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Marshal Robert D Carter

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Baltimore Police Department
Marshal Robert D Carter

Today in Baltimore Police History 14 Aug 1914 we got a new Marshal - Robert D Carter Appointed Marshal - Marshal Carter would remain the department' s Marshal until 1917 when Baltimore Police stopped using Marshals, Making Marshal Carter Baltimore's last Marshal. The Last Marshal of Baltimore

Robert Dudley Carter was born in Gaston/Littleton, Halifax County, North 
Carolina, March 28, 1852. He was the son of Jesse and Sallie Ann Carter "Whitaker". Robert got his middle name after the first elected Governor, "Edward Bishop Dudley" elected by the people of North Carolina 1835.  Robert worked on his family farm and also as a Teamster wagon driver.

In 1869, he came to Baltimore, at 17 years old, Robert enlisted at 67 Thames street Fells Point, Baltimore Maryland, and served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years. He married Dona Burkhart, early in 1875 at the age of 23.

In 1875 Robert had moved to Baltimore for good, that same year Dona gave birth to a daughter, "Bessie May Carter", she was born in Baltimore City, Robert was working in Baltimore as a Teamster with the old-horse car service, after which he was a contracting foreman. In 1878 Dona gave birth to a son "Robert Dudley Carter Jr", he too was born in Baltimore. Robert bought his first house in "1880", at 1650 North Gilmor Street.

1884 May 12, Robert was given the appointment to (Police Officer) and worked in the North West District, Baltimore City, he was 32 years old. He worked hard at being the best, and in 1888 March 9, he was promoted to "Sergeant", and 1892 November 17 he was promoted to "Lieutenant". In this same year Robert D. Jr., and Bessie May, and her husband Henry D. Hammond were all living with Robert and Dona at 1650 North Gilmor street.

1894 April, Robert's father Jesse, was visiting from Stems, Granville County, North Carolina, and passed away in his sleep at Robert's house 1650 North Gilmor Street, Baltimore. Dr. George W. Norris was called in and said his death was due to heart disease. Jesse was 73 years old, and was a merchant, in Dry-Goods, he started a store in Littleton and moved to Stems. Robert took Jesse back home to North Carolina.

Working long days most up to 18 hours, showed Robert as a good Policeman, by 1914 August 14, Robert was promoted to "Marshal of Baltimore City Police Department", he skipped the rank of Captain, he was 62 years old.

February 1915, Marshal Carter, made his debut as a public speaker, when he told an audience of students of the "Johns Hopkins Medical School, just what the Police Department of Baltimore City, was doing in the way of seeing that the laws of the city and State are obeyed.

May 27, 1915, there was a 63rd. birthday party held at "Arian's Country Club", Wilkens Avenue Extended. It was expected to be up to 800 citizens of Baltimore who have become acquainted with Marshal Carter. He was given a "14-karat Solid Gold Badge", with 63 diamonds set in platinum. Topping the American Eagle is a One-karat diamond.

In 1917 Marshal Carter was elected to be the National Commander of the Army and the Navy Union, held at the eighteenth biennial encampment at the "Bohemian Hall", on Gay and Preston streets. September 4, 1918, he was made the Chief Marshal of the parade which was headed by a delegation of the "Grand Army of the Republic", and several thousand United Spanish War Veterans who are holding their twentieth encampment in Baltimore.

1920 was a very hard year for Marshal Carter, Dona his wife was very ill, and Robert D. Jr., was ill also, he had tuberculosis. Robert D. Jr. was in a sanatorium in the mountains, Marshal Carter had Mary Gohagen working for him to help take care of Dona and Robert D. Jr.

Marshal Carter, brought Robert D. Jr., home from the sanatorium knowing that he could live only a short time. On December 26, 1920, Robert D. Jr. passed-away at the age of 42, when Dona was told Mrs. Carter she became unconscious. In 1921 August 7, Dona passed-away, this same year Marshal Carter retired from the Baltimore City Police Department on January 20, 1921, he had 36 years and 8 months of service at the age of 68.

Marshal Carter, moved in with his daughter Bessie, and his son-in-law Henry D. Hammond at 604 Hollen Road, Baltimore where he lived until 1936 October 22, when he passed away from pneumonia at the age of 84. The Rev. Bruce H. McDonald, the pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, conducted the service. The Burial was at "Woodlawn Cemetery, Baltimore County, Maryland. With him is wife Dona, son Robert D. Jr., with his wife Effie, and Robert's daughter Bessie Carter Hammond. The Baltimore City Police Department named in his Honor 
the Police Boat "Robert D. Carter" after Marshal Carter.

Marshal Robert D. Carter, was the "Last Marshal of Baltimore City Police Department",  As in 1920, when General Gaither, was made "Commissioner of Police" by the Police Board in late 1920, he started a reorganization of the department, and after Marshal Carter retired Gen. Gaither created the new post of Chief Inspector.

Marshal Carter, with tear-filled eyes, stated he did not expect the recognition given him, as he felt he was appointed to the position of Marshal of Police by the Police Board and not by the citizens of Baltimore, " But I am happy to say", he remarked, "That the Police Department, and every citizen of Baltimore will get the best in me and in the force under me. I feel that Baltimore has the best Police Department in the Country." and he worked to maintain that status during his tenure as Baltimore's Last Marshal.

Marshal Carter, was personally known to Police Chiefs across the country. He was a close personal friend of "William A. Pinkerton", of the Pinkerton Detective Agency and at the time a well noted Private Detective. Robert was also a "Thirty-Second Degree Mason", a "Shriner", and a "Knight Templar".

This information was gathered and compiled by Marshal Carter's Great-Grandnephew Kenneth M. Carter of Mount Airy, Maryland

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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll  

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