Thomas J. Drake

For other people named Thomas Drake, see Thomas Drake (disambiguation).
Thomas J. Drake
3rd Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
In office
Governor James Wright Gordon
Preceded by James Wright Gordon
Succeeded by Origen D. Richardson
Member of the Michigan Senate
In office
Personal details
Born (1797-04-18)April 18, 1797
Scipio, New York, United States
Died April 20, 1875(1875-04-20) (aged 78)
Pontiac, Michigan, United States
Resting place Oak Hill Cemetery
Pontiac, Michigan
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Martha Minot Baldwin
Evelina H. Talbot Drake
Parents Elijah Drake
Abigail (Stoddard) Drake
Profession Lawyer

Thomas Jefferson Drake (April 18, 1797 – April 20, 1875) was an American lawyer and politician in the U.S. state of Michigan. He served as justice of Utah Territorial Supreme Court and as the third Lieutenant Governor of Michigan.


Drake was born in Scipio, New York,[1] the son of Elijah Drake and Abigail (Stoddard) Drake.[2] In 1822 he moved to Pontiac in the Michigan Territory. He was a member Michigan Territorial Council from 1828-1831, and a member of Michigan Territorial Senate in 1834.[3] From 1839-1841 he served as a member of the Michigan Senate representing the 3rd District. In 1840 he was Presidential Elector for Michigan to elect William Henry Harrison.

While serving as president pro tempore of the Michigan Senate, Drake served as the third Lieutenant Governor of Michigan from February 23, 1841 to January 3, 1842 under James Wright Gordon after the resignation of Governor William Woodbridge.[4] Under the 1835 constitution, the lieutenant governor had no specifically defined duties other than presiding over the senate and as filling in as acting governor. He was also a Whig candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan’s 3rd congressional districtin 1843, losing to Democrat James B. Hunt.

Drake was later a delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan in 1856, and Presidential Elector to elect John C. Fremont, who lost to James Buchanan. He served as justice of Utah Territorial Supreme Court from 1862-1869.[5]

Drake died in Pontiac, Michigan on April 20, 1875, two days after his 78th birthday.[6] He is interred in Oak Hill Cemetery in Pontiac.

Family life

Drake married his first wife, Martha Minot Baldwin, on December 17, 1826.[7] He married his second wife, Evelina H. Talbot, on April 19, 1843.[8]


  1. "Thomas Jefferson Drake". Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  2. The Commission (1915). Michigan Historical Collections, Volumes 1-39. The Commission. p. 446.
  3. Herringshaw, Thomas William (1904). Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century: Accurate and Succinct Biographies of Famous Men and Women in All Walks of Life who are Or Have Been the Acknowledged Leaders of Life and Thought of the United States Since Its Formation. American Publishers' Association. p. 314.
  4. University of Michigan, and Shaw, Wilfred Byron (1941). pt. 1. History and administration. pt. 2. Organization. Services. Alumni. UM Libraries. p. 154.
  5. United States. Congress (1887). Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America. D. Green. p. 110.
  6. Seeley, Thomas D. (1912). HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY MICHIGAN. Thomas D. Seeley. p. 127.
  7. The Commission (1915). Michigan Historical Collections, Volumes 1-39. The Commission. p. 446.
  8. "Thomas Jefferson Drake". Retrieved May 29, 2014.
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Political offices
Preceded by
James Wright Gordon
Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
Succeeded by
Origen D. Richardson
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