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This Day (Recognize Edition)

March 25th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Chickahominy family (Valentine Richmond History Center)

On this day in 1610, on one of the islands that came to be known as Bermuda, an English infant was baptized and named Bermuda. His parents, Edward Eason an his wife, had survived the wreck of the Sea Venture, as had his godfathers—William Strachey, Captain Christopher Newport, and James Swift. The fate of the Easons post-baptism is unknown.

On this day in 1841, Edmund Randolph Cocke was born at Oakland, one of his family’s plantations in Cumberland County. The Cockes were an important, if not entirely stable, family in Virginia. Thomas Cocke was the guardian of Edmund Ruffin, who grew up to become an ardent secessionist and (reportedly) to fire the first shot on Fort Sumter. Cocke committed suicide in 1840, and Ruffin followed his lead in 1865. Philip St. George Cocke—who is not to be confused with Philip St. George Cooke, J.E.B. Stuart‘s father-in-law—organized a regiment during the war from Charlottesville and the University of Virginia, but when he wasn’t promoted, he committed suicide in 1861.

By contrast, Edmund Randolph Cocke was a survivor. After being wounded at Gettysburg and captured (along with pretty much everyone else) at Sailor’s Creek, he became active in post-war politics. Republicans, he once told a friend, “putrefy everything they touch,” but according to our entry, he was never accused of being unfairly partisan. He was known as Captain Cocke.

Finally, on this day thirty years ago, the commonwealth extended official state recognition to the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Mattaponi, the Pamunkey, the Rappahannock, and the Upper Mattaponi Indian tribes.

IMAGE: Chickahominy family (Valentine Richmond History Center)

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