Library of Congress
TAPPAN, Benjamin (1773-1857)
Senate Years of Service: 1839-1845

TAPPAN, BENJAMIN, a Senator from Ohio; born in Northampton, Mass., May 25, 1773; attended the public schools; apprenticed as printer and engraver; traveled to the West Indies; studied painting with Gilbert Stuart; studied law; admitted to the bar in Hartford, Conn., and commenced practice in Ravenna, Ohio, in 1799; member, State senate 1803-1805; moved to Steubenville, Ohio, in 1809 and continued the practice of law; served in the War of 1812; held several local offices; county judge; judge of the fifth Ohio Circuit Court of Common Pleas 1816-1823; presidential elector on the Democratic ticket in 1832; United States district judge of Ohio 1833; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1839, to March 3, 1845; chairman, Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses (Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Congresses), Committee on the Library (Twenty-seventh Congress); censured by the Senate in 1844 for breach of confidence for passing copies of a proposed treaty with Texas to the press; died in Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio, April 20, 1857; interment in Union Cemetery.

Cincinnati Historical Society
Cincinnati, OH
Papers: Miscellaneous items in various collections.

Indiana Historical Society
Indianapolis, IN
Papers: Correspondence in New Harmony collection, 1821-1880.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1795-1900. 6 linear feet. In part photocopies of originals at the Ohio Historical Society. Chiefly correspondence about local and national politics, activities in antislavery movement, and family matters, together with some legal and business papers, speeches, and miscellaneous material. Available on 11 reels microfilm. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: In the Lewis Tappan papers, 1809-1903.

Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: Miscellaneous letters (1807-1848) in various collections.

Ohio Historical Society
Columbus, OH
Papers: 1795-1857 (bulk 1840s). 1 foot; ca. 650 items. Correspondence, a Senate journal (November 1839-July 1840 and December 1840-February 1844), photographs, and miscellaneous papers. Topics include the Ohio Democratic party, abolition, the Oregon question, the Ohio Canal Commission, and Texas annexation. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Ethan Allen Brown papers, 1806-1837; Alfred Kelley papers, 1818-1866; and Micajah Terrell Williams papers, 1814-1906.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1839. 1 item.

Rutgers University Libraries
Special Collections and University Archives
New Brunswick, NJ
Papers: In military papers, 1762-1944.

University of Akron
Akron, OH
Papers: 13-page typewritten copy of paper, "First Settlement of Ravenna,'' no date.

Western Reserve Historical Society
Cleveland, OH
Papers: Biographical sketch in Connecticut Western Reserve papers, 1795-1860; correspondence in Isaac Newton Pillsbury papers, 1840-1861; Wadsworth family papers, 1792-1868; and Elisha Whittlesey papers, 1804-1863.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: 11 microfilm reels of originals (1795-1900) in Library of Congress; in Lewis Tappan papers, 1809-1903, on 7 microfilm reels of originals in Library of Congress; in Benajah Ticknor papers, 1818-1852; and Jeremiah Mason papers, 1798-1844.

  • Feller, Daniel. "Benjamin Tappan: The Making of a Democrat.'' In The Pursuit of Public Power: Political Culture in Ohio, 1787-1861, edited by Jeffrey P. Brown, and Andrew R.L. Cayton, pp. 69-82. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1994.
  • ___. "A Brother in Arms: Benjamin Tappan and the Antislavery Democracy." Journal of American History 88 (June 2001): 48-74.
  • Ratcliffe, Donald J., ed. "The Autobiography of Benjamin Tappan.'' Ohio History 85 (Spring 1976): 109-57.