John Eager Howard


John Eager Howard Famous memorial

Garrison, Baltimore County, Maryland, USA
Death 12 Oct 1827 (aged 75)
Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
Burial Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
Plot 85
Memorial ID 5623743 View Source

Revolutionary War Continental Army Officer, Continental Congressman, US Senator. Commissioned a Captain in the 2nd Maryland Battalion of the Flying Camp at the outset of the Revolutionary war, he attained the rank of Colonel of the "Maryland Line" by war's end. One of three officers that included Lt. Col. William Washington and Col. Andrew Pickens, considered by historians as the "Heroes of Cowpens" for their actions in defeating the British forces under command of Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton on 17 Jan 1781. The victory at Cowpens turned the tide of the war in the south in America's favor. Severely wounded at the Battle of Eutaw Springs on 8 Sep 1781, Col. Howard would survive the war and return to his home in Baltimore. For his actions at Cowpens, Col. Howard, along with Gen. Daniel Morgan and Lt. Col. William Washington, would be awarded the "Comitia Americana" medal by the U.S. Congress in 1790. The reverse side of his medal contained an inscription in Latin which reads, "By rushing suddenly on the wavering lines of the enemy gave a brilliant example of martial courage at the battle of the Cowpens, January 17, 1781." One contemporary anecdote about the battle is that by its end he had the swords of seven British Officers who had surrendered to him. After the war, Col. Howard would in 1785 become a justice of the Baltimore County Court, holding the post for three years. Following this term, he would be elected to the Congress of the Confederation in 1787-1788, serving a short term before his election as Governor of Maryland in November of that year; he would serve three one-year terms, leaving office in November 1791. He would then serve as a Maryland State Senator from 1791 through 1796 before being elected by the Maryland General Assembly to complete the U.S. Senate term of Richard Potts, who had resigned. Senator Howard would be elected to his own full term in 1797; serving in the 5th, 6th and 7th Congresses until 1803. Howard would decline an offer from President Washington in 1795 to serve as the Secretary of War and would similarly decline a commission as a Brigadier General in the newly formed U.S. Army in 1798 ahead of the looming Quasi-War Naval War with France. In 1804, he was appointed commissioner of the state penitentiary. He would also serve on Baltimore's Committee of Supply during the War of 1812, assisting in the raising of money and supplies for defense. His last political office run was as the vice-presidential running mate of Federalist Party Presidential candidate Rufus King in the presidential election of 1816. The election would go handily to James Monroe, president and Daniel Tompkins, vice-president. John Eager Howard would retire to his estate in Baltimore City, known as "Belvedere" which is believed to have been built between 1787 when he married and completed by 1794 but remain active in the development of Baltimore City; becoming instrumental in its expansive growth into the nation's second largest city during the 1830s through the 1850s. He died at his home in Baltimore County, Maryland on the 12th of October 1827.

Bio by: Joe Landmark


John Eager Howard 1752-1827, Governor of Maryland, United States Senator, Colonel-Maryland Line, The Hero of Cowpens, Benefactor of Baltimore City.


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