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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Cochran, James

1761–13 Apr. 1817

James Cochran, planter and congressman, was born in or near the community of Mount Tirzah, Orange (now Person) County. He attended local schools and engaged in farming near the present Timberlake. At the time of his death he owned over six thousand acres of land. He represented Person County in the House of Commons in 1802–6 and in the senate in 1807. Elected as a Democrat to Congress, he served from March 1809 until March 1813. He was elected in 1814 and in 1815 to a seat on the council of state.

On 14 Jan. 1793, Cochran married Annis McNeill; they were the parents of Susanna, who married William A. Lea; Annis, who married John Dobbin and was the mother of James Cochran Dobbin, secretary of the navy from 1853 to 1857; and Addison, a minor at the time of his father's death, who entered The University of North Carolina in 1820.

Cochran died intestate, perhaps unexpectedly, and was buried in the cemetery at Lea's Chapel west of Roxboro. An obituary notice in the Raleigh Register of 25 Apr. 1817 referred to him as Major James Cochran, indicating perhaps a rank in the local militia.


Biog. Dir. Am. Cong. (1971).

Cochran Estate Papers, Person County Records (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Additional Resources:

"Cochran, James, (ca. 1767 - 1813)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed May 1, 2013).


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