Thomas F. Bayard For his son, also a U.S. Senator from Delaware, see Thomas F. Bayard, Jr.. Thomas F. Bayard U.S. Secretary of State U.S. Senator from Delaware Born October 29, 1828 Wilmington, Delaware Residence Wilmington, Delaware Died September 29, 1898 Dedham, Massachusetts Office U.S. Senate (1869-1885) U.S. Secretary of State (1885-1889) Political party Democratic Thomas Francis Bayard, Sr. (October 29, 1828 - September 29, 1898) was a prominent U.S. statesman and politician of the Democratic Party during the last third of the 19th century. Bayard served as U.S. Senator from Delaware, U.S. Secretary of State, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
A native of Wilmington, Delaware and member of an influential Delaware family, Bayard was the son and father of United States senators. He himself studied law and was admitted to the Delaware bar in 1851. Aside from a brief stint (1853-1854) as United States District Attorney for Delaware and a sojourn to Philadelphia (1854-1858) to practice law there, Bayard was a lawyer in Wilmington until he was elected to the United States Senate in 1868.
Bayard would remain in the Senate until 1885. During his time as a senator, he was a member of the Electoral Commission that decided the 1876 Presidential election in favor of Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. As a Democrat, Bayard voted with the seven-member minority on all counts.
President Grover Cleveland chose Bayard to be his Secretary of State during Cleveland's first term of office (1885-1889). When Cleveland returned to office in 1893, he appointed Bayard to another important diplomatic post: U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. Bayard was the first person to hold this title (previous representatives to Britain were called "Minister"). His term was controversial, however, because while ambassador Bayard condemned the American policy of protectionism in trade, which he deemed "state socialism."
Bayard died in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1898. His body was interred in Old Swedes Cemetery in Wilmington.