Joseph Kent was born in Calvert County, Maryland in 1779, and he opened a medical practice in Lower Marlborough in 1799. He purchased a 300-acre estate near Bladensburg and became a militia colonel, and he also became a director of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Kent served in the US House of Representatives from 1811 to 1815 as a Federalist Party member, but he served as a Democratic-Republican from 1819 to 1826. That year, he won the gubernatorial election, serving until 1829. Kent then served in the US Senate from 1833 until his death in 1837.