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  • Full Name: John Stewart
  • Served: 1795 - 1799
  • Bio Information: Born in Baltimore, Md., December 31, 1759. Died probably in Baltimore, Md., in 1822 or 1823. Buried probably in Baltimore, Md. John Stewart was the son of Alexander and Sarah Lane (Lux) Stewart. His father was descended from a branch of the Royal family of Scotland, and was a Captain in the Army of Charles Edward Stuart in 1745. A former merchant, John Stewart was appointed Vendue Master of the city of Richmond in 1784. He was appointed clerk for the Committee on Religion and Claims in 1789, and served as such until he was elected Clerk of the House of Delegates in 1795, John Stewart was editor of The Virginia Federalist, established soon after the session of 1798. He defended himself in his paper from charges of political inconsistency, but Jones of The Examiner retorted, “everybody in Richmond knew that he was the first man in the city to wear a tricolor cockade-the sign of friendship for France.” It was John Stewart’s editorship and particularly his criticism of the General Assembly in passing the Madison resolutions of 1798, strongly anti-federalist, while he was Clerk of the House, that cost him his job. In 1800, the year that the seat of the Federal government was moved to Washington from Philadelphia, John Stewart and William A. Rind moved to Georgetown, where they published The Washington Federalist. Samuel Mordecai said of The Virginia Federalist that it was ably edited and “The talent it displayed induced some party leaders to cause a change in its place of publication to Washington City, where it appeared under the title of The Washington Federalist.” On May 9, 1801, John Stewart sold his interest in The Washington Federalist to William A. Rind and returned to Baltimore. In 1813, at the age of fifty- four, he was issuing blank receipts for payrolls, blank payrolls, and blank muster rolls. The records of the Register of Wills for Baltimore City, Maryland, show the estate of John Stewart on March 8, 1823, with the notation “No Personal Estate.” He married Catharine Hare in 1784. There is no known portrait of him. While he was Clerk of the House, the Speaker was JOHN WISE.

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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