WILLIAM TEMPLE, Delaware’s youngest governor, was born in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, on February 28, 1814. After completing his preparatory studies, he moved to Smyrna, Delaware, and became a successful merchant. Temple entered politics in 1844 as a member and speaker of the Delaware House of Representatives. He also served in the Delaware State Senate from 1845 to 1854, and served as president of the senate in 1846. On May 1, 1846, Governor Joseph Maull passed away, and Temple, who was president of the senate at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, the Mexican War had started, and Delaware aided the war effort with supplies, men, and money. Temple also advocated improving the state’s schools, taxes, and roads. He finished his term on January 19, 1847, and returned to the Delaware State Senate. He also was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1862, but passed away before Congress convened and he could take his seat. Governor William Temple died on May 28, 1863, and is buried at the St. Peter’s Episcopal Cemetery in Smyrna, 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.