Cope, Thomas Pym
- John Killick
Cope, Thomas Pym (26 August 1768–22 November 1854), merchant and philanthropist, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Caleb Cope, a plasterer and town burgess who had come from the family farm in Chester County, and Mary Mendenhall. The third son in a family of seven, Cope received a good education for the time, including study in English, German, Latin, and mathematics. In his diary he describes how an unfair teacher provoked in him such intense concentration that he dreamed mathematical problems and mastered the subject. His diary also reveals a well-trained and wide-ranging mind with a talent for acute, usually sympathetic, observation. During the revolutionary wars, the Quaker pacifism of Cope’s parents, and their willingness to house captured British prisoners, drew the attacks of local hotheads. The most famous prisoner that the Copes lodged was Major ...