Thomas Reynolds as he appeared while Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.
|7th Governor of Missouri|
November 16, 1840 –February 9, 1844
|Lieutenant||Meredith M. Marmaduke|
|Preceded by||Lilburn Boggs|
|Succeeded by||Meredith M. Marmaduke|
|Member of the Illinois House of Representatives|
|Born||March 12, 1796|
Bracken County, Kentucky
|Died||February 9, 1844 47) (aged|
Jefferson City, Missouri
|Resting place||Woodlawn Cemetery, Jefferson City Missouri|
|Spouse(s)||Eliza Ann Young|
|Children||One son; Ambrose Dudley Reynolds (b. 1824)|
Thomas Reynolds (March 12, 1796 – February 9, 1844) was the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court as well as the seventh Governor of Missouri. A Democrat, he is notable for being one of the few American politicians to die by suicide while in office.
Missouri is a state in the Midwestern United States. With over six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the Union. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia; the capital is Jefferson City. The state is the 21st-most extensive in area. In the South are the Ozarks, a forested highland, providing timber, minerals, and recreation. The Missouri River, after which the state is named, flows through the center of the state into the Mississippi River, which makes up Missouri's eastern border.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.
Thomas Reynolds was born in Bracken County, Kentucky to Nathaniel and Catherine (nee Vernon) Reynolds. He received his basic education and education in Law while in Kentucky and was admitted to the state Bar in 1817.
Bracken County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,488. Its county seat is Brooksville. The county was formed in 1796.
Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, (because in Kentucky's first constitution, the name state was used) Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.
Reynolds moved with his family to Illinois in his early twenties, settling in the Springfield area. Despite the same last name, and similar political career paths in Illinois, contrary to other sources John Reynolds is not the brother of Thomas Reynolds.Reynolds married Eliza Ann Young on September 20, 1823 and the couple would have one child, a son, Ambrose Dudley Reynolds, born in 1824.
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois is often noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.
Springfield is the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County. The city's population of 116,250 as of the 2010 U.S. Census makes it the state's sixth most populous city. It is the largest city in central Illinois. As of 2013, the city's population was estimated to have increased to 117,006, with just over 211,700 residents living in the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Sangamon County and the adjacent Menard County.
John Reynolds was a United States politician from the state of Illinois. He was one of the original four justices of the Illinois Supreme Court, 1818–1825, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1826–1830, 1846–1848, and 1852–1854, and the 4th Illinois Governor from 1830–1834. He also represented Illinois in the United States House of Representatives, 1834–1837 and 1839–1843.
Reynolds served as Clerk for the Illinois House of Representatives from 1818 until his appointment to the Illinois Supreme Court on August 31, 1822. He remained on the high court until January 19, 1825, and served as the court's chief justice during his entire tenure.He served one term in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1826 to 1828. Failing to be reelected, Reynolds and his family moved to Missouri, settling in the Howard County town of Fayette. Thomas Reynolds established a legal practice in Fayette, and for a time also served as editor of the Boonslick Democrat newspaper. Elected to represent Howard County in the Missouri Legislature in 1832, he was quickly named Speaker of the House. In January 1837 Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs nominated Reynolds to be the circuit judge for the 2nd judicial district, a position he held until being elected Missouri's seventh governor in 1840.
The Illinois House of Representatives is the lower house of the Illinois General Assembly, the bicameral legislature of the U.S. state of Illinois. The body was created by the first Illinois Constitution adopted in 1818. The House consists of 118 representatives elected from individual legislative districts for two-year terms with no limits; redistricted every 10 years, based on the 2010 U.S. census each representative represents approximately 108,734 people.
Howard County is a county in the U.S. state of Missouri, with its southern border formed by the Missouri River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,144. Its county seat is Fayette. The county was organized January 23, 1816 and named for Benjamin Howard, the first Governor of the Missouri Territory. Settled originally by migrants from the Upper South, it is part of the region historically known as Little Dixie. It is part of the Columbia, Missouri metropolitan area.
Fayette is a city in Howard County, Missouri, United States. The population was 2,688 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Howard County. It is part of the Columbia, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area.
After soundly defeating John B. Clark in the 1840 gubernatorial election, Thomas Reynolds presided over a time of great expansion and growth in Missouri. The Oregon Trail, with its kick-off point in western Missouri, was booming and the economy was beginning to recover in the state and nation from the Panic of 1837. A Jacksonian Democrat and follower of Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, Reynolds generally adhered to their limited-government, hard currency viewpoints.Regarding the issue of slavery Reynolds believed in each state's right to decide the issue for itself and that abolitionists or others helping slaves escape should face life imprisonment. Under his leadership fifteen new counties were formed in Missouri. One issue that Reynolds championed perhaps the hardest was for the elimination of debtor's prisons, which the Missouri General Assembly did in February 1843. While he was governor Reynolds worked to improve voting requirements and access. A milestone in education occurred when the first class was enrolled at the University of Missouri.
The Oregon Trail is a 2,170-mile (3,490 km) historic East–West, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail in the United States that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of the future state of Kansas, and nearly all of what are now the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. The western half of the trail spanned most of the future states of Idaho and Oregon.
The Panic of 1837 was a financial crisis in the United States that touched off a major recession that lasted until the mid-1840s. Profits, prices, and wages went down while unemployment went up. Pessimism abounded during the time. The panic had both domestic and foreign origins. Speculative lending practices in western states, a sharp decline in cotton prices, a collapsing land bubble, international specie flows, and restrictive lending policies in Great Britain were all to blame. On May 10, 1837, banks in New York City suspended specie payments, meaning that they would no longer redeem commercial paper in specie at full face value. Despite a brief recovery in 1838, the recession persisted for approximately seven years. Banks collapsed, businesses failed, prices declined, and thousands of workers lost their jobs. Unemployment may have been as high as 25% in some locales. The years 1837 to 1844 were, generally speaking, years of deflation in wages and prices.
Jacksonian democracy was a 19th-century political philosophy in the United States that expanded suffrage to most white men over the age of 21, and restructured a number of federal institutions. Originating with the seventh President Andrew Jackson, and his supporters, it became the nation's dominant political worldview for a generation.
Despite all his success Thomas Reynolds was not a well man, either physically or mentally. For several months prior to his death Reynolds was reported in ill health and suffering from melancholia.Political opponents in Missouri's Whig party, and certain newspapers under their influence, were particularly harsh in their criticism of Reynolds, his actions and positions as governor. During breakfast on the morning of February 9, 1844 Reynolds asked a blessing, which was not usual for him. Following the meal he locked himself in his Executive Mansion office and drew the shutters closed. Some time later a passer-by heard a shot and upon investigation Reynolds was found dead at his desk with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. On the governors writing table was a sealed message addressed to his friend, Colonel William G. Minor in which he said "I have labored and discharged my duties faithfully to the public, but this has not protected me from the slanders and abuse which has rendered my life a burden to me…I pray to God to forgive them and teach them more charity."
Melancholia is a concept from ancient or pre-modern medicine. Melancholy was one of the four temperaments matching the four humours. In the 19th century, "melancholia" could be physical as well as mental, and melancholic conditions were classified as such by their common cause rather than by their properties.
To lose any leader while they are in office is a shock, doubly so when death comes by their own hand. A large crowd of mourners attended Governor Reynolds's funeral and burial at Woodlawn Cemetery in Jefferson City, Missouri. Two years later a large granite shaft was erected at his gravesite. Reynolds County, Missouri was also named in his honor.His greatest legacy however was the public attention paid to the issue of mental illness. Reynolds successor, Governor Meredith M. Marmaduke, urged the creation of a system and building for the care of the mentally ill in his 1844 message to the legislature. This helped lead to the opening of Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, Missouri in 1851.
Lilburn Williams Boggs was the sixth Governor of Missouri from 1836 to 1840. He is now most widely remembered for his interactions with Joseph Smith and Porter Rockwell, and Missouri Executive Order 44, known by Mormons as the "Extermination Order", issued in response to the ongoing conflict between members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and other settlers of Missouri. Boggs was also a key player in the Honey War of 1837.
Claiborne Fox Jackson, also known as C. F. Jackson, was an American politician who was the 15th Governor of Missouri from January 3, 1861, until his deposition on July 31, 1861.
William Orlando Butler was a U.S. political figure and U.S. Army major general from Kentucky. He served as a Democratic congressman from Kentucky from 1839 to 1843, and was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee under Lewis Cass in 1848.
Charles Henry Hardin was a politician and governor from Missouri, and one of the eight founders of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
Thomas Ford was a lawyer, judge, author and the eighth Governor of Illinois. The first Illinois governor to be raised in the state, and known for his integrity, he served from 1842 to 1846 and became known for restoring the state's solvency and reducing geographic sectionalism, as well as for leading the legislature despite his small and slight stature and lack of prior political experience. A lifelong Democrat, Ford is also remembered for anti-Mormon sentiments and vacillation which led to the death of Joseph Smith, and the subsequent Illinois Mormon War of 1844-1845.
Thomas Carlin, a farmer, soldier and Jacksonian Democrat, was the seventh Governor of Illinois and also served in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly. He became the first Democrat nominated at an Illinois state convention, as well as the last Illinois governor who fought Native Americans. His gubernatorial term was noted for its inconsistency, as he had limited financial experience and the state suffered the aftereffects of the Panic of 1837 as well attempted to fund a costly Internal Improvements Act passed by the state legislature over his predecessor's objections.
Daniel Dunklin was the fifth Governor of Missouri, serving from 1832 to 1836. He also served as the state's third Lieutenant Governor. Dunklin is considered the "Father of Public Schools" in Missouri. Dunklin was also the father-in-law of Missouri Lieutenant Governor Franklin Cannon. Dunklin County, in the Missouri bootheel, is named so in his honor.
John Cummins Edwards was a Democratic politician from the state of Missouri. He served as a member of the 27th United States Congress as well as Missouri's ninth Governor.
Austin Augustus King, also known as Austin A. King and Austin King, was an American lawyer, politician, and military officer. A Democrat, he was the tenth Governor of Missouri and a one-term United States Congressman.
Joseph Duncan was an Illinois politician. He served as the sixth Governor of Illinois from 1834 to 1838, the only Whig to ever govern the state. Before becoming governor he served four terms in the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat.
Richard Montgomery Young was a U.S. Senator from Illinois.
Archibald Dixon was a U.S. Senator from Kentucky. He represented the Whig Party in both houses of the Kentucky General Assembly, and was elected the 12th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky in 1844, serving under Governor William Owsley. In 1851, the Whigs nominated him for governor, but he lost to Lazarus W. Powell, his former law partner.
James Turner Morehead was a United States Senator and the 12th Governor of Kentucky. He was the first native-born Kentuckian to hold the governorship of the state. A member of Henry Clay's National Republican Party, Morehead entered politics just as his party was beginning to challenge the Democratic Party's dominance in the state.
Meredith Miles Marmaduke was an American politician who served as the 8th Governor of Missouri in 1844, following the suicide of Governor Thomas Reynolds. He was also the 6th lieutenant governor and father of John Sappington Marmaduke, a senior officer of the Confederate States Army who commanded cavalry in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War, serving as the 25th Governor of Missouri from 1885 to 1887.
Stephen Hills was an architect notable for designing the original Pennsylvania State Capitol.
The Missouri gubernatorial election of 1840 was Missouri's seventh gubernatorial election. In the election, which was held on August 3, 1840, Democrat Thomas Reynolds defeated Whig candidate John Bullock Clark, Sr.. Thomas Reynolds would not live for the full length of this term, committing suicide on February 9, 1844, and being replaced by Lt. Governor Meredith Miles Marmaduke.
Archibald Alexander Glenn was an American politician from Kentucky. Raised in Indiana, Glenn's father died when he was thirteen and Glenn had to provide for his family. In 1837, he moved to Illinois where he learned the printing trade and became a publisher. He campaigned for Henry Clay in 1844 then became a prominent politician in Brown County, Illinois. He was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1872 and was named its president two years later; this made him the acting Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. After his term, he moved to Wichita, Kansas where he held several political positions.
Thomas Cox was an American pioneer, politician, and surveyor from what is now Kentucky. His family moved to the Indiana Territory, where Cox joined the territory militia. He was promoted to a lieutenant colonel and may have seen service in the War of 1812. After the war, he became a surveyor to help support his family. He also served in county politics until the state of Illinois was formed in 1818. Cox was elected to its 1st General Assembly as a state senator, serving for two years. He then worked as Register of the U.S. Land Office in Springfield, Illinois, but fell into debt after some poor land speculation deals.
George Bennett MacFarlane was a judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri. He was appointed to the court by Governor D.R. Francis in 1890 and served a two-year term. In the general election of 1892, MacFarlane was elected to the position for a term of ten years. However, MacFarlane only served eight years, until his death in 1898.
| Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives |
| Governor of Missouri |
Meredith Miles Marmaduke