From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Cotter, Joseph S., Sr.

(born: 1861  -  died: 1949) 

Joseph Seaman Cotter, Sr. was born in Bardstown, KY, the son of Michael Cotter (Scottish Irishman) and Martha Vaughn Cotter. He founded the Paul Laurence Dunbar School in Louisville, KY, and was principal at several Louisville schools. Cotter published five volumes of poetry and a collection of plays, composed music, and was known for his storytelling. He was the father of poet Joseph S. Cotter, Jr. (1895-1919). The Joseph S. Cotter, Sr. Papers are located at Kentucky State University. For more see Southern Black Creative Writers, 1829-1953, by M. B. Foster; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; and Early Black American Poets, by W. H. Robinson, Jr.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Cotter, Joseph S., Jr.
NKAA Source: Southern Black creative writers, 1829-1953: biobibliographies
NKAA Source: Dictionary of American Negro biography
NKAA Source: Early black American poets; selections with biographical and critical introductions

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Little Africa (Louisville, KY)
NKAA Entry:  DuValle, Lucie N.
NKAA Entry:  Laine, Henry Allen
NKAA Entry:  Cotter, Joseph S., Jr.
NKAA Entry:  Negro wit and humor: also containing folk lore, folk songs, race peculiarities, race history
NKAA Entry:  Jefferson County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Cotter, Joseph S., Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 28, 2022,

Last modified: 2021-10-14 15:31:49