THOMAS H. SEYMOUR was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on September 29, 1807. He graduated from Captain Alden Partridge’s Military Institute in Middletown, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1833. Seymour had an illustrious military career. He served during the Mexican War, earning the rank of colonel due to his courageous leadership at the Battle of Chapultepec. Seymour also served as a probate judge from 1836 to 1838, was the editor of the Jeffersonian, a leading Democratic newspaper, from 1837 to 1838, and he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1843 to 1845. He ran unsuccessfully in the 1849 gubernatorial election, but won the following year by a legislative vote of 122 to 108. He was reelected to the governor’s office the next three years. During his tenure, the General Assembly challenged the Compromise of 1850, which addressed the issue of fugitive slaves; however, its constitutionality was upheld by the 1851 Democratic convention. Seymour also served as an 1852 presidential elector, endorsing Franklin Pierce and, in return for his support, Seymour was appointed to serve as minister to Russia. He resigned from the governorship on October 13,1853, and spent the next four years in Russia, where he built a warm and ongoing alliance with the Czar Nicholas and his son. After returning home, Seymour ran again for the governor’s office, but was unsuccessful in both his 1860 and 1863 bids. He headed the Connecticut Peace Democrats, and at the 1864 Democratic National Convention he received 38 votes, on the first ballot, for president of the United States. Governor Thomas H. Seymour died on September 3, 1868, and is buried at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.