Thomas L. Clingman, an American politician, born at Huntsville, N. C, about 1812. He graduated at Chapel Hill university in 1832; became shortly after a member of the state legislature, and in 1843 was elected to congress, remaining a member of the house of representatives, with the exception of a single term, till 1858, and becoming chairman of the committee on foreign affairs. He was originally a whig, but subsequently joined the democratic party. In 1858 he was appointed to the United States senate, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Mr. Biggs, and in 1800 was elected senator for a full term. Upon the ap-proach of the civil war be opposed measures looking to the use of force against the South. In May, 1861, be was sent as a commissioner to the confederate congress, to give assurances that North Carolina would cooperate with the Confederate States, and was invited to participate in the discussions of that body. In July he was expelled from the senate of the United States, and afterward served as a colonel in the confederate army.

He made valuable contributions to the knowledge of the geology and mineralogy of North Carolina, especially as to its mountains, one of the highest peaks of which has received his name.