THOMPSON, Jacob

1810–1885

Biography

THOMPSON, Jacob, a Representative from Mississippi; born in Leasburg, Caswell County, N.C., May 15, 1810; attended the public schools and Bingham Academy in Orange County; was graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1831; member of the faculty of the University of North Carolina in 1831 and 1832; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1834 and commenced practice in Pontotoc, Miss., in 1835; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-sixth and to the five succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1839-March 3, 1851); chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs (Twenty-ninth Congress); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1850 to the Thirty-second Congress; appointed to the United States Senate in 1845, but never received the commission; appointed Secretary of the Interior in the Cabinet of President Buchanan and served from March 6, 1857, to January 8, 1861, when he resigned; served as inspector general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War; confidential agent of the Confederacy to Canada in 1864 and 1865; settled in Memphis, Tenn., in 1868 and managed the affairs of his extensive holdings; died in Memphis, Tenn., March 24, 1885; interment in Elmwood Cemetery.

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

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External Research Collections

American Jewish Historical Society
Center for Jewish History

New York, NY
Papers: In the Judah P. Benjamin Collection, ca. 1838-1948, 0.5 linear foot. Persons represented include Jacob Thompson.

Brigham Young University
Harold B. Lee Library

Provo, UT
Papers: In the Leroy R. Hafen Manuscript Collection, 1847-1883, 5 linear feet. Correspondents include Jacob Thompson.

Duke University
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library

Durham, NC
Papers: ca. 1859-1861, 2 items. Letters, one being a routine letter signed by Jacob Thompson while secretary of the interior (1859) and the other, a protest from Thompson to President Buchanan against reinforcing Fort Sumter.

Florida State University
Special Collections, Robert Manning Strozier Library

Tallahassee, FL
Papers: In the Dr. Edward Bradford Papers, 1830-1871, 0.25 linear foot. The papers include a letter of introduction of James E. Broome, Tallahassee, Fla., to Hon. Jacob Thompson, Washington City.

Huntington Library
Manuscripts Department

San Marino, CA
Papers: In the John Sherman Bagg Papers, 1835-1876, 482 pieces Correspondents include Jacob Thompson.

Indiana State Library
Manuscripts and Rare Books

Indianapolis, IN
Papers: In the James R. Slack Papers, 1837-1882, 1 box. Subjects include Jacob Thompson.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1841, 1 item. A letter from Jacob Thompson to H. H. Worthington written in June 1841 regarding national issues being addressed in Congress.
Papers: In the Jeremiah S. Black Papers, ca. 1813-1904, 34 linear feet. Persons represented include Jacob Thompson.
Papers: In the Confederate States of America Records, ca. 1854-1889, 28 linear feet. Correspondents include Jacob Thompson.

Library of Virginia
Archives Branch

Richmond, VA
Papers: In the Virginia Office of the Attorney General Opinions of the Attorney General Relating to Land Matters, 1852, item. The collection includes a letter from Virginia's congressional delegation to Jacob Thompson, Secretary of the Interior, objecting to a recent policy decision regarding the Scrip Act of 1852. The decision was contrary to opinions given by the Virginia attorney general and under which the commonwealth had been operating.

The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts

New York, NY
Papers: 1857, 1 item. A letter from Henry Alonzo Edmundson to Jacob Thompson, Secretary of the Interior, written on March 11, 1857. In the letter, Edmundson recommends the appointment of Fayette McMullin as Marshal of the District of Columbia.
Papers: 1857, 1 item. A letter from Jacob Thompson, U.S. Department of Interior, to J. S. Black, Attorney General, written on December 17, 1857. In the letter, Thompson asks Black to certify a land title for property bought from the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia.
Papers: 1858, 1 item. A letter from Jacob Thompson to J. S. Black, Attorney-General, written on May 25, 1858. In the letter, Thompson concerning the title to property owned in New York City by E. Burton
Papers: 1859, 1 item. A letter from John Buchanan Floyd, War Department, to J. Thompson, Secretary of the Interior, written on December 10, 1859.
Papers: 1860, 1 item. A letter from John B. Weller to Jacob Thompson written on September 15, 1860. In the letter, Weller recommends Mr. Poindexter as United States Marshal for the Southern District of California, and predicts that Breckinridge will carry that state.

University of Chicago Library
Archives and Manuscripts

Chicago, IL
Papers: 1846, 1 item. A letter from Jacob Thompson to Robert J. Walker, Secretary of the Interior, written on March 23, 1846. In the letter, Thompson

University of Mississippi
Department of Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library

University, MS
Papers: In the William and Marjorie Lewis Memorial Collection, 1828-1908, 3 boxes. Persons represented include Jacob Thompson.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection

Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: In Thompson Family Papers, 1809-1924, 0.5 linear foot. Persons represented include Jacob Thompson.

University of Southern Mississippi
McCain Library and Archives

Hattiesburg, MS
Papers: In the Alexander Melvorne Jackson Papers, 1846-1892, 1.1 cubic feet. Correspondents include Jacob Thompson.

University of Virginia
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: In the Thomas S. Bocock Papers, 1760-1897, 2.5 feet. Correspondents include Jacob Thompson.

Yale University
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New Haven, CT
Papers: In the United States General Land Office Letterbook, 1858-1862, 193 pages. Persons represented include Jacob Thompson.
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