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Joseph Kent

Gov. Joseph Kent

  • January 2, 1826 - January 15, 1829
  • Federalist; Democratic-Republican; National Republican
  • January 14, 1779
  • November 24, 1837
  • Maryland
  • Married twice--Eleanor Lee Wallace, Alice Lee Contee; eleven children
  • Representative, Senator
  • National Guard
  • Physician/Dentist


JOSEPH KENT was born in Calvert County, Maryland on January 14, 1779. He studied medicine, and established medical practices in Lower Marlboro and Bladensburg, Maryland. Kent entered politics, serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held from 1811 to 1815 and 1819 to 1826. He was elected governor of Maryland on January 1, 1826, and was sworn into office on January 2. He went on to win reelection in 1827 and 1828. During his tenure, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was chartered, prison reform was endorsed, and subsidies for schools and colleges were lobbied for. After completing his term, Kent left office on January 15, 1829. He switched political allegiances and was elected as a Whig to the U.S. Senate, an office he held from 1833 until his death on November 24, 1837. Governor Joseph Kent was buried at “Rosemount” near Bladensburg, 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

Maryland State Archives

Recent Maryland Governors