Edward Gantt

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Edward Gantt (1746–1837) was an Episcopal clergyman who served as Chaplain of the Senate of the United States (1801–1804).

Early life[edit]

Edward Gantt was born in Prince George's County, Maryland in 1746, the son of Mary and Thomas Gantt IV. He received his bachelor of arts from Princeton University in 1762,[1] and thereafter studied medicine with Benjamin Rush in Philadelphia[2] and in Edinburgh. He also studied at the University of Leiden (The Netherlands) where he matriculated 6 April 1767.[3][4] Gantt received the degree of M.D. on this University 17 April 1767 [5][6] The title description of his thesis is: Dissertatio medica inauguralis, de variolis, quam,…, ex Auctoritate Magnifici Rectoris, Davidis Ruhnkeniii, …, Eruditorum Examini submittit Eduardus Gantt, A.B. Anglo-Americanus…. - Lugduni Batavorum : Apud Theodorum Haak, 1767. - 33 p. + [1] p. ; 4oct.[7][8] Variolis = Smallpox. Later he was entering in the practice of medicine in Somerset County, Maryland. Sensing a call to ministry, he went to England where he obtained orders in 1770.[9]


Gantt returned home and for a time officiated in his native parish, Christ Church, Calvert County. On January 28, 1776 he began to preach at All Hallow’s Parish in Worcester County. Four years later he became rector of his native parish, and sustained himself by practicing medicine. In 1795 Gantt moved to Georgetown in the District of Columbia. His work in Washington continued to combine ministry and medicine as indicated by an invoice in the White House Historical Association's archives; the doctor’s bill for President Thomas Jefferson’s household dated March 22, 1802, lists the medical services provided to several servants by Dr. Edward Gantt.[10]

From President Jefferson, Dr. Gantt received a supply of smallpox vaccine; soon after January 17, 1802 he vaccinated Miami chief Little Turtle and a group of Miami diplomats who were in Washington,[11] The supply sufficed to vaccinate over three hundred persons connected with the Executive Mansion.

Chaplain of the Senate[edit]

Starting on December 9, 1800 through November 6, 1804, Gantt served as Chaplain of the Senate.

After Washington[edit]

About 1807, under the auspices of Bishop Thomas John Claggett, he went to Kentucky, in the interests of the Episcopal Church.

Personal life[edit]

Edward Gantt and Ann Stoughton Sloss, the daughter of Thomas and Mary Sloss, were married June 26, 1768, by the Rev. Thomas John Claggett, Gantt's cousin, later to be Bishop of Maryland. Their fifteen children include: Thomas Sloss Gantt, William Stoughton Gantt, Edward Sloss Gantt and John Gantt.[12]

Gantt died near Louisville, Kentucky, in 1837.[13][14]


  1. ^ General Catalogue of Princeton University 1746–1906, by Princeton University, p. 88
  2. ^ Debow's Review: Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial Progress, Volume 26, by James Dunwoody Brownson De Bow, p. 686
  3. ^ Album Studiosorum Academiae Lugduno Batavae MDLXXV-MDCCCLXXV, kol. 1091.
  4. ^ Index to English speaking students who have graduated at Leyden university / by Edward Peacock, F.S.A. - London : For the Index society, by Longmans, Green & co. 1883, p. 39, 1091.
  5. ^ Bronnen tot de geschiedenis der Leidsche Universiteit, zesde deel, 10 Febr. 1765-21 Febr. 1795 : Catalogus promotorum ex die 14. Februarii anni 1765 / P.C. Molhuysen. - 's-Gravenhage : Martinus Nijhoff, 1923, p. *77.
  6. ^ English-speaking students of medicine at the University of Leyden / R.W. Innes Smith. - Edinburgh/London : Oliver and Boyd, 1932, p. 91.
  7. ^ Bibliotheca Medica Neerlandica. -Amstelodami : Menno Hertzberger, 1930, vol. I, p. 229.
  8. ^ Kaiser, Leon M. Contributions to a census of American Latin Prose, 1634-1800 - In: Humanistica Lovaniesia : Journal of Neo-Latin Studies, Vol. 31, 1982, p. 179.
  9. ^ A History of Calvert County, Maryland, by Charles Francis Stien, p. 263.
  10. ^ “A Well-Ordered Household”: Domestic Servants in Jefferson’s White House, by Lucia Stanton, p. 11.
  11. ^ Medical Diplomacy and the American Indian, by J. D. Pearson, 2004
  12. ^ Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture; see: http://nabbhistory.salisbury.edu/resources/people/so_parishregister2.html
  13. ^ Annals of the American Pulpit: Episcopalian. 1859, by William Buell Sprague, p. 311
  14. ^ General Catalogue of Princeton University 1746–1906, by Princeton University, p. 88
Religious titles
Preceded by
Thomas John Claggett
4th US Senate Chaplain
December 9, 1801 – November 6, 1804
Succeeded by
A. T. McCormick
Preceded by
A. T. McCormick
6th US Senate Chaplain
December 4, 1805 – December 2, 1806
Succeeded by
John Johnson Sayrs