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Thomas Corwin

Gov. Thomas Corwin

  • December 16, 1840 - December 14, 1842
  • Whig
  • July 29, 1794
  • December 18, 1865
  • Kentucky
  • Married Sarah Ross; five children
  • Representative, Senator, Cabinet secretary, Ambassador


THOMAS CORWIN, the fifteenth governor of Ohio, was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky on July 29, 1794. His early education was limited and attained through studying on his own. He went on to study law, and then established his legal career in Lebanon, Ohio. Corwin first entered politics as the prosecuting attorney of Warren County, a position he held from 1818 to 1828. He also served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1822 to 1823 and 1829; and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1831 to 1840. Corwin next secured the Whig gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1840 general election. During his tenure, the creation of a state bank was lobbied for, however this and other proposals of Corwin’s were defeated in the Democratic controlled legislature. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Corwin retired briefly from politics. In 1844 he served as president of the Ohio Whig convention; and from 1845 to 1850 he was a member of the U.S. Senate. He also served in President Fillmore’s cabinet as secretary of the treasury (1850 to 1853); and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1859 to 1861. In his last position, he served as the U.S. Minister to Mexico, a position he held from 1861 to 1864. Governor Thomas Corwin passed away on December 18, 1865, and was buried in the Lebanon Cemetery in Lebanon, Ohio.


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.

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