March 10, 1857 – January 8, 1861
|Preceded by||Robert McClelland|
|Succeeded by||Caleb B. Smith|
|Born||May 15, 1810|
Leasburg, North Carolina, U.S.
|Died||March 24, 1885 (aged 74)|
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Catherine Ann Jones Thompson|
|Alma mater||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|Profession||Politician, Lawyer, Teacher|
Biography[edit | edit source]
Born in Leasburg, North Carolina, in 1810, Thompson attended Bingham Academy in Orange County, North Carolina, and later went on to graduate from the University of North Carolina in 1831. Afterwards, he served on the university faculty for a short time until he left to study law in 1832. He was admitted to the bar in 1834 and commenced practice in Pontotoc, Mississippi.
Thompson got involved in politics and was elected to the 26th Congress, serving from 1839 to 1851. He was appointed to the United States Senate in 1845, but never received the commission and the seat went to Joseph W. Chalmers. Thompson was the chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs in the 29th Congress. He lost reelection to the 32nd Congress and went back to practicing law until 1857, when newly elected President James Buchanan appointed Thompson United States Secretary of the Interior.
In the later years of the Buchanan administration, the cabinet members argued with one another on issues of slavery and secession. Thompson sided with the Confederacy and resigned as Interior Secretary in January 1861. Thompson then became Inspector General of the Confederate States Army and later a confidential agent to Canada from 1864 to 1865 from where he directed a Confederate terrorist plot to burn down the City of New York on November 25, 1864 in retaliation for Union Generals Philip Sheridan and William Tecumseh Sherman's scorched earth tactics in the south. His manor called "Home Place" in Oxford, Mississippi, was burned down by Union troops in 1864.
[edit | edit source]
- Jacob Thompson at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved on 2009-5-12
- The Jacob Thompson Collection (MUM00266) can be found in the William and Marjorie Lewis Collection at the University of Mississippi in the Archives and Special Collections.
- Jacob Thompson at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2009-5-12
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