Thomas W. Ferry

Last updated
Thomas White Ferry
TWFerry.jpg
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
March 9, 1875 – March 17, 1879
Preceded by Henry B. Anthony
Succeeded by Allen G. Thurman
United States Senator
from Michigan
In office
March 4, 1871 – March 4, 1883
Preceded by Jacob M. Howard
Succeeded by Thomas W. Palmer
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Michigan's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1865 March 3, 1871
Preceded by Francis William Kellogg
Succeeded by Wilder D. Foster
Member of the Michigan Senate
In office
1856
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
In office
1850–1852
Personal details
Born(1827-06-10)June 10, 1827
Mackinac Island, Michigan
DiedOctober 13, 1896(1896-10-13) (aged 69)
Grand Haven, Michigan
Political party Republican
Profession Politician, Merchant

Thomas White Ferry (June 10, 1827 October 13, 1896) was a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the state of Michigan.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders.

Michigan U.S. state in the United States

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.

Contents

Biography

State legislator

Ferry was born in the old Mission House on Mackinac Island, Michigan. The community on Mackinac at that time included the military garrison, the main depot of John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company, and the mission. His father was a Presbyterian pastor, the Rev. William Montague Ferry, and his mother was Amanda White Ferry; together his parents ran the mission school.

Mackinac Island island in Michigan

Mackinac Island is an island and resort area, covering 4.35 square miles (11.3 km2) in land area, in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in Lake Huron, at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac, between the state's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The island was home to an Odawa settlement before European colonization began in the 17th century. It served a strategic position as a center on the commerce of the Great Lakes fur trade. This led to the establishment of Fort Mackinac on the island by the British during the American Revolutionary War. It was the site of two battles during the War of 1812.

John Jacob Astor German-American businessman

John Jacob Astor was a German–American businessman, merchant, real estate mogul and investor who mainly made his fortune in fur trade and by investing in real estate in or around New York City.

American Fur Company

The American Fur Company (AFC) was founded in 1808, by John Jacob Astor, a German immigrant to the United States. During the 18th century, furs had become a major commodity in Europe, and North America became a major supplier. Several British companies, most notably the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company, were eventual competitors against Astor and capitalized on the lucrative trade in furs. Astor capitalized on anti-British sentiments and his commercial strategies to become one of the first trusts in American business and a major competitor to the British commercial dominance in North American fur trade. Expanding into many former British fur-trapping regions and trade routes, the company grew to monopolize the fur trade in the United States by 1830, and became one of the largest and wealthiest businesses in the country.

Rev. Ferry also was the pastor of the Protestant church on the island. Thomas moved with his parents to Grand Haven, Michigan, attended the public schools, and engaged in mercantile pursuits. He worked as a store clerk in Elgin, Illinois for two years from 1843 to 1845 before returning to Michigan.

Grand Haven, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Grand Haven is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Ottawa County.Grand Haven is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Grand River, for which it is named. As of the 2010 census, Grand Haven had a population of 10,412. It is part of the Grand Rapids Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 1,027,703 in 2014. The city is home to the Grand Haven Memorial Airpark (3GM) and is located just north of Grand Haven Charter Township.

Elgin, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Elgin is a city in Cook and Kane counties in the northern part of the U.S. state of Illinois. Located roughly 35 mi (56 km) northwest of Chicago, it lies along the Fox River. As of 2017, the city had an estimated population of 112,456, making it the eighth-largest city in Illinois.

He was a member of the Michigan State House of Representatives from 1850-1852 and a member of the Michigan State Senate in 1856. On January 26, 1857, Ferry, with his father William Montague Ferry, platted the village of Ferrysburg, Michigan, which his father had first settled in 1834.

Ferrysburg, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Ferrysburg is a city in Ottawa County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,892 at the 2010 census.

United States Senator

He was a delegate to the Loyalist Convention at Philadelphia in 1866. He was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives for the 39th, 40th, and 41st Congresses, serving from March 4, 1865 to March 4, 1871. He was re-elected to the U.S. House for the 42nd Congress in the general election of November 8, 1870. The Michigan Legislature subsequently elected him to the U.S. Senate on January 18, 1871 and Wilder D. Foster was elected in a special election on April 4, 1871 to fill the vacancy in the House. Ferry was re-elected to the Senate in 1877, and served from March 4, 1871 to March 4, 1883. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1882. Ferry was the first person from Michigan to have served in both houses of the Michigan State Legislature and in both houses of the United States Congress. The second person to do so is Debbie Stabenow.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

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

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39th United States Congress

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While Senator, Ferry was chairman of the Committee on Rules (43rd through 45th Congresses) and the Committee on Post Office and Post Roads (46th and 47th Congresses), as well as President pro tempore of the Senate during the 44th and 45th Congresses. In this capacity, he became, upon the death of Vice President Henry Wilson on November 22, 1875, next in the line of presidential succession, and remained so until March 4, 1877. [1]

The United States Senate Committee on Rules is a defunct Congressional committee, replaced by the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

President pro tempore of the United States Senate second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate

The president pro tempore of the United States Senate is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate. Article One, Section Three of the United States Constitution provides that the vice president of the United States is the president of the Senate, and mandates that the Senate must choose a president pro tempore to act in the vice president's absence. Unlike the vice president, the president pro tempore is an elected member of the Senate, able to speak or vote on any issue. Selected by the Senate at large, the president pro tempore has enjoyed many privileges and some limited powers. During the vice president's absence, the president pro tempore is empowered to preside over Senate sessions. In practice, neither the vice president nor the president pro tempore usually presides; instead, the duty of presiding officer is rotated among junior U.S. senators of the majority party to give them experience in parliamentary procedure.

Henry Wilson 19th-century American Vice-President, politician, and general

Henry Wilson was the 18th vice president of the United States (1873–75) and a senator from Massachusetts (1855–73). Before and during the American Civil War, he was a leading Republican, and a strong opponent of slavery. Wilson devoted his energies to the destruction of the "Slave Power" – the faction of slave owners and their political allies which anti-slavery Americans saw as dominating the country.

He presided over the 1876 impeachment trial of U.S. Secretary of War William Belknap and the meetings of the Electoral Commission created by Congress to resolve the disputed 1876 presidential election. Still president pro tempore at that time, he would have temporally become the acting president had the Electoral College vote not been certified by March 4, 1877; Congress certified Rutherford B. Hayes as the winner of the Electoral College vote on March 2. [2]

Ferry died in Grand Haven, Michigan at aged 69 and is interred in Lake Forest Cemetery.

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References

  1. Feerick, John D.; Freund, Paul A. (1965). From Failing Hands: the Story of Presidential Succession. New York City: Fordham University Press. p. 116. LCCN   65-14917. The New York Herald of November 23, 1875, noted that as President pro tempore, Senator Thomas W. Ferry* of Michigan "would act as President in case the present incumbent of the office should die before the expiration of his term . . . . " In an editorial on the following day, the New York Herald viewed Ferry's possible succession as cause for alarm: "According to his record he [Ferry] is a fanatical inflationist. ... If President Grant should suddenly be taken away Thomas W. Ferry, of Michigan, would be his successor. The country has reason to shudder at the possibility .... [I]f Mr. Ferry is still an inflationist it would be inexcusable for the Senate to retain him in his present position, when only a single life stands between so dangerous a man and the Presidency of the United States."
  2. Bomboy, Scott (August 11, 2017). "Five little-known men who almost became president". Constitution Daily. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: National Constitution Center. Retrieved July 18, 2018.

Sources

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Francis W. Kellogg
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 4th congressional district

March 4, 1865 – March 4, 1871
Succeeded by
Wilder D. Foster
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Jacob M. Howard
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Michigan
March 4, 1871 – March 4, 1883
Served alongside: Zachariah Chandler, Isaac P. Christiancy, Henry P. Baldwin, Omar D. Conger
Succeeded by
Thomas W. Palmer
Preceded by
Henry B. Anthony
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
March 9, 1875 – March 3, 1879
Succeeded by
Allen G. Thurman