Maryland State Archives
Biographical Files

Christopher C. Cox (1816-1882)
MSA SC 3520-1490


Born Christopher Christian (Columbus) Cox, August 28, 1816 in Baltimore, Maryland. Son of Luther James and Marie Catherine (Keener) Cox. Attended Yale College; Washington Medical College at Baltimore; Trinity College. Episcopalian. Married Amanda Northrup of New Haven, Connecticut; 8 Children. Died in Washington, D.C. on November 25, 1882. Buried in Spring Hill Cemetery, Easton, Talbot County, Maryland.

Christopher Cox, a member of the Union Party,  was elected Maryland's first Lieutenant Governor on November 8, 1864, defeating Democrat Thomas Bowie. The position was established under the new Constitution of 1864. As Lieutenant Governor, Cox served as President of the Senate, and was to succeed to the Governor's office "in case of death, resignation, removal from the State, or other disqualification of the Governor." In February 1867, Governor Thomas Swann announced his intentions to resign for a seat in the United States Senate. As preparations for Cox's inauguration began, it was believed that the Republicans would not allow Swann to claim his seat. Swann decided to remain Governor of Maryland.  Cox served as Lieutenant Governor until 1868, when the position was abolished by the Constitution of 1867.

Cox received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale in 1835, and later received a Master of Arts from there as well. In 1867, he received Doctor of Laws degree from Trinity College.  Cox graduated from Washington Medical College at Baltimore in 1838. He was admitted to the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of the State of Maryland in 1838, and served as its president 1856-1857. During the Civil War, Cox served as a surgeon for the U.S. Army. The 1903 Medical Annals of Maryland, lists the following among the many accomplishments of his medical career: President, Talbot County Medical Society; Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, Philadelphia College of Medicine, 1848-1849; Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children, 1849; Orator, Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of the State of Maryland, 1850; Surgeon, U.S. Army, 1861-1862; Surgeon-General of Maryland, 1862; Vice-President, American Medical Association, 1863-1864; Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, Georgetown University, 1869; Anatomy added in 1870; President of the Board of Health, D.C., 1871; Editor of National Medical Journal, Washington, 1870-1872.

Cox was a prolific writer. He lectured and contributed to medical journals, but also wrote poetry and hymns. His best known hymn is "Silently the Shades of Evening." Some of his poetry was published in the Baltimore Patriot, of which he also served as an associate editor.

Cox died in Washington, D.C. on November 25, 1882, following a long illness. His body was returned to Talbot County and buried at Spring Hill Cemetery.

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