Allen G. Thurman

From Ohio History Central

Allen Granberry Thurman was born on November 13, 1813, in Lynchburg, Virginia. He moved with his family to Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1819. Thurman was educated at the Chillicothe Academy. Upon reaching adulthood he became an attorney and embarked upon a political career. His first taste in politics was as Governor Robert Lucas' private secretary. In 1835, Thurman passed the Ohio bar exam and established a law practice in Chillicothe. From 1845 to 1847, he served as one of Ohio's representatives in the United States Congress. During the 1850s, he was a justice on the Ohio Supreme Court.

Politically, Thurman supported the Democratic Party. In 1867, the Democratic Party in Ohio chose Thurman as its candidate for governor. Thurman lost to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes by just three thousand votes. Thurman ran against Hayes again in the gubernatorial election of 1875. He also lost this election. In 1869, the Ohio legislature appointed Thurman to the United States Senate. He served two terms, failing to receive reappointment in 1881. Thurman's greatest contribution in the Senate came in 1877, when he helped formulate the Compromise of 1877. This agreement between the Democrats and the Republicans made Ohioan Rutherford B. Hayes President of the United States.

Following his years in the Senate, Thurman established a law practice in Columbus, Ohio. He remained active in political affairs, participating in the Democratic National Conventions of 1876, 1880, and 1884. He refused the Democratic Party's nomination for the Ohio governor's race in 1887. In 1888, the Democratic Party selected Thurman as its vice-presidential candidate with Grover Cleveland. Cleveland and Thurman lost the election. At this point, Thurman retired from active political life, continuing to practice law in Columbus until his death on December 12, 1895.

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