About John E. Cook
John E. Cook came to Harpers Ferry in 1858 to scout the area for John Brown, and spent the next year working as a schoolteacher, book agent, and a lock tender on the C&O Canal.
While in the area, he married a local woman, Mary V. Kennedy. He participated in the seizure of the arsenal on October 16, 1859, but was sent back to the farmhouse on the Maryland side of the river before Brown's party was surrounded. Cook subsequently made his way towards Chambersburg, but was captured in that vicinity on October 25. He was tried, convicted, and subsequently executed on December 16, 1859, with Edwin Coppoc, Shields Green, and John Copeland, Jr.