In addition to his very successful horticulture activities, Dr. Bayne provided leadership in other areas.
A Politician Who Evolved
In 1841, Dr. Bayne entered Maryland politics and was elected to the House of Delegates as a member of the Whig Party. His party position on important matters such as the ongoing economic problems and slavery helped preserve the status quo rather than to help solve the problems. By 1861, Bayne, now a member of the Unionist Party, was elected to the State Senate where he voted against secession, but for a number of resolutions seeking Federal payments to slave owners whose slaves would have been set free.
A Doctor for the County and the Union
Throughout the pre-Civil War period, Dr. Bayne, an 1825 graduate of the Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, maintained a medical practice here at Salubria. He also had at least one scholarly paper published in the American Journal of Medical Science. During the Civil War, Secretary of War Stanton appointed Dr. Bayne to a U.S. Army voluntary staff position as a surgeon and an officer, with duties in nearby Fort Washington and Fort Foote.
Supporter of Better Public Education
As a member of the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate, Dr. Bayne often supported legislation to improve public education. In July 1865, he was appointed President of the Prince George County Board of School Commissioners. Two years later, he toured all of the primary schools (both black and white) in the county, looking for areas in need of improvement. He resigned the Presidency in November 1868, citing ill health.
When he was president of the county Agricultural Society, Bayne stressed the need for farmers to be educated in areas such as soils, fertilizers, weather, pollination techniques and grafting. To assist in this, he contributed related articles to trade journals. Bayne was also instrumental in the founding of the Maryland Agricultural College which has expanded to become the University of Maryland at College Park.
A Churchman at St. John Episcopal Church at Broad Creek
Throughout his adult life, Dr. Bayne was an active member of St. John Episcopal Church at Broad Creek. He was sent to Baltimore in 1860 to represent it at the Episcopal Convention. Earlier, in July 1854, Bayne transferred ownership of almost 20 acres of his land to the Rector of St. John, the Reverend John Martin.
left, middle: A front view of the State House at Annapolis, the capitol of Maryland. (Engraving in Columbian Magazine, February, 1789. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)
right lower middle: St. John Episcopal Church at Broad Creek. Courtesy of artist Sally Parker
upper right: Portrait of Dr. John H. Bayne. Courtesy of the Bayne Family.