Henry M. Ridgely

Infobox Officeholder
honorific-prefix =
name = Henry M. Ridgely
honorific-suffix =


imagesize =
small

office = U. S. Senator from Delaware
term_start = January 23 1827
term_end = March 3 1829
predecessor = Daniel Rodney
successor = John M. Clayton
office2 = U. S. Representative from Delaware
1st "at-large"
term_start2 = March 4 1811
term_end2 = March 3 1815
predecessor2 = Nicholas Van Dyke
successor2 = Thomas Clayton
birth_date = birth date|1779|8|6|mf=y
birth_place = Dover, Delaware
death_date = death date and age|1847|8|6|1779|8|6
death_place = Dover, Delaware
spouse = Sally Banning
Sarah Ann Comegys
party = Federalist Party
residence = Dover, Delaware
alma_mater = Dickinson College
occupation =
profession = lawyer
religion = Episcopalian

Henry Moore Ridgely (August 6 1779 – August 6 1847) was an American lawyer and politician from Dover, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Federalist Party, and later the Democratic Party, who served as U.S. Representative from Delaware and as U.S. Senator from Delaware.

Early life and family

Ridgely was born August 6 1779 in Dover, Delaware, the son of Dr. Charles and Ann Moore Ridgely. He attended Dickinson College and studied law with Charles Smith of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Admitted to the Bar in 1802, he began a practice in Dover. Sally Banning of Dover was his first wife, and they had fifteen children, including eight who lived to adulthood: Charles George, Elizabeth, Ann, Henry, Nicholas, Eugene, Williamina and Edward. In 1842, Ridgely married Sarah Ann Comegys, the daughter of Cornelius P. Comegys, the former Governor of Delaware. They had no children. They were all members of Christ Episcopal Church. Ridgely was instrumental in the organization of the Farmer’s Bank and served as its president in Dover for forty years.

Political career

Ridgely was a Federalist and began his political career in the State House, serving in three sessions from 1808 through 1810. He was a Kent County Levy Court Commissioner as well. Subsequently, he was elected to the 12th U.S. Congress and 13th U.S. Congress, serving in the U.S. House from March 4 1811 until March 3 1815. There he joined the general Federalist opposition to the War of 1812. Much of his correspondence from these days is published in "A Calendar of Ridgely Family Letters, 1742-1899."

Not seeking reelection in 1814, he returned to Dover and resumed the practice of law. He served as the Secretary of State of Delaware from 1817 until 1827 and also was elected to the State House for the 1816, 1822, and 1827 sessions. In 1827, he was elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Nicholas Van Dyke and served out his term from January 12 1827 until March 3 1829. He was not reelected to the next Congress because, in the great political realignment then underway, Ridgely had become a supporter of Andrew Jackson, in opposition to the majority in the Delaware General Assembly. He was an opponent of slavery and is said to have bought slaves, only to release them.

Death and legacy

Ridgely died August 6 1847 in Dover Delaware and is buried in Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery there. He was considered a man of superior judgment with a considerable talent for business.

Almanac

Elections were held the first Tuesday of October. Members of the State House took office on the first Tuesday of January for a one year term. U.S. Representatives were popularly elected for a two year term, and the General Assembly chose the U.S. Senators, for a six year term. Both took office the following March 4th.

{|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
State Representative
Legislature
Dover
1807
January 1 1808
January 7 1809|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
State Representative
Legislature
Dover
1808
January 1 1809
January 7 1810|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
State Representative
Legislature
Dover
1809
January 1 1810
January 7 1811|
-Party shading/Anti-Masonic
U.S. Representative
Legislature
Washington
1810
March 4 1811
March 3 1813|
-Party shading/Anti-Masonic
U.S. Representative
Legislature
Washington
1812
March 4 1813
March 3 1815|
- Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
Secretary of State
Executive
Dover|
1817
1827|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
State Representative
Legislature
Dover
1815
January 1 1816
January 7 1817|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
State Representative
Legislature
Dover
1821
January 1 1822
January 7 1823|
-Party shading/Anti-Jacksonian
State Representative
Legislature
Dover
1826
January 1 1827
January 7 1828|
-Party shading/Anti-Masonic
U.S. Senator
Legislature
Washington|
January 12 1827
March 3 1829|
###@@@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
1808
32nd
State House
Federalist
George Truitt|
Kent "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1809
33rd
State House
Federalist
George Truitt|
Kent "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1810
34th
State House
Federalist
George Truitt|
Kent "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1816
40th
State House
Federalist
Daniel Rodney|
Kent "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1822
46th
State House
Federalist
John Collins|
Kent "at-large"
-Party shading/Federalist
1827
51st
State House
Federalist
Charles Polk, Jr.|
Kent "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/Democratic-Republican
1811-1813
12th
U.S. House
Democratic-Republican
James Madison|
"at-large"
-Party shading/Democratic-Republican
1813-1815
13th
U.S. House
Democratic-Republican
James Madison|
1st "at-large"
-Party shading/Democratic
1825-1827
19th
U.S. Senate
Democratic
John Quincy Adams|
class 2
-Party shading/Democratic
1827-1829
20th
U.S. Senate
Democratic
John Quincy Adams|
class 2
###@@@KEYEND@@@###

{|class=wikitable style="width: 94%" style="text-align: center;" align="center"
-bgcolor=#cccccc!colspan=13 style="background: #ccccff;" |Election results
-!Year!Office!!Subject!Party!Votes!%!!Opponent!Party!Votes!%
-
1810
U.S. Representative|
Party shading/Federalist |Henry M. Ridgely
Party shading/Federalist |Federalist
Party shading/Federalist |3,634
Party shading/Federalist |50%|
Party shading/Democratic-Republican |Richard C. Dale
Party shading/Democratic-Republican | Democratic-Republican
Party shading/Democratic-Republican |6,229
Party shading/Democratic-Republican |51%
-
1812
U.S. Representative|
Party shading/Federalist |Henry M. Ridgely
Thomas Cooper
Party shading/Federalist |Federalist
Party shading/Federalist |4,193
4,182
Party shading/Federalist |29%
29%|
Party shading/Democratic-Republican |David Hall
Richard C. Dale
Party shading/Democratic-Republican | Democratic-Republican
Party shading/Democratic-Republican |3,221
3,210
Party shading/Democratic-Republican |22%
22%
###@@@KEYEND@@@###

References

*cite book |title = History of the State of Delaware, 3 vols. |last = Conrad |first = Henry C. |coauthors = |work = |publisher = Wickersham Company |location = Lancaster, Pennsylvania |year = 1908 |id =
*cite book |author=Martin, Roger A. |title=Delawareans in Congress 1789-1900 |year=2003 |id=0-924117-26-5
*cite book |author=Scharf, John Thomas. |title=History of Delaware 1609-1888. 2 vols |publisher=L. J. Richards & Co Philadelphia |year=1888 |id=

External links

*CongBio|R000245
*Find A Grave|id=7504187
* [http://www.russpickett.com/history/sentbio.htm#ridgely Henry M. Ridgely at "Delaware’s Senators"]

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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