Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Dr. Benedict Joseph Semmes (1789-1863)
MSA SC 3520-1889


Born November 1, 1789, in Charles County, Maryland. Son of Benedict Joseph and Henrietta (Thompson) Semmes. Attended public schools in Charles County; a medical college in Philadelphia; Baltimore Medical School class of 1811. Married Emily Elizabeth Edelen (3/22/1800-2/5/185) on November 11, 1823, in Prince George's County, Maryland; children: Henrietta (b. 1824 d. in childhood), Charlotte (b. 1826- d.c. 1829), Benedict Joseph (b. 1827 d. in childhood), Matilda (b. 3/13/1830), Eugenia (1831-1843), Benedict Joseph (b. 8/15/1833), Alice (b. 8/19/1835 d. in childhood), Celestia (10/15/1839-3/16/1876). Died February 10, 1863, at "Oak Lawn", Prince George's County, Maryland.

After graduating from the Baltimore Medical School, Benedict Semmes settled in Prince George's County, where he established a farm and also practiced medicine. In 1821, Semmes was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates from Prince George's County. He served as Speaker of the House during the 1825 Regular Session. In 1828, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served from March 1829 to March 1833. He returned to the State House in 1842 as a member of Maryland House of Delegates. Following this term, he retired to his farm in Prince George's County, where he died in 1863.

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