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Floyd Bixler Residence (206 Spring Garden Street) - page 4 / 12





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Judge McCartney’s wife, Mary, was a daughter of Sarah Maxwell (who lived next door) and a sister to Easton lawyer Henry D. Maxwell (Sr.).38  Mrs. McCartney is known today for her pictures of early Easton.  [See separate www.WalkingEaston.com entry for 208 Spring Garden Street for further history of artist Mary Elizabeth Maxwell McCartney, and her mother, Sarah Maxwell.]  

Judge McCartney died in 1856,39 his widow moved in next door with her mother, Sarah Maxwell,40  and the McCartney home was then taken over by his wife’s brother, Henry D. Maxwell (Sr.).41  Henry Maxwell also took Judge McCartney’s judicial job until the end of 1857, and again from 1862-63.42  

Henry had been born in Flemington, NJ in 1812.43  His granduncle had been a British officer in the French and Indian War – with Braddock, and with Wolfe at Quebec – and later became a Brigadier General in Washington’s army during the Revolution.44 Henry’s father, a New Jersey lawyer, died when he was only 15 years old,45 and he had to give up his dream of attending Princeton College.46  Young Maxwell also obtained an appointment through family connections as a Midshipman in the United States Navy, but due to his Mother’s opposition he had not taken up the appointment, and he formally resigned it in 1830.47  After obtaining legal training from several practicing lawyers in New Jersey (including his cousin, Hon J.P.B. Maxwell in Belvidere), Henry dutifully came to live in Easton where his mother had moved in 1833, in order to help her raise her large family.  Henry opened a law practice in Phillipsburg in 1834, and joined the Northampton County bar in Pennsylvania and practiced as an associate of Easton lawyer and politician James Madison Porter by 1835.48  As Porter’s protégé, Henry Maxwell became successful in Easton not only in the law, but also in politics.  In 1842, he was appointed the Quarter Master General for an encampment of local military groups;  “[t]he popular title of General was then accorded to him” until he became a Judge.49  Politically a “staunch Whig”,50 he later joined the new Republican Party, serving as a delegate to its convention in 1844.  He became the (unsuccessful) Republican Party candidate for Congress in 1846.51  Maxwell became a Deputy Attorney General for Northampton County in 1848-49,52 and ultimately became the first President of the Bar Association of Northampton County.53  

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