An early leader for Southern Maryland, John Grant Chapman truly lived a life of service highlighted by tenures as both President of the Maryland Senate and as Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates.
Born in La Plata in 1798, Chapman would be tutored at home before making his way to Yale College in 1817. He’d study law, graduate, and begin a law practice in Port Tobacco in 1819.
Chapman’s political career would begin five short years later in 1824. He’d be elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1824 and would serve there from 1824-1832 then again from 1843-1844. Between House terms, he’d serve in the Maryland Senate from 1832 to 1836. During both tenures, Chapman would rise to lead both chambers serving as Speaker of the House of Delegates (from 1826-1829 and in 1844) and President of the Senate (from 1832-1836).
Following an unsuccessful run for Maryland’s Governorship, Chapman’s political career would ultimately culminate with election to the United States House of Representatives in 1844. He’d serve two terms in the Congress from 1845-1849 during which time he’d come to Chair the House Committee governing the District of Columbia.
After his tenure in Congress, Chapman would return home to Port Tobacco but his public service would continue. He’d serve as President of the State Constitutional Convention in 1851. At the conclusion of the convention, he’d resume his law practice where he’d continue until his death in 1856.
Chapman passed away on December 10, 1856, clearly having lived a life of service to the State of Maryland and clearly having served the interests of those of his native Southern Maryland.