John P. Cochran
|John P. Cochran|
|Governor of Delaware|
January 19, 1875 – January 21, 1879
|Preceded by||James Ponder|
|Succeeded by||John W. Hall|
February 7, 1809|
|Died||December 27, 1898
John Polk Cochran (February 7, 1809 – December 27, 1898) was an American farmer and politician from Middletown, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served as Governor of Delaware.
Early life and family
Cochran was born in Appoquinimink Hundred, near Middletown, Delaware, son of Robert and Rebecca Ryland Cochran. He married Elizabeth Polk in 1833 and had seven children: William R., Clara Rebecca, Charles Polk, John Price, Jr., Eliza, Julian, and Cyrus. His wife, Elizabeth died in childbirth in 1855 and he married secondly, Mary Tumlin. There were no known children of this marriage. They lived at "Cochran Grange," one mile west of Middletown and were members of the Presbyterian Church. He was a “leading farmer and fruit grower.”
Professional and political career
Cochran was elected to the New Castle County Levy Court in 1838 and 1846. In 1874 he was elected Governor of Delaware by defeating Isaac Jump, the Republican candidate and served from January 19, 1875 until January 21, 1879. He was the first governor from New Castle County in thirty years, and was regarded as a progressive governor, advocating improvements to the school law, and reapportionment of the General Assembly, to more fairly reflect the population of New Castle County. The reapportionment proposal was not approved. The General Assembly did, however, pass legislation requiring businesses serving the public “to provide equal accommodations for those who might be deemed obnoxious by others.” This effort to deny civil rights to African-Americans was to remain on the books until 1963.
Death and legacy
Cochran died at his home near Middletown and is buried in the Forest Presbyterian Cemetery at Middletown.
Elections are held on the first Tuesday after November 1. The Governor takes office the third Tuesday in January, and has a four-year term.
|Delaware General Assembly
(sessions while Governor)
|Year||Assembly||Senate Majority||Speaker||House Majority||Speaker|
|1875-1876||78th||Democratic||Charles C. Stockley||Democratic||Thomas Holcomb|
|1877-1878||79th||Democratic||John T. Moore||Democratic||Hugh Martin|
|Office||Type||Location||Began office||Ended office||notes|
|Governor||Executive||Dover||January 19, 1875||January 21, 1879|
|1874||Governor||John P. Cochran||Democratic||12,488||53%||Isaac Jump||Republican||11,259||47%|
- Conrad, Henry C. (1908). History of the State of Delaware. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Wickersham Company.
- Hancock, Harold Bell. (1961). Delaware during the Civil War. Wilmington, Delaware: Historical Society of Delaware. ISBN 0-924117-24-9.
- Martin, Roger A. (1984). History of Delaware Through its Governors. Wilmington, Delaware: McClafferty Press.
- Scharf, John Thomas (1888). History of Delaware 1609-1888. 2 vols. Philadelphia: L. J. Richards & Co.
- Hall of Governors Portrait Gallery . Portrait courtesy of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Dover
- Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States
- Find a Grave
- Delaware’s Governors
- The Political Graveyard
Places with more information
- Delaware Historical Society; website; 505 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801; (302) 655-7161
- University of Delaware; Library website; 181 South College Avenue, Newark, Delaware 19717; (302) 831-2965