Welcome to Finding the Maryland 400

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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 Chappel (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!

“Anxious of showing my zeal for the love of my Country, I entered myself as a Cadet…”

When Maryland put together its regiment as directed by the Continental Congress in 1776, it needed officers to command the troops. The regiment had nine companies, as well as seven independent companies. Each company had a captain and three lieutenants, totaling 64 officers. While that may seem like a large number of officers (it does not even include the officers Maryland provided to the Flying Camp), there were more men wanting to become an officer than the number of officer commissions available. In addition to their captain and lieutenants, some companies also had cadets.

Cadets were young members of the gentry who did not receive commissions as officers and so remained with the army as officers-in-waiting, hoping that officer positions would become available. As they waited, cadets lobbied for commissions. For example, William Courts of the Fourth Company of the Maryland Regiment wrote to the Maryland Convention in June 1776:

William Courts to Convention of Maryland, 20 June 1776

Anxious of showing my zeal for the love of my Country, I entered myself as a Cadet; and as I have been at a considerable expense in the support of myself in that character, and being informed that there are several vacancies in the Battalion, and that your Honours hath it under consideration to raise more Troops for the use of the United Colonies, I take this Opportunity of applying to your Honours, in hopes that you will take this… into your Consideration, and grant… a Commission in the Troops already raised, or those which are to be raised; submitting the rank of such Commission wholly to your Honours. Should your Honours be in any doubt with respect to my conduct since a Cadet, I pray you to enquire of Captain John H. Stone, which Gentleman will, I doubt not, give such account of me as will seem to your Honours worthy of a Commission.

As mentioned at the end of Courts’ letter, other men and officers would advocate on a cadet’s behalf. Samuel Love wrote to Colonel William Smallwood on behalf of “Billey”:

[I] Am now informed that three battalions is to be Raised in this province. Billey is anxious to be in the service, therefore must beg the favour of you to use your Interest for him, if it is not too late, and inform me by next post. He will come immediately up should it be Necessary.

Not wanting to push too hard, Love ended the lobbying effort by noting that “A Lieutenancy he will be well satisfied with and not wish to be higher at present.” Court’s own letter sought to downplay his ambition as well, as he ended it by declaring “I assure you my ambition does not lead me to wish to Command a Company.”

Captain John Allen Thomas of the Fifth Independent Company wrote of Robert Chesley and Henry Carberry as “two young Gent who have entered Cadets in my Company and who will fill (in my opinion) it very well the stations [sic] of third Lieutenants.”

These letters allow us to see what were considered good qualities for an officer. As officers often needed to spend their own money to outfit their units, men of wealth and property were looked upon favorably for commissions. Love mentions “[Court’s] property you know is very Considerable which should be one inducement for the Convention to prefer him.” While a young man at the start of the Revolution, Courts inherited land from his father, who died in 1758 when William was young (Robert Chesley was in a similar situation, as his father died in 1767, leaving to young Robert most of the land). A second letter by Love on behalf of Courts declared him to be “a young man of sober and humane disposition with a frame of mind capable of great improvement.”

For these men their lobbying paid off. Courts, Chesley and Carberry all received commissions as lieutenants in the Continental Army by the end of January 1777. Courts survived captivity following the Battle of Brooklyn, returned to the army and served until 1778. Chesley became a captain, was captured during a raid on Staten Island, was paroled and served until late October of 1781, soon after the Battle of Yorktown. Carberry resigned and returned to the army twice. He was promoted to and served as a captain during and after the Revolution, and he served as colonel of the U.S Thirty-Sixth Infantry during the War of 1812. Carberry was also the first Adjutant General of Maryland.

Nick Couto

Sources:

John Allen Thomas to Maryland Council of Safety, 8 March 1776, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 11, 221-222.

Reiman Steuart, The Maryland Line (The Society of the Cincinnati, 1971), 3-9, 64, 66, 69.

Samuel Love to William Smallwood, 26 December 1775, Maryland State Papers, Red Book 19: 120.

Will of Robert Chesley, 1768, Prerogative Court, Wills, Liber 36, p. 312 MdHR 1316 [MSA S538-52 1/11/2/1]

William Courts to Convention of Maryland, 20 June 1776, Maryland State Papers, Red Book 19: 10.

Project update: A Company Completed!

We are very pleased to be able to announce that we have written biographies of all the known soldiers of the Fifth Company! This is an important step towards the goal of the project: writing biographies of all the Marylanders who fought at the Battle of Brooklyn (900 men, in twelve companies). We first focused on the Fifth Company in 2014, beginning with this blog post.

The Fifth Company is one of several that has only partial enlistment records. The original muster roll from early 1776, as published in Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, includes only 36 men, while a full-strength company, like the Fifth was, had 74 officers and men. Of the names that are included, two were not even in the company when it traveled to New York: Walker Muse, listed as the company’s ensign, was made a third lieutenant and transferred to the Ninth Company, while Private John Marr was discharged on May 18, 1776.

Our research was able to uncover the names of 13 additional members of the Fifth Company (one of whom, Henry Williams, deserted as the soldiers marched into Philadelphia on July 31, 1776). These soldiers were identified from a range of sources. Some later applied for veteran’s pensions, and others were mentioned in the pension applications of the comrades. William Nevitt, captured at the Battle of Brooklyn, was identified through records of prisoners. Christian Castler’s enlistment came to light only because he was accused of shooting at one of his officers. Michael Nowland was recorded as being part of the company in a list of sick American soldiers in Philadelphia in December 1776. Two men, David McMechen and William Hammond are tentatively included in the company because they were witnesses of Edward Sinclair’s will, written in camp in October 1776. McMechen was later a part of the Whig Club, a militant revolutionary organization in Baltimore that included a number of other members of the Fifth Company. You can check out all of the biographies of the Fifth Company soldiers, and the rest of the First Maryland Regiment (182 and counting!) here.

We still have a long way to go before we are finished, of course. Our current round of funding from the Maryland Society of the Sons of the American Revolution will allow us to complete work on the Fourth Company, and hopefully a good amount beyond that.

If you would like to support the project, you may do so though a donation to the Friends of the Maryland State Archives. Please be sure to list Maryland 400 under “Additional Comments.” Thank you very much!

Many thanks to the SAR, as well as former Finding the Maryland 400 researcher Taira Sullivan, whose work on the Fifth Company was excellent.

Thank you also to all of our readers and supporters over the years. Your interest and support has helped us keep the project moving forward, and we look forward to bringing you even more new blog posts and biographies soon!

A “dull place” on the Patapsco: Baltimore and the Marr Brothers

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In 1776, Baltimore’s population was just over 6,000. This zoomed-in version of a map, courtesy of the Library of Congress, shows how Baltimore was portrayed in 1776.

In May 1776, the Revolution had been raging for almost a year with skirmishes between the British imperial army and the rag-tag revolutionaries. William Marr, probably with his brothers Nicholas and James, enlisted in the Continental Army in Capt. Nathaniel Ramsey’s Fifth Company, a section of the First Maryland Regiment, at Whetstone Point. [1] It was not uncommon for multiple men of the same immediate family to enlist in the Revolutionary War. Many company members were young and residents from the Baltimore area. The Fifth Company included the Marr brothers at Whetstone Point, fortified with 38 cannons and earthworks, two miles below Baltimore, to defend it from British attack. [2] They were joined by Daniel Bowie’s Fourth Company and Samuel Smith’s Eighth Company, as we have noted on this blog in the past. The Marr brothers and members of the three companies of the First Maryland Regiment would have seen a Baltimore that few of us can imagine today. This article is the beginning of a series about Baltimore.

In 1776, Baltimore was a small, pre-industrial town on the Patapsco River. It was officially called Baltimore Town until a city charter was received in 1797. [3] The Revolution caused difficulties by ending trade of exports such as wheat, flour, and tobacco with the British West Indies, but due to the war, Baltimore still grew economically and by population beyond 6,000 residents. [4] John Adams, in his stay in late 1776 and early 1777 as part of the Continental Congress, described the town as “very pretty” with revolutionary sentiments, but having dirty, mirey, and foul streets, a “monstrous price of things,” unhealthy air and a “dull place” not even worth defending from the British. [5] Still, Baltimore Town was a bustling and growing commercial port with a job market open to immigrants containing more than 500 dwellings. [6] 

Baltimore Town was not as big as Philadelphia, in terms of population. However, the seventy-four enlisted soldiers in the Fifth Company would have seen people of varying backgrounds. There were people from many trades ranging from blacksmiths, shipbuilders at Fells Point, cabinetmakers, bricklayers, shoemakers, among others. [7] Many of these local artisans supplied common amenities and engaged in craft services in Baltimore and neighboring counties, working in a town economy “dominated by commerce.” [8]

Many of these craftspeople relied on unpaid labor such as indentured servants, mostly comprised of male English convicts, thousands of whom were trafficked into the Chesapeake Bay from the early 1700s up until 1776. [9] However, convict trade was brought to a halt due to ending of trade between Britain and colonial America as a result of the beginning of the Revolution. The enlistment of servants to the Continental Army created a labor shortage addressed by an increase of slave importation by master craftspeople. [10] At the time, others entering Baltimore included those of a “middling sort,” German immigrants, and Irish immigrants. [11] In describing Baltimore, John Adams once said that there were a few planters and farmers, who were also merchants, with lands cultivated and trades exercised by convicts and enslaved Blacks. [12] He further described these planters and farmers as having “little public spirit” as they held their enslaved Blacks and convicts “in contempt” and thought of themselves “a distinct order of beings.” [13] It is possible Adams thought lowly of these planters and farmers because they were not contributing to the revolutionary cause as much as he wanted. Still, the attitudes and actions of the planters and farmers was not unique to Baltimore.

Throughout and after the war, Baltimore Town continued to expand. Evidence suggests the Marr brothers likely settled in the Baltimore area, among other surviving soldiers. Meanwhile, Baltimore Town continued to grow by population and export of commodities, such as wheat, although there were price increases, and became an important market. [14] Despite increases in trade and availability of agricultural products, many of the tradespeople could not afford to become property owners as the town was building its unique identity. [15] As 1800 approached and Baltimore developed into more of a maritime city, the town continued to change demographically. [16]

– Burkely Hermann, Maryland Society of the Sons of American Revolution Research Fellow, 2016

Notes

[1] National Archives, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1631, William Marr, Pension number W. 3838. courtesy of fold3.com; Order to give back pay of Nicholas Marr, William Marr’s brother, to Lewis Lee. MdHR 19970-05-01-07 [MSA S997-5-7, 1/7/3/11].

[2] Neal A. Brooks and Eric G. Rockel. A History of Baltimore County. Towson: Friends of the Towson Library, 1979. pp. 85, 101; Richard C. Medford. Book Review: ‘Mirror of Americans,’ Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. XXXIX, March 1949, no. 1. pp. 90; S. Synthes Bradford. ‘In Fort McHenry 1814: The outworks in 1814,’ Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. 52, no. 2, June 1959. pp. 188-189, 191; Christopher T. George. ‘Book Review of Fort McHenry,’ Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. 9, no. 6, 1996. pp. 224; Hamilton Owens. Baltimore on the Chesapeake. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1991. pp. 85. Years later, in 1814, Whetstone Point, like during the during the Revolution, then the site of Fort McHenry (‘Notes and queries: The President visits Maryland, 1817,’ Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. XLIX, June 1954, no. 2. pp. 168), held off the British destruction of the “”very pretty town.”

[3] Charles Francis Adams. Familiar Letters of John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams During the Revolution with a memoir of Mrs. Adams. New York: Hund and Houghton, 1876. pp. 296; Charles G. Steffen, The Mechanics of Baltimore: Workers and Politics in the Age of Revolution, 1763-1812. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1984. pp. 3; Kathryn Allamong Jacob. ‘The Women’s Lot in Baltimore Town: 1729-1797.’ Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. 71, no. 3, fall 1976. pp. 263.

[4] Edward J. Perkins. The Economy of Colonial America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988, 135; Steffen, The Mechanics of Baltimore, 4; Matson, Cathy. “The Atlantic Economy in an Era of Revolutions: An Introduction.” The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, 62, no. 3 (2005): 360; US Census. A Century of population growth from the first census to the twelfth. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909. pp. 30; Paul Kent Walker, ‘Business and commerce in Baltimore on the eve of independence,’ 296; Jacob Harry Hollander. The Financial History of Baltimore vol. 20. Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1899. pp. 17; Arthur M. Schlesinger. ‘Maryland’s share in the last intercontinental war.’ Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. VIII June 1912, no. 2. pp. 125; Sherry H. Olson. Baltimore: The Building of an American City. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. pp. 15; Henry C. Ward. The War for Independence and Transformation of American Society: War and Society in the United States, 1775-85. New York: Routledge, 1999. pp. 152.

[5] Owens, Baltimore on the Chesapeake, 110; Charles Francis Adams. The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States Vol. III. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851. pp. 25, 198; Tina M. Sheller. ‘Freeman, Servants, and Slaves: Artisans and the craft structure of Revolutionary Baltimore Town.’ American Artisans: Crafting Social Identity, 1750-1830 (ed. Howard C. Rock, Paul A. Gilje and Robert Asher). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995. pp. 26; Adams, Familiar Letters of John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams During the Revolution with a memoir of Mrs. Adams, 237; Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 18 February 1777Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society; Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 7 March 1777Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society; John Adams diary 28, 6 February – 21 November 1777Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society (entry for Feb. 9, 1777); Jacob, ‘The Women’s Lot in Baltimore Town: 1729-1797,’ 291.

[6] Lawrence C. Wroth, ‘A Maryland Merchant and his friends in 1750,’ Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. VI, Sept. 1911, no. 3. pp. 215, 219; Sheller, ‘Freeman, Servants, and Slaves,’ 18; George W. Howard. The Monumental City, Its Past History and Present Resources. Baltimore: J.D. Ehlers and Co., 1873. pp. 20.

[7] Daniels, Christine. “”WANTED: A Blacksmith Who Understands Plantation Work”: Artisans in Maryland, 1700-1810.” The William and Mary Quarterly 50, no. 4 (1993): 760-761, 766; Mariana L.R. Darlas. Black Townsmen: Urban Slavery and Freedom in the Eighteenth Century Americas. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008. pp. 90; Adams, Familiar Letters of John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams During the Revolution with a memoir of Mrs. Adams, 18; Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 10 February 1777Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society; Sheller, ‘Freeman, Servants, and Slaves: Artisans and the craft structure of Revolutionary Baltimore Town,’ 18, 25.

[8] Sheller, ‘Freeman, Servants, and Slaves: Artisans and the craft structure of Revolutionary Baltimore Town,’ 19-20.

[9] Daniels, ‘Artisans in Maryland, 1700-1810,’ 752; Morgan, Kenneth. “The Organization of the Convict Trade to Maryland: Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, 1768-1775.” The William and Mary Quarterly 42, no. 2 (1985): 203, 205, 211, 217; M. Darlas. Black Townsmen: Urban Slavery and Freedom in Eighteenth Century Americas. pp. 40-41.

[10] Morgan, “The Organization of the Convict Trade to Maryland: Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, 1768-1775,” 202, 222; Darlas, Black Townsmen, 75; Ward, The War for Independence and Transformation of American Society, 215; Sheller, ‘Freeman, Servants, and Slaves: Artisans and the craft structure of Revolutionary Baltimore Town,’ 27.

[11] Eugene Irving McCormac. White servitude in Maryland, 1634-1820. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1902. pp. 32; Middleton, Simon, and Smith Billy G. “Class and Early America: An Introduction.” The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, 63, no. 2 (2006): 219; Allan Kulikoff. Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1986. pp. 425; Olson, Baltimore, 15.

[12] John Adams diary 28, 6 February – 21 November 1777 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society (entry for Feb. 23, 1777).

[13] John Adams diary 28, 6 February – 21 November 1777 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society (entry for Feb. 28, 1777).

[14] Brooks and Rockel, A History of Baltimore County, 107; Hunter, Brooke. “Wheat, War, and the American Economy during the Age of Revolution.” The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, 62, no. 3 (2005): 510, 516, 522, 524; Cometti, Elizabeth. “Inflation in Revolutionary Maryland.” The William and Mary Quarterly 8, no. 2 (1951): 230; George W. Howard. The Monumental City, Its Past History and Present Resources. Baltimore: J.D. Ehlers and Co., 1873. pp. 25; Steffen, The Mechanics of Baltimore, 10-11; Olson, Baltimore, 10; Shammas, Carole. “The Space Problem in Early United States Cities.” The William and Mary Quarterly 57, no. 3 (2000): 505-506, 509.

[15] Steffen, Charles G. “Changes in the Organization of Artisan Production in Baltimore, 1790 to 1820.” The William and Mary Quarterly 36, no. 1 (1979): 103, 113.

[16] Mark N. Ozer. Baltimore: Persons and Places. Baltimore: Garden Publishing, 2013. pp. 37; Olson, Baltimore, 10.

A Young Soldier Prepares to Leave for War

“Ordered, That colonel Smallwood immediately proceed with his battalion to the city of Philadelphia, and put himself under the continental officer commanding there,” wrote the Convention of Maryland, the state’s Revolutionary legislature, on July 6, 1776. The men of the First Maryland Regiment were to depart three days later.

The Convention’s order came amid rapid and dramatic developments in Maryland. The province’s governor, Robert Eden, had left Annapolis just a days earlier. A few hours before it ordered the troops were ordered to march, the Convention formally declared independence from Great Britain, and a few days later, news arrived from Philadelphia that Congress had done the same.

As these events unfolded, a young corporal named Andrew Ferguson sat down on the very day his unit was ordered to deploy and, in neat and clear handwriting, wrote out his will:

“I, Andrew Ferguson, Corporal in Captain John Day Scott’s Company of the first Battalion of Maryland Troops, now stationed in the City of Annapolis, Being now in perfect Health, sound in Mind & Memory, and having the fear of god before my Eyes and not knowing how soon I may be call’d from this World, do I now make…this my last will and Testament…this sixth Day of July, one Thousand seven Hundred and Seventy Six”

Ferguson lived in Londontowne, a town just south of Annapolis. His father, a successful tailor and corset maker, had died in 1770, leaving Andrew and his six siblings in the care of their mother Elizabeth. Andrew made provisions in his will for the support of his mother and siblings, particularly his youngest sister Elizabeth, who was then only twelve years old.

Andrew Ferguson survived the Battle of Brooklyn unscathed: his company was spared the worst of the fighting, and lost only nine men. When his enlistment ended in December, after six months grueling combat and marching, he returned home to his family in Londontowne.  Sadly, while Andrew Ferguson survived his military service, he died in 1778, just a year and a half later.

Many readers will recall that we have featured several other wills by soldiers in the First Maryland Regiment. You can see a compilation here.

-Owen

Many thanks to Kyle Dalton at Historic London Town for first telling us about Ferguson’s will.

“He had never gave them an inch before he found that he had nothing left to keep them off with”

In late August 1777, the American Army planned a raid on Staten Island. Intelligence available to the Americans suggested that the British forces there were primarily American Loyalist militia rather than British regular troops. Furthermore, the inexperienced Tories were stealing food and supplies from the local residents. A raid presented the opportunity to generate local goodwill as well as disrupt British raiding along the New Jersey coast.

About one thousand men partook in the raid, which began well. Surprised Loyalists fled the advancing Americans, who helped themselves to the arms and equipment left behind. The day was full of surprises as the Americans soon ran into a regiment of British Regulars, who quickly retreated to their fortifications. Thinking they had won the day, the American raiders turned to raiding, ceasing to be an effective fighting force. Meanwhile the British regulars had regrouped and went on the offensive, causing a general American rout.

Staten Island fort LOC

Plan of the redoubts at Richmond on Staten Island later in the war. Click image to view full size. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Major John Steward, a veteran of the Battle of Brooklyn led the rear guard, and rallied his men to buy time for the Americans to escape. A Marylander by the name of Captain William Wilmot described the scene in a letter:

thay came down on us with about 1000 of their herows, and attacked us with about 500 of their new troopes and hesions [Hessians] expecting I believe that thay should not receive one fire from us but to their grate surprise thay received many as we had to spair and had we had as many more thay should have been welcome to them, thay maid two or three attempts to rush on us, but we kept up such a blaze on them, that thay were repulsed every time, and not withstanding we was shure that we must very soon fall into their handes.

With the rear guard, numbering about 150 men, delaying the British, the bulk of the American force managed to escape. Wilmot continues:

When we see them running back from our fire there was such a houraw or hussaw from the one end of our little line to the other that thay could hear us quight across the river, but what grieved me after seeing that it was not the lot of many of us to fall and our ammunition being expended, that such brave men were obliged to surrender them selves Prisioners to a dasterley, new band of Murderrers, natives of the land [Loyalists], when our ammunition was all spent Major Sturd [Steward] took a whight hankerchief and stuck it on the point of his Sword, and then ordered the men to retreet whilste he went over to their [the British] ground, and surrendered, for he had never gave them an inch before he found that he had nothing left to keep them of[f] with.

Steward and the other captured Americans were put on the British prison barges and ships in New York Harbor. Such ships were notorious for their wretched conditions. An account from a Connecticut soldier turned prisoner Robert Shefield gives detail to the horror:

The heat was so intense that (the hot sun shining all day on deck) they were all naked, which also served the well to get rid of vermin, but the sick were eaten up alive. Their sickly countenances, and ghastly looks were truly horrible; some swearing and blaspheming; others crying, praying, and wringing their hands; and stalking about like ghosts; others delirious, raving and storming,—all panting for breath; some dead, and corrupting. The air was so foul that at times a lamp could not be kept burning, by reason of which the bodies were not missed until they had been dead ten days.

Steward would not endure the horror for long. Purportedly by bribing a British officer, the major managed to escape his prison ship, fled to New Jersey and was back with the Continental Army by the end of October.

Click here to read Stewards full biography, and here for an incident involving Steward when he was a Lieutenant.

Nick Couto

Sources:

“General Sullivan’s Descent Upon The British On Staten Island—The Escape Of William Wilmot.” Maryland Historical Magazine, 6, no.2 (June 1911) p. 141-142; Some spelling modified for readability.

Patrick O’Donnell, Washington’s Immortals, The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2016), 137-140;

Charles Royster, A Revolutionary People at War (Chapel Hill, N.C: University of North Carolina Press, 1979), 95.

Danske Dandridge, American Prisoners of the Revolution, ch.14 (1910) Project Gutenberg

Col. Gaither: Seven years on Georgia’s frontier

Map, courtesy of the Library of Congress, that shows Georgia's frontier in 1795.

Map, courtesy of the Library of Congress, that shows Georgia’s frontier in 1795.

A new biography expands on previous writing on this blog about Henry Chew Gaither, a Revolutionary War captain of the First and Fourth Maryland Regiments. On the eve of the Battle of Brooklyn, he served as a witness for Daniel Bowie’s will. Unlike most Revolutionary War veterans, Gaither remained in the military after the war, serving two years in Ohio [2], seven years on the Georgian frontier, and two years in the Mississippi Territory as a U.S. Army officer. [3] In August 1792, Gaither, 41 years old at the time, received nine pages of instructions for his service in Georgia from Secretary of War Henry Knox, telling him to obtain a “healthy” place for his troops, be cordial to the Spanish and Georgian governments, and avoid a “heated” incident with their governments. [4]

Gaither was involved in many incidents in Georgian frontier [5] which involved the inhabitants of Georgia, the Creek Nation (Muskogee), and other indigenous nations. The Creek were divided into the Lower Creek, who intermarried with Whites, and the Upper Creek who were traditional and “less effected by European influences.” In one such incident, in the first months of 1793, inhabitants of Georgia’s upper frontier drove cattle to the fork of the Tallahatchie River. [6] Interpreter Timothy Bernard, a US Army major and the son of Timopochee Barnard, the chief of the Creek Nation, wrote Gaither, worrying that since the cattle would likely be driven away and killed by local indigenous people, including the Creek, bloodshed would result if the cattle were not withdrawn. [6] Despite this warning, Georgians continued to move cattle near the Tallahatchie River’s forks and the King of the Cussetah, part of the Creek Confederacy, blamed the Coweta, also part of the Confederacy, for stealing horses of Georgian inhabitants. [7]

In April and May 1793, Gaither relayed reports to Knox of the robbery and murder of two Whites on the St. Mary’s River and that James Seagrove, the Agent/Ambassador to the Creek Nation demanded retribution from the Creek Nation. [8] Hoboithle Micco, the Halfway House King, of the Upper Creek, and his loyal warriors responded to Seagrove’s demand for the supposed Creek perpetrators to turn themselves over to the appropriate authorities with a call to kill Whites, resulting in Gaither telling Georgia militia officers to stand guard. [9] Despite this call from the Upper Creek, Bird King, a chief of the Creek Nation, told Gaither that the “bad” town of Halfway House King caused trouble and that the Creeks did not want war. [10] Bernard confirmed this to Gaither, saying that three-quarters of the Creek Nation favored peace but he feared that some White men would not discriminate between innocent and guilty Creek people in an attempt to enact retribution. [11] While it seemed, at the time, that blood spilled across the frontier meant a “general war with the Creek and Cherokee Indians,” Gaither was still told by Knox to take efforts to “calm every attempt to raise a storm.” [12] Ultimately a war didn’t break out, and a treaty was signed three years later, in 1796, between the Creek Nation and the United States, with Gaither as a witness.

In mid-1794, Major General Elijah Clarke tried to launch an expedition to invade Spanish territory in Louisiana. [13] Letters show that Gaither, then established as lieutenant colonel commandant, was notified of this by Knox who told him to work with Georgia Governor George Matthews to suppress this “illegal combination of men.” Later, Clarke was apprehended after he refused to move his soldiers from the banks of the Oconee River, apparently in preparation for his expedition. [14] This incident was serious enough to merit concern from Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton and have it addressed publicly by President George Washington. In May, Washington told members of the House and Senate about “certain hostile threats against territories of Spain in our neighborhood” and that the expedition, “projected against the Spanish dominions,” was relinquished. If Clarke’s expedition had succeeded, it is possible that Spain may have not signed Pinckney’s Treaty the following year which dropped duties on “American trade passing through New Orleans” and voided “Spanish guarantees of military support…to Native Americans in the disputed region.” This treaty ended the supposed instigation of indigenous nations such as the Cherokee by “Spanish agents” in earlier years and served as a motivation for White settlers to continue their expansion westward. [15]

Our story ends by tying together loose ends. In 1800, Gaither was ordered to replace Senior Army Officer James Wilkinson at Fort Adams, on the Mississippi River, where Gaither served as a witness to a Treaty with the Choctaw in 1801 and gave a valedictory address to soldiers at the Fort the same year, until 1802, when he was honorably discharged. [16] In 1811, Gaither died at the age of 61, dying on a plantation in present-day Washington, D.C. owning a few enslaved Blacks, and a funeral procession in Washington, D.C. which had much fanfare. [17] As for the indigenous nations, they didn’t fare as well. The Creek were defeated at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814 by Andrew Jackson, forcing them to acquiesce much of their land, and were forcibly removed in the brutal ‘Trail of Tears,’ along with other indigenous peoples. In the end, it is clear that Gaither was part of a history of indigenous people in North America and a post-revolutionary early republic.

Burkely Hermann, Maryland Society of the Sons of American Revolution Research Fellow, 2016.


Notes

[1] Specifically, the locations on this map show where Gaither was stationed or are mentioned in the 76 letters I looked at, some of which are highlighted in this post.

[2] The National Archives. M233. Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914. NARA Record Group 94 National Archives Catalog ID: NARA M233. Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914. Roll: MIUSA1798_102864. Roll Number: 5. Fold 3. In his two years in Ohio, he served in one of the final phases of Little Turtle’s War (1785-1795), included participating in the disastrous “St. Clair’s Defeat” in November 1791 in which an army led by Arthur St. Clair, assisted by the Choctaw and Chickasaw, was defeated by the British-allied Western Confederacy, later memorized in a ballad of the same name.

[3] June 7, 1792, The Federal Gazette and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, page 2; “To George Washington from Henry Knox, 24 September 1791,” Founders Online, National Archives.

[4] “Orders for Deployment to Georgia,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 11 August 1792, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[5]  It is worth remembering that the State of Georgia originally “claimed its western boundary extended to the Mississippi River” which includes the upper parts of the present-day states of Mississippi and Alabama.

[6] “A warning about the effect of white settler encroachments on Indian land,” Timothy Bernard and Henry Gaither, 18 February 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[7] “Letter from Timothy Barnard [Bernard] to Major Henry Gaither regarding translator Mr George Cornells, son of Joseph Cornells,” Timothy Bernard and Henry Gaither, 4 March 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Letters that appear in searches for the terms Buzzard’s Roast, Tullapatchee River and Tallahatchee River reveal what happened next.

[8] This action by Seagrove divided the Creek Nation. “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox regarding murder and robbery at Traders Hill on St Marys,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 7 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox on the robbery and murder at Traders Hill St Marys,” 17 April 1793,  Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[9] “To George Washington from Henry Knox, 18 April 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives; “His Warriors are Determined to Spill Human Blood,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 19 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox on the robbery and murder at Traders Hill St Marys,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 19 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; According to pages 90, 158, 215-216 of Andrew K. Frank’s Peculiar breed of whites“: race, culture, and identity in the Creek Confederacy, Micco was originally a mixed individual and pioneer named James McQueen who later changed his name after integrating himself enough with the Creek.

[10] “Letter from Bird King Cussetas King to Major Gaither on trouble caused by Halfway King,” Bird King to Henry Gaither, 13 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Also referred to as Bird Tail King.

[11] “Letter from Timothy Barnard [Bernard] to Major Henry Gaither regarding meeting with Cussetahs, scalpings, robbery and murder at Robert Seagrove’s store Traders Hill on St Mary’s River, Spaniard Dons,” Timothy Bernard to Henry Gaither, 8 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Timothy Bernard to Major Gaither regarding Major James Seagrove’s demands in aftemath of violations,” Timothy Bernard to Henry Gaither, 20 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[12] U.S. Senate. Report by Mr. Elliott to the Military Committee. 17th Cong., 1st Sess. (S.Doc.64). Washington: Gales & Seaton, April 15, 1822. pp. 3. (Serial Set 60); “Conducting the Security of the Frontier in Georgia,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 29 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox on Indian theft and murder,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 6 May 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. John Elliott was a U.S. Senator representing Georgia at the time.

[13] Correspondence of Clark and Genet: Selections from the Draper Collection in the Possession of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin to Elucidate the Proposed French Expedition Under George Rogers Clark Against Louisiana, in the Years 1793-94. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897, 936-943; “To George Washington from Henry Knox, 14 May 1794,” Founders Online, National Archives; “Extract of a letter from the Secretary of War, to Lieut. Col. Gaither, dated 14th May, 1794,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 14 May 1794, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Suppressing the Illegal Combination of Men,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 14 May 1794,  Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[14] “From Alexander Hamilton to George Mathews, 25 September 1794,” Founders Online, National Archives.

[15] Report by Mr. Elliott to the Military Committee, 2.

[16] The Territorial papers of the United States: The Territory of Mississippi 1798-1817 (vol. 5, ed. Clarence Edwin Carter). Washington, DC: GPO, 1937. 124-5.; “To Alexander Hamilton from James Wilkinson, 25 February 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives; “To Alexander Hamilton from James Wilkinson, 7 March 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives.

[17] Assessments of 1793, 1795, 1796 and 1797, Montgomery County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessment Record, MdHR 20015-1-1, p. 115-116, 159, 228, 256, 268 (MSA C1110-1, 1/18/14/17); Assessments of 1813 and 1816, Montgomery County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessment Record, MdHR 20015-3-1, p. 53, 99, 130 (MSA C1110-3, 1/18/14/19); Assessments of 1798, 1801, 1802, 1804, 1811, Montgomery County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessment Record, MdHR 20015-2-1, p. 94, 33, 138, 146, 151, 163, 205, 265, 406, 424 (MSA C1110-2, 1/18/14/18); General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Records, 1783, 3-4, 18 (MSA S1161-78, 1/4/5/51).

A Common Soldier’s Inventory, and His Career

We recently posted about the extensive probate inventory of Henry Neale’s personal property, and how, running seven pages long, it can tell us a lot about its subject. Today, we have an inventory from another veteran of the First Maryland Regiment that is much smaller, but even more helpful.

Peter Burk enlisted in the Fourth Company in January 1776 as a private. His company took the highest casualties at the Battle of Brooklyn, losing 80 percent killed or captured. Burk wasn’t killed, but it is not known if he was taken prisoner. He eventually became a corporal and served until 1780. After the war, he disappeared from records until 1810, when the census shows him living in Havre de Grace, Harford County, Maryland. He died nine years later, apparently with no next of kin.

inventory

Peter Burk’s inventory, 1820.
Click to view full document.

At the end of his life, Peter Burk had $10.00 in cash, and about $8.00 worth of personal property, including several sets of clothing, a hat and a pair of “speeks,” or spectacles. More tellingly, he also owned “5 pair of old loom gears” and “1 shuttle,” revealing that he had been a weaver.

Burk was also owed nearly $100 by various individuals. While it was common for the rich to serve as creditors, it is unusual to see someone like Burk, a much less wealthy man, doing so. Some of the debts were in the form of promissory notes, but others were due to Burk “on account.” These debts were, almost certainly, owed by people who had bought cloth that Burk had woven.

For all of its rich details, Henry Neale’s inventory can only confirm what we largely already knew: that he was a very wealthy man, and owned the goods that accompanied and defined that life. Without Peter Burk’s inventory, on the other hand, we would know almost nothing of his life after he left the army in 1780, nearly 40 years before his death. We are fortunate indeed that it was recorded, and that it survives today.

You can read Burk’s full bio here.

Owen

“All and singular the goods, chattels and personal estate of col. Henry Neale”

Henry Neale, lieutenant during the Battle of Brooklyn and lieutenant Colonel of the Forty Fifth Regiment of the Maryland militia, died in late 1815. When someone died an inventory of the deceased’s personal property was made for government records, a practice which continues today. These documents only cover personal property and do not include land. Neale’s inventory was conducted on January 30, 1816. As Henry Neale did not have a Will, this inventory is the best record of his property. All of the items listed likely want to his wife Elenor, who is listed as the executrix to Neale’s Estate.

Inventory of Henry Neale, 1816
Click to view full document

The time when Neale died was a transitional period for Maryland’s monetary policy. Maryland at the time was transitioning from Maryland pounds to American dollars, with inventories being appraised in either currency. Neale’s was appraised in dollars, but it can be noted that the inventory before his, a list of debts owed to a Richard Clarke Williams dated July 20, 1815, was appraised in Maryland pounds (the rate of conversion at the time was 2.66 Maryland pounds for every dollar).What was listed first was often considered the most important property: slaves. At the time of his death Neale owned forty two slaves, about the average of someone of his social status. Neale was a political leader and office holder in the local court and Maryland House of Delegates as a Federalist. He owned about 700 acres around the time of his death and considerably more at the turn of the nineteenth century, when he was considered the eleventh wealthiest man in Saint Mary’s County. The slaves’ ages and worth are listed, as well as notes for specific slaves listing occupations and if they were infirm. All together the slaves make up about eighty percent of the worth of Henry Neale’s estate.

A lot of information can be learned from an inventory. Certain items can give much insight into people’s lives. For example, one item in the inventory is listed as “1 large print [of] Arch Bishop Carroll.” Because he owed a large print of John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore and the first Archbishop in the United States, this we can infer that Henry Neale was Catholic. Another example is education. Neale owned a collection of books, including Virgil, History of the Greeks, Laws of the United States, and five volumes of Life of Washington (likely written by Chief Justice John Marshall), as well as a dictionary and some obsolete law books. These books show off knowledge of law and Greco-Roman classics normally only available to the well off.

While the inventory does not have a description of his house, we can infer that it was rather large, as nine beds are listed and are even individually numbered. He also owned a coach, which few people owned and was quite a status symbol at the time. It is the single most valuable non slave item on the list. Other symbols of status include one hundred ounces of silver plate (silverware) valued “@ $1” (yes, the ‘@’ symbol is that old) and 1800 pounds of bacon.

A final indication of Neale’s financial standing is a comparison to the inventory that follows his in the record, of Jane Lee of Saint Mary’s County, dated five months later. Lee owned 10 slaves, two beds and a work horse, as well as a variety of other items valued under thirty dollars individually, making Lee rather well off. Lee’s inventory in total value adds up to $2,532.45, which comes out to about 24% of the value of Neale’s inventory, with a worth of $10,565.72.

You can read Henry Neale’s full biography here.

-Nick Couto

Sources

Inventory of Henry Neale, 1816, Saint Mary’s County Register of Wills, Inventories,1814-1818, p. 371-380, MdHR 9946-1 [MSA C1611-6; 1/60/11/10]

Saint Mary’s County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessors Returns, 1813, Third Election District, p. 10, MdHR 20389-11/12 [MSA C1530-10, 1/60/10/27]

Steven Sarson, “Landlessness and Tenancy in Early National Prince George’s County, Maryland,” The William and Mary Quarterly (2000): 569-598.

Whitman H. Ridgway, Community Leadership in Maryland, 1790-1840: A Comparative Analysis of Power in Society. (Chapel Hill, N.C, 1979) 23

Nick’s Introduction

Dear Readers,

My name is Nicholas Couto and I am a rising junior at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland majoring in History.

As a native of Massachusetts, I grew up surrounded by the American Revolution, and it always found its way into the history curriculum every year from Kindergarten to my senior year of High School. After many years of studying the Revolution at various levels, there is always more to learn, and I am looking forward to learning new and exiting things about the non-New England aspect of the Revolution. Throughout all of those years of study documents were pictures and words on textbook pages, images on the Internet or if I was lucky, behind thick museum glass.

This summer I have the opportunity to not only research the lives of the Maryland 400, I will have the ability to hold original documents from the period in my own hands, including documents once held by the very same men about whom we are researching. It is an honor to walk in the footsteps of previous Washington College students that worked on this project and continue their legacy.

I would like to thank the Comegys Bight Internship program and the Starr Center for the American Experience for making this internship experience possible.

-Nicholas Couto

P.S I will also be updating the the Starr Center Facebook page during my time here with my experiences. Feel free to check out my posts and the posts of all the other interns and our exciting adventures!

Col. Barton Lucas: more than a military man

zoomedinmap

A zoomed version of a 1754 map by Emanuel Bowen apparently showing English Plantations

In the past, we have written about Col. Barton Lucas, captain of the Third Company. Previous posts have focused on records kept by Lucas’s clerk about the clothing worn by members of the Maryland 400 and mentioned in passing that he was sick and missed the Battle of Brooklyn. We also recalled how John Hughes, a private in Lucas’s company, mentioned how the Battle of Brooklyn made Capt. Barton Lucas “deranged in consequence of losing his company” and about his other military duties in the rest of the war including his service as a militia captain. Rather than just reciting the recently expanded biography of Lucas, this post focuses on a number of aspects of Lucas’s life including his family relations and life as a slaveowner with a plantation.

According to some sources, Barton Lucas was born in Prince George’s County in 1730. Thomas Lucas was his father and Anne Keene his mother, and Barton had four other siblings named Basil, Sarah, Margaret, and Thomas. [1] In 1756, Lucas’s father died, willing his half of his 112-acre-plantation on land called “Hopeyard” or “Hope yard,” sitting on the Potomac River, to Lucas and the other half to his brother, Basil. [2] Six years later, in 1762, Lucas married Priscilla Sprigg, the daughter of Osborn Sprigg, a prominent Maryland legislator, whose last name changed to Lucas after their marriage. Prisey, his “beloved wife” was born in 1735 and, like Lucas, had four siblings named Lucy, Esther, Rachel, and Eliza. [3] In the 1750s and 1760s, Barton cemented himself as a well-off plantation owner and slaveowner like his father, buying and selling enslaved blacks for his farming plantation. [4]

When he inherited the land from his father, plantations were transitioning. During the 1740s Maryland slavery began to change with enslaved blacks developing immunity to diseases in the Americas and planters, seeing the advantage of a domestic, self-reproducing labor force, imported men and women so that ratio of enslaved men and women balanced out and they, as a result, relied less on the transatlantic slave trade. On Maryland plantations, this change definitely had an impact. [5]

In the years after the Revolutionary War, a time when Lucas returned as the overseer of his plantation, many planters shifted from tobacco to a mix of corn, wheat, hay, and livestock raising, among other products, with important markets of urban populations in Maryland cities and towns. [6] The list of his possessions, which showed that he possessed plantation tools, tanned leather, and sizable amount of wool, along with numerous farm animals and six enslaved blacks, could indicate that the plant sheered sheep, slaughtered and skinned cows for their leather, which could be used for leather shoes or belts, and killed pigs for their own consumption and sold to broader markets. [7] During the Revolutionary War, the previous trade exchange between Britain and the 13 colonies was disrupted, but commodities such as bread, flour, wheat and tobacco were sent to parts of the world, such as the West Indies, while vital supplies sent back to sustain the war effort. [8] In addition, livestock, in Charles County for example, had to be pastured and fed, beef and pork salted, and wheat grown to feed the Continental Army and other military forces despite a “war ravaged economy.” [9]

Lucas’s plantation falls into an existing historical context. Based on the list of his possessions after his death, which includes tablecloths, napkins, walnut chairs and tables, wine glasses, tea kettles, and pots, it is clear that he, a well-off planter, was part of a broader trend of eighteenth century Maryland plantations, in the pseudo-classic Georgian style, which came with “tea, china, and good manners.” [10]

When Lucas died in either 1784 or 1785, in Prince George’s County, with six enslaved blacks held collectively by his wife and himself, and much of his property value consisted of enslaved blacks. [11] Lucas’s brother-in-law, Osborn Sprigg Jr., who was a prominent figure in the revolutionary period, became executor of the estate because Priscilla Lucas died. [12] Lucas’s plantation stayed in the family with Sprigg sold the land in 1786 by a member of the Lucas family. [13]

Burkely Hermann, Maryland Society of the Sons of American Revolution Research Fellow, 2016.


Notes

[1] Will of Thomas Lucas, 1765, Prerogative Court, Wills, Liber BT2, pp. 114, MdHR 1308-1. [MSA S538-44, 1/11/01/038].

[2] Ibid. The will of a well-off planter, a “John Smith,” who was “sick and weak in body,” wills all sorts of land to his descendants and 150 acres of a land called “Hopeyard” to “Thomas Lucas son of Thomas Lucas and to his heirs forever” (Will of John Smith, Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Liber 1, p. 31-2, MdHR 9724-1 [MSA C1326-1, 1/25/07/002]; Inventory of John Smith, Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Liber BB 1, p. 31-2, MdHR 9792 [MSA C1228-1, 1/25/08/038]

[3] Edward C. Papenfuse, Alan F. Day, David W. Jordan, and Gregory A. Stiverson. “Sprigg, Osborn.” A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789. Vol. 2: I-Z (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1985), 763; Effie G. Bowie, Across the Years in Prince George’s County: Genealogical and Biographical History of Some Prince George’s County, Maryland and Allied Families (Richmond: Garrett and Massie, Inc., 1947), 595; “Sprigg Family,” Maryland Historical Magazine. 8 (1913): 80; Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1765, Liber TT, p. 0338-9 [MSA CE65-19]; Special Collections, Legislative History Project Collection, Osborn Sprigg (ca. 1741-1815) [MSA SC 1138-001-1160/1177, 2/11/12/72].

[4] Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1775, Liber CC 2, p. 0135 [MSA CE 65-23]. Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1759, Liber PP, p. 0093, 0144, 0321-2 [MSA CE65-17]. Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1772, Liber BB 3, p. 0068, 0085 [MSA CE65-22]. Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1765, Liber TT, p. 0338-9 [MSA CE65-19]; Will of Thomas Lucas, 1765, Prerogative Court, Wills, Liber BT2, pp. 114, MdHR 1308-1 [MSA S538-44, 1/11/01/038]; Inventories of Precilla Lucas and Col. Barton Lucas, Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Inventories, Liber ST, pp. 337-40, MdHR 9799 [MSA C1228-9, 1/25/09/001].The slaveowning was basically a family affair as shown in the will of his father, Thomas Lucas, which gives his sons (Basil and Thomas) and daughters (Margaret and Sarah) a number of slaves named Amy, Hamilton, and James.

[5] Also see this report titled “Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War.” It is worth also noting the existence of Sotterley Plantation in Southern Maryland as well.

[6] Such Maryland towns included Baltimore, Fredericksburg, Frederick, and a number of towns in Virginia (Richmond, Norfolk, Alexandria, and Lynchburg). Lorena Walsh. “Slave Life, Society, and Tobacco Production in the Tidewater Chesapeake.” Cultivation and Culture: Labor and the Shaping of Slave Life in the Americas (ed. Ira Berlin and Philip D. Morgan). London: University Press of Virginia, 1993, 191.

[7] As Jean B. Lee notes on page 173 of The Price of Nationhood, during the Revolutionary War, cowhide was used in shoes.

[8] Ernest M. Eller. “Chesapeake in the American Revolution.” Chesapeake Bay in the American Revolution (ed. Ernest M. Eller. Centreville, MD: Tidewater Publishers, 1981), 5. Myron J. Smith and John G. Earle. “Maryland State Navy.” Chesapeake Bay in the American Revolution (ed. Ernest M. Eller. Centreville, MD: Tidewater Publishers, 1981), 212, 215, 219.

[9] Jean B. Lee, The Price of Nationhood: The American Revolution in Charles County (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994), 176-8. 180.

[10] Other possessions include “iron dogs” for holding firewood and feather beds, as noted in his will (Inventory of Col. Barton Lucas, Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Inventories, Liber ST, pp. 338-40, MdHR 9799 [MSA C1228-9, 1/25/09/001]). In Prince George’s County, numerous plantation houses were constructed mostly in Georgian style and had a style of “strict symmetry” as noted by the Prince George’s County Planning Department report. Also see this set of reports by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

[11] Will of Barton Lucas, 1784, Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Wills, Liber T1, p. 216, MdHR 9725-1 [MSA C1326-3, 1/25/07/004]; Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1759, Liber PP, p. 0093, 0144, 0321-2 [MSA CE65-17]; Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1775, Liber CC 2, p. 0135 [MSA CE65-23]; Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1772, Liber BB 3, p. 0068, 0085 [MSA CE65-22]; Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1765, Liber TT, p. 0338-9 [MSA CE65-19]; Will of Barton Lucas, Prince George’s County, Register of Wills, Administration Bonds, October 1785, MdHR 9791 [MSA C1146-4, 1/25/08/003]; Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Administration Accounts, 1791, Liber ST 1, p. 376, MdHR 9805 [MSA C1144-4, 1/25/10/015]; Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Administration Accounts, Liber ST 2, p. 6, MdHR 18865 [MSA C1144-6, 1/25/10/017]; Inventories of Precilla Lucas and Col. Barton Lucas, Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Inventories, Liber ST, pp. 337-40, MdHR 9799 [MSA C1228-9, 1/25/09/001]; Will of Thomas Lucas, 1765, Prerogative Court, Wills, Liber BT2, p. 114, MdHR 1308-1. [MSA S538-44, 1/11/01/038]. In his final will, Lucas gave real and personal estate to his wife Prisey for “many considerations” and said that his estate would be administered by her.

[12] Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Administration Accounts, Liber ST 2, p. 6, MdHR 18865 [MSA C1144-6, 1/25/10/017]; Edward C. Papenfuse, Alan F. Day, David W. Jordan, and Gregory A. Stiverson. “Sprigg, Osborn.” A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789. Vol. 2: I-Z (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1985), 764. The administrative account only says that Osborn Sprigg is an executor and accountant for the estate, not if he inherited the land.

[13] Will of Osborn Sprigg, 1815, Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Estate Papers [C2119-81, 00/50/07/040]; Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, Liber HH, p. 0058-9 [MSA CE65-26]. His 1815 will, which says Sprigg passed down tracts of land to family members, may mention Hopeyard.