Samuel R. Thayer

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Samuel R. Thayer.jpg

Samuel R. Thayer (December 12, 1837 – January 7, 1909) was an American attorney and diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to the Netherlands.


Samuel Richard Thayer was born in Richmond, New York on December 12, 1837. He graduated from Union College in 1860 and taught school for two years. He then relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, studied law with Francis R. E. Cornell, attained admission to the bar, and established a practice in Minneapolis.[1][2]

A Republican, Thayer was interested in higher education and served as a member of the Minnesota State Normal School Board from 1873 to 1877.[3]

In 1889 President Benjamin Harrison appointed Thayer as Ambassador to the Netherlands, where he served until 1893.[4]

Besides maintaining a thriving law practice, Thayer was a successful businessman, including profitable investments in Minnesota real estate, and he made substantial donations to normal schools and colleges throughout the state. In 1892 he received an honorary LL.D. degree from Union College.[5] Later in his career he maintained homes and offices in both Minneapolis and New York City.

Thayer died in Rochester, New York on January 7, 1909 while visiting his brother.[6] He was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.[7]


  1. ^ John William Leonard, Albert Nelson Marquis, Who's Who in America, Volume 3, 1903, page 1469
  2. ^ Minnesota Historical Society, Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Volume 15, 1915, pages 804 to 805
  3. ^ James Grant Wilson, John Fiske, Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography, Volume 7, 1901, page 262
  4. ^ Andrew Van Vranken Raymond, Union University: Its History, Influence, Characteristics and Equipment, Volume 2, 1907, page 145
  5. ^ Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission, Official Minutes, 1909, page 751
  6. ^ New York Times, Samuel R. Thayer Dead, January 8, 1909
  7. ^ Samuel R. Thayer at Find A Grave
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Robert Roosevelt
U.S. Minister to the Netherlands
Succeeded by
William E. Quinby