John Renshaw Thomson
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John Renshaw Thomson
John Renshaw Thomson
Hon. Tompson - NARA - 528695.jpg
United States Senator
from New Jersey

March 4, 1853 - September 12, 1862
Robert F. Stockton
Richard S. Field
Personal details
Born(1800-09-25)September 25, 1800
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedSeptember 12, 1862(1862-09-12) (aged 61)
Princeton, New Jersey
Resting placePrinceton Cemetery, Princeton, New Jersey
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Annis Stockton (m. 1825-1842, her death)
Josephine A. Ward (m. 1845-1862, his death)
RelationsRichard Stockton (father-in-law)
Robert F. Stockton (brother-in-law)
Aaron Ward (father-in-law)
EducationPrinceton University (attended)

John Renshaw Thomson (September 25, 1800 – September 12, 1862) was an American merchant and politician from New Jersey.


Thomson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Edward Thomson (1771-1853) and Ann Renshaw (1773-1842). His father along with an uncle, George Thomson, were shipowners extensively involved in the China Trade.[1]

Thomson attended the common schools in Princeton, New Jersey, and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). In 1817, he went to China and assisted his father in the mercantile trade. John served as the United States Consul to Canton from 1823 to 1825, succeeding his late brother Richard Renshaw Thomson, whose sudden death left the position vacant.

In 1825-26, Edward Thomson's business failed. His son returned to the United States and, in the winter of 1825, married Annis Stockton, a daughter of Senator Richard Stockton and granddaughter of Continental Congressman Richard Stockton and poet Annis Boudinot Stockton. The match brought many financial and political advantages. The young couple settled in Princeton.

Thomson became a director and secretary of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Company and was president, and later treasurer, of the Philadelphia and Trenton Railroad. He was a delegate to the New Jersey State Constitutional Convention of 1844, and was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor of New Jersey the same year.

Thomson's wife Annis died in 1842; in 1845, he married Josephine A. Ward, daughter of congressman Aaron Ward of New York. Thomson had no children with either wife.

Thomson was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of his brother-in-law Robert F. Stockton. Thomson was re-elected in 1857, occupying the seat from March 4, 1853, until his death in Princeton, New Jersey. He was chairman of the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office (36th United States Congress) and the Committee on Pensions (Thirty-sixth Congress). Thomson was a friend of President James Buchanan, and supported repeal of the Missouri Compromise on the grounds that slavery was permitted under the United States Constitution, but when southern states began to form the Confederate States of America after the 1860 United States Presidential Election, Thomson supported the Union.

He was interred in Princeton Cemetery. In 1878, his widow Josephine married Maryland governor Thomas Swann.

See also


  1. ^ Lee, Jean Gordon (1984). Philadelphians and the China Trade, 1784-1844. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art. pp. 152-3. Retrieved 2014.

External links

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Robert F. Stockton
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New Jersey
March 4, 1853 – September 12, 1862
Served alongside: William Wright, John C. Ten Eyck
Succeeded by
Richard S. Field
Party political offices
Preceded by
Daniel Haines
Democratic Nominee for Governor of New Jersey
Succeeded by
Daniel Haines

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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