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Thomas Lyon Hamer

In office
1833 - 1839

Born July, 1800
Northumberland County, Pennsylvania
Died December 2, 1846
Monterrey, Mexico
Political party Jacksonian Democrat
Profession Lawyer, Soldier

Thomas Lyon Hamer (July 1800 ‚Äď December 2, 1846) was a United States congressman and soldier.

Hamer was born in July, 1800 in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. He was a school teacher before being admitted to the bar in 1821. He practiced law in Georgetown, Ohio and was elected as an Ohio state representative and served as Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives in 1829 and was then elected to the U.S. Congress. While serving as a congressman he nominated Hiram Ulysses Grant, the son of a constituent, to be a cadet at West Point. Hamer incorrectly put on the nomination the name "Ulysses Simpson Grant" and the name stayed with the new cadet.

When the Mexican-American War broke out Hamer volunteered as a private in the Ohio Volunteers. Popular and well respected, Hamer was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers the next day, July 1, 1846. He was placed in command of the 1st Brigade of William O. Butler's Volunteer Division of the Army of Occupation. He led his brigade with distinction into the fighting at the battle of Monterrey. When General Butler fell wounded, Hamer assumed command of the division. When Mexican General Pedro de Ampudia requested to discuss surrender terms, it was Hamer who delivered the message to General Taylor. While still serving in the army he was elected to another term in Congress but died unexpectedly while stationed with the army at Monterrey on December 2, 1846. Upon Hamer's death, General Zachary Taylor exclaimed "I have lost the balance wheel of my volunteer army" and Lt. Ulysses S. Grant also lamented that the "U.S. has lost a future president".

He was buried in his hometown of Georgetown. A few miles away the town of Hamersville, Ohio was named in his honor.

References

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