Shoemaker, Thomas C.

Born: 1827-XX-XX Tennessee

Died: 1857-02-05 Leavenworth, Kansas

Thomas C. Shoemaker, attorney and public official, was living in Illinois by 1846 when he enlisted to serve in the Mexican War as a private under Colonel Edward D. Baker in the Fourth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. He served until May 1847, and, by 1850, was a law student in Springfield. Two years later, Shoemaker ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic candidate for Springfield clerk and city attorney. Late in 1854 or early in 1855, Shoemaker relocated to Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, where he qualified at the bar but did not open a law office. Following recommendation by Stephen A. Douglas and others, President Franklin Pierce appointed him receiver of public monies for the U.S. General Land Office in Kansas Territory in March 1855. Shoemaker was removed from this office by October 1856 after local tensions in Kansas pushed him to identify with Free-Soilers, despite his earlier support of Douglas and the Democratic Party. Early in 1857, he was beaten in a barroom fight over politics and died of his injuries. Shoemaker had married Tennessee Pierce in 1848 and the pair had several children.

Isaac H. Elliott, Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1882), 285, 291; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 25 September 1848, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Springfield, Sangamon County, IL, 71; Daily Register (Springfield, IL), 29 March 1852, 2:1; 3 April 1852, 3:1; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 21 April 1852, 3:1; 25 September 1852, 2:2; H. Miles Moore, Early History of Leavenworth City and County (Leavenworth, KS: Sam’l Dodsworth, 1906), 102-3, 214, 271; Robert W. Johannsen, ed., The Letters of Stephen A. Douglas (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1961), 334; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 6 October 1856, 3:2; 2 June 1857, 2:1; Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1887), 9:425, 428, 10:187; The Kansas Weekly Herald (Leavenworth), 7 February 1857, 2:3; 14 February 1857, 2:2-4; Leavenworth Journal (KS Terr.), 12 February 1857, 2:1; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 1, Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, KS Terr., 33.