Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HICKS, Thomas Holliday, statesman, born in Dorchester county, Maryland, 2 September, 1798; died in Washington, D. C., 13 February, 1865. He worked on his father's farm in boyhood, received a plain education, and was constable and sheriff of his county until he engaged in mercantile pursuits in 1831. In 1836 he was elected to the state house of representatives. He became register of wills in 1838, in 1849 was a member of the Constitutional convention, and from 1858 till 1862 was governor of Maryland, strongly opposing secession. His firmness and adroit management were among the efficient means of saving Maryland to the Union. He refused, in a published address, to call a special meeting of the legislature to consider an ordinance of secession, although he was formally requested to do so by a majority of the state senate, who were sympathizers with the seceding states, and, when the attack on the Massachusetts 6th regiment was made in Baltimore, he issued a proclamation declaring that all his authority would be exercised in favor of the government. He was appointed to the United States senate as a Republican on the death of James A. Pearce, was subsequently elected by the legislature, serving from 1863 till his death. His term would have ended in 1867. In the senate he was a member of the committees on naval affairs.
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