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Monday, January 25, 2021
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Thomas Oliver, 1733-1815
 Thomas Oliver, a graduate of Harvard in 1753, began life under the most favorable circumstances. His father, Robert Oliver, a wealthy planter from Antigua, settled in Dorchester in 1737, bringing his wife Anne and son Thomas, who later became the last Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Massachusetts. Thomas's grandfather, James Brown, and his great-uncle, Robert Oliver, left Thomas very well-off.

Thomas married into the Vassall family of Cambridge who were closely allied with the Royalls. All three families had probably originated in New England, then were resident in Antigua, and returned here to enjoy their acquired wealth: Royall in Medford, Vassall in Cambridge, and Oliver in Dorchester. Thomas probably left Dorchester in 1766 when he built a house in Cambridge.

Thomas Oliver was President of the Governor's Council (the Mandamus Council), and in 1774, by a curious mistake, he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor. His immediate predecessor was Andrew Oliver, of a totally distinct family, and it is understood that the King thought he was appointing a brother of Andrew. Thomas was forced by popular uprising to resign this position, and quitted Cambridge, never to return. He remained in Boston for a year and left in March, 1776, with the British troops. He forfeited a large estate here but was still wealthy and lived till 1815, dying in Bristol, England.

Source: The Centennial Anniversary of the Birth of Edward Everett, Celebrated by the Dorchester Historical Society, April 11th, 1894. Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, 1895.

Related Images: showing 8 of 35 (more results)
Here are some images from the Atheneum archive related to this topic. Click on any of these images to open a slideshow of all 35 images.
Oliver OpticEdward Everett's birthplaceColonel Oliver PeabodyEdward Everett House
Charles Wesley Blackett, Oliver Wertz Hutchinson, Wilbur George Chaffee, Robert Leroy TaylorThe PeabodyWilliam T. AdamsYoung Lieutenant
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Created: August 22, 2003   Modified: August 22, 2003