CLINGMAN, Thomas Lanier

CLINGMAN, Thomas Lanier
Library of Congress


CLINGMAN, Thomas Lanier, a Representative and a Senator from North Carolina; born in Huntsville, N.C., July 27, 1812; educated by private tutors and in the public schools in Iredell County, N.C.; graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1832; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1834 and began practice in Huntsville, N.C.; elected to the State house of commons in 1835; moved to Asheville, Buncombe County, N.C., in 1836; member, State senate 1840; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1845); unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Twenty-ninth Congress; elected as a Whig to the Thirtieth and to the five succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1847, to May 7, 1858, when he resigned to become Senator; chairman, Committee on Public Expenditures (Thirtieth Congress), Committee on Foreign Affairs (Thirty-fifth Congress); appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate on May 6, 1858, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Asa Biggs; reelected in 1861 and served from May 7, 1858, to March 11, 1861, when he withdrew; expelled from the Senate on July 11, 1861, for support of the rebellion; chairman, Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Thirty-fifth Congress); during the Civil War was a brigadier general in the Confederate Army; explored and measured mountain peaks; died in Morganton, Burke County, N.C., on November 3, 1897; interment in Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, N.C.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Montgomery, AL
Papers: In Confederate officers photograph album, no date.

Duke University
Special Collections Library

Durham, NC
Papers: 1833-1880. 7 items and 4 volumes. Correspondence, notebook, military order books, letterbook, and business accounts. Correspondence relates to activities in public life and personal and family matters. Finding aid.

Knox College
Seymour Library

Galesburg, IL
Papers: 1 letter (September 8, 1869) in Sang-Lee Civil War collection.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: September 18, 1863. 1 letter.

North Carolina Division of Archives and History

Raleigh, NC
Papers: 1859, 1868. 2 items. Personal correspondence and photographs. Also miscellaneous letters in various collections.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection

Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: 1862-1865. 800 items. Correspondence and papers pertaining to his military career, and portraits.
Papers: Items pertaining to politics in the 1850s and mining investments in Clingman and Puryear family papers, 1810-1908.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Bassett, John S. "The Congressional Career of Thos. L. Clingman." Historical Papers, Historical Society of Trinity College, ser. 4, pp. 48-63. 1900. Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1970.

Clingman, Thomas L. Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Honorable Thomas L. Clingman, of North Carolina. Raleigh: J. Nichols, Printer, 1877.

Inscoe, John C. "Thomas Clingman, Mountain Whiggery, and the Southern Cause." Civil War History 33 (March 1987): 42-62.

Jeffrey, Thomas E. "An Unclean Vessel: Thomas Lanier Clingman and the 'Railroad Ring.'" North Carolina Historical Review 74 (October 1997): 389-431.

Jeffrey, Thomas E. " 'Thunder From the Mountains': Thomas Lanier Clingman and the End of Whig Supremacy in North Carolina." North Carolina Historical Review 56 (October 1979): 366-95.

___. Thomas Lanier Clingman: Fire Eater from the Carolina Mountains. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1999.

___. " 'A Whole Torrent of Mean and Malevolent Abuse': Party Politics and the Clingman-Mitchell Controversy." North Carolina Historical Review 70 (July 1993): 241-65; (October 1993): 401-29.

Kruman, Marc W. "Thomas L. Clingman and the Whig Party: A Reconsideration." North Carolina Historical Review 64 (January 1987): 1-18.

Walton, Brian G. "Elections to the United States Senate in North Carolina, 1835-1861." North Carolina Historical Review 53 (April 1976): 168-92.

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