James H. Hughes

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James H. Hughes
United States Senator
from Delaware
In office
January 3, 1937 – January 3, 1943
Preceded by Daniel O. Hastings
Succeeded by C. Douglass Buck
Personal details
Born James Hurd Hughes
(1867-01-14)January 14, 1867
Felton, Delaware, U.S.
Died August 29, 1953(1953-08-29) (aged 86)
Lewes, Delaware, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Caroline Taylor
Residence Dover, Delaware, U.S.
Profession lawyer

James Hurd Hughes (January 14, 1867 – August 29, 1953) was an American lawyer and politician from Dover, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served as U.S. Senator from Delaware.

Early life and family[edit]

Hughes was born in Kent County, Delaware, near Felton, the son of Rebecca (Hurd) and Ebenezer Hughes. He attended the Collegiate Institute in Dover, taught school for a few years, studied the law and was admitted to the Delaware Bar in 1890. Along with his law practice he was engaged in agricultural pursuits and banking.

Political career[edit]

Hughes served as the Delaware Secretary of State from 1897 until 1901. He ran for the office of Governor of Delaware in 1916, but was defeated by Republican John G. Townsend, Jr., a businessman from Selbyville, Delaware. Twenty years later, in 1936 he was elected to the U. S. Senate, defeating incumbent Republican U. S. Senator Daniel O. Hastings. During this term, he served with the Democratic majority in the 75th, 76th, and 77th Congress.

Hughes lost his bid for a second term in 1942, losing the Democratic Party nomination to E. Ennalls Berl. In all he served from January 3, 1937 until January 2, 1943, during the administration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After completing his term in the Senate, he returned to the practice of law. All the while, from 1905 until his death, he was a director of the Farmers' Bank of Delaware.

Death and legacy[edit]

Hughes was married to Caroline Taylor.[1] Their great-granddaughter is actress Perrey Reeves.

Hughes died at Lewes and is buried in the Lakeside Methodist Episcopal Cemetery at Dover.

His home, Wheel of Fortune, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.[2]


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. U.S. Senators are popularly elected and take office January 3 for a six-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
Secretary of State Executive Dover 1897 1901 Delaware
U.S. Senator Legislature Washington January 3, 1937 January 3, 1943 class 2
United States Congressional service
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1937–1939 75th U.S. Senate Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt class 2
1939–1941 76th U.S. Senate Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt class 2
1941–1943 77th U.S. Senate Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt class 2
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1916 Governor James H. Hughes Democratic 24,053 47% John G. Townsend, Jr. Republican 26,664 52%
1936 U.S. Senate James H. Hughes Democratic 67,136 53% Daniel O. Hastings Republican 52,469 41%


  • Carter, Richard B. (2001). Clearing New Ground, The Life of John G. Townsend, Jr. Wilmington, Delaware: The Delaware Heritage Press. ISBN 0-924117-20-6. 


External links[edit]

Political offices
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Daniel O. Hastings
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Delaware
Served alongside: John G. Townsend, Jr., James M. Tunnell
Succeeded by
C. Douglass Buck