Thomas Andrews Hendricks


Thomas Andrews Hendricks Famous memorial

East Fultonham, Muskingum County, Ohio, USA
Death 25 Nov 1885 (aged 66)
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Burial Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Plot Section 29, Lot 2
Memorial ID 2111 View Source

Governor of Indiana, US Congressman, US Senator, and US Vice President. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a US Congressman from Indiana's 6th district for two terms from March 1851 until March 1855, a US Senator for one term from March 1863 until March 1869, 16th Governor of Indiana for one term from January 1873 until January 1877, and 21st US Vice President under President Grover Cleveland's 1st term from March 1885 until his death eight months later. Born the second of eight children, when he was a year old, he moved with his family to Madison, Indiana and two years later moved to Shelby County, Indiana where his father became a successful farmer who operated a general store and was active in politics. He received his education from the Shelby County Seminary and Greensburg Academy and attended Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, graduating in 1841. He then studied law with Judge Stephen Major in Shelbyville, Indiana and took an eight-month law course at a school in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, after which he returned to Indiana and was admitted to the bar in 1843 and began a private law practice in Shelbyville. He began his political career in 1848 when he was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives, serving for one year and was Speaker of the House. In 1850 he ran for US Congress and was elected to two consecutive terms, where he was chairman of the Committee on Mileage and served on the Committee on Invalid Pensions. His support of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 led to his defeat for re-election that year. In 1855 he was appointed by President Franklin Pierce as commissioner of the General Land Office in Washington DC. In 1859 he resigned his position and returned to Indiana and in 1860 he moved to Indianapolis and ran as the Democratic candidate for governor of Indiana, but lost to the Republican candidate, Henry S. Lane. In 1862 he established a law firm with Oscar B. Hord in Indianapolis and practiced there until he was elected by the Indiana General Assembly to the US Senate later that year. During his term in the US Senate, he opposed the military draft and issuing greenbacks but supported the Union and prosecution of the war. He opposed reconstruction after the Civil War, arguing that the southern states had never been out of the Union and were therefore entitled to congressional representation. He voted against the 213th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution that would, upon ratification, grant voting rights to males of all races and abolish slavery. He also opposed President Andrew Johnson's removal from office following his impeachment in the House of Representatives. In 1868 he was not re-elected to the US Senate and ran for governor of Indiana but lost as well. In 1872 he ran for governor of Indiana again and won, becoming the first Democrat in a northern state to win a governorship after the American Civil War. He succeeded in encouraging legislation to enact election reform, in response to accusations of corruption in the previous election, and judiciary reform. Otherwise, his term as governor was uneventful as he was unable to come to terms with the Republican-controlled legislature. He was a unsuccessful candidate for US Vice President on the Democratic Party's ticket with New York governor Samuel Tilden in the disputed presidential election of 1876. In 1880 the Democratic Party nominated him for the vice presidency but he declined for health reasons. In 1884 he was nominated by the Democratic Party for US Vice President with Grover Cleveland and won. In poor health for several years, he died unexpectedly in his sleep at the age of 66 after becoming ill at his home. His post remained vacant until 1889 when Levi P. Morton became US Vice President under President Benjamin Harrison. He is the only US Vice President, who did not also serve as president, whose portrait appears on US paper currency. His engraved portrait is on the "tombstone" $10 silver certificate of 1886. A statue in his honor resides on the southeast corner of the lawn of the Indiana capitol in Indianapolis.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2111
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Andrews Hendricks (7 Sep 1819–25 Nov 1885), Find a Grave Memorial ID 2111, citing Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .