Cooper, Thomas (1759–1839)

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COOPER, THOMAS (1759–1839)

Dr. Thomas Cooper, an English radical who settled in the United States in 1794, was an intellectual jack-of-all-trades, master of most, and the author of treatises on philosophy, law, religion, government, political economy, and various sciences. When he was a Jeffersonian editor, he was convicted of violating the sedition act of 1798. His Political Essays and the report of his trial advocated a radically broad theory of freedom of the press. Later a Pennsylvania judge, he was removed from office and soured on liberalism, although his friend thomas jefferson called him the "greatest man in America, in the powers of mind and in acquired information." When Cooper was president of what later became the University of South Carolina, he revised the state statutes and wrote On the Constitution (1826), which spoke for slavery, state sovereignty, and nullification.

Leonard W. Levy

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Cooper, Thomas (1759–1839)

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