Charles Edward Coffin (July 18, 1841 – May 24, 1912) was an American industrialist and politician who lived his adult life in Maryland. From there he served in the state House of Delegates and Senate, and was elected to the United States Congress. He was born and raised in Boston and went to Maryland during the American Civil War.
Early life and education
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Coffin was descended from numerous long-settled elite New England families. He attended the Boston grammar and high schools.
In 1863 during the American Civil War, Coffin moved to Muirkirk, Maryland, where he took charge of the local ironworks. Coffin engaged in the manufacture of charcoal pig iron, and subsequently became the owner of the Muirkirk blast furnaces. After the war many of its laborers were freedmen, who founded an independent black Queen's Chapel and Burial Ground nearby in 1868. It became the center of an historic black community known as Rossville.
Later Coffin went into politics. He was elected as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1884 to 1886, and served in the Maryland State Senate from 1890 to 1894. He was a state delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1892.
In 1894 he was elected from the fifth district of Maryland as a Republican to the Fifty-third Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Democrat Barnes Compton. He was reelected on the same day to the Fifty-fourth Congress and served from November 6, 1894 to March 3, 1897.
Coffin died in Muirkirk and was interred in St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church Cemetery in Beltsville, Maryland.