Charles Merian Cooper

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Charles Merian Cooper
Charles Merian Cooper.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1893 – March 3, 1897
Preceded byRobert Bullock
Succeeded byRobert Wyche Davis
15th Florida Attorney General
In office
January 13, 1885 – January 8, 1889
GovernorEdward A. Perry
Preceded byGeorge P. Raney
Succeeded byWilliam Bailey Lamar
Personal details
Born(1856-01-16)January 16, 1856
Athens, Georgia
DiedNovember 14, 1923(1923-11-14) (aged 67)
Jacksonville, Florida
Political partyDemocratic
Rosa Leonardi
(m. 1880)
EducationGainesville Academy

Charles Merian Cooper (January 16, 1856 – November 14, 1923) was an American attorney and politician who served as a U.S. Representative from Florida from 1893 until 1897.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Cooper was born on January 16, 1856, in Athens, Georgia. His father, Charles Phillip Cooper, served as a United States Treasury Department agent until the American Civil War, when he was appointed to help organize the Confederate States Treasury Department. In 1864, he and his family moved to Jacksonville, Florida in order to escape Union forces.[2]

Cooper studied law at Gainesville Academy, graduating in 1867. He was accepted into the Florida Bar in the same year, and began a private practice in St. Augustine, Florida.[3]

Political career[edit]

In 1880, Cooper, a Democrat, was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, representing St. John's County. He served until 1884, when he was elected to the Florida Senate from St. John's County.[2] On January 13, 1885, Cooper was appointed as the 15th Florida Attorney General by Governor Edward A. Perry. Cooper served until 1889 when his term expired.[4] Later that year, he was one of three commissioners appointed to revise the state's statutes.[3]

In 1892, the Democratic U.S. Representative from Florida's 2nd district, Robert Bullock, did not seek reelection. Cooper successfully received the Democratic nomination and defeated his opponent, Populist State Representative Austin S. Mann, with 76% of the vote.[5][6] Cooper successfully sought reelection in 1894, defeating Populist Montholom Atkinson with 80% of the vote. The Republican Party did not nominate any candidates in either of the races.[7]

Cooper did not run for reelection in 1896 and returned to his private practice in Jacksonville.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In 1880, Cooper married Rosa Leonardi. They had two children, Charles Philip and James Jackson Gignilliat.[2]


Cooper died in Jacksonville on November 14, 1923. He is buried in Jacksonville's St. Mary's Cemetery.[8]

Electoral history[edit]

1894 United States House of Representatives election in Florida
Florida 2nd district[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Charles Merian Cooper (inc.) 9,229 79.82% +3.85%
Populist Montholom Atkinson 2,334 20.19% -3.85%
Majority 6895 59.63% +7.70%
Turnout 11,563
1892 United States House of Representatives election in Florida
Florida 2nd district[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Charles Merian Cooper 14,668 75.97% +17.22%
Populist Austin S. Mann 4,641 24.04% N/A
Majority 10,027 51.93% +34.42%
Turnout 19,309


  1. ^ "CHARLES MERIAN COOPER |". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  2. ^ a b c d Naev, Nancy Rayburn (May 17, 2008). "Duval County FlArchives Biographies.....COOPER, CHARLES M." USGenWeb Archives. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "COOPER, Charles Merian - Biographical Information". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  4. ^ "Florida Attorney General - Florida Attorneys General (1845 - )". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  5. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL - District 02 Race - Nov 08, 1892". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  6. ^ "A Guide to the Austin Shuey Mann Papers". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL - District 02 Race - Nov 06, 1894". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  8. ^ "Charles Merian Cooper". Find a Grave. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  9. ^ "1894 FL - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  10. ^ "1892 FL - District 02". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
Legal offices
Preceded by Attorney General of Florida
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.