Secretary of State

Thomas B. Monroe

Term of OfficeAugust 30, 1859 - October 1, 1861
Governor during his term of OfficeGov. Beriah Magoffin
EducationUniversity of Louisiana
Spouse(s)Elizabeth C. Grier
Children1 son
ResidenceKentucky (Lexington, Fayette County)
OccupationAttorney; Newspaper Editor
Birth Date7/3/1833
Birth PlaceKentucky (Frankfort, Franklin County)
Date of Death4/6/1862
Place of DeathMississippi (Burnsville, near Shiloh)
Cause of DeathKilled at a battle near Burnsville, Mississippi
Place of BurialKentucky (Frankfort Cemetery); originally interred on the field of battle by Union soldiers
City Offices HeldElected Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky.
Military ServiceCivil War (4th Ky. Infantry, CSA)
NoteMonroe's father, Judge Thomas Bell Monroe, Sr., served as Kentucky's Secretary of State from September 1823 to September 1824 during the administration of Gov. John Adair. Monroe, Jr., was commissioned Major of the 4th Ky Infantry, CSA, during the Civil War. He died on the battlefield near Shiloh, Mississippi.
Historical FirstsAppointed Secretary of State in 1859, Monroe (age 26) was the youngest person to occupy the office since statehood.

Thomas B. Monroe, Jr., was the fourth son of Judge Thomas Bell Monroe, Sr. He was born on July 3, 1833, at Frankfort. He was educated at the University of Louisiana while his father was a professor there. In 1849, he settled in Lexington and began the practice of law. In 1856, he became editor of the Democratic newspaper, the "Kentucky Statesman". In 1859, he was elected mayor of Lexington. In 1860, he endorsed states’ rights and the presidential candidacy of fellow Kentuckian John C. Breckinridge.

Monroe was appointed Secretary of State in September 1859 in the administration of Governor Beriah Magoffin, becoming the youngest person to ever occupy the office. He served as Secretary of State until October 5, 1861, when he resigned his office to serve as Major of the Fourth Kentucky Confederate Infantry. He was killed at an engagement at Burnsville on April 6, 1862, and was buried on the field of battle by Union soldiers. After the war, he was reinterred in the Frankfort Cemetery next to his brother Captain Ben Monroe.

Monroe married Elizabeth C. Grier of Philadelphia on November 15, 1859. She was the daughter of Justice Robert C. Grier of the United States Supreme Court. The couple had one son.


"Biographical Encyclopedia," (1878), page 548;

Ed Porter Thompson, "History of the Orphan Brigade," (1898), pages 458-66.