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James Sykes

Gov. James Sykes

  • March 3, 1801 - January 18, 1802
  • Federalist
  • March 27, 1761
  • October 18, 1822
  • Delaware
  • Williams College
  • Married Elizabeth Goldsborough; three children
  • Succeeded
  • Physician/Dentist


JAMES SYKES was born near Dover, Delaware, on March 27, 1761. He attended Williams College, and studied medicine with Dr. Clayton of Bohemia Manor. He practiced in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for four years, and then returned to Dover, where he became established as a prominent physician and surgeon. Sykes entered politics as a member and president of the Delaware State Senate, a position he held from 1786 to 1801. On March 3, 1801, Governor Richard Bassett resigned from the governorship, and Sykes, who was president of the Senate at the time, assumed the duties of the governor’s office. During his tenure, he continued to implement the agenda and policies of Governor Bassett’s administration. On January 19, 1802, Sykes left office, and retired from public service. He continued to stay active, practicing medicine in Dover. Governor James Sykes died on October 18, 1822, and is buried at the Christ Church 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.

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