About Caleb Rodney
Caleb Rodney (April 29, 1767 – April 29, 1840) was an American merchant and politician from Lewes, in Sussex County, Delaware. He was a member of the Federalist Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as Governor of Delaware.
Early life and family
See also: Rodney family of Delaware
Rodney was born in Lewes, Delaware, son of John and Ruth Hunn Rodney, brother of former Governor Daniel Rodney, and distantly related to President Caesar Rodney. He married Elizabeth West and had five children, Hannah, Hester, Penelope, Eliza, and Daniel. They were members of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Lewes. He ran a store at the corner of 2nd and Market Streets there, the door to which was allegedly damaged in the British attack and is now on display at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes.
Professional and political career
Rodney served in the State House for four sessions from 1802 through 1805, when he was elected to the State Senate and served for four more sessions from 1806 through 1809. He was back in the State House for two sessions in 1812 and 1813, and then returned to the State Senate for one session in 1816. In October 1816 he ran for U.S. Congress, but lost the election. So, the following year he was returned to his old seat in the State Senate and served for five sessions from 1818 through 1822. He was the Speaker in the last two sessions and, therefore, became Governor upon the death of Governor John Collins. He then served as Governor from April 23, 1822 until January 21, 1823.
Rodney was known as an opponent of slavery, expressing the desire that the institution could be ended through continued manumissions.
Death and legacy
Rodney died at Lewes, Delaware and is buried there, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church Cemetery. No known portrait of Caleb Rodney exists.