Benjamin T. Biggs

Benjamin Thomas Biggs ( born October 1, 1821 New Castle County, Delaware, † December 25, 1893 in Middletown, Delaware ) was an American politician and 1887-1891 Governor of the State of Delaware. Between 1869 and 1873 he represented his state in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Early years and political rise

Benjamin Biggs attended the Pennington Seminary in New Jersey and the Wesleyan University in Middletown (Connecticut). During the Mexican-American War, he was a major in the militia of Delaware. But he took no part in hostilities. After that, he was a teacher and peach growers in New Castle County.

Politically, Biggs first of the Whig party to. In 1852 he was a member of a meeting to revise the state constitution of Delaware. After his party had been blasphemous in the 1850s, Biggs joined the Democrats. This party leaned back in Delaware with the policies of the Southern States, and stood in sharp opposition to the Republicans. They argued for the preservation of slavery and the rights of individual states to the federal government. At that time, Biggs has been renowned in the railroad business, and was director of the Kent & Queen Anne's Railroad.


In 1860, Biggs applied unsuccessfully for a seat in the House of Representatives in Washington, which went instead to George P. Fisher. But eight years later he managed through an easy victory against the Republican Alfred Torbert a place in the Congress. There he served two legislatures until 1873 in the minority faction of his party. In 1872 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Until 1886, he then took a political break. It was only in 1886, he returned as the candidate of his party for the upcoming gubernatorial election back on the political stage.

Governor of Delaware

The elections on November 2 this year, he won with 64 % of the vote against James R. Hoffecker, who represented a Prohibition movement. The Republicans presented because of the lack of opportunities on which to expect until no candidate of their own. Biggs took up his new post on 18 January 1887. In his four-year tenure, a state mental hospital was founded. The school board has been increased from two to three school boards and insurance was newly regulated by a law. Other reform proposals of the governor remained hanging in the legislature. During his reign, a slow rise of the hitherto weak in Delaware Republican Party, which also benefited from factionalism within the Democrats began. For the first time she won a small majority in the House of Representatives from Delaware.

After the end of his term on January 20, 1891, Biggs retired from politics and devoted himself until his death in December 1893 to his private interests. With his wife Mary Beekman, the governor had five children.