Cocke continued his association with John Sevier after the Revolution and was one of the foremost proponents of the state of Franklin, which later evolved into the state of Tennessee. Upon Tennessee's statehood, he became one of the new state's first two U.S. senators.
In November 1792, Cocke wrote a very long letter to the Nashville newspaper that was uncomplimentary of the Cherokee Indians. In response Cherokee Chief Hanging Maw wrote a very short letter to the newspaper. That letter mentioned Cocke's "long letter" and in effect said that "he who must talk long must not be talking the truth."
His first wife, Mary Maclin, died in 1795 and a year later he married Kissiah Sims. In Tennessee, Cocke became friends with Andrew Jackson. He became judge of the First Circuit in 1809. Political disagreements led to Cocke and Jackson almost fighting a duel. Their mutual friends intervened to prevent the possibly deadly confrontation.
A Columbus, Mississippi native, Rufus Ward examines William Cocke's connection to the Columbus area, and to another pioneer in American History, Daniel Boone. It's an interesting read.
- "William Cocke" by By Carroll Van West - Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
- "The Tombigbee River Steamboats: Rollodores, Dead Heads and Side-Wheelers" by Rufus Ward [The History Press]