Mercer, John Francis, 1759-1821

Alternative names
Birth 1759-05-17
Death 1821-08-30

Biographical notes:

Mercer was an American lawyer and politician who at various times represented both Virginia and Maryland in U.S. Congresses. He was Governor of Maryland (1801-1803).

From the description of [Letter, 17]84 May 25 [to John Lawson] / J. Mercer. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 289534850

Governor of and U.S. representative from Maryland, delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Continental Congress, and army officer.

From the description of Letter of John Francis Mercer, 1784. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79454447

John Francis Mercer (May 17, 1759 – August 30, 1821) was an American lawyer, planter, and politician from Virginia and Maryland. Born in 1759 in Marlborough, Stafford County, Virginia, to John Mercer and Ann Roy Mercer, he graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1775 and was a delegate for Virginia to the Continental Congress in 1783 and 1784. During the American Revolutionary War, Mercer was commissioned a captain in the 3rd Virginia Regiment in the Continental Army. He was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine. In 1778 he became an aide-de-camp with the rank of major to General Charles Lee. He resigned from the army when Lee did, but reentered the war as a lieutenant colonel in the Virginia militia. He served briefly under Lafayette in Virginia and was present at the siege of Yorktown. After the war, Mercer moved to Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and was a Maryland delegate to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787, but withdrew before signing the Constitution. He would represent Maryland in the United States House of Representatives from the second and third districts from 1792 to 1794, and served as Governor of Maryland from 1801 to 1803. He died in 1821 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is buried in Cedar Park, Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

From the guide to the John Francis Mercer Letter to John Fitzgerald, 1785 May 28, (John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

John Francis Mercer, a revolutionary soldier and statesman, a delegate from Virginia to the Continental Congress (1782-1785), the representative from Maryland to the convention that framed the U.S. Constitution (1787-1788) and to Congress (1792-1794); member of the Maryland legislature (1794, 1803-1804); Governor of Maryland (1801-1803).

From the description of Letters to John Francis Mercer, 1783-1814. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122499820


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  • Weights and measures
  • Politicians--Correspondence
  • Manners and customs--History--18th century
  • Wheat--Varieties
  • Manners and customs--Virginia--History - 18th century
  • Legislators--Correspondence


  • Army officers
  • Delegates, U.S. Continental Congress--Virginia
  • Representatives, U.S. Congress--Maryland
  • Governors--Maryland


  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.) (as recorded)
  • Maryland (as recorded)
  • Fredericksburg (Va.) (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Maryland (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)