Obadiah Cooper


Obadiah Cooper was born in October 1744. He was the son of Thomas Cooper and his first wife, Elizabeth Van Buren Cooper. His mother died before Obadiah's fourth birthday and he was raised mostly by his stepmother in a tailor's family home on the Southside of Albany.

In May 1769, he married seventeen-year-old Anna Vandenbergh at the Albany Dutch church. By 1791, seven daughters had been christened in the church where he was a member and pewholder.

His adult life began in the home of his father where his personal property was valued on the assessment of 1788. By 1790, he had taken over as head of that first ward household which appeared to be located on or near the corner of Hudson and what became South Pearl Street.

This Obadiah Cooper was a merchant who sold tobacco from his store on Market Street as early as 1772. In 1771, he was named one of the city watchmen. Beginning in 1779. his holdings were valued substantially on city assessment rolls. Later, he was identified as an innkeeper.

In January 1766, he witnessed the will of a neighbor. In 1767, he was identified as a corporal in a first ward, Albany militia company. In April 1771, he was among the prominent Albany men appointed to serve as watchmen by the city council.

This Obadiah Cooper was an emerging Albany mainliner and in his forties during the war years. Thus, he would have been expected to have played some role in the conflict. One time, his accounts were paid by the Albany committee and, in 1781, his house was referenced in a letter. Later he received a land bounty right in conjunction with the Albany militia regiment.

Obadiah Cooper lost his wife when "Hannah" died in 1801. Until at least 1815, he lived on in a home at 150 South Pearl Street - an address he shared with a married daughter. He died in Albany in February 1826 at the age of eighty-one.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Obadiah Cooper is CAP biography number 498. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 9/15/07; updated 10/8/08