Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Ebenezer Cooke

(ca. 1670-ca. 1732)

Ebenezer Cooke was born in London, and moved to the United States as a young man, but continued to spend time in Europe. He was admitted to the bar of Prince George's County and had some involvement with the practice of law after 1700. Cooke's satirical poem, "The Sot-Weed Factor" (1708), continues to receive attention from literary critics. The poem provided the title for John Barthes' novel, The Sot-Weed Factor (Anchor Books, 1987)(1960), in which one Ebenezer Cooke is the protagonist.

Ebenezer Cooke
(ca. 1670-ca. 1732)

Ebenezer Cookee


The Sotweed Factor, or A Voyage to Maryland, A Satyr

The Sot-Weed Factor

Sotweed Dedivivus, Or the Planters Looking-Glass


Ebenezer Cooke, Mors Omnibus Communis (Annapolis: Printed by W. Parks, 1726)

____________, The Maryland Muse (Annapolis: Printed by W. Parks, 1731)("Containing I. The History of Colonel Nathaniel Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia. Done into Hudibrastick Verse, from an old MS. II. The Sotweed Factor, or Voiage to Maryland. The Third Edition, Corrected and Amended. By E. Cooke, Gent.")

Bernard C. Steiner (ed.), Early Maryland Poetry: The Works of Ebenezer Cook (Baltimore: Printed by John Murphy Company, 1900)


Donald V. Coer, A Review of the Scholarship on Ebenezer Cook and a Critical Assessment of His Works (Ph.D. dissertation, Texas A & M University, 1974)

Edward H. Cohen, Ebenezer Cooke: The Sot-Weed Canon (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1975)(book-length study of the colonial satirist, lawyer, and poet laureate of Maryland)

Bibliography: Articles & Essays

Robert D. Arner, Ebenezer Cooke's The Sot-weed Factor: The Structure of Satire, 4 Southern Literary Journal 33-47 (Fall, 1971)

Chris Beyers, Ebenezer Cooke's Satire, Calculated to the Meridian of Maryland, 33 (1) Early American Literature 62 (1998)

Gregory A. Carey, Levels of Narrative in Ebenezer Cooke's "The Sot-Weed Factor," 23 (1) Southern Literary Journal 9 (1990)

Edward H. Cohen, The Elegies of Ebenezer Cook, 4 Early American Literature 49-72 (Fall, 1969)

______________, The "Second Edition" of The Sot-weed Factor, 42 American Literature 289-303 (November 1970)

Richard Beale Davis, The Intellectual Golden Age in the Colonial Chesapeake Bay Country, 78 (2) Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 131-143 (1970)

Philip E. Diser, The Historical Ebenezer Cooke, 10 (3) Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction 48-59 (1968)

John E. Van Domelen, Ebenezer Cook, 24 Bulletin of Bibliography 94 (May-August, 1964)

Cy Charles League, The Process of Americanization as Portrayed in Ebenezer Cooke's The Sot Weed Factor, 29 (1) Southern Literary Journal 18 (1996)

J.A. Leo Leman, Men of Letters in Colonial Maryland 73-110, 357-361 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1972)

Robert Micklus, The Case Against Ebenezer Cooke's Sot-Weed Factor, 56 (2) American Literature 251-261 (1984)

James T. Pole, Ebenezer Cook and The Maryland Muse, 3 American Literature 296-302 (November 1931)

Loker Raley, "Ebenezer Cook," in Loker Raley, 300 Years; The Poets and Poetry of Maryland 10-29 (New York: Henry Harrison, 1937)

Lou Rose, Ebenezer Cook's The Sot Weed Factor and Its Uses as a Social Document in the History of Colonial Maryland, 78 (4) Maryland Historical Magazine 272-277 (1983)

Ebenezer Cooke, "The Sot-Weed Factor," in Louis Rubin, Jr. (ed.), The Literary South ( Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979)

Lawrence C. Wroth, The Maryland Muse by Ebenezer Cooke: A Facsimile with an Introduction, 44 Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 267-335 (October, 1934)

Bibliographical Entries

Robert Bain & and James M. Flora, Fifty Southern Writers Before 1900 (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1987)

Emory Elliott (ed.), 24 Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Colonial Writers, 1606-1734 (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company, 1984)

D.L. Kirkpatrick, (ed.), Reference Guide to American Literature (Chicago: St. James Press, 1987)

James A. Levernier & Douglas R. Wilmes, American Writers Before 1800 (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1983)

Fictional Portrayals

John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor (1960)(a novel that draws on history and and legend to tell the story of Ebenezer Cooke, the 17th century Poet Laureate of the colony of Maryland)

Research Resources

Literature in the American South

A Selection of 18th Century Poetry