Newsletter of
The Maryland State Archives
May 10, 1999
Vol., 13 No. 9
THOROWGOOD SMITH:  Mayor of Baltimore, 1804-1808 
by Robert Barnes 

Thorowgood Smith, born in Accomac County, Virginia, was the son of Isaac and Sarah West.  He came to Baltimore City
when a youth and engaged in business with considerable success.  He became a very active citizen as well as a man of prominence (A). 

The future mayor was one of those who was presented to Count de Rochambeau while the latter was marching through
Baltimore with his troops on his return from Yorktown on August 22, 1782.  On April 17, 1798, an address was presented to
General Washington, who was then in Baltimore on his way to Congress in New York.  This address was signed by
Thorowgood Smith and ten others. 

Smith, with several persons of prominence, was authorized to take subscriptions for the Bank of Maryland in November 1790.  He was a county justice and election judge when the first mayor of Baltimore, James Calhoun, was chosen in January 1797.  In
1783 Smith was a member of a local military organization and at the time of his death was president of the Baltimore Insurance Company (A). 

Thorowgood Smith was chosen mayor of Baltimore to fill the vacancy caused by the

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resignation of Calhoun.  The voting for
electors took place on October 1, 1804 and October 6, 1806, and they selected Smith to serve the two terms of two years each. During his administration, the police system of Baltimore was changed from watchmen to a "patrole composed of the Constables of the City."  The mayor's message of February 1806 contained a recommendation to regulate the measuring of coal.  The offices of City Register and Inspector of Weights and Measures were created. Authority for the drawing of a lottery to raise funds for the Impartial Free School was approved.  An ordinance to encourage the introduction of water into the city and to grant to the Baltimore Water Company the right to lay pipes was passed.  The Baltimore Water Company had been
organized May 24, 1804.  The fish market at Hanover Market was erected during Smith's administration in 1806 (A). 

Thorowgood Smith married Mary Blakely Stith (born January 20, 1750; died November 14, 1822), daughter of Griffin Stith, of Northampton County, Virginia. The couple had no children (A).  Smith was a vestry man of St. Paul's Parish from 1794 to 1796. (B:159). 

According to family tradition, Thorowgood Smith was proud of his very shapely nose, and in order to prevent the marking of the bridge by spectacles, he invented a new kind of glasses.  A velvet ribbon, passing across the forehead, was tied at the back
of the head, and the lenses, attached to this ribbon by wires, hung down before the eyes.  In order, however, to preserve the requisite stiffness, a thin piece of steel, some four inches long and of the general appearance of a whalebone, was, sewed in the ribbon over the eyes, where the glasses

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Many of the bonds filed by executors and administrators, beginning about 1800, contain notations concerning the death of the decedent and heirs.  These notes were not recorded in the (Administration Bonds) series [MSA C589].  The following examples will demonstrate the kinds of information found on the bonds.  James Cannon died intestate on March 16, 1800 at his dwelling house and left a widow Susanna and six children named Susanna, James, Mary, Cassandra, Caroline, and Matilda.  Harman Husbands died intestate on July 31, 1805, at Peter Wingate's and left heirs named Isaac, Rebeccah, Benjamin, and John Benson, children of his sister Mary Benson and her husband Benjamin. 

The executors of the estate of Joseph Hutchinson filed their bond on January 7, 1805.  A notation on the paper lists his
representatives as his widow Ann and eight children - John, William, Walter, Samuel, Elizabeth, Ann, Benedict, and Rachel, the
last two being under age.  John Lynch died at his own house in October 1817 and left a widow and two children.  The names of
these heirs are not given.  William Gorrell died intestate on June 6, 1823, at his own house and left a widow Elizabeth and three
children - John, Joseph, and Henrietta, all minors. 

Michael Hayne died intestate on November 4, 1830,  at his house and left nine children of whom Albert was the oldest.  The others were Matilda, John, Elizabeth, Sarah, Julia, William, Rebecca, and Michael.  Hannah Quarle died intestate in 1838 at her
residence and left one son Joseph, a minor.

[A special thanks to Jon Livezey who brought these records to the attention of the author.] 

by Kevin Swanson 

(Rules and Regulations) 1957-1976 [MSA T2896] 

(Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quads, 3 Bands) 1998 [MSA T2857] 
(Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quads, TIFF Format) 1997-1998 [MSA T2839]
(MdProperty View) 1998 [MSA T2846] 
    (Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Files)1996 [MSA T2897] 
    (TNTmips Installation Software) 1997-1998 [MSA T2849] 

(continued on next page)

    (Inmate File) 1989-1994 [MSA T2989] 
    (Minutes) 1992-1994 [MSA T2425] 

    (Deeds and Agreements) var. d. [MSA T1210] 

    (Tapes), 1993-1998 [MSA T230] 

    (Civil Docket), 1987-1992 [MSA T1441] 

    (Civil Docket) 1971-1979 [MSA T256] 
    (Natural Resources Docket) 1991-1994 [MSA T2972] 

    (Civil Docket) 1992 [MSA T1643] 
    (Landlord Tenant Docket) 1984 [MSA T2974]