (1725-1792) of Gunston Hall.  John Cooke purchased John Mercer’s (1704-1768) large Marlborough tract where once had stood the old town of Marlborough.  In 1812 Col. Cooke paid taxes on 53 enslaved persons, 29 horses, 2,738 acres on the Potomac River and Aquia Creek, 921 acres of Marlborough, and 1 coach.