William Patterson (Maryland)

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William Patterson (November 1, 1752 – July 7, 1835) was a businessman, a gun-runner during the American Revolution, and a founder of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.[1] His many business dealings included shipping,[2] banking, and the Baltimore Water Company.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

Patterson was born on November 1, 1752 in Fanand, County Donegal, Ireland.

He was a founder of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.[1] He was also a founder of the Merchants Exchange, the first president of the Bank of Maryland, and a founder of the Canton Company, a business established in 1828 by Patterson and Peter Cooper, most remembered for inventing and manufacturing the Tom Thumb steam locomotive.[4]

He was reputed to be the second-wealthiest man in Maryland, after Charles Carroll of Carrollton.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Patterson was married to Dorcas Spear (1761–1814).[6] Together, they were the parents of:

Patterson died on July 7, 1835, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Philanthropy and legacy[edit]

In 1827, he donated the first five acres of land that became Baltimore's Patterson Park. The park, its namesake street (Patterson Park Avenue) and a high school to the east of it are named in his honor.


  1. ^ a b Stover, John F. (1987). History of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
  2. ^ Baltimore: Past and Present. With Biographical Sketches of Its Representative Men. Baltimore: Richardson & Bennett. 1871. p. 401.
  3. ^ Scharf, John Thomas (1881). History of Baltimore City and County, from the Earliest Period to the Present Day. Baltimore: L.H. Everts. p. 452.
  4. ^ Bill Tamburrino (1977). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Canton House" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  5. ^ Bond, Pamela (February 17, 2012). "Really and truly: a Baltimore femme fatale". Baltimore. Examiner.
  6. ^ "Marriage References". Maryland State Archives. May 23, 2001. Retrieved July 3, 2014.

External links[edit]