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Thomas A. Hendricks


THE name of HENDRICKS is an honorable one in Indiana.  William Hendricks, a kinsman of Thomas, and an early settler in the territory, was Secretary of the Constitutional Convention which formed the present Constitution of the State, its first and only representative in Congress from 1816 to 1822 ;  its Governor from 1822 to 1825, and a United States Senator from 1825 to 1837.

THOMAS, the subject of the present sketch, was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, September 7th, 1819.  He graduated from S. Hanover College, Indiana, in 1841, studied law in Ohio and in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and was admitted to the bar in 1843. He removed immediately to Indianapolis, Indiana, and entered upon the practice of his profession, in which he soon attained reputation and success. 

But the law in Indiana as well as elsewhere in the West, is only a stepping-stone to a political career, and so Mr. Hendricks very naturally glided into politics.   In 1848, he was elected to the State Legislature, but the following year declined a re-election; in 1850, he was an active and useful member of the Indiana Constitutional Convention, and in the autumn of that year was elected to Congress from the Indianapolis district. He was re-elected in 1852, and at the expiration of his second term (in March, 1855,)  was appointed Commissioner of the General Land Office, in which post he was continued by President Buchanan, but in 1859 resigned.

In 1862, he was elected United States Senator, serving from 1863 to 1869, and was a member of several important committees.  Though belonging to and voting with the small Democratic minority in the Senate, during his whole Senatorial term, Senator Hendricks was not factious or bitterly partisan.  He secured the respect of his opponents by his manly and dignified course, and retained the confidence and regard of his constituents, though the Republicans were in the ascendancy in the State during most of his term.  Since leaving the Senate, Mr. Hendricks, though active in polities, has not sought office.  He exerts a controlling influence in Indiana, and has the confidence of the rank and file of the party, as a man of pure and patriotic motives.  He has been often named for the Presidency, but is wise enough to see that his time has not yet come.  He has recently been nominated by the Democrats for Governor of the State, and is understood to favor a coalition with the Liberal Republicans.

Source: Men of Our Day; or Biographical Sketches of Patriots, Orators, Statesmen, Generals, Reformers, Financiers and Merchants, Now on the state of Action: Including Those Who in Military, Political, Business and Social Life, are the Prominent Leaders of the Time in This Country, by L. P. Brockett, M. D., Published by Ziegler and McCurdy, Philadelphia Penna; Springfield, Mass; Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Louis, Mo., 1872 

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