THAYER, Eli, (father of John Alden Thayer),
a Representative from Massachusetts; born in Mendon, Worcester
County, Mass., June 11, 1819; attended the common schools, the academies in
Bellingham and Amherst, Mass., and the Worcester Manual Labor School; taught
school in Douglas, Mass., in 1835 and 1836 and in Hopkington, R.I., in 1842;
had charge of the boys high school in Providence, R.I., in 1844; was graduated
from Brown University at Providence in 1845 and was an instructor in Worcester
Academy 1845-1848; studied law and was admitted to the bar, but did not
practice; founded the Oread Collegiate Institute, a school for young women, in
1848; member of the Worcester School Board in 1852; alderman of Worcester in
1852 and 1853; member of the State house of representatives in 1853 and 1854;
while in the legislature secured a charter, and originated and organized the
New England Emigrant Aid Co., which had for its purpose the sending out of an
advance colony of antislavery settlers to Kansas; elected as a Republican to
the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1857-March 3, 1861);
chairman, Committee on Public Lands (Thirty-sixth Congress); unsuccessful
candidate for reelection in 1860 to the Thirty-seventh Congress; delegate
accredited from Oregon to the Republican National Convention in 1860; engaged
in railroad and other business pursuits; unsuccessful candidate for election in
1872 to the Forty-third Congress; died in Worcester, Mass., April 15, 1899;
interment in Hope Cemetery.
BibliographyAndrews, Horace. Kansas Crusade: Eli Thayer and the New England
Emigrant Aid Company.
New England Quarterly 35 (December 1962): 497-514.