Arthur Pue Gorman

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Arthur Pue Gorman
Arthur Pue Gorman.jpg
United States Senator
from Maryland
In office
March 4, 1881 – March 4, 1899
Preceded by William P. Whyte
Succeeded by Louis E. McComas
In office
March 4, 1903 – June 4, 1906
Preceded by George Wellington
Succeeded by William P. Whyte
Member of the Maryland Senate
In office
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
In office
Personal details
Born (1839-03-11)March 11, 1839
Woodstock, Maryland
Died June 4, 1906(1906-06-04) (aged 67)
Washington, D.C.
Resting place Oak Hill Cemetery
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Hattie Donagan (m. 1867)
Relations Peter Gorman (father), William Henry Gorman (brother)
Children Haddie, Ada, Grace, Arthur P. Jr., Anne Elizabeth (Bessie), and Mary

Arthur Pue Gorman (March 11, 1839 – June 4, 1906) was a United States Senator from Maryland, serving from 1881 to 1899 and from 1903 to 1906. He also served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1869 to 1875, and the Maryland State Senate to 1881.[1] He was a prominent leader of the Democratic Party and later served as a member of the "Mills Commission" which investigated the origins of baseball.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Gorman was born in Woodstock, Maryland on March 11, 1839, to parents Peter and Elizabeth A. Gorman (née Brown). The oldest of five children, he was named after the family's physician, Dr. Arthur Pue.[2] Gorman's paternal grandfather, John, emigrated to the U.S. from Ireland circa 1794, first settling in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania before moving to the Baltimore area.[2] Arthur's immediate family, including younger brother William Henry Gorman, moved to Laurel, Maryland[3][4] in 1848, where they had a 150-acre (61 ha) farm.[2] Arthur had attended public schools though there were none in Laurel; Gorman's father hired a succession of tutors until arranging with Congressman William T. Hamilton and Edward Hammond a position for his son as a U.S. Senate page at age 11 in 1850.[2]

Gorman became friends with Illinois senator Stephen A. Douglas (famous regular Democratic presidential candidate in the split Election of 1860 versus Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln whom he earlier debated in a series of debates for the Illinois seat in the U.S. Senate), who made him his private secretary.[2] Gorman subsequently served the U.S. Senate in various offices as page, messenger, Assistant Doorkeeper, Assistant Postmaster, and finally Postmaster.[5]

At the age of 20 in 1859, Gorman was one of the founding members of the Washington Nationals Base Ball Club, the first official baseball team in America, and rose to become a star by the end of the Civil War era.[6] Eventually he would become president of the National Association of Base Ball Players.[2]

In September 1866, Gorman was removed from his Senate Office of Postmaster and was immediately appointed Collector of Internal Revenue for the Fifth Congressional District of Maryland.[2]

Gorman married a widow, Hannah "Hattie" Donagan, on March 28, 1867. They would have six children: Haddie, Ada, Grace, Arthur P. Jr., Anne Elizabeth (Bessie), and Mary.[2] In 1890, Gorman's wife and daughter Grace escaped a fire at their Laurel house "Fairview" that his father built; a new Queen Anne style house was built in its place.[7][8][9]

Gorman was closely aligned with Baltimore political leader Isaac Freeman Rasin. Rasin helped support Oden Bowie's rival William Pinkney Whyte in the 1871 Maryland Governor race with vote buying in Baltimore city. Whyte in turn gave Gorman a position as director of the C&O Canal.[10]

Gorman served as a director and eventually president of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Company;[11] the canal ran along the north shore of the Potomac River from Georgetown above Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland.

Elected politician[edit]

Gorman was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1869, serving until 1875; he served as Speaker of the House for one session. In 1875, he was elected to the Maryland State Senate, serving until 1881.[5]

Arthur Pue Gorman Satire of 1902 Election

In 1880, Gorman was elected to the United States Senate, where he soon became a leader of the Bourbon Democrat wing of the Democratic Party. The New York Times reported the election was influenced by large groups of "ward rounders" who shot and wounded black Republican voters at the Howard County polls.[12] In 1884 Gorman worked on Grover Cleveland's bid for presidency.[13] He served as the Democratic caucus chairman from 1890 to 1898, as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Printing (in the Fifty-third Congress), and as a member of the Senate Committee on Private Land Claims (Fifty-fifth Congress).[5] In 1889, Gorman sought to differentiate his party from a growing racially mixed independent-Democrat/Republican coalition. He was quoted saying "We have determined that this government was made by white men and shall be ruled by white men as long as the republic lasts".[14] He played a major role in financial and tariff legislation, especially the Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894, where he defeated President Grover Cleveland's low tariff goals by raising the tariff to thwart competition with industry in his state.

Gorman was reelected twice more in 1886 and 1892[5] (then by the state General Assembly), but was defeated for re-election in 1898, losing to Louis E. McComas. After his defeat, Gorman campaigned for the other Maryland U.S. Senate seat, and was elected to the U.S. Senate again by the Legislature in 1902.[citation needed] He was again appointed as the Democratic Caucus Chairman, which he held from 1903 to 1906.[5] Gorman was briefly a candidate for U.S. President in 1892 and 1904.[15]

In 1903–1905, per a Maryland State biography, Gorman "spearheaded an attempt by Democrats to disenfranchise black voters in Maryland, who tended to vote Republican." Related legislation passed easily in the Democratically controlled Senate of early 1904, though Governor Warfield did not sign the bill into law, and it was rejected by voters in late 1905.[11]

Death and legacy[edit]

Gorman served as a U.S. senator until his death from a heart attack in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 1906.[11] He had been ill with stomach trouble and hadn't left his Washington house since mid-January.[15][16] Gorman, Maryland and Gormania, West Virginia, are named after him,[17] as is Gorman Road in North Laurel.[18] An elementary school near this road is named "Gorman Crossing".[18]

Haddie Gorman in 1895

Gorman's daughter, Haddie, married Stephen Warfield Gambrill[19] (1873–1938) in 1900. He later became a Maryland state delegate and senator before service in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1924 to his death.[20]

Ada Gorman in 1895

Gorman's daughter, Ada (1870–1950), married Charles Joseph Magness, a young man about half her age,[21][22][23] on September 5, 1908, against her family's wishes. Magness was soon thereafter imprisoned for desertion from the U.S. Navy. Upon his release a year later, the couple lived in Washington, D.C., and then the Baltimore suburb of Lutherville.[24] When her mother died in 1910, Ada was cut off from her share of the Gorman family estate.[25] The marriage lasted a total of 14 years before Ada divorced in 1922 due to her husband's infidelity.[24][26] She died childless and with few friends in the spring of 1950.[24]

Gorman's daughter, Grace (1871–1958), who went by the name "Daisy", lived at the historic Overlook farm house in North Laurel on land inherited by her father. The town of Daisy in Howard County, Maryland is named after her. In 1895, Grace married Richard Alward Johnson (1871–1918), the first manager of the Laurel race track and a Maryland state senator during his last few years.[27] They had two children. Richard Jr. raised and trained horses. His sister Grace (1898–1977) married Braxton Bragg Comer, Jr.,[28][29] son of former Alabama governor B. B. Comer, in April 1918 and had a son Richard Johnson Comer[29] (born 1919) who married Annie Laurie Comer[30] (born 1919) and had two children: Grace Louise Comer (born 1945) and Richard Johnson Comer, Jr. (born 1947).

Gorman's son, Arthur Pue Gorman, Jr. (1873–1919), attended Lawrenceville Prep and traveled to the Maryland Agricultural College (now the University of Maryland at College Park), where he played on the "Aggies" football team in 1892 and 1893 as a fullback and served as an assistant coach.[31] He formed the Piedmont Mining Company in 1898 along with his uncle William Henry Gorman and Thomas L. Marriott, with operations in Maryland and West Virginia.[32] He married Grace Norris on November 28, 1900,[33] and served as a Maryland State Senator (1904–1910), the last year during which he was Senate President.[34] Arthur Jr. was nominated over Blair Lee as the Democratic candidate for Maryland governor in 1911,[35] though lost in a close race against Republican Phillips Lee Goldsborough.[36] He was later a State Tax Commissioner until his death in 1919[37] due to complications from diabetes.[38]

oil on canvas portrait of a silver and gray-haired Senator Gorman, wearing a dark suit and seated toward the left against a dark background, facing the viewer with a soft smile on his lips
Gorman's senate portrait, by Louis P. Dieterich, 1911

Gorman's daughter, Bessie (1875–1959), married Wilton J. Lambert (1871–1935) on June 24, 1896,[39] at the Gorman's Washington home on the corner of 15th and K Streets.[40] Lambert was a member of the Princeton class of 1892 and described himself to fellow alumni fifteen years later as a Maryland Democratic party speech-writer.[41] Lambert's alumni bio included that he completed his legal studies at Georgetown University; lived in Washington, D.C., at 1620 S Street N.W; represented the District at the St. Louis Exposition; and had two children: Elizabeth (b. 1897) and Arthur.[42] An attorney, Lambert helped Arthur Gorman attempt to buy the Washington Senators baseball team in February 1903.[2] His son, Arthur Gorman Lambert (1899–1991), was a member of Princeton's class of 1922, also practiced law, and founded Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland;[43] he unveiled a donated portrait of his grandfather, Arthur Pue Gorman, at the Capitol in 1943.[44]

Gorman's daughter, Mary, married Ralph Warren Hills (1875–1940)[45] on February 27, 1901. Their son, Ralph Gorman Hills (1902–1977),[46][47] won a bronze medal for shot put at the 1924 Summer Olympics. The following year, he graduated from Princeton University, after which he earned an M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University and became a doctor;[48] his first son, J. Dixon Hills,[49] also chose to become a physician.[46] His second son and great-grandson of Gorman, named Ralph Warren Hills (1939–2012),[50] also attended Princeton and was a WBAL television producer in Baltimore.[49][51][52]

The repair ship USS Tutuila was originally named SS Arthur P. Gorman in August 1943.[53]

In 2000, a proposed neighborhood within Columbia, Maryland's Kings Contrivance section was to have been named "Gorman's Promise", though when the former U.S. senator's attempts at black voter disenfranchisement were made known, the naming was canceled.[54]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Walter E. Arps, Jr. (November 2004). Maryland Mortalities 1876–1915 from the (Baltimore) Sun Almanac. Heritage Books. p. 93. ISBN 978-1585492541. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Brian McKenna. "Arthur Gorman". SABR Baseball Biography Project. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ Gates, Merrill E. (1905). Men of Mark in America. Washington: Men of Mark. p. 392. Retrieved November 6, 2009. 
  4. ^ Official Congressional Directory. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1904. p. 44. Retrieved November 6, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "GORMAN, Arthur Pue". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ Povich, Shirley (1954). The Washington Senators. G.P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 3–4. 
  7. ^ "Senator Gormans Loss". The Morning Herald. December 19, 1890. p. 11. 
  8. ^ "A Fine Mansion Burned" (PDF). New York Times. December 17, 1890. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Home of Mr. Gorman. The Burned House at Laurel, MD, to be Replaced". Los Angeles Herald. September 3, 1891. p. 10. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ Richardson Dilworth. Cities in American Political History. p. 318. 
  11. ^ a b c "Arthur Pue Gorman (1839–1906)". Maryland State Archives. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Maryland-Colored voters shot down and driven away from the polls" (PDF). The New York Times. November 5, 1879. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  13. ^ Maryland A History of Its People. p. 207. 
  14. ^ "Integrating the Maryland School of Law" (PDF). Maryland Historical Magazine: 42. Spring 1989. 
  15. ^ a b "Gorman Dies Suddenly; Was Seemingly Better". The New York Times. June 5, 1906. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  16. ^ Missy Burke; Robin Emrich; Barbara Kellner. Oh, You must live in Columbia. p. 55. 
  17. ^ Albert L. Feldstein (2006). Garrett County. Arcadia. p. 78. ISBN 9780738542669. 
  18. ^ a b Libit, Howard (July 10, 1997). "Board approves names for 2 new elementaries Schools in North Laurel, Glenelg to open next year". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Obituaries". Morning Herald. Hagerstown, Maryland. March 28, 1923. p. 1. 
  20. ^ United States Congress. "Stephen Warfield Gambrill (id: G000035)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  21. ^ "From Washington". Alexandria Gazette. October 22, 1908. p. 2. Magness was born of humble parents in Baltimore in 1885. 
  22. ^ "Deserter Magness Torn from Daughter of Late Senator Gorman". Washington Post. October 22, 1908. p. 1. Magness is 22 years old according to the record of his enlistment while Mrs. Magness is said to be 38 years old. 
  23. ^ "Hold As Deserter Gorman's Relative" (PDF). New York Times. October 22, 1908. Retrieved September 1, 2013. Magness is 23 years of age, according to the record of his enlistment 
  24. ^ a b c Coughlin, Gene (July 23, 1950). "Lost Love of the Senator's Daughter". The American Weekly magazine. The Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 7. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Gorman Daughter Rebuked in Will". The Washington Herald. Library of Congress. July 7, 1910. Retrieved September 1, 2013. The will of Mrs. Hannah D. Gorman, widow of the late senator Arthur P. Gorman, which was filed in the Probate Court yesterday afternoon, cuts off Ada Gorman Magness, who, against the will of her mother and family, married Charles Magness, a musician in the Marine Corps. 
  26. ^ "Mrs. Magness Asks Decree" (PDF). New York Times. August 4, 1922. Retrieved September 1, 2013. Mrs. Magness says that since Jan. 1, 1921, her husband has been guilty of infidelity on divers occasions. 
  27. ^ "Overlook (Kingdon Gould) House" (PDF). Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Johnson-Comer Engagement". The New York Times. March 15, 1918. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Braxton Comer Jr. Dies in Alabama". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. April 27, 1954. p. 10. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Social News". The Anniston Star. June 8, 1942. p. 3. Mrs. Frank Willis Comer of Eufaula announces the engagement of her daughter, Annie Laurie, to Richard Johnson Comer of Glennville Plantation 
  31. ^ Morris Allison Bealle, Kings of American Football: The University of Maryland, 1890–1952, p. 16, Columbia Publishing Co., 1952.
  32. ^ "Mining Company Incorporated". The Washington Post. 13 March 1898. p. 3. 
  33. ^ "Social and Personal". The Evening Times. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. November 9, 1900. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Arthur P. Gorman, Jr.". Maryland State Archives. April 30, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Commentary: Right time, right place for Lee". The Daily Record. Baltimore: via HighBeam (subscription required). January 19, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Historical List" (PDF). Maryland State Archives. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  37. ^ Maryland. General Assembly. Senate (1920). "Senate Resolution to the Memory of Hon. Arthur P. Gorman". Journal of Proceedings. pp. 250–252. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Arthur P. Gorman Dies in Hospital". The Washington Times. Library of Congress. September 4, 1919. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Lambert–Gorman". New York Times. June 25, 1896. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  40. ^ Smith, Frank Charles; Proctor, Lucien Brock; Chapin, Heman Gerald; Harvey, Richard Selden, eds. (1896) [Digitized June 16, 2010]. The American Lawyer. 4. Stumpf & Steurer. p. 318. The ceremony was performed at 6.30 o'clock at the spacious home of Senator and Mrs. Gorman, corner of 15th and K streets. 
  41. ^ Princeton University Class of 1892 (1907). Quindecennial Record of the Class of Ninety-two of Princeton University. New York: Grafton Press. p. 12. have taken considerable interest and done considerable work in the line of political speech-making in Maryland on behalf of the Democratic party 
  42. ^ Princeton University Class of 1892 (1907). Quindecennial Record of the Class of Ninety-two of Princeton University. New York: Grafton Press. p. 11. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Arthur Gorman Lambert ’22". Princeton Alumni Weekly. Princeton University Class of 1922. December 4, 1991. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  44. ^ "Arthur P. Gorman". United States Senate. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  45. ^ Lex talionis; an analysis of the forces whose resultant produced the Treaty of Versailles. Baltimore, Maryland: Fleet-McGinley. 1922. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  46. ^ a b Howard, John Eager, M.D. (1979). "Memorial: Ralph Gorman Hills" (PDF). Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association. National Institutes of Health United States National Library of Medicine. 90: xli–xlii. PMC 2279394Freely accessible. PMID 390815. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Ralph Warren Hills". Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  48. ^ "Ralph Hills Bio, Stats, and Results". Sports Reference. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  49. ^ a b Sentementes, Gus G. (June 17, 2012). "Obituary for Ralph Warren Hills, long-time television producer for WBAL-TV". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  50. ^ "Ralph Warren "Hillsy" Hills". Hyde Bay Camp website. John Mercer. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  51. ^ "Ralph Warren Hills '61". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 113 (7). February 6, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  52. ^ "News Archive – 2012". Princeton University Class of 1961. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  53. ^ "Tutuila". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  54. ^ Atwood, Liz (March 17, 2000). "Rouse Co. backtracks on neighborhood name". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 


  • Lambert, John R. Arthur Pue Gorman (1953), the standard scholarly biography
Political offices
Preceded by
Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe
Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates
Succeeded by
Jesse K. Hines
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
William P. Whyte
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Maryland
Served alongside: James B. Groome, Ephraim K. Wilson, Charles H. Gibson, George Wellington
Succeeded by
Louis E. McComas
Preceded by
George Wellington
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Maryland
Served alongside: Louis E. McComas, Isidor Rayner
Succeeded by
William P. Whyte