Thomas was born in Alexandria, Virginia on January 18, 1804. Newton attended public schools in Virginia. He moved to Little Rock, Arkansas in 1820. In 1825 he became clerk of the court of Pulaski County, Arkansas and served for four years. In 1829 he moved to Shelby County, Kentucky where he remained for eight years. He returned to Little Rock in 1837 and began working in a bank as a cashier.
In 1844 he ran for a seat in the Arkansas State Senate and was elected as a Whig. He served four years in the Senate. Newton was elected to fill the vacant seat in Congress after Archibald Yell resigned in 1847 to join the Army for the Mexican–American War. This election made Newton the only person ever elected to the U.S. House from Arkansas as a Whig. Newton served in Washington for only a month, and declined to run for a full term.
- United States Congress. "Thomas Willoughby Newton (id: N000077)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's at-large congressional district
February 6, 1847 – March 3, 1847
Robert W. Johnson