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Hall, Thomas Harmison

by Daniel M. McFarland, 1988

June 1773–30 June 1853

Thomas Harmison Hall, physician, planter, and congressman, was born in Prince George County, Va., and, after studying medicine, began a practice in Tarboro, N.C. In 1803 he married Mrs. Martha Jones Green Sitgreaves, the daughter of General Allen Jones and the widow, respectively, of James W. Green and John Sitgreaves. Hall was first elected to Congress in 1817 to take the seat previously held by James W. Clark. On Capitol Hill he always stayed at Dowson's No. 2, where he was closely associated with Nathaniel Macon, Weldon Edwards, John Randolph, and other Old Republicans of the Roanoke area. During the presidential campaign of 1824, the Old Republicans supported William H. Crawford; when the House selected Adams over Crawford and Jackson in February 1825, Hall cast his vote for Crawford. Later that year, that vote became the major issue in Hall's campaign for reelection and he was narrowly defeated by Richard Hines. In a rematch two years later, however, the physician regained his seat from Hines.

Hall was unopposed in 1829 and overcame strong opposition from Joseph R. Lloyd in 1831. Two years later Hall bested Richard Sullivan, but in 1835 he was defeated by a Whig, Ebenezer Pettigrew of Tyrrell County. In his eight terms in Congress, Hall consistently held to the convictions of the Old Republicans, advocating strict construction of the Constitution, economy in government, and states' rights. He served on House committees on Indians Affairs, Elections, and Foreign Affairs. During his second tour of duty, he was chairman of the powerful Committee on Expenditures in the Treasury Department. After his second defeat, Hall returned home to be elected by his constituents to a term in the 1836 state senate. He then resumed his medical practice and agricultural pursuits.

Hall's sister, Dorothy, was the wife of the Tory Ralph MacNair. One of their children, Edmond Duncan, practiced medicine in Edgecombe County, as did his uncle. Hall was buried in the MacNair Cemetery near Tarboro. His tombstone bears the inscription, "Friend of Macon and Randolph."

References:

Biog. Dir. Am. Cong. (1971).

P. M. Goldman and J. S. Young, eds., The United States Congressional Directory (1973).

W. S. Hoffmann, Andrew Jackson and North Carolina Politics (1971).

Daniel M. McFarland, "Rip Van Winkle: Political Evolution in North Carolina, 1815–1835" (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1954).

Additional Resources:

"Hall, Thomas H., (1773 - 1853)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=H000072 (accessed March 26, 2014).

Lichtenstein, Gaston. Louis D. Wilson, Mexican war martyr, also, Thos. H. Hall, Andrew Johnson as he really was, and, Our town common; four articles. Richmond, Va.: H. T. Ezekiel, printer. 1911. http://archive.org/stream/louisdwilsonmexi00lichrich#page/8/mode/2up (accessed March 26, 2014).

Thomas H. Hall to John Gray Blount, H. Reps., Jan. 23, 1821. John Gray Blount papers: Volume 4. Raleigh [N.C.]:
North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History. 1982. 329-330. http://digital.ncdcr.gov/cdm/ref/collection/p249901coll22/id/458151 (accessed March 26, 2014).

Origin - location: 

Comments

Cong. Thomas Hall middle name "Harmison." His Grandfather, lawyer Thomas Hall's spelled "Harminson" & ID'd as atty. of Pitt Co., in 5/1786 Edgecombe D (ECDB 4, p.384.) Document recorded by Edward Hall, CC, son of lawyer Thomas Harminson & 1st cousin of doctor Thomas Harmison. When doc. entered public record, Dr. Hall 13 y/o. Possible
Harmison/Harminson variants of same surname, results from clerical error, etc.

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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