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William Widgery Thomas

diplomat

William Widgery Thomas, American diplomat. Member Maine House of Representatives, 1873-1875 (speaker of House, 1874-1875), Senate, 1879.

Background

Thomas, William Widgery was born on August 26, 1839 in Portland, Maine, United States. Son of William Widgery and Elizabeth White (Goddard) Thomas.

Education

Bachelor of Arts, Bowdoin, 1860, A.M., 1866. Doctor of Laws, Bethany, 1901, Bowdoin, 1913.

Career

Began diplomatic career in 1862, as United States bearer of dispatches. Carried a treaty to Turkey. Became vice consul general at Constantinople, later acting consul, Galatz, Moldavia.

War consul at Gothenburg, Sweden, until 1865 (resigned). Received for services as consul “special thanks of Department of State.” Completed legal studies at Harvard, and admitted to Maine bar, 1866. Practiced at Portland.

Commissioner public lands, Maine, 1869. Commissioner of immigration for Maine, 1870-1873. Visited Sweden, 1870, bringing back 51 Swedish colonists and settling them in Northern Maine, founding flourishing colony of New Sweden (2,000 Swedish-American inhabitants, 1920).

Works

  • Translator: The Last Athenian (from the Swedish), 1869.

Membership

Member Maine House of Representatives, 1873-1875 (speaker of House, 1874-1875), Senate, 1879.

Connections

Married Dagmar Törnebladh, Swedish noblewoman, October 11, 1887 (died 1912).; married second, Mistress. Children: William Widgery (deceased), Oscar Percival, Wolfgang Ragner (adopted).

father:
William Widgery Thomas

mother:
Elizabeth White (Goddard) Thomas

spouses:
Dagmar Törnebladh

Mistress

children:
William Widgery Thomas (deceased)

Oscar Percival Thomas

Wolfgang Ragner Thomas (adopted)