BENJAMIN THOMAS BIGGS, Delaware’s thirty-eighth governor, was born near Bohemia Manor in Cecil County, Maryland on October 1, 1821. He was educated at Pennington Seminary in New Jersey, and Wesleyan University in Middletown, Delaware. He was commissioned a major during the Mexican War, but never saw active duty. Biggs entered politics in 1853, as a member of the Delaware Constitutional Convention. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1860, however nine years later he was successful, and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1869 to 1873. He also served as a delegate to the 1872 Democratic National Convention, and served as director of the Kent and Queen Anne’s Railroad. On November 2, 1886 he won election as Governor of Delaware, and on January 18, 1887 he was sworn into office. During his tenure, legislation passed that mandated a husband to provide support for his wife and children, and a bill was enacted that permitted individuals to take part in an election on whether or not to hold a constitutional convention. Also, a valued-policy insurance law was constituted, a state hospital for the insane was initiated, and the office of superintendent of schools was increased from two to three. On January 20, 1891 Biggs left office, retiring from public service, and returning to his agricultural interests. Governor Benjamin T. Biggs died on December 25, 1893, and is buried at the Bethel Cemetery near Chesapeake City, Maryland.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.