John Leeds Kerr

John Leeds Kerr (January 15, 1780 – February 21, 1844) was an American politician.

John Leeds Kerr
John Leeds Kerr profile.jpg
United States Senator
from Maryland
In office
January 5, 1841 – March 3, 1843
Preceded byJohn S. Spence
Succeeded byJames Pearce
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1825 – March 3, 1829
Preceded byWilliam Hayward Jr.
Succeeded byRichard Spencer
In office
March 4, 1831 – March 3, 1833
Preceded byRichard Spencer
Succeeded byFrancis Thomas
Personal details
Born(1780-01-15)January 15, 1780
Annapolis, Maryland
DiedFebruary 21, 1844(1844-02-21) (aged 64)
Easton, Maryland
Political partyWhig

Early yearsEdit

Kerr was born in 1780 at Greenbury Point near Annapolis, Maryland, and graduated from St. John's College of Annapolis in 1799. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1801, and commenced practice in Easton, Maryland.

A PoliticianEdit

Kerr was Deputy State's Attorney for Talbot County, Maryland from 1806 to 1810. During the War of 1812, Kerr commanded a company of militia, and was later appointed agent of the State of Maryland in 1817 to prosecute claims against the federal government growing out of the War. In 1824, Kerr was elected to the Nineteenth and Twentieth Congresses, and served from March 4, 1825 to March 3, 1829. He was unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1828, but was elected two years later in 1830 to the Twenty-second Congress, and served one term from March 4, 1831 to March 3, 1833. In Congress, Kerr served as chairman of the Committee on Territories (Twenty-second Congress). After Congress, he served as presidential elector on the Whig ticket in 1840

Kerr was elected to the United States Senate as a Whig to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John S. Spence and served from January 5, 1841, to March 3, 1843. In the Senate, Kerr served as chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings (Twenty-seventh Congress), and as a member of the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office (Twenty-seventh Congress). Kerr died in Easton in 1844, and is interred in the Bozman family cemetery at "Bellville", near Oxford Neck, Maryland.

Kerr's son, John Bozman Kerr, also served in Congress.


  • United States Congress. "John Leeds Kerr (id: K000139)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Belleville Cemetery

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Hayward, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
Richard Spencer
Preceded by
Richard Spencer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
Francis Thomas
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
John S. Spence
U.S. senator (Class 3) from Maryland
Served alongside: William Duhurst Merrick
Succeeded by
James Pearce