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Local DAR chapter pays tribute to Col. David Hall

Lewes Revolutionary War hero, governor and judge died 200 years ago
The historic Maull House on Pilottown Road is the scene of a Sept. 18 ceremony honoring the local DAR chapter’s namesake, Col. David Hall. The date marks the 200th anniversary of his death. The DAR owns the house, which dates back to 1739. RON MACARTHUR PHOTOS
October 12, 2017

Members of the Col. David Hall Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Lewes have always been true to their namesake.

During a Sept. 18 ceremony to mark the 200th anniversary of his death, President Denise Clemons said the selection of the Revolutionary War hero and 16th Delaware governor was a natural fit as he embodied the ideals of DAR.

Hall, who lived his entire life at 107 Kings Highway in Lewes from 1752 to 1817, is among the city's most distinguished citizens. He left his law practice to join the cause during the Revolutionary War. As a colonel in the 1st Delaware Regiment, he led his troops in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, where he was wounded Oct. 4, 1777. He came home to Lewes to recuperate, returned briefly to the regiment and eventually resigned from the Army in 1782.

Even when he was home, he lobbied Congress for more money for his troops, Clemons said during the ceremony.

In the next chapter of his life, Hall entered politics and had an up-and-down career. As a member of the minority Jeffersonian Democrat-Republican Party, he lost his first run for governor. However in 1801, he lost badly in Sussex and Kent counties but carried New Castle County to win the governor's seat by just 18 votes. Capturing the Presbyterian vote was considered the turning point.

“His political views did not align with the majority,” Clemons said, and he served one term as governor.

After losing an election to the U.S. House in 1805, he was named a Sussex County Court of Common Pleas judge. He died on Sept. 18, 1817, and was buried in Lewes Presbyterian Church cemetery. Each Memorial Day, DAR members remember his contributions to his country with a wreath-laying ceremony.

The Lewes chapter was organized in 1951 and has 144 members. Go to davidhalldar.org for more information.

Ceremony takes place at Maull House

The event took place in the historic Maull House on Pilottown Road, which was saved from demolition by the DAR.

The Maull House was built around 1739 by local carpenter Samuel Paynter. He sold the house and land to river pilot Luke Shields in 1741. Shields later married the widow of John Maull, another river pilot who lived next door.

The house ultimately came into the possession of the Maull family in 1836 when Thomas S. Maull purchased it at a sheriff’s sale. From that time until the 1950s, subsequent generations of the Maull family lived in the house.

In 1959, the local chapter raised funds to buy the house and return it to its pre-Revolutionary condition. Restoration work began in 1968.