Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HENDRICKS, William, statesman, born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, in 1783; died in Madison, Indiana, 16 May, 1850. His father was a pioneer settler of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and a member of the legislature of that state. The son received a common school education, and removed to Indiana in 1814, being one of the first settlers of the town of Madison. He was chosen secretary of the first State constitutional convention, was elected to congress as a Democrat on the admission of the state, and was three times re-elected, sitting as the sole representative from Wisconsin from 12 December, 1816, till 1822, when he resigned, having been elected governor of Indiana. He was elected a senator in congress for the term beginning 5 December, 1825, and was re-elected for the succeeding term, serving till 3 March, 1837. In the senate he served as chairman of the committee on roads and canals.--His nephew, Thomas Andrews, vice president of the United States, born near Zanesville, Ohio, 7 September, 1819 ; died in Indianapolis, Indiana, 25 November, 1885, was the son of John Hendricks, who, six months after the birth of his son, removed to Madison, Indiana, then the residence of his brother William. John Hendricks was appointed by President Jackson a deputy surveyor of public lands, and long served in that capacity. In 1832 he located a homestead on the site of the present town of Shelbville. Here Thomas A. Hendricks passed his boyhood till he entered South Hanover college, Indiana, where he was graduated in 1841. He then went to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, studied law in the office of his uncle, Judge Thomson, was admitted to the bar in 1843, and returned to Shelbyville to practise. He attained an immediate success in his profession. In 1845 he married Eliza C. Morgan. In the same year he was sent to the legislature, where he served one term, but would not accept a re-election. In 1851 he was elected, without opposition, a member of the convention to revise and amend the constitution of Indiana. In 1850, and again in 1852, he was elected a member of congress as a Democrat. At the close of his second term he intended to return to his law practice, but President Pierce appointed him commissioner of the general land-office, and he served in that capacity for four years. In 1860 he was nominated as Democratic candidate for the governorship of Indiana, but was defeated by Henry S. Lane. In the same year Mr. Hendricks removed from Shelbyville to Indianapolis. From 1863 till 1869 Mr. Hendricks was a member of the United States senate from Indiana, and was one of the leaders on the Democratic side, serving on the committees on claims, the judiciary, public lands, and naval affairs. He strongly combated the Republican plan of reconstruction, and opposed the amendments to the constitution as being hasty. In 1864 he advocated and voted for large appropriations to bring the war to a close, and spoke eloquently in favor of increasing the pay of the soldiers fifty per cent., because of the depreciation of the currency. In the Democratic national convention of 1868, in New York, on the twenty-first ballot, he received 132 votes as candidate for the presidency, standing next to General Hancock, who received 1351/2; but on the final ballot Horatio Seymour was nominated. In the autumn of that year he was again a candidate for the governorship of Indiana, but was defeated by the Republican candidate, Conrad Baker, who afterward became his law partner. At the close of his senatorial term he returned to Indianapolis, and resumed the practice of his profession. In 1872 he was elected governor of Indiana, defeating Thomas M. Brown. In July, 1874, he was permanent chairman of the State Democratic convention at Indianapolis. In the National Democratic convention at St. Louis in June, 1876, he received 13312 votes for the presidential nomination, and, when Samuel J. Tilden was nominated, he received 730 out of 738 votes as candidate for the vice presidency. He was a member of the National Democratic convention at Chicago in July, 1884, and in behalf of the Indiana delegation nominated Joseph E. McDonald, of that state, for the presidency. After the nomination of Grover Cleveland, William A. Wallace, of Pennsylvania, nominated Thomas A. Hendricks for the vice presidency, and his nomination was unanimously approved by the convention.
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