Portrait of John Pendleton Kennedy
Portrait of John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870). Kennedy was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and was the brother of U.S. Senator Anthony Kennedy. He was an American novelist and Whig politician who served as United States Secretary of the Navy from July 26, 1852 to March 4, 1853, during the administration of President Millard Fillmore, and as U.S. Representative from Maryland's 4th congressional district. Kennedy was also a friend and early supporter of Edgar Allan Poe, helping Poe's work to be published for the first time and eventually introducing him to Thomas Willis White, editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. Kennedy was married twice. His first wife, Mary Tenant (1802-1824), died in childbirth within a year of their marriage. Their son, Tenant Pendleton, did not survive infancy. In 1829, he married Elizabeth Gray (1808-1889), daughter of Edward Gray of Baltimore. The couple had no children.