Thomas Worthington
Thomas Worthington at statehouse.jpg
6th Governor of Ohio
In office
December 8, 1814 – December 14, 1818
Preceded byOthniel Looker
Succeeded byEthan Allen Brown
United States Senator
from Ohio
In office
December 15, 1810 – December 1, 1814
Preceded byReturn J. Meigs, Jr.
Succeeded byJoseph Kerr
In office
April 1, 1803 – March 3, 1807
Preceded byInaugural holder
Succeeded byEdward Tiffin
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the Ross County district
In office
Preceded byNew district
Succeeded byWilliam Creighton, Jr.
James Dunlap
John Evans
Elias Langham
In office
Preceded byJames Dunlap
Nathaniel Massie
David Shelby
Abraham J. Williams
Succeeded byDistrict eliminated
In office
Preceded byJohn Bailhache
John Entrekin
William Vance
Succeeded byGeorge Nashee
Allison C. Looker
Edward King
In office
Preceded byGeorge Nashee
Allison C. Looker
Edward King
Succeeded byIsaac Cook
Edward King
Personal details
Born(1773-07-16)July 16, 1773
near Charles Town, Colony of Virginia, British America
(now Charles Town, West Virginia)
DiedJune 20, 1827(1827-06-20) (aged 53)
New York City, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Residence(s)Adena Mansion

Thomas Worthington (July 16, 1773 – June 20, 1827) was an American politician who served as the sixth governor of Ohio.

Early life

Worthington was born in Berkeley County near Charles Town in the Colony of Virginia.[1] In 1796, he married a Virginia woman, Eleanor Swearingen, who joined him in emigrating to Ross County, Ohio, where they emancipated their slaves. The home they eventually built just outside Chillicothe was called Adena and is the namesake of the Adena culture.[citation needed] The first of their ten children, daughter Mary, married David Macomb, a future leader of the Texas Revolution. Their first son, James, graduated from West Point, held the rank of Brigadier General in the Ohio Militia, and later fought in the Mexican-American and Civil Wars.


He served in the Territorial House of Representatives from 1799 to 1803 and served as a Ross county delegate to the State Constitutional Convention in 1802.[2] He was a leader of the Chillicothe Junto, a group of Chillicothe Democratic-Republican politicians who brought about the admission of Ohio as a state in 1803 and largely controlled its politics for some years thereafter. Among his colleagues in the faction were Nathaniel Massie and Edward Tiffin.[3]

Worthington was elected one of Ohio's first Senators in 1803, serving until 1807. He was returned to the Senate in December 1810 upon the resignation of Return J. Meigs, Jr. and served until December 1814, when he resigned after winning election to the governorship. On June 17, 1812, he voted "No" on the resolution to declare war on Britain, but the vote in favor of war was 19 to 13. He won re-election as governor two years later, moving the state capital from Chillicothe to Columbus. Worthington did not seek re-election in 1818.

He platted what would become the city of Logan, Ohio in 1816.[4]

In January 1819, when the election was held to replace the retiring Jeremiah Morrow in the Senate, he held the lead through the first three ballots, only losing when factions aligned behind William A. Trimble on the fourth and final ballot.[5] He narrowly lost a bid for a partial term in the Senate in 1821, losing to the incumbent governor, Ethan Allen Brown, and so he instead returned to the Ohio House of Representatives.

After being the runner-up in the 1808[6] and 1810[7] gubernatorial elections, he won the 1814[8] and 1816 elections[9] by landslide margins. Both times he nearly reached three-quarters of the vote. After two terms he stepped down as governor.


Worthington was initially buried at his estate in Adena, and was later interred at Grandview Cemetery, Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio.[citation needed]


Worthington is a member of the Ohio Hall Of Fame. The city of Worthington, Ohio, was named in Worthington's honor, as was Thomas Worthington High School.

Worthington is known as the "Father of the Ohio statehood".[10]


  1. ^ Sears, Alfred Byron (1998). Thomas Worthington: Father of Ohio Statehood. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-8142-0745-6.
  2. ^ Ryan, Daniel Joseph (1896). "First Constitutional Convention, Convened November 1, 1802". Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications. V: 131–132.
  3. ^ "Thomas Worthington." Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936. Biography in Context. Web. January 13, 2016.
  4. ^ "Hocking County / 1-37 Thomas Worthington Founder of Logan - Remarkable Ohio".
  5. ^ The "Old Northwest" Genealogical Quarterly. April 1903. Page 34.
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - OH Governor Race - Oct 11, 1808".
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - OH Governor Race - Oct 09, 1810".
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns - OH Governor Race - Oct 11, 1814".
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - OH Governor Race - Oct 08, 1816".
  10. ^ "Grandview Cemetery". Grandview Cemetery. Retrieved July 29, 2012.


"Worthington, Thomas" . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900.