Charles B Cooper (1864-1940) was an American health official who instigated a federal program to research a cure for leprosy in Hawaii.
Cooper was president of the Hawaii Territorial Board of Health. In 1904, he produced a ten-page pamphlet titled 'Leprosy in the Hawaiian Islands: Its humanitarian and financial burden: An unparalleled instance of public philanthropy'. The document called for federal funding for a station for leprosy research and treatment in Hawaii.
In response, the United States Congress passed the 'Act to provide for the investigation of leprosy, with special reference to the care and treatment of lepers in Hawaii' on March 3, 1905. The act tasked the US Public Health Service with establishing a leprosarium in Hawaii, and provided US$100,000 for its construction and $50,000 for its first year of upkeep. This led to the establishment of the United States Leprosy Investigation Station at Kalawao.
Cooper's personal papers are held in the McGrew-Cooper-Wood Family papers in the Hawaii State Archives.
Bernholz, Charles D. 'Pestilence in paradise: Leprosy accounts in the annual reports of the governor of the territory of Hawaii.' Government information quarterly 2009. Volume: 26 Issue: 2 Page: 407-415
Greene, Linda W. Exile in Paradise: The Isolation of Hawai’i's Leprosy Victims and Development of Kalaupapa Settlement, 1865 to the Present. Washington, D.C.: US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1985.
Michael, J. M. "The Public Health Service Leprosy Investigation Station on Molokai, Hawaii, 1909-13: An Opportunity Lost." Public Health Reports (1974-) 95.3 (1980): 203-9. Web.
|Hawaii State Archives||Charles B Cooper's papers are held in the McGrew-Cooper-Wood Family papers in the Hawaii State Archives.|