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Historical List
Attorneys General, 1777- 

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Attorneys General (1777-  )

The office of attorney general was established by the Constitution of 1776 (sec. 48). The attorney general was appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Governor's Council. The office was briefly abolished by constitutional amendment in 1818 (Acts of 1816, ch. 247; confirmed by Acts of 1817, ch. 69). The General Assembly reestablished the office by the end of the same session (Acts of 1817, ch. 146). By 1851, the attorney general's duties were fulfilled by the state's attorney (Md. Const. 1851, Art. 5, sec. 3).

The Constitution of 1864 (Art. 5, sec. 1) reestablished the office of the attorney general. The attorney general was elected by the voters of the state for a four-year term. To be eligible for office, the attorney general was required to have resided and practiced law in the state for seven years. The 1867 Constitution (Art. 5, sec. 4) lengthened the residency and law practice requirements to ten years.
1777-1778 James Tilghman
1778-1805 Luther Martin
1805-1806 William Pinkney
1806 John Thomson Mason
1806-1811 John Johnson
1811-1818 John Montgomery
1818-1822 Luther Martin [ 1, 2 ] 
1822-1824 Thomas Beale Dorsey
1824-1827 Thomas Kell
1827-1831 Roger Brooke Taney
1831-1846 Josiah Bayly
1846-1851 George R. Richardson
1851 Robert J. Brent [ 3, 4 ] 
1865-1867 Alexander Randall [5]
1867-1871 Isaac Dashiell Jones
1871-1875 Andrew K. Syester
1875-1883 Charles J. M. Gwinn 
1883-1887 Charles Boyle Roberts
1887-1891 William Pinkney Whyte
1891-1895 John Prentiss Poe
1895-1899 Harry M. Clabaugh
1899 George Riggs Gaither, Jr. [6]
1899-1903 Isidor Rayner
1903-1907 William Shepard Bryan, Jr.
1907-1911 Isaac Lobe Straus
1911-1915 Edgar Allan Poe
1915-1919 Albert C. Ritchie 
1919 Ogle Marbury 
1919-1923 Alexander Armstrong
1923-1930 Thomas H. Robinson
1930-1934 William Preston Lane, Jr.
1934-1938 Herbert R. O'Conor
1938-1945 William C. Walsh
1945-1946 William Curran
1946-1952 Hall Hammond
1952-1954 Edward D. E. Rollins
1954-1961 C. Ferdinand Sybert
1961-1966 Thomas B. Finan 
1966 Robert C. Murphy
1966-1978 Francis B. Burch 
1979, Jan. 1 only Jon F. Oster
1979, Jan. 2 only George A. Nilson
1979-1987 Stephen H. Sachs
1987-2007 J. Joseph Curran, Jr.
2007-2015 Douglas F. Gansler
2015-Brian E. Frosh

1 Following reestablishment of the office of Attorney General, Martin received a commission from the Governor and Council on February 10, 1818.
2 During the physical incapacity of Luther Martin following a stroke, 1821-22, the governor appointed Nathaniel Williams, assistant attorney general, to act as attorney general.
3 Brent appointed following the death of George R. Richardson.
4 The office of attorney general was abolished by the Constitution of 1851 but was reestablished by the Constitution of 1864 (Art. 5, sec. 1).
5 Randall's term was shortened due to the new constitution in 1867.
6 Gaither sworn in on March 25, 1899, to replace Harry M. Clabaugh, who resigned after his appointment to the bench of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.

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