Thomas Walker Gilmer

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Thomas Walker Gilmer (April 6, 1802 – February 28, 1844), member of a family long prominent in Albemarle, was elected governor of Virginia in 1840, on a Whig and conservative platform. His grandfather was George Gilmer of "Pen Park" - Thomas Jefferson's friend and physician.

He served in several political positions in Virginia, including election as the 28th Governor of Virginia. Gilmer's final political office was as the 15th Secretary of the Navy, but he died in an accident ten days after assuming that position.

Personal life

Gilmer was born to George Gilmer and Elizabeth Anderson Hudson at their farm, "Gilmerton", in Albemarle County, Virginia. He was taught by private tutors and his uncle Peachy Ridgeway Gilmer in Charlottesville and Staunton, and studied law in Liberty (now Bedford), Virginia.

Gilmer practiced law in Charlottesville. He was, briefly, editor of the Virginia Advocate, a Charlottesville newspaper. His former colonial style home on Altamont Circle was later owned by the City's Treasurer Charles Henry Walker.

Gilmer is buried at Mount Air Cemetery in Gilbert, Virginia.

Family members

His father, George Gilmer (1778 – 1836) was known as “the only male member of Dr. George Gilmer's family not distinguished for talents”.

His uncle, by marriage to his aunt Mildred, was William Wirt owner of Rose Hill.

A Representative from Virginia; born in Gilmerton, Albemarle County, Va., April 6, 1802; attended the common schools; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Charlottesville, Va.; member of the State house of delegates 1829-1836 and again in 1839 and 1840, serving as speaker the last two years; elected Governor of Virginia and served from March 31, 1840, until his resignation on March 20, 1841; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress and as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth Congress and served from March 4, 1841, until February 16, 1844, when he resigned; appointed Secretary of the Navy in the Cabinet of President Tyler February 15, 1844, and served until he was killed by the bursting of a gun on board the U.S.S. Princeton on the Potomac River, near Washington, D.C., February 28, 1844; interment in Mount Air Cemetery, Albermarle County, Va.[1]

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  1. Web. GILMER, Thomas Walker, Office of the Senate Historian

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