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William Henry Harrison Ross

Gov. William Henry Harrison Ross

  • January 21, 1851 - January 16, 1855
  • Democrat
  • June 2, 1814
  • June 30, 1887
  • Delaware
  • Married Elizabeth E. Hall; ten children


WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON ROSS was born in Laurel, Delaware, on June 2, 1814. He was educated in Laurel’s public school system, and for two years attended the Friend’s School in Claremont, Pennsylvania. Before entering politics, he worked in his father’s mercantile business and a few years later opened his own successful store in Seaford, Delaware. He was elected Delaware’s 29th governor on November 12, 1850, and was sworn into office on January 21, 1851. During his tenure, the most important issue he dealt with was the 1853 State Constitutional Convention. Some of the proposed revisions were manhood suffrage, the elimination of slavery, the selection of the judiciary, and increased representation for New Castle County; however, in the 1853 popular election, these proposals were overthrown. Ross ended his term on January 16, 1855, and retired from public service. He continued to stay active, serving as a senior partner in his firm, the W.M. Ross and Company. Governor William H.H. Ross died on June 30, 1887, and is buried at the St. Luke’s Episcopal Churchyard in Seaford, 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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