|Speaker of the Confederate States House of Representatives|
February 18, 1862 –May 10, 1865
|Preceded by||Howell Cobb (President of the Provisional Congress)|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Member of the|
C.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 5th district
February 18, 1862 –May 10, 1865
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
|Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives |
from Virginia's 5th district
March 4, 1853 –March 3, 1861
|Preceded by||Paulus Powell|
|Succeeded by||Robert Ridgway|
|Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives |
from Virginia's 4th district
March 4, 1847 –March 3, 1853
|Preceded by||Edmund Hubard|
|Succeeded by||William Goode|
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates|
|Born||May 18, 1815|
|Died||August 5, 1891 76) (aged|
Appomattox County, Virginia
|Alma mater||Hampden–Sydney College|
Thomas Salem Bocock (May 18, 1815 – August 5, 1891) was a nineteenth-century politician and lawyer from Virginia. After serving as an antebellum United States Congressman, he was the Speaker of the Confederate States House of Representatives during most of the American Civil War.
Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as the first English colonial possession established in mainland North America and "Mother of Presidents" because eight U.S. presidents were born there, more than any other state. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2017 is over 8.4 million.
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.
Born at Buckingham County Court House in Buckingham County, Virginia, he was the sixth of eleven children born to John Thomas Bocock (a farmer, lawyer, clerk of the Appomattox County Court House and friend of Thomas Jefferson) and Mary Flood (of a powerful and distinguished family which later produced Harry Flood Byrd), Thomas Bocock was educated by his father and other private teachers as a child. He attended Hampden–Sydney College, where he befriended Robert L. Dabney (his rival for class valectedorian) and graduated in 1838.
Buckingham is a census-designated place in and the county seat of Buckingham County, Virginia, United States. The population as of the 2010 Census was 133.
Buckingham County is a rural United States county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and containing the geographic center of the state. Buckingham County is part of the Piedmont region of Virginia, and the county seat is the town of Buckingham.
Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, diplomat, architect, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Previously, he had served as the second vice president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation; he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level.
His oldest brother, Willis Perry Bocock (1807-1887), may have been the most successful lawyer in the area (Buckingham County splitting off Appomattox county in 1845), as well as state attorney general beginning in 1852. Although Thomas' legal mentor, Willis resigned his official position and moved to Marengo County, Alabama in 1857 shortly after marrying Mourning Smith, a wealthy widow originally from South Carolina, although returning for family visits.Another elder brother, John Holmes Bocock, became a Presbyterian minister in Lynchburg and then the District of Columbia. A slightly younger brother, Henry Flood Bocock (b. 1817), also became a lawyer, clerk of the Appomattox County courthouse (at the time of Lee's surrender to Grant), director of Farmer's Bank in Lynchburg, as well as Presbyterian lay leader and later trustee of Hampden-Sydney College. Their brothers William Stevens Bocock, Charles Thomas Bocock, and Nicholas Flood married but did not have such distinguished careers, and Milton Bocock died as a teenager; their sisters Amanda, Martha, Mary Matson and Mary Fuquar all married.
Willis Perry Bocock was a nineteenth-century American politician from Virginia. He served as the Attorney General of Virginia, as a member of the Virginia General Assembly, and as a representative to the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1850.
Marengo County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,027. The largest city is Demopolis and the county seat is Linden. It is named in honor of Battle of Marengo near Turin, Italy, where French leader Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians on June 14, 1800.
Thomas Bocock married his second cousin Sarah Patrick Flood in 1846, but she may have died in childbirth or from complications. They had a daughter Bell (1849-1891). His second wife was Annie Holmes Faulker. They married in Berkeley County, Virginia (later West Virginia) in 1853 and had five children: Thomas Stanley Bocock, Willis P Bocock (1861-1947) and daughters Mazie F., Ella F. and Sallie P. (all of whom married twice).
Bocock studied law under his eldest brother and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He began his legal practice in Buckingham Court House, and was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served from 1842 to 1844. He was also the first prosecuting attorney for Appomattox County, Virginia when it split off Buckingham County, serving from 1845 to 1846.
The Virginia House of Delegates is one of two parts in the Virginia General Assembly, the other being the Senate of Virginia. It has 100 members elected for terms of two years; unlike most states, these elections take place during odd-numbered years. The House is presided over by the Speaker of the House, who is elected from among the House membership by the Delegates. The Speaker is usually a member of the majority party and, as Speaker, becomes the most powerful member of the House. The House shares legislative power with the Senate of Virginia, the upper house of the Virginia General Assembly. The House of Delegates is the modern-day successor to the Virginia House of Burgesses, which first met at Jamestown in 1619. The House is divided into Democratic and Republican caucuses. In addition to the Speaker, there is a majority leader, majority caucus chair, minority leader, minority caucus chair, and the chairs of the several committees of the House.
A prosecutor is a legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system. The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case in a criminal trial against an individual accused of breaking the law. Typically, the prosecutor represents the government in the case brought against the accused person.
Appomattox County is a United States county located in the Piedmont region and near the center of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The county is part of the Lynchburg, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and its county seat is the town of Appomattox.
Bocock was elected a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives in 1846, serving from 1847 to 1861. He became chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs from 1853 to 1855 and again from 1857 to 1859. In 1859, Bocock was nominated for Speaker of the House, but withdrew after eight weeks of debate and multiple ballots failed to elect a speaker.
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. The Democrats' dominant worldview was once social conservatism and economic liberalism while populism was its leading characteristic in the rural South. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate in the Progressive Party, beginning a switch of political platforms between the Democratic and Republican Party over the coming decades, and leading to Woodrow Wilson being elected as the first fiscally progressive Democrat. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition in the 1930s, the Democratic Party has also promoted a social liberal platform, supporting social justice.
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they comprise the legislature of the United States.
The U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, commonly known as the House Armed Services Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. It is responsible for funding and oversight of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the United States armed forces, as well as substantial portions of the Department of Energy.
A committed slaveholder and Southern nationalist, Bocock praised Sen. Preston Brook's attack on Charles Sumner, but later reinvented himself as a moderate on the Kansas slavery issue. Bocock spoke at the inauguration of the Washington Equine Statue on the grounds of the State Capital in Richmond in 1860, but his rise in Confederate circles came after his speech against Force Bill on February 20 and 21, 1861 (which he had published and distributed at Virginia's Secession Convention).
Following the start of the Civil War and Virginia's secession, Bocock was elected as a Democrat to the Confederate States House of Representatives in 1861, serving until the end of the war in 1865. He was a member of the unicameral Provisional Confederate Congress, as well as the succeeding First and Second Confederate Congresses. Bocock was unanimously elected Speaker of the Confederate States House of Representatives, and served from 1862 to 1865. However, in the final year, he broke with President Jefferson Davis and his personal friend and political ally Secretary of War James A. Seddon over the issue of arming slaves, arguing that such would be tantamount to abolishing slavery, as did his ally Robert M. T. Hunter. He left Richmond during the April 1865 evacuation, and later fled his home, Wildway.
As the war ended at nearby Appomattox Court House, Bocock owned more than twenty slaves. He did not want to pay his former slaves as workers, instead of telling them he would provide food and shelter, as he had under slavery. Bocock even tried to purchase several formerly enslaved people from neighbors. The African Americans appealed to the provost marshal, who said they deserved "liberal compensation."
Bocock moved to Lynchburg (maintaining Wildway as his summer home), where he practiced law and helped form the Virginia Conservative Party. He supported President Andrew Johnson for election in 1868 (although probably too important a Confederate official to be covered by his controversial amnesty declarations), and later unsuccessful Democratic Presidential candidates Horace Greeley in 1872 and Samuel Tilden in 1876.
One of the architects of Jim Crow Laws, Bocock served in Virginia's House of Delegates again from 1877 to 1879. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1868, 1876 and 1880. Bocock opposed the Virginia Readjuster Party and ultimately handed over the political reins to a younger generation, including Alexander H. H. Stuart, and concentrated on his legal practice and family.
He died in Appomattox County, Virginia, on August 5, 1891, and was interred at Old Bocock Cemetery near his plantation, "Wildway."
James Alexander Seddon was an American lawyer and politician who served two terms as a Representative in the U.S. Congress, as a member of the Democratic Party. He was appointed Confederate States Secretary of War by Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War.
The Appomattox Court House is a National Historical Park of original and reconstructed 19th century buildings in Appomattox County, Virginia. The village is famous as the site of the Battle of Appomattox Court House and containing the house of Wilmer McLean, where the surrender of the Confederate army under Robert E. Lee to Union commander Ulysses S. Grant took place on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the American Civil War. The McLean House was the site of the surrender conference, but the village itself is named for the presence nearby of what is now preserved as the Old Appomattox Court House.
Watkins Moorman Abbitt was an American politician and lawyer. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia from February 17, 1948 to January 3, 1973. He was a top lieutenant within the Byrd Organization, the political machine named for its leader, U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd.
John Winston Jones was an American politician and lawyer.
Alexander Hugh Holmes Stuart was a prominent Virginia lawyer and American political figure associated with several political parties. Stuart served in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly, as a U.S. Congressman (1841-1843), and as the Secretary of the Interior. Despite opposing Virginia's secession and holding no office after finishing his term in the Virginia Senate during the American Civil War, after the war he was denied a seat in Congress. Stuart led the Committee of Nine which attempted to ameliorate Congressional Reconstruction, and also served as rector of the University of Virginia.
John Letcher was an American lawyer, journalist, and politician. He served as a Representative in the United States Congress, was the 34th Governor of Virginia during the American Civil War, and later served in the Virginia General Assembly. He was also active on the Board of Visitors of Virginia Military Institute.
John Brown Baldwin was a Virginia lawyer and Democratic politician, who served one term in Virginia House of Delegates before the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861, during which he was a Unionist. During the American Civil War, Baldwin believed his primary loyalty was to his state, and served as one of Virginia's representatives to the First and Second Confederate Congresses. He became one of the leading critics of President Jefferson Davis, who was seen by many as usurping the Confederacy's states' rights principles. During Congressional Reconstruction, Balwin became Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.
Thomas Staples Martin was an American lawyer and Democratic Party politician from Albemarle County, Virginia, who founded a political organization that held power in Virginia for decades and who personally became a U.S. Senator who served for nearly a quarter century and rose to become the Majority Leader before dying in office.
James Garland was a nineteenth-century politician, military officer, planter, lawyer an judge from Virginia.
The Commonwealth of Virginia became a prominent part of the Confederate States of America when it joined the Confederacy during the American Civil War. As a Southern slave-holding state, Virginia held a state convention to deal with the secession crisis, and voted against secession on April 4, 1861. Opinion shifted after April 15, when U.S. President Abraham Lincoln called for troops from all states still in the Union to put down the rebellion, following the capture of Fort Sumter, and the Virginia convention voted to declare secession from the Union. A Unionist government was established in Wheeling and the new state of West Virginia was created by an act of Congress from 50 counties of western Virginia, making it the only state to lose territory as a consequence of the war.
John Allen Wilcox was a politician from Mississippi and Texas who served in the United States House of Representatives in the early 1850s and then in the Confederate Congress during the American Civil War.
Thomas Henry Bayly Browne was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia's 1st congressional district (1887–1891). He was born in Drummondtown, Accomack County, Virginia. During the American Civil War he served in the Confederate Army. After the war he became an attorney. He died in Drummondtown.
William Leftwich Goggin was a nineteenth-century politician and lawyer from Virginia.
Archibald Stuart was a nineteenth-century politician and lawyer from Virginia. He was the first cousin of Alexander Hugh Holmes Stuart and the father of Confederate General James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart, who was the seventh of eleven children.
Thomas Henry Bayly was a nineteenth-century politician, lawyer and judge from Virginia. He was the son of Thomas M. Bayly.
Thomas Whitehead was a nineteenth-century politician, lawyer, editor and merchant from Virginia.
George Craighead Cabell was a nineteenth-century congressman, lawyer and editor from Virginia.
Peter Johnston Otey was former Confederate States Army officer and later prisoner of war during the American Civil War, who became businessman, land developer and railroad executive before retiring and winning election to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat from Lynchburg, Virginia and serving three terms before his death.
The Bocock–Isbell House is a structure within the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. It was registered in the National Park Service's database of Official Structures on June 26, 1989.
Thomas H. Floo was a nineteenth-century American politician from Virginia.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from Virginia's 4th congressional district
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from Virginia's 5th congressional district
Robert Ridgway (1)
|Confederate States House of Representatives|
|New constituency|| Member of the C.S. House of Representatives |
from Virginia's 5th congressional district
as President of the Provisional Confederate States Congress
| Speaker of the Confederate States House of Representatives |
|Notes and references|
|1. Because of Virginia's secession, the House seat was vacant for almost nine years before Ridgway succeeded Bocock.|