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William M. Marine collection

Identifier: MS 1016


William Matthew Marine, 1843-1904, was a Baltimore attorney, the collector of the Port of Baltimore during the 1890's, and an amateur writer. This collection contains 32 boxes comprised of his legal and political correspondence, notes, and clippings from 1808-1904.


  • 1808-1904


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

William Matthew Marine was born August 25, 1843 in Somerset County, Maryland. His father was the Reverend Fletcher Elliott Marine (1821-1889), a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his grandfather was Matthew Marine (1777-1854), a gentleman of Somerset County. The original family made their home in Somerset, Wicomico, Dorchester and Caroline Counties, Maryland and Sussex County, Delaware. The various spellings of the Marine name have included: Marien, Mareen, Maren, Morean, Moin, and Marain.

As a child William Marine was educated in the private schools of Somerset County, Thomas Gale's private school in Baltimore, Irving Military College in Manchester, Maryland, and the Cumberland Valley Institute in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

As a young man Mr. Marine studied law in the office of the Honorable Thomas Yates Walsh. It was on September 10, 1864 that William Marine began his law career when he was admitted to practice in the Superior Court. At the beginning of his career he tried many noted criminal cases, but eventually drifted into common law and equity practice. According to Henry Fletcher Powell, William Marine was one of the greatest trial lawyers of the bar.

In 1867 Mr. Marine was nominated and defeated for the House of Delegates from the lower wards of Baltimore City. In 1868 he was a Grant electoral candidate, and actively campaigned in Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. In 1872 he was, for a second time, nominated Grant's Presidential elector. Up until 1890, when he became Collector of the Port of Baltimore, he was active in state politics; after this date he refrained from becoming involved in Maryland politics. However, his post did not deter him from speaking in Indiana during the last Harrison campaign.

On November 9, 1871 William Marine married Harriet Perkins Hall. They had seven children: Mary Susannah and Matthew Harrison, who died young, Madison Marine, Richard Elliott Marine, Amelia Eleanor Marine, Elizabeth (Marine) Rowe, and Harriet Perkins Marine.

William Marine was a prominent attorney, a well-known Republican stump speaker, an author who received recognition in the United States, and one day he was recognized as one of the leading historians of the East. His life came to an end on March 2, 1904 in his Baltimore home at 2514 Madison Avenue.


20.34 Linear Feet (32 boxes (20 full Hollinger boxes; 12 flat boxes))

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

There is no official accession record on this collection, but it is believed to have been given to the Maryland Historical Society by William Marine's daughter, Harriet Perkins Marine.

Related Materials

MS 1016.1, Matthew Marine account books, 1822-1870

MS 1016.2, Fletcher E. Marine collection, 1861-1883

MS 1016.3, Rev. Fletcher E. Marine collection, 1829-1889

Scope and Contents

The William M. Marine Collection covers the years 1808-1904, with the bulk of the material falling into the period between 1860 and 1890. The Fire of 1904 destroyed some of Marine's papers. Among the papers lost was Marine's collection of letters from famous men of his day, and a book of autographs entitled, Authors I Have Known.

The collection contains Letterbooks of correspondence received by Mr. Marine between the years 1861-1894; this correspondence covers both legal and political matters. A voluminous amount of correspondence can also be found in various folders. The bulk of this loose correspondence covers the period between 1889-1890. Most of the correspondence is handwritten; however, after the typewriter became popular in business the researcher will find some typewritten correspondence. The researcher will also find that a small part of the correspondence has been copied and the original is not to be found in the collection. Among the loose correspondence is to be found a typed letter concerning the burial place of Edgar Allan Poe; as well as a hand drawn map pointing out the supposed final resting place of Poe.

Among the many papers of William Marine the researcher will also discover speeches written and given by Mr. Marine on various occasions. There are a few speeches that are unidentified. Among those identified the researcher will find the following speeches and addresses:

A speech given before veteran defenders during the centennial year;

A speech given before the William Pinkney Literary Association;

A speech given at Temperance Temple on the 4th of July, 1864;

A speech given at the Teacher's Institute of Harford County on Dec. 21, 1887;

An address before the graduating class of Eastern Female High School in 1896;

An address at Mt. Carmel Cemetery, 1891;

An oration on the Life and Public Services of Thomas Holliday Hicks

The researcher will also discover that Mr. Marine was a creative writer in his spare time. For example, there are several poems: Battle of Yorktown; The Light at Assateague; The Picnic Day; and The School Teacher. Also included in the Marine Collection are two novels by William: Lavern, and The Scouts of the [UNK], A Romance of the War of 1812... There is also a writing entitled Autobiography, which may be another fictional writing by Marine.

The collection also contains newspaper clippings of articles written by Marine during his European travels, 1899-1901. During this same period Marine also kept diaries of his travels, 1890-1901. The researcher will also find a diary for the year 1867.

Scrapbooks covering the years 1859-1865, 1870's-1880's and 1890-1894 are also included in the Marine Collection. These scrapbooks are made up of newspaper clippings which cover political matters and events of the times. Newspaper clippings also give a daily account of events which shaped American history between 1859-66, namely the attack on Harper's Ferry, the Civil War, and the assassination of Lincoln.

Of course, the collection also contains a voluminous amount of material dealing with the legal practice of William Marine. The researcher will find dates as early as 1808 among the legal papers. The legal papers which deal with the court cases of Marine include, among others, the Hopper Case, Hopper vs. Jones, Smyse vs. Schiller, Reckefus vs. Lyon, Hance vs. Clagett, House vs. Knight, Shaw vs. Conway, and Ridgaway vs. Zion Methodist Church. The collection also has papers dealing with the Oriental Insurance Company Case. A good deal of the legal material also deals with the estates of Robert G. Harrison, Margaret Schreiner, and A.J. and George T. Lyon. Cases before the Court of Appeals are also to be found in the Marine Collection. Marine was the solicitor for the Old Town Building Company and, in the collection, material concerning the 1874 Case of the German Bank vs. Old Town Building Co. can be found. Deeds, mortgages, and papers pertaining to land purchases made by the Marine family (dating back to 1813) are among the legal materials of the collection.

One box in the collection contains material which related to William M. Marine's position as Collector of the Port of Baltimore during the 1890's. These papers deal with court cases, claims, pensions, etc.

The collection also contains two boxes of material which deal with the correspondence and estate of Col. Ephraim F. Anderson, who was the appraiser for the Port of Baltimore. Anderson's appointment as appraiser was signed by Andrew Johnson and this too is in the Marine Collection. In 1874 Anderson was on trial over a matter concerning his job as appraiser, and Marine represented him; therefore, the Anderson court case is also in the collection.

The collection also contains a great deal of material classified as taxes, bills, and receipts. Here the researcher will find state and city taxes dating back to the 1860's, as well as water rents and gas bills. There is a voluminous amount of such material for a house located at 385 East Baltimore Street.

The researcher will also find some political material about the Republican Party of which Marine was a loyal supporter.

Under the heading of Miscellaneous the researcher will find many interesting items. There are recommendations for a territorial appointment. Newspaper clippings from the 1892 Morning Herald, written by William M. Marine and containing James Whitcomb Riley's poem [UNK] and an 1892 clipping from the Sunday News which contains Col. Vannort's reply to Burchinal also can be found under this section. There are also blank legal [UNK] a patent for Fast's Traveling Cushion (1870); Alexander's Proposition on the Fugitive Slave Laws; there are pamphlets on religious subjects, such as Sixth Report of the Female Christian Home. There is also a copy of The Pioneer, newspaper, Vol. Vii, No. 6, Baltimore, Md. June 1, 1886. There are also letters [UNK] William's father, Fletcher Marine, which give information about Brother John Hersey, a wandering Methodist minister. [More material on Brother John Hersey can be found in the collection dealing with Fletcher Marine.] Under Miscellaneous the researcher will also find material dealing with William Marine's travels, such as photos of hotels where he stayed and hotel bills. There are also used commutation tickets, advertisements to various theatre performances, lectures, and invitations to dinners. There are also some checkbooks and accounts from Old Town Permanent Building and Loan.

The collection also has the penmanship books of a very young William M. Marine.

Guide to the William M. Marine collection
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2019-09-24: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States