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|Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives |
from Maryland's 4th district
March 4, 1873 –March 3, 1879
|Preceded by||John Ritchie|
|Succeeded by||Robert Milligan McLane|
|Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives |
from Maryland's 3rd district
March 4, 1869 –March 3, 1873
|Preceded by||Charles E. Phelps|
|Succeeded by||William J. O'Brien|
|33rd Governor of Maryland|
January 10, 1866 –January 13, 1869
|Lieutenant||Christopher C. Cox|
|Preceded by||Augustus Bradford|
|Succeeded by||Oden Bowie|
|19th Mayor of Baltimore|
November 10, 1856 –November 12, 1860
|Preceded by||Samuel Hinks|
|Succeeded by||George William Brown|
|Born||February 3, 1809|
|Died||July 24, 1883 (aged 74)|
|Political party|| American (1856–1860)|
|Alma mater||The George Washington University|
Thomas Swann (February 3, 1809 – July 24, 1883) was an American politician. Initially a Know-Nothing, and later a Democrat, he served as the 19th Mayor of Baltimore (1856–1860), later as the 33rd Governor of Maryland (1866–1869), and subsequently as U.S. Representative ("Congressman") from Maryland's 3rd congressional district and then 4th congressional district (1869–1879), representing the Baltimore area.
The United States is a federal republic in which the President, Congress and federal courts share powers reserved to the national government, according to its Constitution. The federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.
The governor of the State of Maryland heads the executive branch of the government of the State of Maryland, and is the commander-in-chief of the state's National Guard units. The governor is the highest-ranking official in the state and has a broad range of appointive powers in both the state and local governments, as specified by the Maryland Constitution. Because of the extent of these constitutional powers, the governor of Maryland has been ranked as being among the most powerful governors in the United States.
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.
Swann was born in Alexandria, Virginia, to Thomas Swann, a lawyer who served as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and the former Jane Byrd Page, a member of one of the first families of Virginia.He attended Columbian College (now George Washington University) in Washington, D.C., and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. He studied law and was admitted to the Bar. A Democrat, he was appointed by 7th President Andrew Jackson as secretary of the United States Commission to Naples (Kingdom of the Two Sicilies - later Italy).
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 139,966, and in 2016, the population was estimated to be 155,810. Located along the western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately 7 miles (11 km) south of downtown Washington, D.C.
The United States Attorney for the District of Columbia is the United States Attorney responsible for representing the federal government in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
The George Washington University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. It was chartered in 1821 by an act of the United States Congress.
In 1834, Swann moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1834, where he engaged in business in the new railroad industry. Swann rose to be director and president of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1847, serving in that position until his resignation in 1853. He was chosen as president of the Northwestern Virginia Railroad.
Swann was first elected Mayor of Baltimore in 1856 as a member of the "Know Nothing" movement (also known as the "American Party") in one of the bloodiest and corrupted elections in state history. He supposedly defeated Democratic challenger Robert Clinton Wright by over a thousand votes.
The Native American Party, renamed the American Party in 1855 and commonly known as the Know Nothing movement, was an American nativist political party that operated nationally in the mid-1850s. It was primarily anti-Catholic, xenophobic, and hostile to immigration, starting originally as a secret society. The movement briefly emerged as a major political party in the form of the American Party. Adherents to the movement were to reply "I know nothing" when asked about its specifics by outsiders, thus providing the group with its common name.
Swann took the oath of office on January 11, 1865; however, he did not actually assume the governor's office in the Maryland State House in Annapolis until January 10, 1866.
The Maryland State House is located in Annapolis, Maryland as the oldest U.S. state capitol in continuous legislative use, dating to 1772 and housing the Maryland General Assembly, plus the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The capitol has the distinction of being topped by the largest wooden dome in the United States constructed without nails. The current building, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, is the third statehouse on its site. The building is administered by the State House Trust, established in 1969.
Many believed that once slavery was abolished in Maryland, African Americans would begin a mass emigration to a new state. As white soldiers returned from Southern battlefields, they came home to find that not only were their slaves gone, but soil exhaustion was causing tobacco crops in southern Maryland to fail. With a growing number of disaffected white men, Swann embarked on a campaign of "Redemption" and "restoring to Maryland a white man's government".
Additionally, he enacted a law that encouraged white fisherman to harass black fisherman when he signed into law the state's first ever "Oyster Code": "And be it acted, that all owners and masters of canoes, boats, or vessels licensed under this article, being White Men, are hereby constituted officers of this state for the purpose of arresting and taking before any judge or Justice of the Peace, any persons who may be engaged in violating any provisions of this article. Furthermore, all such owners and masters are hereby vested with the power to summon pose comitatus to aid in such arrest."
Although Maryland was still a "slave state" at the time, the Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to it, because it was a non-Confederate state, having officially remained in the Union; President Lincoln feared that ending slavery there at the height of the Civil War would cause Maryland to leave the Union. Hence, ending slavery there required a state-level referendum. When slavery there was abolished with the adoption of the third Maryland Constitution of 1864, Lincoln's fears were not realized; the war finished without Maryland ever defecting to the Confederacy, although many men from southern Maryland counties and the "Eastern Shore" did fight on the side of the Confederacy.
During the mid-1850s, public order in Baltimore City had often been threatened by the election of candidates of the "Know Nothing" movement which became known as the "American Party".In October 1856 the "Know Nothing" previous incumbent Mayor Samuel Hinks was pressed by Baltimoreans to order the Maryland State Militia in readiness to maintain order during the mayoral and municipal elections, as violence was anticipated. Hinks duly gave State Militia general George H. Steuart the order, but he soon rescinded it. As a result, violence broke out on polling day, with shots exchanged by competing mobs. In the 2nd and 8th Wards several citizens were killed, and many wounded. In the 6th ward artillery was used, and a pitched battle fought on Orleans Street in East Baltimore/Jonestown/Old Town neighborhoods between "Know Nothings" and rival Democrats, raging for several hours. The result of the election, in which voter fraud was widespread, was a victory for Swann by around 9,000 votes.
In 1857, fearing similar violence at the upcoming elections, Governor Thomas W. Ligon ordered commanding General George H. Steuart of the Maryland State Militia to hold the First Light Division, Maryland Volunteers in readiness.However, Mayor Swann, this time running for re-election, successfully argued for a compromise measure involving special police forces to prevent disorder, and Steuart's militia were stood down. This time, although there was less violence than in 1856, the results of the vote were again compromised, and the "Know-Nothings" took many state offices in a heavily disputed ballot.
He was re-elected in 1858, again with widespread violence prevalent, and won by over 19,000 votes due to a large amount of voter intimidation.
There were a great deal of internal improvements and urban modernizations during Swann's tenure as mayor. The long-time colonial-era various in-fighting problems and competitive volunteer independent firefighting companies since 1763 (under a loose confederation of the "Baltimore City United Fire Department" of 1835) were replaced in 1858 with paid professional firefighters with the organization of the modern current Baltimore City Fire Department, and were given steam-powered fire engines and a better emergency telegraph alarm system. His office also oversaw the creation of the horse-drawn streetcar system in Baltimore replacing the older omnibuses, the purchase from the Col. Nicholas Rogers estate and creation of the large tract for Druid Hill Park in 1860, overlooking the west banks of the Jones Falls. Following the municipal purchase of the former private Baltimore Water Company, (since 1804), saw the replacement of its old wooden pipes and aging inadequate infrastructure with the beginnings of two water-sewage construction projects along the upper Jones Falls. Following was the major public works project of the construction of the dam at the new Lake Roland Reservoir along with the organization of a new city water board and extension of new waterworks service into new outlying areas of the growing metropolis. The "Basin" (Baltimore Inner Harbor) was dredged at 20 feet depth during his term as governor, and several new schools were added to the city. The former constables and "City Night Watch" system from 1784 were replaced by a newly organized Baltimore City Police Department under then modern principles was established and given new uniforms, weapons and training (later placed under supervision and appointment powers of the governor in 1860 to the 1990s). To provide better street lighting, the offices of Superindendents of Lamps with the then existing gas system was created.
Violence was greatly prevalent during Swann's term as mayor, especially during election campaigns. Then Maryland Governor Thomas W. Ligon sought Swann's assistance to try to avoid "Know Nothing" riots during the 1856 Presidential elections, but little was resolved during the meeting, and continued riots ensued during the night of the election wounding and killing many. Ligon criticized Swann for not taking the necessary precautions, recalling the event as partisans "engaged; arms of all kinds were employed; and bloodshed, wounds, and death, stained the record of the day, and added another page of dishonor to the annals of the distracted city". This continued to contribute to Baltimore's oft-stated ignoble reputation and nickname of "Mobtown", acquired since the anti-war riots of 1812. Gov. Ligon did not cooperate with Mayor Swann during the state elections of 1857, and immediately imposed martial law upon Baltimore City before election day had begun. Swann was angered, and insisted this was not necessary, but, recalling the events one year earlier, Ligon refused to lift the martial law status.
In 1860, Swann left the American Party, which dissolved, and joined the merged war-time Union Party. In 1864, he was unanimously nominated as the 33rd Governor of Maryland during its nomination convention. He won election with lieutenant-governor running mate Christopher C. Cox by over 9,000 votes. He took the oath of office on January 11, 1865, but did not become governor "de facto" until one year later (January 1866), (because of the then system of interim periods with later inaugurations following elections), serving until January 1869. In his inaugural address, he encouraged re-union in the State following the American Civil War, and voiced his opposition to slavery, deeming it "a stumbling block in the way of [our] advancement".[ citation needed ]
Radical Republicans of Maryland criticized Swann for supporting the Reconstruction policies of Democratic and 17th President Andrew Johnson, and refusing to adopt their proposals. He eventually parted with the Republicans and joined the Democratic Party during his term as governor. He had strongly opposed requiring the "ironclad" loyalty oath and registration laws promoted by the Radical Republicans for former Confederates in the state.
In 1867, the General Assembly of Maryland nominated Swann to succeed John A. J. Creswell to the United States Senate. But, Radical Republicans had gained control of the Congress in 1867, and refused to allow Swann admission to the Senate because he had switched parties. The Democrats in Maryland began to fear that, if Swann left, the Maryland lieutenant governor, a Radical Republican, might place Maryland under a military, Reconstruction government and temporarily disfranchise whites who had served in the Confederacy. Also, they did not want to lose reforms made by Swann with other voting rights. Rather than fight the Radicals in Congress to gain a seat, Swann was convinced by Democrats to remain as governor and turn down the Senate seat.
Swann supported internal improvements to state infrastructure, especially after the war, and he is credited with greatly improving the facilities at the Baltimore Port and Harbor. He also encouraged immigration, and the immediate emancipation of slaves following the War. By 1860, 49% of blacks in Maryland were already free, giving them a substantial position and economic strength in the years following the war.
In 1868, Swann was elected to Congress from Maryland's 3rd congressional district, gaining re-election and serving until 1873. With redistricting changes, he was elected in 1873 from Maryland's 4th congressional district, serving three terms until 1879. In the United States Congress, Swann was chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Congresses).
His first wife, Elizabeth Gilmer (Sherlock) Swann (1814-1876) they had a daughter in 1843, Elizabeth Gilmer Swann. In 1878, the widower married Josephine Ward Thomson, daughter of Representative ("Congressman") Aaron Ward and widow of U.S. Senator John Renshaw Thomson.
Swann died on his estate, "Morven Park", near Leesburg, Virginia. He is interred in the landmark Green Mount Cemetery (southeast of Maryland Route 45 and East North Avenue) of Baltimore. In eulogy, the influential "The Sun" newspaper of Baltimore criticized his early political errors, but credited him as "a great mayor, conferring inestimable benefits on the city he governed; not only was he a wise and beneficent governor to the oppressed portion of the citizens of the State, but he was one of the most useful and influential Congressmen this State or city ever had."[ citation needed ]
Swann Park, off of South Hanover Street (Maryland Route 2) in the South Baltimore/Spring Gardens area, adjacent to the eastern waterfront of Middle Branch (Smith and Ridgley's Coves) of the Patapsco River is named for him and also serves as an occasional athletic home for the former Southern High School (now Digital Harbor High School). Nearby are large monumental gas storage tanks for the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas Swann .|
The United States presidential election of 1856 was the 18th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 4, 1856. In a three-way election, Democrat James Buchanan defeated Republican nominee John C. Frémont and American Party nominee Millard Fillmore.
The 1860 United States presidential election was the nineteenth quadrennial presidential election to select the President and Vice President of the United States. The election was held on Tuesday, November 6, 1860. In a four-way contest, the Republican Party ticket of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin emerged triumphant. The election of Lincoln served as the primary catalyst of the American Civil War.
The Constitutional Union Party was a political party in the United States created in 1860 which ran against the Republicans and Democrats as a fourth party in 1860. It was made up of conservative former Whigs who wanted to avoid secession over the slavery issue. These former Whigs teamed up with former Know Nothings and a few Southern Democrats who were against secession to form the Constitutional Union Party. The party's name comes from its simple platform, which consists of the resolution "to recognize no political principle other than the Constitution of the country, the Union of the states, and the Enforcement of the Laws". The party hoped that by not taking a firm stand either for or against slavery or its expansion, the issue could be pushed aside.
The 1860 Republican National Convention, also known as the 2nd Republican National Convention, was a nominating convention of the Republican Party of the United States, held in Chicago, Illinois, from May 16 to 18, 1860. The gathering nominated former U.S. Representative Abraham Lincoln of Illinois for President of the United States and Senator Hannibal Hamlin of Maine for Vice President.
The three 1860 Democratic National Conventions were crucial events in the lead-up to the American Civil War. The first Democratic national convention adjourned in deadlock without choosing candidates for President and Vice President. A second official convention nominated Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois for President and former Senator Herschel V. Johnson of Georgia for Vice President. A third, “rump,” convention, primarily Southerners, nominated Vice President John C. Breckinridge for President and Senator Joseph Lane of Oregon for Vice President.
William Pinkney Whyte, a member of the United States Democratic Party, was a politician who served the State of Maryland as a State Delegate, the State Comptroller, a United States Senator, the 35th Governor, the Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, and the State Attorney General.
Thomas George Pratt was a lawyer and politician from Annapolis, Maryland. He was the 27th governor of Maryland from 1845 to 1848 and a U.S. senator from 1850 to 1857.
Henry Winter Davis was a United States Representative from the 4th and 3rd congressional districts of Maryland, well known as one of the Radical Republicans during the Civil War.
Thomas Holliday Hicks was a politician in the divided border-state of Maryland during the American Civil War. As governor, opposing the Democrats, his views accurately reflected the conflicting local loyalties. He was pro-slavery but anti-secession. Under pressure to call the General Assembly into special session, he held it in the pro-Union town of Frederick, where he was able to keep the state from seceding.
Thomas Watkins Ligon, a Democrat, was the 30th Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1854 to 1858. He also a member of the United States House of Representatives, serving Maryland's third Congressional district from 1845 until 1849. He was the second Maryland governor born in Virginia and was a minority party governor, who faced bitter opposition from an openly hostile legislature.
Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe was a seven term Mayor of Baltimore, state legislator and attorney during the 19th century.
Henry Joseph Gardner was the 23rd Governor of Massachusetts, serving from 1855 to 1858. Gardner, a Know Nothing, was elected governor as part of the sweeping victory of Know Nothing candidates in the Massachusetts elections of 1854.
The Know-Nothing Riot of 1856 occurred in Baltimore in the fall of 1856. Street tensions had escalated sharply over the preceding half-dozen years as neighborhood gangs, most of them operating out of local firehouses, became increasingly involved in party politics. Know-Nothing candidate Thomas Swann was elected Mayor of Baltimore in 1856 amidst violence and a heavily disputed ballot.
The Unionist Party, later re-named Unconditional Unionist Party, was a political party in the United States started after the Compromise of 1850 to define politicians who supported the Compromise. Members included Southern Democrats who were loyal to the Union as well as elements of the old Whig Party and other factions opposed to a separate Southern Confederacy.
During the American Civil War (1861-1865), Maryland, a slave state, was one of the border states, straddling the South and North. Because of its strategic location, bordering the national capital city of Washington D.C. with its District of Columbia since 1790, and the strong desire of the opposing factions within the state to sway public opinion towards their respective causes, Maryland played an important role in the American Civil War (1861-1865). Newly elected 16th President Abraham Lincoln, suspended the constitutional right of habeas corpus in Maryland; and he dismissed the U.S. Supreme Court's "Ex parte Merryman" decision concerning freeing John Merryman, a prominent Southern sympathizer from Baltimore County arrested by the military and held in Fort McHenry. The Chief Justice, but not in a decision with the other justices, had held that the suspension was unconstitutional and would leave lasting civil and legal scars. The decision was filed in the U.S. Circuit Court for Maryland by Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, a Marylander from Frederick and sometimes in Baltimore and former protege of seventh President Andrew Jackson who had appointed him two decades earlier.
The Unconditional Union Party was a loosely organized political entity during the American Civil War and the early days of Reconstruction. First established in 1861 in Missouri, where secession talk was strong, the party fully supported the preservation of the Union at all costs. Members included Southern Democrats who were loyal to the Union, as well as elements of the old Whig Party and other factions opposed to a separate Southern Confederacy. The party was dissolved in 1866.
George Hume Steuart (1790–1867) was a United States general who fought during the War of 1812, and later joined the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. His military career began in 1814 when, as a captain, he raised a company of Maryland volunteers, leading them at both the Battle of Bladensberg and the Battle of North Point, where he was wounded. After the war he rose to become major general and commander-in-chief of the First Light Division, Maryland Militia.
Lieutenant Colonel William Steuart was a stone mason in colonial Maryland, and Mayor of Baltimore from 1831 to 1832. He was a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army during the War of 1812, and saw service during the Battle of Baltimore, where he commanded the 38th United States Infantry foot regiment.
Samuel Hinks (1815–1887) was Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, from 1854 to 1856. He was a member of the Know-Nothing party. He was succeeded in 1856 by fellow Know-Nothing Thomas Swann.
| Mayor of Baltimore |
George William Brown
| Governor of Maryland |
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Charles E. Phelps
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from Maryland's 3rd congressional district
William J. O'Brien
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from Maryland's 4th congressional district
Robert Milligan McLane