James Williams (Delaware representative)

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James Williams
James Williams Delaware representative - Brady-Handy.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1879
Preceded byJames R. Lofland
Succeeded byEdward L. Martin
Member of the Delaware Senate
In office
January 4, 1891 - January 3, 1893
Member of the Delaware House of Representatives
In office
January 4, 1857 - January 3, 1859
January 4, 1863 - January 3, 1865
January 4, 1883 - January 3, 1885
Personal details
Born(1825-08-04)August 4, 1825
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedApril 12, 1899(1899-04-12) (aged 73)
Smyrna, Delaware
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceSmyrna, Delaware

James Williams (August 4, 1825 – April 12, 1899) was an American farmer and politician from Smyrna, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as U. S. Representative from Delaware.

Early life and family[edit]

Williams was the son of John (1775-1849) and Esther Williams in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father was a lumber merchant, and his early education was by private tutoring. He first became an apprentice carpenter, intending to become an architect. In 1848 his father bought a large estate in Kent County, Delaware and young Williams moved to Kenton to take up farming and manage the property.

Professional and political career[edit]

Williams became politically active in the Democratic Party, and was elected to the Delaware House of Representatives, serving in 1857/1858, 1863/1864 and 1883/84. He next served in the State Senate from 1891/92, and was the Speaker of the Senate for 1869/70. In 1872 he was a delegate to the party's national convention which nominated Horace Greeley for U.S. President. Williams was twice elected as Delaware's only member in the United States House of Representatives, serving in two terms from 1875 until 1879, in the 44th and 45th Congress under U.S. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes.

He remained a farmer throughout his public service. After returning to private life he expanded into fertilizer manufacturing, and increased his farm holdings in Delaware and Maryland. In 1891 he moved to Smyrna, Delaware, but continued farming for the rest of his life.

Death and legacy[edit]

Williams lived quietly, died at Smyrna, and is buried there at the St. Peter's Episcopal Church Cemetery.


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. Members of the General Assembly take office the second Tuesday of January. State Senators have a four-year term and State Representatives have a two-year term. Williams completed part of an existing State Senate term. U.S. Representatives took office March 4 and have a two-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
State House Legislature Dover January 4, 1857 January 3, 1859
State House Legislature Dover January 4, 1863 January 3, 1865
State House Legislature Dover January 4, 1883 January 3, 1885
State Senate Legislature Dover January 4, 1891 January 3, 1893
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington March 4, 1875 March 3, 1877
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington March 4, 1877 March 3, 1879
Delaware General Assembly service
Dates Assembly Chamber Majority Governor Committees District
1857/58 69th State House Democratic Peter F. Causey Kent at-large
1863/64 72nd State House Democratic William Cannon Kent at-large
1883/84 82nd State House Democratic Charles Stockley Kent at-large
1891/92 86th State Senate Democratic Robert J. Reynolds Kent at-large
United States Congressional service
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1875–1877 44th U.S. House Democratic Ulysses S. Grant at-large
1877–1879 45th U.S. House Democratic Rutherford B. Hayes at-large
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1874 U.S. Representative James Williams Democratic 12,602 53% James R. Lofland Republican 11,024 47%
1876 U.S. Representative James Williams Democratic 13,169 55% Levi C. Bird Republican 10,592 44%


  • Martin, Roger A. (1995). Memoirs of the Senate. Newark, Delaware: Roger A. Martin.

External links[edit]

Places with more information[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James R. Lofland
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Edward L. Martin