Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Edward Lloyd (1779-1834)
MSA SC 3520-1445

Governor of Maryland 1809-1811

The following essay is taken from Frank F. White, Jr., The Governors of Maryland 1777-1970 (Annapolis:  The Hall of Records Commission, 1970), 61-62.

"EDWARD LLOYD, one of the youngest men to occupy the Governor’s chair, brought to that office the prestige of an aristocratic family which not only held enormous tracts of land on the Eastern Shore, but also one which possessed a long tradition of public service. With his family background, Lloyd should have been an adherent of the Federalist Party. Instead, he was, like his predecessors Wright and Bowie, a Republican. Edward Lloyd, the fifth of that name in Maryland history, was born at Wye House in Talbot County on July 22, 1779, the son of Edward and Elizabeth (Tayloe) Lloyd. His father had been active in government during the colonial and provincial period, representing Talbot County in the Lower House, then becoming a member of the Provincial Convention, the Governor’s Council, a State Senator, delegate to the Continental Congress and the State Convention which ratified the Federal Constitution. In keeping with this tradition, it was somewhat inevitable that the son entered politics and held public office.

"Edward Lloyd received his formal education from tutors in the best southern tradition. His real training, however, was gained neither at school nor from books, but through family contacts. On November 30, 1797, he married Sally Scott Murray, daughter of Dr. James Murray of Annapolis. To them were born three sons and four daughters. In 1800, when he was just twenty-one years of age, he was elected to the House of Delegates, and he served in that body during the sessions of 1800 to 1805.

"In that year he was elected to the United States House of Representatives to fill the unexpired term of Joseph Hopper Nicholson, who had resigned to accept appointment as a judge of the Court of Appeals. He was reelected to the Tenth Congress which sat until March 3, 1809.

"Governor Robert Wright resigned as Governor in May of 1809. The General Assembly which met in special session to choose a successor, overwhelmingly elected Lloyd to succeed him. In the balloting, he defeated Charles Carroll of Carrollton and Benjamin Stoddert who between them, received only five votes, to Lloyd’s eighty-one. To some extent, Lloyd’s election represented the dawn of a new era in Maryland politics, for he was the first governor to have been born after the close of the proprietary [p. 62] period.1 Lloyd’s first term covered only the portion of Governor Wright’s term which expired in November 1809. At that time, he was re-elected for a second one-year term, defeating his opponents, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Levin Winder, Benjamin Stoddert and John Eager Howard. He was re-elected for his third term in November 1810, again defeating Howard, Winder and Carroll.

"Tilghman claimed 'no questions of State policy . . . occupied the attention of the executive and the legislative branches of the Government of Maryland during the incumbency of Gov. Lloyd. In fact, State politics were absorbed in national.'2 In actuality, Tilghman’s observations were only partially accurate. The difficulty lay in the fact that 'the two parties were so evenly balanced in Maryland . . . that though the Republicans controlled the executive post, the Federalists regained the speakership in the House with resulting friction between administrative and legislative branches.'3

"The Republicans, under Lloyd, were able to chalk up several long-range and far-reaching accomplishments. In 1810, the Legislature abolished the property qualification for office holding, and reduced the residence requirement for voting to one year. Finally, the Legislature passed a resolution approving Jefferson’s embargo as well as his administration.

"At the conclusion of his term on November 16, 1811, Lloyd was chosen a Senator representing the Eastern Shore. As a member of that body, he supported President Madison’s war policy and was bitter in his opposition to all measures which were conciliatory toward England. He was also a presidential elector in 1812 when he cast his vote for James Madison. He resigned his seat in the Senate in January 1815. The Republicans, after having been out of office for several years, again recaptured the General Assembly and elected Edward Lloyd to a full term in the United States Senate in 1818. He took his seat on December 27 of that year, and at the conclusion of his term he was re-elected for an additional six years, serving until January 1826, when, because of ill health, he resigned his seat. Once again his retirement was only of short duration, for in the same year he was once more elected to the State Senate for a five year term. During the sessions of 1826 and 1827, the Senate selected him as its president.

"He died in Annapolis on June 2, 1834, at the age of fifty-five, following which his body was conveyed across the bay, and buried in the family cemetery at 'Wye House.' At his death, the Easton Gazette eulogized him as 'an accomplished gentleman who had been called to fill several high stations both under the State and Federal government and was one of the most successful practical agriculturists of his time. The social world will extensively and deeply lament the loss of so distinguished a patron, whose elegant hospitality was so generally and liberally diffused.'”4

Notes on sources

Return to Edward Lloyd's introductory page

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