Philip Francis Thomas
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Philip Francis Thomas
Philip Francis Thomas
Philip Francis Thomas, sitting.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 1st district

March 4, 1875 - March 3, 1877
Ephraim King Wilson II
Daniel M. Henry
23rd United States Secretary of the Treasury

December 12, 1860 - January 14, 1861
President James Buchanan
Howell Cobb
John Adams Dix
28th Governor of Maryland

January 3, 1848 - January 6, 1851
Thomas Pratt
Enoch Louis Lowe
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 2nd district

March 4, 1839 - March 3, 1841
James Pearce
James Pearce
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates

Personal details
Born (1810-09-12)September 12, 1810
Easton, Maryland, US
Died October 2, 1890(1890-10-02) (aged 80)
Baltimore, Maryland, US
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Sarah Maria Kerr Thomas
Clintonia (Wright) May Thomas
Alma mater Dickinson College
Profession Politician, Lawyer

Philip Francis Thomas (September 12, 1810 – October 2, 1890) was an American lawyer and politician.

Born in Easton, Maryland, he graduated from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania in 1830. He studied law and became a lawyer in Easton. He was a delegate to the Maryland's constitutional convention in 1836 and a member of the Maryland House of Delegates in 1838, 1843, and 1845. He was elected as a Democrat to the 26th Congress in 1838 from the 2nd Congressional district of Maryland, but declined to run again in 1840. He went back to his law practice, but returned to politics eight years later when he was elected the 28th Governor of Maryland, a position he held through 1851. While Governor, in 1849 he commissioned Maryland's contribution to the Washington Monument,[1] a marble building stone upon which the colonial Sparrow Seal of Maryland[2] was engraved.[3]

From 1851 to 1853, he was Comptroller of Maryland and then collector of the port of Baltimore from 1853 to 1860, and United States Commissioner of Patents for a fragment of that year (February through December). He was appointed United States Secretary of the Treasury in the Presidential Cabinet of President James Buchanan and served from December 12, 1860 to January 14, 1861.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing portrait of Thomas as Secretary of the Treasury.

When Howell Cobb, the 22nd Secretary of the Treasury resigned in 1860, Buchanan appointed Thomas the 23rd Secretary. Thomas reluctantly accepted the position. Immediately upon entering office, Thomas had to market a bond to pay the interest on the public debt. There was little faith in the stability of the country due to the threat of secession by the Southern states, and war appeared inevitable. Northern bankers refused to invest in Thomas's loan, wary that the money would go to the South. Following Interior Secretary Jacob Thompson, Thomas resigned after only a month in response to his failure to obtain the loan.

Two years later, he again became a member of the Maryland House of Delegates in 1863. He presented credentials as a Senator-elect to the United States Senate for the term beginning March 4, 1867, but was not seated as a person "who had given aid and comfort" to the Confederate cause by way of giving money to his son "to aid him in joining the rebel army."[4] The charge against him was contested in The New York Times as "partisan intolerance," and in The Chicago Times as "lawless despotism."[4] He was then elected as a Democrat to the 44th Congress from the 1st Congressional district of Maryland, serving from 1875 to 1877, and declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1876.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1878. He returned to the Maryland House of Delegates twice, in 1878 and 1883, and then resumed the practice of law in Easton.

He died in Baltimore in 1890 and is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Easton.


  1. ^ "The News Journal from Wilmington, Delaware on June 8, 1923 · 6". Retrieved . 
  2. ^ "Sparrow Seal, Maryland State Archives". Retrieved . 
  3. ^ "Photo Gallery (U.S. National Park Service)". Retrieved . 
  4. ^ a b Russ, William (1933). "Disenfranchisement In Maryland (1861- 1867)" (PDF). Maryland Historical Magazine. 28: 323. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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