Brief Biographies from the Jackson/Van Buren Era (T):

Talbot, Henry Fox 1800 - 1877:

Englishman who invented a photographic process at the same time as Daguerre invented his (late 1830s), called the calotype. Invented a much improved (faster imaging) process in 1851.

Tammany - Late 17th Century:

A Delaware Indian chief for whom New York's Society of Tammany was named. Members of the Society, in the years of the early republic, often paraded in Indian costumes. "Tammany Hall" was an institution linked closely with New York's Democratic party, and eventually became of center of corruption.

Taney, Roger Brooke 1777 - 1874:

Andrew Jackson's post-Eaton Imbroglio attorney general (1831-33). From 1833 - 34 he was secretary of the treasury, doing what two earlier secretaries would not do - removing the federa deposits from the Bank of the United States, as ordered by Jackson.

Once (in 1835) rejected by the Senate for associate Supreme Court Justice; he was nevertheless confirmed in 1836 as Chief Justice, succeeding John Marshall. His 1857 decision against the slave Dred Scott - which helped excite anti-slavery opinion in the north - is what he is best remembered for.

Tappan, Arthur (May 22, 1786 - July 23, 1865):

A philanthropist, reformer, and abolitionist whose work was financed by enormous success in the New York silk trade.

Born in Northamton, Mass, he established himself in Portland Maine, and then in Montreal, Canada. He was a founder of the American Tract Society, which gave away millions of little inspirational religious booklets.

He was briefly interested in the colonization movement, then strongly rejected it as a means to end slavery, along with William Lloyd Garrison, and others. He gave Oberlin College in Ohio a large endowment when they absorbed a large group of fiery abolitionist students and teachers who left Lane Seminary in Cincinatti over attempts by the trustees to suppress abolitionism there.

Tappan, Benjamin (1773-1857):

Lawyer, judge, and senator from Ohio from 1839 - 1845. He appears to have been a strong supporter of Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, and became United States district judge of Ohio in 1833. For a while, he seems to have taken a very strong stand against slavery, having once offered to Theodore Weld to subscribe $500 for "powder and ball to set the negro free" (Thomas: Weld, p102). This would not have been an especially welcome offer as Weld and his colleagues had no intention of practicing violence.

While Tappan was probably had a genuine strong anti-slavery feeling, he may have been Weld and his brothers, major financiers of the abolition movements, for their "impractical" approach. He was the skeptic in a family of religious zealots. The strain of abolitionism that the New York Tappan brothers, and Weld, belonged to, had very strong ties to revivalist movement lead by Charles Grandison Finney. Benjamin may have been expressing his materialism and disbelief in the methods of the "Belevolent Empire", which sought to change peoples hearts and minds. An excellent source, considered something of a classic, is  Wyatt-Brown, Tappan.

Tappan, Charles ? - ?:

Older brother to Lewis and Arthur. Like Lewis (and before him), went into business in Boston, experimented with Unitarianism and return to orthodoxy. Unlike him, never moved from Boston, and was at best a very timid reformer. (Source: Wyatt-Brown, Tappan)

Tappan, John ? - ?:

Older brother to Lewis and Arthur. Like Lewis (and before him), went into business in Boston, experimented with Unitarianism and return to orthodoxy. Unlike him, never moved from Boston, and was at best a very timid reformer. (Source: Wyatt-Brown, Tappan)

Tappan, Lewis (May 23, 1788 - June 21, 1873):

Business and philanthropic partner of his brother Arthur. He was equally dedicated to various movements connnected with the revivalism of the late 1820s and 1830s, some of which today seem hard to imagine opposing, like abolitionism. Others, like the campaign against Sunday stagecoach service, and Sunday mail deliveries, seem like pure religious zealotry.

Lewis was a partner of his brother from 1814 till 1837 or thereabouts. He spent a number of years on Boston, where became for a while a Unitarian, and married into a Unitarian family. He was, however, converted to the somewhat softened, evangelistic Calvinism of Lyman Beecher, one of the fruits of Beecher's focused assault on Unitarianism in the onetime bastion of Puritanism. Another, perhaps conflicting, story, is that his brother Arthur made his conversion a prerequisite for helping Lewis out of debts that he had incurred in some unfortunate business dealings.

In 1827 or 28, he moved to New York, where he worked very closely with Arthur in the "empire of reforms".

He wrote a biography of Arthur Tappan, and another book in 1869 called Is it Right to be Rich? An excellent source, considered something of a classic, is  Wyatt-Brown, Tappan.

See also: Abel, Annie Heloise; Klingberg, Frank J. (eds), A Side-Light on Anglo-American Relations 1839-58, Furnished by the Correspondence of Lewis Tappan and Others with The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society

Tattnall, Josiah 1795 - 1871:

After a long career, beginning with service in the War of 1812, he rose to command a naval squadron in the Pacific from 1857-60. In the Confederate navy he commanded the defense of Georgia and South Carolina.

Taylor, John 1753 - 1824

"John Taylor of Caroline". Fought in the Revolution; served in VA House of Delegates 1779-1785; in U.S. Senate 1794, 1803, 1822 (in all cases appointed to serve out a term). In 1798 he introduced the "Virginia Resolutions" against the Alien and Sedition Acts. Could be called an "Old Republican", or "Tertium Quid" (along with John Randolph). Wrote a series of articles for a Georgetown (DC?) paper in 1803 which were 1st published as a book in 1813 as The Arator. It dealt with agricultural issues (rotation and fertilization) and political as well. Raised by Edmund Pendleton (an uncle, perhaps twice over) after the death of his parents.

Inspiration to Edmund Ruffin politically and as an agricultural reformer.

Source: D.A.B.; The Arator;

Taylor, John 1808 - 1887:

Mormon leader. Acting head of the church after 1877, president after 1880. As a polygamist with seven wives, he left the country to avoid arrest, and ran the curch from exile in the last years of his life.

Taylor, Joseph Wright 1810 - 1880:

Businessman and physician; founded Bryn Mawr College.

Taylor, Moses 1806 - 1882:

Importer from 1832-55; pres. of City Bank of New York from 1855-82. Gained control of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western R.R. in the panic of 1857. One of the financiers of the first attempt to lay a transatlantic cable. Born in New York.

Taylor, Nathaniel William (1786 - 1858):

Friend and colleague of Lyman Beecher, he promoted roughly the same doctrines as Beecher, and advocated active evangelism, and denigrated predestination, in the Presbyterian Church. Unlike Beecher, who spent his time mostly "in the trenches" (at least until his presidency of Lane), Taylor was a teacher of young ministers - Professor of Didactic Theology at Yale. Their doctrines and methods were sometimes called "the Yale Theology", or the "new preaching", or Taylorism.

Taylor, Zachary 1784 - 1850:


Tecumseh 1768 - 1813:


Thacher, James 1754-1844:

Compiled American Medical Biography in 1828. Served as a physician in the Revolution. Born Barnstable, MA.

Thacher, Thomas Anthony 1815 - 1886:

Taught classics at Yale from 1838. Helped edit Webster's Dictionary of the English Language between 1847 and 64.

Thayer, Sylvanus 1785 - 1872:

Studied military methods in Europe shortly after the War of 1812 ended, returned to West Point, of which he was superintendent from 1817-33. Established high academic standards. Later (1833-73) he worked on improving and better fortifying U.S. harbors. Born in Braintree, MA.

Theodore Parker 1810-1860:


Thomas, Jesse Burgess 1777 - 1853:

Represented Illinois in the Senate from 1819-29, and introduced the prohibition of slavery abouve 36 degrees 30 minutes, except in Missouri; a principal provision of the Missouri Compromise. Born in present-day Shepherdstown, WV.

Thomas, Philip Evan 1776 - 1861:

Railroad promoter - of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the second passenger railroad in the U.S. Served as its president from 1827 - 36.

Thomas, Robert Bailey 1766 - 1846:

Founded The Farmer's Almanac, in 1792 and edited and published it until his death.

Thomas, Seth 1785 - 1859:

Founder of the Seth Thomas Clock Co. in 1853. Earlier, in 1807, he worked with Terry, Thomas, and Hoadley to apply mass production techniques to clock manufacturing; in 1812 he first went out on his own in Plymouth Hollow CT. Born in Wolcott, CT.

Thompson, Daniel Pierce 1795 - 1868:

A lawyer, he also wrote The Green Mountain Boys in 1839, and other romantic historical novels. Lived in Montpellier VT, and set most of his writing in Vermont.

Thompson, David 1770 - 1857:

English-born explorer and fur trader. Head of British commission for deciding and marking the U.S. Canadian border, which effort, after the War of 1812, lasted until 1826.

Thompson, John 1802 - 1891:

Founder of the First National Bank in New York (1863), and of the Chase National Bank in 1877. Born in Peru MA.

Thompson, Joseph Parrish 1819 - 1879:

Congregational minister, who also founded the New Englander.

Thompson, Robert William ???:

Patented the invention of the pneumatic tire in 1845.

Thompson, Smith 1768 - 1843:

Secretary of the navy 1819-23 and justice on the Supreme Court 1823-43. Once a major power in New York State politics, for whom Martin Van Buren named one of his sons (but they were later on less amicable terms).

Thoreau, Henry David (July 12, 1817 - May 6, 1862):

Generally considered a part of the "transcendentalist movement".

Author of Waldon Pond and Civil Disobedience, his best known works. Walden Pond was printed, but hardly sold in his lifetime. Civil Disobedience was never published in his lifetime. It grew out of refusal to pay a very small tax because some of the procedes would support the Mexican-American war. He and a number of other northerners considered it a war to extend slavery; to bolster the strength of the slave-owning states vs the free states.

A lecturer and writer; he opposed strongly slavery, and assisted the underground railroad.

The son of a pencil manufacturer, he graduated Harvard in 1837.

He was a close friend of Emerson and of Bronson Alcot. He never married, and died of tuberculosis, like many of his contemporaries (and many more just lived with it all their lives).

Thurber, Charles 1803 - 1886:

Formed Allen & Thurber (Worcester, MA) in partnership with his brother in law, Ethan Allen. Invented something a little like the modern typewriter, as well as manufacturing firearms. Born in East Brookfield, MA.

Thurston, Robert Lawton 1800 - 1874:

Manufacturer of steam engines.

Ticknor, George 1791 - 1871:

Taught modern languages and belles lettres at harvard from 1819 - 1835. Helped found the Boston Public Library in 1852. Born in Boston.

Ticknor, William Davis 1810 - 1864:

Established bookstore ("the corner bookstore") and publishing house in Boston in 1832. This grew to one of the major U.S. publishers, Ticknor and Fields. Published books by the major authors of the day, as well as the Atlantic Monthly.

Tiffany, Charles Lewis 1812 - 1902:

New York jeweler - started in 1837; began to make his own jewelry in house in 1848.

Tocqueville, Alexis Charles de 1805 - 1859

French aristocrat, out of favor after the revolution of 1830, who went to America in 1831-32, and wrote Democracy in America.

Todd, Francis ? - ?:

A "respected Newburyport merchant" whom fellow Newburyport native William L. Garrison excoriated for transporting slaves in the coastal trade. This led to Garrison's imprisonment for libel. (Source: Stewart, Garrison, p45)

Toland, Hugh Huger 1806 - 1880:

Pioneer in surgery for clubfoot, lithotomy, and other areas. Established at first in Columbia, SC; settled in 1853 in San Francisco.

Tompkins, Daniel D 1774 - 1825:

Governor of New York 1807 - 17 and vice-president of the U.S. 1817-25. One of the politicos from whom Van Buren learned. Born in Scarsdale, NY.

Tompkins, Daniel D. (1774-1825):

Born in what later became Scarsdale NY in Westchester County. Graduated Columbia College in 1795

Began practicing law in 1797 in New York City.

Governor of New York 1807-1817.

Was promoted for President in 1815, and Van Buren, because of complicated political exigencies, only nominally supported him. Tompkins accepted the Vice Presidency and served from March 1817-March 1825, and died in June 1825.

In 1820 he was the "Bucktail" candidate for governor despite Van Buren's apparent confirmation of rumors that he had been drinking heavily. He was accused, during this campaign, of corruption while governing the state during the War of 1812. He actually helped finance the war out of his own pocket, and was later repaid. It seems likely that his poor bookkeeping provided the grounds for the accusation.

Toombs, Robert Augustus 1810 - 1885:

An aggressive pro-slavery Georgian in the years before the Civil War, he served briefly, in 1861, as secretary of state of the Confederacy, before becoming a Brigadier General the same year. In congress from 1845 - 61 (in the Senate after 1845). Born in Wilkes County, GA.

Torrey, Charles Turner 1813 - 1846:

Abolitionist who died in prison where he was sentenced for aiding the Underground Railroad in Baltimore Maryland. Born Scituate, MA.

Torrey, John 1796 - 1873:

Professor of chemistry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City from 1827-55. Also a bottanist and professor of chemistry and natural history at Princeton from 1830-54 (two professorships at once from 1830-54!). With Asa Gray, wrote 2 volumes of Flora of North America from 1838-43.

Totton, Joseph Gilbert 1788 - 1864:

After graduating West Point, class of 1805, he spent 30 years as an army engineer working on defensive and other harbor and river improvements. In the civil war rose to brigadier general and brevet major general. Born in New Haven, CT.

Toucey, Isaac 1792 - 1869:

Represented Connecticut in the House from 1835-9; Governor of the state from 1846-7; U.S. Atty Gen. 1848-9. Senator 1857-61. Suspected at the time; perhaps unfairly, of collaboration with the south on the eve of Civil War. Born in Newtown, CT.

Town, Ithiel, 1784 - 1844:

Architect responsible for some notable churches in Connecticut, and for the U.S. Custom House in New York. Principal in Town and Davis from 1829 - 1843. Active in bridge design, for which he received important patents. Born in Thompson, CT.

Townsend, John Kirk 1809 - 1851:

Ornithologist and notable collector of bird and other animal specimens. Born in Philadelphia.

Trall, Russell Thacker 1812 - 1877:

A leading doctor in the water cure movement; founded his own water cure spa in 1843; and also started the New York Hygeio-Therapeutic College. Born in Tolland County, CT.

Trautwine, John Cresson 1810 - 1883:

Railroad and canal engineer in the U.S. from 1831. In 1852 he surveyed Panama for a railroad, and then for a canal, as the new state of California made it more desireable to avoid the immense trip around South America for sea cargo. Author, in 1871, of the Engineer's Pocketbook. Born in Philadelphia.

Travis, William Barret 1809 - 1836:

Commanded the Alamo and was like everyone else there annihilated on March 6. Born near Red Banks, SC.

Trevithick, Richard 1771 - 1833:

English. In 1804, he built the first steam engine which actually demonstrated the ability to go a significant distance with a heavy load by rails. Responsible for many other inventions in mining, railroading.

Trist, Nicholas Philip 1800 - 1874:

Negotiated and signed the treaty that ended the war with Mexico. Born in Charlottesvill, VA.

Trollope, Frances (1780 - 1863):

Best known to Jacksonian America as writer of an unflattering portrait of the young nation, Domestic Manners of the Americans.

An englishwoman, she and her husband came to Cincinnati, Ohio, seeking to restore their distressed fortunes by an emporium for luxury imported goods.

Mother of the prolific and still widely-read novelist Anthony Trollope, whose books dwelt on English politics, society, and the civil service.

Sources : Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, Eckhardt, Fanny Wright (incl one of her younger looking pictures, on p125); and (I have not used these) Johanna Johnston <title unknown> (1979); Teresa Ransom, ... Fanny Trollope, A Remarkable Life .

Troost, Gerard 1776 - 1850 :

Born in Holland, and educated at the universities of Leyden and Amsterdam, he became a pharmacist and served in the Netherlands army; collected and classified minerals for the King of Holland 1807-09. Emmigrated to America in 1810. Founded a pharmaceutical and chemical laboratory in Philadelphia, where he lived til 1825, and helped found the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Went with William Maclure and others to New Harmony, which he left, in 1828 to become professor of sciences at the University of Nashville, where he remained til the year of his death, 1850.

Trumbull, John 1756 - 1843:

Served in the revolution and became a painter; particularly of patriotic scenes such as Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec. Donated his paintings to Yale College, to form the Trumbull Gallery, in 1832.

Truth, Sojourner (c 1797 - Nov. 26, 1883):

Born a slave in New York state, freed at about age 30. After many strange wanderings, she became, in the late 40s she joined the anti-slavery lecture circuit, making a name for herself in this line. She also became equally outspoken concerning women's rights.

The last slaves in New York state were released in 1828 - or they were illegally sold south. Truth's given name was Isabella, and she took the last name Van Wagener. She was born and raised in Ulster County New York. Her exact year of birth is a matter of conjecture, as was true of many slaves. Her first language was Dutch, as was that of her owners and their neighbors; these people, and their way of live being left over from the days when New York was New Amsterdam.

She served John Dumont of New Paltz from 1810 to 1827, and had, by a slave named Thomas, three daughters and one son who survived infancy. Two daughters were sold away from her.

Tucker, Luther 1802 - 1873:

Published a number of periodicals on agriculture, around Albany, NY. Born in Brandon, VT.

Tucker, Nathaniel Beverley 1784 - 1851:

A prominent advocate of secession, and legal educator. Son of St. George Tucker (1752 - 1827). Wrote 3 novels one of which, The Partisan Leader (1836) made a stand-in character for Martin Van Buren into a radical who fomented slave rebellion. Practiced law in Charlotte County, VA. Taught law and made a vivid impression on the next generation of secessionists.

Tucker, St. George 1752 - 1827:

Very important early American jurist and legal scholar. Edited and published an annotated version of Blackstone's Commentaries (1803), which served as the bible of 19th century American lawyers. Born in Bermuda.

Tucker, Stephen Davis 1818 - 1902:

Obtained dozens of patents for improvements in printing machinery while working for R. Hoe & Co. in New York City from 1834-93. Born in Bloomfield, NJ.

Tuckerman, Joseph 1878 - 1840:

Unitarian minister who devoted his work to the transient seamen in Boston. Founded the first salior's aid society in America in 1812. Born in Boston.

Tudor, Frederic 1783 - 1864:

Bostonian known as the "Ice King" for starting a huge industry exporting ice from Boston and eventually (including his competitors) from all over coastal New England. This trade (especially when it was shipped as far away as India) was in fact crucial to salvaging Boston's importance as a port, and to it might be attributed the existence of Boston's "India Wharf". "Masterful in all his dealings and not without a power of fascination which compelled men to obey him ... an extreme example of militant, despotic, and punitive individualism." Brother of William Tudor. (Source: DAB)

William Tudor 1779 - 1830:

An original member of the Anthology Society and contributor to their magazine, he helped found the Atheneum, and was founder and first editor of the North American Review. Quarrelled with Matthew Carey; wrote The Life of James Otis, of Massachusets "said to be his best effort. From 1823 he served in diplomatic posts in Peru and Brazil, where he died of fever. He never married. (Source: DAB)

Tulane, Paul 1801 - 1887:

Wealthy dry goods merchant in New Orleans, established around 1822. Contributed so heavily to The University of Louisiana, in the last years of his life, that it was renamed Tulane University. Born near Princeton, NJ

Tully, William 1785 - 1859:

Medical professor at Yale (1829-42) and practicing physician. Authored Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 1857-8. Born in Saybrook Point, CT.

Turnbull, Robert James 1775 - 1833:

A lawyer who published, in the Charleston Mercury, the "Brutus" articles; later made into the book The Crisis, which was a pro-nullification and anti federal government diatribe. Born in New Smyrna, FL, long before it passed from Spain.

Turner, Nat (1800 - 1831):

A slave preacher who felt called upon by visions to lead a slave revolt, in which a few dozen slaves from several plantations cut a deadly swath through the countryside in a rural Virginia town. They gathered horses and firearms as they went, and hoped to overcome the guards at an arsenal so as to be well armed, then bring in more members.

Unfortunately for Turner and his band, no reasonable scenario of a slave rebellion could have ended but in the deaths of the slaves concerned. The whites had organized and drilled militias and superior means of communication. So was left for an unreasonable man to try such a thing.

55 were killed by Turner and his men, and in retaliation, 200 blacks (mostly innocent) died.

Turner was the son of a native African woman. He managed, through means that remain unclear, to learn to read and write. He was a skilled worker, a carpenter, mostly working for hire, his master getting the procedes. As a preacher, he developed an air of mystery and power -- he describes in his confession how he did this quite consciously. He managed, himself to remain in hiding for a month, but was eventually tried and hung.

Harriet Jacobs in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, describes some of the hysteria that followed Nat Turner's uprising.

Tutwiler, Henry 1807 - 1884:

Founder of the Greene Springs School for Boys near Havana, AL. Ran the school from its founding, in 1847 until his death.

Tweed, William Marcy 1823 - 1878:

His name, as in the "Tweed Ring" became a synonym of corruption in New York Politics in the late 1860s and 1870s. Born in New York City.

Twiggs, David Emanuel 1790 - 1862:

After a long army career where he was made brigadier general in the Mexican War, he surrendered the department of Texas to the confederacy and after dismissal from the U.S. army became a Confederate Major General in May 1861; but lived only a year after that.

Tyler, Bennet 1783 - 1858:

Congregationalist and president of Dartmouth College from 1822 - 28. Fiercely conservative and at odds with the liberalizing Presbyterian Nathaniel W. Taylor. Helped found the Theological Institute of Connecticut - later known as the Hartford Theological Seminary, and taught there from 1834-57 (Cross, Beecher calls it "East Windsor Seminary" I, p218). Born in Middlebury, CT.

Tyler, John 1790 - 1862:

Elected Vice President of the U.S. in 1840, in the "Tippicanoe and Tyler Too" election. Became President 4/4/1841 on the death of the President, Harrison.

Tyler, Robert 1816 - 1877:

Son of John Tyler.

First national head of the Friends of Ireland Society (Source: Ignatiev, How the Irish...)

After the civil war, led attacks against "carpetbag" governments.

Tyng, Stephen Higginson 1800 - 1885:

Episcopal clergyman in Philadelphia from 1829-45 and New York fro 1845-78. A powerful preacher, and a leader of the Episcopal "low church" party.

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