Thomas Butler King

Thomas Butler King I (August 27, 1800 – May 10, 1864) was an American politician from the state of Georgia.[1] Late in life, King spent ten years in the newly admitted state of California and twice attempted to become a senator from that state.

Thomas Butler King
Thomas Butler King 3c09840r.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's At-large & 1st district
In office
March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1843
March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1850
Preceded byGeorge W. Towns
Alexander Stephens
Succeeded byJohn B. Lamar
Joseph W. Jackson
Member of the Georgia Senate
In office
Personal details
BornAugust 27, 1800
Palmer, Massachusetts
DiedMay 10, 1864 (aged 63)
Waresboro, Georgia
Resting placeChurchyard of Christ Church, Frederica, St. Simons, Georgia
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Anna Matilda Page (c. 1800 – 1859)
ChildrenJohn Floyd King

Early lifeEdit

He was born on August 27, 1800, in Palmer, Massachusetts, to Daniel King and Hannah Lord. He was of English descent, and among his first ancestors coming to America was John King, of Edwardstone, Suffolk, England, who, in 1715, was the first settler on a tract of land in what was then the Colony of Massachusetts. For a generation or more, that tract of land was known as Kingstown. Afterwards, it was called Palmer.[2]

He attended Westfield State University and then studied law under his brother, Henry King in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar in 1822.


In 1823 he traveled with his brother, Stephen Clay King, to practice law in Waynesville, Georgia.[1][3]

In 1824, he married Anna Matilda Page (c. 1800 – 1859). They had ten children who survived to adulthood, including a son, John Floyd King. Thomas was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1832 to represent Glynn County, Georgia, and served in that position in 1834, 1835, and again in 1837. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1838 to the 26th Congress.

King would attempt to regain his old seat in the Confederate Congress in 1863 against Julian Hartridge. King narrowly lost, receiving 2,909 votes to Hartridge's 3,077 votes and a third candidate named C.H. Hopkins' 766. This likely occurred because of distrust of King by Savannah voters.[4]


King accepted an appointment in California as tax collector for the Port of San Francisco under President Millard Fillmore. King then went to work as a lobbyist for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.[1][3] He also attempted to become senator from California.[3]

San Francisco's King Street, near the port and major rail yards, is named after him.[5]


King died in Waresboro, Georgia on May 10, 1864. He was buried in the churchyard of Christ Church on St. Simons Island.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Thomas Butler King". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved November 18, 2011. Representative from Georgia; born in Palmer, Hampden County, Mass., August 27, 1800; received private instructions and also attended Westfield Academy; read law with his brother at Allentown, Pa....
  2. ^ Northen, W.J.; Graves, J.T. (1911). Men of Mark in Georgia: A Complete and Elaborate History of the State from Its Settlement to the Present Time, Chiefly Told in Biographies and Autobiographies of the Most Eminent Men of Each Period of Georgia's Progress and Development. Vol. 3. A. B. Caldwell. pp. 17–312. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Thomas Butler King (1800-1864)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. University of Georgia Press. Retrieved November 18, 2011. King was born in Palmer, Massachusetts, the son of Daniel and Hannah Lord King. He attended Westfield Academy in Massachusetts and studied law under his brother Henry in Allentown, Pennsylvania....
  4. ^ Percy, William Alexander (1995). "Localizing the Context of Confederate Politics: The Congressional Election of 1863 in Georgia's First District". Georgia Historical Society. 79 (1): 192–209 – via JSTOR.
  5. ^ "King Street Historical Marker". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved August 22, 2016.


  • Edward M. Steel, Jr. T. Butler King of Georgia (University of Georgia Press: 1964)

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1843
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1850
Succeeded by