John Thornton (U.S. politician)

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John Randolph Thornton
United States Senator
from Louisiana
In office
December 7, 1910 – March 4, 1915
Appointed byJared Y. Sanders Sr., August 27, 1910
Preceded bySamuel D. McEnery
Succeeded byRobert F. Broussard
Personal details
Born(1846-08-25)August 25, 1846
Iberville Parish, Louisiana, U.S.
DiedDecember 28, 1917(1917-12-28) (aged 71)
Alexandria, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Branch/service Confederate States Army
UnitLouisiana 2nd Louisiana Cavalry

John Randolph Thornton (August 25, 1846 – December 28, 1917) was a United States Senator from Louisiana.


Born on Notoway plantation (near White Castle, Iberville Parish), he moved with his parents to Rapides Parish in 1853. He attended Parker Seminary (Pineville), the McGruder Institute (Baton Rouge) and the Louisiana Seminary (afterwards the Louisiana State University) at Pineville until 1863. He enlisted in the Confederate States Army and served until the close of the Civil War in Company B, Second Louisiana Cavalry.[1][2]

He engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1877, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1877 and commenced practice in Rapides Parish. He was judge of Rapides Parish from 1878 to 1880 and a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1898. From 1904 to 1910 he was a member of the board of Supervisors of the State university.[1]

Thornton was appointed as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate on August 27, 1910, and was subsequently elected[2] to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Samuel D. McEnery, serving from December 7, 1910, to March 4, 1915; he was not a candidate for reelection to the Senate. While in the Senate he was chairman of the Committee on Fisheries (Sixty-third Congress). He was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson a member of the Board of Ordnance and Fortification and served from 1915 to 1917, and resumed the practice of law in Alexandria, Louisiana; he died there in 1917. Interment was in Rapides Cemetery, Pineville.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c "Thornton, John Randolph". United States Congress. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b Official Journal of the Proceedings of House of Representatives of the State of Louisiana. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Ramires & Jones. 1910. pp. 25–31.
  3. ^ "John Hampden Randolph Thornton". Find A Grave. Retrieved 24 August 2018.


U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Samuel D. McEnery
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Louisiana
December 7, 1910 – March 3, 1915
Served alongside: Murphy J. Foster, Joseph E. Ransdell
Succeeded by
Robert F. Broussard