Peter Gorman

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Peter Gorman
Residence North Laurel, Maryland
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Elizabeth A. Browne (Gorman)
Children Arthur Pue Gorman, William Henry Gorman, Calvin Gorman, two daughters.
Parent(s) John Gorman, McDonald

Peter Gorman was one of the first contractors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. His son Arthur Pue Gorman would go on to become a Senator and Pioneer in American Baseball. His other son William Henry Gorman would become a prominent businessman.[1]

Gorman's parent's John Gorman and McDonald, came from Northern Ireland in 1794 to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and later Baltimore, Maryland working in the cattle business. Gorman married Elizabeth Browne, daughter of John Riggs Browne who owned the farmstead called "Good Fellowship" dating back to the original land grant by Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. In the 1840s Gorman built a two story Granite house where his first son Arthur was born.[2] After completing his railroad contract, he purchased the 500 acre estate "Fairview" in North Laurel from Dr. Charles Griffith Worthington. The property was part of "Warfiled's Range", containing a log cabin built around 1696 that survived until an arson fire in 2001 when relocated to accommodate the "Warfield's Range" development.[3][4] He built a house and library at the site shortly before his death. The house burned down in 1890 and a new Queen Anne structure was built in its place.[5] A school house (No.4) was also situated on the site in 1860. Fairview stayed in the family until the 1970s where a Healy painted portrait of young Peter Gorman hung. He had five children, naming his first son Arthur Pue after his doctor and tutor Dr. Arthur Pue.[6] The 1850 census recorded Gorman as owning at least one slave.[7]

Ellicott City Station of the B&O

Gorman was the contractor for the portion of the B&O railroad between Ellicott Mills and Woodstock, Maryland.[8] In 1834 during labor disputes between Irish and German railroad workers John Gorman was beat nearly to death along with John Watson. Gorman was spared. The next evening on 20 November 1834, Watson, and William Mercer were killed by workers on the line between Savage and Laurel[9]

In 1845, Peter Gorman was responsible for the first macadamized (paved) road in Laurel, Avondale Street next to the new Avondale Mill.[10]

Image of the Treasury Building construction.

In 1850, William T. Hamilton and General Edward Hammond were called upon to give 11‑year old Arthur Pue a page position in Washington D.C. Gorman and his younger son William Henry Gorman (1843–1915) were the proprietors of several quarries in Laurel that supplied granite for the U.S. Treasury Building and the United States Capitol, and bridges for the B&O Railroad.[11][12]

Libby Prison, 1865, from the collection of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Gorman was captured on a business trip South in 1860 and sent to Libby Prison. He died shortly after his release.[13]

See also[edit]

Arthur Gorman


  1. ^ The Baltimore Sun Almnac: 176. 1907.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Gorman and Brown". The Morning Herald. 2 October 1891. 
  3. ^ "centuries-old log cabin destroyed by fire". The Durant Daily Democrat. 25 December 2001. 
  4. ^ Winfield Scott Downs, American Historical Company American Historical Society (1941). Encyclopedia of American biography: New series, Volume 13. p. 4. 
  5. ^ "Senator Gormans Loss". The Morning Herald. 19 December 1890. p. 11. 
  6. ^ "HO-153 Fairview Howard House" (PDF). Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Maryland States Archives - Slavery in Maryland". Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Joshua Dorsey Warfield. The founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland. p. 371. 
  9. ^ James D. Dilts. The Great Road: The Building of the Baltimore and Ohio, the Nation's First Railroad. p. 178. 
  10. ^ Conrad Jay Bladey, Helen Curtis. Human Adaptation to the Fall Line Setting: A Framework for the Archeology of Laurel, Maryland. p. 25. 
  11. ^ Joshua Dorsey Warfield. The founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland. p. 371. 
  12. ^ "WILLIAM H. GORMAN DIES". Baltimore Sun. July 8, 1915. p. 12. 
  13. ^ Joshua Dorsey Warfield. The founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland. p. 371.