Benton, Thomas Hart

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  • Thomas Hart Benton (1782–1858) was born in the North Carolina Piedmont region in 1782 to Jesse and Ann Benton. He was the first senator from Missouri and held that position for thirty years. An ardent Jacksonian, Benton was the primary Senate ally for President Andrew Jackson and was counted among the great congressional orators along with Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun.

    Benton first entered politics when he was elected as a state senator for Tennessee in 1809. His career in Tennessee was short lived. He acquired a commission in the army to serve as an officer in the War of 1812. He ended the war as a colonel and moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he became editor of the St. Louis Enquirer. ...

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