Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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THOMAS, John Addison, soldier, born in Tennessee in 1811 ; died in Paris, France, 26 March, 1858 He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1833, assigned to the 3d artillery, served in garrison and as assistant instructor of infantry tactics, and became 2d lieutenant on 1 December, 1835, and 1st lieutenant, 30 June, 1837. In 1840-'1 he was assistant professor of geography, history, and ethics at West Point, and in 1842-'5 he was commandant of cadets and instructor of infantry tactics. He was made captain on 19 November, 1843, and resigned on 28 May, 1846, to practise law in New York city. On 23 July, 1846, he became colonel of the 4th New York regiment, which had been raised for the war with Mexico, but was not mustered into service. He was chief engineer of New York state in 1853-'4, and from 19 April, 1853, to 15 January, 1854, was advocate of the United States in London, England, under the convention of 8 February 1853, with Great Britain for the adjustment of American claims. From 1 November, 1855, till 4 April, 1857, he was assistant United States secretary of state in Washington, D.C. He gained reputation by his report of the convention with Great Britain, and by other state papers.
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