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Alexander Contee Hanson, Sr.


Oil on canvas portrait painting of "Alexander Contee Hanson, Sr." (1749-1806), ca. 1798, by Rembrandt Peale. Alexander, born in Port Deposit, Charles County, was the son of John Hanson (1721-1783), a county sheriff, colonial House representative, signer of the Articles of Confederation, and first President of the Confederation Congress (1781-1782). Alexander attended the College of Philadelphia before studying law in Annapolis. He briefly served as Assistant Private Secretary to General George Washington (1732-1799) during the Revolutionary War, but left his service after a short period due to poor health. Alexander served in a number of public roles during his life, including: Member of Annapolis Convention from Frederick County, 1st session (1774), Clerk of the Maryland Senate (1777-1778), Judge, General Court, (1778-1789), Delegate to Constitution Ratification Convention, Annapolis, (1788), Chancellor and judge, Land Office, (1789-1806). He married Rebecca Howard Hanson (1759-1806) in 1771 and had four children. Two of his sons became Judges in Maryland. His death records state that he owned several hundred acres in Frederick County and Annapolis, an extensive library, and that he enslaved 11 people. He is buried at Adams United Methodist Church Cemetery, Lothian, Maryland.


circa 1800-1805


Oil on canvas

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Credit Line

Gift of the Estate of Miss Nannie Hanson

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.