|United States Senator|
January 12, 1810 – March 3, 1821
|Preceded by||Samuel White |
|Succeeded by||Caesar A. Rodney |
|4th Attorney General of Delaware|
|Preceded by||Nicholas Van Dyke|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Clayton|
March 5, 1777|
Sussex County, Delaware
June 9, 1842 (aged 65)|
Frederick County, Maryland
Outerbridge Horsey III (March 5, 1777 – June 9, 1842) was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, Delaware. He was a member of the Federalist Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, as Attorney General of Delaware (1806–1810) and as United States Senator from Delaware (1810–1821).
Early life and family
Horsey was born in Little Creek Hundred, near Laurel, Delaware. First living in Georgetown, Delaware, he moved to Wilmington, and studied the law there under James A. Bayard, who remained his lifelong political mentor. A frequent supporter of education, Horsey, early in his career, urged the establishment of a library in Georgetown, and later was appointed a trustee of the College of Wilmington. He was admitted to the Delaware Bar in December 1807, and began a practice in Wilmington. He married Elizabeth Digges Lee, daughter of Thomas Sim Lee (1745-1819) of Maryland.
Professional and political career
While practicing the law and after representing Sussex County in the State House from the 1801 session through the 1803 session, Horsey was appointed to be the Delaware Attorney General and served from 1806 to 1810.
In 1810 he was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of U.S. Senator Samuel White. In the Senate he initially opposed the War of 1812 strongly, but once it had been declared, he supported it with equal vigor. He accordingly became a member of the Committee of Safety and was actively involved in preparing the defenses of Fort Union and Wilmington. In March 1814 Horsey presented a petition from the citizens of Delaware to repeal the Embargo Act of 1807; although he was able to get a committee appointed to consider the question, the effort was ultimately unsuccessful. He was reelected in 1814, and served from January 12, 1810, to March 3, 1821.
Following the War of 1812, but while still a contentious subject, the need for internal improvements had become much more apparent and recognized. It would be on Horsey's motion in January 1816, that the Senate finally passed the resolution to print and distribute copies of Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin's 1808 Report on the Subject of Public Roads and Canals. The report, which had been requested by the Senate in 1807 and transmitted to it in 1808 had fallen victim to the embargo, the loss of revenue, and the necessities of war. With the report's distribution, many of its concepts would be incorporated into the Bonus Bill of 1817.
Several years later, he parted ways with the Delaware General Assembly which had passed a resolution asking Delaware's congressmen to vote against any extension of slavery. Horsey did not feel U.S. Congress had the right to prohibit slavery in Missouri, or anywhere else in the Louisiana Purchase, and so supported the Missouri Compromise. Understanding the unpopularity of this position he did not seek reelection when his term ended. During the 16th Congress, he served as Chairman of the Committee on the District of Columbia.
Death and legacy
Horsey died at Needwood, his wife's estate near Petersville in Frederick County, Maryland and is buried in St. John's Cemetery at Frederick.
Elections were held the first Tuesday of October. Members of the State House took office on the first Tuesday of January for a term of one year. The General Assembly chose the U.S. Senators, who took office March 4 for a six-year term. In this case he was initially completing the existing term, the vacancy caused by the death of Samuel White.
|Office||Type||Location||Began office||Ended office||notes|
|State Representative||Legislature||Dover||January 6, 1801||January 5, 1802|
|State Representative||Legislature||Dover||January 5, 1802||January 4, 1803|
|State Representative||Legislature||Dover||January 4, 1803||January 3, 1804|
|U.S. Senator||Legislature||Washington||January 12, 1810||March 3, 1815|
|U.S. Senator||Legislature||Washington||March 4, 1815||March 3, 1821|
|United States Congressional service|
|1810–1811||11th||U.S. Senate||Republican||James Madison||class 1|
|1811–1813||12th||U.S. Senate||Republican||James Madison||class 1|
|1813–1815||13th||U.S. Senate||Republican||James Madison||class 1|
|1815–1817||14th||U.S. Senate||Republican||James Madison||class 1|
|1817–1819||15th||U.S. Senate||Republican||James Monroe||class 1|
|1819–1821||16th||U.S. Senate||Republican||James Monroe||class 1|
- this seat was vacant from November 4, 1809 until January 12, 1810.
- this seat was vacant from March 4, 1821 until January 23, 1822.
- Archives of Maryland (Biographical Series): Elizabeth Digges Horsey (1783-1862) (MSA SC 3520-14927)
- seated January 29, 1810.
- Report on the Subject of Public Roads and Canals,
- Albert Kruse (August 1969). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Zachariah Ferris House".
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- DePuydt, Peter J. (Spring 2009). "Free at Last, Someday: Senator Outerbridge Horsey and Manumission in the Nineteenth Century". Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies. 76: 164–178.
- Martin, Roger A. (1995). Memoirs of the Senate. Newark, DE: Roger A. Martin.
- Munroe, John A. (1954). Federalist Delaware 1775-1815. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University.
- Wilson, W. Emerson (1969). Forgotten Heroes of Delaware. Cambridge, MA: Deltos Publishing Company.
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Delaware’s Members of Congress
- Find a Grave
- 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
Nicholas Van Dyke
| Attorney General of Delaware
| U.S. Senator from Delaware
Caesar A. Rodney