Thomas Butler King

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Thomas Butler King
Thomas Butler King 3c09840r.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's At-large & 1st district
In office
March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1843
March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1850
Preceded byGeorge W. Towns
Alexander Stephens
Succeeded byJohn B. Lamar
Joseph W. Jackson
Member of the Georgia Senate
In office
Personal details
BornAugust 27, 1800
Palmer, Massachusetts
DiedMay 10, 1864 (aged 63)
Waresboro, Georgia
Resting placeChurchyard of Christ Church, Frederica, St. Simons, Georgia
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Anna Matilda Page (c. 1800 – 1859)
ChildrenJohn Floyd King

Thomas Butler King I (August 27, 1800 – May 10, 1864) was an American politician from the state of Georgia.[1] Late in his life, King spent 10 years in the then-new state of California, twice trying (but failing) to become a senator from that state.

Early life[edit]

He was born on August 27, 1800 in Palmer, Massachusetts to Daniel King and Hannah Lord. He was of English descent. Among his first ancestors coming to America was John King, of Edwardstone, Suffolk, England, who, in 1715 was the first settler on a tract of land in what was then known as the Colony of Massachusetts. For a generation or more this tract of land was known as Kingstown. Afterwards it was called Palmer.[2] He attended Westfield State University and then studied law under his brother, Henry King in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar in 1822.


In 1823 he traveled with his brother, Stephen Clay King, to practice law in Waynesville, Georgia.[1][3]

In 1824 he married Anna Matilda Page (c. 1800 – 1859). They had ten children who survived to adulthood including a son, John Floyd King. Thomas was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1832 to represent Glynn County, Georgia. He served in that position in 1834, 1835, and again in 1837. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1838 to the 26th United States Congress.


He accepted an appointment in California as tax collector for the Port of San Francisco under Millard Fillmore. He then went to work as a lobbyist for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.[1][3] He also sought, unsuccessfully, to become senator from California.[3] San Francisco's King Street, near the port and major rail yards, is named after him.[4]


King died in Waresboro, Georgia on May 10, 1864. He was buried in the churchyard of Christ Church on St. Simons Island.[3]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Edward M. Steel, Jr. T. Butler King of Georgia (University of Georgia Press: 1964)


  1. ^ a b c "Thomas Butler King". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2011-11-18. Representative from Georgia; born in Palmer, Hampden County, Mass., August 27, 1800; received private instructions and also attended Westfield Academy; read law with his brother at Allentown, Pa. ...
  2. ^ Northen, W.J.; Graves, J.T. (1911). Men of Mark in Georgia: A Complete and Elaborate History of the State from Its Settlement to the Present Time, Chiefly Told in Biographies and Autobiographies of the Most Eminent Men of Each Period of Georgia's Progress and Development. 3. A. B. Caldwell. pp. 17–312. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  3. ^ a b c d "Thomas Butler King (1800-1864)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. University of Georgia Press. Retrieved 2011-11-18. King was born in Palmer, Massachusetts, the son of Daniel and Hannah Lord King. He attended Westfield Academy in Massachusetts and studied law under his brother Henry in Allentown, Pennsylvania....
  4. ^ "King Street Historical Marker". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
George W. Towns
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1843
Succeeded by
John Basil Lamar
Preceded by
Alexander H. Stephens
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1850
Succeeded by
Joseph W. Jackson