Sheppard Church Leakin’s ancestors emigrated from Northumberland, England, in 1684, acquiring an estate on Humprhey’s Creek on the Patapsco Neck at Baltimore. The son of John and Elizabeth (Irvine) Leakin of Govanstown, Md., he was born on April 25, 1790 and later married Margaret Dobbin of St. Michaels’ on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Prior to the war he served in various occupations as printer and book store proprietor. During the war he resided at “Lodge Farm” on on Humphrey’s Creek with a townhouse in Fell’s Point.
At the age of twenty-three, Leakin received a captaincy on May 20, 1813 in the 38th U.S. Infantry under the command Lt. Colonel William Steuart. During the spring 1814 he commanded Fort Covington (a mile west of Fort McHenry) and during the summer we find him on the lower Patuxent River in concert with Commodore Joshua Barney’s U.S. Chesapeake Flotilla at the Battle of St. Leonard’s Creek. He also served at Fort McHenry during the bombardment of Sept. 13-14, 1814 and later in 1818 as captain of militia in the Eagle Artillery company. His character was described by none other than Lt. Colonel George Armistead of Fort McHenry as “…I found him vigilant and prompt, his company in a fine state of discipline – his conduct conduct during the bombardment was such as to deserve [my] entire approbabtion…”
He served as High Sheriff of Baltimore County (1822) and Mayor of Baltimore (1838-40). In 1836 he was one of the founders of what became known as the Old Defenders’ Association of Baltimore in 1814. In 1862 he was commissioned major general of the First Light Division of Maryland US Volunteers.
He died on November 20, 1867 at his country estate of “Spring Hill” near Relay, Md., at the age of 78.
Source: The Sun, November 21, 22, 1867; American & Commercial Daily Adv., May 11, 1814 and August 16, 1818; Wilbur F. Coyle, The Mayors of Baltimore (Baltimore: The Baltimore Municipal Journal, 1919), p. 55-57.