GEORGE PLATER was born at “Sotterley” near Leonardtown, Maryland on November 8, 1735. His education was attained at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he graduated in 1752. He studied law, and established a legal practice in Annapolis, Maryland. Plater entered public service in 1757, serving as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, a position he held until 1766. He served as a justice of the peace in St. Mary County from 1757 to 1768, was a member of the 1776 Annapolis Convention, was a member of the Maryland Council of Safety from 1776 to 1777, and served as judge of the Court of Oyer Terminer, and Gaol Delivery from 1771 to 1772. He also served as a member of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1780, was a member of the Maryland State Senate from 1777 to 1790, served as president of the 1788 Maryland convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution, and was a presidential elector in 1789. In 1791, the Maryland Legislature elected Plater governor. He was sworn into office on November 14, 1791. During his tenure, the state ceded the District of Columbia to the federal government for the site of the new national capital. A little less than three months into his term, Plater passed away on February 10, 1792. Governor George Plater was buried at his home, “Sotterley,” near Leonardtown, Maryland.
Eisenberg, Gerson G. Marylanders Who Served the Nation. Annapolis, MD: Maryland State Archives, 1992.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
White, Frank F., Jr. The Governors of Maryland, 1777-1972. Annapolis, MD: Hall of Records Commission, 1970.
Maryland State Archives
Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress
People of Sotterley