Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Elijah Stansbury (1791-1883)
MSA SC 3520-2828


Source:  Wilbur F. Coyle, The Mayors of Baltimore (Reprinted from The Baltimore Municipal Journal, 1919), 77-79.

Elijah Stansbury was Mayor of Baltimore from November 13th, 1848, to November 11th, 1850.

Efforts at systematic street paving were made during this administration; the site of the House of Refuge (Maryland School for Boys), Gwynns Falls near Frederick Road, as previously authorized, was purchased; Union Square was completed; a cholera epidemic raged in 1849.

Sections of the Schroeder's Run were enclosed in a sewer and other drains were built in the beds of parts of Chatsworth (now Myrtle Avenue) and Centre Streets. Iron bridges were erected over Jones Falls at Centre Street, at Eastern Avenue and at Foundry (now Bath) Street; and a wooden bridge was placed over Harford Run at Madison Street.  Harford Run is now almost completely covered and many bridges over Jones Falls were abandoned when the conduits under the Fallsway were constructed.  A new Fish Market at Hanover Market was built during this administration.

Ordinances providing for the erection of the Maryland Institute building over Marsh Market (destroyed in the fire of 1904), and a new schoolhouse were passed. The opening of Caroline Street, from Gay Street to Point Lane (Lamont Avenue), and also part of the Ferry Point Road, near Ferry Bar, were authorized. Provision for ‘building a sewer over part of Harford Run (Central Avenue) was made.

During Mayor Stansbury's incumbency, agitation for the political separation of Baltimore City and Baltimore County developed, which separation was later (in Mayor Jerome's term) consummated by the adoption of the State Constitution in 1851.

Baltimore's population in 1850 was 169,054.

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Colonel Elijah Stansbury was born in Baltimore County in May, 1791.  He learned the trade of bricklayer.  In 1812 he enlisted as a private in the Baltimore Union Artillery, taking part in the Battle of North Point, September 12-13, 1814.  He was later commissioned a lieutenant and steadily rose until commanding a regiment, which position he held for years.  In 1817 he married Miss Eliza Eckel and shortly afterwards entered the building supply business, with which he was identified for a long time.

In politics Colonel Stansbury was rated as an "in flexible and uncompromising Democrat of the 'old school.'"

On October 24, 1824, he was elected to the First Branch of the City Council, and served several more terms in that body, and later was chosen to the House of Delegates at various times.  In 1848 Mr. Stansbury was elected Mayor of Baltimore and upon the completion of his term retired from public life.  He died December 19, 1883.

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