John Patten Has His Election Overturned
I'll be honest, I realized I have only done a few Founders from Delaware, so I went looking. I stumbled on John Patten who, admittedly, is just a role-player in the Revolution. However, every Founder (eventually) gets their chance on this page.
Patten was an officer in the American Revolution who served in most of the major battles from Long Island through Camden.
Also, John was part of an early recount on a vote for the House of Representatives. Unlike today, however, recounts took a very long time.
John Patten was a small-town Delaware farmer who joined the local militia at the beginning of the American Revolution.
Patten began the war as a First Lieutenant and would, over the years, work his way up to the rank of Major.
Patten participated in many important battles, including Long Island, Trenton and Saratoga. John also spent time as a courier, delivering letters from George Washington at Valley Forge to some of his highest ranking Generals.
Battle of Camden
Eventually he headed for South Carolina where he participated in Battle of Camden.
Camden is infamous for being one of the most disastrous engagements of the Revolution. While Patten was fortunate to escape alive, he was nonetheless taken as a prisoner. John was held captive for just a few months before, fortunately, he received parole until the end of the war.
Congressman...Oh Wait A Minute
After the Revolutionary War ended, Patten received election to the Delaware State Assembly. He proved himself in local politics and, for one year, represented his State in the Continental Congress.
Later, during the Washington Administration, John ran for election to the House of Representatives.
Patten won the House seat over his rival, Henry Latimer. Latimer, however, contested that there was a problem with the ballots and that he was the true winner. (Like a 'hanging chads' situation of the 1790's.)
The Federalist majority in the House agreed with Latimer. Patten being a Democratic-Republican, this is not surprising. Despite having already served for a year, John was removed from Congress.
OK, Now A Congressman
All was not lost though.
The following year another election was held and Patten beat Latimer overwhelmingly. He served this full term during the Presidency of John Adams and then retired from politics.
Three years later, Patten was convinced to run again, this time against James Bayard who currently had that seat in Congress. John Patten lost the last election he participated in and retired to his farm where he spent his time as a member of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture.