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Researching today’s Twitter/Facebook fact of the day introduced me to the Delaware Bayards. Four generations–five, if you count a Revolution-era uncle in Pennsylvania or the maternal line–and several branches of the family served in Congress in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today’s fact had to do with James A. Bayard, Jr., part of the second generation to serve; today is the anniversary of the day that James took the Senate’s new oath of office, which required swearing both future loyalty to the Union and that no past disloyalty had occurred, and then resigned in protest. (The Senate History Office has more on that story here. Blame the Civil War.)

James A. Bayard, Jr. (Library of Congress)

Here’s the thing. James had been elected/appointed by the state legislature, as all senators were at the time. When he resigned, the Delaware legislature elected George Riddle to take his place (this occurred in 1864). In 1867, Riddle died and the legislature elected–who else?–James Bayard to replace Riddle. James finished out the term, the one to which he had originally been elected, and did not run for the next term.

Thomas Bayard, Sr. (Biographical Directory)

Here’s the thing. The next senator from Delaware? James’ son, Thomas, who chaired several committees and served until 1885, when he resigned to become Secretary of State for Grover Cleveland and, later, ambassador to Great Britain. Then in 1922, Thomas’ son Thomas, Jr., took up the family mantle and served just over one term in the Senate. Despite the assorted fathers, sons, and brothers who served, none were in Congress at the same time as any of the others.

The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Delaware’s Members of Congress