The late Major William Eccleston Stewart, of Easton, Md., eldest son of the late Hon. James A. Stewart, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, and his
wife, Rebecca Eccleston Stewart, was born in Cambridge, Md., February 28th, 1839, educated in his native town and at Dickinson College, studied law at the University of Virginia, was admitted to the Bar in Cambridge in 1860, and began the parctice of law immediately thereafter in Little Rock, Ark.
At the beginning of hostilities in the Civil War Major Stewart abandoned his professional work, enlisting in the Confederate service as a private, and rose to the rank of Major in the Fifteenth Arkansas Regiment. Throughout his life his most sacred memory was his faithful service to the South in her hour of need.
At the close of the war he returned to Maryland and began to practice law in Baltimore. Entering the political arena, he was twice elected to the City Council and three times represented Baltimore in the Legislature.
In 1876 he removed to Easton, Md., served for twelve years as State's Attorney for Talbot county, resided and practiced law in Easton until his death, December 2nd, 1910.
Major Stewart left a widow, Margaret Douglas, daughter of William Douglas Wallach, of Washington, D. C, whom he married in 1872; one daughter, Mrs. H. Skipwith
Gordon, of Easton, Md. ; two sons, Messrs. Douglas W. and James A. Stewart, Jr., and two grandsons, H. Skipwith, Jr., and Stewart Eccleston Gordon.
As a jurist Major Stewart ranked second to none in the State, and his ability was in just proportion to his sense of professional honor and conscientiousness. A lifetime student of the political history of his State and county, no man was better equipped or more ready in council than Major Stewart, and his admitted knowledge of constitutional law and statesmanship made his reputation state wide.
Pre-eminently was he a typical free-born American citizen; wearing no man's livery, he carefully formed his own opinions and ably and unflinchingly stood by them. In the closing years of his life he had the honor of opposing by word and pen the two abortive attempts to disfranchise the negro, regarding them as equally unchristian and unconstitutional.
A Jeffersonian Democrat of the purest brew, an ardent advocate of equal suffrage, a staunch Bryanite, a perennial friend of the desolate and oppressed, an earnest and active member of the church of his adoption — the Methodist Episcopal Church — Major Stewart was ready when the summons came to answer the roll call above.
Report of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting of the Maryland State Bar Association at Cape May Hotel, Cape May, N. J. June 29TH, 30TH and July 1ST, 1911 (Cape May, NJ: Maryland State Bar Association, 1911): 59-60.