Yeatman, Thomas

Born: 1826-XX-XX Tennessee

Yeatman was the son of Thomas Yeatman, a prominent Nashville, Tennessee, banker, foundry owner, and cotton trader, and stepson of John Bell, whom his mother married after the death of his father in 1833. He graduated from Yale College. In the 1840s, Yeatman moved to St. Louis, where he engaged in various businesses. He served during the Mexican War, seeing action at Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo. After the war, he returned to St. Louis and became an attorney. On May 25, 1847, Yeatman married Lucretia Pope, daughter of Nathaniel Pope. In 1849, Yeatman and partner J. B. Crockett purchased the newspaper New Era, changing the name to the Intelligencer. In 1850, he was editor of the Intelligencer and owned real estate valued at $80,000. Yeatman subsequently sold his interest in the Intelligencer, and in the late 1850s, he and his wife and two children moved to New Haven, Connecticut. In 1860, he was practicing law in New Haven. During the secession crisis, Yeatman favored allowing the seceding states to leave the Union in peace, and gave a lengthy address on the subject before the Hibernian and Montgomery societies of New Haven. As the secession crisis moved toward civil war, Yeatman supported the Confederacy, writing Jefferson Davis on April 10, 1861, offering to raise two companies of New Haven men to help the Confederate cause. Later in the war, he served as a Confederate envoy in an abortive attempt to negotiate peace. The Civil War divided Thomas and Lucretia Yeatman, leading to an estrangement and eventual divorce.

Missouri Marriage Records, St. Louis, 25 May 1847, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, MO; William Hyde and Howard L. Conard, eds., Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis (New York: Southern History, 1899), 3:1635; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Ward 3, St. Louis, MO, 343; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 4, New Haven, New Haven County, CT, 7; Harriet Chappell Owsley, "Peace and the Presidential Election of 1864," Tennessee Historical Quarterly 18 (March 1959), 7-8, 9-14; J. R. Killick, "Yeatman, Thomas," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 24:123-25; Thomas Yeatman, The National Crisis—Peaceful Separation or Civil War: An Address Delivered in Music Hall, on St. Patrick's Day, Before the Hibernian and Montgomery Societies (New Haven: Thomas J. Stafford, 1861).