Was one of the most highly educated and accomplished physicians that up to that day had sought a home in Berkeley county. Descended from one of the most respected of the old families of Maryland, he was born on West river, Anne Arundel county in 1790. At the age of thirteen, he was sent to St. John's College, in Annapolis, and there spent six years in completing his elementary, classical and scientific studies. At the age of twenty he was sent to Europe, where he spent four years in the medical and surgical instructions of France and England, preparing himself for the practice of his profession. In 1805 he was married to Holland Williams Stull, the niece of that distinguished patriot and hero of the Revolution, General Otho Holland Williams, after whom she was named. In 1806 he removed with his young bride to Martinsburg, which he sought as a permanent home, purchasing as a residence the property at the northwest corner of King and German streets, which he occupied during his life.
His pleasant and social manners, frank and manly deportment, with the general recognition of his high attainments in his life profession soon introduced him to a profitable practice; and as there were no physicians at that time in the county, beyond the limits of Martinsburg, his practice was soon co-extensive with the county. His patients had unbounded confidence in his skill and judgment and his opinion upon all medical questions soon came to be regarded as oracular.
He was a man of ardent temperament and gave expression to his views on all subjects with frankness and decision. He was a Jeffersonian Democrat, and regarded as one of the acknowledged leaders and representatives of that minority party in this county.
At that time what were called the "Federalists" had complete control of the county. Most of its then leading and influential families adhered zealously to the principles of that party, such as the Pendletons, Hunters, Colstons, Waggoners, Porterfields, Orricks, Newkirks, Shearers, Snodgrasses,Campbells, Vanmetres, Gorrells, Burns, Boyds, Tabbs, Stephensons, Wevers, Tates. There was much exclusiveness in the distribution of patronage, and it rarely happend that one of the opposite party was honored by any official or political preferment.
The Federalist wrecked their party by violent opposition to the war of 1812-13 with Great Britain. The military and naval victories of that war and its glorious and triumphant results utterly annihilated all oppostion to the conquering Democracy. From that time a more conciliatory spirit was manifested by the ruling party, and among the first evidences of that change of policy was the recommendation in 1818 of Dr. Harrison for a seat as a justice of the peace, upon the bench of the County Court of Berkeley. He accepted the position and for near ten years discharged its duties with intelligence and promptness.
Upon the death of Maj. Faulkner in 1817, he qualified under his will, as one of his executors, and by his kind, generous and parental attention to the writer of this sketch, justified the confidence reposed in him.
For some years before his death he was confined to the house by a severe attack of gout, under which he suffed until the expired in October, 1838.
He left a large and interesting family of children, some of whom, and the descendants of others, are still in this community.
NOTE: You must note that the dates to do not add up with the year he was born. Mr. Aler must have the wrong birth date, 1790 and then go on to be married in 1805 after he at the age of twenty went to Europe for his medical schooling?
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