Thomas Stanley Bocock (May 18, 1815 – August 5, 1891) was a nineteenth century politician and lawyer from Virginia. After serving as an antebellum United States Congressman, he was the Speaker of the Confederate States House of Representatives during most of the American Civil War

Biography[edit | edit source]

Born at Buckingham Court House in Buckingham, Virginia, Bocock was educated by private teachers as a child. He went on to graduate from Hampden-Sydney College in 1838, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1840, commencing practice in Buckingham Court House. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1842 to 1844 and was the prosecuting attorney for Appomattox County, Virginia, in 1845 and 1846.

Bocock was elected a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives in 1846, serving from 1847 to 1861. There he served as chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs from 1853 to 1855 and again from 1857 to 1859. In 1859, Bocock was nominated for Speaker of the House, but withdrew after eight weeks of debate and multiple ballots failed to elect a speaker.[1]

Following the start of the Civil War and Virginia's secession, Bocock was elected a Democrat to the Confederate States House of Representatives in 1861, serving until the end of the war in 1865. He was a member of the unicameral Provisional Confederate Congress, as well as the succeeding First and Second Confederate Congresses. He was Speaker of the Confederate States House of Representatives from 1862 to 1865.

After the war ended, Bocock served in House of Delegates again from 1877 to 1879 and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1868, 1876 and 1880. He died in Appomattox County, Virginia, on August 5, 1891, and was interred at Old Bocock Cemetery near his plantation, "Wildway."

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Notes[edit | edit source]

Template:Start box |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #cccccc" | United States House of Representatives Template:USRepSuccessionBox Template:USRepSuccessionBox |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #cccccc" | Confederate States House of Representatives |- Template:S-non |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Representative to the Provisional Confederate Congress from Virginia
1861 – 1862 Template:S-non |- |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Member of the C.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia

February 18, 1862 – May 10, 1865 |- |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Speaker of the Confederate States House of Representatives
February 18, 1862 – May 10, 1865 |- | colspan="3" style="background:#bebebe; color:#000000;" | Notes and references |- | colspan="3" style="text-align:left;"| 1. Because of Virginia's secession, the House seat was vacant for almost nine years before Ridgway succeeded Bocock. |}


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