Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Thomas Emory (1782-1842)
MSA SC 3520-13051


Family: Born March 24, 1782, in Centreville, Maryland, Queen Anne’s County; died August 23, 1842, in Old Point Comfort, Virginia. Son of John Register Emory and Ann (Costin) Emory; youngest of seven children, siblings: John, Margaret, Ann, Richard, Elizabeth William, half-brother, Robert, from his father’s first marriage. Lived on Eastern Shore of Maryland, at his Queen Anne’s County farm called Poplar Grove, where he is buried in the family cemetery. Married Anna Maria Hemsley on June 13, 1805, and had eleven children: Ann, Sarah Hemsley, Thomas Alexander, William Hemsley, Henrietta, Robert, John Register, Albert Troup, Augusta, Frederick and Blanchard.

Agriculture & Farm:  Among the founding members of the Maryland Agricultural Society; student of agriculture, owning a vast amount of books dealing with the subject. Lived and ran his Poplar Grove farm (inherited from his father) and at the time was over 2,000 acres in Queen Anne’s County, Md. While most of the land was inherited, some tracts Thomas purchased later. Poplar Grove farm, while under his control, was made up of tracts called Conquest-Brampton, Corsica, Smiths Mistake and Ann’s Portion. Thomas bought parts of the Corsica tract from the heirs of Edward Brown and from William Ringgold.

Military:  Called “the general” by his family; army nickname, “the tiger.” Commissioned First Lieutenant Colonel of the 6th Cavalry district of Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, on October 21, 1807; rose to rank of Captain on December 15, 1810; he was then moved to the 9th Cavalry district during the War of 1812 and became a Major on February 13, 1812. Fought in the War of 1812 present at the Battle of Queenstown, Maryland, August 1813 in which he wrote an editorial for the Weekly Aurora, on August 14, 1813 (not published in newspaper until Aug. 31, 1813) telling of this battle. Advanced through the 9th Cavalry, being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on June 13, 1817 and promoted to Colonel on August 16, 1824. On March 3, 1835 was commissioned to the rank of general of the 6th Brigade (Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties), replacing Ezekiel F. Chambers.

Politics: House of Delegates, Queen Anne’s County, 1810-1814; Maryland Governor's Council 1822-1824 (Samuel Stevens, Jr., governor) ; Maryland State Senate, Eastern Shore, 1825, 1831-1836, and 1836 special session.

Entrepreneur:  First president of the Eastern Shore Rail Road Company; unsuccessful in bringing the railroad to the Eastern Shore due to lack of funding.1836, wrote a series of articles in the Easton Gazette to promote bringing a railroad to the Eastern Shore.1838, commissioned by the state of Maryland, to go to England to attempt to raise eight million dollars to help fund his Eastern Shore Railroad, which was unsuccessful. Maryland cut public funding for his railroad around 1840 and he died two years later. It was not until after the civil war that his dream came true and an Eastern Shore Railroad was built.

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