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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Biographies
Picture of Thomas Francis BayardBIOGRAPHY

Thomas Francis Bayard
Secretary of State, 
Term of Appointment: 03/06/1885 to 03/06/1889

  • Born in Wilmington, Delaware, October 29, 1828;
  • Attended private schools and an academy at Flushing, New York;
  • Studied law,  admitted to the bar in 1851, and commenced practice in Wilmington;
  • United States District Attorney for Delaware 1853-1854;
  • Moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and practiced law there, returning to Wilmington in 1858;
  • Married Louise Lee in 1856 (died 1886);
  • Senator from Delaware 1869-1885; was a member of the Electoral Commission of 1877 to decide the contested presidential election of 1876;
  • Unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1876, in 1880, and again in 1884;
  • Commissioned Secretary of State in President Cleveland's Cabinet March 6, 1885  and served until March 6, 1889;
  • As Secretary of State, paved the way for settlement of the Samoan question with Great Britain and Germany, arranged a modus vivendi regarding fisheries that allayed difficulties with Canada, and upheld the special interest of the United States in the Hawaiian Islands;
  • Resumed the practice of law in Wilmington;
  • Married Mary W. Clymer in 1889;
  • Served as Ambassador to Great Britain, 1893-1897;
  • Died in Dedham, Massachusetts, September 28, 1898.


Released on July 15, 2003

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