William G. Whiteley

William Gustavus Whiteley (August 7, 1819 – April 23, 1886) was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as U.S. Representative from Delaware, Mayor of Wilmington, and Associate Judge of the Superior Court of Delaware.

William G. Whiteley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1861
Preceded byElisha D. Cullen
Succeeded byGeorge P. Fisher
20th Mayor of Wilmington, Delaware
In office
Preceded byJoshua Simms
Succeeded byJohn P. Allmond
Personal details
Born(1819-08-07)August 7, 1819
Newark, Delaware
DiedApril 23, 1886(1886-04-23) (aged 66)
Wilmington, Delaware
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceWilmington, Delaware
Alma materPrinceton College

Early life and familyEdit

Whiteley was born near Newark, Delaware, to Henry and Catherine Whiteley.[1]: 983–4 

William attended Bullock's School at Wilmington and graduated from Princeton College in 1838. He studied law under James A. Bayard Jr., was admitted to the Delaware Bar in 1841, and began a practice in Wilmington.

Professional and political careerEdit

He was the prothonotary of New Castle County from 1852 to 1856, and was elected as a Democrat to the 35th and 36th Congresses, serving from March 4, 1857 to March 3, 1861. While in Congress he was chairman of the Committee on Agriculture in the 35th Congress. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1860 and resumed his occupation as prothonotary of New Castle County from 1862 to 1867.

Whiteley was mayor of Wilmington from 1875 to 1878 and was a member of a commission to settle fishery disputes between New Jersey and Delaware in 1877. He was census enumerator for Delaware in 1880, and was appointed as associate judge of the Superior Court of Delaware from March 31, 1884 until his death.

Death and legacyEdit

Whiteley died at Wilmington and is buried in the Old Broad Street Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Bridgeton, New Jersey.


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. U.S. Representatives took office March 4 and have a two-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
U.S. Representative Legislature Washington March 4, 1857 March 3, 1861
Mayor Executive Wilmington 1875 1878
Associate Justice Judiciary Dover March 31, 1884 April 23, 1886 Superior Court
United States Congressional service
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1857-1859 35th U.S. House Democratic James Buchanan at-large
1859-1861 36th U.S. House Democratic James Buchanan at-large
Election results
Year Office Subject Party votes % Opponent Party votes %
1856 U.S. Representative William G. Whiteley Democratic 8,111 56% Elisha D. Cullen American 6,360 44%
1858 U.S. Representative William G. Whiteley Democratic 7,868 51% William R. Morris American 7,452 49%


  • Martin, Roger A.. (2003). Delawareans in Congress, the House of Representatives 1789-1900. ISBN 0-924117-26-5.

Places with more informationEdit


  1. ^ Conrad, Henry Clay (1908). History of the State of Delaware. 3. Wilmington, Delaware.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by