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John Eager Howard

Gov. John Eager Howard

  • November 24, 1788 - November 14, 1791
  • Federalist
  • June 4, 1752
  • October 12, 1827
  • Maryland
  • Married Margaret (Peggy) Oswald Chew; eight children
  • Representative, Senator
  • Army
  • Silver Medal


JOHN EAGER HOWARD was born at “Belvedere” in Baltimore County, Maryland on June 4, 1752. His education was attained through private tutors. During the Revolutionary War, he joined the Continental Army, serving as captain of the 2ndMaryland Battalion, Flying Camp. He fought heroically in the battles of Germantown, Camden and Cowpens, for which he was awarded a silver medal by Congress, and earned the rank of major general by the time he was discharged in 1795. Howard entered politics in 1787, winning election to the Continental Congress. The Maryland legislature elected Howard governor on November 24, 1788. He was reelected in 1789 and again in 1790. During his tenure, the state ceded land to the national government for the establishment of the national capital. Also, the Bank of Maryland was chartered; Allegany County was formed; and provisions were framed for congressional elections, as well as for the selection of presidential electors. After completing his term, Howard left office on November 14, 1791. He stayed politically active, serving as President of the Maryland State Senate from 1791 to 1796. He also served as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1796 to 1803, and was an unsuccessful Federalist candidate for the vice presidency in 1816. Governor John Eager Howard passed away on October 12, 1827, and was buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery in Baltimore, 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.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

History & Culture: National Park Service Cultural Resources

Maryland State Archives

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