Benjamin Tappan ( born May 25, 1773 in Northampton, Massachusetts, † April 20, 1857 in Steubenville, Ohio) was a judge in Ohio and Democratic politician who served in the Senate of Ohio and in the U.S. Senate.
Tappan was the second child and eldest son of Benjamin Tappan and his wife Sarah, a grandniece of Benjamin Franklin. His younger brothers Arthur and Lewis were abolitionists. He attended the public schools in Northampton and traveled in his youth the West Indies. Tappan was trained as a printer and engraver and studied painting under Gilbert Stuart. As Tappan studied law, he was admitted to the Bar Association of Hartford ( Connecticut ). In 1799 he moved to the Connecticut Western Reserve and later founded the city of Ravenna.
In 1801 he married Nancy Wright. The marriage went forth a son. From 1803 to 1804 he served in the Senate from Ohio. In 1809 he moved to Steubenville, where he began his legal practice again. After Tappan had served in the British- American War, he held various activities as a judge, including as District Judge. After his wife died, he married in 1823 Betsy Frazer. From this marriage also went a son.
In 1832 he was a member of the Electoral College; the following year he was appointed a judge of the Federal District Court for the District of Ohio. As the U.S. Senate confirmed his appointment but not, Tappan held the office only until May 29, 1834. He was in 1838 elected to the U.S. Senate, in which he had from 1839 to 1845 a seat. From 1842 to 1845 he was Chairman of the Committee there to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses. 1844 was pronounced against Tappan a complaint for disorderly conduct. He had the newspaper New York Evening Post revealed the contents of a secret message from President John Tyler, the conditions were listed for the annexation of Texas.