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Timeline of Charles Benedict Calvert's Life


This timeline presents key dates and events in the lives of George Calvert and his wife, Rosalie Stier Calvert, including their ancestors and descendants. It also traces the chronology of the Riversdale mansion, where the Calverts resided, from its nineteenth-century construction through its twentieth-century restoration as an historic house museum. Throughout the timeline, dates and events from French, United States, and Maryland history have been added to provide historical context to the Calverts' and Riversdale's story.


April 21, 1724 Benedict Swingate Calvert (George's father) born, the oldest (illegitimate) son of the Fifth Lord Baltimore.

1730 Elizabeth Calvert (George's mother) born, daughter of Governor Charles Calvert.

1743 Henry Joseph Stier (Rosalie's father) born, descendant of Peter Paul Rubens.

1743 The American Philosophical Society, the earliest society in the United States to promote scientific agriculture, organized.

1748 Marie Louise Peeters (Rosalie's mother) born.


1768 Isabelle Marie Stier (Rosalie's sister) born.

Feb. 2, 1768 George Calvert born.

1770 Charles Jean Stier (Rosalie's brother) born.

1773 Julie Stier (Rosalie's sister) born.

Feb. 3, 1774 Benedict Calvert's second daughter, Eleanor Calvert, marries Jack Custis (George Washington's stepson).

1776 Second Continental Congress approves the Declaration of Independence. It also adopts two resolutions recommending aid to agriculture. Revolutionary War begins.

Feb. 16, 1778 Rosalie Eugenia Stier born.

1780 Julie Stier (Rosalie's sister) dies.

1781 British forces surrender to American forces at Yorktown, Virginia.

1785 The Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture founded, an example of the new spirit of scientific improvement.

1787 Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. George Washington named President. Convention approves, signs, and sends the Constitution to Congress.

1788 Benedict Calvert (George's father) dies.

July 14, 1789 French Revolution begins with the storming of the Bastille.

1790 With a total population of 3,929,214 in the United States, over 90 percent of all persons gainfully employed engage in agriculture.

1792 Robert Bailey Thomas of Sterling, Massachusetts, founds Old Farmer's Almanac, one of the oldest surviving periodicals in the United States.

Jan. 21, 1793 Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette guillotined in France.

1794 Stiers leave Antwerp, in modern-day Belgium, and arrive in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

July 27, 1794 Robespierre executed, ending the Reign of Terror in France.

by September 1795 Stiers move to Strawberry Hill outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

Dec. 7, 1796 President George Washington recommends the creation of a national board of agriculture.

Dec. 1797 Napoleon Bonaparte returns to France after a series of military triumphs.

1798 Elizabeth Calvert (George's mother) dies.

1796-1799 George Calvert elected to Maryland state legislature.

by Nov. 1797 Stiers move into the William Paca House in Annapolis, Maryland.

June 11, 1799 Rosalie Stier marries George Calvert.


July 15, 1800 Caroline Maria Calvert born, the first child of George and Rosalie.

Sep. 18, 1800 Henri Stier purchases 729 ¼ acres of land, plus six lots in the town of Bladensburg, Maryland. He pays 7,200 Maryland pounds, approximately $20,000 (between $200,000 and $300,000 today).

Oct. 1800 Stiers move into the Bostwick House in Bladensburg, Maryland.

1801 Thomas Moore of Maryland invents the refrigerator.

June 1801 Construction on Riversdale begins.

Aug. 1802 Stiers move into incomplete Riversdale.

Sep. 1801 Charles Stier (Rosalie's brother) returns to Belgium.

1803 George Washington Parke Custis inaugurates yearly competitions in sheep shearing and sheep and wool exhibitions at his estate in Arlington, Virginia.

1803 Marie (Mimi) van Havre Stier (Rosalie's sister-in-law) dies.

Jan. 2, 1803 George Henry Calvert born, the second child of George and Rosalie.

April 1803 U.S. Government purchases the Louisiana Territory from France and acquires complete sovereignty over the territory.

May 1803 Great Britain declares war on France. Napoleonic Wars begin.

June 1803 Henri and Marie Louise Stier return to Belgium. Rosalie and George accept the Stiers' offer to assume ownership of Riversdale.

1804 The first local agricultural fair held in Washington, D. C., after the English fashion. In addition to farmers showing their livestock and goods, agricultural entrepreneurs promote their ideas and products.

April 22, 1804 Mary Louise Peeters Stier (Rosalie's mother) dies.

May 18, 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte declared Emperor Napoleon I.

July 16, 1804 Charles Stier marries Eugenie van Ertborn, his second wife.

Nov. 20, 1804 Marie Louise Calvert born, the third child of George and Rosalie.

Oct. 19, 1806 Rosalie Eugenia Calvert born, the fourth child of George and Rosalie.

Aug. 23, 1808 Charles Benedict Calvert born, the fifth child of George and Rosalie.

March 23, 1809 Marie Louise (third child of George and Rosalie) dies.

May 22, 1810 Henry Joseph Albert Calvert born, the sixth child of George and Rosalie.

July 4, 1810 The Agricultural Museum, the first farm periodical, begins publication.

March 6, 1812 Marie Louise Calvert born, the seventh child of George and Rosalie.

June 1812 Declaration of war between United States and Great Britain.

August 18, 1813 Marie Louise Calvert (seventh child of George and Rosalie) dies.

Jan. 31, 1814 Julia Calvert born, the eighth child of George and Rosalie.

Aug. 1814 United States troops retreat after losing Battle of Bladensburg (near Riversdale). The British invade and burn government buildings in Washington, D.C.

Dec. 24, 1814 United States and Great Britain sign the Peace of Ghent. This news reaches the United States three months later.

June 2, 1816 The Stiers' paintings are sent from Riversdale back to Belgium.

Nov. 14, 1816 Amelia Isabella Calvert born, the ninth child of George and Rosalie.

April 2, 1819American Farmer, the first farmers' periodical to attain wide circulation, begins publication in Baltimore, Maryland.

Feb. 6, 1820 Henry Joseph Albert Calvert (sixth child of George and Rosalie) dies.

Feb. 11, 1820 Amelia Isabella Calvert (ninth child of George and Rosalie) dies.

March 13, 1821 Rosalie Stier Calvert dies.

June 22, 1821 Henri Stier (Rosalie's father) dies.

1822 Isabelle van Havre (Rosalie's sister) dies.

1823 Caroline Calvert (first child of George and Rosalie) marries a Philadelphia lawyer, Thomas Willing Morris.

May 1823 George Henry Calvert (second child of George and Rosalie) expelled from Harvard in his senior year.

Aug. 1823 George Henry Calvert sails for Europe.

March 1825 George Henry Calvert meets the German poet Goethe.

1827 Charles Benedict Calvert (fifth child of George and Rosalie) ends his studies at the University of Virginia and spends the next ten years helping his father manage the family plantations.

May 11, 1829 George Henry Calvert marries Elizabeth Steuart.

Fall 1830 George Henry Calvert accepts the Chair of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at the newly opened College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Baltimore.

Nov. 1830 (Rosalie) Eugenia Calvert (fourth child of George and Rosalie) marries Charles Henry Carter in Philadelphia.

1832 George Henry Calvert's first book, Illustrations of Phrenology, published in Baltimore, Maryland.

May 1833 Julia Calvert (eighth child of George and Rosalie) marries Dr. Richard Henry Stuart.

Jan. 28, 1838 George Calvert dies. Charles Benedict Calvert inherits Riversdale.

1839 Charles Benedict Calvert marries Charlotte Augusta Norris of Baltimore, Maryland.

1840 Total U. S. population reaches 17,069,453; farm population 9,012,000 (estimated); 69 percent of persons gainfully employed engage in agriculture.

1840-1843 George Henry Calvert tours Europe with his wife Elizabeth.

1842 Caroline Calvert dies of consumption, survived by four children.

1845 (Rosalie) Eugenia Calvert dies of consumption, survived by seven children.

June 25, 1848 Charles Stier (Rosalie's brother) dies. His estate is divided between his sister Isabelle's children.


Oct. 7, 1854 George Henry Calvert sworn in as mayor of Newport.

1855 George Henry Calvert receives his degree "out of course."

March 6, 1856 The Maryland State Legislature appropriates funds for the Maryland Agricultural College.

1858 Charles Benedict Calvert plays an instrumental role in establishing the Maryland Agricultural College. He issues stock certificates and agrees to sell 420 acres of his Riversdale plantation as the site for the campus.

October 6, 1859 Maryland Agricultural College opens to its first 34 students, including four of Charles Benedict Calvert's sons (George, Charles, William, and Eugene).

1861 The South secedes from the United States. U.S. attack on captured Fort Sumter marks the beginning of the Civil War.

May 15, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln signs the legislation that creates the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Jan. 1, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring the freedom of all slaves in rebel areas.

1864 Charles Benedict Calvert dies at Riversdale.

Apr. 1865 The Confederacy surrenders to the Union. Determined to avenge the Confederacy, Maryland actor John Wilkes Booth assassinates President Abraham Lincoln.

1872 Charlotte Augusta Norris Calvert (widow of Charles Benedict Calvert) moves to Baltimore.

December 7, 1876 Charlotte Augusta Norris Calvert (widow of Charles Benedict Calvert) dies. George Henry Calvert (son of Charles Benedict and Charlotte) moves into Riversdale with his wife Frances Seybolt Calvert.

1877 Auction held to sell contents of Riversdale.

1887 Riversdale mansion and its surrounding 300 acres sold to developer John Fox of New York City. Plans made for a suburban housing development and town, called Riverdale Park. Riversdale serves as development headquarters, a boardinghouse, and a rental home.

1888 Julia Calvert Stuart dies.

May 24, 1889 George Henry Calvert dies.

Mar. 27, 1897 Elizabeth Steuart Calvert (widow of George Henry Calvert) dies.

1898 United States enters Spanish-American War.


April 1917 United States enters World War I.

Aug. 26, 1920 Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment for woman suffrage. American women gain the right to vote.

1920s United States Senator Hiram W. Johnson (Republican, California) leases Riversdale from landlord William Pickford.

late 1920s United States Senator Thaddeus H. Caraway (Democrat, Arkansas) purchases Riversdale and moves in with his wife, Hattie Ophelia Wyatt Caraway.

1931 United States Senator Thaddeus H. Caraway (Democrat, Arkansas) dies. His wife, Hattie Caraway, is appointed to complete his senate term. Her appointment is confirmed by election, making Hattie Caraway the first woman elected to the United States Senate.

1932 Hattie Caraway reelected to serve as United States Senator for Arkansas.

1938 United States Senator Hattie Caraway (Democrat, Arkansas) elected to a second full term.

Dec. 1941 United States enters World War II.

1945 United States Senator Hattie Caraway (Democrat, Arkansas) completes her final term.

May 8, 1945 Allied forces victory over Europe declared (V-E Day).

Aug. 15, 1945 Allied victory over Japan declared (V-J Day).

1949 Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission purchases Riversdale from Congressman Abraham Lafferty (Republican and Independent, Oregon). The Commission uses Riversdale as its office headquarters.


Dec. 29, 1950 Hattie Caraway dies.

1988 Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission begin full restoration of Riversdale mansion with assistance from Riversdale Historical Society.

1993 Riversdale opens to the public as a historic house museum.


Callcott, Margaret Law, ed. Mistress of Riversdale: The Plantation Letters of Rosalie Stier Calvert, 1795-1821. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

"Caraway, Hattie Wyatt." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 

Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. "Riversdale Mansion: History." 

"Political Graveyard." 

Public Broadcasting Service. "Napoleon: Timeline" 

Riversdale Historical Society. "Riversdale Historic House Museum and Shop." 

Riversdale Letter vol. 7, no. 31 (Summer 1990).

Smith, Maryanna S., and Roth, Dennis M., comps. "Chronological Landmarks in American Agriculture." Agricultural Information Bulletin Number 425. Washington: USDA-ERS 1990.

University of Maryland. "University of Maryland Timeline."