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James A. Bayard, Sr.: A Featured Biography


James A. Bayard Sr.

James Asheton Bayard, Sr. (1767–1815) of Delaware, a prominent leader of the Federalist Party and U.S. diplomat during the War of 1812, served in the House of Representatives from 1797 to 1803 and in the Senate from 1804 to 1813. The House of Representatives appointed Bayard to serve as one of the managers of the impeachment proceedings against Senator William Blount, who was accused of conspiring to seize Spanish Florida with British aid. In the Senate, Bayard served as the chairman of a special committee to oversee the renewal charter of the First Bank of the United States in 1810 and 1811. With his Federalist colleagues in the Senate, he opposed President James Madison’s request for a declaration of war with Great Britain. Bayard resigned his Senate seat in 1813 to serve as a member of the American commission that negotiated peace with Great Britain, resulting in the Treaty of Ghent. Bayard's sons Richard Henry and James Asheton, Jr., his grandson Thomas Francis, and his great-grandson Thomas Francis, Jr., all served in the Senate.