Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 26 >> Thrace to Topeka >> Thurman

Thurman

party, ohio, elected and qv

THURMAN, ther'man, Allen Granbery, American lawyer and politician: b. Lynchburg, Va., 13 Nov. 1813; d. Columbus, Ohio, 12 Dec. 1895. He was brought, in childhood, to Chilli cothe, Ohio, and there received an academic education. After teaching for a time he studied law in the office of his uncle, William Allen (q.v.) ; in 1835 was admitted to the bar and forming a partnership with his uncle soon at tained success as a practising lawyer. At the same time that he began his legal career he be came active in politics as a member of the Democratic party, but held no political office until 1844. when he was elected to Congress. He was one of the earnest supporters of the administration in the conduct of the Mexican War; though a Democrat and opposed to any change in the Missouri Compromise (q.v.), he, with the most of the Northern Democrats, voted for the Wilmot Proviso (q.v.), and replied to Southern criticism of this act in a speech stat ing, forcibly, the reasons of the North for op posing the extension of slave territory. At the close of his Congressional term he resumed the practice of law, and in 1851 was elected one of the judges of the Ohio Supreme Court; here his learned and able decisions won him wide reputation as a jurist. When his term of of fice expired in 1856 he again took up the practice of his profession, this time in Colum bus. He took no active part in politics until 1867, when he was nominated by the Democrats as governor of Ohio; he conductd a vigorous campaign, and though defeated by a small plu rality, the Democratic party carried the legis lature. In the next year he was elected to the

United States Senate and re-elected in 1874. His ability in debate won him immediate recog nition, and he was appointed a member of the Judiciary Committee, and became the leader of his party in the Senate; during his last term he was elected president pro tern. He favored a liberal policy of reconstruction, introduced the so-called Thurman Bill compelling the Pacific Railroad to comply with the conditions of their franchise, and succeeded in effecting the pas sage of this bill against a powerful opposition. In 1876 he was a member of the Electoral Com mission (q.v.), and steadfastly supported the claims of Tilden. He was a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1876, 1880 and 1884; in 1N1 he was appointed a member of the Paris Monetary Conference. In 1888 he was the Democratic nominee for Vice-President and took active part in the cam paign; after the defeat of his party in that year, he retired from political life. Consult Hensel and Parker, (Lives and Public Services of Grover Cleveland and Allen G. Thurman' (Philadelphia 1892).