THOMAS HOLLIDAY HICKS was born in Dorchester County, Maryland on September 2, 1798. His education was attained in the local schools of his native state. After working in the mercantile and boating industries, Hicks entered into a political career. He served as the Dorchester County sheriff in 1824, was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1829 to 1830 and again in 1836, and served as a Maryland Senate elector in 1836. He also served on the Governor’s Executive Council from 1837 to 1838, was the Register of Wills for Dorchester County from 1838 to 1851 and 1855 to 1858, and served as a delegate to the Maryland Constitutional Convention from 1850 to 1851. Hicks was elected governor by popular vote on November 4, 1857 and was sworn into office on January 13, 1858. During his tenure, the state was unsettled due to the outbreak of the Civil War. Also, conflicts increased over the secession issue, and Union troops were attacked when they marched through the streets of Baltimore, which resulted in Governor Hicks issuing the order to burn bridges around Baltimore in an effort to prevent the advancement of more troops. After completing his term, Hicks left office on January 8, 1862. He later was appointed and then elected to the U.S. Senate, a position he held from 1863 until 1865. Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks passed away on February 13, 1865, and was buried at the Cambridge Cemetery in Cambridge, Maryland.
Eisenberg, Gerson G. Marylanders Who Served the Nation. Annapolis, MD: Maryland State Archives, 1992.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
White, Frank F., Jr. The Governors of Maryland, 1777-1972. Annapolis, MD: Hall of Records Commission, 1970.
Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress
Maryland State Archives