Born on May 18, 1781, he was the son of local residents John and Mary Houston Hazzard. Like his father, he engaged in extensive mercantile and agricultural pursuits. As a young man he was a local magistrate and an officer in the State Militia during the War of 1812. After two unsuccessful efforts in 1823 and 1826, he was elected to the office of Governor of Delaware in 1829. His term was marked by a period of great growth and change. Public education was implemented throughout the state and a new State Constitution was adopted in 1831. Roads and bridges were improved, and the New Castle & Frenchtown Railroad, one of the first railroads in the country, was established. Following the completion of his term he was elected to the State Senate in 1834. In 1844 he was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Delaware Superior Court. He was the last member of the state judiciary with no formal legal education. An active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Hazzard campaigned for such social reforms as the elimination of Delaware’s antiquated system of imprisonment for debt. After a long and productive life he was laid to rest in Milton’s Goshen Cemetery following his death on July 8, 1864.
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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 Sarah Denison at (302) 744-5016 or via email at Sarah.Denison@state.de.us.
Location: Milton, Governor's Walk along the Broadkill River