Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Georgine Urquhart McLane (1813-1899)
MSA SC 3520-2279
First Lady of Maryland, 1884-1885

[Picture of Georgine Urquhart McLane]

Georgine Urquhart McLane by Franz Xaver Winterhalter
1841, Maryland Commission on Artistic Property
Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 1545-1190

Georgine Urquhart was born and raised within a large family in New Orleans, Louisiana, where her father, a Scottish immigrant, was a successful merchant.  After his retirement from business he spent several years in France and Italy, and Georgine and the family accompanied him there.  It was in Paris in 1841 that Georgine married Robert McLane, a lieutenant in the U.S. army on assignment in Europe. Shortly after the wedding the couple moved to Maryland, where Robert resigned from the army and began a law practice in Baltimore.1  The couple had two daughters.  Before returning to the U.S., however, Georgine had the above portrait painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, a successful German painter based in Paris and noted for having painted most of Europe's royalty including Queen Victoria and Napoleon III.2

Georgine was known as a gentle woman of frail health.  She devoted her energies toward her home as well as toward charitable and church work.  When she lived in Maryland she was an active  member of the Christ Protestant Episcopal Church in Baltimore.3

Much of her life, however, was spent in Europe.  Her husband had been inaugurated Governor of Maryland in 1884, but he resigned the following year in order to accept an appointment as minister to France made by President Grover Cleveland.  Georgine accompanied her husband to France and the family established a home in Paris.  When Robert's mission to France ended in 1889, he hoped that the family would be able to move back to Baltimore, but was afraid that Georgine's health was too poor to allow for the ocean voyage.  As a result, the couple lived out their remaining years in Paris, where their daughter Georgine and several servants attended Mrs. McLane until her death in 1899.  Her body was brought back to Baltimore's Greenmount Cemetery and was buried alongside that of her husband, who had died the previous year.4

Notes on sources

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