Thomas Coupe

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Thomas Coupe
Thomas Coupe.jpg
Born1818 (1818)
DiedDecember 27, 1875 (1875-12-28)
OccupationShip's Captain
Known forCaptain of several sailing ships, early settler of Whidbey island

Captain Thomas Coupe (1818 – December 27, 1875) was a ship's captain and early settler of Whidbey Island.

Thomas Coupe was born in New Brunswick, Canada [1] and began going to sea at the age of 12. Coupe sailed the North American Atlantic Coast until the early 1850s. Coupe sailed to the Puget Sound area in 1852 on the sailing vessel Success, a ship in which he was half owner.[2]

Under the Donation Land Claim Act, Coupe established a 320-acre claim in the central part of Whidbey Island upon which the present town of Coupeville now stands.

He is the only captain known to have sailed a square-rigged ship through Deception Pass.[3] The town of Coupeville was named after him;[4] there, he built a house in 1854, from Californian redwood.[3]

Coupe was also the sailing master on the Jefferson Davis, the first revenue cutter on Puget Sound. Coupe retired to his farm on Whidbey Island, remaining there until his death in 1875. He is buried in the Sunnyside Cemetery in the central Whidbey Island area.[5]

Coupe had sons, Thomas Coupe and George M. Coupe.[6]


  1. ^ 1870 US Census
  2. ^ Lewis & Dryden's marine history of the Pacific Northwest, E. W. Wright, 1895
  3. ^ a b Kirk, Ruth (1995). Exploring Washington's Past: A Road Guide to History. University of Washington Press. p. 264. ISBN 9780295974439.
  4. ^ Atwood, A. (1903). Glimpses in Pioneer Life on Puget Sound. Denny-Coryell. p. 78.
  5. ^
  6. ^ W. Wright, E. (1895). Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Review of the Growth and Development of the Maritime Industry, from the Advent of the Earliest Navigators to the Present Time, with Sketches and Portraits of a Number of Well Known Marine Men. Lewis & Dryden Printing Company. p. 185.