|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's At-large district|
March 4, 1789 – March 3, 1795
|Preceded by||Nobody (District Created)|
Frederick A.C. Muhlenberg
Samuel Sitgreaves and John Richards
John Andre Hanna
John W. Kittera
David Bard and Samuel Maclay
Ballikilty, Co. Wexford,Ireland
August 26, 1811
|Resting place||Saint Mary's Catholic Churchyard, Philadelphia|
|Occupation||statesman, merchant, soldier|
|Religion||Christian (Roman Catholicism)|
Thomas Fitzsimons (1741–1811) was an American merchant and statesman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He represented Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the U.S. Congress.
- Revolutionary bent 1.1
- Politics 1.2
- Notes 2
- External links 3
Fitzsimons' ancestry has not been verified, but one theory is that Fitzsimons was born at Ballikilty, north Co. West Indies trade, which would successfully operate for over 41 years.
However, was this firm was soon hit by the new revenue measures created to help support the finances of the British Empire, including the much reviled Coercive Acts.
When Pennsylvania began mobilizing and organizing a militia to fight the British, Fitzsimons was soon involved. He served as captain of a company of home guards, which he raised, under the command of Colonel John Caldwalader. Initially his company served as part of the soldiers who manned posts along the New Jersey coast to defend against British actions. His unit later served as part of the reserve at the Battle of Trenton in 1776. Later in the war, he served on the Pennsylvania Council of Safety and headed a board to oversee the newly formed Pennsylvania Navy. Under this role, he helped organize the strategic resources of Pennsylvania, and later provided supplies, ships, and money in support of Pennsylvanian and French forces.
Thomas Fitzsimons entered active politics as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1782 and 1783. He was a member of Pennsylvania's House of Representatives in 1786 and 1787. He was also a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional
Convention in 1787. Although not a leading member of that convention, he supported a strong national government. the end of slavery, the United States Congress's powers to impose a tariff on imports and exports, the granting the house of representatives, and the equal power in making treaties to the United States Senate in making treaties. He was one of only two Catholic signers of the United States Constitution, the other being Daniel Carroll of Maryland.
After the Constitution was established, he served in the first three sessions of the House of Representatives as a Federalist, where he favored protective tariffs and a strong navy, co-drafting the 1794 law authorizing the original six frigates of the United States Navy. Fitzsimons failed to win re-election in 1794, being defeated by John Swanwick, who carried seven of Philadelphia's twelve districts with 57% of the vote. This was partially attributed to public opinion turning against the Federalist Party over the forceful suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion. Although he never held elective office again, Fitzsimons served in 1798 as head of the committee of merchants overseeing the subscription-loan to build a warship at private expense for use in the Quasi-War.
In 1802, Fitzsimons, along with Samuel Sitgreaves, were appointed by the Attorney General commissioners under the sixth article of the treaty of amity with Great Britain (American State Papers 37, Misc. Vol. 1, Pub. 154, Feb. 17, 1802).
While withdrawing from politics, Fitzsimons remained active in civic and business affairs. He served as president of Philadelphia's
|United States House of Representatives|
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's at-large congressional district
alongside: Frederick A.C. Muhlenberg, Thomas Hartley, Thomas Scott, Henry Wynkoop, Daniel Hiester and Peter G. Muhlenberg
1st: John Swanwick
- Biography at the United States Army Center of Military History
- Biography at the University of Pennsylvania Archives
- James Holt, Re: Fitzsimons, Thomas (June 4, 2000).
- Wright, Jr., Robert K.; MacGregor Jr., Morris J. "Thomas Fitzsimons". Soldier-Statesmen of the Constitution. Washington D.C: United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 71-25.
- Frederick C. Leiner, Millions for Defense: The Subscription Warships of 1798 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2000), 55.
- Thomas Fitzsimons at Find a Grave
- National Aegis Newspaper (Worcester, MA), Vol. X, Issue 502, p. 3: Died, also, at an advanced age, Thomas Fitzsimmons, Esq, an old inhabitant of Philadelphia, and formerly a member of Congress, and a member of the Federal Convention of 1787.
. Insurance Company of North America Fitzsimons had also helped found the