Thomas Holliday Hicks

Thomas Holliday Hicks

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Thomas Holliday Hicks

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Thomas Holliday Hicks (September 2, 1798 February 14, 1865) was an American politician from Maryland. He served as the 31st Governor of Maryland from 1858 until 1862, and as a U.S. Senator from Maryland from 1862 until his death in 1865.

Early career

Born in 1798 near East New Market, Maryland, Hicks began his political career as a Democrat when he was elected town constable and then, in 1824, elected Sheriff of Dorchester County. Later, he switched to the Whig Party and was elected to the House of Delegates in 1830 and re-elected in 1836.

In 1837, the legislature elected him a member of the Governor's Council, the last to be chosen before that body was abolished. In 1838, he was appointed Register of Wills for Dorchester County. He stayed in that job until his election as Governor.

Governor of Maryland

In 1857, Hicks switched to the Native American Party, more commonly known as the Know-Nothing Party. As such, in 1858, he ran for Governor and defeated Democrat John Charles Groome by 8,700 votes. The election, however, was notable for fraud, open intimidation of voters, and unprecedented violence. Hicks was one of the oldest men to become Governor.

In his gubernatorial inaugural address, Hicks criticized the numbers of foreign immigrants coming to America and warned that they would "change the national character".Thomas Holliday Hicks. Internet Archive. He opposed abolitionists and supported slave owners. He denounced “he...
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