Thomas S. Jesup collection  1812-1917 (bulk 1812-1858)
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Thomas Sydney Jesup (1788-1860) was born in Virginia to Ann O'Neill and James Edward Jesup. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Kentucky, where they rented a farm. His father died four years later, leaving the family in poverty. Thomas Jesup began his military career in 1808 as a second lieutenant in the 7th Infantry. At the beginning of the War of 1812, he served as adjutant general to Brigadier General William Hull, commander of the northwestern army. He was taken prisoner at the surrender of Detroit, but was exchanged shortly after and served with distinction as a major in the battles of Chippewa, Niagara, and Lundy's Lane, where he was wounded. In 1818, President Monroe appointed Jesup quartermaster general with the rank of brigadier general, a position he held for 42 years. Jesup was an able administrator, who instituted a number of important reforms in the quartermaster department during his tenure and is credited with making military management more systematic and coordinated throughout the army. He was also in charge of procurements, supply transportation, and construction of roads, posts, and military buildings, for which he instituted strict systems of accountability.

Jesup lead an offensive against a faction of Creek Indians on the Georgia-Alabama border in 1836. Because of his success there, President Andrew Jackson gave him command of the United States troops during the Second Seminole War. Frustrated with the developments of the Van Buren Indian removal policy, Jesup resigned his position and was replaced by Colonel Zachary Taylor. Jesup returned to Washington, where he resumed his duties as quartermaster. He organized supply lines for the war with Mexico and made a number of trips to the battlefront in 1846 to ensure that his plans were followed. Jesup continued to supervise the army's supply operations closely, until his death in 1860.

Jesup married Ann Heron Croghan in 1822; they had 8 children: Charles Edward, Lucy Ann, Eliza Hancock, Mary Serena Eliza, Jane Findlay (later wife to A.S. Nicholson), Elizabeth Croghan, William Croghan, and Julia Clark.