Thomas Amos Rogers Nelson

Thomas Amos Rogers Nelson ( born March 19, 1812 in Kingston, Roane County, Tennessee; † August 24, 1873 in Knoxville, Tennessee ) was an American politician. Between 1859 and 1861 he represented the state of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives.


After primary school, Thomas Nelson attended until 1828, the East Tennessee College, today's University of Tennessee. After a subsequent study of law and its made ​​in 1832 admitted to the bar he began in Washington County to work in his new profession. Twice he was elected district attorney for the first judicial district of Tennessee. In the 1830s he became a member of the Whig party. He supported their candidates for political office at all levels of government. In 1851 he was appointed as the American ambassador in Imperial China. But this appointment, he refused for financial reasons.

After the dissolution of his party mid-1850s Nelson joined the short-lived opposition party. In the congressional elections of 1858 he was appointed as the first candidate in the electoral district of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where he became the successor of Albert Galiton Watkins on March 4, 1859. There he joined during the debates about a possible exit of the southern states - including his home state of Tennessee - vehemently opposed the secession of one. Nelson was a strong supporter of the Union. After a re-election as a Unionist in 1860, he could spend another term in Congress until March 3, 1863. On his way to the capital, where he would begin his second term in Congress, he was captured by agents of the Confederacy and initially detained in Richmond ( Virginia). Later he was released on parole and placed in his home in Tennessee, more or less until the arrival of the Union troops in 1863 under house arrest. After that he went under the protection of the Union Army to Knoxville. There he sat down for a quick resumption of Tennessee in the Union. Despite his support for the Union, he was an opponent of the emancipation of slaves by President Abraham Lincoln.

After the Civil War Nelson was a staunch opponent of the Radical Republicans. In 1866 he was a delegate to the Union Convention in Philadelphia. He then became a member of the Democratic Party. In 1868 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in New York. While operated by the radical Republicans impeachment of Andrew Johnson, Nelson had known since his youth in Tennessee, he was one of the defenders of the President. In the years 1870 and 1871 Thomas Nelson judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court was this office he gave up to defend his son David, who had James Holt Clanton, a lawyer from Alabama and former General of the Army of the Confederacy shot. Nelson pleaded successfully to self-defense and was able to obtain an acquittal for his son, who joined in the Southern states to large rejection and indignation. He died on 24 August 1873 of cholera.