Charles C. Stockley

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Charles C. Stockley
45th Governor of Delaware
In office
January 16, 1883 – January 18, 1887
Preceded by John W. Hall
Succeeded by Benjamin T. Biggs
Member of the Delaware Senate
In office
January 6, 1873 – January 6, 1877
Personal details
Born (1819-11-06)November 6, 1819
Georgetown, Delaware
Died April 20, 1901(1901-04-20) (aged 81)
Georgetown, Delaware
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ellen Anderson
Residence Georgetown, Delaware
Occupation Farmer

Charles Clark Stockley (November 6, 1819 – April 20, 1901) was an American farmer and politician from Georgetown, in Sussex County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as Governor of Delaware.

Early life and family[edit]

Stockley was born near Georgetown, Delaware, son of Jehu and Hannah Rodney Kollock Stockley. Returning from school in Philadelphia in 1839, he taught school for seven years and then opened a general store in Millsboro, Delaware. His primary occupation was farming the extensive real estate he owned. Eventually he became one of the major peach growers in eastern Sussex County. Stockley married Ellen Anderson in 1859, and they had one child, Hannah. They lived on Cedar Lane (State Rd 318) southeast of Georgetown, near the present-day airport, and were members of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Professional and political career[edit]

Stockley was Sussex County Treasurer and in 1856 became Sussex County Sheriff. Elected to the State Senate, he served in the 1873/74 session and 1875/76 session. In the last session he was the Speaker. Nearly eight years later the Democrats recruited him as their candidate for Governor. After defeating Albert Curry of Greenwood, the Republican candidate, he served as Governor from January 16, 1883 until January 18, 1887.

The majority Democratic Party still described itself as, “the White Man’s Party”, and still promoted thinking that could criticize African American voting rights, as an “insane policy of investing an ignorant and inferior race with the sacred rights of the ballot.” Nevertheless, now twenty years after the Civil War, the first stirrings of tolerance were heard. Stockley, on his retirement, noted that “Our colored citizens are improving their advantages by laudable efforts to acquire homes for themselves and education for their children. The prejudice against their enfranchisement is fast disappearing, and I trust will soon pass away forever.

Death and legacy[edit]

Stockley died at his home and is buried in the St. Paul's Episcopal Churchyard at Georgetown.

The Stockely Center for the Mentally Retarded, a facility of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, is named in his honor because of his early advocacy of services for the "feebly-minded."

Delaware General Assembly
(sessions while Governor)
Year Assembly Senate Majority Speaker House Majority Speaker
1883–1884 82nd Democratic Samuel B. Cooper Democratic George H. Bates
1885–1886 83rd Democratic Alexander B. Cooper Democratic William A. Comegys


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. Members of the Delaware General Assembly took office the first Tuesday of January. State Senators have a four-year term. 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
State Senator Legislature Dover January 6, 1873 January 6, 1877 Speaker
Governor Executive Dover January 16, 1883 January 18, 1887
Delaware General Assembly service
Dates Assembly Chamber Majority Governor Committees District
1873–1874 77th State Senator Democratic James Ponder Sussex at-large
1875–1876 78th State Senator Democratic John P. Cochran Speaker Sussex at-large
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1882 Governor Charles C. Stockley Democratic 16,558 53% Albert Curry Republican 14,620 47%


  • 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]

Political offices
Preceded by
John W. Hall
Governor of Delaware
Succeeded by
Benjamin T. Biggs