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Sharp, Thomas C.

Born: 1818-09-25 Mount Holly, New Jersey

Died: 1894-04-09 Carthage, Illinois

Flourished: 1840-1865 Warsaw, Illinois

Sharp attended Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and later attended law school, from which he graduated in 1840. The same year, he moved west to Illinois, where he settled in Warsaw and opened a law office. Discouraged by poor hearing, Sharp abandoned his law practice in 1841. In November 1840, he had purchased a newspaper and renamed it the Warsaw Signal. He published the Signal until the summer of 1842, when he defaulted, and the paper returned to its former owner. In September 1842, he married Hannah G. Wilcox, with whom he had five children. In 1844, he re-opened the Signal, which soon became renowned for its anti-Mormonism. That fall, Sharp was indicted for inciting the mob that murdered Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage, but Hancock County citizens found Sharp not guilty. He ran the Signal until 1846. In 1851, he was elected a justice of the peace, and he later served as mayor of Warsaw from 1853 to 1859. In 1858, he resumed practicing law. Originally a Jacksonian Democrat, Sharp parted with the party over the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and he became a Republican upon the formation of that party.

Thomas Gregg, History of Hancock County, Illinois (Chicago: Charles C. Chapman, 1880), 748-57; Gravestone, Oakland Cemetery, Carthage, IL.