Samuel R. Thayer

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Samuel R. Thayer
Samuel R. Thayer.jpg
United States Ambassador to the Netherlands
In office
May 24, 1889 – August 7, 1893
PresidentBenjamin Harrison
Preceded byRobert B. Roosevelt
Succeeded byWilliam E. Quinby
Personal details
Samuel Richard Thayer

December 12, 1837 (1837-12-12)
Richmond, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 7, 1909 (1909-01-08) (aged 71)
Rochester, New York, U.S.
Resting placeMount Hope Cemetery
Political partyRepublican
Alma materUnion College

Samuel Richard Thayer (December 12, 1837 – January 7, 1909) was an American attorney and diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to the Netherlands.[1]

Early life[edit]

Thayer was born in Richmond, New York on December 12, 1837.[2] He was the son of George Thayer (1807–1900), a constable, farmer and store owner, and Phebe Lorenda (née Wood) Thayer (1813–1873).[3]

He graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1860 and taught school for two years. He then relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, studied law with Francis R. E. Cornell, attained admission to the bar, and established a practice in Minneapolis.[4][5]


A Republican, Thayer was interested in higher education and served as a member of the Minnesota State Normal School Board from 1873 to 1877.[6]

On March 19, 1889 President Benjamin Harrison appointed Thayer to succeed Robert Barnwell Roosevelt as Ambassador to the Netherlands.[7] Thayer served until 1893 when he was succeeded by William Emory Quinby.[8]

Besides maintaining a thriving law practice, Thayer was a successful businessman, including profitable investments in Minnesota real estate, and he made substantial donations to normal schools and colleges throughout the state. In 1892, he received an honorary LL.D. degree from Union College.[9] Later in his career he maintained homes and offices in both Minneapolis and New York City.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Thayer died in Rochester, New York on January 7, 1909 while visiting his brother.[10] He was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.[11]


  1. ^ "Netherlands - Chiefs of Mission - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Attorney and diplomat Samuel R. Thayer dies". Democrat and Chronicle. January 7, 1909. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ Descendants of Rufus and Pamela (Throop) Thayer: With Some Little Account of Their Ancestry. A. Sutcliffe Company, printers. 1896. p. 16. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  4. ^ John William Leonard, Albert Nelson Marquis, Who's Who in America, Volume 3, 1903, page 1469
  5. ^ Minnesota Historical Society, Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Volume 15, 1915, pages 804 to 805
  6. ^ James Grant Wilson, John Fiske, Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography, Volume 7, 1901, page 262
  7. ^ "Samuel Richard Thayer - People - Department History". Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs United States Department of State. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  8. ^ Andrew Van Vranken Raymond, Union University: Its History, Influence, Characteristics and Equipment, Volume 2, 1907, page 145
  9. ^ Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission, Official Minutes, 1909, page 751
  10. ^ New York Times, Samuel R. Thayer Dead, January 8, 1909
  11. ^ Samuel R. Thayer at Find A Grave

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Robert Roosevelt
U.S. Minister to the Netherlands
Succeeded by
William E. Quinby