Page images
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

twelve years of age, he ran away from his father to join his el.


THE first Congressional District of the State of Maryland, which comprises the several counties of St. Mary's, Calvert, Charles, Prince George's, Montgomery, and part of Anne Arun. del, is represented by this gentleman. His residence is near Port Tobacco, in the county of Charles. His ancestors have resided in that county for many generations. His paternal an. cestors came, we believe, from Cambridgeshire in England, more than one hundred and fifty years ago. His grand-mater. nal ancestors, Macphersons by name, came from Scotland, but at what precise period we are not informed, the record of the Chapman and Macpherson families having, a few years since, been lost or destroyed.

His maternal ancestors—Grants, Tylers, and Parkers by name-einigrated more recently from Scotland. His great, grandfather, James Grant, was in the Rebellion of 1745, and amid the disturbances came to this country. He is represented to have been a high-toned Cavalier, and a bold and chivalrous gentleman.

His grandfather, John Grant, was born in Charles county. He died young, at the age of thirty-two, but lived long enough to establish a character for boldness, energy, and intellect, combined with the most generous and noble impulses. Though he has been dead some sixty years or more, his name is yet held in remembrance by the descendants of those who lived around him, and who admired and honored him.

His father was a gentleman and a planter. Although well qualified by intellectual capacity for any station, he always refused to enter upon public life. His early education had been limited, for he was a boy during the war of the Revolution, when most of the schools were closed. Such was his anxiety to do service in the cause of his country, that, although only twelve years of age, he ran away from his father to join his elder brother, who was an officer in the Maryland line. He was sent for and brought back home.

Jolin (. Chapman was born near his present residence on the 5th of July, 1798. His early life was marked by a feeble constitution and delicate health, by reason of which his studies were more than once abandoned. The first four years of his education were spent under the tuition of the Reverend John Weems, the rector of the parish. It was completed in Pennsylvania and New England.

In 1818 he commenced the study of law in the office of the late Samuel Riddle and Judge Alexander Thompson, at Bedford, Pennsylvania. After a year spent under their instruction, he went into the oflice of the then Attorney General of the United States, the late William Wirt, at Washington, and continued with him until admitted to practice. Admiring the science, Mr. Chapman possessed little taste for the practice of the profession. Ilis inclinations tended toward literature, a pursuit which he would have chosen bad he then been in a situation to gratily his preference. IIis father, moreover, was an itive, energetic man, unwilling to see his son a book-worm, and he thought that he should make himself as useful as possible.

When he came to the bar in 1820, he obtained a more estensive practice than he desired, and would have remained in the profession, but that, in 1821, he was sent to the Legisla. ture, and, his father and uncle dying about that time, heavy cares and responsibilities were thrown upon him in the settle. ment of their (states, and in the care of his father's family. After the year 18:26, his duties in the Legislature detained him from the spring courts in the district, and he thus gradually withdrew from the practice.

He took his seat in the Legislature of Maryland, as a dele. gate from Charles county, in December, 1924, and continued a member of that body, by successive re-elections, until Oetober, 1929, when the condition of his private affairs made it necessary for him to decline another election.

At the first and second sessions of his service in the Legis. lature he was a member of the Committee on Grievances and Courts of Justice; and in 1826, his third session, he was chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, the most laborious station in the blouse. Before the close of that session the

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »