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Clingman, Thomas L.

Born: 1812-07-27 Huntsville, North Carolina

Died: 1897-11-03 Morganton, North Carolina

Clingman received an education by private tutors and public schools in Iredell County, North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1832. He studied law, earned admittance to the bar in 1834, and commenced a practice in Huntsville. Clingman won election to the North Carolina House of Commons in 1835. He moved to Asheville in 1836. He won election to the North Carolina Senate in 1840. In 1842, Clingman won election, as a Whig, to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1843 to 1845. In 1847 , he won election again to the U.S. House of Representatives. Clingman would win reelection in five succeeding elections, serving in the House until 1858. He served alongside Abraham Lincoln in the Thirtieth Congress. Clingman resigned his House seat to be appointed, as a Democrat, to the U.S. Senate in 1858. He served the U.S. Senate from 1858 to 1861, when he was expelled for his support of the Confederacy. Clingman served in the Confederate Army as a brigadier general. His military career ended when his leg was severely wounded on August 19, 1864. He explored and measured mountain peaks after the war. He never married.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 831; Gravestone, Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, NC; Thomas E. Jeffrey, "Clingman, Thomas Lanier," American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 5:76-77; Frances H. Casstevens, Clingman's Brigade in the Confederacy, 1862-1865 (North Carolina: McFarland, 2002), 174.