Howard, John Eager, 1752-1827

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John Eager Howard (June 4, 1752 – October 12, 1827) was an American soldier and politician from Maryland. He was elected as governor of the state in 1788, and served three one-year terms. He also was elected to the Continental Congress, the Congress of the United States and the U.S. Senate. In the 1816 presidential election, Howard was a candidate for vice president on the Federalist Party ticket.

Born at Belvidere, his family's plantation in Baltimore County in the Province of Maryland, Howard was was instructed by private tutors. Commissioned a captain at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, Howard rose in 1777 to the rank of colonel in the Maryland Line of the Continental Army, fighting in the Battle of White Plains in New York State in 1776 and in the Battle of Monmouth in New Jersey in 1778. Following his army service, Howard held several electoral political positions: elected to the Confederation Congress in 1788; fifth Governor of Maryland for three one-year terms (under first constitution of 1776), from 1788 through 1791; later as State Senator from 1791 through 1795; and Presidential Elector in the new 1787 Constitutional Electoral College set up in the presidential Election of 1792. He declined the offer from first President George Washington in 1795 to be the second Secretary of War.

He joined the newly organized Federalist Party and was elected to the 4th U.S. Congress from November 21, 1796, through 1797, by the General Assembly of Maryland (state legislature) to the upper chamber as United States Senator for the remainder of the term of Richard Potts, who had resigned. He was elected by the Legislature in Annapolis for a Senate term of his own in 1797, which included the 5th Congress, the 6th Congress of 1799–1801 during which he was President pro tempore, and the 7th Congress, serving until March 3, 1803. While in Congress, he was the sole Federalist to vote against the Sedition Act. After 1803, Howard returned to Baltimore, where he avoided elected office but continued in public service and philanthropy as a leading citizen. In the 1816 presidential election, he received 22 electoral votes for Vice President as the running mate of Federalist Rufus King; it is not clear whether Howard himself, who was one of several Federalists who received electoral votes for vice president, actually wanted to run as a candidate for the office.

Howard died at Belvidere and was buried at the Old Saint Paul's Cemetery in Baltimore.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Thomas Addis Emmet collection, 1483-1876 (bulk:1700-1800) New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Tappan, William, b. 1863. Autograph collection of William Tappan, 1640-1939. Library of Congress
referencedIn Chew family. Chew Family papers, 1659-1986 (bulk 1740-1930). Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf Howard, John Eager, 1752-1827. Papers, 1789-1829. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library
referencedIn Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866. Jared Sparks collection of American manuscripts, 1582-1843 Houghton Library
creatorOf Howard, John Eager, 1752-1827. Autograph letter signed : Baltimore, to General Greene, 1782 Mar. 26. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866. Collection of documents concerning the American Revolution, 1740-1866 Houghton Library
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library
creatorOf Gwathmey collection, 1708-1852 University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf John Eager Howard letters to Virgil Maxcy, 1790-1827 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf William L. Clements Library. James McHenry papers, 1777-1832. William L. Clements Library
creatorOf Maryland Manuscripts Collection, 1664-1981, 1664-1981 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Howard, John Eager, 1752-1827. Collection of John Eager Howard and (?) Hollingsworth, 1814-1821. Library of Congress
referencedIn William Tappan Autograph Collection, 1640-1939, (bulk 1800-1900) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Baltimore bicentennial celebration scrapbook, 1929. Maryland historical society
referencedIn Biography -- Howard, John E. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
referencedIn James McHenry papers 1777-1832 McHenry, James papers William L. Clements Library
referencedIn Greenway, Edward M. Edward M. Greenway collection 1737-1876. Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
child-in-law of Chew, Benjamin, 1722-1810 person
associatedWith Chew family. family
associatedWith Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers), b. 1876 person
associatedWith Emmet, Thomas Addis person
associatedWith Ford collection corporateBody
associatedWith Gall, F. J. (Franz Josef), 1758-1828. person
associatedWith Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786, person
associatedWith Greenway, Edward M. person
associatedWith Hollingsworth, (?). person
parentOf Howard, Benjamin C. (Benjamin Chew), 1791-1872 person
parentOf Howard, William, 1793-1834 person
memberOf Maryland. General Assembly. Senate corporateBody
associatedWith Maryland. Governor corporateBody
associatedWith Maxcy, Virgil, 1785-1844 person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Tappan, William, b. 1863. person
memberOf United States. Congress. Senate corporateBody
memberOf United States. Continental Army corporateBody
memberOf United States. Continental Congress corporateBody
associatedWith William L. Clements Library. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Baltimore County MD US
Baltimore County MD US
Yellow fever
Civil engineers
Delegates, U.S. Continental Congress
Senators, U.S. Congress
State Senator
Army officers


Birth 1752-06-04

Death 1827-10-12







Ark ID: w6dv1p52

SNAC ID: 53797009