Thomas A. Hendricks

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Thomas Andrews Hendricks (September 7, 1819 – November 25, 1885)[1] was an American politician who served as a Representative and a Senator from Indiana, the 16th Governor of Indiana, and the 21st Vice President of the United States. The first Democratic governor to be elected in the Northern United States following the American Civil War, and having defended the Democratic position in the Senate during the war, Hendricks quickly grew in popularity among the national party. After two previous failed attempts to win election to the governor's office, his term was marked by the Panic of 1873, which consumed most of his energies. He was opposed by a strong Republican majority in the Indiana General Assembly, and was unable to enact any significant legislation. Hendricks was the unsuccessful candidate for Vice President on the Democratic ticket with Samuel Tilden in the controversial presidential election of 1876. Despite his poor health, he accepted his party's second nomination to run for Vice President in the election of 1884 as Grover Cleveland's running mate, and served in that office until his death only eight months later.


Early life

Family and education

Thomas Hendricks was born near East Fultonham, Ohio on September 7, 1819, the son of John and Jane Thomson Hendricks. He moved with his parents to Indiana in 1820 after being urged to do so by his uncle, William Hendricks, who promised the family they would enjoy prosperity in the young state. William Hendricks was a successful politician who was Governor of Indiana from 1822 to 1825 and a Senator from Indiana from 1825 to 1837. The family settled on a farm near his uncle's home in Madison, but moved to Shelby County in 1822. Hendricks' father became a moderately wealthy farmer, and operated a successful general store, and became involved in politics. Their home was frequently visited by the state's leading men and from an early age Hendricks was influenced to enter politics.[2]

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