DAVID HAZZARD, Delaware’s 20th governor, was born in Milton, Delaware, on May 18, 1781. His schooling was limited, and he became a self-educated man. Hazzard entered the military with an appointment as lieutenant in the Second Company of the Delaware militia, a position he held from 1807 to 1808. He also served during the War of 1812, as an ensign in Peter Wright’s Company of the 8th Regiment, and later was commissioned captain. After his military duty, Hazzard was appointed on May 12, 1812, to serve as Sussex County’s justice of the peace, a position he held until his resignation in 1817. He next entered the political arena, but was unsuccessful in both his 1823 and 1826 bids as a gubernatorial candidate. In 1828 he was successful, and became a presidential elector. Hazzard was elected Governor of Delaware on October 6, 1829, and was sworn into office on January 19, 1830. During his tenure, a new state constitution was instituted and, as a result, elections were changed from October to November and from annual to biannual. The term for the office of governor became a four-year term, a state senator’s term changed from three years to four, and a state representative’s term changed to two years instead of one. The office of clerk of the Delaware Supreme Court was eliminated. Hazzard finished his term on January 15, 1833. The following year he was elected to the Delaware State Senate. On December 11, 1844, he was appointed to serve on the bench of the Delaware Supreme Court, a position he held until September 16, 1847. He also served as a member of the 1852 State Constitutional Convention. Governor David Hazzard died on July 8, 1864, and is buried at the Methodist Episcopal Cemetery in Milton.
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.