Catherine Pugh is the 12th Baltimore mayor to resign from the office. Here's a look back at the others.

Mayor Catherine Pugh, who announced Thursday that she was resigning, is not the first Baltimore mayor to take that path. Or even the second. Or the third.

Actually, 11 others have pulled the plug on their mayoral careers and for a variety of reasons — including to become governor.

Podcast: Pugh's legacy; handicapping 2020

James Calhoun

The first mayor of Baltimore to resign was its first mayor: James Calhoun. A Revolutionary War patriot, he was elected mayor Feb. 21, 1797, and served three successive terms and part of a fourth, until 1804.

Apparently, he quit to devote his full time to private affairs. He was 73 when he died in 1816 and was buried in Westminster Presbyterian Churchyard at Fayette and Greene streets, where Edgar Allan Poe quietly joined him 33 years later.


George Stiles

George Stiles, who was elected mayor in 1816, left office in 1819, presumably suffering from bad health. He died several months later.

Mayor Jacob Small received a curt obituary notice from The Sun.
Mayor Jacob Small received a curt obituary notice from The Sun.

Jacob Small Jr.

Jacob Small Jr., a veteran of the War of 1812 who served under Gen. Samuel Smith, occupied City Hall from 1826 until resigning in 1831.

Considered an accomplished mayor who inaugurated garbage collection, established what became the House of Refuge in 1831, began Patterson Park and completed the Washington Monument, he also left office to pursue other business interests.

A carpenter and builder, Small designed the B&O Railroad's Ellicott City station, which was completed in 1831. The structure, dedicated a National Historic Landmark in 1968, is his only extant piece of architecture.

The Baltimore Sun wrote an obituary worthy of the name 'Small.'

When Small died in 1851, he received an obituary worthy of his name in The Sun, despite high praise by mayoral historians for his many accomplishments.

In what has to be a record of brevity for a public official's obit, The Sun reported: "Colonel Jacob Small, formerly one of the most efficient mayors Baltimore ever had, died at his residence in this city on Friday. His remains were yesterday attended to their narrow home by the Masonic fraternity."

Small sleeps away the ages in Plot 32 in Old St. Paul's Cemetery, not far from the humming traffic at Lombard Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Jesse Hunt

The mayoral reign of Jesse Hunt, 1832-1834, was brought down by a banking crisis.

"When the Bank of Maryland went under in 1834, Hunt knew trouble was coming," said Wayne Schaumberg, who lectures on Baltimore history at area schools and colleges.

Seventeen months dragged by after the bank's collapse, and creditors who waited vainly for settlements that never arrived grew weary.

On Aug. 6, 1835, a mob gathered and smashed the windows of the Monument Square home of Reverdy Johnson, one of the bank's directors.

Hunt, who was also a director of the failed bank, was alarmed by the violence. With help from bailiffs, watchmen and several citizens, he decided to guard Johnson's home.

A mob gathered, and despite Hunt's best efforts, the crowd moved on and attacked the Charles Street home of John Glenn, another bank director. Another director's home was savaged the next night. There was no stopping the mob, and clearly Hunt had lost control of the city.

"Hunt paid for his allegiance to the bank directors by having his own home destroyed by the mob," Schaumberg said.

Hunt, it can be said, was driven from office by the rioting. He resigned five days after the crisis began, on Aug. 11, 1835.

Samuel Brady

Samuel Brady, elected in 1840, was forced from office two years later over a dispute between the mayor's office and the City Council over the city's purchase of stock in the B&O Railroad.

Solomon Hillen Jr.

Solomon Hillen Jr. was elected to complete the remainder of Brady's term, and then elected to a full two-year term. He resigned, apparently because of poor health, in 1843.

Mayor George William Brown fell afoul of Union authorities during the Civil War and was imprisoned.
Mayor George William Brown fell afoul of Union authorities during the Civil War and was imprisoned.

George William Brown

George William Brown was elected Nov. 12, 1860, and stepped into the mayor's office at a time the country was inextricably drifting toward civil war. His mayoral career would be undone by it.

It was during his administration that the Pratt Street riots occurred April 19, 1861, when 600 soldiers of the 6th Massachusetts Regiment were attacked by a mob as they marched from the President Street Station to Camden Station.

They opened fire on the rioting crowd, killing eight, and giving Baltimore the distinction of having the first blood of what would become the Civil War spilled in its streets.

Eighty-six years to the day after the "shot heard round the world" rang out in Massachusetts, its deadly echo resounded near the spot where Pratt Street crosses the Jones Falls at the Inner Harbor.

Brown did little to disguise his Southern sympathies, and President Abraham Lincoln, fearing the loss of Baltimore and worried about the possible secession of Maryland, ordered the occupation of the city a month after the riot.

Gen. Benjamin Butler and troops of the 6th Massachusetts Regiment took command of the city from Federal Hill. Brown was arrested Sept. 12, 1861, on military order and sent to Fort Warren, a forbidding granite fortress in the outer approaches to Boston Harbor, where his mayoral term quietly expired.

Brown, who was later elected chief judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City in 1872, lived until 1890.

J. Harold Grady

J. Harold Grady was elected mayor in 1959 and, three years into his term, left City Hall when he was appointed to the Supreme Bench of Baltimore.

Wearing an admiral's uniform William Donald Schaefer waves goodbye to Baltimore as, accompanied by his companion, Hilda Mae Snoops, he travels by boat to Annapolis to assume the governor's office.
Wearing an admiral's uniform William Donald Schaefer waves goodbye to Baltimore as, accompanied by his companion, Hilda Mae Snoops, he travels by boat to Annapolis to assume the governor's office. (BALTIMORE SUN)

William Donald Schaefer

William Donald Schaefer left the mayor's office, to which he had been elected for four terms, in 1987 after being elected governor in 1986.

Martin O'Malley

In 2007, Martin O'Malley, who had been mayor since 1999, repeated Schaefer's move when he was elected governor.

Sheila Dixon

Previous to Pugh, the most recent predecessor to resign was Mayor Sheila Dixon, who announced that she would resign Feb. 4, 2010, as part of a plea deal that brought a yearslong corruption investigation to a close and ended the tenure of the city's first female mayor.

Dixon’s departure was scheduled for the day she was sentenced both for a guilty plea she entered in a perjury case and for an embezzlement conviction. She kept her $83,000 pension.

Dixon, who had been City Council president, became mayor after the resignation of O’Malley.