John W. Crisfield (November 8, 1806 - January 12, 1897) was a U.S. Congressman from Maryland, representing the sixth district from 1847 - 1849 and the first district from 1861 - 1863. The town of Crisfield, Maryland is named after him.
Born near Chestertown, Maryland, Crisfield was educated at Washington College on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1830, commencing practice in Princess Anne, Maryland.
Crisfield entered the Maryland House of Delegates in 1836, and was later elected as a Whig to the Thirtieth Congress, serving the 6th Congressional district of Maryland from March 4, 1847 until March 3, 1849. He was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1850, and a member of the peace conference of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending American Civil War.
In 1861, Crisfield was elected as a Unionist to the Thirty-seventh Congress from the 1st Congressional district of Maryland, serving one term from March 4, 1861 until March 3, 1863. He was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election in 1862, and resumed the practice of law. He served as a delegate to the National Union Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1866.
The town of Crisfield, Maryland was located and founded by Crisfield in 1866, and he was instrumental in building the Eastern Shore Railroad and served as president. He died in Princess Anne in 1897, and is interred in Manokin Presbyterian Cemetery.
This article incorporates facts obtained from the public domain Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
Preceded by: Edward H. C. Long U.S. Congressman from the 6th district of Maryland 1847 - 1849 Succeeded by: John B. Kerr Preceded by: James A. Stewart U.S. Congressman from the 1st district of Maryland 1861 - 1863 Succeeded by: John A. J. Creswell