For other people named John Kennedy, see John Kennedy (disambiguation).
John P. Kennedy
21st United States Secretary of the Navy
July 26, 1852 – March 4, 1853
William A. Graham
James C. Dobbin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland’s 4th district
April 25, 1838 – March 3, 1839
Solomon Hillen, Jr.
March 4, 1841 – March 3, 1845
Solomon Hillen, Jr.
William F. Giles
John Pendleton Kennedy
(1795-10-25)October 25, 1795
Baltimore, Maryland, US
August 18, 1870(1870-08-18) (aged 74)
Newport, Rhode Island, US
Politician, lawyer, writer
United States Army
War of 1812
John Pendleton Kennedy (October 25, 1795 – August 18, 1870) 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 a U.S. Representative from Maryland’s 4th congressional district. He was the brother of U.S. Senator Anthony Kennedy. He was also the Speaker of the Maryland State assembly and served several different terms in the assembly.
Kennedy helped to lead the effort to end slavery in Maryland, which, as a non-confederate state, was not affected by the Emancipation Proclamation and required a state law to free slaves within its borders and to outlaw the furtherance of the practice.
Kennedy was also an advocate of religious tolerance and also of memorializing and furthering study of Maryland history.
He is also credited with playing seminal roles in the founding of several historical, cultural and educational institutions in Maryland; including (the now called) Historic St. Mary’s City (site of the colonial founding of Maryland and the birthplace of religious freedom in America), St. Mary’s College of Maryland (then St. Mary’s Female seminary), the Peabody Library (now a part of Johns Hopkins University) and the Peabody Conservatory of Music (also now a part of Johns Hopkins).
He also played key and decisive roles in the United States government’s study, adoption and implementation of the telegraph.