Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Caesar A. Rodney (1809–1811): Attorney General

Caesar Augustus Rodney was born in Dover, Delaware, on January 4, 1772, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Following three years of private law practice (1793-1796), he began his legislative career in the Delaware House of Representatives (1796-1802).

His state service soon led to a position at the national level, as Rodney spoke for Delaware as a United States Representative from 1802 to 1805. He ascended to President Thomas Jefferson's cabinet in 1805, performing the duties of attorney general until 1811. Upon resigning, Rodney resumed his law practice and served as a captain in the Delaware militia during the War of 1812.

He ended his respite from politics, serving on the Delaware Committee of Safety in 1813 and then in the Delaware State Senate (1815-1816). From 1821 to 1822, Rodney returned to the U.S. House of Representatives and remained on the national stage as a U.S. senator (1822-1823).

He also spent a number of years in foreign service, leaving in 1817 on a commission to investigate newly formed South American republics, and serving as minister plenipotentiary to Argentina from 1823 to 1824. Caesar Rodney died in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 10, 1824.