Joshua Clayton


Joshua Clayton

Infobox Officeholder
honorific-prefix =
name = Dr. Joshua Clayton
honorific-suffix =


imagesize =
small

office = U.S. Senator from Delaware
term_start = January 19 1798
term_end = August 11 1798
predecessor = John M. Vining
successor = William H. Wells
office2 = Governor of Delaware
term_start2 = January 15 1793
term_end2 = January 19 1796
predecessor2 = None
successor2 = Gunning Bedford, Sr.
office3 = President of Delaware
term_start3 = May 30 1789
term_end3 = January 15 1793
predecessor3 = Jehu Davis
successor3 = None
birth_date = birth date|1744|7|20|mf=y
birth_place = Wyoming, Delaware
death_date = death date and age|1798|8|11|1744|7|20
death_place = New Castle County, Delaware
spouse = Rachel McCleary
party = Federalist
residence = New Castle County, Delaware
alma_mater = University of Pennsylvania
occupation =
profession = physician
religion = Methodist

Dr. Joshua Clayton (July 20 1744 – August 11 1798) was an American physician and politician from Mt. Pleasant in Pencader Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware. He was an officer of the Continental Army in the American Revolution, and a member of the Federalist Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, as Governor of Delaware and as U.S. Senator from Delaware.

Early life and family

Clayton was born July 20 1744 near Wyoming, Delaware, son of John Clayton & Eleanor Edinfield. John Clayton was a miller, and the grandson of another Joshua Clayton, a Quaker, who came from Lincolnshire, England in the late 17th century. The younger Joshua Clayton went to medical school at, what is now, the University of Pennsylvania from 1757 until 1762, and then began a medical practice in Middletown, Delaware. He became close friends with Richard Bassett, and in 1765, married his adopted daughter, Rachael McCleary.

Clayton acquired a portion of Richard Bassett's Bohemia Manor estate, and in 1773 built their home, "Locust Grove." It is now known as the "Dickey Farm," and is on the Choptank Road, two miles west of Mt. Pleasant to the northwest of Middletown. There they had three children who lived to adulthood, Richard, James Lawson and Thomas. Their religious affiliation is unclear, but they were almost certainly members of the Bethel Methodist Church by the time of their deaths.

American Revolution

During the American Revolution Clayton served in the Bohemia Manor militia, where he had been commissioned a major. He was also an aide and surgeon to General George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine and at Valley Forge.

Political career

Following this Clayton served in the House of Assembly in the 1778/79 session, and again from the 1780/81 session through the 1783/84 session. He was back again in the 1785/86 session, and the 1787/88 session. He was chosen President of Delaware by the Delaware General Assembly on May 30 1789, and served as President until January 15 1793. Under the provisions of the new Delaware Constitution of 1792, he became the first popularly elected Governor of Delaware, and continued to serve in that capacity until his term ended, January 19 1796.

A New Constitution

This new state Constitution was the major political development of these years. With the new U.S. Constitution in place, it was necessary to revise the somewhat experimental Delaware Constitution of 1776. Under the initial leadership of John Dickinson, delegates provided for a real Governor, elected by popular vote and no longer sharing executive authority with the Privy Council. The other major change was to expand the voting franchise by eliminating the property ownership requirement.

A New State House

During Clayton's tenure it was determined that a new courthouse was needed in Kent County. Since the General Assembly had moved from New Castle in 1777, it had shared the county courthouse with the county officials. They wished to continue to do so in the new building. The county commissioners responsible for erecting the building agreed, but asked for "an appropriation for the completion of the building." In response, on June 2 1788, a committee of the General Assembly reported that "in their opinion such is the situation of the treasury, together with loud complaints of public creditors and their duty to constituents, that the prayer of the memorial cannot be complied with at this time."

A few days later, though, "all moneys arising from marriage and tavern licenses were appropriated to completing the court-house," and "on July 29 1791, a bill introduced by Kensey Johns was passed providing for a lottery to raise one thousand pounds for furnishing the court-house."

However, when the building was nearly complete, and being occupied by the General Assembly...:"on May 3 1792, it is said that Sheriff John Clayton, by order of the Levy Court, entered the Assembly rooms with drawn sword, and demanded their use for the workmen. The General Assembly there-upon adjourned to the tavern of Thomas Hale, at Duck Creek Cross-Roads, and continued their session.”

The next day, the State House adopted the following resolution: :"Whereas, John Clayton, who declared he spoke the sentiments of the people of Kent County hath, as one of the Commissioners for completing the Court-House in Dover, insulted the Legislature of this State by denying them the use of the chambers heretofore occupied by the General Assembly for holding their sessions, requiring them to be delivered up for the use of workmen employed about the building, in consequences of which both houses have adjourned the sessions to Duck Creek Cross-Roads; therefore, "Resolved unanimously, That in the opinion of this General Assembly the Legislature of the State ought not to be subject to the caprice of any individual in the State, and that it will not be proper for them to hold their sessions in the town of Dover until the Levy Court of Kent County, or some other proper authority shall, by an explicit act, appropriate to their use the Chambers in the said Court-House agreeable to the intention heretofore expressed."

"The State Senate failed to concur in the resolution, and pending further action the difficulty was reconciled, and beginning with the next session, November 1792, the General Assembly occupied the State-House, and have continued to the present time (1888)." [ cite book |title = History of Delaware 1609-1888. 2 vols. |last= Scharf |first= John Thomas ]

{|class=wikitable style="width: 94%" style="text-align: center;" align="center"
-bgcolor=#cccccc!colspan=12 style="background: #ccccff;" |Delaware General Assembly
"(sessions while President/Governor)"
-!Year!Assembly!!Senate Majority!Speaker!!House Majority!Speaker
-
1788/89
13th|
Party shading/Federalist |"non-partisan"
Party shading/Federalist |George Mitchell|
Party shading/Federalist |"non-partisan"
Party shading/Federalist |Jehu Davis
-
1789/90
14th|
Party shading/Federalist |"non-partisan"
Party shading/Federalist |George Mitchell|
Party shading/Federalist |"non-partisan"
Party shading/Federalist |Jehu Davis
-
1790/91
15th|
Party shading/Federalist |"non-partisan"
Party shading/Federalist |George Mitchell|
Party shading/Federalist |"non-partisan"
Party shading/Federalist |Henry Latimer
-
1791/92
16th|
Party shading/Federalist |"non-partisan"
Party shading/Federalist |George Mitchell|
Party shading/Federalist |"non-partisan"
Party shading/Federalist |Allan McLane
-
1793
17th|
Party shading/Federalist |Federalist
Party shading/Federalist |Daniel Rogers|
Party shading/Federalist |Federalist
Party shading/Federalist |Stephen Lewis
-
1794
18th|
Party shading/Federalist |Federalist
Party shading/Federalist |Daniel Rogers|
Party shading/Federalist |Federalist
Party shading/Federalist |Stephen Lewis
-
1795
19th|
Party shading/Federalist |Federalist
Party shading/Federalist |Daniel Rogers|
Party shading/Federalist |Federalist
Party shading/Federalist |Peter Lowber
###@@@KEYEND@@@###

United States Senate

Two years after his term ended, Clayton was chosen by the Delaware General Assembly to fill the vacant seat in the United States Senate caused by the resignation of U.S. Senator John M. Vining. He began his term January 19 1798 and served until his death on August 11 1798, while still in office. During this term, he served in the Federalist majority in the 5th Congress, during the administration of U.S. President John Adams.

Death and legacy

Clayton died August 11 1798 at Mt. Pleasant in New Castle County, Delaware after being stricken with yellow fever while at the United States Congress in Philadelphia. He was first buried at "Locust Grove" in Pencader Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware. Later his remains were moved to Bethel Church Cemetery, Chesapeake City, Maryland, from where they were moved again in 1965 upon a widening of the nearby Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

Clayton's son, Thomas Clayton was a U.S. Senator, and his nephew, John M. Clayton was also a U.S. Senator as well as U.S. Secretary of State.

Almanac

Elections were held October 1st and members of the General Assembly took office on October 20th, or the following weekday. Assemblymen had a one year term. The General Assembly chose the State President for a three year term. They also chose the U.S. Senators, who took office March 3rd, for a six year term.

Beginning in 1792, elections were held on the first Tuesday of October and members of the General Assembly took office on the first Tuesday of January. Also in 1792 the Legislative Council was renamed the State Senate and the House of Assembly, the State House. The State President became the Governor, was popularly elected, takes office the third Tuesday in January, and had a three year term.

{|class=wikitable style="width: 94%" style="text-align: center;" align="center"
-bgcolor=#cccccc!colspan=8 style="background: #ccccff;" | Public Offices
-! Office! Type! Location! Elected! Took Office! Left Office! notes
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
Assemblyman
Legislature
Dover
1778
October 20 1778
October 20 1779|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
Assemblyman
Legislature
Dover
1780
October 20 1780
October 20 1781|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
Assemblyman
Legislature
Dover
1781
October 20 1781
October 21 1782|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
Assemblyman
Legislature
Dover
1782
October 21 1782
October 20 1783|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
Assemblyman
Legislature
Dover
1783
October 20 1783
October 20 1784|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
Assemblyman
Legislature
Dover
1785
October 20 1785
October 20 1786|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
Assemblyman
Legislature
Dover
1786
October 20 1786
October 20 1787|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
Assemblyman
Legislature
Dover
1787
October 20 1787
October 20 1788|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
State President
Executive
Dover|
May 30 1789
January 15 1793|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
Governor
Executive
Dover
1792
January 15 1793
January 13 1796|
-Party shading/Anti-Masonic
U.S. Senator
Legislature
Philadelphia|
January 19 1798
August 11 1798
died in office
###@@@KEYEND@@@###

{|class=wikitable style="width: 94%" style="text-align: center;" align="center"
-bgcolor=#cccccc!colspan=7 style="background: #ccccff;" |Delaware General Assembly "service"
-! Dates! Assembly! Chamber! Majority! Governor! Committees! District
-Party shading/Federalist
1778/79
3rd
State House
"non-partisan"
Caesar Rodney|
New Castle "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1780/81
5th
State House
"non-partisan"
Caesar Rodney|
New Castle "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1781/82
6th
State House
"non-partisan"
John Dickinson|
New Castle "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1782/83
7th
State House
"non-partisan"
John Cook|
New Castle "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1783/84
8th
State House
"non-partisan"
Nicholas Van Dyke|
New Castle "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1785/86
10th
State House
"non-partisan"
Nicholas Van Dyke|
New Castle "at-large"

-Party shading/Federalist
1786/87
11th
State House
"non-partisan"
Thomas Collins|
New Castle "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1787/88
12th
State House
"non-partisan"
Thomas Collins|
New Castle "at-large"
###@@@KEYEND@@@###

{|class=wikitable style="width: 94%" style="text-align: center;" align="center"
-bgcolor=#cccccc!colspan=7 style="background: #ccccff;" |United States Congressional "service"
-! Dates! Congress! Chamber! Majority! President! Committees! Class/District
-Party shading/Federalist
1797-1799
5th
U.S. Senate
Federalist
John Adams|
class 2 [elected to fill vacancy caused by resignation of John M. Vining]

###@@@KEYEND@@@###

{|class=wikitable style="width: 94%" style="text-align: center;" align="center"
-bgcolor=#cccccc!colspan=12 style="background: #ccccff;" |Election results
-!Year!Office!!Subject!Party!Votes!%!!Opponent!Party!Votes!%
-
1792
Governor|
Party shading/Federalist |Joshua Clayton
Party shading/Federalist |Federalist
Party shading/Federalist |2,209
Party shading/Federalist |48%|
Party shading/Democratic-Republican |Thomas Montgomery
George Mitchell
Party shading/Democratic-Republican |Democratic-Republican
Independent Federalist
Party shading/Democratic-Republican |1,902
458
Party shading/Democratic-Republican |42%
10%
###@@@KEYEND@@@###

Notes

References

*cite book |title = History of the State of Delaware |last= Conrad |first= Henry C. |coauthors= |work= |publisher= Wickersham Company |location= Lancaster, Pennsylvania |pages= |year= 1908 |id=
*cite book |title = History of Delaware Through its Governors |last= Martin |first= Roger A. |coauthors= |work= |publisher= McClafferty Press |location= Wilmington, Delaware |pages= |year= 1984 |id=
*cite book |title = Memoirs of the Senate |last = Martin |first = Roger A. |coauthors = |work = |publisher = Roger A. Martin |location = Newark, Delaware |year = 1995 |id =
*cite book |title = Federalist Delaware 1775-1815 |last = Munroe |first = John A. |coauthors = |work= |publisher = Rutgers University |location = New Brunswick, New Jersey |pages = |year = 1954 |id=
*cite book |title = Collected Essays on Early Delaware |last= Rodney |first= Richard S. |coauthors= |work= |publisher= Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Delaware |location= Wilmington, Delaware |pages= |year= 1975 |id=
*cite book |title = History of Delaware 1609-1888. 2 vols |last= Scharf |first= John Thomas |coauthors= |work= |publisher= L. J. Richards & Co |location= Philadelphia |pages= |year= 1888 |id= ISBN 0-87413-493-5
*cite book |title = Forgotten Heroes of Delaware |last= Wilson |first= Emerson. |coauthors= |work= |publisher= Deltos Publishing Company |location= Cambridge, Massachusetts |pages= |year= 1969 |id=


=

* [http://www.state.de.us/research/Tour/information/Governors/govs-04.shtml Hall of Governors Portrait Gallery ] "Portrait courtesy of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Dover"

External links

* [http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.29fab9fb4add37305ddcbeeb501010a0/?vgnextoid=68ca224971c81010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD&vgnextchannel=e449a0ca9e3f1010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD Joshua Clayton at the "Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States"]
*CongBio|C0004973
* [http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/clayton.html#R9M0ISS6N Joshua Clayton at the "Political Graveyard"]
*Find A Grave|id=7412969
* [http://www.russpickett.com/history/delgov1.htm#clay1 Joshua Clayton at "Delaware’s Governors"]
* [http://www.russpickett.com/history/claybio.htm Joshua Clayton biography by Russell Pickett ]

Places with more information

* [http://www.hsd.org/ Historical Society of Delaware] , 505 Market St., Wilmington, Delaware (302) 655-7161
* [http://www.lib.udel.edu/ University of Delaware Library] , 181 South College Ave., Newark, Delaware (302) 831-2965


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