Sunday, October 23, 2016

BookFest author: Bob Cox, Jr.

What started for Bob as a small retirement project -- a glance through some computer pages, looking into a little genealogy in one branch of his mom's family -- became a full-fledged book.

JAMES COCK, HIS LIFE AND TIMES, 1630-1699 is a history of early colonial Long Island told through the biography of a settler who helped found or establish three communities in that then-frontier land. James Cock was an English immigrant, who could neither read nor write his signature, but who became instrumental in each of the three towns--Southold, Setauket and Oyster Bay--where he lived. A devout Quaker, and founding father of nearly 400 years of a Quaker family on Long Island, he was a first-hand witness to religious prejudice and persecution at the hands of the Puritans and the Dutch. His life-long friend and neighbor in each of those settlements was Captain John Underhill, ruthless Indian fighter and charismatic civic leader--and later Quaker--who led the devastation of Natives in both the Pequot War and Kieft's War.

James actively joined in and helped lead efforts to oppose taxation without representation, to establish the freedoms of religion, speech and assembly, and democratic government, all of which we so take for granted today--over 100 years before the American Revolution. Filled with vivid accounts of early colonial times on Long Island and a careful critique of egregious laws enacted against the Quakers and enforced in Long Island first by the strict Puritan New Haven Colony then by the more lenient Connecticut Colony (Hartford), "James Cock, His Life and Times, 1630-1699" encourages the imagination and sends a message of significant lifetime accomplishments by an otherwise ordinary farmer and family man.

Bob Cox is truly a local boy: though he has enjoyed travel, he has lived his entire life, except his formal education years, in Wellsboro. After having practiced law here for forty years, he retired in 2011. He and his wife of nearly fifty years, Anne, are the parents of three (one of whom is Kasey, co-owner of your favorite local bookstore ;) and grandparents of four.

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