Thomas Gorsuch was the son of Edward Gorsuch (1795-1851) and his first wife, Sarah Bowen Stansbury (d. 1846). (Findagrave.com) Thomas was the youngest son of five children. Edward Gorsuch was a planter and slave owner in Maryland. He died at the Riot of Christiana, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, while attempting to reclaim four escaped slaves under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. Edward’s eldest son, John Stansbury Gorsuch, became the guardian of his younger brother, Thomas, until his own death a year later. The guardianship was then taken over by Edward’s brother, Thomas Talbott Gorsuch (1802-1879) of Philopolis, Maryland. This is reflected in the Matriculation Book entry for Thomas’s “parent or guardian.” (U.Va. Matriculation Books; Sharkey)
The Milton Academy Boarding School for Young Gentlemen, was located in Philopolis. (The Milton Academy building is now the Milton Inn.) Eleven-year-old John Wilkes Booth entered the Milton Academy in 1849, and studied there for three years. One of Booth’s friends during his school years was fellow student Tom Gorsuch, who lived on the farm next door to the school. It was in 1851 that Tom’s father was killed during the riots. (Pitts)
Thomas Gorsuch attended the University of Virginia in sessions 30-33 (1853-1857). He studied Ancient Languages (especially Latin and Greek), Modern Languages, Mathematics, and Natural Philosophy during his four years at U.Va. He became a teacher, but at the time of his death Gorsuch had retired from teaching. He died of a stroke. (Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 31 Jul. 1897)
Prof. Thomas Gorsuch, a passenger on the steamer St. Paul, which arrived this morning from Southampton, died at sea, on July 24. He was a professor of languages and a native of Baltimore, Md. but for the last seven or eight years had lived in England. His body will be taken to Baltimore for burial. (Alexandria Gazette and Virginia Advertiser (Virginia), 31 Jul. 1897)
The July 31st date of the Alexandria newspaper article indicates that the date given on his monument (August 2nd) is incorrect. He is buried in Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland. (Findagrave.com) He died unmarried and without children.
- [Advertisement for Milton Academy.] The Baltimore Sun, Sept 1, 1881, p. 2.
- “Died at sea.” Alexandria Gazette and Virginia Advertiser (Virginia), 31 Jul. 1897, p. 2.
- Gorsuch tombstone, Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, MD. Findagrave.com
- Kauffman, Michael W. American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies. New York: Random House, 2004, p. 88.
- Lamb’s School/Milton Academy. Maryland Historical Trust State Historic Sites Inventory Form. June 2, 2000. http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/stagsere/se1/se5/003000/003300/003314/pdf/msa_se5_3314.pdf
- Pitts, Jonathan M. “Road to Lincoln’s end ran through Baltimore.” Baltimore Sun, 8 April 2015. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-end-of-civil-war-20150407-story.html
- Sharkey, Jennifer A. Register of the Gorsuch-Mitchell Papers 1698-1921, MS. 2733. Baltimore, MD, Maryland Historical Society. http://www.mdhs.org/findingaid/gorsuch-mitchell-papers-1698-1921-ms-2733
- “Thomas Gorsuch Dead.” Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 31 Jul. 1897, p.2.
- “Thomas Gorsuch’s Death.” Sun (New York), 8 Aug. 1897, p.2.
- “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN31-8M8 : 13 August 2016), Thomas Gorsuch in household of Dickinson Gorsuch, District 8, Baltimore, Maryland, United States; citing enumeration district ED 241, sheet 122D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0496; FHL microfilm 1,254,496.
- University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
- Williams, Jeffrey S. “Another take on President Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination.” (April 15, 2015) This Week In the Civil War. [weblog] http://thisweekinthecivilwar.com/?p=2086