Caesar Rodney Biography
Caesar Rodney was an American Lawyer, politician and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Having been born in a wealthy and prosperous family near Dover, Delaware, his early education included informal home schooling. After the unfortunate death of his father, he entered into the world of politics under the tutelage of Nicholas Ridgely. He studied to become a lawyer and then got the office of High Sheriff of Kent County at the age of 22 - a great feat for someone that young! He then went on to hold numerous other positions such as Justice of the peace, a captain in the militia, and a superintendent of a printing press and loan office. He then rose up the ranks to become an Associate of Justice in the Supreme Court and a member of the Continental Congress. He was a key figure in the liberation of Delaware and got to sign the Declaration of Independence. Afterwards, he became a Brigadier General in the Revolutionary Army and was elected to the office of the President of Delaware. Due to failing health, he couldn't serve in the Continental Congress, but was granted a seat out of honor for all his accomplishments
- Caesar Rodney was born on October 7, 1728, on his family farm in East Dover Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, to Caesar and Elizabeth Crawford Rodney. He had one brother, named Thomas Rodney.
- Rodney received no formal education and was mainly home schooled and tutored by his parents.
- When he was 17, his father passed away. Caesar was placed in the care of Nicholas Ridgely.
- In 1755, at the age of 22, Caesar was appointed to the office of High Sheriff of Kent County, Delaware, where he served for the required 3 years until 1758.
- Thereafter, he was appointed to many other offices, such as the Registrar of Wills, Recorder of deeds, Clerk of the Orphans Court, and Justice of the peace.
- In 1756, he was appointed to the position of military Captain of the Kent County Militia.
- He worked as a Captain until 1759, and thereafter he became superintendent of the Delaware printing press and delegated the printing of Delaware currency.
- Caesar then shifted his focus back to politics by becoming a member of the State Assembly. He served as a member of the Stamp Act in 1765 as well as a leader in the Committee of Correspondence.
- He became a member of the continental congress and served from 1774-1776.
- In 1776, he was summoned from Sussex County back to Philadelphia to make the deciding vote for Delaware's independence. He made the 80 mile ride, arriving on July 2 and signed the Deceleration of Independence.
- He served as Brigadier General in the Revolutionary Army and was elected as the first President of Delaware. He served in this capacity from 1778 until November 2, 1782, before retiring due to failing health.
- He was elected to the US congress by Delaware's General Assembly but could not attend due to ill health.
- He was elected to the 1783-1784 Session of the Legislative Council, and as a gesture of respect, the council selected him as their speaker.
- He was an officer of the Delaware militia during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.
- He was a Continental Congressman from Delaware.
- He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and President of Delaware during most of the American Revolution.
- Caesar Rodney was a man with wit and humor of the pleasing kind.
- He never married and had no children.
- He suffered from a disfiguring facial cancer in the last 10 years of his life.
- He passed away on June 26, 1784. He was buried in the cemetery at Christ Church in Dover, Delaware.
- On his 80 mile ride to Philadelphia, he rode through a thunderstorm and was met at the door by Thomas Mckean in 'his boots and spurs' just as the voting was beginning
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