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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REED, Thomas B., senator, born in Kentucky" died in Lexington, Kentucky, 26 November, 1829. Although his early educational advantages were limited, he was able to study law. On being admitted to the bar he began to practise at Lexington, Kentucky, and had already acquired some reputation in his profession before removing to Mississippi territory. There he found a wide field for the exercise of his talents in the solution of the intricate questions that arose from the variety of land-tenures and the difficulty of applying the rules of common law to the novel conditions of frontier life. Mr. Reed settled at Natchez, and made his appearance in the supreme court of the state in the first criminal case that was brought before that tribunal, "The State against the Blennerhassetts," which he argued for the defence at the June term in 1818. His reputation at the bar continued to increase, and in 1821 he was elected attorney-general of the state, discharging the duties of the office for four years with ability. He was elected United States senator from Mississippi in the place of David Holmes, resigned, and served from 11 March, 1826, till 3 March, 1827. His legal knowledge and his familiarity with the fundamental principles of the government soon attracted attention. His speech on what was known , as the "Judiciary question" was much applauded by senators and warmly commended by the press. He was re-elected for the full term, but died while on his way to Washington to take his seat.
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