Scope and Content of Collection
The collection consists of letters written to John McDowell between January 31, 1790 and December 21, 1818, the majority of which are written between 1811 and 1818. Most of the letters are from Charles Goldsborough, the last Federalist governor of Maryland, and were written during his term in Congress and immediately after, but prior to being elected governor of Maryland. The remaining letters are from four correspondents - two relatives of Charles Goldsborough, a minister, and a nephew of John McDowell.
Charles Goldsborough, 1765-1834, a lawyer and politicians, was born near Cambridge, Maryland. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and was admitted to the bar in 1790. Goldsborough's political careers included serving as Maryland state senator (1791-1795 and 1799-1801), United States congressman from the 8th district of Maryland (1804-1817), and governor of Maryland (1818-1819). John McDowell was both his mentor and friend. The correspondence is largely a discussion of personal life and family affairs. Notable exceptions are the letters of 1812 in which Goldsborough discusses his anti-war feelings and letters from 1816 to 1818 in which he discusses the democratization of Maryland and his disinclination to run for governor. The content of the letters from other correspondents consists of discussions of family affairs and requests for advice about education and careers.