Archibald Alexander (Delaware)

Archibald Alexander (Delaware) bigraphy, stories - Politician and Continental Army officer

Archibald Alexander (Delaware) : biography

1755 – September 12, 1822

Archibald Alexander (1755 – September 12, 1822) was an American physician and politician from New Castle County, Delaware, near New Castle. He was a veteran of the American Revolution and a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly.

Early life and family

Alexander was born in 1755 in Virginia into an Ulster-Scots family who moved to New Castle County, Delaware when he was a small boy. He attended Newark Academy, and studied medicine under Dr. Matthew Wilson. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church.

With the coming of the American Revolution, Alexander wanted to be the middle of the action. He first served in the state militia, but soon joined the 10th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army as a surgeon. After 2 years of fighting with them, he left the army to serve as a privateer out of Norfolk. Eventually his ship was captured and he was taken prisoner, serving out the remainder of the war in a prison ship in New York Harbor.

Death and legacy

Alexander died September 12, 1822 in New Castle County, Delaware, and is buried at the Immanuel Episcopal Church Cemetery.

Public offices

Elections were held the first Tuesday of October. Members of the Delaware General Assembly took office the first Tuesday of January. Delaware Senators had a three-year term and State Representatives had a one-year term.

Office Type Location Elected Took Office Left Office notes
State Senator Legislature Dover 1791 October 20, 1791 January 7, 1794
State Representative Legislature Dover 1794 January 6, 1795 January 5, 1796
State Senator Legislature Dover 1796 January 3, 1797 January 2, 1798
State Senator Legislature Dover 1797 January 2, 1798 January 6, 1801
Prothonotary Executive New Castle 1801 1805 New Castle

Election results

Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1795 Governor Archibald Alexander Democratic-Republican 2,142 48% Gunning Bedford, Sr. Federalist 2,352 52%
1798 U.S. Representative Archibald Alexander Democratic-Republican 2,142 39% James A. Bayard Federalist 2,792 61%


After the war he returned to New Castle County and practiced medicine. He was also active in the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican Party, being its first candidate for Governor of Delaware in 1795. He was able to carry heavily Presbyterian New Castle County, but lost the remainder of the state and the election to Federalist Gunning Bedford, Sr.. A wealthy man, he was known as a supporter of banks, and was a founder of the Farmers Bank in Delaware. He also led the effort to have a controversial bridge built over the Christiana River at Christiana, Delaware.