Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Robert Goodloe Harper (1765-1825)
MSA SC 3520-2031


Born January 1765, near Fredericktown, Virginia.  Son of Jesse and Diana (Goodloe) Harper.  Attended College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), 1785.  Studied law in Charleston, South Carolina.  Married Catherine Carroll, daughter of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, on May 7, 1901; six children: Charles Carroll, Mary Diana, Richard Caton, Elizabeth Hyde, Emily Louisa Hinton, and Robert Goodloe, Jr.  Died January 14, 1825, in Baltimore, Maryland.  Buried at the family cemetery at "Oakland;" reinterred in Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.   

Member, South Carolina House of Representatives 1790-1795. He was then elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Alexander Gillon, serving from February 1795 to March 1801. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1800.In 1798, he was appointed t conduct the impeachment proceedings against William Blount. 

Harper then moved to Baltimore and set up a law practice. He also assisted in organizing the Baltimore Exchange Co. in 1815 and was a member of the first board of directors. He was then elected to the U.S. Senate from Maryland, but resigned before completing his term. He served February 5-December 6, 1816. He was an unsuccessful candidate for vice president in 1816. He elected to the Maryland State Senate in 1819 and 1820, however, he did not serve during the 1819 session due to extensiver travels in Europe. In 1824 he took part in the ceremonies marking Lafayette's visit to Baltimore.

Harper served in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. At the age of 15 her served as a calvaryman in Nathaniel Green's Carolina campaign during 1780-81. In November 1814 he was commissioned a major-general in the 3rd Division.

Harper was involved in the American Colonization Society and the town of Harper, Liberia, is named for him.

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