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Thomas Corwin
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Thomas Corwin

Thomas Corwin (also known as Tom Corwin and The Wagon Boy) (July 29, 1794 - December 18, 1865) was a member of the United States House of Representatives (elected as a Whig to the 22nd Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1831, until his resignation, effective May 30, 1840. Known for his sharp wit, debating skills and endless campaigning, he was elected to the Governorship of Ohio in 1840, defeating incumbent Wilson Shannon. Shannon defeated Corwin in a rematch two years later. Corwin returned to the House as a Republican and served from March 4, 1859 to March 12, 1861). Corwin was also a member of the United States Senate (appointed by the Ohio General Assembly as a Whig and served from March 4, 1845 to July 20, 1850). He then resigned to become Millard Fillmore's Secretary of the Treasury shortly after the death of Zachary Taylor. Corwin was re-elected to the House of Representatives in 1858. He was re-elected to a second term in 1860, but resigned a few days into the term after being appointed by the newly inaugurated President Lincoln to become Minister to Mexico, where he served until 1864. Corwin, well-regarded among the Mexican public for his opposition to the Mexican War while in the Senate, helped keep relations with the Mexicans friendly throughout the course of the Civil War, despite Confederate efforts. He was the brother of Moses Bledso Corwin and the uncle of Franklin Corwin, both of whom likewise served in Congress.

Thomas Corwin is perhaps best known for the proposal to the state legislatures by the 36th Congress in 1861 of the Corwin amendment to the United States Constitution which was technically still pending before the state legislatures for ratification and which, if ratified, would forbid the Federal banning of slavery in the United States. It was a last-ditch effort to avert the outbreak of the Civil War.

Preceded by:
William M. Meredith
United States Secretary of the Treasury Succeeded by:
James Guthrie
Preceded by:
Wilson Shannon
Governors of Ohio Succeeded by:
Wilson Shannon

Preceded by:
Benjamin Tappan
U.S. Senators from Ohio Succeeded by:
Benjamin F. Wade