John Collins (governor)

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John Collins
22nd Governor of Delaware
In office
January 16, 1821 – April 16, 1822
Preceded byJacob Stout
Succeeded byCaleb Rodney
Personal details
Born(1776-03-01)March 1, 1776
Sussex County, Delaware
DiedApril 16, 1822(1822-04-16) (aged 46)
Sussex County, Delaware
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Spouse(s)Jane Hall
ResidenceSussex County, Delaware

John Collins (March 1, 1776 – April 16, 1822) was an American manufacturer and politician from Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party and served as Governor of Delaware from 1821 to 1822.

Early life and family[edit]

He was born at Collins Mill Pond, in Nanticoke Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware, the son of Captain John and Mary Houston Collins. Captain John Collins had mined bog ore from his property and served twelve years in the Delaware General Assembly. The sister of the younger John, married future Governor David Hazzard. The younger John himself married Jane Hall, daughter of former Governor David Hall, and had six children, Theophilus, John, Joseph, Sarah, Catherine, and Martha. Their home was at the Collins Mill Pond in Nanticoke Hundred, where he continued the operation of a mill. It is believed they were members of the Methodist Church.

Political career[edit]

Collins was elected governor in 1820 by defeating the Federalist candidate, a longtime member of the General Assembly, Jesse Green. He was governor from January 16, 1821 until his death on April 16, 1822. Collins was known for his interest in improving public education. It was during his term that a controversial transit duty began being assessed to support the beginning of a new college in Newark. He also appointed Willard Hall, the future "father of public education," as secretary of state. Both of these actions would achieve results in later years.

Death and legacy[edit]

Collins died at Collins Mill Pond, in Nanticoke Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware. He is buried there on the family farm. No known portrait of John Collins exists.


Elections were held on the first Tuesday of October. The governor takes office the third Tuesday in January, and had a three-year term.

Delaware General Assembly
(sessions while Governor)
Year Assembly Senate Majority Speaker House Majority Speaker
1821 45th Federalist Caleb Rodney Federalist John Cummins
1822 46th Federalist Caleb Rodney Federalist Alrichs Ryland

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
Governor Executive Dover January 16, 1821 April 16, 1822 died in office
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1820 Governor John Collins Republican 3,970 53% Jesse Green Federalist 3,520 47%


  • Conrad, Henry C. (1908). History of the State of Delaware. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Wickersham Company.
  • Hoffecker, Carol E. (2004). Democracy in Delaware. Wilmington, Delaware: Cedar Tree Books. ISBN 1-892142-23-6.
  • Martin, Roger A. (1984). History of Delaware Through its Governors. Wilmington, Delaware: McClafferty Press.
  • Scharf, John Thomas (1888). History of Delaware 1609-1888. 2 vols. Philadelphia: L. J. Richards & Co.

External links[edit]

Places with more information[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jacob Stout
Governor of Delaware
Succeeded by
Caleb Rodney