Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

John N. Graves (1842-1896)
MSA SC 3520-15209


Born March 11, 1842.  Son of Samuel and Mary A. Graves.  Married Elizabeth T. Buckler (b. July 1848), July 6, 1864; known children include: Harry E. (b. c. 1866), Phillip (b. c. 1868), Robert (b. c. 1872), Ellenor B. "Nellie" (b. April 1874), John Howard (b. Oct. 1879), Milton R. (b. Feb. 1884), and Helen G. (b. May 1887). Died March 6, 1896, near Oakville, St. Mary's County, Maryland.  Buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery, St. Mary's County, Maryland.

Graves spent his youth working as a sailor, and upon his return to St. Mary's County, worked as a farmer and a carpenter. Graves was drafted in November 1864, but does not appear to have served in the Civil War.  He was elected constable in 1867, and was appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 1870, and again in 1872, before resigning later that year. He was appointed clerk to the St. Mary's County Commissioners in 1876. Graves studied law under J. Parran Crane in Leondardtown.

Actively involved in the the Republican party in St. Mary's County, Graves was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in November 1879. His election was contested by Ignatius E. Mattingly on the basis of voter intimidation and irregularities in the poll books. After an investigation into the matter, the House's committe on elections decided unanimously in favor of Graves, citing no evidence of voter intimidation, and "that the election was honestly conducted, and that all parties entitled to vote were freely accorded that privilege."1 Graves was re-elected in November 1881. Following his service in the legislature, Graves was appointed Deputy Collecor of Internal Revue in Washington, D.C. He died at his home near Oakville on March 6, 1896, after a brief illness.

1. "St. Mary's Contested Election." The Baltimore Sun, 13 February 1880.

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