Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe

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Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe

Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe (October 14, 1833 – January 13, 1911) served seven terms as Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland during the 19th century.

Latrobe was born in Baltimore, the son of John H.B. Latrobe and Virginia Charlotte Claiborne, and the grandson of the American architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. In his mother's line, he was the grandson of Gen. Ferdinand Leigh Claiborne and the great-nephew of William C. C. Claiborne, Governor of Mississippi, the Louisiana Territory, and the State of Louisiana. He was thus part of a widespread political dynasty.

He was educated at the College of St. James in Washington County, Maryland. After serving as clerk in a mercantile house in Baltimore and as counsel for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1858, Latrobe studied law with his father, and was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1860. In 1860, he was also appointed judge-advocate-general by then Governor of Maryland, Thomas H. Hicks, and assisted in reorganizing the Maryland state militia under the Act of 1868, of which he was the author.

He was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1867, serving until 1872, and was Speaker of the House in 1870. While serving in the House he held the position of Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

In 1875 he was elected Mayor of Baltimore and served until 1877. He was again elected to this office in 1878 and served two terms, to 1881. In 1883 he was again elected mayor, serving until 1885. During this latter term, a seven-mile tunnel was built to direct water from the Gunpowder River to Baltimore.

He was again elected mayor, serving from 1887 until 1889, and served a final two mayoral terms from 1891 until 1895. He again served as speaker of the House of Delegates in 1901.

In 1860, Latrobe married Louisa Sherlock Swann, daughter of Thomas Swann, who was formerly Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland. They had one son, Thomas, before she died in 1865. Latrobe married Ellen Primrose in 1880 and together they had three children: Charlotte Fernan (b. 1881), Ellen Virginia (b. 1883), and Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe, Jr., (b. 1889).

References[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • "We have always had the most beautiful women and the finest oysters in the world, and now we have the best baseball club." (speaking of the first, short-lived incarnation of the Baltimore Orioles, in 1894)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
William A. Stewart
Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates
1870
Succeeded by
Arthur Pue Gorman
Preceded by
Joshua Van Sant
Mayor of Baltimore
1875–1877
Succeeded by
George Proctor Kane
Preceded by
George Proctor Kane
Mayor of Baltimore
1878–1881
Succeeded by
William Pinkney Whyte
Preceded by
William Pinkney Whyte
Mayor of Baltimore
1883–1885
Succeeded by
James Hodges
Preceded by
James Hodges
Mayor of Baltimore
1887–1889
Succeeded by
Robert C. Davidson
Preceded by
Robert C. Davidson
Mayor of Baltimore
1891–1895
Succeeded by
Alcaeus Hooper
Preceded by
Lloyd Wilkinson
Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates
1901
Succeeded by
Noble L. Mitchell