Horace Maynard


Congressman, diplomat, and postmaster general, Horace Maynard was born on August 30, 1814, in Westboro, Massachusetts. After graduating from Amherst College in 1838, Maynard moved to Knoxville, where he worked as a tutor in the preparatory department of East Tennessee College (later the University of Tennessee). The college appointed Maynard principal of the preparatory department in 1840; the next year he became teacher of mathematics and ancient languages at the college. While teaching, Maynard studied law and, in 1844, was admitted to the bar. Maynard was initially elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1857 on the American, or Know-Nothing Party ticket. His constituents reelected him twice: in 1859 as a member of the Opposition Party and in 1861 as a candidate on the Unionist ticket. Along with other East Tennessee politicians, Maynard canvassed the region in the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln's election to the presidency in an effort to persuade Tennesseans to vote against secession. After escaping from East Tennessee, Maynard continued to serve in the U.S. Congress, where he became a staunch advocate for relief of East Tennessee. Maynard was influential in keeping the relief of East Tennessee before President Abraham Lincoln, who constantly pressed his generals to intervene militarily in the region. In 1863 Andrew Johnson, military governor of Tennessee, appointed Maynard attorney general of the state. Two years later Maynard returned to Congress to represent Tennessee's Second District until 1875, when President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him minister to Turkey. In the summer of 1880 President Rutherford B. Hayes recalled Maynard and appointed him to the cabinet position of postmaster general, a post he held until March 5, 1881. Maynard returned to Knoxville and died on May 3, 1882.

  • Taught at the college that became University of Tennessee; studied law
  • Elected to Congress; traveled the state encouraging support for the Union
  • Remained in Congress, lobbying for support of East Tennessee
  • Became State Attorney General; minister to Tur