Congressman Charles Goldsborough (1765-1834)

Photo of portrait of Charles Goldsborough by C. Gregory Stapko. Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 1545-1006

He was the son of Charles and Anna Maria (Tilghman) Goldsborough of Hunting Creek, Cambridge, Md., a member of one Maryland Eastern Shore’s most oldest and prominent familes.

On April 2, 1813, two months after British warships entered the Chesapeake to enforce the blockade, Charles Goldsborough informed a congressional colleague, Harmanus Bleecker of New York, concerning the British depredations and consequent suffering among his constituents:

“…our bay trade has suffered extremely. Some of my poor neighbors are among the suffers, having lost their vessels and with them the principal source of support to their families…Our intercourse with Baltimore is entirely cut off, and consequently all of our means of procuring money. Should this blockade of the part of the bay continue three months longer, the Inhabitants of the Eastern Shore will be in extreme distress both for supplies for their families, and money to purchase them with. The War physics [is] working very well. No man, (not even the leading democrat) speaks in favor of the war. All express a wish for its termination. There will be nothing among us but poverty and privation…The old Muskets, which had been lying by for years in ignoble idleness and rust, were rubbed up, and some new ones procured. All the uniform coats which had been formerly got for show were now put on for fight; every hat was garnished with a red muslin band, the drums beat to Arms, and [the] American standard was unfurled…”

The British had anchored off Goldsborough’s Horn Point farm, but made no attempt to land. The British departed on March 20th, and sailed up the Chesapeake.

In June 1812, as a federalist he was one of three Maryland congressmen to vote against a declaration of war. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in 1784, he had served in the Maryland State Senate (1791-1795, 1799-1801); U.S. House of Representatives (1805-1817) and as Governor of Maryland (1818-1819). He died on December 13, 1834 and was buried at Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery in Cambridge, Md.

Sources: Eisenberg, Gerson G. Marylanders Who Served the Nation: A Biographical Dictionary of Federal Officials from Maryland. (Annapolis: Maryland State Archives, 1992); Easton Album by Norman Harrington (Easton: Historical Society of  Talbot County, 1986).

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 10:25 am  Comments Off on Congressman Charles Goldsborough (1765-1834)  
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