Newsletter of
The Maryland State Archives
Vol 13 No. 6
March 22, 1999
by Robert Barnes 

James Calhoun was born on April 7, 1743.  He came to Baltimore from Carlisle, PA, about 1771, at which time quite a number of other persons who later became prominent in the affairs of Baltimore established themselves in the city.  (A) 

During the Revolution Calhoun took a patriotic American stand.  He is said to have been a friend of Washington and served on committees identified with the prosecution of the Revolutionary War.  As early as 1772 he was a member a Baltimore committee which, in common with representatives of other maritime cities, fought the commercial restrictions placed upon the colonies by England.  Great Britain at that time had closed many American ports because of the opposition to tea tax, etc., and the committee, upon which Calhoun served, endeavored to conduct trade and commerce between American ports in the face of the blockade.  (A) 

During 1776, Calhoun and seventeen others were authorized by Congress to sign bills of credit, and he also served on the Committee of Observation during 1775.  About the same period, he was appointed deputy to the Commissary-General of Purchases for the Continental Army.  In 1778, he held a commission in the Baltimore militia, and in 1779 was appointed a local magistrate.  Calhoun was a member of the reception committee to General Washington, while the latter was in command of the Armies of the United States, during his visit in Baltimore on 

September 8, 1781.  (A) 

Also in 1781, Calhoun contributed $272.50 to the fund being raised for the Continental Army, then in dire financial straits.  Subscriptions for the army were made during one of Lafayette's visits to Baltimore.  Records show that Calhoun also served as foreman of the grand jury of Baltimore County in 1787, and was a justice of the Baltimore County Orphans Court in 1791. He soon became one of the city's leading merchants and was actively identified with Baltimore Town before being chosen mayor. (A) 

The legislative act to erect Baltimore into an incorporated municipality provided for the division of the city into eight wards, and
Calhoun was appointed to the committee for making the division.  On June 16, 1797, he was elected Captain of Property Men, a body formed to protect personal property saved at fires, which might be considered the forerunner of the Salvage Corps of today.  (A) 

James Calhoun was the first mayor of Baltimore, serving from 1797 to 1804 for three successive terms and part of a fourth.  His first term was shortened about three months by a change of the election date.  Mayor Calhoun was chosen by electors, who had been elected by the people.  The term originally was for two years, but was curtailed by subsequent legislation.  The electors voted for a mayor on the third Monday in February, 1797, but instead of expiring in February, 1799, Mayor Calhoun's term was cut short; being again chosen at a meeting of the electors on November 5, 1798. He was reelected in 1800 and 1802, and resigned before his term expired in 1804.  (A) 

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abandoned.  The receipts from taxes and other sources for Baltimore city in 1798 totaled $35,078.65.  (A) 

After his terms as mayor, Calhoun served as a member of the city council.  (A).  He was an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Baltimore from 1797 until some time before 1804, and a trustee from 1771 until 1816. (B:186, 187) 

Calhoun married Ann Gist, daughter of William Gist, on November 18, 1766. (A). She was born on November 25, 1747, and died on March 4, 1799 in her 53rd year.  (The Federal Gazette, Baltimore, 5 March 1799).   James and Anne (Gist) Calhoun were the parents of:  (1) William, born ca. 1768, died June 1808 at Summer Hill, the seat of James Buchanan.  He left a widow and four children.  He had lived for many years in South Carolina, but had returned to Baltimore in 1803 (The Federal Gazette, Baltimore, 29 June 1808); (2) James, died before his father, married and had issue; and (3) Elizabeth, died before her father; married James A. Buchanan and had issue. 

Calhoun died on August 14, 1816, at age 73.  His funeral was held at his late residence on Baltimore Street (The Federal Gazette, Baltimore, 14 August 1816).  He was buried in the graveyard of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Fayette and Greene Streets.  (A) 

James Calhoun left a will, dated Oct. 11, 1815 and proved Aug. 17, 1816.  He named his granddaughters Mary Calhoun, Mary Hall, Ann Calhoun, Lydia Calhoun, and Sudney Calhoun, daughters of his late son William; the children of his son James; and William R. Buchanan, James C. Buchanan, Elizabeth I. Buchanan, Esther L. Buchanan, John T. Buchanan, Robert S. Buchanan, and Samuel Smith Buchanan, children of his late daughter Elizabeth Buchanan.  (Baltimore County Register of Wills
(Wills) 10:199 [MSA C435]) 

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Sources: (A) The Mayors of Baltimore. By Wilbur F. Coyle. (B) Presbyterian Records of Balto. City, Maryland, 1765-1840.  By Henry C. Peden, Jr. Westminster:  Family Line Publications, 1995. 
by Pat Melville 

Despite the thirty year date span, the school records for Queen Anne's County are meager, to say the least.  All the materials are contained in one folder in Queen Anne's County Register of Wills (School Papers) [MSA C1475]. 

The orphans court in Queen Anne's County had fewer responsibilities regarding education than in many other counties.  Distribution of the free school fund remained under the control of the county commissioners of the school fund.  By a law passed in 1831, but taking effect in 1832, they were given additional powers to change school district lines and appoint the trustees for
each school district, except in Centreville where the private Centreville Academy existed.  The academy was governed by its own board of trustees and was considered a free school for county residents as long as it received state funds.  In 1833, the General Assembly gave the orphans court the duty of filling vacancies within the commissioners of the school fund, which was composed of one person from each of the five election districts.  The court was given the task of annually appointing the
commissioners.  Beginning in 1850, the commissioners were required to file annual financial reports with the orphans court. 

In an attempt to provide adequate funds for the establishment and maintenance of schools, the General Assembly in 1833 authorized school  districts in Queen Anne's County to levy a
school tax, but only after approval by the voters.  Apparently this tax plan was unpopular 
and little used because by 1846 many districts 

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about schools and students.  In 1858, the county contained thirty-seven school districts, with all but one of them operating a school.  In 1859, a new district was established on Kent Island.  By 1862, four more school districts had been
added.  An average of 821 students attended school in 1858, 880 in 1859, and 900 in 1863. 
includes copies of the general index cards found in the National Archives, indicating name, rank, unit, etc. of each soldier that served in the Union and Confederate Armies during the Civil War.  Over 100 members of Maryland's genealogical community and the general public assisted with the input of the records represented in this collection into a database that will eventually be available at national Civil War sites, including Antietam National Cemetery, Antietam National Battlefield, and Monocacy National Battlefield.  Although the focus of these materials is primarily Maryland soldiers, some members began work on Virginia soldiers and as a result some Virginia records
are included.  Restricted. 
by Nancy Bramucci 

MSA SC 5102:  Civil War Soldiers System Indexing Collection.  Civil War Soldiers System
Name Indexing Project, Maryland.  Collection