Note: ro of many battles and received a medal from Congress, LtCol in 1783. Wealthy man, died with more than $1 million in real estate alone in 1827. MDHS Magazine vol XI pp 107 - 156, 1916 by McHenry Howard.
At the time of his death he was a widower with 6 of his 9 children living and 21 grandchildren.
BIRTH: Family Bible
MARRIAGE: Newspaper articles and George Washington diary.
TOMBSTONE: John Eager Howard 1752-1827, Governor of Maryland, United States Senator, Colonel-Maryland Line, The Hero of Cowpens, Benefactor of Baltimore City. (Known to be buried with him are his wife Margarettea, children John, Geroge, William, Julianna and Mary Ann; and several grandchildren. James, Sophia and Charles may be buried there as well as their burial place has not been determined yet. Only the son Benjamin is known to be buried elsewhere - Greenmount Cem.)
OBIT: Just as our paper was about to put to press last night, the melancholy information reached us of the death of our venerable and beloved fellow citizen Colonel John Eager Howard, the distinguished Patriot and Soldier of the Revolution. He departed this life at half past eight o'clock last night. Baltimore American and Commercial Daily Advertiser. Oct 13, 1827.
OBIT: The funeral of Colonel Howard will take place this morning at ten o'clock, from his late residence, Belvidere. The following hasty sketch of his life, -of which the youth was dedicated to the service of his country in arms, and the alter days were spent amidst the respect of his neighbours, and in the confidence of the most venerable names that distinguish our history,-may not be wholly uninteresting at the moment when we are about to consign him to the tomb. John Eager Howard was born on the 4th of June, 1752, in Baltimore County, in this state. His grandfather, Joshua Howard, an Englishman by birth, having, while yet very young, left his father's house in the vicinity of Manchester, to join the army of the Duke of York, subsequently James II, during Montmouth's insurrection, was afterwards afraid to encounter his parent's displeasure, and came to seek his fortune in America. This was in the year 1685-86. He obtained a grant of land in Baltimore County, on which Col. Howard was born, and which is still in the family, and married Miss Joanna O'Carroll, whose father had lately emigrated from Ireland. Cornelius, one of his sons by this lady, and father of the subject, married Miss Ruth Eager, the granddaughter of George Eager, whose estate adjoined, and now makes a considerable part of this city. The Eagers came from England, probably soon after the Charter to Lord Baltimore; but the records afford little information prior to 1668, when the estate near Baltimore was purchased. John Eager Howard, not educated for any particular profession, was determined to that of arms by the circumstances of his country. One of the first measures of defence adopted by the colonies against the mother country, was the assemblage of bodies of the militia, termed flying camps. One of these was formed in Maryland in 1776, and Mr. Howard was appointed to a Captaincy in the regiment of Col. J. Carvil Hall. His commission, signed by Matthew Tilghman, the President of the Convention of Maryland dated the 25th of June, 1776, a few days after he had completed his twenty-fourth year. This corps was dismissed, however, in the December of the same year, Congress having required of each of the states to furnish a certain portion of regular troops, as a more effective system of defence. On the organization of the seven regiments which were to be furnished by Maryland, Captain Howard, who had been retained by the wish of the Commissioners elapowered to appoint officers rather than his own, was promoted to a Majority in one of them, the Fourth, under his former commander, Col. Hall. His commission is dated the 10th of April, 1777. On the 1st of June, 1779, he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Fifth, and in the following spring he was transferred to the Sixth; and finally, after the battle of Hobkirk's Hill, he succeeded to the command of the Second, in consequence of the death of Lieutenant Colonel Ford, who never recovered of a wound received in that battle... (lengthy obituary and more details about his life are given) We are requested to state, that the President (John Quincy Adams), having been informed of the death of our lamented fellow citizen, Col. John Eager Howard, and of the arrangements made for his interment, expressed his desire to attend the funeral, in manifestation of his respect for the memory of the deceased. He has also consented to remain in this city on Tuesday, so as to afford his fellow citizens generally an opportunity of visiting him. We understand that the President will receive the visits of his fellow citizens to-day, from after the funeral, until 4 o'clock, and from 7 to 10 o'clock P.M. at the City Hotel. Baltimore American and Commercial Daily Advertiser Oct. 15 1827.
It was said of him "Few men have enjoyed a more enviable lot; his youth distinguished in the field, his age in the council and every peirod solaced by the attachment of friends. Affluent in fortune, as rich in public regard, and blessed in his domestic and personal asssocations, he has glided away from the small band of his compatriots, as full of honours as of years. The example of such a citizen is a legacy to his country, of more worth than the precepts of an age."
The Commanding General, impressed with the deepest sorrow and most unfeigned regret, finds it has become his painful duty to announce to the officers and men of the Division, the lamented death of a Patriot and Hero of the Revolution, John Eager Howard - a Colonel in the Maryland Line, distinguished for his bravery at Cowpens, Guilford and Eutaw, (at the last of which place he was severely wounded)-afterwards made Governor of his native State of Maryland. 3rd Division Oct. 13 1827 letter of Charles Jessop 1st Aid de Camp.
Brigade Order - First Light Brigade - The First Light Brigade will unite in paying the highest military honors to our late distinguished townsman, Col. John Eager Howard - whose military career shed glory on his native State, during the trying scenes of our Revolutionary War, and whose high toned honor and private worth have endeared him to the citizens of Baltimore. Letter of Brigade Major and Inspect W.H.Van Wyck.
Squadron Order, 1st Squadron, Light Cavalry Regiment, Baltimore. In obedience to Brigade orders the Squadron will assemble, on foot, at the Presbyterian Church, corner of Fayette and Belvidere streets, on Monday the 15th at 8 o'clock, A.M. By order R. Purviance Jr. Adjutant.
Regimental Orders - The first Regiment Light Artillery will parade on Monday next, at 8 o'clock, A.M. on Monument Square, with side arms in mourning, to join the Brigade in paying funeral honors to our late, much lamented and distinguished fellow citizen, Col. John Eager Howard. R.D. Burns, Adjutant, 1st Regiment, L.A.
Fifth Regiment V.1. The Regiment will parade on South Gay street on Monday next the 15th inst. at half past 8 o'clock, A.M. in complete uniform, with three rounds of blank cartridges. As the object of the parade is to unite in paying funeral honors to the late lamented Col. John Eager Howard, the commanding officer anticipate a full parade. E. L. Finley Major commanding 5th Regt. V.I.
The masters of the shipping in the harbour are requested to display their flags at half mast during the Procession.
NOTE: President John Quincy Adams' diary talks of the funeral of Col. John Eager Howard that he attended.
WILL: John Eager Howard of City of Baltimore, all the debts owed to me by my children or grandchildren are to be erased and none owe me or my estate, my real estate to be divided in 8 equal shares to each of my children: George, Benjamin C., William, James, Sophia now Sophia Read, and Charles and my grandchildren John Eager Howard son of my deceased son John, and James Howard McHenry the son of my dau. Juliana McHenry now deceased one share each at the age of 21. residue of my estate to my sons George, Benjamin C., William, James and Charles as residuary legatees. signed Oct. 9, 1827 proved Oct. 16 1827. witnesses William Cooke, John B. Morris, James Cheston, Nicholas L. Wood. The legatees of Col. John E. Howard deceased do notify their consent that George Howard and Benjamin C. Howard executors appointed in the last will and they be permitted to give bond to pay debts. Oct. 26 1927. signed George Howard, Benjamin C. Howard, William Howard, James Howard and Charles Howard. p. 409-410
NOTE: Col. John Eager Howard of Maryland MHS PAM 4677 provides details of Col. John Eager Howard's life.
PICTURE: Watercolor and Silhouette Double Portrait signed by Henry Williams Painter, Baltimore 1808 purchased by the Maryland Historical Society in 1978 (John and wife Peggy).
BIO: Pedigree of the Howards of Baltimore Co, Md descended from Joshua Howard d. 1738 and Col. John Eager Howard, 1752-1827 at the Maryland Historical Society copied from "Memorandum Book of Howard Genealogy" prepared by J. Howard McHenry owned 1955 by Mrs. Gaylord Lee Clark.
BIO: John Eager Howard: Patriot and Public Servant by Cary Howard Article in Maryland Historical Magazine 1967 Vol. 62 p. 299-317 In 1794, the Governor commissioned him Major General of the Third Division of the Maryland Militia, but Howard declined this appointment. In 1795, George Washington offered him the position of Secretary of War in his cabinet. In his letter of 23 November to the President, Colonel Howard refused this point... Washington replied from Philadelphia in a letter of 30 November... On 7 Nov 1798, in one of his first acts in complying with this request, the ex-President was to offer Colonel Howard a commission as Brigadier-General. The easing of hostilities made Howard's acceptance of this appointment unnecessary ... Howard was offered the position of Secretary of War by Thomas Jefferson. But the former soldier declined...
BIO: Memoirs of the Generals, Commodores and other Commanders who distinguished themselves in the American Army and Navy by Thomas Wyatt 1898. Includes copy of the medal minted by the Federal Government in his honor.
BIO: National Portraits includes life of Col. John Eager Howard... In May 1794 he was appointed a major-general of militia, but declined accepting the commission... In 1798, when it was probably that Washington would have to take the field again, Howard was one of the few officers whom he insisted upon naming, and whom he intended to bring to his aid as one of the brigadier-generals... In the ensuing session of the legislature of Maryland, resolutions were adopted of a highly complimentary character, and directing the portrait of the deceased to be placed in the chamber of the house of delegates.
BIO: The Maryland Line and John Eager Howard in the Wheeler Leaflet, part 4. discusses Col. John Eager Howard and his life including his portrait when young, and a portrait of his Belvidere estate.
BIO: A Memorial of the Late Col. John Eager Howard reprinted from the Baltimore Gazette of Mon. Oct. 15 1827 printed Baltimore 1863
BIO: Biographies of the MD Legislature by Papenfuse Vol. 1 p. 467 indicates he was Major General, Third Divison, MD Militia, commissioned in May 1794, resigned by April 1795.
BIO: American National Biography Vol 11 1999 p.305 includes history of John Eager Howard.
BIO: Annals of Baltimore by Thomas W. Griffith 1833. In 1794 by act of Congress the year before and the provisions made by the legislature, Governor Stone appoints Col. Smith Major General of the 3rd Division, Col. Hall and Howard declining, and Col. Swan and Charles Ridgely of Hampton Esq. Brigadier Generals, the first for the third bridge and the latter for the 11th Brigade of Maryland Militia. In 1798, On Nov. 7th Gen. Washington who had accepted the command of the army again, and designated Col. Howard to be one of the brigadier generals, if necessary, arrived here and reviewed General Swann's brigade.
BIO: History of Maryland Preparing for War p. 599 In the selection of officers, much was left to the discretion of Washington, who made choice of Col. John Eager Howard as one of his first brigadier-generals. He afterwards in a letter to the secretary of war, dated 13th August, 1798, said "It is much to be wished, that Maryland could furnish a good character for adjutant-general. It is a respectable State, well-affected, and gives not, that I see, an officer of any consequence to the army (footnote-Colonel Howard declinded the appointment owing to his bad health, and he and General Lloyd were afterwards requested to make a selection of persons for officering the eventual army from Maryland, which they also declined, much to the regret of Washington.)
BIO: The Howards of Maryland Magazine of American History Vol. III No. 4 April 1879. Entire history of Col. John Eager Howard and his children given.
NEWS: Photos of his house the Belvidere were given in various newspapers Sun Feb. 22, 1953 and News Aug 20 1929, Sun May 26 1947, Sun May 31 1925, and the Arcadian Souvenir of Baltimore showcases earlier homes (undated). The house was said to be located at what is the corner of Chase and Calvert St. today but other locations have also been stated.
SAR: Members who joined under his service are: James Howard #1013 MD #13, John Eager Howard #1014, MD #14, Arthur Fenner Lee #1097 MD #97, Stephen M. Howard #13386 TN#61, Lloyd Upton #50596 MA #5027, Louis Mackall Weld #66625 PA #4264, Edward Joseph Weld #66626 PA #4255, Stultz #130725 GA #1945.
SOLDIER: Col. John Eager Howard's Account of the Battle of Germantown. original in Harvard Library published in Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. 4 p. 314-320 1909.
SOCIETY: Member of the Society of Cincinnati in the United States. John Eager Howard, Lieutenant-Colonel Original Member. Vice President from 1795-1804, President of the Maryland Society from 1804-till his death. A descendent still represents him in the Society (Jay Duvall Howard).
SOCIETY: In the Members of the Society of Cincinnati of the U.S. published 1930 states members were: John Eager Howard Original Member Lieutenant-Colonel from MD, John Eager Howard son, admitted 1808, John Eager Howard grandson admitted 1843, Benjamin Chew Howard son, admitted 1869, William Gilmor Howard grandson admi. 1874, James Morris Howard, great great grandson admitted 1892, John Duvall Howard great great grandson admitted 1922.
DEED: Date: 1828/01/02 8863: George Howard, Benjamin C. Howard, William Howard, James Howard, Charles Howard, and James M. McHenry vs. William G. Real and Sophia Real. BA. Petition to partition lots in BC. Plats at 1/39/5/59-61. Recorded (Chancery Record) 139, p. 164. Accession No.: 17,898-8863-1/4 MSA S512-11-8804 Location: 1/38/4/
War of 1812: In 1812 he served on Baltimore's Committee of Supply. On August 23, 1814 he was elected Representative of the Western precincts ward to the Committee of Vigilance and Safety and went to Washington DC to discuss military matters with President Madison. In 1814, Col. Howard raised and commanded a corp of veterans to assist in the defense of Baltimore. After the burning of Washington DC and the threats of them doing the same to Baltimore, one person suggested that they capitulate, Col. Howard replied "I have, I believe, as much property in the city as any of the committee, and I have four sons in the field, but sooner would I see my sons in their graves, and my property in ashes than listen to any suggestion of capitulation." His wife also sold jellies and preserves to an auction with all the proceeds to help build a hospital for the wounded. Four of his sons participated and fought at the Battle of North Point (John Jr., George, Benjamin, and William). Howard personally had planned to be at the battle but he missed the action since it was fought earlier than expected.Mason: He was a member of the Mason of the Maryland Military Lodge No. 27.Governor of Maryland served three one-year terms1788-1791. During his terms, the New Constitution was ratified, the electors cast their vote for Washington under the new Constitution, the state gave land to build Washington DC, bounty lands in Western Maryland was given to Veterans of the Revolution, Maryland ratified the bill of rights, established the Bank of Maryland.DAR/SAR: 5 ladies joined in the DAR and 8 men have joined in the SAR. DAR and SAR have a chapter named after him.
SOLDIER: Colonel Howard is as good an officer as the world afforded, and deserves a statue of gold, no less than the Roman or Grecian heroes" per General Nathaniel Greene. Lee said At the Battle of Cowpens he seized the critical moment, and turned the fortune of the day." Howard had charged with swords when he was told to retreat. After the battle, Greene confronted him and said "Sir, if you had failed in your mission, I would have had you shot." To which Howard replied, "Sir, if I had failed, you would not have needed to" (i.e. the enemy would have killed him.) His father died while he was in the North, he returned home, settled affairs and returned back to war in time for battle. He was severely injured at Eutaw where he lost half his men but after a year recovery, returned back to the ranks. He was offered but declined two Generalships - Washington wrote upon receiving the note that Howard had declined the offer, "Had your inclination and private pursuits permitted you to take the office that was offered t you, it would have been a very pleasing circumstance to me, and I am persuaded, as I observed to you on a former occasion, a very acceptable one to the public. But the reasons which you have assigned for not doing so, carry conviction along with them, and must, however reluctantly, be submitted to."
DEED: Dates: 1827/12/01 Description: C475: Charles D. Gorsuch and Jehu Gorsuch vs. George Howard, Benjamin C. Howard, William Howard, James Howard, Charles Howard, John E. Howard, James Howard McHenry, Sophia Read, and William George Read. Contract to lease lot on Camden St. Accession No.: 40,200-770 MSA No.: C295-779 Location: 2/15/12/4
Dates: 1830/11/05 Description: C455: George Howard, Prudence Howard, Julianna Eliza Howard, Margaretta Howard, Charles R. Howard, James Howard, John E. Howard, Charles S.W. Dorsey, Mary P. Dorsey, Priscilla White, James Carroll, Achsah Carroll, Harry D.G. Carroll, Henry Chew, and Harriet Chew vs. John Ridgely. Petition to partition North Hampton Furnace. Plat. Accession No.: 40,200-1090-1/2 MSA No.: C295-1098 Location: 2/15/12/24
Buried in Vault Howard Alice Key unspc date of 1874 Howard Cornelius unspc date of 1884 Howard Major Charles unspc date of 1895 Howard Elizabeth P. K. unspc date of 1897 Howard Margaret E. unspc date of 1901 Howard Mary Ann unspc date of 1806 Howard Philip unspc date of 1832 Howard John unspc date of 8-17-1800 Howard George
Note: Friend of Washington, Founding member of the Society of Cincinnati, Senator, VP Candidate, He
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