J. Caleb Boggs

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J. Caleb Boggs
BoggsCaleb.jpg
United States Senator
from Delaware
In office
January 3, 1961 – January 3, 1973
Preceded by J. Allen Frear, Jr.
Succeeded by Joe Biden
62nd Governor of Delaware
In office
January 20, 1953 – December 30, 1960
Preceded by Elbert N. Carvel
Succeeded by David P. Buckson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's At-large district
In office
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1953
Preceded by Philip A. Traynor
Succeeded by Herbert B. Warburton
Personal details
Born (1909-05-15)May 15, 1909
Cheswold, Delaware, U.S.
Died March 26, 1993(1993-03-26) (aged 83)
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Muir
Residence Cheswold, Delaware
Alma mater University of Delaware (B.A.)
Georgetown University (LL.B.)
Profession Lawyer
Politician
Religion Methodist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1941-1946
Unit 6th Armored Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Campaign Star (5)
Legion of Merit
Croix de Guerre
Bronze Star Medal

James Caleb "Cale" Boggs (May 15, 1909 – March 26, 1993) was an American lawyer and politician from Claymont, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a veteran of World War II, and a member of the Republican Party, who served three terms as U.S. Representative from Delaware, two terms as Governor of Delaware, and two terms as U.S. Senator from Delaware. He was known by his middle name.

Early life and family[edit]

Boggs was born May 15, 1909 at Cheswold, Delaware, son of Edward Jefferson and Lettie Vaughn Boggs. He married Elizabeth Muir and had two children, Cale, Jr. and Marilu. The family were members of the Methodist Church. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1931 and from Georgetown University Law School in 1937. In 1938 he was admitted to the Bar and began the practice of law at Dover, Delaware. During World War II, he served with the 6th Armored Division fighting in Normandy, the Rhineland, the Ardennes and central Europe. He earned five Campaign Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Croix de Guerre with palm and the Bronze Star Medal with cluster.

United States Representative[edit]

Boggs was appointed Associate Judge of the Family Court of New Castle County in 1946. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1946, defeating incumbent Democratic U.S. Representative Philip A. Traynor. He won election a total of three times, also defeating Democrats J. Carl McGuigan in 1948, and Henry M. Winchester in 1950. Boggs served in the U. S House from January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1953.

Governor of Delaware[edit]

Bogs was elected Governor of Delaware in 1952, defeating incumbent Democratic Governor Elbert N. Carvel, and won a second term in 1956, defeating Democrat J. H. Tyler McConnell. He served as Governor from January 20, 1953 to December 18, 1960, when he resigned because of his upcoming U.S. Senate term.

United States Senator[edit]

Boggs was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1960, defeating incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator J. Allen Frear, Jr. by 1.4%, and becoming the only Republican to defeat an incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator that year. He was again elected to the U.S. Senate in 1966, defeating Democrat James M. Tunnell, Jr., son of the former U.S. Senator. He served two terms from January 3, 1961 to January 3, 1973. As U.S. Senator he supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Boggs lost his bid for a third term in 1972 to Democrat Joe Biden, a New Castle County Councilman. Boggs was a reluctant candidate that year, being persuaded to run only to help avoid a divisive primary election. Biden waged an energetic campaign and went on to defeat Boggs by approximately 1.4% of the votes cast. In his last years Boggs lived in Wilmington, Delaware where he continued the practice of law.

Death and legacy[edit]

Boggs died at Wilmington and is buried in the Old Presbyterian Cemetery in Dover, on the grounds of the Delaware State Museum. The J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building at 844 King Street in Wilmington, Delaware is named for him.

Among the many tributes received by his fellow Senators was the following from U.S. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia:


Delaware General Assembly
(sessions while Governor)
Year Assembly Senate Majority President
pro tempore
House Majority Speaker
1953–1954 117th Republican Thomas L. Johnson Republican Frank A. Jones
1955–1956 118th Democratic Charles G. Moore Democratic James R. Quigley
1957–1958 119th Democratic Lemuel Hickman Democratic Harry E. Mayhew
1959–1960 120th Democratic Allen J. Cook Democratic Sherman W. Tribbitt

Almanac[edit]

Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. The Governor takes office the third Tuesday of January and has four-year terms. U.S. Representatives take office January 3 and have a two-year term. U.S. Senators are popularly elected and also take office January 3, but have a six-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Term began Term ended notes
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington January 3, 1947 January 3, 1949
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington January 3, 1949 January 3, 1951
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington January 3, 1951 January 3, 1953
Governor Executive Dover January 20, 1953 January 15, 1957
Governor Executive Dover January 15, 1957 December 30, 1960 resigned
U.S. Senator Legislative Washington January 3, 1961 January 3, 1967
U.S. Senator Legislative Washington January 3, 1967 January 3, 1973
United States Congressional service
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1947–1948 80th U.S. House Republican Harry S. Truman at-large
1949–1950 81st U.S. House Democratic Harry S. Truman at-large
1951–1952 82nd U.S. House Democratic Harry S. Truman at-large
1961–1962 87th U.S. Senate Democratic John F. Kennedy class 2
1963–1964 88th U.S. Senate Democratic John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
class 2
1965–1966 89th U.S. Senate Democratic Lyndon B. Johnson class 2
1967–1968 90th U.S. Senate Democratic Lyndon B. Johnson class 2
1969–1970 91st U.S. Senate Democratic Richard M. Nixon class 2
1971–1972 92nd U.S. Senate Democratic Richard M. Nixon class 2
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1946 U.S. Representative J. Caleb Boggs Republican 63,516 56% Philip A. Traynor Democratic 49,105 44%
1948 U.S. Representative J. Caleb Boggs Republican 71,127 51% J. Carl McGuigan Democratic 68,909 49%
1950 U.S. Representative J. Caleb Boggs Republican 73,313 57% Henry M. Winchester Democratic 56,091 43%
1952 Governor J. Caleb Boggs Republican 88,977 52% Elbert N. Carvel Democratic 81,772 48%
1956 Governor J. Caleb Boggs Republican 91,965 52% J. H. Tyler McConnell Democratic 85,047 48%
1960 U.S. Senator J. Caleb Boggs Republican 98,874 51% J. Allen Frear, Jr. Democratic 96,090 49%
1966 U.S. Senator J. Caleb Boggs Republican 97,268 59% James M. Tunnell, Jr. Democratic 67,263 41%
1972 U.S. Senator J. Caleb Boggs Republican 112,844 49% Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Democratic 116,006 50%

References[edit]

  • Cohen, Celia (2002). Only in Delaware, Politics and Politicians in the First State. Newark, Delaware: Grapevine Publishing. 
  • Davis, Ned (2000). Charles L. Terry. Wilmington, Delaware: Delaware Heritage Press. LCCN 00133337. ISBN 0-924177-15-X. 
  • Hoffecker, Carol E. (2000). Honest John Williams. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press. 
  • Hoffecker, Carol E. (2004). Democracy in Delaware. Wilmington, Delaware: Cedar Tree Books. ISBN 1-892142-23-6. 
  • Martin, Roger A. (1984). History of Delaware Through its Governors. Wilmington, Delaware: McClafferty Press. 
  • Martin, Roger (1997). Elbert N. Carvel. Wilmington, Delaware: Delaware Heritage Press. ISBN 0-924117-08-7. 
  • Munroe, John A. (1993). History of Delaware. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press. ISBN 0-87413-493-5. 

Images[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
United States Senate
Preceded by
J. Allen Frear, Jr.
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Delaware
1961–1973
Served alongside: John J. Williams, William V. Roth, Jr.
Succeeded by
Joe Biden
Preceded by
Elbert N. Carvel
Governor of Delaware
1953-1960
Succeeded by
David P. Buckson
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Philip A. Traynor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's at-large congressional district

1947-1951
Succeeded by
Herbert B. Warburton