COCKRAN, William Bourke

COCKRAN, William Bourke
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives


COCKRAN, William Bourke, a Representative from New York; born in County Sligo, Ireland, February 28, 1854; was educated in France and in his native country; immigrated to the United States when seventeen years of age; teacher in a private academy and principal of a public school in Westchester County, N.Y.; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1876 and commenced practice in Mount Vernon, N.Y.; two years later moved to New York City and continued the practice of law; elected as a Democrat to the Fiftieth Congress (March 4, 1887-March 3, 1889); was not a candidate for renomination in 1888 to the Fifty-first Congress; delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1884, 1892, 1904, and 1920; member of the commission to revise the judiciary article of the constitution of the State of New York in 1890; elected to the Fifty-second Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Francis B. Spinola; reelected to the Fifty-third Congress and served from November 3, 1891, to March 3, 1895; was not a candidate for renomination in 1896, because of his opposition to the free-silver platform of Bryan and Sewall and campaigned for McKinley; in 1900 returned to the Democratic Party and supported Bryan; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-eighth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of George B. McClellan; reelected to the Fifty-ninth and Sixtieth Congresses and served from February 23, 1904, to March 3, 1909; declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1908 to the Sixty-first Congress; resumed the practice of law in New York City; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1912 to the Sixty-third Congress; elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-seventh Congress and served from March 4, 1921, until his death in Washington, D.C., March 1, 1923; had been reelected to the Sixty-eighth Congress; interment in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Mount Hope, Westchester, N.Y.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

New York Public Library
Manuscripts and Archives Division

New York, NY
Papers: 1880-1924, 17.5 linear feet. The collection consists of correspondence, addresses and speeches, legal papers, and personal and miscellaneous papers, including scrapbooks, newsclippings and memorabilia, related to Cockran's activities as lawyer, orator, politician, Irish activist, and congressman. Correspondence (1881-1924) concerns his New York City law practice, speaking engagements, social and political issues, Democratic Party politics, international affairs, his activities as a congressman, his involvement in Irish causes and his defense of Thomas J. Mooney, a labor agitator tried for murder in California. Cockran's letterbooks, 1892-1917, include correspondence by his law partner and secretary. Also present are drafts of Cockran's speeches, his legal case files, and personal papers and accounts, including scrapbooks, newsclippings and memorabilia.

American Irish Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: 1890-1923, 0.6 cubic foot. Material pertaining to the death of Representative Cockran encompasses sympathy letters to his widow, his will, and those of other family members, agreements, and a list of the contents of his residence. Also printed texts of his addresses about the trial of Thomas J. Mooney whom he defended, and speeches he delivered on other issues.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: February 26, 1879. 1 letter. Finding aid in repository.

University of Pennsylvania
Special Collections Van Pelt Library

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1893, 1 item. Correspondence between William Bourke Cockran and Henry Charles Lea, 1893.

University of Virginia
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: 1899, 1 item. A letter from William Bourke Cockran to the S. S. McClure Company written on October 27, 1899. In the letter, William Cockran writes that he never received Mr. Marshall's letter but is willing to comply with his request.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Bloom, Florence Teicher. "The Political Career of William Bourke Cockran." Ph.D. diss., City University of New York, 1970.

Cockran, William Bourke. Extract from the speech of Hon. William B. Cockran of New York in the House of Representatives, April 23, 1904. Philadelphia, Pa.: Allied Printing Trades Council, [1904].

------. Good reading for sound money Democrats: W. Bourke Cockran's speech at Madison Square Garden, New York City, in reply to candidate Bryan. New York?: N.p., 1896?

------. In the name of liberty: Address. By the Hon. W. Bourke Cockran delivered in Faneuil Hall, Boston, Feb. 23, 1900; with an introduction by the Hon. George S. Boutwell; under the auspices of the New-England Anti-imperialist League. [Boston]: The New-England Anti-imperialist League, 1900.

------. In the name of liberty. New York and London, G. P. Putman's Sons, 1925.

------. John Marshall: An address. Delivered before the Erie County Bar Association, February 4th [1901] at Buffalo. [Buffalo: Printed for the Erie Country Bar Association, 1901].

------. A plea for peace, delivered before fifteen thousand men and women at the Coliseum, Chicago, November 29th, 1915. [New York: Home Press, 1915].

------. Speech of Hon. W. Bourke Cockran in reply to Hon. William J. Bryan, delivered at Madison Square Garden, New York City, Tuesday, August 18th, 1896. Jersey City, N.J.: Jersey City Printing Co., [1896].

------. To the commissioners appointed by the President to investigate the conditions under which Thomas J. Mooney was convicted of murder for having caused the deaths of several persons by explosion of a bomb, while a preparedness parade was in progress through the streets of San Francisco, on July 22, 1916. [New York?: N.p., 1917?]

Dau, W. H. T. (William Herman Theodore). The logical and historical inaccuracies of the Hon. Bourke Cockran in his review of the Lutheran letter of protest to President Roosevelt. St. Louis, Mo.: Concordia Publishing House, 1908.

Kennedy, Ambrose. American Orator, Bourke Cockran: His Life and Politics. Boston: B. Humhries, 1948.

McGurrin, James. Bourke Cockran; A Free Lance in American Politics. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948.

United States. 68th Cong., 1st sess., 1923-1924. House. W. Bourke Cockran. Memorial addresses delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States in memory of W. Bourke Cockran late a Representative from New York. Sixty-eighth Congress. May 4, 1924. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1925.

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