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Eli Thayer

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Subject: Blue Mont Central College, Topeka, Kansas, History of slavery in West Virginia, Mendon, Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts
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Eli Thayer

Eli Thayer
Eli Thayer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1861
Preceded by Alexander Dewitt
Succeeded by Goldsmith Bailey
Personal details
Born June 11, 1819
Mendon, Massachusetts
Died April 15, 1899(1899-04-15) (aged 79)
Worcester, Massachusetts
Political party Republican
Children [1]
Alma mater Worcester Academy, 1840;
Brown University, 1845

Eli Thayer (June 11, 1819 – April 15, 1899) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1857 to 1861. He was born in Mendon, Massachusetts. He graduated from Worcester Academy in 1840, from Brown University in 1845, and in 1848 founded Oread Institute, a school for young women in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is buried at Hope Cemetery, Worcester.

He is chiefly remembered for his connection with the "New England Emigrant Aid Company.

Local leagues were established whose members emigrated to Kansas and established towns. The Company provided hotels for temporary accommodation and provided sawmills and other improvements. Settlements were established at Manhattan, Lawrence, Topeka, and Osawatomie. The clash of these settlers and other "Free-Stater" Northerners with proslavery settlers spawned the violence of Bleeding Kansas.

Thayer wanted to establish an antislavery colony in Virginia, but land was too expensive. He then looked to western Virginia. Thayer chose to build his colony at the mouth of Twelvepole Creek in Wayne County, Virginia now West Virginia. He named his town Ceredo after the goddess Ceres. The town was founded in 1857. He enlisted fellow abolitionist Zopher D. Ramsdell to settle there and establish a boot and shoe factory.[2] It is open as a historic house museum.


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  • Thayer, Eli.: (1889). History of the Kansas Crusade: Its Friends and its Foes
  • Napier, Mose.: Ceredo: Its Founders and Families
  • The New York Times, Sisters Run Down by Auto; Mrs. Clara Thayer Perry Dead, Miss Ida M. Thayer Dying September 18, 1914, p. 5.

External links

Works related to Eli Thayer at Wikisource

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Alexander De Witt
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Goldsmith Bailey

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