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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Chapman, Hon. Thomas Daniel

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Chapman, Hon. Thomas Daniel, M.L.C., was born at Bedford, England, and came to Tasmania about 1844, becoming a leading merchant in Hobart. Entering on politics, he was returned for the City as a member of the first semi-elective Legislative Council which met in 1851. He became the leader of the Liberal party; having much to do with the cessation of transportation and the concession of responsible government, on lines which he largely shaped, in 1850. He joined the Champ Ministry—the first formed under the new régime—and held office as Colonial Treasurer from Nov. 1st, 1856, to Feb. 26th, 1857. After four years and a half in Opposition he himself became Premier on August 2nd, 1861. At first he held no portfolio, but on Nov. 1st in the next year assumed that of Colonial Treasurer. He resigned, with his colleagues, on Jan. 20th, 1863, and, after four years spent in opposition to the Whyte Ministry, reassumed office as Colonial Treasurer, under Sir Richard Dry, on Nov. 24th, 1866. On the reconstruction of the Ministry under Mr. (afterwards Sir) James Milne-Wilson, on August 4th, 1869, Mr. Chapman continued to hold the Treasurership till the retirement of the Ministry, on Nov. 4th, 1872. His six years' tenure of the post was the longest since responsible government was inaugurated. Mr. Chapman left the Assembly for the Legislative Council in 1873, when he was returned for Buckingham, a constituency which he represented till his death. He took office for the last time on August 4th, 1873, becoming Colonial Secretary in Mr. Kennerley's Government, but resigned on April 1st, 1876. On July 11th, 1882, he succeeded Mr. Innes as President of the Legislative Council, a position which he held till his demise on Feb. 17th, 1884.