Thomas J. D. Fuller

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Thomas J. D. Fuller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1857
Preceded byIsrael Washburn Jr.
Succeeded byStephen Clark Foster
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1853
Preceded byHezekiah Williams
Succeeded byDistrict abolished
Personal details
Born(1808-03-17)March 17, 1808
Hardwick, Vermont
DiedFebruary 13, 1876(1876-02-13) (aged 67)
Upperville, Virginia
Resting placeOak Hill Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Titcomb (m. 1836-1840, her death)
Jane (Jennie) Elizabeth Doolittle (m. 1869-1876, his death)

Thomas James Duncan Fuller (March 17, 1808 – February 13, 1876) was a United States Representative from Maine.

Early life[edit]

Fuller was born in Hardwick, Vermont on March 17, 1808.[1] He was the oldest of four children born to Martin Fuller (1780-1816) and Letitia (Duncan) Fuller (1780-1817), and following the deaths of his parents he was raised by relatives while attending the common schools of Caldeonia County.[2]

Start of career[edit]

Fuller studied law with Isaac Fletcher at the same time as Thomas Bartlett Jr.[3] He was admitted to the bar in 1833 and moved to Calais, Maine to enter into a law partnership with George M. Chase, who had also studied under Fletcher before moving to Maine.[3][4] Fuller had been active in the Democratic-Republican Party (then called Republican, later called Democratic) while living in Vermont,[5][6] and continued that affiliation in Maine.[7] After moving to Maine, Fuller was also active in the state militia, and served as judge advocate of the militia's 7th Division.[8]


He was elected as a Democrat to the 31st Congress.[9] He was reelected three times, and served from March 4, 1849 to March 3, 1857.[9] He was chairman of the Committee on Commerce in the 33rd Congress.[10] His opponent James A. Milliken contested Fuller's 1854 reelection, but the House ruled that Fuller was entitled to the seat.[11]

In Congress, Fuller aligned himself with northern Democrats who supported concessions on the slavery question as a way to keep the southern states from seceding. He voted in favor of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.[12] He offered an amendment to the Kansas–Nebraska Act which would have left to the territorial legislatures rather than the federal government the decision on whether to allow slavery, in effect allowing slavery north of the Mason-Dixon Line.[13] The amendment failed to pass, and Fuller voted against passage of the final bill.[14]

At the same time he advocated for concessions on slavery, Fuller also made contributions to the American Colonization Society, believing that repatriation of slaves to Africa could also be a way to prevent secession.[15] As Maine turned increasingly against slavery and the newly-formed Republican Party gained influence, Fuller was increasingly out of step with his constituents.[9] He was not a candidate for renomination in 1856.[9]

Later life[edit]

He was appointed by President James Buchanan as Second Auditor of the Treasury and served from April 15, 1857 to August 3, 1861.[16] He then engaged in the practice of law before the United States Supreme Court and the Court of Claims in Washington, D.C.[9] During the American Civil War, Fuller supported the Union, and was active in the Maine Soldiers' Relief Association.[17]

Death and burial[edit]

He died near Upperville, Virginia on February 13, 1876 after having become ill while visiting his son.[9] His was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C.[18]


In 1836, Fuller married Elizabeth Titcomb, who died in 1864.[19][20] In 1869, he married Jane (Jennie) Elizabeth Doolittle (1840-1923).[19] With his first wife, he was the father of son William (1837-1886), a graduate of the United States Military Academy who served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.[19] His son with his second wife, Thomas J. D. Fuller Jr. (1870-1940), a prominent Washington, DC architect.[19]


  1. ^ "Obituary: Ex-Congressman Fuller". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, PA. February 15, 1876. p. 1 – via
  2. ^ Hyslop, William Fuller (1908). Fuller Genealogy. Palmer, MA: C.B. Fiske & Co. p. 81, 85-86.
  3. ^ a b "Lyndon: Thomas J. D. Fuller". Vermont Journal. Windsor, VT. March 18, 1876. p. 5 – via
  4. ^ "Death of Geo. M. Chase". Orange County Journal. Bradford, VT. March 8, 1956. p. 1 – via
  5. ^ "Democratic Meeting". Vermont Patriot and State Gazette. Montpelier, VT. June 24, 1833. p. 2 – via
  6. ^ "Republican Convention". Vermont Republican and Journal. Windsor, VT. June 21, 1833. p. 3 – via
  7. ^ "Maine:Senatorial Convention in the Eighth District". The Washington Union. Washington, DC. October 8, 1845. p. 3 – via
  8. ^ Harris, Samuel L. (1843). The Maine Register and National Calendar for the Year 1843. Augusta, ME: Daniel C. Stanwood. p. 103.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Death Notice, Hon. Thomas J. D. Fuller". Rutland Daily Globe. Rutland, VT. February 17, 1876. p. 2 – via
  10. ^ "House Committees". The Weekly Mississippian. Jackson, MS. December 23, 1853. p. 2 – via
  11. ^ Rives, John C. (May 2, 1856). "April 29, 1856: The Maine Contested Election". Congressional Globe. Washington, DC. p. 1061.
  12. ^ May, Samuel (1861). The Fugitive Slave Law and Its Victims. New York, NY: American Anti-Slavery Society. p. 6.
  13. ^ "Northern Sentiment". Nashville Union and American. Nashville, TN. June 24, 1854. p. 2 – via
  14. ^ "Final Passage of the Nebraska Bill". Summit County Beacon. Akron, OH. May 31, 1854. p. 3 – via
  15. ^ "Receipts of the American Colonization Society". The African Repository. Washington, DC: American Colonization Society. November 1, 1856. p. 250.
  16. ^ "Special Dispatches: Thomas J. D. Fuller". Cleveland Tri-Weekly Leader. Cleveland, OH. August 3, 1861. p. 1 – via
  17. ^ "Maine Soldiers' Relief Association". The National Republican. Washington, DC. June 24, 1862. p. 3 – via
  18. ^ Spencer, Thomas E. (1998). Where They're Buried. Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Company. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-8063-4823-0.
  19. ^ a b c d Fuller Genealogy, p. 86.
  20. ^ "Death Notice, Elizabeth D. Fuller". The Evening Star. Washington, DC. September 13, 1964. p. 3 – via

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Hezekiah Williams
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 7th congressional district

March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1853
Succeeded by
District eliminated
Preceded by
Israel Washburn Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 6th congressional district

March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1857
Succeeded by
Stephen C. Foster