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Governor William Smallwood

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Office Dates:  Nov 26, 1785 - Nov 24, 1788

Born:  Jan 01, 1732

Passed:  Feb 14, 1792

Birth State:  Maryland

Party:  (not known)

Military Service:  National Guard

WILLIAM SMALLWOOD was born in Charles County, Maryland around 1732. His education was attained in both his native state, as well as in England. Smallwood had a long and distinguished career in the military. During the Revolutionary War, he fought valiantly in several key battles, and rose through the ranks, becoming major general of the Continental army. Smallwood first entered politics in 1761 as a member of the Maryland General Assembly, serving in the Lower House for more than a decade. In 1785 he was elected governor of Maryland. He went on to win reelection in 1786 and 1787. During his tenure, he played an instrumental role in securing Maryland’s ratification of the federal constitution. Three years after leaving the governorship, he was elected to the Maryland State Senate in 1791. Governor William Smallwood, who served as the first president-general of the Maryland Society of Cincinnati, passed away on February 14, 1792.


Eisenberg, Gerson G. Marylanders Who Served the Nation. Annapolis, MD: Maryland State Archives, 1992.

White, Frank F., Jr. The Governors of Maryland, 1777-1972. Annapolis, MD: Hall of Records Commission, 1970.

Maryland State Archives

History & Culture: National Park Service Cultural Resources

Maryland Department of Natural Resources