Adam Von Erden

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Adam Von Erden

Also Known As: "Adam Fonerden"
Birthplace: Germantown, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: October 26, 1817 (67)
Place of Burial: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Christian Von Erden and Maria Catherine Von Erden
Husband of Martha Von Erden (McCannon) and Estha Fonerden
Father of Martha Bonsall; Mary Von Erden; Mary Fonerden; Lieut. James Fonerden; Frances van Beuren (Fonerden) and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Adam Von Erden

  • After he moved to Baltimore in 1788, Adam served several terms on the City Council 5th ward 1797-1802. Another source has Adam in Fairfax in 1776 (profile photo text)
  • October 5, 1797 : elected to the General Assembly of the State of Maryland

• served as a Councilman in the 4th ward of Baltimore (1812, 1813)

  • 1st wife = nine Children, six of which were living at the time of his death
  • 2nd wife = two Children, including the noted Dr. John Fonerden (name Anglicized), a doctor who began some of the organization which led to the founding of Johns Hopkins Hospital

• "Adam and Martha Von Erden were both Revolutionary Patriots. They hosted Count Rochambeau in their home just prior to the Siege of Yorktown as the combined American and French forces moved south in the late summer of 1781. Adam was also the founder of two Baltimore Banks and appears to have been involved in more businesses than I can account. From what I can determine he first was involved in the shoe manufacturing business" (source: Donnelly Bible record c/o Robert L. Wynne, descendant),_comt...

• Adam was one of the first members of the Maryland House and the first Alderman in the 4/5 ward in 1797 in the incorporation of Baltimore.

Surname spelled many ways including: Fonerdon, Fonerden, and possibly others...


On January 1, 1794, delegates from the abolition societies of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland met in Philadelphia, a stronghold of the anti-slavery Quaker religion. The group voted to petition Congress to prohibit the slave trade and also to appeal to the legislatures of the various states to abolish slavery. The petitions pointed out the inconsistency of a country that had recently rejected the tyranny of kings engaging in "domestic despotism." Delegates published an address urging on U.S. citizens "the obligations of justice, humanity, and benevolence toward our Africa brethren, whether in bondage or free." The group planned to meet each January until slavery was abolished.

• See The New Jerusalem Magazine, Volume 14 page 487-488 concerning Swedenbourg

The New Church claims him as their own near the turn of the century: (page 208 The New Church Review, April 1920)

A Valedictory address to the people called Methodists. / To the Reverend John Harper, resident minister, and the members of the / Methodist Episcopal church in Baltimore. / The address of Adam Fonerden and John Hargrove. / Respected and dear brethren, / as a very important change has taken place in our ... Our wish and desire is, notwithstanding, to live in as much peace, / and friendship with you all, as on our part it will be possible. / Adam Fonerden, John Hargrove. / Balti- more, 5th June, 1798. //

Adam Von Erden embraced Methodism early and was of the 24 ministers of the faith listed in 1776. His religious fervor seems to have been quite thoughtful as he also was an adherent of the theologian Swendenborg.

see also (Mitchell)

"BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES ON ADAM FONERDEN Mary E. Sellman in the above mentioned newspaper article says of her grandfather Adam Fonerden as follows: " It is not known what year Adam Fonerden changed the spelling of his name to Fonerden but it was some years after his arrival in Baltimore . . . he . . . married June 15, 1871 when little over 21 years of age . . . He had a (loom) card manufactury for making wool and cotton cards, and also a nail factory where nails were made by hand. He had a mechanical turn, doing amateur work on a small lathe, and was an inventive genius, having at his death an unfinished model of a machine he had designed for making cards."

Will dated: July 23rd 1816

(2nd) Wife named "Estha"

Letters from Adam are transcribed in:

The Chronicles of Baltimore by John Thomas Scharf (1874)

view all 19

Adam Von Erden's Timeline

February 17, 1750
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
April 7, 1772
July 17, 1774
February 20, 1776
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
August 23, 1780
April 11, 1783
June 14, 1785
Maryland, United States