Samuel Hooper
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts
In office
December 2, 1861 – February 14, 1875
Preceded byWilliam Appleton
Succeeded byRufus S. Frost
Constituency5th district (1861–63)
4th district (1863–75)
Member of the Massachusetts Senate
In office
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1808-02-03)February 3, 1808
Marblehead, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedFebruary 14, 1875(1875-02-14) (aged 67)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyRepublican

Samuel Hooper (February 3, 1808 – February 14, 1875) was a businessman and member of Congress from Massachusetts.

Early life

Hooper was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts. His father, Robert Hooper, was a shipping merchant and later served as president of the Grand Bank of Marblehead.[1] After a common school education, Hooper traveled aboard his father's shipping vessels as supercargo. He is known to have visited Cuba, Russia, and Spain.[2]

In 1832 Hooper married Ann Sturgis, daughter of William Sturgis, and he became a junior partner in the Boston firm of Bryant and Sturgis, merchants in the California hide trade, trade with the Pacific Northwest, and trade with China.

Business career

In 1841, Hooper partnered with counting house owner and merchant shipper William Appleton to form William Appleton and Company. Soon the firm was engaged in the California hide trade, trade with the Pacific Northwest, and trade with China. The firm acquired additional partners in 1851 when Appleton joined the Massachusetts congressional delegation.[3]

In 1859, Appleton retired from William Appleton and Company. Hooper reorganized the firm with partner Franklin Gordon Dexter, and they adopted the name Samuel Hooper and Company. The firm continued operations after Hooper's death.[3]

Political career

Hooper was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, serving from 1851 to 1853. He later served in the Massachusetts Senate in 1858.

Upon the resignation of his friend and former partner, Congressman William Appleton from the United States House of Representatives, Hooper was elected to fill the seat, representing Massachusetts's fifth district in the 37th Congress.

He was reelected to the following six congresses representing Massachusetts's fourth district and served as chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means 1869 to 1871, of the Committee on Banking and Currency from 1871 to 1873 and of the Committee on Coinage, Weights and Measures from 1871 to 1875.

Samuel Hooper

From 1861 to 1862, his home in Washington D.C. was the headquarters of General George B. McClellan. In 1866, he was a delegate to the Philadelphia Loyalists' Convention.

He turned down reelection to the 44th Congress and died less than a month before completion of his final term.[4] He was interred in Oak Hill Cemetery in 1875.

Hooper was briefly the father-in-law of Charles Sumner, a powerful senator from Massachusetts. Sumner had married Hooper's widowed daughter-in law, Alice Mason Hooper, but they divorced after a short marriage.


In 1865 Hooper founded the Hooper School of Mining and Practical Geology at Harvard University with an endowment of $50,000. The gift also established the Sturgis Hooper Professorship in Geology. Named in honor of Hooper's deceased son Sturgis, the professorship received an additional endowment of $30,000 (~$786,667 in 2022) from Hooper's widow in 1881.[5] The city of Hooper, Nebraska, is named after him.[6][7]


See also


  1. ^ The bank was chartered in 1831 and occupied a building on Hooper Street in Marblehead. "The National Grand Bank … A Brief History …". Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  2. ^ Brown, John Howard (1901). Lamb's biographical dictionary of the United States. Boston, Massachusetts: James H. Lamb.
  3. ^ a b William Appleton and Company records, 1813-1889, Baker Library Historical Collections: Harvard Business School, 1927
  4. ^ Samuel Hooper Collection, Special Collections Research Center: Syracuse University Libraries
  5. ^ Harvard University Bulletin. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University. 1881. pp. 301–302.
  6. ^ "Profile for Hooper, NE". ePodunk. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  7. ^ Fitzpatrick, Lillian L. (1960). Nebraska Place-Names. University of Nebraska Press. p. 54. ISBN 0803250606. A 1925 edition is available for download at University of Nebraska—Lincoln Digital Commons.