The Road to Civil War

John R. Thomson

(September 25, 1800 — September 12, 1862) John Renshaw Thomson, a Senator from New Jersey; born in Philadelphia, Pa., September 25, 1800; attended the common schools in Princeton, N.J., and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University); went to China in 1817 and became a merchant in Canton; United States consul at that port 1823-1825; returned to the United States and settled in Princeton, N.J.; director and secretary of the Delaware & Raritan Canal Co.; connected with the Philadelphia & Trenton Railroad Co. as president and later as treasurer; member of the State constitutional convention in 1844; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor of New Jersey in 1844; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Robert F. Stockton; reelected in 1857, and served from March 4, 1853, until his death in Princeton, N.J., September 12, 1862; chairman, Committee on Naval Affairs (Thirty-sixth Congress), Committee on Pensions (Thirty-sixth Congress), Committee on Patents and the Patent Office (Thirty-sixth Congress); interment in the Princeton Cemetery. [Source: “Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 - Present,” available at]

Member of New Jersey Delegation - The Road to Civil War [this display].

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