George Dent

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George Dent (1756 – December 2, 1813) was an American planter and politician from Maryland who served in the House of Representatives from 1793 to 1801.

Early life[edit]

Dent was born on his father's estate, "Windsor Castle", on the Mattawoman Creek in Charles County. His father, General John Dent (1733-1809), was a planter who was a patriot during the Revolutionary War.[1]

Revolutionary War[edit]

He served during the American Revolutionary War as first lieutenant of militia of Charles and St. Mary's Counties under Captain Thomas H. Marshall, and as first lieutenant in the Third Battalion of the Flying Camp Regular Troops of Maryland in 1776. He was also appointed a captain in the Twenty-sixth Battalion of the Maryland Militia in 1778.

Political career[edit]

After the war, Dent served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1782 to 1790, where he was speaker pro tempore in 1788 and speaker in 1789 and 1790. He served as the justice of the Charles County Court in 1791 and 1792, and as member of the Maryland Senate in 1791 and 1792, where he was President of the Senate during the latter year until his resignation on December 21, 1792.

In 1792, Dent was elected as a Pro-Administration candidate to the Third Congress and reelected as a Federalist to the Fourth through Sixth Congresses, serving from March 4, 1793 to March 3, 1801. In Congress, Dent served as chairman of the Committee on Elections (Sixth Congress). He also served as Speaker pro tempore of the House at various times from 1797 to 1799.

Upon leaving Congress, Dent was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson as United States marshal of the District Court for the Potomac District at Washington, D.C. on April 4, 1801.

Family and later life[edit]

His father had been a general during the Revolutionary War. His grandfather, George Dent, had been Chief Justice of Maryland. Judge Thomas Dent, Sr. was his grandfather's grandfather. The Dent family had been part of Maryland society from the very beginning of the colony. His son was naval hero of the Barbary Wars, Captain John H. Dent. George Dent left his family and public service behind when he moved to Georgia in 1802 and settled about twelve miles from Augusta. He died in 1813 in a horseback riding accident and is interred on his plantation.


  • United States Congress. "George Dent (id: D000254)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Cockey Deye
Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates
Succeeded by
Levin Winder
Preceded by
William Smallwood
President of the Maryland State Senate
Succeeded by
William Perry
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Philip Key
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
John Campbell