Elizabeth Cooper was the oldest child of James Cooper (1789-1851), the novelist, who in 1826 changed his name to James Fenimore Cooper. It is said she died from eating over-ripe strawberries. Robert R. Ward was a local carpenter.
Raid on Hampton
Letter from Captain Cooper, to Charles K. Mallory, Esq., lieut. governor of Virginia.
“I was yesterday in Hampton with my troop; that place having been evacuated in the morning by the British. My blood ran cold at what I saw and heard. The few distressed inhabitants running up in every direction to congratulate us; tears were shedding in every corner.
“The infamous scoundrels, monster, destroyed everything but the houses, and, (my pen is almost unwilling to describe it) the women were ravished by the abandoned ruffians. Great God! my dear friend, can you figure to yourself our Hampton females seized and treated with violence by those monsters, and not a solitary American arm present to avenge their wrongs! But enough — I can no more of this ...”
COMMENT: The letter was written by Capt. James B. Cooper (1761-1854), a distant relative of James Fenimore Cooper. The British attack on Hampton took place at dawn on June 25, 1813, and the invaders quickly took over the town. Unfortunately, the “Independent Foreigners” a unit of French prisoners who had been released on condition that they join the British army, ran riot as described in Capt. Cooper’s letter. The official American report was a bit more circumspect, stating that “The sex hitherto guarded by the soldier’s honor escaped not the rude assault of superior force.”
Battle of Beaver Dams
Letter from Major General [Henry] Dearborn to the Secretary of War, June 25, 1813
“Sir — I have the mortification of informing you of an unfortunate and unaccountable event which occurred yesterday. On the 23d ... Lt. Col. Boerstler, with 570 men ... was ordered to march by the way of Queenstown [in Upper Canada] to a place called the Beaver Dams...to attack ... the ... [British] enemy collected there for the purpose of...harassing those inhabitants who are considered friendly to the U. States.