Lawyer, U.S. Representative from Maryland, War of 1812. born in Chestertown, Kent County, Maryland, after his preparatory studies he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He was married on October 10, 1793 at Wye House to Rebecca Lloyd of Wye a daughter of Col. Edward Lloyd, IV and his wife Elizabeth Tayloe so he was a brother-in-law of Francis Scott Key. He first served as a member of the State house of delegates from 1797-1798 and was then elected as a Republican to the Sixth and to the three succeeding Congresses. He participated in the defense of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 he then served as chief justice of the sixth judicial district of Maryland and as associate justice of the court of appeals from March 26, 1806 until the time of his death at his home in Baltimore County. He was a son of Joseph Nicholson, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth Hopper.