Thomas Sergeant

Last updated
Thomas Sergeant
Pennsylvania House
In office
Secretary of State
In office
December 16, 1817 July 6, 1819 [1] [2]
Preceded by Nathaniel Boileau
Succeeded by Samuel D. Ingham
Pennsylvania Attorney General
In office
July 7, 1819 December 20, 1820
Governor Amos Ellmaker
Thomas Elder
Preceded by Amos Ellmaker
Succeeded by Thomas Elder
Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
In office
February 3, 1834 [3]  1846
Personal details
BornJanuary 14, 1782
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedMay 8, 1860
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Spouse(s)Sarah Bache
Children4 survived to adulthood

Thomas Sergeant (January 14, 1782May 8, 1860) was a Pennsylvania lawyer, judge, and politician. He served as Secretary of State, Attorney General, and as an associate justice of the state Supreme Court.


Biography and career

Sergeant and his twin Henry were born the sons of Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant and Margaret Spencer. He graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1798. He then read law under Jared Ingersoll, and was admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1802. [4]

Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant American politician

Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant was an American lawyer from Princeton, New Jersey. He represented New Jersey in the Second Continental Congress in 1776 and 1777. He later served as Attorney General for the state of Pennsylvania.

Princeton University University in Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, and renamed itself Princeton University in 1896.

Jared Ingersoll American judge

Jared Ingersoll was an American lawyer and statesman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress and a signer of the United States Constitution. He served as DeWitt Clinton's running mate in the 1812 election, but Clinton and Ingersoll were defeated by James Madison and Elbridge Gerry.

In 1812, he married Sarah Bache, a daughter of Sarah Franklin Bache, who was a daughter of Benjamin Franklin. Their children were Henry Jonathan, Emma, Frances, Thomas Jr., and William, who died in infancy. [5] [6] His grandson, by Frances, was the scholar and linguist, Thomas Sergeant Perry. [7]

Sarah Franklin Bache Daughter of Benjamin Franklin

Sarah "Sally" Franklin Bache was the daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Deborah Read. She was a leader in relief work during the American Revolutionary War and frequently served as her father's political hostess, as her mother had done before her death in 1774.

Benjamin Franklin American polymath and a Founding Father of the United States

Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas Sergeant Perry American scholar and author

Thomas Sergeant Perry (1845–1928) was an American editor, academic, literary critic, literary translator, and literary historian. He was a lifelong friend and associate of Henry James and a member of the faculty at Harvard University.

From 18121814, Sergeant served in the state legislature. From 18141817 [8] he was an associate judge of the District Court of Philadelphia. From 18171819 he was Secretary of the Commonwealth, from 18191820 he was state Attorney General. [4]

From 18281832 he was postmaster of Philadelphia. From 18341846 he served as an associate justice of the state Supreme Court. Upon resigning, he resumed private practice. He was president of the Law Academy and a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. [4]

University of Pennsylvania Private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chartered in 1755, Penn is the sixth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum. The university's coat of arms features a dolphin on its red chief, adopted from Benjamin Franklin's own coat of arms.

Sergeant wrote several books on Pennsylvania law.

Related Research Articles

Timeline of United States history (1790–1819)

This section of the Timeline of United States history concerns events from 1790 to 1819.

William Paterson (judge) Governor of New Jersey

William Paterson was a New Jersey statesman and a signer of the United States Constitution. He was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and the second governor of New Jersey.

Simon Snyder Governor of Pennsylvania

Simon Snyder was the third Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, serving three terms from 1808 to 1817. He led the state through the War of 1812.

Caesar Augustus Rodney American politician

Caesar Augustus Rodney was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, as well as a U.S. Representative from Delaware, U.S. Senator from Delaware, U.S. Attorney General, and U.S. Minister to Argentina.

Alexander J. Dallas (statesman) 6th United States Secretary of the Treasury

Alexander James Dallas was an American statesman who served as the U.S. Treasury Secretary under President James Madison.

Amos Ellmaker American politician

Amos Ellmaker was a U.S. politician, attorney, and judge from Pennsylvania. He served as the Pennsylvania Attorney General and was the Anti-Masonic vice presidential candidate in the 1832 presidential election.

Litchfield Law School former home and law school in Litchfield, Connecticut

The Litchfield Law School of Litchfield, Connecticut was the first law school in the United States, having been established in 1773 by Tapping Reeve, who would later became the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. By the time the school closed in 1833, over 1,100 students had attended the institution including Aaron Burr, Jr. and John C. Calhoun.

William W. Irwin American politician

William Wallace Irwin was Mayor of Pittsburgh and a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Joel Barlow Sutherland was an American politician who served as the first President of the General Society of the War of 1812 from 1854 to 1861. He was a member of the Democratic Party who represented Pennsylvania in the United States House of Representatives (1827–1837).

Clifton Clagett was an American lawyer and politician from New Hampshire. He served as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, the United States House of Representatives and as a New Hampshire Supreme Court justice.

Benjamin Thomas (congressman) American judge

Benjamin Franklin Thomas was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts and an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer was an American lawyer and Federalist politician who served as Speaker of the New York State Assembly from 1812 to 1813, and Secretary of State of New York, from 1813 to 1815.

John K. Kane United States federal judge

John Kintzing Kane was an American politician, attorney and jurist. Kane was noted for his political affiliation with President Andrew Jackson and for an 1855 pro-slavery legal decision related to the freeing of Jane Johnson and application of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

Rees Hill was a U.S. army colonel in the War of 1812, a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from Greene County, speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and later a Pennsylvania State Senator.

Jacob Holgate was a businessman, member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and served as speaker of the House in 1815.

Richard Franklin Bache, also known as Richard Bache Jr. (1784–1848), was a military and political official in the Republic and state of Texas. He assisted in drafting the Texas Constitution of 1845, the first of its five state constitutions.

Andrew Allen Harwood was an Admiral in the United States Navy.

Smith Thompson United States federal judge

Smith Thompson was a United States Secretary of the Navy from 1819 to 1823, and a United States Supreme Court Associate Justice from 1823 until his death in 1843.

Louis Franklin Bache was the son of Richard Bache and Sarah Franklin Bache, the daughter of the American statesman Benjamin Franklin and his wife Deborah Read. Bache served as a lieutenant colonel in the Pennsylvania State Militia during the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain.


  1. John Augustus Smull; et al., eds. (1922). Smull's Legislative Hand Book and Manual of the State of Pennsylvania. p. 922.
  2. Pennsylvania Department of State. History of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Department of State & the Great Seal of the Commonwealth. p. 41.
  3. "Historical List of Supreme Court Justices".
  4. 1 2 3 John Hugh Campbell (1892). History of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and of the Hibernian Society for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland. March 17, 1771March 17, 1892. Hibernian Society. p. 518.
  5. "Friends of Franklin, Inc. Descendants Project records (Collection 3117)" (PDF). The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
  6. "Descendants of Dr. Franklin". The New England Historical and Genealogic Registry. VIII (4): 374. October 1854.
  7. John Howard Brown (1903). Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States: Newton-Sears. VI. James H. Lamb Company. p. 224.
  8. Memorial Biographies, 1845-1871. New England Historic Genealogical Society. 1885. pp. 74–5.

Find A Grave is a website that allows the public to search and add to an online database of cemetery records. It is owned by It receives and uploads digital photographs of headstones from burial sites, taken by unpaid volunteers at cemeteries. Find A Grave then posts the photo on its website.

Legal offices
Preceded by
Amos Ellmaker
Pennsylvania Attorney General
Succeeded by
Thomas Elder