Apr 16, 2013 - Sale 2310

Sale 2310 - Lot 194

Price Realized: $ 40,800
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(NATURAL HISTORY.) Archive of scientific and family papers of naturalists William Cooper and his son James Graham Cooper. Approximately 300 items (0.8 linear feet), including 136 letters (40 of them from James G. Cooper), 4 William Cooper diaries dated 1820-24, 62 photographs, extensive natural history notes, and other papers; various sizes and conditions, no general condition issues. Vp, 1818-1921, bulk 1821-1863

Additional Details

William Cooper (1798-1864) was a zoologist, founder of the New York Academy of Sciences, and associate of John James Audubon. He is probably best remembered today as the namesake of Cooper's Hawk. His son James Graham Cooper (1830-1902) was also a prominent naturalist.
The collection includes 40 letters from James Graham Cooper to various family members, mostly 1853-61, many of them written from the west while he was on the 1853 Stevens Pacific railroad survey and 1860 Blake expedition, and including 3 long illustrated letters from Panama in 1853. A 9 May 1858 letter discusses at length a visit to Arlington House, home of Robert E. Lee. Also included are 9 letters from naturalist and surgeon George Suckley, 1855-65, some written while returning from the Stevens expedition, and later as a surgeon in the Union army.
General John Ellis Wool (1784-1869) was the uncle of William Cooper's wife Mary. A folder of related letters includes one long Autograph Letter Signed from Wool to his niece Mary Cooper, Paris, 29 August 1832; typescripts of 2 letters by Wool from the front in Mexico, 1847 and 1848; and 3 personal family letters to General Wool, 1826-30.
Among the other interesting features of this wide-ranging collection are 4 diaries kept by William Cooper while touring Europe, 1820-24 Several of Cooper's original pencil and watercolor sketches intended for publication in scientific journals, including a map of his paleontology excavations at Big Bone Lick, 1831, and drawings of mastodon bones Manuscript volumes titled "The Genera of North American Plants, Reduced to the Natural Orders of Decandolle" and "Catalogue of the Birds of New York, April 1831." A more detailed inventory is available upon request.