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About Outerbridge Horsey, III
Outerbridge Horsey, III (March 5, 1777 – June 9, 1842) was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Federalist Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, as Attorney General of Delaware and as United States Senator from Delaware.
Early life and family
Horsey was born in Little Creek Hundred, near Laurel, Delaware. First living in Georgetown, Delaware, he moved to Wilmington, and studied the law there under James A. Bayard, who remained his lifelong political mentor. A frequent supporter of education, Horsey, early in his career, urged the establishment of a library in Georgetown, and later was appointed a trustee of the College of Wilmington. He was admitted to the Delaware Bar in December 1807, and began a practice in Wilmington. He married Eliza Lee, daughter of Thomas Lee of Maryland.
Professional and political career
While practicing the law and after representing Sussex County in the State House from the 1801 session through the 1803 session, Horsey was appointed to be the Delaware Attorney General and served from 1806 to 1810.
In 1810 he was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of U.S. Senator Samuel White. He was reelected in 1814, and served from January 12, 1810, to March 3, 1821. While in the Senate he strongly opposed the War of 1812, but once it began, supported it equally strongly. Accordingly, he became a member of the Committee of Safety and was actively involved in preparing the defenses of Wilmington and Fort Union there. In March 1814 Horsey presented a petition from the citizens of Delaware to repeal the Embargo Act of 1807, but while able to get the appointment of a committee to consider the repeal, was ultimately unsuccessful. On Horsey's motion in January 1816, the Senate passed the resolution to print and distribute copies of Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin's Report on the Subject of Public Roads and Canals, which had been requested by the Senate in 1807 and presented to it in 1808; while still a contentious subject, the need for internal improvements had become much more apparent during the War of 1812.
Several years later, he parted ways with the Delaware General Assembly which had passed a resolution asking Delaware's congressmen to vote against any extension of slavery. Horsey did not feel U.S. Congress had the right to prohibit slavery in Missouri, or anywhere else in the Louisiana Purchase, and so supported the Missouri Compromise. Understanding the unpopularity of this position he did not seek reelection when his term ended. During the 16th Congress, he served as Chairman of the Committee on the District of Columbia.
Death and legacy
Horsey died at Needwood, his wife's estate near Petersville in Frederick County, Maryland and is buried in St. John's Cemetery at Frederick.