Thomas Hurley Brents
|Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington Territory's at-large district|
March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1885
|Preceded by||Orange Jacobs|
|Succeeded by||Charles Stewart Voorhees|
|Born||December 24, 1840|
|Died||October 23, 1916 (aged 75)|
At sea off Acapulco, Mexico
Thomas Hurley Brents (December 24, 1840 – October 23, 1916) was an American politician and attorney in the Pacific Northwest. A native of Illinois, he was raised in Oregon where he served in the Oregon House of Representatives. A Republican, he later lived in California and then Washington Territory where he was the Congressional Delegate for the territory from 1879 to 1885.
Thomas Brents was born near Florence, Illinois, in Pike County on December 24, 1840. Brents attended the common schools and in Oregon he attended Portland Academy, the Baptist Seminary in Oregon City, and then McMinnville College (now Linfield College. He served as a Justice of the Peace in 1862 and then moved to Canyon City, Oregon, where he was engaged in the general mercantile business from 1863 to 1864. There he served as postmaster at the same time, and then from 1864 to 1866 he served as clerk of Grant County.
In 1866, he served as delegate to the Union-Republican convention of Oregon, and was elected that year to the Oregon House of Representatives from Grant County. Brents then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1866 and commenced practice in San Francisco, California, in 1867.
Brents moved to Walla Walla, Washington, in 1870 and served as city attorney of Walla Walla in 1871 and 1872. He then presided over the Republican Territorial convention at Vancouver in 1874. Brents was elected as a Republican to the Forty-sixth, Forty-seventh, and Forty-eighth Congresses (March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1885). Brents was an enthusiastic advocate of bigotry toward Chinese immigrants, claiming that "Most them are criminals and prostitutes. . . . almost without an exception they will steal, commit perjury and other crimes of the most heinous nature.
He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1884 and then resumed the practice of law, later serving as judge of the superior court of Walla Walla from 1896 to 1913. Thomas Brents died in Walla Walla, Washington, on October 23, 1916, at the age of 75 and was interred in Blue Mountain Cemetery.
- Snowden, Clinton A.; Cornelius Holgate Hanford; Miles C. Moore; William D. Tyler; Stephen J. Chadwick (1911). History of Washington. Century History Company. pp. 306–326. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
- "Thomas Hurley Brents". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- Oregon Legislators and Staff Guide: 1866 Regular Session (4th). Oregon State Archives. Retrieved on April 21, 2009.
- 13 Cong. Rec. Appendix 39
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington Territory's at-large congressional district
March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1885
Charles Stewart Voorhees
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.