Alexander Contee Hanson
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||27 February 1786, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, U.S.A.|
|Death||23 April 1819, Elkridge, Maryland, U.S.A. (aged 33 years)|
Alexander Contee Hanson (February 27, 1786 – April 23, 1819) was an American lawyer, publisher, and statesman. He represented the third district of Maryland in the U.S. House, and the state of Maryland in the U.S. Senate.
Alexander Contee Hanson was born in Annapolis, Maryland on February 27, 1786, the son of Alexander Contee Hanson, Sr. (1749-1806) and Rebecca Howard (ca. 1760-1806). His younger sister, Mary Jane Hanson (1791–1815), was married to Thomas Peabody Grosvenor (1778–1817), a U.S. Representative from New York. He attended local private schools and graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis in 1802.
He was the grandson of John Hanson (1721–1783), a delegate to the Continental Congress who signed the Articles of Confederation and served as the 9th President of the Continental Congress, and Jane Contee (1726–1812), herself the granddaughter of Thomas Brooke, Jr. (1660–1730). Through his paternal grandmother's brother, Thomas Contee (1729-1793), he was related to Benjamin Contee (1755–1815) and Thomas Contee Worthington (1782–1847), William Grafton Delaney Worthington (1785–1856), and Walter Brooke Cox Worthington (1795–1845). His cousin, Rebecca Thomas (1777-1814) was married to another cousin, Alexander Contee Magruder (c. 1779-1853).
He proceeded to study law, was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in Annapolis. He served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1811 to 1815.
Hanson established and edited the Federal Republican, an extreme Federalist newspaper, in Baltimore. On June 22, 1812, four days after the beginning of the War of 1812, a mob that was irritated by his articles denouncing the administration destroyed his office. On July 28, he reissued the paper from another building, where he was joined by a group of armed allies. When that building was besieged by a mob, Hanson and his group fired, killing two. On the morning of July 29, Hanson and his group surrendered to the militia and were escorted to jail. That evening, the mob stormed the jail, and Hanson was beaten and left for dead. James Lingan, a military officer who came to Hanson's defence, died as a result of the violence. Hanson moved the paper to Georgetown, D.C., where he published it unmolested. Hanson later moved to Rockville, Maryland.
United States Congress
In 1812, Hanson was elected as a Federalist representing the third district to the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses, serving from March 4, 1813 until his resignation in 1816. Hanson was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1815. He was an unsuccessful candidate in 1816 for election to the Maryland House of Delegates, but was elected as a Federalist to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Robert Goodloe Harper. He served as senator from December 20, 1816 until his own death on his estate "Belmont", near Elkridge, Maryland.
On June 25, 1805, he was married to Priscilla Dorsey. They had many children, but only one lived to maturity:
- Charles Grosvenor Hanson (1815/6–1880), who married Annie Maria Worthington (1821–1873), daughter of John Tolley Hood Worthington (1788-1849), on April 16, 1840.
He was interred in the family burial ground at his estate, Belmont.
His grandchildren included Alexander Contee Hanson (1840–1857), Mary Worthington Hanson (1842–1863), John Worthington Hanson (1844–1916), Priscilla Hanson (1846–1925), Charles Edward Hanson (b. 1848), Murray Hanson (b. 1851), Samuel Contee Hanson (1854–1889), Grosvenor Hanson (1856–1916), Annie Maria "Nannie" Hanson (1858–1943), and Florence Contee Hanson (1860–1935).