Hon. Columbus Delano was born 5 June 1809 in Shoreham, Addison County, Vermont to James Delano (1787-1815) and Lucinda Bateman (1787-1839) and died 23 October 1896 Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Leavenworth (1812-1897) 13 July 1834 in Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio.


Columbus Delano was born in Shoreham, Vermont on June 5, 1809,[1] the son of James Delano and Lucinda Bateman.[2] The Delano family was of French ancestry; its first representative in America, Philip Delano (1602-1683), voyaged from Holland in 1621 on the Fortune, the sister ship of the Mayflower.[2] In 1815, Delano's father died, and his family was put under the care of his uncle Luther Bateman.[2] In 1817 the family moved to Mount Vernon in Knox County, Ohio, where Delano resided for the rest of his life.[1][2] Delano was raised primarily by Luther Bateman, and after an elementary education he labored in a woolen mill and at other jobs, becoming largely self-sufficient while still a teenager.[1][2]

Columbus Delano, was a lawyer, rancher, banker, statesman and a member of the prominent Delano family. Delano was elected U.S. Congressman from Ohio, serving two full terms and one partial one. Prior to the American Civil War, Delano was a National Republican and then a Whig; as a Whig he was identified with the faction of the party that opposed the spread of slavery into the Western territories, and he became a Republican when the party was founded as the major anti-slavery party after the demise of the Whigs in the 1850s.

During Reconstruction Delano advocated federal protection of African-Americans civil rights, and argued that the former Confederate states should be administered by the federal government, but were not part of the United States until they met the requirements for readmission to the Union. Delano served as President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)'s Secretary of the Interior during a time of rapid Westward expansionism, and contended with conflicts between Native American tribes and American settlers. He was instrumental in the establishment of America's first national park, supervising the first U.S. federally funded exploratory scientific expedition into Yellowstone in 1871, and becoming America's first national park overseer in 1872. In 1874, Delano requested that Congress protect Yellowstone through creation of a federally funded administrative agency, the first Secretary of the Interior to request such preservation of a nationally important site.

Believing that tribal communalism and a nomadic lifestyle led to Indian wars and impoverishment, Delano argued the best Indian policy was to allot Native American tribes small reservations in the Indian Territory. In Delano's view the reservation system humanely protected Native Americans from the encroachment of western settlers, and would aid in Indian assimilation into white culture and independence from federal funding. To compel the Native Americans of the west to move to reservations, Delano supported the slaughter to near extinction of the vast buffalo herds, which were essential to the maintenance of the Plains Indians' lifestyle.

In the area of government reform, Delano opposed Grant's 1872 executive order to implement the recommendations of the first Civil Service Commission. Profiteering and corruption permeated the Interior Department during his tenure, and Grant requested Delano's resignation in 1875; he left office with damage to his reputation for personal honesty. Delano returned to Ohio to practice law, tend to his business interests, and raise livestock; he did not return to politics, and died in 1896. Historians are critical of Delano's tenure at the Interior Department, arguing that he could have done more to stop corruption, protect bison, and prevent the destruction of the culture of the Plains Indians.

Marriage and Family

On July 14, 1834, Delano married Elizabeth Leavenworth of Mount Vernon, the daughter of M. Martin Leavenworth and Clara Sherman Leavenworth.[5] They were the parents of one child who lived to adulthood, Elizabeth, who was the wife of Reverend John G. Ames of Washington, DC.[6]


Offspring of Hon. Columbus Delano and Elizabeth Leavenworth (1812-1897)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Antoinette Delano (1837-)
Baby Bay Delano (1838-)
Baby Girl Delano (1839-)
Elizabeth Delano (1839-1904)
John Sherman Delano (1841-1896)


Offspring of James Delano (1787-1815) and Lucinda Bateman (1787-1839)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Columbus Delano (1809-1896) 5 June 1809 Shoreham, Addison County, Vermont 23 October 1896 Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio Elizabeth Leavenworth (1812-1897)
Asa Curtis Delano (1814-1863)

Research Notes

Delano and Ulysses S. Grant were distant cousins; they had great-great grandparents in common.[7][8]



Footnotes (including sources)