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Thomas Davis (December 18, 1806 – July 26, 1895) was an Irish-American manufacturer, politician and abolitionist. He was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and served in the Rhode Island State Senate and the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

Thomas Davis
Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives
In office
1887–1890
Member of the Rhode Island Senate
from the district
In office
1845 – 1853
1877–1878
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Rhode Island's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855
Preceded byGeorge Gordon King
Succeeded byNathan B. Durfee
Personal details
Born(1806-12-18)December 18, 1806
Dublin, Ireland
DiedJuly 26, 1895(1895-07-26) (aged 88)
Providence, Rhode Island, US
Resting placeSwan Point Cemetery
Providence, Rhode Island
NationalityIrish-American
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Eliza Chase
Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis (1849–1876)
OccupationManufacturer
Politician
Abolitionist
CommitteesProvidence school committee

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Davis was born in Dublin, Ireland, where he attended private schools. In 1817, he emigrated with his family to the United States and they settled in Providence, Rhode Island. In Providence, he engaged in jewelry manufacturing and became quite wealthy.

Political careerEdit

He became involved in politics and was a member of the Rhode Island State Senate from 1845 to 1853.[1] Davis was elected to the Thirty-third Congress, and served from March 4, 1853 to March 3, 1855.[2] While in Congress, he was outspoken about his disapproval of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.[3] In 1854, he was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Thirty-fourth Congress, and returned to his manufacturing pursuits.

Davis hoped to return to Congress, and was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Thirty-sixth, Forty-second, Forty-third, and Forty-sixth Congresses.[4] He served in the State Senate again in 1877 and 1878,[5] and was a member of the State House from 1887-1890.

He was an abolitionist and was against the real estate requirement for voting that Rhode Island imposed upon naturalized citizens.[6][7] Davis was on the North Providence, Rhode Island executive school committee,[8] and was a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society.[9]

Death and legacyEdit

Davis died in Providence on July 26, 1895 and is interred in Swan Point Cemetery.[10]

In 2003, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.[11]

Family lifeEdit

Davis' first wife was Eliza Chase.[12] Following Eliza's death, he married abolitionist, suffragist, and educator Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis in 1849.[13][14] The couple adopted two daughters, and remained together until Paulina's death in 1876.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ United States. Government Printing Office (1918). Congressional serial set. U.S. G.P.O. p. 596.
  2. ^ Douglas, Frederick (2009). The Frederick Douglass Papers: 1842–1852. Yale University Press. p. 27.
  3. ^ Rhode Island Historical Society (1896). Publications of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Volume 4. The Societu. p. 53.
  4. ^ United States. Government Printing Office (1918). Congressional serial set. U.S. G.P.O. p. 596.
  5. ^ Stanton, Elizabeth Cady (2003). The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: National protection for national citizens, 1873 to 1880. Rutgers University Press. p. 254.
  6. ^ Conley, Patrick T. and Flanders, Robert J. (2011). The Rhode Island State Constitution. Oxford University Press. p. 132.
  7. ^ "Congressman Thomas Davis". Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  8. ^ Bicknell, T.W. and Stockwell, T.B. (1871). The Rhode Island Schoolmaster, Volume 17. Providence Press Company. p. 29.
  9. ^ Arnold, James N. (1996). The Narragansett Historical Register. Heritage Books. p. 126.
  10. ^ Spencer, Thomas E. (1998). Where They're Buried: A Directory Containing More Than Twenty Thousand Names of Notable Persons Buried in American Cemeteries, with Listings of Many Prominent People who Were Cremated. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 296.
  11. ^ "Congressman Thomas Davis". Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  12. ^ Douglas, Frederick (2009). The Frederick Douglass Papers: 1842–1852. Yale University Press. p. 27.
  13. ^ Danforth, Charolotte (2006). American Heirloom Baby Names. Penguin.
  14. ^ Rhode Island Historical Society (1896). Publications of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Volume 4. The Societu. p. 50.
  15. ^ James, Edward T. and Wilson, Janet (1971). Notable American Women, 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary, Volume 2. Harvard University Press. p. 444.

External linksEdit