Sarah Ellice 7 BIGELOW

1592C.3A      Sarah Ellice 7 BIGELOW, dau of Daniel 6 ( Amasa 5 , Isaac 4, Isaac 3, Samuel 2, John1 and  Emma (JOHNSTON) BIGELOW, was born a triplet, at Canso, Guysborough, NS on 27 January 1822. She married (1) Isaac Alvinza Flint the son of John and Rachel (Purdy) Flint, on 10 December 1839. He was born at Sherburne, Chenango, NY on 29 May 1816 and died on 28 March 1891 at Union Gap, Yakima, WA. There undoubtedly was a divorce with Isaac as he married (2) Emeline Louisa Phinney on 10 February 1853. Sarah married (2) James Cooper the son of Alexander and Barbara (Henderson) Cooper the date of marriage not known, but he died on 05 September 1856 at Sonoma, Sonoma, CA and she married (3) Sidney Harris on 25 October 1857. Sarah Ellice died 10 May 1886 Sonoma, Sonoma co, CA, and buried at Mountain Cemetery. We attempt to list the children with the following parentage, subject to correction:

Children of Isaac and Sarah E. (Bigelow) Flint:
1592C.3A1     Eugene Victor Flint, b 1841 WI; d 1895 Yakima, Yakima co, WA.

1592C.3A2     Purdy John Flint, b 26 Aug 1842 WI; d 28 Feb 1929 Yakima; m _ Feb 1867 Lucy A. Burch.
1592C.3A3     Emma Flint, d infancy. (Sarah was pregnant with Emma when she and Isaac Flint left St. Louis, where they had lived for a year and where he had a lumber business. There is a family story that Emma died shortly after she was born and was buried on the plains.)

Children of James and Sarah (Bigelow) Cooper: (according to below)

1592C.3A4     Thomas Spriggs Cooper, b 1848 Sonoma, CA; d 21 May 1936 Imola, Napa, CA; m Frances Dunn.

1592C.3A5     John Rose Cooper, b _ Sept 1849 Sonoma; d 09 Feb 1905 Sonoma; m 19 Nov 1896 Alma Bell Carmier.

1592C.3A6     Barbara Henderson Cooper, b 05 Aug 1851 Sonoma; d 0l Jan 1934 Willow Glen, Santa Clara. CA; m 1868 George Oliver Campbell. (see below)

1592C.3A7     Emma Johnson Cooper, b ca 1853 Sonoma; m 24 July 1879 James R. McDonald.

1592C.3A8     Janet Cooper, b 14 July 1855/56 Sonoma; bur. 30 May 1934 Sonoma.

Child of Sidney and Sarah E. (Bigelow) Harris:

1592C.3A9     Granville Swift Harris, b 07 Nov 1858 Sonoma; d 25 Nov 1952 El Verano, Sonoma co, CA; m 24 Sept 1885 Rowena "Nonie" Spencer.

Bigelow Society,The Bigelow Family Genealogy, Vol II, pg 152;
Research by and records of Bigelow Society historian/genealogist
and her correspondence with descendants.[prior to1995].
Sonoma co. Journal 12 Sept 1856;
"Families of California Pioneers"
Compiler: Ina Cooper; Valley Ford, CA ; 30 June 1979;
Notes of William Flint; 53 Royalcroft Dr.; Rochester, NY 14621;
Acadian Recorder 23 Feb 1882; Tombstone inscription;
Following is from "Lucille Bigelow's Papers 1/16/97".  e-mail:  

     Family tradition is that Sarah and Isaac Flint had only 2 sons.  They separated and she went to California as a nanny for a Dr. Beales or Bales with one son.  Isaac took the other with him and later kidnapped the son taken by Sarah--and that she did not see him again until he came to her as a grown man. Also, some records state Sarah died in 1846 (when they separated)
but obviously this is not true since she married 1846 James Cooper and had children in Sonoma, CA.  Information found by Lucille Bigelow on a trip to Nova Scotia, letters to a Mrs. Tulluch.  Copies in records about Sarah and husband, James Cooper who owned and lived at the "Blue Wing" Hotel until building a house on the west side of Sonoma Creek.  Sarah Bigelow Flint, "a widow" (each said the other had died, evidently) had crossed the plains in 1845 with her twin sister, Emma. Sarah went to Yountville to act as governess in home of Dr. Beale.  During the Bear Flag excitement, she was advised to go
to the fortified town of Sonoma. During the actual Revolution, she and James Cooper met and were married 1846 and lived at the "Blue Wing Hotel" where their first two children were born. They built house in 1851.  They had 5 children in all before James Cooper met a tragic death.  See Lucille's papers 1/16/97--about Sailing Vessels of the day, Land Transportation, Warehouses, The Blue Wing Hotel by Ruth McDonald, U. S. Army in Sonoma.   Lucille Bigelow writes on 29 Jun 1997, that Sarah Ellice's husband James Cooper was murdered; that he was a casino owner.

Descendant note:
From:  Donald Schell         E-mail
Organization: St. Gregory Nyssen Episcopal Church, San Francisco, California
     I am a great-great-grandson of Sarah Ellice Bigelow (and James Cooper) whom I found on the page for Daniel 6 Bigelow. Do you or the web page have more information.  I've been working off and on for some time on a novel treating Sarah's life and particularly her marriage to James Cooper who was murdered in Sonoma in September of 1856.  Her marriage to Cooper has no date on your page (I haven't been able to find it either), but I do have a newspaper notice of her pending divorce from Isaac Flint.  Thanks for the interesting work.  It was quite a surprise to have my computer produce a picture of my great-great-great grandfather.
     The information on the page is in error in listing Thomas Spriggs Cooper, John Rose Cooper and Barbara Henderson Cooper as children of Isaac FlintBarbara Henderson Cooper (1592C.3A6)  was my  grandfather George Bigelow Campell's mother.  Sarah and James Cooper's first son, Thomas Spriggs Cooper was named for James Cooper's business partner in the Blue Wing, and Englishman named Thomas Spriggs. I have also found pioneer records that list Sarah as having arrived in California a widow.  She herself did not make that claim, however, as she sued Isaac Flint for divorce (on the grounds of abandonment) and received it in time to marry James Cooper some months before their first child was born. I think Sarah was pregnant with Emma when she and Isaac Flint left St. Louis (where they had lived for a year and where he had a lumber business), and somewhere I came across the family story that Emma died shortly after she was born and was buried on the plains.  There is a "fianza" in Vallejo's papers noting Flint's arrival in California (only the men in the party are named).  From Sutter's Fort Flint took them to Bales' Rancho Carne Humana north of present day Yountville and south of Bales' Mill and present day Calistoga.
     In the winter of 1846 James Clyman (whose journal is published) visited with Sarah and Isaac Flint at Bales' place and (according to the journal) Isaac Flint volunteered to carry a letter from Clyman to John Fremont in Oregon.  Clyman's description of Edward Bale, the Rancho, Bale's treatment of the "his" Indians, his friendship with the notoriously brutal Kelsey brothers and so on, suggests that Sarah was wise to flee Bale's "protection."  Sarah apparently never saw Flint again (though he did come down from Oregon for the Gold Rush and there is a published journal of his sea voyage back to Oregon).  She had their son Purdy with her when Isaac left.
     The older son, Eugene, was still in Wisconsin (I think they had left him behind with Sarah's brother Daniel when they moved to St. Louis). Sometime after the Gold Rush, Flint divorced Sarah in Oregon (either not knowing she had already divorced him in California, or refusing to acknowledge her legal right or grounds for doing so).  Then, and I can't find the date for this, but the story was in an obituary of his I found, he came back through Sonoma, kidnapped Purdy, took a boat to Panama, walked across the Isthmus, another boat to New Orleans and upriver to Milwaukee where he reclaimed Eugene, married Emmeline Phinney and then she, Isaac and Eugene walked west (Isaac's second crossing).
     I surmise that the divorce(s) was (were) quite bitter, because Eugene, who had not seen his mother since very early childhood lived his whole adult life in Yakima, Washington and apparently refused to go see his mother (whom he knew through his father's account of her), though Purdy, his younger brother, after his return to Sonoma (about 1858), traveled back and forth between Yakima and Sonoma, had businsses in both places, and apparently made an effort to stay close both to Sarah's other children. Some of this I can document quickly.  There are pieces that I found and incorporated into my work of framing a novel, and may not be so able to document any more.  I do have a verbatim copy of Sarah's divorce notice from the San Francisco paper, the date of Flint's Oregon re-divorce of her, and two newspaper accounts of Cooper's murder.  Clyman's journal and Isaac Flint's journal are other important documents that are fairly readily available.  Bancroft's Washington/Oregon volumes give some further account of Isaac Flint.
     I have done a fair amount of looking to attempt to find any hints of Cooper's relationship to General Vallejo.  Ruth McDonald, Sarah and James Cooper's granddaughter and narrator of a WPA oral history says that Sarah was convinced that Vallejo was in on a conspiracy to kill Cooper and profited directly from his death.  She asserted that Martin Cooke, Vallejo's and Cooper's lawyer had betrayed Cooper and forged or mis-recorded land sales from Vallejo to Cooper, and that Vallejo removed a number of bags of gold from the Blue Wing on the day that Cooper was murdered.  Vallejo's papers (which he carefully culled as he turned them over to the historian Bancroft) make no mention whatsoever of James Cooper.  This is at least surprising, in that Cooper had land dealings with him, operated the inn in Sonoma, was appointed (with Vallejo) to refurbish Sonoma's plaza, had a bridge in Sonoma named after him, and so on.  Visiting the Vallejo house (now a state park), one of the state historians also told me that Maddy Brown Empyran (I may not have that spelling correct), widow of Vallejo's grandson and the family's "official" biographer had burned a number of Vallejo's papers that he had held back from Brancroft before turning the ones she thought fit over to the state.  If there are any Cooper descendants who have more data on the murder, Cooke or Vallejo's possible involvement, accounts of the trial of David Graham (the murderer, who was acquitted) I would be most grateful and would also gladly share what I have found.
Sincerely, Donald Schell  < >

Modified - 12/03/2009
(c) Copyright 2009 Bigelow Society, Inc. All rights reserved.
Rod  Bigelow - Director

Rod Bigelow (Roger Jon12 BIGELOW)
Box 13  Chazy Lake
Dannemora, N.Y. 12929