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Thomas Corwin

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Thomas Corwin

Thomas Corwin (also known as Tom Corwin and The Wagon Boy) (July 29, 1794 - December 18, 1865) was a member of the United States House of Representatives (elected as a Whig to the 22nd Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1831, until his resignation, effective May 30, 1840). Known for his sharp wit, debating skills and endless campaigning, he was elected to the Governorship of Ohio in 1840, defeating incumbent Wilson Shannon. Shannon defeated Corwin in a rematch just two years later. Corwin was also a member of the United States Senate (having been appointed by the Ohio General Assembly as a Whig and served from March 4, 1845 to July 20, 1850). He then resigned to become President Fillmore's Secretary of the Treasury shortly after the death of President Taylor. Having been again elected to the House of Representatives in 1858, Corwin returned to that body as a Republican and served from March 4, 1859 to March 12, 1861. He resigned only a few days into the 37th Congress after being appointed by the newly inaugurated President Lincoln to become Minister to Mexico, where he served until 1864. Corwin, well-regarded among the Mexican public for his opposition to the Mexican War while in the Senate, helped keep relations with the Mexicans friendly throughout the course of the Civil War, despite Confederate efforts to sway their allegiances. He was the brother of Moses Bledso Corwin and the uncle of Franklin Corwin, both of whom likewise served in Congress.

Thomas Corwin is perhaps best known for his successful sponsorship during the 36th Congress in early 1861 of the proposed Corwin amendment to the United States Constitution which remains to this day technically still pending for ratification before the state legislatures and which, if ratified, would forbid the Federal banning of slavery in the United States. When it was approved by Congress and sent out to the state legislatures for consideration, it was a last-ditch effort to avert the outbreak of the Civil War.


Preceded by:
Wilson Shannon
Governors of Ohio
18401842
Succeeded by:
Wilson Shannon
Preceded by:
Benjamin Tappan
U.S. Senators from Ohio
18451850
Succeeded by:
Thomas Ewing
Preceded by:
William M. Meredith
United States Secretary of the Treasury
18501853
Succeeded by:
James Guthrie

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