Alexander Nisbet (judge)

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Judge Alexander Nisbet (July 26, 1777 in Montrose, Scotland – November 1857) was a judge in Baltimore and a president of the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad. He was also one of the founding members of the St. Andrew's Society of Baltimore.

He was the youngest son of the Dr. Charles Nisbet D.D. and Anne Tweedie. He moved to the US in 1785 with his parents and settled in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where his father was appointed the first President of Dickinson College. After graduating from Dickinson in 1794,[1] he studied law in Carlisle. He was appointed Judge of the Baltimore Criminal Court in 1806.[2]

In 1806, Nisbet and several leading men formed the St. Andrew's Society of Baltimore. Nisbet served at that Society's third president, from 1830 until his death in 1857, at the time being the last surviving original member.[3] Upon his death, due to a fall from his bedroom window, the St. Andrew's Society chartered a railroad car from Calvert Station to attend the funeral.[4]

Nisbet served as the President of the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad from 1833 to 1835.[5]

He married Mary C. Owings of Maryland and they had several children, but only the daughters survived to adulthood. Their home was known at the Montrose Estate, named for his place of birth Montrose, Scotland. The estate contained 1,500 acres and was located in what is now Cockeysville, Maryland, just north of the Hampton National Historic Site.

All that is left of the Montrose Estate is the burial plot containing the graves of the Nisbet family, near the Historical Society of Baltimore County. The grave site has been restored and a memorial service is held each August at the site by the St Andrew's Society of Baltimore.[6]


  1. ^ This History of Dickinson College 1783-1933, by James H. Morgan, 1933
  2. ^ The American quarterly register, Volume 14, By American Education Society, page 332
  3. ^ The Baltimore Sun Nov. 24, 1857
  4. ^ Baltimore Sun, December 23, 1991, by Robert A. Erlandson
  5. ^ The Monumental city: its past history and present resources, By George W. Howard 1873
  6. ^ Historic graves of Maryland and the District of Columbia, By National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Maryland, by Helen W. Ridgely 1908, page 133