Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Benjamin Tasker, Jr. (1720/21-1760)
MSA SC 3520-1228

Biography:

Born February 14, 1720/21 in Annapolis, Maryland. Son of Benjamin and Ann (Bladen) Tasker. Never married. No children. Died October 17, 1760. Buried St. Anne's Churchyard, Annapolis, Maryland.

Benjamin Tasker, Jr., had numerous business interests. He receieved his father's one-fifth share in the Baltimore Ironworks Company, and was a partner with Christopher Lowndes in the slave trade. He also operated "Belair", a 2,177 acre plantation in Prince George's County, and imported cattle. Outside of politics, Tasker obtained his fame through thoroughbred racing. He trained and raced Selima, an English mare, in 1752. She raced only the one season, and was undefeated.  Selima gained national and international attention for her racing, and the offspring she produced, who also went on to become champions. In 1926, the first Selima Stakes was held in her honor. Held annually in Maryland for two year old fillies, it quickly became the richest event for fillies.

Colonel, Anne Arundel County Militia. Member, Lower House, 1742-1744. Member, Upper House, 1745, 1745/46-48, 1749-51, 1751-1754, 1754-1757, 1757-1758, 1758-1760. Member, Council, 1744/45-death. Naval officer, Annapolis, September 1742-December 1755. Riding surveyor of Bohemia and Sassafras, December 1743-death. Surveyor general, Eastern Shore, October 1747-1755. Delegate, Albany Congress, 1754. Deputy secretary of Maryland, January 1756-death. Councilman, Annapolis, 1752. Alderman, Annapolis, 1753-1755, 1757, 1759, 1760. Mayor of Annapolis, 1754-1755.

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