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Samuel Paynter

Gov. Samuel Paynter

  • January 20, 1824 - January 16, 1827
  • Federalist
  • August 24, 1768
  • October 2, 1845
  • Delaware
  • Married Elizabeth Rowland; six children


SAMUEL PAYNTER, Delaware’s 18th governor, was born in Lewes, Delaware, on August 24, 1768. Before entering public service, he started a career in the mercantile industry. On February 25, 1805, he was appointed to serve as Sussex County’s commissioner of tax, and in January 1817 he was appointed to serve as state treasurer and trustee of the loan office. Paynter also was appointed to serve on the bench of the Delaware Supreme Court, a position he held from February 24, 1818, to October 6, 1820. On October 7, 1823, he was elected to the Delaware governorship, and on January 20, 1824, he was sworn into office. During his tenure, he made several key commission appointments, a public college in Newark was founded, and legislation was rescinded that gave favoritism to in-state creditors of deceased persons over out-of state creditors. Paynter finished his term on January 16, 1827, and continued to stay active in politics. He served as a member to the Delaware House of Representatives from 1844 to 1845. Governor Samuel Paynter died on October 2, 1845, and he is buried at the St. Peter’s Churchyard in Lewes, 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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