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"C" is for Cooper, Thomas (1759-1839)

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"C" is for Cooper, Thomas (1759-1839). Educator, scientist. A native of England, Cooper immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1794 where he was active in politics and taught chemistry at several schools. In 1820 he accepted a position as the second president of South Carolina College. He also taught courses in chemistry mineralogy, and political economy. In 1824 he wrote his first major pamphlet that espoused states’ rights philosophy, and he later became a strong supporter of nullification. Although Cooper was not politically active in the movement, his writings led opponents to recognize him as the intellectual leader of nullification. In 1833, he was forced to resign as college president because of his anticlerical stance. Thomas Cooper remained active in his retirement, authoring works on chemistry and law, including the five volume Statutes at Large of South Carolina.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.