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Thomas Stockton
33rd Governor of Delaware
In office
January 21, 1845 – March 2, 1846
Preceded byWilliam B. Cooper
Succeeded byJoseph Maull
Personal details
Born(1781-04-01)April 1, 1781
New Castle County, Delaware
DiedMarch 2, 1846(1846-03-02) (aged 64)
New Castle, Delaware
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Fidelia Johns
Residence(s)New Castle, Delaware

Thomas Stockton (April 1, 1781 – March 2, 1846) was an American soldier and politician from New Castle in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, and a member of the Whig Party, who served as Governor of Delaware.

Early life and family

Stockton was born in New Castle Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware, son of John and Nancy Griffin Stockton. His father was a brigadier general in the War of 1812, leading the 1st Brigade of Delaware militia. He married Fidelia Johns, daughter of Chancellor Kensey Johns, and they had five children, Thomas, William, James, Elizabeth, and Fidelia. They lived in the Kensey Johns-Van Dyke house at 300 Delaware Street and were members of the Immanuel Episcopal Church in New Castle.

Military career

After graduating from Princeton College, Stockton joined the Delaware militia. During the War of 1812 he was part of the attack on Fort George on the Niagara River and fought at Lundy's Lane. Eventually he was promoted to a major in the 42nd Infantry. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1825.

Political career

Stockton was the New Castle County Register in Chancery from 1832 to 1835. Several years later, in 1844, he was elected Governor of Delaware by defeating William Tharp, the Democratic Party candidate. He took office January 21, 1845 and served until his death on March 2, 1846. He was the sixth Governor of Delaware to die in office.

He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati.

Death and legacy

Stockton died at New Castle and is buried there at the Immanuel Episcopal Church Cemetery. Several of his sons and grandsons served in the Civil War.

Delaware General Assembly
(sessions while Governor)
Year Assembly Senate Majority Speaker House Majority Speaker
1845-1846 63rd Whig Joseph Maull Whig William Temple


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. The governor takes office the third Tuesday of January and has a four-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
Register in Chancery Judiciary New Castle 1832 1835
Governor Executive Dover January 21, 1845 March 2, 1846

Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1844 Governor Thomas Stockton Whig 6,140 50% William Tharp Democratic 6,095 50%



Places with more information

Party political offices Preceded byWilliam B. Cooper Whig nominee for Governor of Delaware 1844 Succeeded byPeter F. Causey Political offices Preceded byWilliam B. Cooper Governor of Delaware 1845–1846 Succeeded byJoseph Maull