Washington (DC) Times
February 9, 1900
page 1

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A Former Secretary of the Navy Passes Away

Terre Haute, Indiana, Feb. 9 – Col. Richard W. Thompson, former Secretary of the Navy, died at 1:10 o'clock this morning.

Richard W. Thompson was born in Culpepper County, Va., June 9, 1809. He received a classical education, removing to Kentucky in 1831 in which state he engaged in mercantile pursuits for a short while. From Louisville, in 1832, Thompson went to Lawrence County, Indiana, where he alternately taught school and clerked in mercantile houses, meanwhile assiduously studying law at night. He was admitted to the bar in 1834 and began the practice of his profession at Bedford, Ind.

He rapidly rose to prominence, and in the autumn of 1834 was elected a Representative to the state legislature, two years later being sent to the State Senate and after serving two terms in that body was, in 1840, elected to the Twenty-seventh Congress as a Whig.

He was then a man of national reputation and was one of the founders of the Republican Party and framed the National Republican platform at Chicago in 1860.

Mr. Thompson rounded out his long and busy life as a public man as Secretary of the Navy under Rutherford B. Hayes, being appointed March 2, 1877, retiring in 1881, just at the expiration of the presidential term, and was succeeded by Nathan W. Goff, Jr., of West Virginia.

Typed and donated by Randi Richardson.