John Eager Howard

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John Eager Howard (June 4, 1752 – October 12, 1827) was an American soldier and politician from Maryland.[1] He was born in and died in Baltimore County.[1][2] Howard County, Maryland, is named for him.[2]


Faith and Continental Army

Howard was an Episcopalian, and a Brother of a Baltimore lodge of Freemasonry.[2] A captain, who rose to the rank of colonel in the Continental Army,[1] he fought at the Battle of White Plains and in the Battle of Monmouth. He was awarded a silver medal by Congress for his leadership at the Battle of Cowpens,[1] during which he commanded the 3rd Maryland Regiment, Continental Army.[3]

Political life

Following his army service, he held several political positions: member of the Continental Congress of 1788; Governor of Maryland for three one-year terms, 1789 through 1791; State Senator from 1791 through 1795; Presidential Elector in 1792; thereafter, he joined the Federalist Party and served in the 4th Congress from November 30, 1796, through 1797 as a United States Senator for the remainder of the term of Richard Potts, who had resigned; and was elected 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.[1] After 1803, he returned to Baltimore, where he avoided elected office but continued in public service and philanthropy as a leading citizen.[4] In the 1816 presidential election, he received 22 electoral votes for Vice President[2] as the running mate of Federalist Rufus King, losing to James Monroe and Governor Daniel Tompkins. No formal Federalist nomination had been made, and it is not clear whether Howard, who was only one of several Federalists who received electoral votes for Vice President, actively ran for the office.

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