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E.U. Cook
Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 13, 2005 09:10PM

Does anyone have information on the writer/poet E.U. Cook? He wrote "The First Mortgage" (1891) I have searched his name on Google and several others and it doesn't even register. Even searching the title only gave me one of the forums posted here. A mystery....and it's making me CRAZY! Who IS this guy? Thanks for any information you may have!

Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: March 13, 2005 09:22PM

Probably a misspelling, try here:

[www.google.com] />


Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 13, 2005 09:39PM

LES!!!! Youre a SAINT! I'm a weenie for not making the "U" a "V". The title page has "U" typed on it...I should know better, I grew up in The Berkshires in Western Mass. and have seen "V's" and "U's" intermingled on many monuments. I feel like a dork! THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!! =o) Have a super weekend!!!!

Posted by: ilza (---.user.veloxzone.com.br)
Date: March 14, 2005 06:33PM

I am always afraid to say "I am pretty sure"
but I believe it is actually E. U. Cook
not V iso U
not Cooke iso Cook

Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: March 14, 2005 08:52PM

Ilza, can you find one reference to E. U. Cook? If so, please share it with us.


Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 14, 2005 10:03PM

Hey guys.....I don't know what the deal is...but I looked up Edmund Vance Cooke and there is not ONE mention of "The First Mortgage" OR "Forbidden Fruit" ANYWHERE.

I know "E.U. Cook" only brings up a few sites, but only of the book. But "Edmund Vance Cooke" doesn't say (ANYWHERE I have looked) anything about the book.

So I feel I am back to square one. Bizarre huh? Les, I thank you a million...and it seems you pointed me to the right guy, all except that there's no mention of the book and on all copies I know of, his name is spelled E.U. Cook. No 'e'.

I hate sitting at a computer, but tonight I am going to try and figure it out. I'll let you guys know.

ILSA~ thanks for the note. I am going to try a couple different things. Normally, I would just let it rest, but now it's a mission!

Have a great night. God Bless.

Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 14, 2005 10:22PM

Well. I found that Edmund Vance Cooke is not the guy that wrote "The First Mortgage". Plus, here's part of his biography.....

"in1893, he became a self-employed poet, writer, and public speaker . His first book of poems, A Patch of Pansies, came out the next year"

One, The First Mortgage was "Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1891, by E. U. Cook" ('93 and '91, the dates are off)

Two, this guy Edmund has talent, but nothing like what is shown in The First Mortgage. Their works are completely different.

I'll give you this much...the real author IS a mystery and comes up NOwhere...but Edmund Vance Cooke is not the man.

My quest continues. This stinks.

Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: March 14, 2005 11:29PM

Pattey here's what I get when I search for E.U. Cook:

[www.google.com] />


Post Edited (03-14-05 22:36)

Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 15, 2005 12:48AM

Les~ I know. Isn't it NUTS!?!?! But really, it's not Edmund. The only thing I can get when searching "The First Mortgage" is...

[www.emule.com] />
Which is how I found this site. Another thing about the book and the Edmund/E.U. confusion....my copy has the picture/drawing of E.U. Cook and is of an OLD looking man....Edmund Vance Cooke was born in 1866. Making him only 25 when E.U. Cook introduced The First Mortgage in 1891. Below is a link to a person selling a copy on eBay. There's a picture of the "drawing". Obviously NOT a 25 year old.

[cgi.ebay.com] />
Besides, the stamped "signature", the following page, and the binding all say E.U. Cook.

So, now that we know it's not Edmund...how the heck are we going to find E.U. if he's nowhere to be found on the net? Would he be at the library? I have no idea why I'm obsessed with it...but I am.

I know I'm probably bugging you with all this, but your input and help HAS been greatly appreciated. I'll let you know if I find anything.

Thanks! =o)

Posted by: ilza (---.user.veloxzone.com.br)
Date: March 15, 2005 08:04AM

back then people looked older ...

and we will find out about him, it's a matter of time

published in 1887 by a Chicago firm, Cook retells the entire Bible in couplets, accompanied by the Bible engravings of Gustave Dore

I found this, but I am not sure it is him :

E. U. COOK, attorney at law and loan agent; was born at Spiceland, Henry Co., Ind., June 22, 1845; was educated at Spiceland Academy; in 1866, began teaching at Plainfield, Ind., as Principal of the public schools; in 1868, he was engaged as Governor at the Indiana State Reform School, which position he occupied one year, during which time a considerable portion of the work was hunting up escaped convicts, a number of whom had escaped soon after they had been brought to the institution; at the end of the year, all of them had been found and returned, with the exception of one; he resigned at the Reform School, and returned to Spiceland Academy, in which he graduated. In June, 1870, on his 25th birthday, he married Miss Elvira Charles, of Milton, Wayne Co., Ind; in September of the same year they removed to Springdale, Cedar Co., Iowa, where he engaged as Principal of Springdale Seminary, which position he filled for five years; at the end of which time he resigned to enter the law department of Iowa State University, from which he graduated on his 31st birthday, June, 1876; he then began the practice of law at Newton, Jasper Co., Iowa; but in a few months, removed to Muscatine, and has since been engaged in the practice of law, loan and real estate business. He has made a complete set of abstract-books of all the land-titles in Muscatine Co.; this required the labor of two persons two and a half years. Mr. Cook and wife are members of the society of Friends. They have two children--Charles Dale and Jessie Florence.

a couple of poems - for those who are curious ...


The Devil, we're told, in Hell was chained,
And a thousand years he there remained;
He never complained, nor did he groan,
But determined to start a Hell of his own,

Where he could torment the souls of men,
Without being chained in a prison pen.
So he asked the Lord if He had on hand
Anything left when He made the land.

The Lord said, 'Yes, I had plenty on hand,
But I left it down on the Rio Grande,
The fact is, old boy, the stuff is so poor,
I don't think you could use it in Hell any more."

The Devil went down to look at the truck,
And said if it came as a gift, he was stuck;
For after examining it careful and well
He concluded the place was too dry for a Hell.

So in order to get it off His hands,
The Lord promised the Devil to water the lands;
For He had some water, or rather some dregs,
A regular cathartic that smelt like bad eggs,

Hence the deal was closed and the deed was given,
And the Lord went back to His home in Heaven.
And the Devil said, "I have all that is needed
To make a good Hell," and hence he succeeded.

He began to put thorns on all of the trees,
And he mixed the sand with millions of fleas,
He scattered tarantulas along all the roads,
Put thorns on the cacti and horns on the toads;

He lengthened the horns of the Texas steers,
And He put an addition on the jackrabbit's ears,
And He put a little devil in the broncho-steed,
And He poisoned the feet of the centipede.

The heat in the summer is a hundred and ten,
Too hot for the Devil and too hot for the men;
The wild boar roams through the black chaparral,
It's a Hell of a place he has for a Hell.

The red pepper grows on the banks of the brook,
The Mexicans use it in all that they cook.
Just dine with a Greaser and then you will shout:
"I've Hell on the inside as well as the out."


Now, reader, go along with me,
Away back into eternity.
Go back beyond the days of youth
Where everything that was, was truth.

Beyond the sorrow and the tears,
Beyond the suffering and fears,
Beyond the anguish and the gloom,
Beyond the shadow of the tomb.
Before there was a here or there,
Or anything or anywhere,

Go back a hundred thousand years.
And farther still though filled with fears.
Away back here removed from sight
Where everylhing that was, was right.

Away back here removed from sin
It where my story doth begin-
Before God brought the world about,
I wonder if he did not doubt
Whether, since he had found the spot.
He'd better make a world or not.

Trutb, looking through coming years
Declared that he was filled with fears,
And said he knew not what to do
In case that man should prove untrue.
And then came Mercy, mild and meek,
And asked if she a word might speak
In gentle tones and accents mild,
She plead as would a little child.
She said, "If man should go astray
I'll point to him another way
And by the mercy that I give,
Poor fallen man again may live.
"And his companion I will be,
Both on the land and on the sea ,
And should he fail to go aright,
I'll be nearby, bota day and night.
"I'll be with him when young or old.
I'll be with him amongst the gold, ,
I'll be with him when he is poor,
When death is knocking at the door.''

The Lord adopted Mercy's plan
And made the world—also the man ,
The world was made without a flaw,
Without a hammer or a saw.
He made the little birds to sing.
Made summer, autumn, winter, spring.
The mighty oak and little fern,
And beds of coal for us to burn.

Made reptiles, worms, and creeping things,
Made some without and some with wings,
Made dogs to bark and cats to mew,
Made our colors, red, white, and blue.
And many other things did make,
And in them all made one mistake
(But this was no error in plan)—
The dirt was bad when he made man.

Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 15, 2005 10:14PM

Ummmmm, well, that sounds nice....but the guy we're looking for is a writer and poet. There's not one mention of anything like that in the bio. (except, of course, the abstract land-title books) Clearly not our guy.

I contacted the Library of Congress and hope they can help. Thanks for your input! I'm getting a headache over it. I opened my book up to the picture last night and said out loud, "I'm going to find out who you are, mister! You can't escape" Then I realized I should probably not talk out loud to a book like that. (and to think I cut people open for a living!)

I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks for putting up with my questions and findings.

Have a happy day.

Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: March 15, 2005 11:20PM

Pattey, you're probably right that it's not Edmund Vance, because any work by him would be chronicled on the net, but still this E. U. seems very illusive. Good luck in your search.


Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 15, 2005 11:35PM

Thanks Les!!! =o)

Have a super happy evening!

Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 15, 2005 11:46PM

Well, Ilza and Les....thanks for your help, but I finally got my answer. It makes me sad, and I guess I'll try to look elsewhere sometime, but this is the response I got from the Library of Congress:

Title: Forbidden Fruit / by E.U. Cook ; (fully illustrated) from Gustave Dore. Uniform Title: First Mortgage
We researched the author in Biography and Genealogy Master Index, an index to nearly 12 million biographical sketches in more than 2,700 volumes and editions of current and retrospective reference books, covering both contemporary and historical figures throughout the world. We were unable to locate any biographical information about this author. The title listed above is the only title under that name in our database.

I'm so sad. I don't know why. I guess it makes me sad that this man could write something so beautiful and not be found anywhere. Anyway. I guess I obsessed way too much about it. So much that I almost feel like crying. I know, it sounds like I need a hobby. That's the weird thing....I HAVE a life and PLENTY to do. But I just can't STAND that I can't find this guy's biography anywhere!!!

Anyway, thanks alot. Les, you're the coolest. Stay that way! I hope to run into you again. God Bless!


Posted by: marian2 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: March 16, 2005 03:37AM

Just a thought - but it's possible that EU Cook wanted his poem (s) to stand alone and had no wish for personal celebrity - either because he was naturally reticent, because it was a religious work, of a kind, and he preferred the interest to be in the content and not the author, or because his day job didn't sit well with what he was publishing (in which case he may have written under a pseudonym.)

Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-01rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: March 16, 2005 01:01PM

Stop back from time to time, Pattey. The Brazilian Bombshell will find him eventually.

Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: March 16, 2005 01:19PM

Hugh, it is also possible that the signature next to the poem is not accurate. How many times have we seen poems here attributed to the wrong author by SCHOLARS. Remember the Poison Tree and Human Abstract. Ask Peter, typos are very real.


Posted by: ilza (---.host.telemar.net.br)
Date: March 16, 2005 02:11PM

some editions ( first one, 1887, for instance, and 1907) have a very clear signature "Yours truly, E. U. Cook" under his photo

it is actually a facsimile, a printed exact copy of likeness of signature, across from title page - which was rather usual to find around 1880/1900

( except those he may have signed himself, of course )

Posted by: RJAllen (---.creation-net.co.uk)
Date: March 16, 2005 02:25PM

The Frist Mortgage is the only book by E. U. Cook listed in the Library of Congress. It might be worth checking in books on Dore to see if there's any mention there.

Posted by: ChipCain (12.20.132.---)
Date: March 16, 2005 02:25PM

You can buy the book from Alibris if you're interested. Here is the link. Not a poem in the normal sense but a book length poem. Illistrated no less. : )


Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: March 16, 2005 05:43PM

Chip and Rikki thanks for the info.

Here's a smaller version of your link: [tinyurl.com] />


Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 16, 2005 11:32PM

Hey all~
Thanks for the info. I also saw in the picture at the front of the book that it says, "BRAUN-CHI." on the lower portion. Braun must have been the photographer in Chicago. By now I'm sure you know where I'm going next! Hopefully there's somewhere I can find information on that name. Not that I think it would get me far.

You know what's funny about this obsession of mine? Today, in the middle of surgery (I'm an assistant), my surgeon mentioned he had had jury duty yesterday...and I FREAKED out because I was supposed to be on jury duty monday and totally forgot. Idiot. Well, it wasn't JUST Mr. E.U. Cook, I also had a serious case of strept throat! But I have to admit I have been preoccupied by him as of late! Nonetheless, I am happy to own my book. It's a wonderfully written poem (your right, Chip, LONG to say the least!) and I'm sure someday I'll come across SOMEthing about the man who wrote it.

You are all too cool. Maybe it's partly the long winter up here in Alaska getting to me, but I have really enjoyed conversing (sp?) with you. God Bless you guys. =o)

Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 16, 2005 11:38PM

P.S. WHO is the Brazillian Bombshell?!?!?! HAHAHA!

Hugh? Are YOU? "Hugh Clary" doesn't sound too Brazillian! But then again, I have an Irish first name and am almost completely Italian (hence the emotional side!)

You guys ROCK!

Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: marian2 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: March 17, 2005 03:36AM

Ilza is the Brazilian Bombshell - very good and extremely tenacious at finding things out, however long it takes. We all bow to her superior sleuthing powers, and she's on E U Cook's case, so if there is anything out there she's most likely to find it.

Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 17, 2005 10:44AM

Yey ILZA! Yes, she's been a huge help! I just never realized how frustrating it would be to find this information. And it's true, maybe the author DIDN'T want to be "known". I read so many books and have never wanted to find out about the author so badly....of course, now it's turned into a crusade because I CAN'T! Oh well. I'm not giving up too easily. =o)

Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: paul turpin (not a highwayman) (---.w80-8.abo.wanadoo.fr)
Date: March 17, 2005 11:16AM

Well, this has been a very enjoyable post. I wonder whether it would be worth guessing his first name; Edward, Edgar, Edmund, etc. and then searching eg. "Edward Cook" poet. Or maybe you've already done this. Have you thought about perhaps writing up the story of your search- it could make an entertaining story, 'Looking for Mr. Cook' ? On another note, ought you to be operating on people while you have a streptococcal throat? Although I suppose conditions are more sterile up there in the arctic. Anyway, good luck and get well soon.

Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: March 17, 2005 09:52PM

Paul. Thanks for the ideas! I keep journals...I have 2 going right now. One of my work and one I am writing for my brother and his wife's unborn twins, that I hope they'll enjoy someday. Maybe a journal on my search for E.U. Cook is a good idea! (I have written a children's book that my friend put on with his publishing company!) Of course I'd have to add some funny anecdotes or something, because so far (besides all you wonderful people in here) it has been just frustrating and lonely trying to find this guy. I just find it hard to believe that this guy was a "nobody" who happened to get Gustav Dore's illustrations in his book. You know?

As for the strept...I got on antibiotics and took some time off. I had no voice for a week, though. ICK! Everybody has been sick in one form or another. And nobody has been able to get rid of it without anti-biotics. I am typically ANTI-antibiotic, but I was SICK, so I gave in. Thank you for the well-wishes.

God Bless You and I'm glad you were entertained! I'll keep you posted on the 'book'.....by the way, can I use your suggested title? I think it's perfect. If it ever takes flight, maybe I'll have you write the forward! =o)

Take care!

Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: chuck (---.mn.client2.attbi.com)
Date: March 18, 2005 03:04PM

Then of course, there's Eliza Cook

Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: March 18, 2005 03:13PM

There was an article in the LA Times a year or so back about a man researching his uncle, who had died in WW2. It included his Google search time responses.

I tend to think that it's the guy Ilza found. Many writers have day jobs.


Eli U Cook
Posted by: ilza (---.user.veloxzone.com.br)
Date: April 15, 2005 04:34PM

I still have to dig a little longer ( or deeper ...)
but I hope to have an answer (if ever) in a couple of days

I believe his name is Eli U Cook,
but that remains to be confirmed soon
I have my own copy now ( it was somewhere else, as most of my books
are - I hardly remembered it at all - I wasn't even sure whether I had it or not ... )

so, let's see . . .

Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: Pattey (---.gci.net)
Date: April 20, 2005 12:35AM

THANK YOU!!!!!!! I'm still researching myself, too. I have actually spent money to do so. I have been in geneaology sites and what-not.

I still am writing a 'journal' of my search and it's coming along wonderfully. I have to add your latest message. Hopefully, we can find if Eli U. Cook is the man. I wish I knew. He was so incredibly talented that I find it hard to believe that was his only work.

Anyway. Thank you so very much for your help. I will try to look up Eli. You have no idea how much I appreciate your help.

God Bless, Pattey

Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: Marci (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: May 12, 2005 02:58PM

I googled E.U.Cook in an attempt to learn a bit more about this author and came upon your correspondence. I began this search in an attempt to price a copy of The First Mortgage for a Friends of the Library organization. A copy was donated to us. Ours is a printing from 1899 but has the same photograph of E.U. Cook with the facsimile signature. I found one copy on Bookfinder.com. I haven't checked e-bay. I would be interested to know anything you find out about this author. I'm curious now!

Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: Lloyd Reed (---.dsl.dytnoh.ameritech.net)
Date: May 13, 2005 06:23PM

I'm looking as well. In that time frame (late 1800's), a popular first name was Elihu (not sure of the spelling.) I'm actually searching on behalf of a lady who wanted the words to a poem titled "The First Mortgage" by E. U. Cook (and she quoted the following from the poem.)

"Now, reader go along with me
Away back into eternity
Go back beyond the days of youth
Where everything that was, was truth."


Re: E.U. Cook
Posted by: jl (---.morgank12.org)
Date: May 24, 2005 10:11AM

i have a copy of this book and the title page lists the author's name as E. U. Cook.

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