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Karen Palumbo

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On This Day 6/26/1784
6/24/2011 5:57:53 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]


Delaware Patriot Caesar Rodney dies



Caesar Rodney is best remembered for his overnight ride from Dover, Delaware to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to cast the deciding vote for the "Declaration of Independence" in the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. The image of Caesar Rodney on horseback riding for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania appears on the Delaware quarter, issued in 1999.

Caesar Rodney hailed from Kent County, Delaware, one of the three lower counties of Pennsylvania that came to make up the state of Delaware on June 15, 1775 when counties declared their independence from Great Britain and Pennsylvania.

Caesar Rodney trained as a lawyer, but ran his family's farm from age seventeen to twenty-seven, following his father's death. In 1755, he entered the political realm as Sheriff of Kent County, followed by positions as Register of Wills, Recorder of Deeds, Clerk of the Orphan's Court, and Justice of the Peace.

Although most Anglican residents of Kent County were strong supporters of British "Court Party" politics, Caesar Rodney sided with the predominently Scotch-Irish Presbyterian "Country Party" politicians of New Castle County and developed a lifelong allegiance with Thomas McKean against "Court Party" leaders John Dickinson and George Read.

It was Thomas McKean who joined Caesar Rodney in the push to create a separate state of Delaware, and Thomas McKean issued the urgent summons for Caesar Rodney to ride to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in order to negate George Read's vote against independence.

Because Caesar Rodney did not represent the Loyalist inclinations rampant in Kent County, Delaware, he promptly lost his seat in Congress after his vote became known to his constituency. As the realities of war descended upon the people of Delaware following the occupation of Wilmington, Delaware, they repented and no only sent Caesar Rodney back to the Continental Congress in October 1777, but also elected him as the President of Delaware the following March.



(K) (HST)


Caesar Rodney American Patriot
Thomas McKean American Patriot
John Dickinson American Patriot
George Read American Patriot


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