GOVERNOR SAMUEL PAYNTER
A native and lifelong resident of this area, Samuel Paynter was born at Drawbridge on the Broadkill River on August 24, 1768. He was a successful merchant, farmer, and mill-owner, whose prosperity was closely linked to the commerce of the river. Widely respected and known for his outstanding character, he was a member of the Delaware House of Representatives and Associate Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. He was elected Governor of the State of Delaware in 1823, defeating Milton resident David Hazzard by 300 votes. A Federalist, Paynter was one of the last members of that party to serve as a state governor. A strong proponent of education, he was also an active supporter of industrial expansion and internal improvements. The construction of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal was begun during his term, and efforts to erect a breakwater to protect the harbor at Lewes were increased. After leaving office in 1827, Paynter devoted much of his time and talents to his various commercial enterprises. Following his death on October 2, 1845, his remains were interred at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes.
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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Kevin Barni at (302) 744-5015 or via email at Kevin.Barni@state.de.us.
LOCATION: Milton, approximately 150 feet south of intersection
Governor’s Walk and Union Street