Sunday, April 23, 2017




Caesar Rodney was the grandson of William Rodney who came to America from England
in 1681. His father was also named Caesar and had married Elizabeth Crawford, a daughter of the
Reverend Thomas Crawford, the Episcopal missionary sent to Dover, Delaware by the Society for
the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.

Caesar and Elizabeth had eight children, five sons and three daughters, by this marriage.

Caesar, the first child, a son, was born October 7, 1728, East Dover Hundred, Kent county, known as St. Jones Neck. His father died in 1745, when Caesar was just 17 years old, and Nicholas Ridgely, a prominent citizen of Dover, was appointed his guardian.

Rodney entered the public political life in 1755, at the age 27, and for the next twenty years held several post in the “Government of the Three Lower Counties on the Delaware” . Between
1758 and 1776, Caesar Rodney, was was an elected delegate from Kent county to the colonial assembly in New Castle for 14 terms and was honored by this body as it's “speaker” for the last four terms. In 1778 the General Assembly elected Caesar Rodney as the second President or Governor of the state of Delaware and for three years he served as Delawares war executive . In 1783 he was elected to his last state office, when as a member of the upper house of the general assembly, was chosen it's 'speaker'.

The military career of Caesar Rodney began during the Frenc & Indian War, when he was commissioned Captain of the militia company of East Dover Hundred, during the Revolution he rose from the Colonel of the “Upper Regiment” of Kent county, in 1775, until he was commissioned Major General in command of the State Militia In 1777. Washington entrusted him with the command of the American post of Trenton and later that year the British invaded Delaware to the north, on their march to Philadelphia, Rodney commanded the only Delaware Militia troops that assisted the American Commander in Chief.

Nationally his service was equally significant, in 1765, he with Thomas McKean , represented the “Three Lower Counties” on the Delaware, in the Stamp Act Congress in New York . In 1774 the colonial assembly sent him, McKean and George Reed to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia in which he served to 1776. He was a member of that body when it passed the Lee Resolution which severed relations of the 13 Colonies with the mother country. He also voted for the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th.

Caesar Rodney died on his farm , “Popular Grove”, in Kent county June 26, 1784, buried in Christ Episcopal Churchyard, Dover. He never married and his surname is carried by descendents of a brother, Thomas, and a cousin, John Rodney, who lived in Lewes.

Source: Delaware Publication “Acceptance of the Statue of Caesear Rodney”, January 3, 1935..

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