Rodney, Caesar Augustus

Rodney, Caesar Augustus (1772-1824) Attorney-General: Caesar Augustus Rodney was born in Dover, Delaware, on January 4, 1772. After graduating from what became the University of Pennsylvania in 1789, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1793. He established a practice in Wilmington, Delaware; and was elected to the US House of Representatives as a Democratic-Republican. Serving from 1803 to 1805, he was on the Ways and Means Committee, and was one of the managers of the impeachment of Judge Samuel Chase. President Jefferson appointed Rodney US Attorney-General in 1807, a position he held until his resignation in 1811. In the War of 1812, Rodney commanded a rifle corps in Wilmington, which later changed to a light artillery company. A member of the Delaware Committee of Safety; he ran unsuccessfully for Congress, but was elected to the state Senate in 1815. President Monroe sent Rodney to South America in 1817, as one of the commissioners to investigate and report on the appropriateness of the US' recognizing the independence of the former Spanish colonies. Upon his return, Rodney strongly advocated the recognition of those nations; and, in 1819, published "Reports on the Present State of the United Provinces of South America" with John Graham. In 1820, Rodney returned to the US House of Representatives; and became US Senator in 1822, Delaware's first Democratic-Republican Senator. He remained in the Senate until 1823, when he was appointed Minister to the United Provinces of La Plata. Rodney died on June 10, 1824, in Buenos Aires, in what became Argentina.