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Straddling Secession: Thomas Holliday Hicks and the Beginning of the Civil War in Maryland

MSA Special Collections Image. SC 1477-6875

Thomas Holliday Hicks James Kimball Harley Oil on canvas, 1867 MSA SC 1545-1175

Thomas Holliday Hicks (1798-1865) was governor of Maryland from 1858 to 1862. As governor during the outbreak of the Civil War, Hicks played a central role in preventing Maryland from joining the Confederacy. Although a slave-owner and Southerner, Hicks was strongly Unionist and rejected secession.

Hicks held a variety of political offices in his native Dorchester County and served two terms in the House of Delegates in the 1830s. He was elected governor in 1858 as a member of the fiercely nativist American, or Know-Nothing, Party. After his term ended, he served in the U. S. Senate from 1863 until his death in 1865.

Online Exhibit first created in 2009
Produced by: Jennifer Hafner, Owen Lourie, Edward C. Papenfuse, Rob Schoeberlein, Emily Oland Squires
Imaging and printing by: Terri Fedorco, Michael Kissel, Corey Lewis, Zachery Shea
Special thanks to: Mimi Calver, Jennifer Cruickshank, Vicki Lee

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© Copyright December 15, 2023 Maryland State Archives