Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Tucker, Thomas Tudor

Edition of 1889.  Col. Benjamin Stoddert Ewell wrote the section on Judge St. George Tucker; Col. John Thomas Scharf wrote the section on one, or perhaps both, of the people named John Randolph Tucker.

TUCKER, Thomas Tudor, member of the Continental congress, b. in Port Royal, Bermuda, in 1745; d. in Washington, D. C., 2 May, 1828. He studied medicine, emigrated to South Carolina, and took the patriot side in the Revolution. He was a delegate to the Continental congress in 1787-'8, and sat in the first two congresses under the Federal constitution. From 1 Dec., 1801, till the time of his death he was treasurer of the United States. He published an oration that was delivered in Charleston before the South Carolina Society of the Cincinnati (Charleston, 1795). —

His brother, St. George, jurist, b. in the island of Bermuda, 10 July, 1752; d. in Warminster, Nelson co., Va., 10 Nov., 1828, came to Virginia in 1771 to complete his education, was graduated at William and Mary in 1772, finished a course of law, and began practice in the colonial courts. In June, 1775, he returned to Bermuda, but he came again to Virginia in January, 1777, and bore arms in defence of the colonies, serving as lieutenant-colonel at the siege of Yorktown. In 1778 he married Frances Bland, mother of John Randolph. After the war he resumed the practice of law, was made a judge of the general court of Virginia in 1787, and in 1789 professor of law in the College of William and Mary, succeeding Chancellor George Wythe. He was appointed in 1804 president-judge of the Virginia court of appeals, and in 1813 judge of the U. S. district court of Virginia. He was a member of the Annapolis convention of 1786 that recommended the convention by which the constitution was formed. He was a poet as well as a jurist. William and Mary college gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1790, and he left dramas — tragedy and comedy — and several minor poems, some of them gems. The one entitled “Resignation,” beginning “Days of my youth,” was highly praised by John Adams. “The Probationary Odes of Jonathan Pindar, Esq., a Cousin of Peter's, and a Candidate for the Post of Poet Laureate, to the C. U. S. In Two Parts,” is the title of a volume of political satires by Judge Tucker (1796). He also published “Dissertation on Slavery, with a Proposition for its Gradual Abolition in Virginia” (1796); “Letters on the Alien and Sedition Laws” (1799); an essay on the question “How far the Common Law of England is the Common Law of the United States?” an annotated edition of Blackstone's commentaries (Philadelphia, 1803); and a “Commentary on the Constitution,” as an appendix to the last-mentioned work. — Another brother was Dr. Nathaniel, who, when very young, published a poem called “The Bermudian” (London, 1774). — A relative, George, philosopher, b. in Bermuda in 1775; d. in Sherwood, Albemarle co., Va., 10 April, 1861, emigrated to Virginia about 1787, and was educated under the direction of St. George. He was graduated at William and Mary in 1797, studied law, and practised in Lynchburg. He was a member of the Virginia house of delegates for some time, and was thrice elected to the National house of representatives, serving from 6 Dec., 1819, till 3 March, 1825. On retiring from, congress, in which he occupied a prominent position as a debater and a constitutional lawyer, he became professor of moral philosophy and political economy in the University of Virginia, and filled that chair for twenty years. He contributed to many newspapers and magazines, wrote some of the papers in William Wirt's “British Spy,” signing them “An Enquirer,” was the author of “Letters on the Conspiracy of Slaves in Virginia” (Richmond, 1800); “Letters on the Roanoke Navigation” (1811); “Recollections of Eleanor Rosalie Tucker” (Lynchburg, 1819); “Essays on Subjects of Taste, Morals, and National Policy,” by “A Citizen of Virginia” (Georgetown, 1822); “The Valley of the Shenandoah” (New York, 1824), a novel that was reprinted in England and translated into the German language; a satirical romance entitled “A Voyage to the Moon,” under the pen-name of “Joseph Atterley” (1827); “Principles of Rent, Wages, and Profits” (Philadelphia, 1837); “Public Discourse on the Literature of the United States” (Charlottesville, 1837); “Life of Thomas Jefferson, with Parts of his Correspondence” (Philadelphia and London, 1837); “The Theory of Money and Banks Investigated” (Boston, 1839); “Essay on Cause and Effect” (Philadelphia, 1842); “Essay on the Association of Ideas” (1843); “Public Discourse on the Dangers most Threatening to the United States” (Washington, 1843); “Progress of the United, States in Population and Wealth in Fifty Years” (New York, 1843); “Memoir of the Life and Character of Dr. John P. Emmet” (Philadelphia, 1845); “Correspondence with Alexander H. Everett on Political Economy” (1845); “History of the United States from their Colonization to the End of the Twenty-sixth Congress in 1841” (4 vols., 1856-'8); “Banks or No Banks” (New York, 1857); and “Essays, Moral and Philosophical” (1860). — St. George's eldest son, Henry St. George, b. in Williamsburg, Va., 29 Dec., 1780; d. in Winchester, Va., 28 Aug., 1848, was educated at the College of William and Mary, and became a lawyer, settling at Winchester, Va., in 1802. He was a volunteer officer in the war of 1812, served as a member of the U. S. house of representatives from 1815 till 1819, and in the Virginia senates from 1819 till 1823. He was appointed chancellor of the state in 1824, and served till 1831, when he was made president-judge of the Virginia court of appeals, which post he resigned in 1841, being then elected professor of law at the University of Virginia. This post he resigned in 1845 because of feeble health. He was tendered the attorney-generalship of the United States by Andrew Jackson, but declined. While he was chancellor he established a successful private law-school at Winchester. William and Mary gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1837. He published “Commentaries on the Law of Virginia” (2 vols., Winchester, 1836-'7); “Lectures on Constitutional Law” (Richmond, 1843); and “Lectures on Natural Law and Government” (Charlottesville, 1844). — St. George's second son, Nathaniel Beverley, b. at Williamsburg, James City co., Va., 6 Sept., 1784; d. in Winchester, Va., 26 Aug., 1851, was generally known by his second name. He was graduated at William and Mary in 1801, studied law, and practised in Virginia until 1815, when he moved to Missouri, where he was a judge in the circuit court till 1830. Returning to Virginia, he was elected in 1834 professor of law in William and Mary, which post he filled with signal ability till his death. As a writer he excelled any of his Virginia contemporaries. His most remarkable work is “The Partisan Leader: a Tale of the Future, by Edward William Sydney” (2 vols., New York, 1836; Washington, 1837). This was printed secretly, bearing the fictitious date 1856, and purported to be a historical novel of the events between 1836 and that year. In its accurate delineation of events between 1861 and 1865 it seems almost prophetic. It was reprinted with the title “A Key to the Disunion Conspiracy” (2 vols., New York, 1861). His other works include “George Balcombe,” a novel (1836); “Discourse on the Importance of the Study of Political Science as a Branch of Academic Education in the United States” (Richmond, 1840); “Discourse on the Dangers that threaten the Free Institutions of the United States” (1841); “Lectures intended to Prepare the Student for the Study of the Constitution of the United States” (Philadelphia, 1845); and “Principles of Pleading” (Boston, 1846). He left an unfinished life of his half-brother, John Randolph of Roanoke. He wrote a great number of political and miscellaneous essays, and was a large contributor to the “Southern Literary Messenger,” of Richmond, Va., and to the “Southern Quarterly Review.” He also maintained an extensive correspondence with scholars and politicians, and the influence of his mind was felt by all such with whom he came in contact. — Henry St. George's son, Nathaniel Beverley, journalist, b. in Winchester, Va.. 8 June, 1820, was educated at the University of Virginia, founded the Washington “Sentinel” in 1853, was elected printer to the U. S. senate in December of that year, and in 1857 was appointed consul to Liverpool, remaining till 1861. He was sent by the Confederate government in 1862 to England and France, and in 1863-'4 to Canada, to obtain commissary supplies. He went to Mexico after the civil war closed, was there till Maximilian's reign came to an end, then returned to the United States, and has since resided in Washington, D. C., and Berkeley Springs, W. Va. — Another son, John Randolph, statesman, b. in Winchester, Va., 24 Dec., 1823, received his early education at a private school near his home, entered Richmond academy, and finished his studies at the University of Virginia, where he was graduated in law in 1844. He was admitted to the bar in 1845, and began the practice of his profession in Winchester. He was a presidential elector on the Democratic ticket in 1852 and 1856, was elected attorney-general of Virginia in May, 1857, to fill an unexpired term, and was re-elected in 1859 and in 1863. He was dispossessed of this office by the results of the war. He was elected professor of equity and public law in Washington and Lee university, Lexington, in 1870, and continued in this office until he was elected in 1874 to congress, of which he was a member till 1887. He was for a short time chairman of the ways and means committee, and was a member of that committee for eight years. He was chairman of the judiciary committee in the 48th and 49th congresses. Mr. Tucker is an orator of much power, and has taken an active part in the debates on the tariff, in opposition to the protective policy. His speeches on other questions include those on the electoral commission bill, the constitutional doctrine as to the presidential count, the Hawaiian treaty in 1876, the use of the army at the polls, in 1879, and Chinese emigration, in 1883. He delivered an address before the Social science association in 1877, and one in 1887 before the law-school of Yale, which in that year gave him the degree of LL. D. — Another son, St. George, was a lawyer by profession, and was clerk of the Virginia legislature. He joined the Confederate army, held a lieutenant-colonel's commission, and died from exposure in the seven days' battles around Richmond. He was the author of “Hansford: a Tale of Bacon's Rebellion” (Richmond, 1853); “The Southern Crop”; and the dedicatory poem of Washington's equestrian statue at Richmond. — Their kinsman, John Randolph, naval officer, b. in Alexandria, Va., 31 Jan., 1812; d. in Petersburg, Va., 12 June, 1883. He received his early education in his native city, and on 1 June, 1826, entered the U. S. navy as a midshipman. He became lieutenant, 20 Dec., 1837, served as executive officer on board the bomb-brig “Stromboli” during the war with Mexico, and participated in the capture of Tabasco and other naval operations. During the latter part of the war Tucker succeeded to the command of the vessel. On 14 Sept., 1855, he received his commission as a commander, and was ordered to take charge of the receiving-ship “Pennsylvania” at Norfolk. His next post was that of ordnance-officer of the Norfolk navy-yard. He resigned his commission on 18 April, 1861, after the passage by Virginia of a secession ordinance, and on 21 April was appointed a commander in the Virginia navy. On 22 April he was directed by Gov. Letcher to “conduct the naval defences of James river,” but on 3 June he was ordered to the command of the steamer “Yorktown,” which afterward became the “Patrick Henry.” When Virginia joined the Confederate states, Tucker, with all other officers of the state navy, was transferred to the Confederate service with the same rank he had held in the U. S. navy. The “Patrick Henry” participated in the various conflicts in Hampton Roads, including the battle between the “Merrimac” and the “Monitor” on 9 March, and on the 13th Tucker was placed in command of the wooden fleet. Soon after the repulse of the National squadron at Drewry's Bluff, in which his vessel took part, Tucker was promoted on 13 May, 1863, to the rank of captain, and ordered to Charleston, S. C., where he commanded the Confederate naval forces as flag-officer of the station. When Charleston was evacuated in February, 1865, Capt. Tucker returned to Drewry's Bluff, organized the naval brigade, and commanded it there until Richmond was evacuated, when he reported to Gen. Robert E. Lee, and was attached to Custis Lee's division of Gen. Swell's corps, which formed the rear-guard of the Confederate army on the retreat from Richmond. In 1866 Capt. Tucker was appointed to the command of the Peruvian navy with the rank of rear-admiral. During the war between Peru, Chili, and Spain he commanded the combined fleets of the two republics. When that war ceased, his rank and emoluments were continued, and he was made president of the Peruvian hydrographic commission of the Amazon. His last service was the exploration and survey of the upper Amazon and its tributaries. In a short time he returned to Petersburg, Va., where he died.