David Tod - Facts

February 21, 1805 - November 13, 1868

Key facts about David Tod, Ohio's second governor during the American Civil War.

David Tod, Governor of Ohio

In September 1862, Ohio Governor David Tod enlisted the aid of 15,766 volunteers, known as the “Squirrel Hunters,” to help protect Cincinnati from a Confederate invasion. [Wikimedia Commons]

Full Name:

  • David Tod

Birth Date:

  • February 21, 1805

Birth Location:

  • Youngstown, Ohio


  • George and Sarah (Isaacs) Tod


  • Burton Academy


  • Lawyer
  • Politician

Career Summary:

  • Minister to Brazil
  • Ohio Governor
  • Ohio Supreme Court Justice


  • Maria Smith (1832)


  • the Soldier’s Friend

Place of Death:

  • Youngstown, Ohio

Date of Death:

  • November 13, 1868

Place of Burial:

  • Oak Hill Cemetery in Youngstown


  • David Tod’s father was a successful lawyer and a justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.
  • David Tod attended Burton Academy in Geauga County and studied law in Warren, Ohio.
  • David Tod was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1827.
  • David Tod was an active leader in the Mahoning Valley coal and iron industries. During his business career, he helped form and manage the Cleveland and Mahoning Railroad, and he established the Brier Hill Iron and Coal Company.
  • In 1832, David Tod was appointed as postmaster of Warren, Ohio.
  • In 1832, David Tod married Maria Smith of Warren. The couple had three daughters and four sons during their marriage.
  • David Tod was a member of the Democratic Party.
  • In 1838, David Tod successfully ran for a seat in the Ohio Senate.
  • In 1844 and 1846, Democrats selected David Tod as their candidate in Ohio’s gubernatorial elections. He lost the first election to Whig candidate Mordecai Bartley by 1,271 votes–less than one-half of one percent of the votes cast. He lost the second election to Whig candidate William Bebb by 2,385 votes–less than one percent of the total votes cast.
  • In 1847, President James K. Polk appointed David Tod as minister to Brazil. He served in that post until 1851.
  • In 1858, David Tod ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives but was defeated by Republican John Hutchins.
  • In 1860, David Tod served as an Ohio delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • In 1860, David Tod served as chairman of the second Democratic National Convention in Baltimore and was instrumental in securing the Democratic presidential nomination for Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas.
  • During the Civil War, David Tod was a War Democrat and a member of the Union Party.
  • On November 5, 1861, David Tod defeated Peace Democrat Hugh J. Jewett by over 50,000 votes to become Ohio’s twenty-fifth governor.
  • Throughout his tenure as governor of Ohio, David Tod was plagued by opposition from Peace Democrats, also known as Copperheads.
  • On August 12, 1862, Tod recommended that federal officials arrest former Ohio Congressman, and Peace Democrat Edson Olds at his home in Lancaster, Ohio for treasonable acts, including discouraging enlistments in the army.
  • In June 1863, Ohio Congressman, and Peace Democrat Edson Olds swore out a warrant for the David Tod’s arrest and filed a law suit against him for kidnapping in June 1863. Olds dropped the charges several months later.
  • In 1863, Governor Tod looked askance, as Clement Vallandigham was denied access to Ohio’s civilian courts after being arrested for violating Major General Ambrose Burnside’s controversial General Order Number 38.
  • During the Civil War, Ohio Governor David Tod and federal officials resorted to the unpopular practice of conscription to meet manpower quotas issued by the war department.
  • In June 1863, Ohio Governor David Tod deployed over 400 federal soldiers to Holmes County to quell a protest against the draft by Northeast Ohio residents, which became popularly known as the “Battle of Fort Fizzle.”
  • Despite his difficulty filling quotas from the war department, Ohio Governor David Tod resisted the idea of enlisting black soldiers.
  • In September 1862, Ohio Governor David Tod enlisted the aid of 15,766 volunteers, known as the “Squirrel Hunters,” to help protect Cincinnati from a Confederate invasion.
  • On July 12, 1863, Ohio Governor David Tod mustered the Ohio militia into action against Morgan’s Raiders.
  • The Union Party did not re-nominate Governor David Tod for the Ohio gubernatorial election of 1863.
  • Ohio Governor Tod’s efforts to provide for the needs of Ohio soldiers, including equipment, rations, transportation, pay, and health care, earned him the nickname, “the Soldier’s Friend.”
  • In 1864, David Tod turned down President Abraham Lincoln’s nomination to serve as the United States secretary of the treasury.
  • In 1868, David Tod was selected as a Republican presidential elector for Ulysses S. Grant, but he passed away before the Electoral College met.
  • David Tod died of a stroke at age 63, on November 13, 1868, at his home in Youngstown, leaving behind a widow and seven children.
  • David Tod is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Youngstown.

Citation Information

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  • Article Title David Tod - Facts
  • Date February 21, 1805 - November 13, 1868
  • Author
  • Keywords david tod
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date April 14, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update January 12, 2024