CORNELIUS PARSONS COMEGYS, Delaware’s 23rd governor, was born in Kent County, Maryland, on January 15, 1780. After receiving his education in Maryland’s public school system, Comegys moved to Delaware, and started a career in farming. During the War of 1812, he commanded the 5th Regiment of the Delaware militia as major and adjutant general. He later was promoted to lieutenant colonel commandant of the 5th Regiment. Comegys entered public service with an appointment as Kent County’s commissioner of tax, a position he held from 1809 to 1811. He served in the Delaware House of Representatives, and served as speaker of the house from 1812 to 1816. He also served as Delaware’s state treasurer from 1818 to 1834, and was a presidential elector in 1832. On November 8, 1836, he won election to Delaware’s governorship, and on January 17, 1837, he was sworn into office. During his tenure, the penal codes and the common schools were restructured. Also school tax legislation was revised, and the governor endorsed the government’s disbursement on French spoliation demands. Comegys did not seek reelection due to the Delaware Constitution of 1831 that restricted a governor to one term. He finished his term on January 17, 1837, and retired from public service. Governor Cornelius P. Comegys died on January 27, 1851, and is buried at the Whatcoat Cemetery in Dover, 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.