Cooper writes to his relative, War of 1812 veteran Commodore “Ben Cooper of the African Squadron”, "My young friend, Mr. John Warren...an attaché of the Spanish mission...is a particular friend of mine, and I commend him to your kindness. I suppose you will take your turn in the Mediterranean...I hope you may meet in those delightful seas..." He speaks cryptically of "an unpleasant affair between an old shipmate of ours, and one who stands near you on the list" before adding, "I wish you could see me. I weigh 205 lbs., and the handsomest of the breed, and have got the gout. I believe Issac (Marmaduke) Cooper is dead...Your father stands it like a rock, and my uncle James died the other day, at 92. We are a mixed breed, some holding on to life with great tenacity, and some slipping away...I am getting gray. I never saw [Captain] Stringham look better...James Cooper, of Pennsylvania, is in the Senate.…" Signed, "J. Fennimore Cooper."
Ironically, Commodore Cooper would die within a year, with James Fennimore and Capt. Stringham by his side, and the author himself would succumb just a year later, at age 62. Early in life, James Fennimore Cooper had served in the navy with his relative, the future commodore, and his experiences informed his many sea tales. A wonderful, uncommon family letter.