Cook, John Francis, Jr.
- Willard B. Gatewood
Cook, John Francis, Jr. (21 September 1833–20 January 1910), public official and businessman, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of the prominent African-American clergyman and educator John Francis Cook (1810?–1855) and Jane Mann. Educated first at his father’s school, Union Seminary, he later attended Oberlin College in Ohio from 1853 to 1855. Upon the death of their father, he and his brother George F. T. Cook, also a student at Oberlin, returned to Washington to assume direction of Union Seminary. Except for a brief tenure in New Orleans as a schoolteacher, John Cook was connected with the seminary until it ceased operation in 1867 after the District of Columbia opened public schools for blacks. While his brother remained in the education field and was for many years superintendent of the “separate colored school system” in the District of Columbia, John Cook embarked upon a career in government service, Republican politics, and business....