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John E. Howard: Wikis


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John Eager Howard

portrait by Charles Willson Peale

In office
November 30, 1796 – March 3, 1803
Serving with John Henry, James Lloyd, William Hindman, Robert Wright
Preceded by Richard Potts
Succeeded by Samuel Smith

In office
1788 – 1791
Preceded by William Smallwood
Succeeded by George Plater

Born June 4, 1752
'Belvedere', Baltimore County, Maryland
Died October 12, 1827 (aged 75)
'Belvedere', Baltimore County, Maryland
Resting place Old Saint Paul's Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland
Political party Federalist
Spouse(s) Peggy Chew
Children George Howard, Benjamin Chew Howard
Residence 'Belvedere', Baltimore County, Maryland
Profession Politician
Religion Episcopalian

John Eager Howard (June 4, 1752 – October 12, 1827) was an American soldier and politician from Maryland.[1] He was born in and died in Baltimore County.[1][2] Howard County, Maryland, is named for him.[2]


Faith and Continental Army

Howard was an Episcopalian, and a Brother of a Baltimore lodge of Freemasonry.[2] A captain, who rose to the rank of colonel in the Continental Army,[1] he fought at the Battle of White Plains and in the Battle of Monmouth. He was awarded a silver medal by Congress for his leadership at the Battle of Cowpens,[1] during which he commanded the 3rd Maryland Regiment, Continental Army.[3]

Political life

Following his army service, he held several political positions: member of the Continental Congress of 1788; Governor of Maryland for three one-year terms, 1789 through 1791; State Senator from 1791 through 1795; Presidential Elector in 1792; thereafter, he joined the Federalist Party and served in the 4th Congress from November 30, 1796, through 1797 as a United States Senator for the remainder of the term of Richard Potts, who had resigned; and was elected for a Senate term of his own in 1797, which included the 5th Congress, the 6th Congress of 1799-1801 during which he was President pro tempore, and the 7th Congress, serving until March 3, 1803.[1] After 1803, he returned to Baltimore, where he avoided elected office but continued in public service and philanthropy as a leading citizen.[4] In the 1816 presidential election, he received 22 electoral votes for Vice President[2] as the running mate of Federalist Rufus King, losing to James Monroe and Governor Daniel Tompkins. No formal Federalist nomination had been made, and it is not clear whether Howard, who was only one of several Federalists who received electoral votes for Vice President, actively ran for the office.

Although he was offered the Secretaryship of War in the Administration of President George Washington, he declined it, as well as a 1798 commission to Brigadier General during the preparations for the coming Quasi-War with France.[1]


The son of Cornelius Howard and Ruth (Eager) Howard, John Eager Howard married Peggy Chew.[2] Their son, George Howard,[2] was born in Jennings House during his term as Governor. He developed the property "Waverley" at Marriottsville, Maryland for George. George eventually returned there as Governor himself forty years after his father's term, and four years after his death. Their second son, Benjamin Chew Howard, was also a prominent politician in Maryland, serving four terms in the U.S. Congress.[2]

Death and legacy

John Eager Howard is buried at the Old Saint Paul's Cemetery, in Baltimore,[1] where in 1904,[2] an equestrian statue of him by the eminent French sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet was erected. Howard is one of several historic Marylanders mentioned in the state song Maryland, My Maryland.


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
William Smallwood
Governor of Maryland
Succeeded by
George Plater
United States Senate
Preceded by
Richard Potts
United States Senator (Class 1) from Maryland
Served alongside: John Henry, James Lloyd, William Hindman, Robert Wright
Succeeded by
Samuel Smith
Preceded by
Uriah Tracy
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
November 21, 1800 – November 27, 1800
Succeeded by
James Hillhouse
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jared Ingersoll
Federalist Party vice presidential candidate
1816 (lost)
Succeeded by
Richard Stockton


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