Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sir General George Cooke, M.D., F.R.S., LL.D. (1787-1873)

“I’m doctor of doctors, wise folks have the notion,

My medicines prevent intestine commotion.”

“Medical Assistance.” Daily Albany Argus. July 10, 1844: 3 col 1.



What brings our Friend across the sea?

What, but the love of Masonry!

What moved the General's noble heart

From kindred and old friends to part?

A yearning for the Brotherhood!

To join with them in doing good;

To watch the progress of the School,

Where Masons' daughters learn each rule

By which Creation's Architect

May honored be, by every sect

Acknowledging his power divine,

His love of good, his hate of crime!

Oh! blessed be our ancient Craft,

Which Virtue's self did deign engraft

On weak mankind in early days,

To make it worthy love and praise.

If followed be its golden rules,

By those who spurn the ways of fools,

How rich the fruits that thou dost yield!

Thou join'st together in a band

The children of each distant land;

Producing peace, in lieu of strife,

And spreading blessings o'er the life

Of countless beings, who might be

Steeped, but for thee, in misery;

And who through thee sustained in mind

And body too, much comfort find,

With increase full, from God above!

The fountain of Masonic love.

Freemasons' Quarterly Review. September 30, 1847. 308.

"Tis that which so much confidence inspires,

Proof positive no further proof requires."

“Old Dr. Cooke.” Broome Republican [Binghamton, NY]. November 28, 1860: 4 col 4.

        Dr. George Cooke of No. 3 Norton street, an old and eccentric citizen of this city, died yesterday, at the age of eighty-five. He was born in England and came to this country in 1830, when he began the practice of medicine. Owing to the opposition and persecution he received from the hands of the regular physicians, he acted upon the advice of a distinguished surgeon in New York, and came to Albany, where he adopted a specialty which often falls into the hands of quacks. By this means he rapidly acquired wealth, and possessing himself of a very fine wardrobe, he was seen every day walking on Broadway attired in knee-breeches, silk stockings and shoes with gold buckles, his hair white and flowing, the observed of all observers.

        “He, with Stephen Van Rensselaer and Edwin Forrest, gave a thousand dollars each to the Young Men’s association in its infancy, and one of the unkindest cuts he ever received was a few years ago, when, at an anniversary of that organization, he was allowed to sit in the gallery throughout the entertainment without being noticed. His bust is still to be seen in the rooms of the association. He was the early patron and friend of the late Amos Dean, and also of United States Senator McDougall of California.

        “The old doctor at one time owned a country seat on the banks of Lake Ontario, near Oswego, where he repaired every summer. He frequently visited England, and had diplomas and degrees without number hanging in his office.

        “His death was caused by chronic rheumatism, from which he has suffered for a number of years, the last attack being brought on by an attempt of the old man to assume his former gorgeousness of apparel and appear on the street in silk breeches and low shoes. He was opposed to all doctoring, and Dr. Vanderveer, who attended him, was only called in by the authority of a friend. The room in which he died showed the want of a woman’s care. He has no relatives in this country, but his remains will be buried in accordance with his wishes in the Rural cemetery. He left a will, but its provisions and the amount of his property can not be definitely stated. It is known, however, that he leaves $1,000 to the Albany city hospital. Daniel W. Wemple of the State national bank is said to be his executor.

“Dr. George Cook.” Albany Daily Evening Times. January 13, 1873: 3 col 6.

Albany Rural Cemetery

Buckeye Sentinel [Elyria, OH]. July 22, 1945: 4 col 2.

More on this character will follow!

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