On this day in 1745, future Patriot physician and U.S. Treasurer Thomas Tudor Tucker is born to a prominent family in Port Royal, Bermuda.
After completing medical studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Tucker spent time in Virginia before opening a practice in Charleston, South Carolina–a city favored by the Bermudan elite. He was elected to the state assembly in 1776, where he took the Patriot side, and continued to serve intermittently in that body until 1788. As South Carolina became the major theater of the war, Dr. Tucker served the Southern Department of the Continental Army as a hospital surgeon and continued in that capacity until 1783. South Carolina sent Tucker to the Continental Congress in 1787 and 1788, as the states began to redefine themselves as a federal union.
Tucker, however, was an anti-Federalist who believed that the Constitution had given the central government too much weight when it established the tenuous balance between state and federal authority. Nonetheless, he held prominent positions in the new national government. From 1789 to 1793, he served in the United States House of Representatives. Eight years later, Tucker accepted Thomas Jefferson’s appointment as the treasurer of the United States. He remained in the position under four presidents: Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and John Quincy Adams, and died while holding the office in 1828. From 1809 to 1817, he managed to hold the treasurer’s post while also serving as President James Madison’s personal physician.