Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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McKENNAN, Thomas McKean Thompson, lawyer, born in New Castle county, Pennsylvania, 31 March, 1794; died in Reading, Pennsylvania, 9 July, 1852. He was graduated at Washington college, Pennsylvania, in 1810, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1814, and was deputy attorney-general for the county in 1815-'17. He soon won a place in the front rank of his profession, and received from Jefferson college the degree of doctor of laws. He was elected as a Whig to congress, serving from 5 December, i831, till 3 March, 1839, and again from 31 May, 1841, till 3 March, 1843, was a presidential elector in 1840, president of the electoral college in 1848, and in 1850 was offered the secretaryship of the interior in the cabinet of President Fillmore. Reluctantly accepting, he went to Washington, but soon became disgusted with official routine and the importunities of place-hunters, and resigned after scarcely a month's tenure of office.
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