Richard T. Merrick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Richard T. Merrick, Chicago and Washington, DC lawyer.

Richard Thomas Merrick (January 28, 1828 – June 23, 1885) was a lawyer and Democratic political figure.

Born in Charles County, Maryland, Merrick was the son of William D. Merrick, a member of the Maryland legislature and the United States Senate. His brother, William Matthews Merrick, was a federal judge and congressman from Maryland. His uncle, William Matthews, was the President of Georgetown College.[1] At the age of eighteen, Merrick raised a regiment for service in the Mexican–American War. On his return from Mexico, he began to practice law and was elected to the Maryland Legislature. He later moved to Chicago and represented Illinois at the 1860 Democratic National Convention as a delegate for Stephen Douglas. In 1864, he married Nannie McGuire and moved to Washington, D.C. where he became a successful attorney. He defended John Surratt against allegations that he was involved in Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and later represented Samuel J. Tilden at the Electoral Commission of 1877. In 1874, he endowed the Merrick Medal, a prize given annually to the best debater of the Philodemic Society of Georgetown University.[2] He assisted in the prosecution of the star route scandal from 1882 to 1883. He died in 1885 and was buried at Oak Hill cemetery in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. His daughter, Mary Virginia Merrick, was the founder of the National Christ Child Society and is a candidate for canonization.


  1. ^ Shea, John Gilmary (1891). Memorial of the First Century of Georgetown College, D.C.: Comprising a History of Georgetown University. pp. 36–37 – via Library of the University of California.
  2. ^ "Merrick Debate". The Philodemic Society of Georgetown University. Retrieved 9 March 2015.