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Caleb Prew Bennett

Gov. Caleb Prew Bennett

  • January 15, 1833 - May 9, 1836
  • Democrat
  • November 11, 1758
  • May 9, 1836
  • Pennsylvania
  • Married Catherine Britton; thirteen children
  • Died in Office
  • Army


CALEB PREW BENNETT, the first Delaware governor to be elected to a four-year term, was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, on November 11, 1758. He was educated in the public school system of Wilmington, Delaware. In 1775 Bennett enlisted in the Continental army, serving during the Revolutionary War. He rose to the rank of lieutenant, and fought in numerous battles, including the battle of Camden, and the siege of Yorktown. He also served during the War of 1812, as captain of the artillery, and later was as major, directing troops at New Castle and staying until the peace treaty was signed. Bennett entered politics as treasurer of New Castle County, a position he held from 1806 to 1832. On October 13, 1832 he was elected Delaware’s 21st governor, and on January 15, 1833, he was sworn into office.  During his tenure, South Carolina’s proposal to abolish the tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 was openly criticized and deemed as unconstitutional by the Delaware legislature. Also during Bennett’s term, several businesses were incorporated, including the People’s Steam Navigation Company and Powhattan Coal Company. On May 9, 1836, before finishing his term, Governor Caleb P. Bennett passed away. He is buried at the Friends Burial Ground in Wilmington, Delaware.


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.

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