John Hartwell Cocke (1780-1866)
John Hartwell Cocke was born in Surry County, Virginia in 1780. He attended the College of William and Mary from 1794-1799 . He married Ann Blaus Barraud of Norfolk on December 25, 1802. After serving in the War of 1812, he returned to his home, Bremo, a plantation in Fluvanna County, Virginia, to pursue an agrarian career. Known for his agricultural experimentation with crops and livestock, he maintained several estates and plantations in Virginia and Alabama. Being a deeply religious man, John Hartwell Cocke held strong views against drinking and tobacco. In order to combat these "evils," he was elected president of the American Temperance Union in 1836, and stopped all production of tobacco on his land. These views also led him to support and become a member of the James River & Kanawha Company board of directors. He believed that many poor farmers in Virginia were forced to turn their grain into whiskey because there was no profitable way to transport the grain to market. He felt that with the creation of the canal, farmers would turn to other occupations, thereby lessening the supply of alcohol and with it the desire to drink. He died on July 1, 1866.
Available in SCRC
- John Hartwell Cocke in the SCRC database.
"John Hartwell Cocke" Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Accessed October 3, 2016.
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