File:Corwin, Thomas (1).jpg

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This bust portrait is titled "Thomas Corwin, Governor of Ohio." Corwin (1794-1849) is depicted in front of a red drape with books, an inkwell, feather pen, and column. In the background, visible through a window, is the driver of a Conestoga wagon with red wheels and four horses passing in front of the Ohio Statehouse. The painting has many blemishes, and its colors are faded. Thomas Corwin (1794-1865) was born in Kentucky. His father moved the family to what would become Warren County, Ohio, in 1798. The War of 1812 saw northern Ohio ravaged by the Indian confederation that was allied with the British. After General Hull surrendered Detroit to the British, protection from these destructive raids was minimal. Corwin, then a teenager, drove supply wagons north to feed the starving American troops. Self-taught in the law, he was admitted to the bar in 1817. His political career began in 1818, when he served as Warren County prosecuting attorney. A member of the Whig Party, Corwin served two terms in the Ohio state legislature and five terms in the United States Congress. In 1840 he was elected the fifteenth governor of Ohio. In 1845 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he eloquently expressed his opposition to the Mexican War. He served in the cabinet of President Millard Fillmore as secretary of the treasury from 1850-1853. Corwin became Secretary of the Treasury in 1850, but two years later he returned to Lebanon, Ohio, and practiced law from his office in Cincinnati. He was re-elected to Congress in 1860, and a year later President Abraham Lincoln appointed him minister to Mexico. Corwin was able to secure Mexico's support for the Union during the Civil War. He then established a law practice in Washington, where he died in 1865. Samuel Swan Walker (1806-1848) of Butler County, Ohio, was trained as a physician but left the medical profession in 1836 to become a portrait and miniature painter, working principally in Cincinnati. He traveled frequently as an itinerant painter, working primarily in Ohio, where he created portraits of well-known Ohioans and giving art lessons to wealthy patrons.


Ohio Historical Society SC 2037


8/21/2005 18:06

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