Thomson J. Skinner

Last updated

Thomson Joseph Skinner
Thomson Joseph Skinner (Massachusetts Congressman).jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts
In office
January 27, 1797 March 3, 1799
March 4, 1803 – August 10, 1804
Preceded by Theodore Sedgwick (1st)
Samuel Thatcher (12th)
Succeeded by Theodore Sedgwick (1st)
Simon Larned (12th)
Constituency 1st district (1797–99)
12th district (1803–04)
7th Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts
In office
1806–1808
Governor Caleb Strong
James Sullivan
Preceded by Jonathan Jackson
Succeeded byJosiah Dwight
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
In office
1790–1797
1801–1803
Member of the Massachusetts Senate
In office
1789
1800
Personal details
Born(1752-05-24)May 24, 1752
Colchester, Connecticut Colony, British America
DiedJanuary 20, 1809(1809-01-20) (aged 56)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Federalist
Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s)Ann Foote (1754–1808)
ProfessionBusinessman
Politician

Thomson Joseph Skinner (May 24, 1752 – January 20, 1809) was an American politician from Williamstown, Massachusetts. In addition to service as a militia officer during the American Revolution, he served as a county judge and sheriff, member of both houses of the Massachusetts legislature, U.S. Marshal, and member of the United States House of Representatives. He served for two years as Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts, and after his death an audit showed his accounts to be deficient for more than the value of his estate, which led to those who had posted bonds on his behalf having to pay the debt.

Contents

Early life

Thomson J. Skinner was born in Colchester in the Connecticut Colony on May 24, 1752, the son of Reverend Thomas Skinner and Mary Thomson, the second wife of Thomas Skinner. [1] (His name is sometimes spelled Thompson, Tompson, Tomson, or even Thomas.) Skinner was educated in Colchester, his father died when he was 10 years old, and Thomson Skinner and his brother Benjamin were apprenticed to a carpenter and homebuilder. [2] At age 21 Skinner moved to Williamstown, Massachusetts with his brother, where they went into the construction business as partners in a firm they named "T. J. and B. Skinner". [3] The Skinner brothers were also involved in other ventures, including a successful tavern. [4]

Military career

Thomson Skinner was a member of the militia, including service during and after the American Revolution. In the summer of 1776 he carried messages between units in Berkshire County and General Horatio Gates, commander of the Continental Army's Northern Department in upstate New York. [5] He also served as adjutant of Berkshire County's 2nd Regiment, adjutant of the Berkshire County 3rd Regiment (Simonds'), and a company commander in the Berkshire County regiment commanded by Asa Barnes. [6] [7] Skinner remained in the militia after the war, and rose to the rank of major general. [8] [9] During the Revolution he served as a member of the court-martial which acquitted Paul Revere's conduct during the unsuccessful Penobscot Expedition. [10] [11]

Political career

He served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1781, [12] 1785, [13] 1789, [14] and 1800. He was a member of the Massachusetts State Senate from 1786 to 1788, 1790 to 1797, and 1801 to 1803. [15] [16]

From 1788 to 1807 he was a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Berkshire County, and he was chief judge from 1795 to 1807. [17] In 1788 he was a delegate to the state convention that ratified the United States Constitution, and voted in favor of ratification. [18]

From 1791 to 1792 he served as Berkshire County Sheriff. [19] In 1792 Skinner, recognized as a Federalist, [20] was a presidential elector, and supported the reelection of George Washington and John Adams. [21] Skinner was a founding trustee of Williams College, served on the board of trustees from 1793 to 1809, and was treasurer from 1793 to 1798. [22]

Skinner represented Massachusetts's 1st congressional district (Berkshire County) in the U.S. House for part of one term and all of another, January 1797 to March 1799. [23] He was again elected to the U.S. House in 1802, this time from the renumbered 12th District, and served from March 1803 until resigning in August 1804. [24] Skinner, by now identified with the Jeffersonian or Democratic-Republican Party, lost to John Quincy Adams, the Federalist candidate, in an 1803 election for U.S. Senator. [25]

From 1804 to 1807 Skinner served as U.S. Marshal for Massachusetts. [26] From 1806 to 1808 he was Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts. [27]

Death

Skinner died in Boston on January 20, 1809. [28]

Accounts as Massachusetts Treasurer

After Skinner's death, an 1809 audit revealed that his accounts as state treasurer were in arrears for $60,000 (about $935,000 in 2017), while his estate was valued at only $20,000. Several of the individuals who had posted surety bonds to guarantee his performance as treasurer paid portions of the remaining $40,000 obligation in order to satisfy Skinner's debt. [29]

Family

In 1773 Skinner married Ann Foote (April 11, 1754 – December 15, 1808). [30] Their children included Thomson Joseph, Mary, Thomas, Ann, Eliza, and George Denison. [31] Skinner and his wife had known each other as children because Skinner's mother had married Ann Foote's father following the deaths of Skinner's father and Foote's mother. [32]

Related Research Articles

Berkshire County, Massachusetts County in Massachusetts

Berkshire County is a county on the western edge of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 131,219. Its largest city and traditional county seat is Pittsfield. The county was founded in 1761.

Lanesborough, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Lanesborough is a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,091 at the 2010 census.

North Adams, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

North Adams is a city in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its population was 13,708 as of the 2010 census. Best known as the home of the largest contemporary art museum in the United States, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams has in recent years become a center for tourism, culture and recreation.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts

Pittsfield is the largest city and the county seat of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is the principal city of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Berkshire County. The population was 44,737 at the 2010 census. Although the population has declined in recent decades, Pittsfield remains the third largest municipality in western Massachusetts, behind only Springfield and Chicopee. In 2006, Forbes ranked Pittsfield as number 61 in its list of Best Small Places for Business. In 2008, Country Home magazine ranked Pittsfield as #24 in a listing of "green cities" east of the Mississippi. In 2009, the City of Pittsfield was chosen to receive a 2009 Commonwealth Award, Massachusetts' highest award in the arts, humanities, and sciences. In 2010, the Financial Times proclaimed Pittsfield the "Brooklyn of the Berkshires" in an article covering its renaissance at that time.

Williamstown, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Williamstown is a town in Berkshire County, in the northwest corner of Massachusetts, United States. It shares a border with Vermont to the north and New York to the west. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 7,754 at the 2010 census. A college town, it is home to Williams College, the Clark Art Institute and the Tony-awarded Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Mount Greylock United States historic place

Mount Greylock is a 3,489 feet (1,063 m) mountain located in the northwest corner of Massachusetts and is the highest point in the state. Its summit is in the western part of the town of Adams in Berkshire County. Although technically it is geologically part of the Taconic Mountains, Mount Greylock is commonly associated with the abutting Berkshire Mountains to the east. The mountain is known for its expansive views encompassing five states and the only taiga-boreal forest in the state. A seasonal automobile road climbs to the summit, topped by a 93-foot-high (28 m) lighthouse-like Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower. A network of hiking trails traverse the mountain, including the Appalachian Trail. Mount Greylock State Reservation was created in 1898 as Massachusetts' first public land for the purpose of forest preservation.

Berkshires

The Berkshires are a highland geologic region located in the western parts of Massachusetts and northwest Connecticut. The term "Berkshires" is normally used by locals in reference to the portion of the Vermont-based Green Mountains that extend south into western Massachusetts; the portion extending further south into northwestern Connecticut is grouped with the Connecticut portion of the Taconic Mountains and referred to as either the Northwest Hills or Litchfield Hills.

Samuel L. Powers

Samuel Leland Powers was a United States Representative from Massachusetts.

Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center

The Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center is a transit facility located in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The $11 million facility is named after Joseph Scelsi, a longtime State Representative who represented Pittsfield. Owned by the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA), it is serviced by local BRTA bus services, Amtrak intercity rail service, and Peter Pan intercity bus service. The second floor of the building houses two classrooms used by Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Simon Larned was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

Charles E. Hibbard

Charles Edmund Hibbard was an American lawyer, banker and politician who served as the Western Massachusetts District Attorney and as the first Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Walter Foxcroft Hawkins

Walter Foxcroft Hawkins was an American attorney and local political figure who, from 1896 to 1897, served as mayor of Pittsfield, the largest city and county seat of Massachusetts' Berkshire County.

Harding and Seaver

Harding and Seaver was an architectural firm that operated for over 20 years. George C. Harding was an architect of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from MIT. He worked alone for five years and then partnered with Henry M. Seaver.

Benjamin Simonds was a militia commander of Massachusetts during the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. He was colonel of the all-Berkshire regiment of about five hundred men known as the “Berkshire Boys” during the American Revolutionary War. His regiment notably fought in the Battle of Bennington in the summer of 1777. Simonds died in 1807 and was buried in what is now known as West Cemetery in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Simeon Griswold was a Massachusetts Representative from Pittsfield, Massachusetts and a member of the political Griswold Family.

Charles T. Rathbun

Charles T. Rathbun was an American architect who practiced in Pittsfield, Massachusetts during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Massachusetts House of Representatives 2nd Berkshire district

Massachusetts House of Representatives' 2nd Berkshire district in the United States is one of 160 legislative districts included in the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court. It covers parts of Berkshire County and Franklin County. Democrat Paul Mark of Peru has represented the district since 2011. Mark is running unopposed for re-election in the 2020 Massachusetts general election.

1788 Massachusetts Senate election Elections to the Massachusetts Senate

Elections to the Massachusetts Senate were held during 1788 to elect 40 State Senators. Candidates were elected at the county level, with some counties electing multiple Senators.

Massachusetts House of Representatives 1st Berkshire district

Massachusetts House of Representatives' 1st Berkshire district in the United States is one of 160 legislative districts included in the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court. It covers part of Berkshire County. Democrat John Barrett of North Adams has represented the district since 2017.

1860 Massachusetts gubernatorial election

Gubernatorial elections were held in Massachusetts on November 6, 1860. Incumbent Republican Governor Nathaniel Banks did not run for re-election to a fourth term. He was succeeded by Republican John Albion Andrew, a radical abolitionist.

References

  1. Fernald, Natalie R. (May 1, 1904). The Genealogical Exchange. 1. Buffalo, NY: N. R. Fernald. p. 19.
  2. Perry, Arthur Latham (1904). Williamstown and Williams College: A History. Norwood, MA: Norwood Press. p. 162.
  3. Perry, Arthur Latham (1904). Williamstown and Williams College: A History. Norwood, MA: Norwood Press. pp. 161–162.
  4. Kean, Sumner (April 4, 1964). "Location of Proposed Williams Dorm has Long History as Site of Hotels". Berkshire Eagle. Pittsfield, MA. p. 26.
  5. Perry, Arthur Latham (1899). Williamstown and Williams College: A History. Norwood, MA: Norwood Press. pp. 101, 104.
  6. Massachusetts Secretary of State (1906). Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War: A Compilation from the Archives. 14. Boston, MA: Wright & Potter. p. 282.
  7. Ohio State Society, Sons of the American Revolution (1919). Yearbook of the Ohio Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Cincinnati, OH: A. H. Pugh Printing. p. 173.
  8. Smith, Joseph Edward Adams (1885). History of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. II. New York, NY: J. B. Beers & Co. p. 673.
  9. The Massachusetts Register and United States Calendar. Boston, MA: Richardson & Lord and James Loring. 1804. p. 136.
  10. Baxter, James Phinney (1914). Documentary History of the State of Maine. 19. Portland, ME: Lefavor-Tower Company. pp. 428–430.
  11. Greenburg, Michael M. (2014). The Court-Martial of Paul Revere: A Son of Liberty and America's Forgotten Military Disaster. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England. p. 205. ISBN   978-1-6116-8535-0.
  12. Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1780-1781. Boston, MA: Wright and Potter. 1890. p.  604. j. skinner williamstown 1781.
  13. Acts and Resolves Passed by the General Court, 1784-1785. Boston, MA: Wright & Potter. 1890. p. 626.
  14. Acts and Resolves Passed by the General Court, 1788-89. Boston, MA: Wright & Potter. 1894. p. 523.
  15. A History of the County of Berkshire, Massachusetts. Pittsfield, MA: Samuel W. Bush. 1829. pp. 111–112.
  16. Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1800-1801. Boston, MA: Wright & Potter. 1897. p. 432.
  17. Davis, William Thomas (1900). History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts. Boston, MA: Boston Book Company. p.  211. skinner judge berkshire county.
  18. "Ratification of the Federal Constitution by Massachusetts, published in the Hampshire Gazette, February 13, 1788". Memorial Hall Museum Online. Deerfield, MA: Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  19. "List of Sheriffs of Berkshire County". Berkshire County Sheriff's Office. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  20. Hall, Van Beck (1972). Politics Without Parties: Massachusetts, 1780–1791 . Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. pp.  301–302. ISBN   978-0-8229-3234-5. skinner judge berkshire county.
  21. "Election Results: Massachusetts 1792 Electoral College, Western District". A New Nation Votes. Tufts University. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  22. Spring, Leverett Wilson (1917). A History of Williams College. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. p.  67. j. skinner williams college trustee 1793 1809.
  23. United States House of Representatives (1826). Journal of the United States House of Representatives. 3. Washington, DC: Gales & Seaton. p. 14.
  24. Poore, Benjamin Perley (1878). The Political Register and Congressional Directory. Boston, MA: Houghton, Osgood and Company. p.  25. skinner representative 1803 1804 resigned.
  25. Adams, Henry (1905). Documents Relating to New-England Federalism, 1800-1815. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Company. p. 154.
  26. "List of United States Marshals for the District of Massachusetts, 1789-1875" (PDF). United States Marshals Service. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  27. Gifford, S. N.; Marden, George A. (1881). Manual for the Use of the General Court. Boston, MA: Rand, Avery & Co. p. 217.
  28. Robbins, Thomas (1886). Diary of Thomas Robbins, D. D., 1796-1854. 1. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. p. 5.
  29. Sureties of Thompson J. Skinner (1812). Memorial of the Sureties of Thompson J. Skinner. Pittsfield, MA: Phineas Allen. p. 11.
  30. Goodwin, Nathaniel (1849). The Foote Family: Or, the Descendants of Nathaniel Foote, One of the First Settlers of Wethersfield, Conn. Hartford, CT: Case, Tiffany and Company. p.  84.
  31. Foote, Abram William (1907). Foote Family: Comprising the Genealogy and History of Nathaniel Foote of Wethersfield, Connecticut and His Descendants. 1. Rutland, VT: Marble City Press. p. 48.
  32. Foote, Abram William (1907). Foote Family: Comprising the Genealogy and History of Nathaniel Foote of Wethersfield, Connecticut and His Descendants. 1. Rutland, VT: Marble City Press. p. 48.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Theodore Sedgwick
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st congressional district

January 27, 1797 – March 3, 1799
Succeeded by
Theodore Sedgwick
Preceded by
Samuel Thatcher
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 12th congressional district

March 4, 1803 – August 10, 1804
Succeeded by
Simon Larned
Political offices
Preceded by
Jonathan Jackson
7th Treasurer and Receiver General,
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

1806–1808
Succeeded by
Josiah Dwight