Henry Cooper (U.S. senator)

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Henry Cooper
Henry Cooper U.S. Senator - Brady-Handy.jpg
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1877
Preceded byJoseph S. Fowler
Succeeded byIsham G. Harris
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1827-08-22)August 22, 1827
Columbia, Tennessee
DiedFebruary 4, 1884(1884-02-04) (aged 56)
Tierra Blanca, Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua, Mexico
Political partyDemocratic

Henry Cooper (August 22, 1827 – February 4, 1884) was a Tennessee attorney, judge, and politician who served one term in the United States Senate, 1871–1877. During his career, Cooper moved through several political affiliations, including Whig, Know Nothing, and Democrat.[1]

Early life[edit]

Henry Cooper was born on August 22, 1827 in Columbia, Tennessee.[2] He had three brothers, including William Frierson Cooper and Edmund Cooper, and two half-brothers, including Duncan Brown Cooper.[1]

Cooper attended Dixon Academy in Shelbyville, Tennessee, and graduated from Jackson College in Jackson, Tennessee in 1847.[2] He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1850.[2]

Political career[edit]

Cooper served as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1853 to 1855 and again from 1857 to 1859.[2] He was appointed judge of the former 7th Judicial Circuit in April, 1862.[1] In January, 1866 he resigned this position and moved to Lebanon, Tennessee where he became a professor at the Cumberland School of Law.[2] In 1867 he moved to Nashville, where he served in the Tennessee State Senate, 1869-1870.[2]

The Tennessee General Assembly elected him to the United States Senate for the term beginning March 4, 1871.[2] He did not seek another term, and his Senate service ended on March 3, 1877.[2]

Mining career and death[edit]

By the early 1880s, he was engaged in mining operations in Tierra Blanca, Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua, Mexico.[2]

Cooper was murdered there by bandits on February 4, 1884.[3] He was buried nearby, and a cenotaph to his memory was erected at Old City Cemetery in Shelbyville, Tennessee.


  1. ^ a b c Johnson, Andrew (1979). The Papers of Andrew Johnson. 5. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press. pp. 300–301. ISBN 978-0-87049-273-0.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Onofrio, Jan (2000). Tennessee Biographical Dictionary. Santa Barbara, CA: Somerset Publishers, Inc. p. 212-213. ISBN 978-0-403-09700-5.
  3. ^ "Ex-Senator Cooper Murdered" (PDF). The New York Times. New York, NY. February 6, 1884. p. 5.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Joseph S. Fowler
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1877
Served alongside: William Gannaway Brownlow, Andrew Johnson, David M. Key and James E. Bailey
Succeeded by
Isham G. Harris