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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMaryland / Virginia

John Francis MERCER

(1759-1821)

MERCER, John Francis, (brother of James Mercer), a Delegate from Virginia and a Representative from Maryland; born at “Marlborough,” Stafford County, Va., on May 17, 1759; after receiving his education at home from private teachers was graduated from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va., in 1775; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Williamsburg, Va., in 1781; during the Revolutionary War served as lieutenant in the Third Virginia Regiment; promoted to captain in 1777, and was aide-de-camp to Gen. Charles Lee in 1778 and 1779; lieutenant colonel of Virginia Cavalry; Delegate from Virginia to the Continental Congress 1783-1784; moved to West River, Anne Arundel County, Md.; delegate from Maryland to the Federal Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 but withdrew before signing the Constitution; delegate to the state convention which ratified the Federal Constitution in 1788; member of the state house of delegates in 1788, 1789, 1791, and 1792; elected as an Anti-Administration candidate to the Second Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William Pinkney; reelected as an Anti-Administration candidate to the Third Congress and served from February 5, 1792, until his resignation April 13, 1794; again a member of the state house of delegates in 1800 and 1803-1806; governor of Maryland 1801-1803; retired to his estate “Cedar Park,” West River, Md.; died in Philadelphia, Pa., August 30, 1821; remains deposited in a vault at St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia, Pa.; subsequently interred in a private cemetery at “Cedar Park,” West River, Anne Arundel County, Md.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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