Henry Molleston

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Henry Molleston, III
no known portrait exists
Personal details
Born (1762-01-01)January 1, 1762
Kent County, Delaware
Died November 11, 1819(1819-11-11) (aged 57)
Dover, Delaware
Political party Federalist
Spouse(s) Mary (Molly) Combe
Residence Dover, Delaware
Profession physician
Religion Methodist

Dr. Henry Molleston, III (January 1, 1762 – November 11, 1819) was an American physician and politician from Dover, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Federalist Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, and was elected Governor of Delaware, but died before taking office.

Early life and family[edit]

Molleston was born in Mispillion Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, near Thompsonville. He was the son of Henry and Sarah Manlove Molleston. His ancestor, Alexander Mollestine, was probably Dutch, and was an early settler of Lewes, Delaware. His grandfather, Henry, was a member of the Colonial Assembly in 1687. Henry III was the brother of Jemima Ann, the wife of Colonel John Haslet, and uncle of Dr. William G. Molleston, surgeon in the Delaware Regiment and member of the State House. He married Mary (Molly) Combe in 1793 and they had three known children: Elizabeth, Jemima Ann, and a son. They were members of the Methodist Church.

Professional and political career[edit]

Molleston was a physician, but was also a miller and was known to have had two mills on Isaac's Branch of the St. Jones River. He was also a Trustee of Union Academy in Camden. In 1800 it is believed he lived at "Passey" or "Cooper's Corner, where State Street crosses U.S. Highway 13.

Molleston was a member of the convention that wrote and approved the Delaware Constitution of 1792. In 1799 he was elected to the State House and served from the 1800 session through the 1808 session. After serving as State Treasurer from 1808 until 1813, he was elected again to the State House for the 1814 session and then to the State Senate where he served from the 1815 session through the 1819 session. He was Speaker of the State Senate from the 1817 session through the 1819 session.

In 1819 he was elected Governor of Delaware by defeating Manaen Bull of Laurel, the Democratic-Republican candidate, but died shortly after the election and before taking office. His death precipitated something of a political crisis, as this situation was not anticipated in the constitution. The agreed upon solution was for the newly elected State Senate to elect a Speaker, Jacob Stout, and for the incumbent Governor, John Clark to resign before the end of his term, so the newly elected Speaker could succeed to the office. It was also agreed that Stout would serve only one year as Governor before a special election was held.

Death and legacy[edit]

Molleston died at his home in Dover. His burial location is unknown, but possibilities include the property where his home was located, the old Whatcoat Cemetery at Camden, or the old Banning Chapel Cemetery on the Dover-Magnolia Road. No known portrait of Henry Molleston exists.

Almanac[edit]

Elections were held the first Tuesday of October. Members of the Delaware General Assembly took office the first Tuesday of January. State Senators had a three-year term and State Representatives had a one-year term. The Governor takes office the third Tuesday of January and had a three-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
Delegate Convention Dover November 1792 June 12, 1792 State Constitution
State Representative Legislature Dover January 7, 1800 January 6, 1801
State Representative Legislature Dover January 6, 1801 January 5, 1802
State Representative Legislature Dover January 5, 1802 January 4, 1803
State Representative Legislature Dover January 4, 1803 January 3, 1804
State Representative Legislature Dover January 3, 1804 January 1, 1805
State Representative Legislature Dover January 1, 1805 January 7, 1806
State Representative Legislature Dover January 7, 1806 January 6, 1807
State Representative Legislature Dover January 6, 1807 January 5, 1808
State Representative Legislature Dover January 5, 1808 February 1808
State Treasurer Executive Dover February 1808 1813
State Representative Legislature Dover January 4, 1814 January 3, 1815
State Senator Legislature Dover January 3, 1815 January 6, 1818
State Senator Legislature Dover January 6, 1818 November 11, 1819
Delaware General Assembly service
Dates Assembly Chamber Majority Governor Committees District
1800 24th State House Federalist Richard Bassett Kent at-large
1801 25th State House Federalist Richard Bassett Kent at-large
1802 26th State House Federalist David Hall Kent at-large
1803 27th State House Federalist David Hall Kent at-large
1804 28th State House Federalist David Hall Kent at-large
1805 29th State House Federalist Nathaniel Mitchell Kent at-large
1806 30th State House Federalist Nathaniel Mitchell Kent at-large
1807 31st State House Federalist Nathaniel Mitchell Kent at-large
1808 32nd State House Federalist George Truitt Kent at-large
1814 38th State House Federalist Daniel Rodney Kent at-large
1815 39th State Senate Federalist Daniel Rodney Kent at-large
1816 40th State Senate Federalist Daniel Rodney Kent at-large
1817 41st State Senate Federalist John Clark Speaker Kent at-large
1818 42nd State Senate Federalist John Clark Speaker Kent at-large
1819 43rd State Senate Federalist John Clark Speaker Kent at-large
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1819 Governor Henry Molleston Federalist 3,823 55% Manaen Bull Democratic-Republican 3,185 45%

References[edit]

  • Conrad, Henry C. (1908). History of the State of Delaware. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Wickersham Company. 
  • Martin, Roger A. (1984). A History of Delaware Through its Governors. Wilmington, Delaware: McClafferty Press. 
  • Martin, Roger A. (1995). Memoirs of the Senate. Newark, Delaware: Roger A. Martin. 
  • Scharf, John Thomas (1888). History of Delaware 1609-1888. 2 vols. Philadelphia: L. J. Richards & Co. ISBN 0-87413-493-5. 

External links[edit]

Places with more information[edit]