Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GILMER, Thomas Walker, statesman, born in Virginia; died near Washington, D. C., 28 February, 1844. He studied law, practiced in Charlottesville, Virginia, and served for many years in the state legislature, for two sessions as speaker. In 1840-'1 he was governor of Virginia. In 1841 he entered congress, and. although he had been elected as a Whig, sustained President Tyler's vetoes. He was re-elected as a Democrat in 1842 by a close vote. His competitor, William L. Goggin, contested the result without success. On 15 February, 1844, he was appointed by President Tyler secretary of the navy, and resigned his seat in congress on 18 February to enter on the duties of the office, but ten days later was killed by the bursting of a gun on board the United States steamer "Princeton."
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