Thomas Thacher

Last updated
Thomas Thacher
Born(1850-05-03)May 3, 1850
DiedJuly 30, 1919(1919-07-30) (aged 69)
Nationality United States
Alma mater Yale University
Columbia Law School
Occupation Lawyer

Thomas Thacher (May 3, 1850 – July 30, 1919) was an American lawyer.



Thacher was a descendant of the Rev. Peter Thacher, the rector of St. Edmonds, Salisbury, England; and of his son, Thomas Thacher, who came to America in 1635, settled in Salem, Massachusetts, and later became the first minister of the Old South Church in Boston. His father, Thomas Anthony Thacher, LL D. (Yale BA 1835), was professor of Latin at Yale College from 1842 to 1886, and his mother, Elizabeth (Day) Thacher, was the daughter of Jeremiah Day (Yale BA 1795), president of Yale from 1817 to 1846, and Olivia (Jones) Day. On his mother's side he traced his ancestry to Robert Day, who emigrated from Ipswich, England in 1634, settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in a few years removed to Connecticut and helped to found Hartford.

Thomas Thacher, clergyman, born in Salisbury, England, 1 May 1620; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 15 October 1678. He was carefully educated by his father, a minister at Salisbury, who prepared him for entrance to one of the English universities, but the son declined to subscribe to the religious tests that were then a condition of matriculation, and resolved on settling in New England. He reached Boston on 4 June 1635, and soon afterward entered the family of Reverend Charles Chauncy at Scituate, under whose guidance he studied mental philosophy and theology, and attained a remarkable knowledge of the Eastern languages. He was especially noted for the great beauty of his transcriptions of Syriac and other Eastern characters, and also acquired a knowledge of medicine, practicing occasionally with success. He was ordained at Weymouth on 2 January 1644, and shortly afterward took charge of the congregation of that village. Here he remained till 1664, when he removed to Boston, possibly because the relatives of his second wife resided there, although he is said to have been dismissed by his congregation in Weymouth a little before that time. He practiced as a physician in Boston for the next two years, but preached occasionally. On 16 February 1699, he was installed pastor of the Old South Church. He is mentioned in terms of high praise by Cotton Mather in the Magnalia, who quotes an elegy, written partly in Latin and partly in Greek by Eleazar, a Native American student at Harvard College, in which the virtues of Thacher are celebrated. He wrote A Brief Rule to Guide the Common People of New England how to order Themselves and Theirs in the Small Pocks or Measels, which is supposed to have been the first work on medicine that was published in Massachusetts, and A Fast of God's Chusing ; Fast Sermon (1674).

Salem, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Salem is a historic coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, located in the North Shore region. It was one of the most significant seaports in early American history.

Old South Church church

Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts, is a historic United Church of Christ congregation first organized in 1669. Its present building was designed in the Gothic Revival style by Charles Amos Cummings and Willard T. Sears, completed in 1873, and amplified by the architects Allen & Collens between 1935–1937. The church, which was built on newly filled land in the Back Bay section of Boston, is located at 645 Boylston Street on Copley Square. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970 for its architectural significance as one of the finest High Victorian Gothic churches in New England. It is home to one of the older religious communities in the United States.

Thomas Thacher prepared for college at the Hopkins Grammar School. He received a first prize for declamation in Sophomore year. His appointments were a high oration in Junior year and an oration in Senior year. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Skull and Bones, [1] and Brothers in Unity.

Phi Beta Kappa honor society for the liberal arts and sciences in the United States

The Phi Beta Kappa Society (ΦΒΚ) is the oldest academic honor society in the United States, and is often described as its most prestigious honor society, due to its long history and academic selectivity. Phi Beta Kappa aims to promote and advocate excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, and to induct the most outstanding students of arts and sciences at American colleges and universities. It was founded at the College of William and Mary on December 5, 1776 as the first collegiate Greek-letter fraternity and was among the earliest collegiate fraternal societies.

Skull and Bones Undergraduate senior secret society at Yale University

Skull and Bones is an undergraduate senior secret student society at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The oldest senior class society at the university, Skull and Bones has become a cultural institution known for its powerful alumni and various conspiracy theories. The society's alumni organization, the Russell Trust Association, owns the organization's real estate and oversees the membership. The society is known informally as "Bones", and members are known as "Bonesmen".

Brothers in Unity organization

Brothers in Unity is a four-year secret society at Yale University. It used to be a debating society.

After graduation he taught for a year in the Hopkins Grammar School, and then spent a year in graduate study at Yale University. He entered the Columbia Law School in 1873, and was graduated with the degree of LL.B. in 1875, immediately upon graduation being admitted to the bar of New York, of which he became an active and influential member. His first professional association was with Ashbel Green, then one of the leaders of the New York Bar, with whom he collaborated in the preparation of Brice's Ultra Vires, which became a standard American work on corporation law.

Yale University private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Columbia Law School law school

Columbia Law School is a professional graduate school of Columbia University, a member of the Ivy League. It has always been ranked in the top five law schools in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. Columbia is especially well known for its strength in corporate law and its placement power in the nation's elite law firms.

After completing this work he was associated with Judge Green in the office of Alexander & Green, and later served as attorney for one of the largest mortgage companies in New York City. On January 1, 1884, he formed the firm of Simpson, Thacher & Barnum (now Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett), with John W. Simpson and William M. Barnum (B A. 1877) as partners. In this, and its successor firms, he was an active partner until his death. Among his partners were Philip G. Bartlett, Yale 1881; his brother, Alfred Beaumont Thacher, Yale 1874; Charles B. Eddy, Yale 1893; Graham Sumner, Yale 1897; Reeve Schley, Yale 1903; and his son, Thomas Day Thacher, Yale 1904.

Walter, Conston, Alexander & Green, P.C. was a mid-sized full service New York-based law firm that existed from 1843-2001 when it merged with Atlanta-based Alston & Bird to launch the New York office of that national firm. The firm was formed with the merger of Walter, Conston & Schurtman established in 1955 by Otto Walter and Alexander & Green, an old-line firm established in 1843.

During his forty-five years of active practice at the bar, the economic life of the country was undergoing a great transformation in the rapid development of production on a large scale. In preparing the structure of the new business organization Mr. Thacher had no small part, performing as he did, much of the legal work in connection with the organization of the Brooklyn Union Gas Company, the American Smelting & Refining Company, the Republic Iron & Steel Company, the American Sheet Steel Company, the American Steel Hoop Company, the American Can Company, the American Locomotive Company, the Railway Steel-Spring Company, and other large consolidations. He combined with such activities the work of a court lawyer, and often appeared before the courts in cases of importance. He was actively interested in the Bar Association of New York City, and for two years (1907–09) was its vice-president.

The American Can Company was a manufacturer of tin cans. It was a member of the Tin Can Trust, that controlled a "large percentage of business in the United States in tin cans, containers, and packages of tin." American Can Company ranked 97th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts. It was formerly a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1959–1991, though after 1987 it had renamed itself Primerica, a financial conglomerate which had divested itself of its packaging arm in 1986.

American Locomotive Company company that designed, built and sold locomotives

The American Locomotive Company built locomotives, diesel generators, steel and tanks. The company was formed in 1901 by the merger of Schenectady Locomotive Engine Manufactory of Schenectady, New York, with seven smaller locomotive manufacturers. The American Locomotive Automobile Company subsidiary designed and manufactured automobiles under the Alco brand from 1905 to 1913 and produced nuclear energy from 1954 to 1962.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

From 1887 to 1914, Mr. Thacher was a lecturer on corporations in the Yale School of Law. He was a frequent contributor to the law reviews. At the Yale Bicentennial, he was chosen to deliver the address on "Yale in Relation to Law." In 1903 Yale conferred upon him the degree of LL. D. He served as president of the Yale Alumni Association in New York from 1895 to 1897 and from that time until 1904 as president of the Yale Club of New York City. At the time of his death he was an honorary member of the club. He was one of the founders of the Yale Alumni University Fund and gave himself enthusiastically to the work of the Alumni Fund Association, of which he was chairman from 1894 to 1897 and a director for many years. From 1906 until his death he was a member of the Alumni Advisory Board.

Yale Club of New York City

The Yale Club of New York City, commonly called The Yale Club, is a private club in Midtown Manhattan, in New York City, New York, United States. Its membership is restricted almost entirely to alumni and faculty of Yale University. With a clubhouse comprising 22 stories The Yale Club has a worldwide membership of over 11,000. Upon opening its doors in 1915, the building became the largest Clubhouse in the world and continues to be the largest college clubhouse in existence today.

Mr. Thacher was married December 1, 1880, in New York City, to Sarah McCullough, daughter of Ashbel and Louise B. (Walker) Green, of Tenafly, who survives him with a son, Thomas Day Thacher (Yale BA 1904), and three daughters. Louise Green, who was married October 12, 1907, to Theodore Ives Driggs (Yale BA 1907); Sarah, who married Lewis Martin Richmond (Yale PhB 1903), September 19, 1908; and Elizabeth.


Related Research Articles

Chauncey Depew American politician

Chauncey Mitchell Depew was an attorney for Cornelius Vanderbilt's railroad interests, president of the New York Central Railroad System, and a United States Senator from New York from 1899 to 1911.

The Thacher School

The Thacher School is a selective, co-educational, independent boarding school located on 427 acres (1.5 km²) of hillside overlooking the Ojai Valley in Ojai, California, United States. Founded in 1889 as a boys' school, it is now the oldest co-ed boarding school in California. Girls were first admitted in 1977. The first co-ed graduating class was the class of 1978. The student body numbers 235.

William Collins Whitney American politician, financier; United States Secretary of the Navy

William Collins Whitney was an American political leader and financier and a prominent descendant of the John Whitney family. He served as Secretary of the Navy in the first administration of President Grover Cleveland from 1885 through 1889. A conservative reformer, he was considered a Bourbon Democrat.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is an international law firm headquartered in New York City, employing over 900 attorneys in eleven offices worldwide. The firm specializes in a variety of areas in both litigation and corporate practices, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions.

William Kent (American politician) U.S. Congressman

William Kent was an American who served as a United States Congressman representing the State of California. He spearheaded the movement to create the Muir Woods National Monument by donating land to the Federal Government for the Monument.

Thomas D. Thacher American judge

Thomas Day Thacher was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the 21st Solicitor General of the United States and a Judge of the New York Court of Appeals.

Thomas Anthony Thacher American classical philologist

Thomas Anthony Thacher was an American classicist and college administrator.

Sherman Day Thacher,, was the founder and headmaster of The Thacher School at Ojai, California.

Ashbel P. Fitch American politician

Ashbel Parmelee Fitch was an American lawyer, financier, and politician. He was a four-term Congressman and a one-term city comptroller.

Whitney North Seymour American politician

Whitney North Seymour was a prominent New York trial lawyer and leader in many community and civic organizations. He served in the Hoover Administration as Assistant Solicitor General. In 1960, he was elected the 84th president of the American Bar Association. Seymour served for many years as the managing partner of the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

John Woodruff Simpson American lawyer

John Woodruff Simpson was a founding member of law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, then titled Simpson, Thacher, & Barnum. He and his wife were known as avid art collectors, with many pieces from their estate eventually going to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

F. D. Colson American rower and coach

Frederick D. Colson was a nationally known American amateur rower, rowing coach and lawyer. As a student at Cornell University he rowed for Coach Charles E. Courtney in several of the Cornell Navy’s most noted races. During his coaching career he was Courtney’s top assistant coach at Cornell as well Harvard University head rowing coach in 1904. After coaching he dedicated himself to public service including being the State of New York law librarian, and Deputy and Assistant Attorney General of New York.

John Brooks Leavitt American lawyer

John Brooks Leavitt (1849–1930) was a New York City attorney, author and reformer. As member of the "Good Government" movement, Leavitt crusaded against Tammany Hall municipal corruption, demanding in 1897 the indictment of United States Senator Thomas C. Platt on charges of extorting bribes from the New York Life Insurance Company in return for favors to the insurance giant. "We have positive evidence, which as soon as New York has an honest District Attorney," Leavitt told a crowd of 2,000 gathered at Long Acre Square on Broadway, "will be laid before him, and we then shall be able to obtain an indictment and send the arch-boss to the jail which yawns for him."

Morris Franklin Tyler was an American telephone industry pioneer, lawyer, and professor of law.

Edward R. Finch American judge

Edward Ridley Finch was an American lawyer and politician.

Conrad K. Harper American lawyer

Conrad K. Harper is a New York City lawyer, a retired partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, a former president of the New York City Bar Association, and an emeritus member of the Council of the American Law Institute.

William E. Quinby American lawyer

William Emory Quinby was an American newspaper publisher and diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to the Netherlands.

Frank D. Pavey American politician

Frank D. Pavey was an American lawyer and politician from New York.

John Arthur Hall was an American football player and coach. He played college football for the Yale Bulldogs football team and was selected as a consensus honoree on the 1897 College Football All-America Team. He also served as the head coach of the Carlisle Indians football team in 1898. Hall also played ice hockey on intercollegiate and amateur levels for Yale University and teams in New York City and Pittsburgh.

West Broadway Bridge bridge in United States of America

The West Broadway Bridge, aka West Street Bridge and the Concrete-Metal Bridge, is a vehicular bridge over the Passaic River in Paterson, New Jersey. It carries West Broadway, traditionally the Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike, and connects to County Route 509 at its west end.


  1. Hill, Edwin Charles (1921). The Historical register illustrated with portrait plates. p. 211. Retrieved April 9, 2011.