WILLIAM PINKNEY WHYTE was born in Baltimore, Maryland on August 9, 1824. His education was attained at Baltimore City College, at Harvard Law School, and at the University of Maryland, where he was awarded an L.L.D. in 1874. After he was admitted to the bar in 1846, Whyte established his legal career in Baltimore. He entered politics in 1847, serving as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, a position he held until 1849. He also served as the comptroller of the treasury for Maryland from 1854 to 1856, was a member of the U.S. Senate from 1868 to 1869, and served as a delegate to the 1868 Democratic National Convention. In 1871, Whyte secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and then went on to win election to the Maryland governorship on November 7, 1871. He was sworn into office on January 10, 1872. During his tenure, the state board of health was created; the house of corrections was established; the colored normal school was proposed; and Garrett County was formed. Upon his election to the U.S. Senate, Whyte resigned from the governor’s office on March 4, 1874. He served in his senatorial seat until 1881. From 1881 to 1883, Whyte was mayor of Baltimore, and from 1887 to 1891 he served as the attorney general of Maryland. He also was the chairman to the commission that revised Baltimore’s city charter from 1897 to 1898, was the city solicitor for Baltimore from 1900 to 1903, and served again in the U.S. Senate from 1906 to 1908. Governor William Pinkney Whyte passed away on March 17, 1908, and was buried in the Greenmount 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
Maryland State Archives