CRISFIELD, John Woodland (1806-1897)

CRISFIELD, JOHN WOODLAND, a Representative from Maryland; born near Chestertown, Kent County, Md., November 8, 1806; was educated at Washington College, Chestertown; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1830 and commenced practice in Princess Anne, Somerset County; member of the State house of representatives in 1836; elected as a Whig to the Thirtieth Congress (March 4, 1847-March 3, 1849); delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1850; member of the peace conference of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; elected as a Unionist to the Thirty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1861-March 3, 1863); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1862 to the Thirty-eighth Congress; resumed the practice of law; delegate to the Union National Convention at Philadelphia in 1866; located and founded the town of Crisfield, Somerset County, Md., in 1866; instrumental in building the Eastern Shore Railroad and served as president; died in Princess Anne, Md., on January 12, 1897; interment in Manokin Presbyterian Cemetery.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection
Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: In the Henry Page Papers, 1860-1861, 4 items.
Letters from John Woodland Crisfield to his stepson, Henry Page. Topics discussed include the election of 1860 and secession. One letter was written while Crisfield was a delegate to the Washington Peace Convention of 1861.

  • Crisfield, John Woodland. Speech of Mr. J. W. Crisfield, of Maryland, on the power of Congress to pass laws excluding slavery from the territories of the United States. Delivered in the House of Representatives, June 22, 1848. Washington: Printed by J. T. Towers, 1848.
  • Pearce, James Alfred. Letter from the Hon. James Alfred Pearce, United States Senator from Maryland, on the politics of the day. Washington City, D.C.: [Printed at the Office of the Standard], 1856.
  • ------. Old line Whigs for Buchanan & Breckinridge. Letters from Hon. James Alfred Pearce, and Hon. Thomas G. Pratt, to the Whigs of Maryland. Speeches of Hon. J. W. Crisfield, of Maryland, and Hon. James B. Clay, of Kentucky. [N.p., 1856].