Thomas Henderson, the third governor of New Jersey, was born in Freehold, New Jersey on August 15, 1743. His education was attained at Princeton College, where he graduated in 1761. After studying medicine, Henderson established a successful practice in his hometown of Freehold. He also had a long and distinguished career in the military. During the Revolutionary War, he served as a lieutenant in the state militia, and rose through the ranks, becoming a brigade-major in June 1778. He also was the "solitary horseman" that announced to General Washington the retreat of General Lee. Henderson first entered politics in 1779, winning his election to the Continental Congress, however he declined to take his seat. From 1780 to 1784 he served in the New Jersey Assembly; and in 1790 was master of chancery. He also served as judge of the Common Pleas Court from 1783 to 1799; and was a member and vice president of the New Jersey Council from1793 to 1794. On March 30, 1793, Governor William Paterson resigned from office, and Henderson, who was vice president of the council at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He served in this capacity until June 3, 1793. Two years later he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held until 1797. He was reelected to the New Jersey Council, where he served from 1812 to 1813. Henderson also secured a committee appointment that resolved the boundary line dispute between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Governor Thomas Henderson passed away on December 15, 1824, and was buried in the Old Tennent Cemetery in Tennent, New Jersey.

Sources:

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Virtual American Biographies