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The Court of Appeals of Maryland, A History
Volume 368, Page 104   View pdf image (33K)
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104 court of appeals of maryland

the fifth district, John Buchanan, of Washington
County, who had been appointed an associate
judge just one day earlier, was, on Mason's de-
clining, appointed Chief Judge, and he accepted.
Buchanan had been a student of Mason's, and
there is an old tradition that it was Mason's esti-
mate of the young man's qualifications (Buchanan
was then thirty-four years old) that persuaded the
Governor and Council to make the appointment.6

The position of Chief Judge of the sixth dis-
trict, including Baltimore and Harford Counties,
remained open for two months after Robert Smith
declined it, and was finally offered to Joseph
Hopper Nicholson, of Queen Anne's County, an-
other of those half-forgotten personalities who
wait by the way to reward historical investigation.
He was born in 1770, probably in Chestertown,
Kent County, where his parents then lived,7 settled
at an early age near Centreville in Queen Anne's
County, studied law, married a daughter of Ed-
ward Lloyd, of Wye House and of what is called
the Chase House, in Annapolis, rapidly gained
prominence, was elected to Congress in 1799, and
in two or three years became one of the leading
men in that body. It was he who in the session
of 1801 to 1802 was carried into the House, dan-
gerously ill, attended by his wife, for the long bal-
loting to settle the contest between Jefferson and
Burr for the Presidency. He cast each of his bal-
lots for Jefferson. By the following year, though
still only thirty-three years old, he was one of
three men, John Randolph of Roanoke, the Speak-

6. T. J. C. Williams, History of Washington County, 132.

7. The parish records of births have been lost.

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The Court of Appeals of Maryland, A History
Volume 368, Page 104   View pdf image (33K)
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