Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Punch Cooler
MSA SC 3520-16524

Biography:

Punch Cooler was a free black laborer who lived near the town of Brookeville in Montgomery County, Maryland. He was a farmhand for wealthy Brookeville resident Gerard Brooke between 1809 and 1812, and a laborer for Gerard's son, Richard Brooke until at least 1816.1 During this time, he lived alone on his property near Brookeville.2 Cooler primarily cleared the meadows surrounding Brookeville, for which he was typically compensated $4 per acre, either in cash or food.3 Punch Cooler's whereabouts after 1816 are unknown.

Kyle Bacon, DAR Research Fellow, 2013

Notes:

  1. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Mary Farquhar Green Collection) Account book of Gerard Brooke, 1802-1821 [MSA SC 566-1-98, 00/09/06/06]; SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Mary Farquhar Green Collection) Account book of Gerard Brooke, 1802-1821 [MSA SC 566-1-100, 00/09/06/05]. Cooler is mainly compensated for work in Gerard Brooke's accounts, although he purchased food in exchange for work from Richard Brooke several times.
  2. Third Census of the United States, 1810, Population Schedule, Montgomery, Maryland for Punch Cooler, Roll M252.
  3. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Mary Farquhar Green Collection) Account book of Gerard Brooke, 1802-1821: Cooler appeared in this account book several times between 1809 and 1812, mainly being compensated for clearing meadows "next to Brookeville." for around $4 per acre; SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Mary Farquhar Green Collection) Account book of Richard Brooke, 1812-1822 [MSA SC 566-1-100, 00/09/06/05]: Cooler appeared between 1815 and 1816, where he was compensated between 40 and 60 cents per day of "work" in both food and cash.

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