Thomas Tudor Tucker

Last updated
Thomas Tudor Tucker
Charles B. J. Fevret de Saint-Memin, Thomas Tudor Tucker, 1805, NGA 204784 (cropped).jpg
3rd Treasurer of the United States
In office
December 1, 1801 May 2, 1828
President Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Preceded by Samuel Meredith
Succeeded by William Clark
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from South Carolina's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1789 March 3, 1793
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded by Alexander Gillon
Delegate from South Carolina to the Congress of the Confederation
In office
November 5, 1787 October 21, 1788
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from St. George's, Dorchester Parish
In office
February 28, 1787 – January 5, 1789
In office
January 4, 1785 January 1, 1787
In office
January 8, 1782 – January 6, 1783
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from St. John's, Colleton Parish
In office
March 26, 1776 October 20, 1776
Personal details
Born(1745-06-25)June 25, 1745
St. George, Bermuda
DiedMay 2, 1828(1828-05-02) (aged 82)
Washington, D.C.
Resting place Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
Political party Anti-Administration
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Profession doctor
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service Continental Army
Years of service1781–1783
Rank surgeon
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War

Thomas Tudor Tucker (June 25, 1745 – May 2, 1828) was a Bermuda-born American physician and politician representing Charleston, South Carolina. He was elected from South Carolina in both the Continental Congress and the U.S. House. He later was appointed as Treasurer of the United States and served from 1801 to his death in 1828, establishing a record as the longest-serving Treasurer.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe, which is 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Charleston, South Carolina City in the United States

Charleston is the oldest and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Charleston had an estimated population of 136,208 in 2018. The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 787,643 residents as of 2018, the third-largest in the state and the 78th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

South Carolina U.S. state in the United States

South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States and the easternmost of the Deep South. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the southwest by Georgia across the Savannah River.



Thomas was born in St. George's, Bermuda to a family prominent in that colony since his ancestors immigrated from England in 1662. His parents were Henry (1713–1785) and Ann Tucker. As a youth, Thomas studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. After graduating in 1770, he moved first to Virginia in the 1760s, then settled in Charleston, South Carolina (which had been settled from Barbados in 1670, under the leadership of William Sayle, and which had a large community of expatriate Barbadians) and opened a practice. His younger brother St. George Tucker followed him to Virginia, studying law and eventually being appointed as Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court.

Bermuda British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is approximately 1,070 km (665 mi) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; 1,236 km (768 mi) south of Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia; and 1,759 km (1,093 mi) northeast of Cuba. The capital city is Hamilton. Bermuda is self-governing, with its own constitution and government and a Parliament which makes local laws. The United Kingdom retains responsibility for defence and foreign relations. As of July 2018, its population is 71,176, the highest of the British overseas territories.

University of Edinburgh public research university in Edinburgh, Scotland

The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. The university has five main campuses in the city of Edinburgh, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university. The university played an important role in leading Edinburgh to its reputation as a chief intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment, and helped give the city the nickname of the Athens of the North.

Scotland Country in Northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Tucker was an early supporter of the cause of American independence. He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1776, and served there in various years until 1788. In 1781 he joined the Continental Army as a hospital surgeon supporting the Southern Department, and served until 1783. South Carolina sent him as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1787 and again in 1788. He is believed to have played a key role in a plot to supply the rebel army with gunpowder stolen from a British magazine in his Bermudian homeland.

Continental Army Colonial army during the American Revolutionary War

The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the ex-British colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in their revolt against the rule of Great Britain. The Continental Army was supplemented by local militias and volunteer troops that remained under control of the individual states or were otherwise independent. General George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the army throughout the war.

Continental Congress convention of delegates that became the governing body of the United States

The Continental Congress was initially a convention of delegates from several British American colonies at the height of the American Revolution era, who spoke and acted collectively for the people of the Thirteen Colonies that ultimately became the United States of America. After declaring the colonies independent from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, it acted as the provisional governing structure for the collective United States, while most government functions remained in the individual states. The term most specifically refers to the First Continental Congress of 1774 and the Second Continental Congress of 1775–1781. More broadly, it also refers to the Congress of the Confederation of 1781–1789, thus covering the three congressional bodies of the Thirteen Colonies and the United States that met between 1774 and the inauguration of a new government in 1789 under the United States Constitution.

In 1775, after the Battle of Lexington, the Continental Congress announced a trade embargo against British colonies remaining loyal to the Crown. Bermuda, with its control of the Turks Islands, and a large merchant fleet, offered to supply the Patriots with salt, but they were unimpressed and asked for gunpowder. Meanwhile, in June 1775, the fiercely loyal Governor of Bermuda, George James Bruere, who had lost one of his sons, John, who was killed fighting on the British side at the Battle of Bunker Hill, [1] was enraged when, on 14 August, Bermudians sympathetic to the Revolution stole the island's supply of gunpowder from the Powder Magazine in St George's and shipped it to the rebels. Trade with Bermuda developed, for which Bruere was not blamed in London. [2]

The Crown is the state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their sub-divisions. Legally ill-defined, the term has different meanings depending on context. It is used to designate the monarch in either a personal capacity, as Head of the Commonwealth, or as the king or queen of his or her realms. It can also refer to the rule of law; however, in common parlance 'The Crown' refers to the functions of government and the civil service.

Patriot (American Revolution) American colonist who rejected British rule in the American Revolution

Patriots were those colonists of the Thirteen Colonies who rejected British rule during the American Revolution and declared the United States of America as an independent nation in July 1776. Their decision was based on the political philosophy of republicanism as expressed by spokesmen such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Thomas Paine. They were opposed by the Loyalists who supported continued British rule.

Gunpowder explosive most commonly used as propellant in firearms

Gunpowder, also known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It consists of a mixture of sulfur (S), charcoal (C), and potassium nitrate (saltpeter, KNO3). The sulfur and charcoal act as fuels while the saltpeter is an oxidizer. Because of its incendiary properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms, artillery, rockets, and fireworks, and as a blasting powder in quarrying, mining, and road building.

This was despite the implication of his Bermudian relatives in the act of treason. The President of the Governor's Council, and occasional acting Governor of Bermuda, was Bruere's son-in-law, Henry Tucker, who was Thomas T. Tucker's older brother. Most notably, among other prominent Bermudians, their father, a Colonel of the Militia, as well as their brother, St. George Tucker, were believed to have been involved in organising the theft. Thomas Tudor Tucker is believed to have suggested that George Washington write the letter, addressed to the people of Bermuda, which had sparked the act of treason, and that it had been delivered into the hands of his relatives in Bermuda. [3] The plot was organised by persons highly-enough placed that no one was ever prosecuted.

Bermuda Militias 1612–1815

Bermuda was settled inadvertently, in 1609, by the Virginia Company. Its first deliberate settlers arrived in 1612, aboard the Plough. The very first concern of the first Governor, Richard Moore, was the Colony's defences against an expected Spanish attack. He oversaw the immediate construction of fortifications around St. George's and Castle Harbour, and raised militias to man the defences. The military defences would remain wholly the responsibility of the Colonial Government 'til an independent company of Regular soldiers was garrisoned in Bermuda from 1701. The Colonial Militia included bodies of artillery, infantry, and mounted troops. After American independence, the Royal Navy began building up a base on Bermuda. This resulted in a parallel build-up of the Regular Army garrison, intended to protect the naval base. Bermuda's militias had long suffered from the Colony's maritime industry, which ensured that much of its useful manpower was always away, at sea. With the increase in the number of regular soldiers, the Islanders lost what interest they had in maintaining militias. By the time the USA declared war in 1812, the Bermudian militia had become moribund, with the last, 1802, Militia Act having been allowed to lapse. An Act was rushed through, as a war-time expediency, in 1813, but the militia was allowed to lapse again after the War's end in 1815. The British Government made repeated pleas for Militia to be maintained, but, other than short-lived militias raised by the Governor, or the Royal Navy, without an Act, or the funding, of the Colonial Parliament, no part-time Bermudian units would be raised until the formation of Volunteer Army units in 1895.

The letter from Washington had read:


Camp at Cambridge 3 Miles from Boston, September 6, 1775.

Gentn: (In the great Conflict, which agitates this Continent, I cannot doubt but the Assertors of Freedom and the Rights of the Constitution, are possessed of your most favorable Regards and Wishes for Success. As Descendents of Freemen and Heirs with us of the same Glorious Inheritance, we flatter ourselves that tho' divided by our Situation, we are firmly united in Sentiment; the Cause of Virtue and Liberty is Confined to no Continent or Climate, it comprehends within its capacious Limits, the Wise and good, however dispersed and separated in Space or distance.) You need not be informed, that Violence and Rapacity of a tyrannick Ministry, have forced the Citizens of America, your Brother Colonists, into Arms; We equally detest and lament the Prevalence of those Councils, which have led to the Effusion of so much human Blood and left us no Alternative but a Civil War or a base Submission. The wise disposer of all Events has hitherto smiled upon our virtuous Efforts; Those Mercenary Troops, a few of whom lately boasted of Subjugating this vast Continent, have been check'd in their earliest Ravages and are now actually encircled in a small Space; their Arms disgraced, and Suffering all the Calamities of a Siege. The Virtue, Spirit, and Union of the Provinces leave them nothing to fear, but the Want of Ammunition, The applications of our Enemies to foreign States and their Vigilance upon our Coasts, are the only Efforts they have made against us with Success. Under those Circumstances, and with these Sentiments we have turned our Eyes to you Gentlemen for Relief, We are informed there is a very large Magazine in your Island under a very feeble Guard; We would not wish to in volve you in an Opposition, in which from your Situation, we should be unable to support you: -- We knew not therefore to what Extent to sollicit your Assistance in availing ourselves of this Supply; -- but if your Favor and Friendship to North America and its Liberties have not been misrepresented, I persuade myself you may, consistent with your own Safety, pro mote and further this Scheme, so as to give it the fairest prospect of Success. Be assured, that in this Case, the whole Power and Execution of my Influence will be made with the Honble. Continental Congress, that your Island may not only be Supplied with Provisions, but experience every other Mark of Affection and Friendship, which grateful Citizens of a free Country can bestow on its Brethren and Benefactors. I am &c.

Tucker was opposed to the United States Constitution, believing that it gave too much authority to the central government. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives and served in the first two congresses from 1789 until 1793.

United States House of Representatives Lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national legislature of the United States.

On December 1, 1801 President Jefferson appointed Tucker as Treasurer of the United States. He held that post through four administrations (Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and J.Q. Adams), serving until his death in 1828. Tucker holds the record as the longest-serving Treasurer: 26 years, 153 days. During this time, he also served as physician to President Madison (1809–1817).

Tucker died while in office at Washington, D.C. and is buried in the Congressional Cemetery. His nephew, Henry St. George Tucker, Sr., was a U.S. Congressman from Virginia. His nephew Thomas Tudor Tucker stayed with the Bermuda branch of the family and served as an admiral in the British Navy.

The gravestone of Thomas Tucker Congressional Cemetery Thomas Tucker Grave Congressional Cemetery.jpg
The gravestone of Thomas Tucker Congressional Cemetery


Tucker published an oration that was delivered in Charleston before the South Carolina Society of the Cincinnati (Charleston, 1795). [4]

Related Research Articles

History of Bermuda

Bermuda was originally discovered in 1503 by Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez. In 1609, the English Virginia Company, which had established Jamestown in Virginia two years earlier, permanently settled Bermuda in the aftermath of a hurricane, when the crew and passengers of Sea Venture steered the ship onto the surrounding reef to prevent it from sinking, then landed ashore. Bermuda's first capital, St. George's, was established in 1612.

Privateer private person or ship authorized by a government to attack foreign shipping

A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. The commission, also known as a letter of marque, empowers the person to carry on all forms of hostility permissible at sea by the usages of war, including attacking foreign vessels during wartime and taking them as prizes. Historically, captured ships were subject to condemnation and sale under prize law, with the proceeds divided between the privateer sponsors, shipowners, captains and crew. A percentage share usually went to the issuer of the commission. Since robbery under arms was once common to seaborne trade, all merchant ships were already armed. During war, naval resources were auxiliary to operations on land so privateering was a way of subsidizing state power by mobilizing armed ships and sailors.

Continental Navy Navy of Patriot forces in the American Revolution

The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigorous Congressional support in the face of stiff opposition, when considering the limitations imposed upon the Patriot supply pool.

Thomas Lynch (statesman) American planter and statesman

Thomas Lynch (1727–1776) was an American planter and statesman from South Carolina. He was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress of 1765 and the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776.

Thomas Bee American judge

Thomas Bee was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

St. Georges, Bermuda Town in Bermuda, United Kingdom

St. George's, located on the island and within the parish of the same names, settled in 1612, was the first permanent English settlement on the islands of Bermuda. It is often described as the third successful English settlement in the Americas, after St. John's, Newfoundland, and Jamestown, Virginia and the oldest continuously-inhabited English town in the New World, since the other two settlements were seasonal for a number of years.

Thomas Tudor Tucker, C.B. (1775–1852) was a British sailor from Bermuda. He was a Rear Admiral in the British Navy.

Tobacco Bay, Bermuda

Tobacco Bay is located in the far north of Bermuda. It lies on the Atlantic Ocean coast, close to the town of St. George's and to the historic Fort St. Catherine. One of Bermuda's national parks, it is a popular public beach. Snorkelling is a popular activity, as the bay has impressive underwater coral reefs, which explains its popularity with those who snorkel.

Governor of Bermuda position

The Governor of Bermuda is the representative of the British monarch in the British overseas territory of Bermuda. The Governor is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the British government. The role of the Governor is to act as the de facto head of state, and he or she is responsible for appointing the Premier and the 11 members of the Senate.

Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War The military conflicts in then-Southern United States during the American Revolution

The Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War was the central theater of military operations in the second half of the American Revolutionary War, 1778–1781. It encompassed engagements primarily in Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina. Tactics consisted of both strategic Battles and guerrilla warfare.

SS <i>Thomas T. Tucker</i> shoreline recent wreck dive site at Olifantsbospunt on the Cape Peninsula west coast

The SS Thomas T. Tucker was a Liberty ship built by The Houston Shipbuilding Corporation for service as a troop and weapons carrier.

Henry Tucker may refer to:

Foreign enlistment in the American Civil War

Foreign enlistment in the American Civil War largely favored the Union, which was far more successful in attracting international volunteers. Nonetheless, thousands of immigrants and mercenaries served with the Confederacy.

First Sergeant Robert John Simmons was a Bermudian who served in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. He died in August 1863, as a result of wounds received in an attack on Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina.

George James Bruere Governor of Bermuda

George James Bruere was the British Governor of Bermuda from 1764 until his death. Of all Bermuda's governors since 1612, his term of office was the longest. He had a difficult time during the American Revolutionary War and is thought to have died of stress caused by the interplay of Bermudians and Continental rebels.

Pink House (Charleston, South Carolina)

Pink House is a historic house and art gallery at 17 Chalmers Street in Charleston, South Carolina that is one of the oldest buildings in South Carolina and is the second oldest residence in Charleston after the Colonel William Rhett House.

Colonel Henry Tucker (1713–1787), generally known as Henry Tucker of The Grove, was a prominent Bermudian merchant, politician and Militia officer, and was the co-conspirator with Benjamin Franklin of the 14 August 1775, theft of a hundred barrels of gunpowder from a magazine in St. George's for supply to the rebel army during the American War of Independence.

Henry Tucker (President of the Council of Bermuda) St. Georges, Bermuda politician, President of Council of Bermuda, acting Governor of Bermuda

Henry Tucker (1742-1800) was a Bermudian politician, and a member of a family that had been prominent in Bermuda since the 1616 appointment of Captain Daniel Tucker as Governor of Bermuda. Henry Tucker was the President of the Governor's Council of the British colony of Bermuda from 1775 to 1807. Prominent men at that time filled a variety of civil and military roles by appointment, and Tucker was also appointed the Colonial Secretary of Bermuda and Provost Marshal General of Bermuda after the resignation of W. O'Brien from those positions in 1785. He was acting Governor of Bermuda in 1796, pending the arrival of new Governor William Campbell. Campbell died almost immediately upon arrival and Tucker resumed the acting Governorship from 1796 to 1798, and again from 1803 to 1805, and in 1806.


  1. Keith Archibald Forbes, Bermuda's History from 1700 to 1799 at, accessed 25 February 2011
  2. W. Kerr, "Bermuda and the American Revolution" in Bermuda Historical Quarterly, vol. XXV, No. 1 (1968), p. 47
  3. Jewish Sightseeing: Bermuda scion links with Zion . S. D. Jewish Press-Heritage. 5 Nov, 1999
  4. Wikisource-logo.svg  Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1889). "Tucker, Thomas Tudor"  . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography . New York: D. Appleton.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Position established
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Alexander Gillon
Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel Meredith
Treasurer of the United States
Succeeded by
William Clark