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Joseph P. Comegys

Joseph P. Comegys
Chief Justice of Delaware
In office
May 18, 1876 – January 26, 1893
Preceded by Edward W. Gilpin
Succeeded by Alfred P. Robinson
United States Senator
from Delaware
In office
November 19, 1856 – January 14, 1857
Preceded by John M. Clayton
Succeeded by Martin W. Bates
Personal details
Born (1813-12-29)December 29, 1813
Dover, Delaware
Died February 1, 1893(1893-02-01) (aged 79)
Dover, Delaware
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Margaret A. Douglass
Residence Dover, Delaware
Profession lawyer

Joseph Parsons Comegys (December 29, 1813 – February 1, 1893) was a lawyer and politician from Dover, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Whig Party and later the Democratic Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, as a U.S. Senator from Delaware, and later as the Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court.


  • Early life and family 1
  • Professional and political career 2
  • Death and legacy 3
  • References 4
  • Images 5
  • Almanac 6

Early life and family

Comegys was born at “Cherbourg,” in Kent County, Delaware, near Dover, the son of former Governor Cornelius P. Comegys and Ruhamah Marim. He attended the old academy at Dover, studied law with John M. Clayton, was admitted to the Bar in 1835 and commenced practice in Dover. He married Clayton's niece, Margaret A. Douglass and had three children.

Professional and political career

Comegys was elected as a member of the State House twice, and served in the 1843/44 and 1849/50 sessions. He was also a member of the commission to revise the State Constitution in 1852. On November 19, 1856, he was appointed to the U.S. Senate, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John M. Clayton. He did not run again, and served until January 14, 1857, when his successor was elected. After many years in private practice he was appointed chief justice of the State Supreme Court on May 18, 1876 and served until January 26, 1893, just before his death.

Death and legacy

Comegys died at Dover and is buried there in the Old Presbyterian Cemetery, on the grounds of the Delaware State Museum.



  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress; portrait courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. Members of the Delaware General Assembly took office the first Tuesday of January. State Representatives have a two-year term. The General Assembly chose the U.S. Senators, who took office March 4 for a six-year term. They also chose the delegates

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