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Richard H. Bayard

Richard H. Bayard
United States Senator
from Delaware
In office
January 12, 1841 – March 3, 1845
Preceded by vacancy [1]
Succeeded by John M. Clayton
Chief Justice of Delaware
In office
September 19, 1839 – March 12, 1841
Preceded by John M. Clayton
Succeeded by James Booth, Jr.
United States Senator
from Delaware
In office
June 17, 1836 – September 19, 1839
Preceded by Arnold Naudain
Succeeded by vacancy [2]
Personal details
Born (1796-09-26)September 26, 1796
Wilmington, Delaware
Died March 4, 1868(1868-03-04) (aged 71)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Whig
Residence Wilmington, Delaware
Alma mater Princeton College
Profession lawyer

Richard Henry Bayard (September 26, 1796 – March 4, 1868) was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Whig Party, who served as the first Mayor of Wilmington, Chief Justice of the Delaware Superior Court, and as U.S. Senator from Delaware.


  • Early life and family 1
  • Professional and political career 2
  • Death and legacy 3
  • Almanac 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • Images 7
  • External links 8
  • Places with more information 9

Early life and family

Bayard was born in Wilmington, Delaware, son of James A. Bayard, Sr., and Nancy Bassett Bayard. His father was a member of the Federalist Party, who served as U.S. Representative from Delaware and U.S. Senator from Delaware. His mother was the daughter of another U.S. Senator from Delaware, Richard Bassett. His younger brother, James A. Bayard, Jr., was also a U.S. Senator from Delaware.

Professional and political career

Bayard graduated from Princeton College in 1814, studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1818. His practice was in Wilmington, where he became the first mayor of the newly incorporated city in 1832.

In 1836, Bayard was elected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the United States Senate, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of U.S. Senator Arnold Naudain. He served from June 17, 1836, to September 19, 1839, when he resigned to become Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. He served in that capacity for two years, from 1839 to 1841, when he resigned, being once again elected to the United States Senate, this time as a Whig. The position had been vacant since his own resignation in 1839. This time he served from January 12, 1841 until March 3, 1845. While in the United States Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Private Land Claims in the 27th Congress, a member of the Committee on District of Columbia in the 27th Congress, and a member of the Committee on Naval Affairs in the 27th Congress and 28th Congress. He did not seek reelection in 1844, but later served as chargé d'affaires to Belgium from 1850 to 1853.

Death and legacy

Bayard died at Philadelphia and is buried in the Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery at Wilmington. He was the second of five Bayards to serve in the United States Senate.


The General Assembly chose the U.S. Senators, who took office March 4 for a six-year term. In this case he was initially completing the existing term, the vacancy caused by the resignation of Arnold Naudain. However he resigned the position before the term ended only to accept appointment over a year later in a new term which he completed. Between his resignation and appointment the position was vacant.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
U.S. Senator Legislature Washington June 17, 1836 September 19, 1839
U.S. Senator Legislature Washington January 12, 1841 March 3, 1845
United States Congressional service
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1836–1837 24th U.S. Senate Democratic Andrew Jackson class 1
1837–1839 25th U.S. Senate Democratic Martin Van Buren class 1
1839–1841 26th U.S. Senate Democratic Martin Van Buren class 1
1841–1843 27th U.S. Senate Whig William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Private Land Claims
District of Columbia
class 1
1843–1845 28th U.S. Senate Whig John Tyler Naval Affairs class 1


  1. ^ this seat was vacant from September 19, 1839 until January 11, 1841.
  2. ^ this seat was vacant from September 19, 1839 until January 11, 1841.


  • Hoffecker, Carol E. (2004). Democracy in Delaware. Cedar Tree Books, Wilmington.  
  • Martin, Roger A. (2003). Delawareans in Congress: The House of Representatives. Roger A. Martin, Newark.  
  • Munroe, John A. (1993). History of Delaware. University of Delaware Press.  


  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress; portrait courtesy of the Delaware State Archives.

External links

  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Delaware’s Members of Congress
  • Find a Grave
  • The Political Graveyard

Places with more information

United States Senate
Preceded by
Arnold Naudain
Senator from Delaware
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Senator from Delaware
Succeeded by
John M. Clayton
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