Welcome to Finding the Maryland 400

Featured

Battleoflongisland

The American stand led by Lord Stirling at the Battle of Brooklyn, which included the men of the Maryland 400. Detail, Battle of Long Island, by Alonzo Chappell (1858)

Welcome to Finding the Maryland 400, an effort to discover and explore the lives and stories of Maryland’s first war heroes, led by the Maryland State Archives in partnership with the Maryland Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Raised in early 1776, the First Maryland Regiment joined the rest of the American troops that made up the Continental Army in New York City in August, on the eve of the Battle of Brooklyn. That battle, also called the Battle of Long Island, was the first major engagement of the war, and was an overwhelming British victory. Only the heroic stand by a small group of Marylanders–now known as the Maryland 400–held the British at bay long enough to allow the Continental Army to escape total destruction, at the cost of many Maryland lives.

Learn more about the Marylanders at the Battle of Brooklyn, beginning with the British landing on Long Island a few days before the battle, and moving forward.

There are many ways you can learn more about the First Maryland Regiment:

You may support this project through a donation to the Friends of the Maryland State Archives; indicate “Maryland 400″ under Additional Comments. If you have questions or suggestions, please get in touch with us at msamaryland400@gmail.com.

Scroll down to read our latest posts!

A History of Service

By May of 1776, 28 year old David Congleton enlisted as a private in the Fifth Company of the First Maryland Regiment, where he would serve during the Battle of Brooklyn. Following his initial one year service agreement, Congleton reenlisted for three years under Colonel John Hopkins Stone and Captain Nathaniel Ewing.[1]

Following his reenlistment, Congleton’s exact service history becomes hazy. Records and muster rolls recorded his military activity through the end of 1779, after which point he is listed as having deserted the army on January 13, 1780. This claim was refuted by Congleton, however, in his 1818 pension application. According to his petition for a federal pension, Congleton served under Stone and Ewing from “the spring of 1778 until the peace in 1783.” [2]

While it was not unheard of for soldiers to be misreported as deserters on muster rolls, this does not seem to be the case with Congleton. In addition to a lack of service records after Congleton’s alleged desertion, his pension application is oddly vague about his service after 1779. While he went into great detail about his service during the first half of the war, Congleton’s pension offered next to no information on his service during the second half other than a mere mention of Yorktown.[3]

Based on the information available, it appears that Congleton deserted in early 1780, and falsified his pension application. Congleton’s pension paperwork is incomplete, however, and it is unclear whether or not he was granted a veteran’s pension.

To read more about David Congleton, check out his recently posted biography here.

-Taira

[1] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18, pg 640 (hereafter cited as AOMOL, vol. 18); To read more about the experience of the Fifth Company at the Battle of Brooklyn see “The Fate of the Fifth Company,” on the Finding the Maryland 400 blog; David Congleton, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, NARA M881, 0397, fold3 (hereafter cited as Service Records); Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, NARA M246, 0033, fold3.

[2] Service Records; AOMOL, vol. 18, p. 92; David Congleton, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, S.34243, fold3 (hereafter cited as Pension Application).

[3] Pension Application

Demographics in the First Maryland Regiment

Military service record of John Burgess

Military service record of John Burgess. John Burgess, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, NARA M881, 0399, fold3.

A former member of the Fifth Company who fought at the Battle of Brooklyn, John Burgess was described as a slender, 42-year-old man, with light brown hair, a “swarthy” complexion, and a height of five feet eleven inches, who was born in England, according to his military service record from 1782. Burgess was not however, representative of the typical soldier of the Maryland Line.[1]

7th Independent Company Descriptive Roster

The 7th Independent Company’s descriptive roster. MARYLAND STATE PAPERS (Revolutionary Papers) Descriptions of men in Capt. F. Veazey’s Independent Comp. MdHR 19970-15-29/01 [MSA S997-15, 01/07/03/013]

One of the best demographic records from the First Maryland Regiment in the early stages of the Revolutionary War comes from a muster roll of Edward Veazey’s Seventh Independent Company in 1776. This muster roll indicated the height, age, and country of origin of 54 men, about half of the company. From these descriptions, we are able to ascertain an image of the average soldier in the Maryland Line. A typical soldier was in his early to mid 20s, under five feet eight inches, and born in America.[2]

At five feet eleven inches, Burgess would have immediately stood out among Veazey’s troops. The height disparity is even more notable since Burgess was a foreign-born soldier. When comparing native and foreign-born soldiers in Veazey’s company for example, American soldiers had a median height of five feet seven inches while their foreign-born comrades were under five feet six inches. Only one soldier recorded on Veazey’s roster, Marylander Solomon Slocome who stood six feet two inches, was taller than Burgess.[3]

When he initially enlisted in 1776, Burgess was about 36 years old, almost twelve years older than the average soldier in Veazey’s company. While Burgess was older than Veazey’s average soldier, this was typical of foreign-born soldiers. In 1776, the foreign-born soldiers in the Seventh Independent Company were an average of 26 years old and the American-born soldiers 24.[4]

By the end of the war, the disparity between the ages of native and foreign-born troops had grown, with a median age of 21 and 29 years old respectively. All of the soldiers in Veazey’s company under the age of 22 for example, were American-born.  Foreign-born soldiers may have been older on average than their native-born counterparts due to the necessity of completing indentures prior to enlistment, or immigration to America as an older adult.[5]

Also indicated in Burgess’s military service records was his place of residence at the time of his enlistment. Burgess, like many other immigrants who enlisted in the First Maryland Regiment, was a resident of Baltimore. By this time there was little available farm land in Maryland, and what was available sold for a premium, which made land ownership extremely difficult for immigrant families. Baltimore however, was a booming urban center with a job market open to immigrants, which may have drawn men like Burgess into the city.[6]

To read more about John Burgess, check out his recently posted biography here.

-Taira

[1] John Burgess, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, NARA M881, 0399, fold3 (hereafter cited as Service Records).

[2] MARYLAND STATE PAPERS (Revolutionary Papers) Descriptions of men in Captain Eward Veazey’s Independent Company, MdHR 19970-15-29/01 [MSA S997-15, 01/07/03/013] (hereafter cited as Veazey’s Independent Company).

[3] Veazey’s Independent Company.

[4] Veazey’s Independent Company.

[5] Edward C. Papenfuse and Gregory A. Stiverson, “General Smallwood’s Recruits: The Peacetime Career of the Revolutionary War Private,” The William and Mary Quarterly 30, no. 1 (1973): 120; Veazey’s Independent Company.

[6] Service Records.

So We Meet Again

During the Battle of Brooklyn, the First Maryland Regiment lost approximately one third of their total troop strength.[1] Casualties were substantially higher in the Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh Independent, and Ninth Companies who were forced to make a last stand at Old Stone House. Some of these companies lost over eighty percent of their men.[2]

List of prisoners from the First Maryland Regiment. MARYLAND STATE PAPERS (Revolutionary Papers) Account of cash paid to soldiers. MdHR 19970-06-25/01 [MSA S997-6-59 01/07/03/011].

List of prisoners, including William Basford, from the First Maryland Regiment. MARYLAND STATE PAPERS (Revolutionary Papers) Account of cash paid to soldiers. Late 1776-Early 1777, MdHR 19970-06-25/01 [MSA S997-6-59 01/07/03/011].

Though the First Maryland sustained catastrophic losses as a result of their bravery, their motivation did not flag and many survivors of the Battle of Brooklyn went on to reenlist at the end of 1776 and beginning of 1777, even men like William Basford who was take prisoner. Throughout the war and after, veterans of the Maryland 400 continued to cross paths in military service and private life. This trend is exemplified through Basford’s life.

Following his service in the Fifth Company at the Battle of Brooklyn, Basford reenlisted in the newly reformed First Maryland Regiment on December 10, 1776, where he would serve for the next three years.[3] During this time, Basford served under Colonel John Hopkins Stone and Captain Nathaniel Ewing, both of whom were fellow veterans of the Battle of Brooklyn.[4] Stone had been a captain in the First Company, which like Basford’s Fifth Company, escaped through the swampy Gowanus Creek. Ewing was a first lieutenant in the Sixth Company, which was forced to make a stand at Old Stone House, and took heavy casualties.[5] He was one of fewer than two dozen soldiers who returned from the battle out of a company of 74 men.

After the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, Basford returned to his family in Anne Arundel County. At the time of his death in 1785, the Register of Wills for Anne Arundel County who handled Basford’s estate records was another veteran of the Maryland 400, John Gassaway.[6] John Gassaway and Basford had fought alongside each other in the Fifth Company at the Battle of Brooklyn, and successfully beat back a British ambush which enabled them to retreat across the Gowanus Creek.

The heavy losses sustained by the First Maryland Regiment at the Battle of Brooklyn did not temper the resolve of the many men who reenlisted, illustrating their deep commitment to the American cause. This core contingency of Maryland 400 veterans often crossed paths during their military service, and continued to do so as civilians after the war.

To read more about the life and service of William Basford, check out his recently posted biography here.

-Taira

[1] Mark Andrew Tacyn “’ To the End:’ The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution” (PhD diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), abstract.

[2] To read more about the troop strength totals following the Battle of Brooklyn, see “Company Strength” on the First Maryland Roster.

[3] William Basford, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, NARA M881, 0397, fold3 (hereafter cited as Service Records).

[4] Service Records

[5] To read more about the experience of the Fifth Company at the Battle of Brooklyn see “The Fate of the Fifth Company,” on the Finding the Maryland 400 blog.

[6] ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY REGISTER OF WILLS (Administration Bonds) Bond of William Basford, 1785, MdHR 4848-1 [MSA C31-2, 01/03/14/017]; ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY REGISTER OF WILLS (Wills, Original) Will of John Basford, 1818, box B, folder 12, MdHR 4869-2-1 [MSA C155-2, 01/04/13/007]; ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY REGISTER OF WILLS (Wills, Original) Will of Thomas Basford, 1782, box B, folder 13, MdHR 4869-2-1 [MSA C155-2, 01/04/13/007].

Brothers in Arms

During the Revolutionary War, it was not uncommon for multiple men of the same immediate family to enlist. Some brothers, like Samuel and William McMillan, enlisted in the same company, while other sets of siblings dispersed and entered separate companies or regiments. The latter was the case with Robert, William, and John Bruce of Charles County.

All three brothers entered the army in the early stages of the Revolutionary War. Robert enlisted in one of the rifle companies formed in Maryland and Virginia in July of 1775, while William and John both joined the First Maryland Regiment in early 1776, John as a corporal in the Fifth Company, and William as a sergeant in the Ninth Company.[1]

During his enlistment with the Maryland Rifle Regiment, Robert participated in the Siege that drove the British from Boston in March of 1776.[2] At the end of his enlistment, Robert reenlisted as a private in the Fourth Continental Light Dragoons for the duration of the war. During this time, Robert served alongside David Plunket, a former member of the Fifth Company who fought with his brother John at the Battle of Brooklyn.

While in the Dragoons, Robert was taken prisoner by the British and held for fifteen months before being exchanged in 1779. Although he had enlisted for the war, Robert was discharged shortly after his release. Since Robert was a private during his captivity, and therefore more likely to be mistreated or neglected, it is possible that he was discharged due to deteriorated physical condition or illness. In 1818, Robert applied and received a federal pension on account of his Revolutionary War service.[3]

As part of the First Maryland Regiment, both William and John saw action at the Battle of Brooklyn, earning each a place of distinction among the Maryland 400. At the battle, about half of William’s Ninth Company was killed or captured, after they skirted the Gowanus Creek and were forced to make a stand at the Old Stone House.[4] William reenlisted in December of 1776, and received a commission as second lieutenant in the First Regiment. By the end of the war, he had risen to the rank of captain. William applied and received federal pensions as a result of his service during the war. In addition, William received 200 acres of bounty land in Western Maryland in return for enlisting for the duration of the war.[5]

Unlike his brothers, John Bruce left the army at the end of his one-year enlistment at the end of 1776 or beginning of 1777. Following his service in the army, John served for a period of time on the Maryland naval galley Independence, defending Baltimore against potential British naval attacks, which never materialized, before retiring to his home in Charles County.[6]

John is the most recent addition to the biographies on the Finding the Maryland 400 website. To read more about the life of John Bruce, check out his biography here.

-Taira

[1]Veterans Pension of Robert Bruce, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, S. 34666, fold3 (hereafter cited as Pension of Robert Bruce); Veterans Pension of William Bruce, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, S. 34668, fold3 (hereafter cited as Pension of William Bruce); Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18, p. 639 (hereafter cited as Volume 18).

[2] Tucker F. Hentz, “Unit History of the Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment (1776-1781): Insights from the Service Record of Capt. Adamson Tannehill, 2007, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, E259. H52 2007, p. 2.

[3] Pension of Robert Bruce; Service Records of Robert Bruce, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, NARA M881, 0046, fold3.

[4] To read more about the experience of the Fifth Company at the Battle of Brooklyn see “The Fate of the Fifth Company,” on the Finding the Maryland 400 blog.

[5] Pension of William Bruce; COMMISSIONERS FOR RESERVE LAND WESTWARD OF FORT CUMBERLAND (Bounty Land Soldiers) 1789, MdHR 17,301-1 [MSA S162-1, 01/27/01/031]; LAND OFFICE (Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland) 1793-1903, p. 235, MdHR 17,302 [MSA SE1-1]; LAND OFFICE (Military Lot Plats) 1787-1935, Map of Military Lots, Tracts, and Escheats, MdHR 50,823 [MSA S451-1, OR/04/18/000].

[6] Volume 18; MARYLAND STATE PAPERS (Red Books) A List of Men Belonging to the Independence, MdHR 4570 [MSA S989-14, 01/06/04/002]; Ernest McNeill Eller, Chesapeake Bay in the American Revolution (Centerville: Tidewater Publishers, 1981), 224-234, 247; Widows Pension of Martha Logue, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, W.1441, fold3.

The Last Will and Testament of Edward Sinclair

As a sergeant in the Fifth Company during the Battle of Brooklyn, Edward Sinclair was among those men who heroically covered the retreat of the Continental Army, thus saving the American forces from destruction.[1]

will_pic_Page_1

Edward Sinclair’s will. Click to view the entire image.

Little is known about the life or service of Sinclair following his participation at the Battle of Brooklyn, but he did leave behind a will which provides some insight. In early October of 1776, Sinclair was moved to write his will in light of “the uncertainty of human life.”[2] The timing of his will was significant, coming after the disaster in Brooklyn, and the ever looming presence of the British Army.

Sinclair’s ominous outlook however, did not prevent him from reenlisting in late 1776 or early 1777. It is likely that Sinclair died while serving at the Continental Army’s Middlebrook encampment in New Jersey in early January of 1779.

To read more about Edward Sinclair, check out his biography here.

-Taira

[1] To read more about the experience of the Fifth Company at the Battle of Brooklyn see “The Fate of the Fifth Company,” on the Finding the Maryland 400 blog.

[2] BALTIMORE COUNTY REGISTER OF WILLS (Wills, Original) 1778-1780, MdHR 8892-16-1 [MSA C437-19, 2/33/08/015].

Francis Reveley: Insults and Injury

Francis Reveley, the subject of our most recent biography, served the entirety of the Revolutionary war, beginning in 1776, when he enlisted as a sergeant in Nathaniel Ramsey’s Fifth Company. It was there that Reveley saw action at the Battle of Brooklyn, earning him a place of honor among the Maryland 400. In February of 1777, Reveley received a commission and reenlisted as a second lieutenant. By the conclusion of the war, Reveley had risen to the rank of captain.

While Reveley’s war time service is well documented, there is very little information on Reveley following the war aside from a few anecdotes. One in particular is quite riveting. On Saturday June 9, 1787, Reveley became engaged in a confrontation with a man named William Thomson in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Although we do not know the specifics of the dispute, Reveley believed himself “injured by some publications and assertions of Mr. Thomson,” and met Thomson at a town store to confront him.

The altercation turned violent when Reveley took a horse whip to Thomson. Thomson threatened Reveley with a pistol and “lodged the contents of the pistol in[to] his[Reveley’s] breast.” Reveley was initially believed to have been mortally wounded, but later reporting indicated that he was “in a hopeful way of recovery.”[1] Thomson was immediately arrested. Subsequent to his release, Thomson was involved in another duel later that fall in which he “had his arm taken off.”[2]

To read more about Francis Reveley, check out his biography here.

-Taira

[1] “Fredericksburg, June 13,” Maryland Chronicle, July 4, 1787.

[2] “Fredericksburg, Sept.13,” Pennsylvania Packet, September 24, 1787.

John Brady: Sergeant Turned Fifer

On this day in 1776, the First Maryland Regiment began its trip to New York. Among the men leaving from Baltimore was John Brady, the subject of our most recent biography.

Like many noncommissioned officers, there is little known about John Brady other than what is found in his military service records. Brady served through the entire Revolutionary War. Brady began his service as a sergeant in Nathaniel Ramsey’s Fifth Company where he saw action at the Battle of Brooklyn.[1] During his time of service, Brady moved back and forth between the ranks, spending much of his time as a fifer.[2] By the conclusion of the war, he had resumed the position of sergeant.

Following the war, Brady was awarded fifty acres of bounty land in Western Maryland near the border of modern day West Virginia, which he never claimed.[3] While there were several John Bradys in the Baltimore and surrounding areas, there is not enough evidence to provide a clear indication as to which man was the John Brady who earned a place among the heroic Maryland 400 at the Battle of Brooklyn.[4]

To read more about the military service of John Brady, check out his biography here.

-Taira

 

[1] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18, p. 369 (hereafter cited as AOMOL vol. 18)

[2] John Brady, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, NARA M881, 0399, fold3.

[3] LAND OFFICE (Military Lot Plats) 1787-1935, Map of Military Lots, Tracts, and Escheats, MdHR 50,823 [MSA S451-1, OR/04/18/000]; COMMISSIONERS FOR RESERVE LAND WESTWARD OF FORT CUMBERLAND (Bounty Land Soldiers) 1789,MdHR 17,301-1 [MSA S162-1, 01/27/01/031]; LAND OFFICE (Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland) 1793-1903, p. 140, MdHR 17,302 [MSA SE1-1].

[4] There was a John Brady of Baltimore serving in the artillery during the Revolutionary War who died in 1784. This is not the same John Brady whose biography is written above. BALTIMORE COUNTY REGISTER OF WILLS (Wills) Will of John Brady,1784, Box 19, Folder 10, MdHR 8892-19-10 [MSA C437-23, 2/33/8/17]; AOMOL vol. 18, p. 564, 567, 569, 574, 579, 582, and 583; John Brady Matross Second/Third Maryland Artillery, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, NARA M881, 0408, fold3; John Mullin, Cornelius William Stafford, and William Fry, The Baltimore City Directory for 1799 (Baltimore: Warner & Hanna, 1799), 9.

Persistence is Key: Petitions of John Gassaway

John Gassaway, of the prominent Gassaway family in Anne Arundel County, was a tenacious man whose persistence served him well both during and after the Revolutionary War. As soon as it became evident that the colonists were going to war with Britain for American independence, Gassaway applied for a commission, which he did not receive. Undeterred, Gassaway enlisted in Smallwood’s Regiment as a sergeant, and petitioned the Convention again for a commission in May of 1776.

6636-2-35_Page_1

Gassaway’s petition for a military commission. Click to view the entire image.

We have, in the Archives collection of Maryland State Papers, Gassaway’s second petition for a military commission. In his letter to the Convention, Gassaway attributed his lack of previous appointment to “being a little stranger to the Majority of the Delegates,” and his consequent “want of friends to mediate on…[his] behalf.” Gassaway pointed to his current enlistment as testimony of his devotion to the American cause, while pushing for a promotion to a commissioned officer stating,

Alas there are now two vacancies in the Companies here in Baltimore for Promotion. I hope you will Endeavor to put me in one of them… you sir are well acquainted with my father and family and I am sure you can use a great deal of influence with the Council of Safety to promote me. Pray do not forget me. [1]

Gassaway’s persistence was rewarded with a commission as an ensign in the newly formed Flying Camp in June 1776. Gassaway went on to serve in Ramsey’s Fifth Company at the Battle of Brooklyn, earning him a place of distinction among the heroic Maryland 400.

After the conclusion of the Revolutionary War in 1783, John Gassaway returned to Maryland where he worked for a time under his older half-brother Thomas Gassaway, who was Register of Wills in Anne Arundel County. Upon Thomas’s death, John Gassaway petitioned the House of Delegates for appointment as Register of Wills. John was not a resident of Anne Arundel County at the time, which should have made him ineligible for the position, but this did not deter him in the least. Upon being informed that his lack of residency made him ineligible, Gassaway replied, rather presumptuously,

I was informed that the honorable Council were of [the] opinion that I was ineligible for want of residence in this county… I cannot think myself ineligible when all circumstances come to be fully considered.[2]

Gassaway also noted that, “I have not the least wish to [discount] the …services of the Gentleman who is my competition for the office, nor to put myself in comparison with him, [but] my character for integrity is unimpeached.”

In countering objections to his appointment, Gassaway attempted to strengthen his petition by arguing that his motives were of the highest moral caliber. In his petition, Gassaway stated,

I was not urged to ask the appointment from a desire to promote my own interest…more powerful motives influenced my conduct. My Brother has left behind him a Widow and six helpless children without any means for their support and my intention was to apply a great part of the [income] of the office to their maintenance.

Just as he did in his application for a military commission, Gassaway ended his letter to the House of Delegates with dramatic flare, stating “The bread of the widows and orphans depend on your [the House of Delegates] decision.”

Whether for this reason of others, John Gassaway was appointed Register of Wills in Anne Arundel County, a position he would hold from 1787 to his death in 1820. Gassaway’s undaunted persistence and tenacity served him well, resulting in both his military commission during the Revolutionary War and his appointment as Register of Wills in Anne Arundel County later in life.

For more information on the life of John Gassaway see his recently created biography here.

-Taira

 

[1] MARYLAND STATE PAPERS (Series A) Application for Military Commission, May 6, 1776, MdHR 6636-2-35 [MSA S1004-2-565, 1/7/3/25].

[2] MARYLAND STATE PAPERS (Red Books) Gassaway to the House of Delegates, November 19, 1787, MdHR 4602 [MSA S989-46, 1/6/4/34].

David Plunket: A Radical Rebel

As Second Lieutenant of the Fifth Maryland Regiment at the time of the Battle of Brooklyn, David Plunket fought bravely and resolutely amidst heavy cannon and mortar fire to hold off the British Army, while the body of the Continental Army retreated to safety, thus earning himself a place of honor as one of the Maryland 400. From early on Plunket championed American independence and republican ideology. His involvement in radical politics began in 1774, when he joined Mordecai Gist’s Baltimore Independent Cadets, foreshadowing his later involvement in the Whig Club in Baltimore. As a member of the Baltimore Independent Cadets it is likely that Plunket participated in the infamous burning of the Peggy Stewart, in which a ship carrying over 2,000 pounds of smuggled tea was burned in the Annapolis harbor.[1]

Regular readers of Finding the Maryland 400 will be familiar with the Whig Club in Baltimore, the radical para-police organization who, with the silent support of the Committee of Observation, combated toryism in Baltimore. Unsurprisingly, several officers from the First Maryland Regiment were members of the Whig Club including Nathaniel Ramsey and David Plunket of the Fifth Company.[2]

David Plunket joined the Whig Club in June of 1777, shortly after its founding, while he was in the area recruiting for Moylan’s Fourth Continental Dragoons. Following his resignation in 1779, Plunket was involved in a mob attack on William Goddard, which was organized by the Whig Club. Goddard, co-owner and publicist of the Maryland Journal caught the ire of the Whig club when he refused to supply the name of the author referred to as Tom-Tell-Truth.[3] The Whig club believed that this author, and by extension Goddard, was proliferating a subversive Tory agenda. Goddard was dragged from his house by six men “with positive orders to use force if required,” and compelled to stand trial before the club.[4] Goddard was found guilty of crimes against the American cause and sentenced to banishment by the club.

David Plunket was a staunch believer in American independence and later the Federalist Party. Both before and after the Revolution he was involved in radical organizations which supported these causes. His continued unwavering support of American nationalism earned him various minor offices and appointments in the 1780’s and early 1790’s, which he held until his death.

For a deeper look into the life of David Plunket, check out his recently posted bio.

 

[1] Daniel Blattau, “Mordecia Gist,” Archives of Maryland: Biographical Series, last modified August 13, 2013.

[2] Charles G. Steffen, The Mechanics of Baltimore: Working and Politics in the Age of Revolution, 1763-1812 (Chicago: University of Illinois, 1984), 67.

[3] William Goddard, “The Prowess of the Whig Club” (Baltimore: printed for the author, 1777), 4-5.

[4] Goddard, 6.

-Taira