Chapter XVII


(Page numbers from 1888 Green Book in [square brackets].)

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Judge Abraham Shriver, Frederick, Md.

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JUDGE ABRAHAM SHRIVER, the third son of David Shriver, Sr., was born at the old homestead, Little Pipe Creek, Md. He was married to Ann Margaret, daughter of Henry Leatherman, of Frederick County, Md.

In early life he enjoyed, as common to the family at Little Pipe Creek, the advantages of a practical knowledge of business. He had some experience as a farmer, also of the mercantile business, in which he was engaged, for a time, at Frederick. At the time of the establishment of the present judicial system he was appointed to the office of Associate judge of the Fifth Judicial District of Maryland. This was in 1805, and he continued to serve in this capacity until 1843, a period of nearly forty years. The duties of the office were discharged by him with distinguished ability. He was remarkable for the inflexibility and uprightness of his character, and clearness and strength of his mind. These characteristics imparted to his decisions great weight, and inspired confidence in the performance of his official duties. The failure of his sight necessitated his retiracy from the bench several years prior to his decease. Total blindness followed, but, notwithstanding this sad calamity, a well-balanced mind, a life well spent, and, a constitution well fortified by temperate habits, enabled him to maintain good health and spirits to the time of his death, which occurred at his home, attended by his devoted family, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. The following notice of the event will show the estimate formed of his character and public services:


“For nearly forty years Judge Shriver discharged the duties of Associate Judge of this judicial District with great ability and faithfulness. Not having the advantages of a thorough legal preparation for the office, he rose, in a short time, by his natural talents and attention to the duties of his office, to a position of eminence. He was respected for the simplicity of his character by the masses of the people, which is the best evidence of his merits. He was strictly impartial in the administration of justice on the bench; and he gave the weight of his character in favor of the cause of the truth in which he believed. Strong in his attachments, he was faithful to his friends; open and manly in his opposition, he was just to his adversaries, and if he did a wrong it was the result of error of judgment, and not a fault of the heart.

“Judge Shriver was a man of honest bluntness, of strong impulses, and of stern will. Duplicity constituted no part of his character. It was not in the nature of things that one to whom nature had imparted such strong lineaments of character should pass through life without encountering opposition. But irreproachable in private life, leaving no one behind him who can tell aught of wrong that he has suffered at his hands, if, in his official capacity, he had ever swerved a hand’s breadth from the reign of judicial duty, it has been in leaning to mercy’s side in protecting the humble and the defenceless. No truer friend to those suffering ,from every form of human oppression ever lived than this son of a sire, who was marked for Tory vengeance at the epoch of the Revolution. If there was any fanaticism in his character it was in his zealous sympathy with those who fought against oppression wherever the flag of freedom was unfurled.

“Judge Shriver was one of the original founders of the Democratic party in this section of the State, and to the principles of that party he remained firmly and warmly devoted to his dying hour.”


The political issues of the day received his studious attention, and his views on the various topics of interest were frequently given by him to the public through the press. His correspondence on matters of government policy was also extensive, such men of note as the Hon. William Pinkney, and, later in life, Chief Justice Rodger B. Taney, being among his intimate friends and correspondents.

His interest in his ancestry is shown in the care taken by him to collect and record the facts pertaining to their history, as appears in the narrative with which he has been accredited, in Part I. of this history.

In the domestic circle his virtues were especially marked by constancy and devotion. To say that he lived for his family is scarcely a figure of speech; it is almost simple, literal truth.

ANN MARGARET SHRIVER, wife of Judge Shriver, was ardently attached to her family, to whom she unstintedly gave her time and attention in ministering to their comfort.

Children of Abraham Shriver and Ann Margaret his wife: David Ferree, Juliana, Ann Margaret, Mary, Edward, Ellenor, Charles and Wilhelm Eltinge. David Ferree and Juliana died in infancy.

ANN MARGARET SHRIVER, second daughter of Judge Shriver, was married to Charles A. Gambrill; left a daughter, Ann Margaret.

Mr. Gambrill founded the milling business at Baltimore, firm name of Charles A. Gambrill & Co. The business is still conducted by his descendants by a second marriage, and continues to be, as formerly, the largest flouring interest in the State.

MARY SHRIVER, the third daughter of judge Shriver, married Charles Wilson, a merchant of Baltimore. They had four children, Abraham, Mary, Charles and Ann Margaret.

GENERAL EDWARD SHRIVER, Son of Judge Shriver, was born at Frederick, Md. He was married to Elizabeth Lydia, daughter of Philip Reigart.

General Shriver was educated for the law, and practiced at the Frederick bar for some years. His residence was at Frederick,   [120]   but of late has been in Baltimore. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was in sympathy with the Government, and was called by Governor Bradford to aid him in furnishing men, in response to the demand of the General Government for the State’s quota, to serve in the United States army for the defense of the union of the states.

He also served, under the appointment of Governor Bradford, as judge Advocate General of the Court for. the protection of the citizens of Maryland who had been subject to draft from previous service, disability, etc. During all these direful years of conflict he was found ready to meet all the demands made upon him with zeal, courage and fidelity.

He had part, also, in the civil affairs of the state and General Government, having been chosen to the State Legislature 1843, ’44 and ’45. He was twice tendered the office of Secretary of State, first by Governor Frank Thomas, in 1844, and, afterwards, by Governor R. Louis Lowe, in 1851. He was a member of the Reform Convention of the state which met in 1850; Clerk of the Circuit Court of Frederick County, 1851-57; a member of the Board of Public Works, 1862-65; Postmaster at Baltimore under the administration of President Johnson, 1866-69; and Registrar of the Water Department, Baltimore, 1882 to present date, 1888.

General Shriver had four daughters.

ANN ALBERTINE, his eldest daughter, married Colonel John A. Tompkins, late of the United States Army.

MARY MARGARET, his second daughter, married Chapman L. Johnson, of Virginia.

ELLEN EMELINE, his third daughter, married Dr. Robert B. Tyler, of Frederick, Md.

ELIZABETH S., his fourth daughter, married Charles D. Reifsnider, of Frederick, Md.

ELLENOR SHRIVER, fourth and youngest daughter of Judge Shriver, married John H. Williams, of Frederick.

Mr. Williams   [191]   was, for a number of years, President of the Frederick County Bank, and is a highly respected member of the community. They have two children, Henry and Margaret Jane.

CHARLES SHRIVER, son of the Judge, married Ann Eliza.

Thomas; died young, leaving one son, Charles Eltinge.

WILHELM ELTINGE SHRIVER, the youngest son of Judge Shriver, married Cornelia Pullin; he died young and left one child, a daughter, Ellenor.

Judge Shriver and family were members of the Reformed Church. In later years some of the members were connected with the Presbyterian Church at Frederick.

It is to be regretted that the “Shriver ” name, in Judge Shriver’s lineage, will terminate in the present generation, General Shriver, of Baltimore, being the last male member of the branch of the name.

Genealogical Records