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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TALBOT, Thomas, governor of Massachusetts, born in Cambridge, Washington County, New York, 7 September, 1818; died in Lowell, Massachusetts, 6 October, 1886. He was a lineal descendant of John Talbot, first Earl of Shrewsbury. His grandfather came to this court-try from Ireland in 1807. He was left an orphan at the age of six, and in 1825 went to Northampton, Massachusetts, with his mother, where after 1830 he worked in a woollen-factory. In 1835 he entered the broad-cloth-factory of his brother Charles, in Williamsburg, and in 1838 became an overseer. In that year and 1839 he attended school during the winter terms. In 1840 he entered into partnership with his brother, in Billerica, Massachusetts, where he afterward resided. The business rapidly increased, and the brothers accumulated a fortune. Mr. Talbot was for many years in the Massachusetts legislature, sat in the governor's council in 1864-'9, and in 1872 was chosen lieutenant-governor, as a Republican. On the election of Governor William B. Washburne to the United States senate in 1873 he became governor. He vetoed the bill to repeal the prohibitory law, and approved that to enact the ten-hour law, thus arousing prejudices that deprived him of his election in 1874, but in 1878 he was chosen, by a majority of 15,000, over Benjamin F. Butler and Josiah G. Abbott, candidates of the two wings of the Democratic party, and served till 1880. Governor Talbot did much to promote the interests of the town of Billerica, and gave liberally to churches of all denominations, building a fine edifice for the Baptist society.
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