Cooper Smith was a Human who was abducted by Skagarans in the 19th century and taken to a Skagaran colony on a planet in the Delphic Expanse for slave labor. Soon after being captured, Smith led a rebellion against the Skagarans and the Humans eventually overthrew their alien masters.

By 2153, the Humans who lived on the Skagaran colony world were taught that Smith was a folk hero and liberator. However, the Skagarans called Smith "Rokdar", which means "butcher". According to the Skagarans, Smith and his men had burned the interstellar craft that the Skagarans had used to carry the Humans to their colony. The Skagarans also believed that Smith had ordered the destruction of their weapons. He and his men had murdered most of the Skagarans, including entire families of the alien species. In an effort to keep the Skagarans from reclaiming power, Smith wrote the first laws that kept the Skagarans from going to school, owning property or marrying. Cooper Smith claimed that the Skagarans could move through thin air from one place to another, suggesting that the Skagarans possessed transporter technology.

When the NX-class starship Enterprise visited the Skagaran colony planet in 2153, Captain Jonathan Archer met a Human who was the only living direct descendant of Cooper Smith. (ENT: "North Star")

In the final draft script of "North Star", Cooper Smith was described as "a stern-looking cowboy."
"North Star" writer David A. Goodman took this character's name from a main character in the Western TV series Wagon Train. ("North Star" audio commentary, ENT Season 3 Blu-ray special features)
During the production of the episode, it was joked that Michael DeMeritt was also a descendant, due to him looking similar to the portrait. ("North Star" audio commentary, ENT Season 3 DVD special features)