Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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THOMAS, Philip Francis, governor of Maryland, born in Easton, Talbot County, Maryland, 12 September, 1810. He is a connection of Sir Philip Francis, the supposed author of the "Junius Letters," for whom he is named. After receiving his education at the academy in Easton and at Dickinson college, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1831, and practised in his native town. He was a member of the State constitutional convention in 1886, and served in the legislature in 1838, and again in 1843-'5. Being elected to congress as a Democrat, he served from 2 December, 1839, till 3 March, 1841, and declined a renomination to the 28th congress, and resumed the practice of law. He was governor of the state from 1848 till 1851. He was judge of the land-office of the eastern shore of Maryland, and in 1851 was made comptroller of the treasury, an office that was created by the constitution adopted in that year, but resigned in 1853 and accepted the place of collector of the port of Baltimore. During the Mormon war he was offered the governorship of the territory, which he declined, and he also declined the post of treasurer of the United States which was tendered him by President Buchanan. On 16 February, 1860. he was appointed commissioner of patents, and in December, 1860, he succeeded Howell Cobb as secretary of the treasury in Buchanan's cabinet, serving until 11 January, 1861. He was elected a member of the house of delegates of Maryland in 1866, and during the session was elected to the United States senate, but was refused a seat on 19 February, 1868, on the ground of "having given aid and comfort to the rebellion," but in 1874 he was chosen to the house of representatives as a Democrat, and served from 6 December, 1875, till 3 March, 1877. In 1878 he was again elected to the legislature, and after serving one term resumed the practice of his profession in Easton, where he still resides.
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