Letter to Editor by George Richardson

Letter published in the Fairhaven Star, November 22, 1902

Newport, Nov. 18, 1903 

To the Editor of the Star: 

Your paper says: "One of them, thought to be the remains of John Cooke." It seems by this that his remains have not been properly identified. 

William Blackstone, the first settler of the state of Rhode Island, died May 30, 1675, and was burled on "Study Hill," which was leveled and now occupied (1902) by Ann and Hope Mill. When this mill was erected, about 1886, his remains were removed about opposite to where they were originally burled. Only his dust was found after about two centuries in the ground. 

Roger Williams died in the spring of 1683 and was buried on his home lot, North Main St, Providence, R. I. His remains were taken up under the eye of a large committee appointed for that purpose. He had been buried about two centuries and nothing but dust, which was put in an urn, remained. 

Governor Henry Bull of this place, last surviving of the nine founders of Newport died in 1693, honored, by a granite monument. His grave was opened by entering at the side. His form was entire, but in a moment it had passed into shapeless dust. 

John Cooke died Nov. 23, 1695. He was the original settler of your fair town, his remains, if dug up, have not been properly identified. The "copper nails” seem to point to a much later period. And the larger bones not perished would point to a more recent date for the burial of the two skeletons found. 

John Cooke has been buried about 207 years and only the dust remains in his original grave which I think has not been disturbed. 

His beautiful town on the banks of the fair "Acushena" has been his monument through the centuries, and now the progressive citizens of that town are adding new honors to the memory of John Cooke by placing a memorial bowlder "near where" he silently waits. 

No. 8 Whitfield Court, Newport, R. I.