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Thompson, Jacob

Jacob Thompson (1810-1885) was one of nine children born to Lucretia Van Hook and Nicolas Thompson, a tanner in Leasburg. Jacob was a member of the Philanthropic Society, graduated in 1831, and remained at the University for eighteen months as a tutor. After studying law in Greensboro, NC, he relocated to Mississippi and launched a successful political career that included service in the state's congress and as US secretary of the interior. As a Confederate agent in Canada, Thompson tried to arrange escapes from prisoner-of-war camps; together with other Confederate leaders, he was charged with conspiracy in the assassination of President Lincoln (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 6:28-29).