Nicholas Van Dyke was the son of the other famous Dutch American, Nicholas Van Dyke [1738-1789]. The father served as the President [Governor] of Delaware from 1783 to 1786. The father is therefore referred to as Governor Van Dyke, and the son, who became a U. S. Senator is referred to as Senator Van Dyke. Since both men were also practicing attorneys in New Castle, Delaware, the use of the governor and senator titles avoided a lot of confusion.
Senator Nicholas Van Dyke was born in New Castle, Delaware on December 8, 1770. His mother’s maiden name was Charlotte Stanley. Nicholas was probably educated by tutors, and he was admitted to the University of New Jersey, now Princeton University, from where he graduated in 1788. He then studied law with his brother-in-law Kensey Johns, and was admitted to the bar in 1792. He then began to practice law in New Castle, Delaware, where his father had also practiced law.
Van Dyke entered politics as a Federalist, by becoming a member of the Delaware House of Representatives in 1799. In 1807, he was elected as a Federalist to the Tenth U. S. Congress, and was re-elected in 1809 to the Eleventh Congress. He did not run for re-election in 1811, and returned home to Delaware to serve as the State’s attorney general. He subsequently served in the Delaware State Senate from 1815 to 1816. In 1817, he was elected as a Federalist to become a U. S. Senator representing the State of Delaware. He was re-elected in 1823, and served in the U. S. Senate until his death in 1826. During his U. S. Senate years he served on the Committee on Pensions.
Senator Van Dyke married Ann Leuveneigh in 1792. The couple had six children. One of their daughters, Dorcas Van Dyke married Charles I. Dupont. The wedding was held at the Immanuel Episcopal Church in New Castle, Delaware, and was celebrated at the historic Amstel House in New Castle. One of the guests at the wedding was the Marquis de Lafayette.
Senator Van Dyke passed away at a rather young age of 56 years, in 1826. His father, who had also died early, had only reached the age of 51 years. Senator Van Dyke was buried in the Immanuel Episcopal Church Cemetery in New Castle, Delaware.
Nicholas Van Dyke [Senator], http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Van_Dyke_%28senator%29
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