Christopher Hughes, Jr. (1786-1849)

Born on 1786, Christopher Hughes, Jr., was the son of Baltimore famed silversmith Christopher Hughes, and the brother of Louisa (Hughes) Armistead, wife of Maj. George Armistead. A law graduate of Princeton University in 1809, in 1811 he married Laura Sophia Smith, daughter of Maj. Gen. Samuel Smith. In March 1813 Hughes received a commission as captain of the Baltimore Independent Artillerists, 1st Regt. Md. Artillery that defended Fort McHenry in 1814. With his militia tour of duty expired in August he relinguished his command. On February 2, 1814, Hughes was appointed to be “secretary of the joint mission for negotiating a treaty of peace and of commerce with Great Britian” at Ghent, Belguim.

On Oct 23, 1814, the American flag-of-truce vessel Fingal left New York for LOndon, then on to Ghent, Belgium arriving on November 24. Mr. Hughes having received letters from home entered the following in his dairy:

“Received per Ship Fingal on the 24th November 1814 in Ghent, giving me the most acceptable news of the Health of my inestimable Laura & of all my Family. This letter occasioned me the happiest emotions; it had been written but a Month [ago and] gave me the account of the brave and honorable conduct of my Brother-in-law Major Armistead; and the manly conduct of Thomas Russell & of all my company [Baltimore Independent Artillerists]. The exemplary behavoir of my Townsmen of Baltimore under the management of Gen’l [Samuel] Smith afforded me the sincerest satisfaction…”

As Legation Secretary to the American Peace Commission at Ghent, Belgium, a treaty was signed by the Plenipotentiaries of both powers on December 24, 1814. Leaving Bordeaux, France he arrived in Annapolis on board the U.S. schooner Transit on February 13 carrying the treaty to Washington.

He returned briefly to Maryland serving in the Maryland House of Delegates (1815-1816), afterwards resuming his diplomatic service as U.S. Charge d’affaires in the Netherlands until retirement in 1845.

Source: U.S. Secretary of State James Monroe to Hughes, February 2, 1814. Christopher Hughes Papers, Clements Library, University of Michigan; “Christopher Hughes, Jr. At Ghent, 1814.” Maryland Historical Magazine, 1971; Baltimore Patriot, August 21, 1813;

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Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 11:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

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