Thornton A. Jenkins (11 December 1811 – 9 August 1893) was an officer in the United States Navy, who served during the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. He later served as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation and as President of the United States Naval Institute. Jenkins retired as a Rear Admiral.
Born at Orange Court House, Virginia, Jenkins entered the Navy as a midshipman on 1 November 1828, and served first in the West Indies in an expedition against pirates and slavers. Examined for a commission as lieutenant, he placed first among 82 candidates. In 1831 Jenkins helped to suppress Nat Turner's slave rebellion.
Prior to the Mexican-American War, Jenkins served with the Coast Survey and with the Brazilian and Mediterranean Squadrons. During the war with Mexico, as executive officer of Germantown, he led landing parties from his ship at Tuxpan and Tabasco. Later, he commanded the store-ship Relief and the Supply Station at Salmedena Island. In the interval between the wars, he served in the receiving ship at Baltimore, returned to the Coast Survey, and was Secretary of the Lighthouse Board.
His Civil War record was distinguished.