Thomas Worthington Fathers Ohio

Thomas Worthington Fathers Ohio

Thomas Worthington was one of the main players in getting Ohio recognized as a State.

Worthington served as a two time Senator and Governor of Ohio.

Thomas Worthington

Thomas Worthington was born in modern West Virginia.

Orphaned at a young age, he was raised by his brothers and family friends. After a quick attempt at a career in the merchant marines, Thomas began training as a surveyor.

For his assistance in plotting the Virginia Military District, Worthington was awarded land in the Ohio River Valley as compensation. He decided to relocate to this property and begin anew.

This move would prove extremely fortuitous.

Ohio Statehood

Worthington quickly became a frontier leader of the Democratic-Republican Party.

His opposition was Territorial Governor Author St. Clair who hoped Ohio would enter the Union as two separate States. This process would maintain Federalist control of the area.

Thomas and his cohorts believed Ohio should rightfully enter the United States as one body.

He petitioned strongly for this and even traveled to Washington DC to speak with President Jefferson. His petitions were heard, St. Clair was recalled, and Ohio was permitted to hold a constitutional convention.


After helping to create the constitution, and getting Ohio’s Statehood recognized, Thomas Worthington was one of the inaugural Senators elected to represent the new State.

Worthington served two nonconsecutive terms in the United States Senate. His most notable moment was when, despite being a part of the Democratic-Republican Party, he voted against declaring war with Great Britain in 1812.

The following year, Worthington resigned his Senate seat upon learning that he had been elected Governor of Ohio.


Thomas’ time as Governor was fairly uneventful.

Although he did oversee improvements to the young State’s economy, many of his recommendations would be voted down by the Ohio Assembly.

Among his ideas were free public education, a canal system to improve trade, governmental assistance for the needy, and prison reform. While these goals were initially rejected, they proved to be very forward thinking as within twenty years of his term all of Worthington’s suggestions would be instituted in one form or another.

At the conclusion of his second term, Thomas Worthington declined to continue in office. He did, however, remain in the public eye and continued improving the State in which he lived.

Worthington is not only a Founder of the United States, but a particularly important Founder of Ohio.

If you’d like to read more about Founders of States which were outside of the original 13 colonies, check out our articles of Daniel Boone of Kentucky and Ira Allen of Vermont.

For further reading on Thomas Worthington, pick up a copy of ‘Father of Ohio Statehood’ from our affiliate link below. It goes into significant more detail on Worthington’s life than I was able to accomplish here.

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