COOPER, THOMAS (1759-1840). A British American scientist, political economist, educa tor. and publicist. conspicuous for his versa tility and his radicalism in politics. Ile was born in London. studied for a time at Ox ford, and was admitted to the bar. In 1792 he spent four months in Paris and while there acted with James Watt, the famous inventor,' as a delegate from the Manchester Constitu tional Society to the Patriotic Societies of France. For this both Ile and Watt were warm ly criticised at home. especially by Edmund Burke, who took them to task in a somewhat in temperate speech before Parliament. To this speech Cooper replied in a caustic pamphlet en titled .4 Reply to Mr. Burkc's Invective Against Mr. Cooper and Mr. Watt (1792), the circula tion of which in a cheap edition designed to reach the lower classes was prohibited by the British Government. After an unsuccessful at tempt, as a bleacher and calico-printer, to apply a secret process learned in France for preparing chlorine from sea-salt, he emigrated to America in 1705, and for a short time practiced law in Northumberland County, Pa. He soon began to take an active part in support of the Anti Federalists in current political discussions, and for a violent attack upon President John Adams in the Reading Adrcrtiser of October 20. 1799. was tried under the Sedition Law ( see ALIEN AND SEDITION ACTS), was convicted of libel, and, besides being fined $400. was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. He was appointed a land commissioner for the State of Pennsylvania in ISM, and subsequently acted as president judge of a common pleas district until 1811, when he was removed because of his alleged arbi trary conduct and overbearing temper. Ile was
professor of chemistry in Dickinson College. Pa., from 1811 to 1814. and of mineralogy and chem istry in the University of Pennsylvania from 1816 to 1821, and from 1820 to 1834 was presi dent of South Carolina College, where he acted also as professor of chemistry and political econ omy, and for a time of 'rhetoric, criticism, and belles-lettres.' From 1834 until his death he was engaged, with Dr, McCord, in revising the statutes of South Carolina, which were published in ten volumes (Columbia, 1836-41). Though he was strongly condemned by many for his radical ism in philosophy, religion, and politics, he un doubtedly exercised a powerful influence in the South, especially in South Carolina., and did much to inculcate in the minds of the politicians of his State the doctrine of extreme States' rights, nullification, and free trade. In a speech which was widely circulated in 1827, he openly urged both and secession upon South Carolina, and he was unquestionably responsible to a considerable degree for the nullification measures of 1832-33. Besides editing The Em porium of Arts and Sciences at Philadelphia from 1812 until 1814 and writing numerous pamphlets and articles for the press, he pub lished: Some Information Respecting America (1794) ; Political Essays (1800) ; An English Version of the Institutes of Justinian ( 1812 ) Practical Treatise on Dyeing and Calico Print ing (1315) ; Lectures On the Elements of Politi cal Economy (1826) ; and A Treatise on the Law of Libel and the Liberty of the Press (1S30).