Stevenson Archer (October 11, 1786 – June 26, 1848) was a judge and United States Representative from Maryland, representing the sixth district from 1811 to 1817, and the seventh district from 1819 to 1821. His son Stevenson Archer and father John Archer were also U.S. Congressmen from Maryland.
Archer was born at Medical Hall, near Churchville, Maryland, and attended Nottingham Academy of Maryland, later graduating from Princeton College in 1805. He studied law, was admitted to the bar of Harford County, Maryland in 1808, and commenced practice the same year.
From 1809 to 1810, Archer served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, and was later elected as a Democrat to the Twelfth United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Montgomery. He was reelected to the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses and served from October 26, 1811 until March 3, 1817. Having reached the Constitutional age of service in the House (25 years of age) less than one month prior to taking his seat, Archer was the youngest member of the Twelfth Congress, which was defined at least in part by the injection of youth into the government. Archer was one of the firmest supporters of the War Hawk agenda in Congress, consistently voting for military preparation and the War of 1812.
In Congress, Archer served as chairman of the Committee on Claims (Thirteenth Congress), and as a member of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy (Fourteenth Congress). During the War of 1812, he was paymaster to the Fortieth Maryland Militia, and was appointed on March 5, 1817 by President James Madison as United States judge for the Territory of Mississippi, with powers of Governor, holding court at St. Stephens.
Archer resigned within a year, and returned to Maryland to continue his law practice. He was elected again to the Sixteenth Congress, serving from March 4, 1819 until March 3, 1821, and, in Congress, served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy. In 1823, Archer was appointed chief judge of the judicial circuit court of Baltimore and Harford Counties and Baltimore City. In 1844, Archer was appointed by Governor Thomas Pratt as chief justice of the Maryland Court of Appeals and served until his death at Medical Hall. He is interred in the Presbyterian Cemetery, Churchville.
- Hatzenbuehler, Ronald L. and Robert L. Ivie. Congress Declares War (Kent: Kent State UP, 1989), 27-31
- United States Congress. "Stevenson Archer (id: A000273)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| U.S. Congressman from the 6th district of Maryland
| U.S. Congressman from the 7th district of Maryland
| Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals
Thomas Beale Dorsey