Thomas Clark Nicholls, USA

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Thomas Clark Nicholls, (USA)

Death: Died
Place of Burial: Thibodaux, Louisiana, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward Church Nicholls and Williamina Nicholls
Husband of Louisa Hannah Nicholls
Father of Captain Lawrence D. Nicholls (CSA); Brig. General Francis T. Nicholls (CSA), Governor, Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court; Robert W Nicholls; Edward F Nicholls; Thomas C Nicholls and 1 other

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About Thomas Clark Nicholls, USA

Thomas Clark Nicholls (1790-1847) was a Louisiana jurist and temperance crusader in the 1830s and 1840s. Nicholls died almost three decades before his son, Francis T. Nicholls, was first elected governor in 1876.

Thomas Nicholls was probably born in Maryland to Cornish American Edward C. Nicholls and the former Williamina Hamilton. He relocated to Louisiana in 1805 and read law in the office of his brother-in-law, Nathan Morse. He received his law license in 1809, when he was eighteen years of age. In June 1814, he married Louisa Hannah Drake, a sister of the poet Joseph Rodman Drake. In addition to the future governor, the couple had four children: Robert W., Edward F., Lawrence D., Thomas C., and Josephine Williamina, who married William W. Pugh.

Nicholls opened his law office in Opelousas, the seat of St. Landry Parish. He moved to New Orleans during the invasion of Louisiana by British forces, joined the Orleans Volunteers, and participated in the battles of December 23, 1814, and January 8, 1815, the latter commonly called the battle of New Orleans.

After relocating to Donaldsonville, the seat of Ascension Parish south of Baton Rouge, Nicholls was appointed a Louisiana district judge in 1836. In 1840, he wrote a memoir of his family's journey from Maryland to the Atakapas country in south Louisiana. From 1843-1846, Nicholls was presiding judge of the court of errors and appeals.

A critic of the abuse of alcoholic beverages, Nicholls was the first president of the Louisiana State Temperance Association.

He is interred in St. John's Episcopal Cemetery in Thibodaux.

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