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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNorth Carolina

Thomas Lanier CLINGMAN

(1812-1897)
Senate Years of Service:
1858-1861
Party:
Democrat

CLINGMAN, Thomas Lanier, a Representative and a Senator from North Carolina; born in Huntsville, N.C., July 27, 1812; educated by private tutors and in the public schools in Iredell County, N.C.; graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1832; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1834 and began practice in Huntsville, N.C.; elected to the State house of commons in 1835; moved to Asheville, Buncombe County, N.C., in 1836; member, State senate 1840; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1845); unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Twenty-ninth Congress; elected as a Whig to the Thirtieth and to the five succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1847, to May 7, 1858, when he resigned to become Senator; chairman, Committee on Public Expenditures (Thirtieth Congress), Committee on Foreign Affairs (Thirty-fifth Congress); appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate on May 6, 1858, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Asa Biggs; reelected in 1861 and served from May 7, 1858, to March 11, 1861, when he withdrew; expelled from the Senate on July 11, 1861, for support of the rebellion; chairman, Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Thirty-fifth Congress); during the Civil War was a brigadier general in the Confederate Army; explored and measured mountain peaks; died in Morganton, Burke County, N.C., on November 3, 1897; interment in Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, N.C.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Jeffrey, Thomas. ‘Thunder From the Mountains: Thomas Lanier Clingman and the End of Whig Supremacy in North Carolina.’ North Carolina Historical Review 56 (October 1979): 366-95; Kruman, Marc. ‘Thomas L. Clingman and the Whig Party: A Reconsideration.’ North Carolina Historical Review 64 (January 1987): 1-18.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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