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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FLORENCE, Thomas Birch, statesman, born in Philadelphia, 26 January 1812; died in Washington, 3 July 1875. He was educated in the public schools, apprenticed to a hatter, and went into business for himself in 1833. For several years he was prominent in the temperance cause, and a member of a secret organization of workmen, called " The Brotherhood of the Union." After several ineffectual efforts to enter congress, he was elected as a Democrat in 1850, and served from 1851 till 1861, when he retired from politics and established and edited the Washington " Constitutional Union," and in 1868 the Washington " Sunday Gazette." In 1874 he was defeated by so small a majority for congress, by Chapman Freeman, the Republican candidate, that he would have contested the election had he not died of gangrene, caused by an accident that occurred during the canvass.
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