East New Market

Notable People and Families

Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks

On September 2, 1798, Thomas Holliday Hicks was born at his family's home place called "Sector" just south of East New Market.  His parents Henry C. Hicks and Mary Sewell, had thirteen children.  Thomas Holliday Hicks served as a Constable for the New Market District from 1820 to 1823 and Sheriff in 1824.  He served the State legislature in various roles from 1830 to 1837.  Hicks was the Register of Wills for Dorchester County from 1838 to 1851.  He served as the Governor of Maryland from 1857 to 1862.  After completing his term, Governor Hicks left office on January 8, 1862.  He later was appointed and then elected to the U.S. Senate, a position he held from 1862 until 1865.  Governor Thomas H. Hicks passed away on February 14, 1865, and was buried at the Cambridge Cemetery in Cambridge, Maryland.

Governor Hicks first married Ann Thompson on December 4, 1827. They possibly had three children, Sallie A (1828-1858 m. Henry Colclazer), Henrietta Maria (1837-1853), and Thomas Holliday (1840-1840).  Hicks married his second wife, Leah Ann Rawleigh on 18 January 1843. They possibly had four children, Thomas Pratt (1845-1866), Mary Rebecca (1846-), Horace Veagey (1848-1849), and Nannie (m. George L. Hicks).  After the death of his second wife in 1848, Hicks married Jane Wilcox on October 22, 1850.  She was the widow of his cousin, Henry Wilcox.  Governor Hicks and Jane possibly had one son, B. Chaplin.

Harper's Weekly
New York, Saturday, February 16, 1861
Vol. V. Number 216, page 109
courtesy The Civil War at Son of the South

Governor Thomas Holliday HicksWE know of no man who occupies a more prominent position at the present time than the Governor of the State of Maryland, whose portrait we publish herewith. To his wise and patriotic action, in firmly resisting the tide of partisan feeling in his State, he has so far averted civil war, and preserved Maryland as a nucleus about which, if politic counsels prevail, our glorious Union may be preserved. As a representative man of the times, he should be held up as worthy of imitation by all who desire to aid in the perpetuation of the liberties which have given us so prominent a place among the nations of the earth.

Thomas Holliday Hicks was born in Dorchester County, Maryland, on the second day of September, 1798. His parents were plain, respectable people.

His father was a mechanic, but late in life be-came a land-owner and farmer. Owing to his straitened circumstances, Governor Hicks, the eldest of a large family of children, was compelled to perform constant manual labor in the work-shop and on the farm. This mode of life lie followed until he reached the age of twenty-two years; in the mean while utterly deprived of the means of education now so freely offered to every one.

When he reached the age of twenty-two he was appointed a constable for one of the districts of his county [New Market District]; which position He filled faithfully during two years, when he was, without his knowledge, nominated as a candidate for sheriff of the county by the Democratic party of that day. Though that party was then largely in the minority, Governor Hicks defeated his Federal opponent by a hand-some majority — that opponent being, too, one of the most popular men in the county, and himself being the youngest man ever elected in that county to fill the important office of sheriff.

In 1829 the Adams party, to which he had attached himself, elected him to the Legislature ; and he was returned to that position in the following year. In 1831 he was elected a member of the Electoral College, the duties of which was to choose the State Senators. In 1836 he was again elected to that office ; and while in the discharge of his duties at Annapolis he was again elected to the Legislature. This was the exciting period when the nineteen Democratic Electors, by refusing to meet the Electoral College, came very near subverting the Government of the State. In the following year he was again elected to the Legislature, and was made a member of the Governor's Council, which position he held until the Council was abolished. He was then appointed Register of Wills for Dorchester County. In 1844 he was reappointed to that office, and served six years. In the mean while he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention, by which the office of Register of Wills was made elective. Subsequently, the incumbent of the office having died, he was induced to accept the appointment at the hands of the Orphans' Court, and at the next regular election he was elected Register of Wills, which office he held until 1857, when he was nominated for Governor by the American party, to which he had attached himself, and was elected by a large majority. It is not a little remarkable that, notwithstanding the fluctuations of party strength in his county and in the State, he never was defeated at a popular election but once—in 1851—when he was nominated, against his wishes, as the Whig candidate for Lottery Commissioner. In every election at which he has been a candidate he has always led the poll in his own county. This fact is abundant evidence of the great popularity he has always enjoyed among those who knew him best.

In person he is about the medium height, thick-set, with iron-gray hair and side-whiskers, and a countenance and mien indicative of the utmost firmness of character. That he is possessed of an iron will is sufficiently indicated by his present position in reference to the crisis. It is that peculiarity which has so deservedly earned for him the soubriquet of " Old Caessar."

Although now the object of severe abuse among his political opponents, on account of his conservative position, he is cordially indorsed by a large majority of the best men in Maryland ; and when the smoke of the serious conflict in which we are now engaged shall roll, it will, we think, be difficult to find an unprejudiced man who will refuse to laud him for his honest efforts to avert the terrible calamities which over-shadow us

The Evening Star, March 7, 1865 - The Remains of Senator Hicks

The remains of Senator Hicks left this morning in the 11:15 train for Baltimore, on their way to Dorchester county, Md., where they will be interred. The corpse, which was placed in the vault at the Congressional Cemetery on the 15th of February, was removed this morning to the railroad station by Mr. Harvey, the undertaker, and placed in a special car furnished by Mr. W.P. Smith, the master of transportation, which left at 11:15. The remains were received at the depot by Messrs. Valient, Taylor and Robinson, of the second branch of the Baltimore Councils, and Messrs. Ewalt, Foreman and Kraft, of the first branch, who, with Mr. Bond Chaplin, the private secretary of the deceased, and Mr. Corcoran, of the Post Office Department, a relative, accompanied the remains to Baltimore, where they were expected to arrive about one o'clock.

The corpse was found to be in a perfect state of preservation, and even the beautiful wreath of flowers which was placed on the coffin the day of the funeral (February 15th).

On arriving at Baltimore, the remains will be received by Mayor Chapman and the members of the City Councils, with a military escort of about 400 men, and will be taken to the hall of the Maryland Institute, where they will be laid in state, to be visited tomorrow when the hall will be open.  On Thursday they will be taken to Cambridge, Md., near which place they will be interred.