Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Jesse Hunt (1793-1872)
MSA SC 3520-12470

Biography:

Source:  Wilbur F. Coyle, The Mayors of Baltimore (Reprinted from The Baltimore Municipal Journal, 1919), 41-45.

Jesse Hunt was Mayor of Baltimore from November, 1832 to November, 1834; and from November, 1834 to August 11th, 1835, when he resigned.  The Electors on Mayor Hunt's ticket were chosen October 15th, 1832, which was the last time that votes by Electors for Mayor were cast.  In conformity with an Act of Assembly passed March, 1833, the election of Mayor was henceforth by the people direct, consequently Mayor Hunt's second term came about after this wise, October 20th, 1834.

During this administration Richmond Market was built; Rollins Market ground was accepted and Belair and Lexington Markets were extended.  A watch-house on Greene street, near Fayette, was established.  A Hillen street (wooden) bridge and a Water street (stone) bridge over Jones Falls, previously authorized, were erected.  Two public school houses were built.  Provision for a permanent fund for the relief of disabled firemen, their widows and children was made.  Ordinances for the walling in of parts of Jones Falls and Harford Run were approved.

A Jones Falls freshet occurred in 1833.  A cholera epidemic raged in 1834.  The Bank of Maryland failed; intense excitement prevailed, much rioting resulted and the City was in turmoil.  Mayor Hunt resigned August 11th, 1835.

 *   *   *   *   *   *

Mayor Hunt, a descendant of one of the pioneer families of Calvert County, was born in Green Spring Valley, Baltimore County, July 3, 1793.  While serving an apprenticeship at saddlery in Baltimore he enlisted in the volunteer army and assisted materially in raising a company known as the Washington Blues, which was attached to the Fifth Infantry Regiment, and served at North Point during the defense of Baltimore, September 12-13, 1814.  He later became a Lieutenant, holding this commission until 1822.  Upon resigning he received from his captain a letter of commendation for his conduct as a soldier and officer.  In 1815 he embarked in the saddlery and harness-making business.  He was elected to the House of Delegates in 1829, 1830 and 1831.  In 1832 he was nominated for Mayor and elected on the Jackson Democratic Party ticket and was reelected in 1834.

During Mr. Hunt's administration, as mentioned above, the Bank of Maryland, of which hc was a director, failed.  This collapse brought about financial depression and subsequent rioting.  His reluctance to use harsh methods in dealing with the mobs, and his disavowal* of determined, if extreme, action on the part of portions of the militia, coupled with his connection with the defunct bank, subjected him to much adverse criticism and personal hostility, causing him to resign August 11, 1835. The City Council, in accepting this resignation, passed resolutions of regret and confidence.  Shortly after resigning Mr. Hunt was elected City Register, which office he filled for ten years.  He then be came the first president of the Eutaw Savings Bank, in which position he remained until 1871.  His wife (Miss Margaret Yundt) died May 18, 1860.  Mr. Hunt was active in organizing the "Association for the Improvement of the Poor."  He was president of the Washington Hose (Volunteer Fire Department) Company for many years.  He died December 8, 1872.

"*Mayor’s Office, Baltimore, August 10th.—Having stated in a publication of yesterday, in reference to the melancholy occurrences of the past nights, that firearms were resorted to against my judgment and advice; and having learned with extreme pain, that the language used by me has induced some persons to suppose that the use of firearms was entirely unauthorized by any competent power, I deem it an imperative act of justice, at the first moment of being informed of the interpretation which I supposed this part of my publication of yesterday might bear, distinctly to state that the persons who used firearms were fully authorized so to do but again repeat the order was not issued by me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JESSE HUNT, Mayor"
Scharf's Chronicles of Baltimore.

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