Thomas Willis Cobb was born in Columbia County, Georgia, in 1784. John Cobb, his father, moved to Georgia from Virginia. Originally, their last name was Cobbs, the elder Cobb was one of the first to drop the “s.” Thomas Cobb practiced law in Lexington, Georgia.
Cobb served two terms as United States Representative for Georgia. The first term was from 1817 through 1821, Fifteenth Congress and Sixteenth Congress. Cobb was unsuccessful in his election for the Seventeenth Congress. Cobb resumed his role as Representative in the Eighteenth Congress on March 4, 1823. However, on December 6, 1824, Cobb resigned after being elected Senator for the seat vacated by Nicholas Ware’s passing away. Cobb was Chairman of the Committee on Public Expenditures.
Cobb was marked as an eloquent debater. One noted speech was regarding General Jackson’s policy in the Florida Campaign. Cobb was one of the leaders in the vote to censure that officer. He was prominent in the debates on the Missouri question in 1819.
In 1828, Cobb resigned from his post as Senator and became a judge in the Superior Court of Georgia. Cobb’s tenure as jurist was served in the Ocmulgee Circuit. Cobb’s wife was Mary Cobb. It is suspected that the city of Marietta is named after her. Thomas Willis Cobb died in Greensborough, Georgia, on February 1, 1830 and was layed to rest in the Greensboro Cemetery. The following epitaph is inscribed over his grave:
To the Memory of
The Honorable Thomas W. Cobb,
Who departed this life
On Monday 1st February 1830
In the 46th year of his age.
He had been at successive periods
A REPRESENTATIVE and SENATOR
In the Congress of the United States,
And was at the time of his death
A JUDGE of the Superior Courts
of the State of Georgia.
In his domestic circle
He was fond and affectionate
As a Friend he was ardent and devoted
As a Man, honorable, generous, and sincere
As a Stateman, independent, and inflexible
As a Judge, pure, and incorruptible
Amiable in private,
and useful in public life
His death was a deep affliction
To his Children, his Friends,
and his Country.
“An honest Man’s the noblest work of God.”
Virtual American Biographies
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Senators From Georgia, Published 1974
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