Samuel Coates was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 24, 1748, the son of Samuel Coates and his wife, Mary Langdale. Orphaned at a young age, Coates lived with his uncle and mentor, John Reynell, who helped establish Coates as a merchant before he joined Reynell’s firm in 1771. In 1782, Coates gained sole ownership of the company, and conducted business along the Eastern Seaboard, particularly around New England. A prominent resident of Philadelphia, he served with a relief committee during the 1793 yellow fever epidemic, as an overseer of Philadelphia's public schools, as a director of the First Bank of the United States, and as treasurer of the Philadelphia Library Company; he also served as a manager of the Pennsylvania Hospital and, later, as the president of its board. He and his wife, Lydia Saunders, married in 1775 and had four surviving children: John Reynell, Hannah, Joseph Saunders, and Lydia. Following the death of his first wife in 1791, he married Amy Horner in 1791, with whom he had three surviving children: Samuel Horner, Benjamin Horner, and Reynell. Samuel Coates died on June 4, 1830.
Dr. Samuel Cooper was born in Maryland on September 8, 1772. In 1786, he moved to Philadelphia, where he attended a Quaker school. He began his medical studies in Maryland in 1791, and in 1793 became apprenticed to Samuel Coates, Samuel Clark, and Bartholomew Wistar, managers of the Pennsylvania Hospital. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in May 1797, and began to practice medicine in Philadelphia. Cooper died of yellow fever on September 25, 1798.