Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CANNON, William, governor of Delaware, born in Bridgeville, Del., in 1809; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1 March, 1865. He united with the Methodist church in 1825, became a class-leader and exhorter before he had reached his twentieth year, and held these offices until his death. He was elected to the legislature in 1845 and 1849, and was afterward treasurer of the state. In 1861 he was a member of the peace congress, where he was "the firm friend of the Crittenden compromise, and of an unbroken union." In 1864 he was elected governor of the state, which office he held until his death. The legislature was against him; but he remained true to the union. When, on one occasion, the legislature forbade compliance with a law of congress, the governor promptly announced, by Free-lamation, that he would pardon every United States officer convicted by a state court for the performance of his duty to the union. In his message to the legislature in 1864 he advised that body to take measures for the emancipation of slaves in Delaware. The illness that caused his death was the result of over-exertion in assisting to extinguish a fire in Bridgeville.
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