Thomas Reynolds (Governor)

Thomas Reynolds (Governor)

Thomas Reynolds (March 12, 1796February 9, 1844) was the Governor of Missouri from 1840 to 1844. He belonged to the Democratic Party.

Thomas Reynolds was born on in Bracken County, Kentucky. He served as Clerk for the Illinois House of Representatives from 1818 until his appointment to the Illinois Supreme Court on August 31, 1822. He remained on the high court until January 19, 1825, and served as the court’s chief justice during his entire tenure. He served one term in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1826 to 1828, and then moved to Missouri where he served in the Missouri House of Representatives and as a Circuit Judge. In 1841 he was elected Governor of Missouri, a post which he held until his death on February 9, 1844, an apparent suicide.

Reynolds, with just 10 months left to complete his term in office, asked a blessing at the breakfast table, which was not his usual habit. After breakfast, he went to his office in the Executive Mansion, locked the door, and closed the shutters. Later in the day, a passer-by heard a shot, apparently coming from the Executive Mansion. On investigation, Reynolds was found at this desk with the top of his head blown off. Reynolds had placed a rifle against his head and, by means of a string attached to the trigger, had shot himself.

On his writing table was a sealed message addressed to G. Minor which read: "I have labored and discharged my duties faithfully to the public, but this has not protected me from the slanders and abuse which has rendered my life a burden to me…I pray to God to forgive them and teach them more charity."

External links

* [ Thomas Reynolds' Gravesite]

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