John Wales, U.S. Senator

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John Wales

Birthplace: New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Death: Died in Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Wales and Catherine Wales
Husband of Ann Wales
Brother of Isaac Miles Wales; Catherine Wales; Samuel Wales and Leonard Eugene Wales

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About John Wales, U.S. Senator

John Wales (July 31, 1783 - December 3, 1863) was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Whig Party, who served as U.S. Senator from Delaware.

Early life and family

Wales was born in New Haven, Connecticut and graduated from Yale College in 1801. He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1801 and began practicing law in New Haven, and later, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After two years in Baltimore, Maryland, he moved to Wilmington, Delaware in 1815.

Professional career

In 1814 Wales became a secretary for the Society for the Promotion of American Manufacturers, which was designed to promote and encourage Delaware's manufacturing industry. Wales both drafted the by-laws of the Savings Bank in 1832 and served as the president of the National Bank of Wilmington and Brandywine from 1824 to 1829.

Political career

Wales served as the Secretary of State for Delaware from 1845 to 1849, and was elected as a Whig to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John M. Clayton. He served from February 23, 1849 until March 3, 1851 when he failed in his reelection bid.

An abolitionist, Wales served as a Delaware representative to the First National Convention of the Abolition of Slavery along with famous abolitionist Thomas Garrett. When Garrett was tried in 1848 for aiding the escape of a slave family, Wales served as his lawyer. He was also one of the founders of Newark College in Newark, Delaware, now the University of Delaware.

Death and legacy

Wales died at Wilmington and is buried there in the Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery.


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John Wales, U.S. Senator's Timeline

July 31, 1783
New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
December 3, 1863
Age 80
Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, United States