Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Robert Gilmor Jr. (1833-1906)
MSA SC 3520-14405
Judge, Baltimore City Supreme Bench, 1867-1882


Robert Gilmor Jr. was born in Baltimore March 8, 1833 to Robert Gilmor Sr. and Ellen Ward. The Gilmor family was among the city’s most prominent: Gilmor Street in Baltimore bears their name. Gilmor read law with United States District Judge John Glenn, and gained admittance to the Bar in 1853. Like many in Maryland, Gilmor was largely supportive of the secessionist cause, and during the Civil War, he supported a conciliatory approach towards the Confederacy. His brother, Harry Gilmor, was a colonel in the Confederate army of some renown. After the war, Robert was an advisor to President Andrew Johnson during Reconstruction, and was also a leader of the Maryland Democratic party. He was elected to the Supreme Bench in 1867 during the era of state-wide Democratic domination of politics. He served until 1882, when his reelection bid was defeated by public backlash against judicial corruption led by the “New Judge” movement. In the same election, four of the five Justices of the Supreme Bench were turned out of office (the fifth was not up for election). Gilmor returned to private practice, and served as City Counselor of Baltimore 1886-1887 during the administration of James Hodges. He died April 19, 1906, after prolonged illness.

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