The committee to mark the site of John M. Clayton’s birthplace, chaired by Bishop Coleman, reported a “handsome bronze plate” had been placed on the home on June 17, 1901 in Dagsboro.
The Society felt it was necessary to commemorate the home of the Delawarean and his many accomplishments. John M. Clayton (1796-1856), a native of Sussex County, graduated from Yale and became a lawyer. He established his practice in Dover, and became one of the state’s leading lawyers. He began political life as a Federalist, later becoming a Whig and finally a Republican. Clayton was elected to the United States Senate in 1828 and again in 1834, but resigned in 1836 to become chief justice of Delaware. After two and half years, he gave up his judicial post and devoted himself to farming at Buena Vista, just outside New Castle. In 1845, Clayton returned to the United States Senate but resigned to become President Zachary Taylor’s secretary of state.
The commemorative bronze plate read:
“This tablet is placed by the Historical Society of Delaware to mark the site of the house in which John Middleton Clayton was born July 24, 1796. Died at Dover 1856. Member of the General Assembly, of the convention to revise the Constitution of Delaware, Chief Justice of Delaware, United State Senator and Secretary of State under President Tyler. Orator, jurist, statesman, diplomatist, patriot.”