Joseph P. Comegys
|Joseph P. Comegys|
|Chief Justice of Delaware|
May 18, 1876 – January 26, 1893
|Preceded by||Edward W. Gilpin|
|Succeeded by||Alfred P. Robinson|
|United States Senator
November 19, 1856 – January 14, 1857
|Preceded by||John M. Clayton|
|Succeeded by||Martin W. Bates|
December 29, 1813|
|Died||February 1, 1893
|Spouse(s)||Margaret A. Douglass|
Joseph Parsons Comegys (December 29, 1813 – February 1, 1893) was a lawyer and politician from Dover, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Whig Party and later the Democratic Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, as a U.S. Senator from Delaware, and later as the Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court.
Early life and family
Comegys was born at “Cherbourg,” in Kent County, Delaware, near Dover, the son of former Governor Cornelius P. Comegys and Ruhamah Marim. He attended the old academy at Dover, studied law with John M. Clayton, was admitted to the Bar in 1835 and commenced practice in Dover. He married Clayton's niece, Margaret A. Douglass and had three children.
Professional and political career
Comegys was elected as a member of the State House twice, and served in the 1843/44 and 1849/50 sessions. He was also a member of the commission to revise the State Constitution in 1852. On November 19, 1856, he was appointed to the U.S. Senate, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John M. Clayton. He did not run again, and served until January 14, 1857, when his successor was elected. After many years in private practice he was appointed chief justice of the State Supreme Court on May 18, 1876 and served until January 26, 1893, just before his death.
Death and legacy
Comegys died at Dover and is buried there in the Old Presbyterian Cemetery, on the grounds of the Delaware State Museum.
- Scharf, John Thomas (1888). History of Delaware 1609-1888. 2 vols. Philadelphia: L. J. Richards & Co.
- Conrad, Henry C. (1908). History of the State of Delaware, 3 vols. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Wickersham Company.
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress; portrait courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. Members of the Delaware General Assembly took office the first Tuesday of January. State Representatives have a two-year term. The General Assembly chose the U.S. Senators, who took office March 4 for a six-year term. They also chose the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1852.
|Office||Type||Location||Began office||Ended office||notes|
|State Representative||Legislature||Dover||January 3, 1843||January 2, 1845|
|State Representative||Legislature||Dover||January 2, 1849||January 1, 1851|
|U.S. Senator||Legislature||Washington||November 19, 1856||January 14, 1857|
|Supreme Court||Judiciary||Dover||May 18, 1876||January 26, 1893||Chief Justice|
|Delaware General Assembly service|
|1843/44||62nd||State House||Whig||William B. Cooper||Kent at-large|
|1849/50||65th||State Senate||Whig||William Tharp||Kent at-large|
|United States Congressional service|
|1856–1857||34th||U.S. Senate||Democratic||Franklin Pierce||class 2|
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Delaware’s Members of Congress
- Find a Grave
- The Political Graveyard