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 Thomas Stanhope Bocock

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Thomas Stanhope Bocock

  • Birth 18 May 1815 Buckingham County, Virginia, USA
  • Death 5 Aug 1891 Appomattox County, Virginia, USA
  • Burial Appomattox County, Virginia, USA
  • Memorial ID 11350614

US Congressman, Speaker of the Confederate House of Representatives. Born in Buckingham County, Virginia, he received his early education and prelaw training from his brother Willis. He passed the Virginia state bar after graduating from Hampden-Sydney College in 1838, then entered public life, completing his political apprenticeship in the Virginia General Assembly in 1845. At that time he began a 2-year term as commonwealth attorney for Appomattox County (formerly Buckingham County). Beginning in 1847 he was elected 7 times to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat; he was generally a political moderate. When Virginia seceded in April 1861, he resigned his House seat to represent the state in the Provisional Confederate Congress and subsequently in both regular sessions. Acknowledging his reputation as a skilled parliamentarian, his colleagues unanimously elected him Speaker of the House on February 18, 1862. He held the position until the government dissolved, which limited his participation in debate but did not affect his pro-administration bias. On several occasions he defended President Jefferson Davis against tirades from radicals Louis T. Wigfall and Henry S. Foote and broke with the president only on the issue of arming slaves and when taxation fell heavily on his constituents. When dissatisfaction with Davis' administration reached one of its recurring peaks in January 1865, the Virginia delegation assigned him to recommend a cabinet reorganization in order to restore confidence among the Confederate public. Davis responded to the advice by rebuffing the Virginians for questioning his executive prerogatives. As a moderate conservative in the postwar years he assumed leadership in advancing compromise between repudiation of the Confederate debt and dollar-for-dollar repayment. After nurturing a thriving law practice, his popularity as a speaker, and a life-long love for books, he died at his estate, "Wildway," near Appomattox Court House, leaving one of the largest private libraries in Virginia.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ugaalltheway
  • Added: 13 Jul 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11350614
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Stanhope Bocock (18 May 1815–5 Aug 1891), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11350614, citing Bocock Cemetery, Appomattox County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .