Thomas Snowden, (August 12, 1857 - January 27, 1930) was a career officer in the United States Navy. He attained the rank of rear admiral, and received the Navy Cross for his service in World War I.
Snowden was born in Peekskill, New York. He was appointed a Cadet Midshipman on June 25, 1875, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1879.
He served in USS Vandalia (1876), USS Standish (1864), USS Monongahela (1862), USS Dolphin (PG-24), and USS Constellation (1854). Snowden was assigned to the Hydrographic Office, U.S. Naval Observatory, U.S. Naval Academy, Naval War College, and the Office of Naval Intelligence. From 1902 to 1905, he served as navigator of USS Illinois (BB-7) and then returned to Naval Intelligence before joining the Bureau of Equipment.
Snowden returned to sea in 1908 and commanded USS Mayflower (PY-1), USS South Carolina (BB-26), and USS Wyoming (BM-10). He was promoted to rear admiral in 1917 and, during World War I, served as Commander, Squadron 1 and Division 2, Battleship Force, Atlantic Fleet. Admiral Snowden was awarded the Navy Cross for his service in World War I.
After serving with the Atlantic Fleet until 1919, Snowden was assigned duty as the Military Governor of Santo Domingo with additional duty as Military Representative of the United States in Haiti. During his tenure, Snowden signed Executive Order 372 related to the immigration of braceros into the DR. This law regulated the flow of foreign seasonal workers, emphasizing that all braceros who were not Caucasians (arguably none of them were) could only come into the DR through specific border crosses established by the Secretary of State for Agriculture and Immigration. The law also established fines of between 10 and 100 US Dollars, as well as the possibility of imprisonment and deportation (Ricourt, 2016, Vásquez Frías, 2013).
Snowden was transferred to the Retired List on August 12, 1921 and died on January 27, 1930. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 2, Site: 1127.
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Ricourt, Milagros, 2016 The Dominican Racial Imaginary: Surveying The Landscape of Race and Nation in Hispaniola Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, USA.
Vásquez Frías, Pastor, 2013 ¡Éxodo! Un siglo de migración Haitiana hacia República Dominicana, Editorial Santuario, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana.