Thomas J. Oakley

For other people named Thomas Oakley, see Thomas Oakley (disambiguation).
Thomas J. Oakley, New York Congressman

Thomas Jackson Oakley (November 10, 1783 near Poughkeepsie – May 11, 1857 New York City) was a United States Representative and New York State Attorney General.



He graduated from Yale College in 1801, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1804 and commenced practice in Poughkeepsie.[1]

Professional career

He was Surrogate of Dutchess County from 1810 to 1811, and was elected as a Federalist to the Thirteenth United States Congress (March 4, 1813 March 4, 1815). During this term, Oakley was an anti-war Federalist and opposed the policy of the War of 1812.[2]

Oakley was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1816. From 1819 to 1821, he was New York State Attorney General.

He was again elected to Congress, serving from March 4, 1827, until May 9, 1828, when he resigned to go on the bench. He was a judge of the superior court of New York City from 1828 to 1847, was appointed chief justice in October 1847 and served until his death in office.[1]

Oakely's resignation from Congress in 1828 was a disappointment as Oakley was offered a candidacy as President but declined it.[2][3]

Personal life

He married Matilda Cruger (1809–1891), and they had several children. His father-in-law was Henry Cruger, who had the unique distinction of serving as both a member of Parliament (1774–1780; 1784–1790) and as a New York State Senator (1792–1796).[3]


Oakley died May 11, 1857 and is buried at Trinity Churchyard in New York City.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Emott
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Abraham H. Schenck
Political offices
Preceded by
Martin Van Buren
New York State Attorney General
Succeeded by
Samuel A. Talcott
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bartow White
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas Taber II
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