Thomas Spalding

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Thomas Spalding (March 25, 1774 – January 5, 1851)[1] was a United States Representative from Georgia. He was born in Frederica, Georgia, St. Simons Island, Glynn County, Georgia. He attended the common schools of Georgia and Florida and a private school in Massachusetts. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1795,[2] but did not practice. He engaged extensively in agricultural pursuits.[3]

Spalding served as a member of the state constitutional convention in 1798. He was a member of the Georgia Senate in 1799.[4] After traveling for 18 months in England and France, he moved to McIntosh County, Georgia, in 1803 and then again served in the Georgia Senate. He successfully contested, as a Democratic-Republican candidate, the election of Federalist party candidate Cowles Mead to the Ninth Congress and served from December 24, 1805, until his resignation in 1806. He served as a trustee of the McIntosh County Academy in 1807 and was one of the founders of the Bank of Darien and of the branch in Milledgeville, Georgia, and president for many years.

Spalding engaged in cultivation of Sea Island Cotton as a commodity crop on Sapelo Island, Georgia. According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia, he owned 350 slaves. In 1830, he owned 400 slaves.[5] In 1840, he owned 348 slaves.[6] In 1850, he owned 200 slaves.[7]

In 1826 he was appointed as a commissioner of the State of Georgia to determine the boundary line between Georgia and the Territory of Florida. He served as a commissioner from the United States of America to Bermuda to negotiate relative to property taken or destroyed in the South by the British in the War of 1812. He was a president of the convention at Milledgeville, Georgia in 1850, which resolved that the State of Georgia would resist any act of Congress abolishing slavery. He died in 1851, while en route home, at the residence of his son near Darien, Georgia, named Ashantilly. He was buried in St. Andrew's Cemetery.

Thomas Spalding is the namesake to Spalding County, Georgia.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Cowles Mead
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

December 24, 1805 – 1806
Succeeded by
William Wyatt Bibb

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Coulter p. 5. (The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress cites only Coulter but got his birth date and other facts wrong....)
  2. ^ Coulter p. 12
  3. ^ United States Congress. "Thomas Spalding (id: S000698)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  4. ^ Coulter p. 17
  5. ^ 1830 United States Census, United States Census, 1830; District 21, McIntosh, Georgia;. Retrieved on 20 February 2016.
  6. ^ 1840 United States Census, United States Census, 1840; Davison, Mcintosh, Georgia;. Retrieved on 20 February 2016.
  7. ^ 1850 United States Census, Slave Schedules, United States Census, 1850; District 271, McIntosh, Georgia;. Retrieved on 20 February 2016.
  8. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 209. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.


  • Coulter, E. Merton. Thomas Spalding of Sapelo. University, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1940.