h hughes

James H. Hughes

James Hurd Hughes (January 14 1867August 29 1953) was an American lawyer and politician from Dover, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served as U.S. Senator from Delaware.

Early life and family

Hughes was born January 14 1867 in Kent County, Delaware, near Felton. He attended the Collegiate Institute in Dover, taught school for a few years, studied the law and was admitted to the Bar in 1890. Along with his law practice he engaged in agricultural pursuits and banking.

Political career

Hughes served as the Delaware Secretary of State from 1897 until 1901. He ran for the office of Governor of Delaware in 1916, but was defeated by Republican John G. Townsend, Jr., a businessman from Selbyville, Delaware. Twenty years later, in 1936 he was elected to the U. S. Senate, defeating incumbent Republican U. S. Senator Daniel O. Hastings. During this term, he served with the Democratic majority in the 75th, 76th, and 77th Congress.

Hughes lost his bid for a second term in 1942, losing the Democratic Party nomination to E. Ennalls Berl. In all he served from January 3 1937 until January 2 1943, during the administration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After completing his term in the Senate, he returned to the practice of law. All the while, from 1905 until his death, he was a director of the Farmers Bank.

Death and legacy

Hughes died August 29 1953 in Lewes, Delaware and is buried at the Lakeside Cemetery, in Dover.

Public offices

Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1st. U.S. Senators take office January 3rd, and have terms of six years.

Office Type Location Elected Took Office Left Office notes
Secretary of State Executive Dover 1897 1901 Delaware
U.S. Senator Legislature Washington, D.C. 1936 January 3 1937 January 3 1943 class 2

Election results

Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1916 Governor James H. Hughes Democratic 24,053 47% John G. Townsend, Jr. Republican 26,664 52%
1936 U.S. Senate James H. Hughes Democratic 67,136 53% Daniel O. Hastings Republican 52,469 41%


  • Carter, Richard B. (2001). Clearing New Ground, The Life of John G. Townsend, Jr.. Wilmington, Delaware: The Delaware Heritage Press. ISBN 0-924117-20-6.


  • Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

External links

  • Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress
  • Delaware’s Senators
  • Find a Grave
  • The Political Graveyard

Places with more information

  • Historical Society of Delaware 505 Market St., Wilmington, Delaware (302) 655-7161
  • University of Delaware Library 181 South College Ave., Newark, Delaware (302) 831-2965

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