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.

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The Maryland 400’s Veterans

The mission of Finding the Maryland 400 is to pay tribute to Maryland’s Revolutionary War veterans. Today, however, we want to focus on the members of the First Maryland Regiment who were already veterans before the unit’s first battle in Brooklyn in August 1776.

Almost none of the soldiers of the Maryland 400 had any military experience. Indeed, that’s part of what make their heroism at the Battle of Brooklyn so remarkable: only four men had ever been in battle before, and none of them was even present during the fighting.

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Ware and Captain Barton Lucas had both fought in the French and Indian War, taking part in an unsuccessful British attempt to capture Fort Duquesne (now Pittsburgh, PA) in 1758, where Lucas was wounded. Neither Ware nor Lucas was on the field during the Battle of Brooklyn, however. Lucas was too sick to fight, as many Americans were. Ware, along with the Marylanders’ commander Colonel William Smallwood, was required by George Washington to take part in the court martial of Herman Zedwitz, a German officer in the Continental Army, accused of trying to sell American secrets to the British. Washington refused to allow Ware, Smallwood, and the other officers on the military jury travel with their units to Brooklyn to face the British.

Major Thomas Price and Private Nathan Peak had both been part of the rifle companies that Maryland sent to Boston in the summer of 1775, the first Continental Army soldiers from Maryland. In 1775 and early 1776, these soldiers took part in the siege of Boston that drove the British out of that city in March 1776. But Price was still in Maryland, and Peak was probably absent from the battle as well; when he applied for a Federal veteran’s pension, he crossed out the Battle of Long Island [Brooklyn] from the list of places at which he fought.

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Peak “was in the battles of Long Island, White Plains, at Trenton, at Princeton…”

The Marylanders ultimately made up for their lack of experience, becoming one of the most effective parts of the Continental Army. A large part of what made them such a formidable and dependable group during the course of the war was their strong veteran core, especially their sergeants and corporals. Large numbers of the men who survived Brooklyn reenlisted at the end of 1776, serving until at least 1780. Some like, Peak, Edward Cosgrove, and Peter Smith, served well beyond then, not receiving their final discharge until 1783. Throughout the Revolutionary War, these Maryland soldiers were George Washington’s “Old Line.”

–Owen

A “little groggy”: the deputy sheriff of Baltimore and his “bowl of toddy”

Photographs of a hot toddy

Photograph of two hot toddy drinks

On December 21, 1776, Sergeant John Hardman of the Edward Veazey‘s Seventh Independent Company arrived at a public prison in Baltimore Town with captured British soldiers. [1] He was there escorting the British prisoners from Philadelphia. That night, Hardman ordered a “bowl of toddy” for the prisoners. Toddy, a popular drink originally adopted by the British, consisted of rum, hot water, and sugar.

Two other men, Daniel Curtis, the Baltimore County Sheriff, and John Ross, his deputy, asked for a “bowl of liquor.” [2] Ross, also a keeper of the town’s poor house, engaged in a friendly conversation with the prisoners, amongst whom Hardman was sitting. [3]

What happened next made people uneasy. Ross lifted the bowl of toddy, meant for the prisoners. He offered a toast, drinking to “damnation to General Washington & his army” and success “to Lord Howe & his army,” as well as to Lord Dunmore. [4] It was not unusual that he made a toast. [5] However, guards, likely Continental soldiers, saw his loyalty as antagonistic to the revolutionary cause. Since the Stamp Act in 1765, British royalty were praised less than the American colonists in toasts. This was magnified after independence.

Ross’s toast was particularly inflammatory in Baltimore. In 1775, Dunmore, then Governor of Virginia, declared that enslaved blacks and indentured servants who joined British ranks would become free. While few servants and enslaved blacks responded to his proclamation, the order echoed through the Chesapeake Bay as Dunmore formed the “Ethiopian Regiment.” [6] When Ross toasted to Dunmore, the prison guards were sure he was a sympathizer of the British Crown.

By the second toast, Ross, appearing a “little groggy,” asked the prisoners to drink “the same toast.” [7] The prisoners refused and Ross became belligerent. He drank the toddy, declaring that “they should not drink his toddy,” and that the prisoners should get a bowl for themselves. Then, appearing to “be a little in liquor,” he changed his allegiance. Ross “drank damnation to General or Lord Howe.” [8] Afterward, Hardman “challenged the said Ross,” saying he “would mark him” down for his disturbing conduct. Later, Hardman asked several people about Ross’s identity. [9]

James Calhoun, Chairman of the Committee of Observation for Baltimore Town, a provisional government in Baltimore, compiled depositions about the event in January 1777. [10] Ross was told to attend the next meeting of Maryland Council of Safety. On January 27, Ross appeared before the Council to directly address Hardman’s complaint, but Hardman was not present. [11] This was likely because he had enlisted in the Second Maryland Regiment and was not in the state at the time. The Council told Ross to appear before the Maryland General Assembly the following month on February 10. The resolution of this incident is not known. [12]

Drunken outbursts were common during colonial times. In 1770, every American over age 15, drank an average of about six shot glasses of whiskey, which is about 40 percent alcohol, every day! [13] With drinking alcohol as an important past time, it was viewed as pleasant and useful by fellow colonists. While public drunkenness was illegal, drinking played a central role in social activities, with taverns and public houses serving as places to drink and forums for revolutionary ideas. [14]

The Revolutionary War also changed Americans’ drinking habits. Americans settled on whiskey as a substitute for molasses and rum which were limited by the British naval blockade. [15] During the war, troops of the British and Continental armies were issued rations for alcohol but both armies prohibited drunkenness. [16] After the war, alcohol consumption declined slightly, but increased after 1790. [17] The spike in alcohol consumption ended with the success of the temperance movement in the nineteenth century, with more Americans criticizing alcohol use. [18]

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

Notes

[1] Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 4748; Deposition about the statements of John Ross, Sub-Sheriff in Baltimore, December 23, 1776, Maryland State Papers, Red Books, Red Book 13, MdHR 4575-179 [MSA S989-19, 1/6/4/7]; Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1766-1768, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 61, 14, 8687, 185299, 308310, 361368, 387, 389390393442, 520; Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1769-1770, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 62, 126; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 7172; Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1771 to June-July, 1773, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 63, 37282; Correspondence of Governor Sharpe, 1757-1761, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 9, 421; Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, October 1773 to April 1774, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 64, 199, 337; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 374. The British soldiers, recruited in North Carolina, may have been captured at the Battle of White Plains. Hardman was under the command of Levin Winder, who had recently been appointed as a captain.

[2] Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 47. When Hardman describes Ross as a “sub-sheriff” this means that Ross is an assistant or deputy sheriff.

[3] Deposition about the statements of John Ross, Sub-Sheriff in Baltimore; Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1769-1770, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 62, 387, 403; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 47; Paul Starr, The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The rise of a sovereign profession and making of a vast industry (USA: Basic Books, 1982),105; Seth Rockman, Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), 1, 194-196, 199-200, 203, 205-208, 210-212, 337; Camilla Townsend, Tales of Two Cities: Race and Economic Culture in Early Republican North and South America: Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Baltimore, Maryland (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000), 37, 39, 122, 283-284; Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1766-1768, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 61, 96; Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, October 1773 to April 1774, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 64, 23; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 178, 267, 581; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1789-1793, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 72, 347; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 150; Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, October 1773 to April 1774, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 64, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268269. Interestingly, no hard liquors were allowed in the poor house. The poor house, also called an almshouse, on the outskirts of Baltimore Town, was created to serve as “relief” for the poor. It aimed to “reform” the poor to not be disorderly and engage in “meaningful” work.

[4] Deposition about the statements of John Ross, Sub-Sheriff in Baltimore; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 46. The prison guards may have also been suspicious of him considering that he never praised the Continental Army and George Washington in any of his toasts.

[5] Peter Thompson, “”The Friendly Glass”: Drink and Gentility in Colonial Philadelphia.” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 113, no. 4 (1989): 553, 557-558, 560; Richard J. Hooker, “The American Revolution Seen through a Wine Glass.” The William and Mary Quarterly 11, no. 1 (1954): 52-77; Thaddeus Russell, A Renegade History of the United States (New York: Free Press, 2010), 5. Not all of those who are toasted were praised. Hardman suspected Ross as “a Tory.”

[6] Gary B. Nash, Red, White, and Black: The Peoples of Early North America (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000, fourth edition), 274-275; Ray Raphael, A People’s History of the American Revolution (New York: Perennial, 2002, second edition), 309-311, 316, 320-327, 331-332, 335, 342, 355, 358, 385, 397; Ronald Hoffman, A Spirit of Dissension: Economics, Politics and the Revolution in Maryland (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973), 184-185. This regiment fought in the Battle of Great Bridge (1775) near Chesapeake, Virginia before many of those in the regiment succumbed to smallpox. In later years, every time British ships would come down the Chesapeake Bay, runaway slaves would flock to the incoming ships. Enslaved blacks renounced their owners and flocked to British lines, with some fugitives attacking plantations of their former masters on the Eastern Shore. Not surprisingly, desperate slaveowners in Maryland appealed to the state government, originally the Maryland Council of Safety, asking them for assistance.

[7] Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 4647.

[8] Deposition about the statements of John Ross, Sub-Sheriff in Baltimore.

[9] Deposition about the statements of John Ross, Sub-Sheriff in Baltimore. This is interesting considering that earlier prisoners had told Ross who Hardman was.

[10] Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 4647. These people made depositions: Elizabeth Dewit, wife of prison guard Thomas Dewit, prison guard Constantine O’Donnell, John Hardman, sergeant of Edward Veazey‘s company, Ross’s associate Daniel Curtis, and civil servant William Spencer.

[11] Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 59, 60, 83.

[12] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, April 1, 1778 through October 26, 1779, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 21, 568. Ross appears again in October 1779 asking for, along with a number of others, a recount in an “unfair” county election of sheriffs, but the Council of Maryland refused to do that, saying that the election was “valid & effectual.”

[13] Jessica Kross, “”If You Will Not Drink with Me, You Must Fight with Me”: The Sociology of Drinking in the Middle Colonies.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies 64, no. 1 (1997): 28; W.J. Rorabaugh, The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 10; Russell, 6-7; Alcohol and Drugs in North America: A Historical Encyclopedia, Vol 1: A-L (ed. David M. Fahey and Jon S. Miller, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2013), 84; W. J. Rorabaugh, “Alcohol in America.” OAH Magazine of History 6, no. 2 (1991):17. Americans drank whiskey that “80 proof,” referring to the weight of an average spirit and indicating the drink is 40 percent alcohol. Historian Jessica Kross said that this number “might well understate beer consumption and assumes women drank more than men” which was echoed by other scholars. Americans, of all ages, guzzled three and half gallons of alcohol per year, on average. They drank rum and cider at every meal.

[14] Kross, 43; Peter Thompson, “”The Friendly Glass”: Drink and Gentility in Colonial Philadelphia.” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 113, no. 4 (1989): 549; Russell, 20, 26; Christine Sismondo, America Walks Into A Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), xv, 54, 78-79; Peter Thompson, Rum Punch and Revolution: Taverngoing and Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 13, 20, 75, 143, 145. Taverns were also places for revolutionary recruiting and organizing. Politicians even fished for votes among inebriated citizens.

[15] Rorabaugh, 17; Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin, Drinking In America: A History (New York: The Free Press, 1987), 31. At the same time, rum consumption declined since rum became associated with Great Britain.

[16] Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin, Drinking In America: A History (New York: The Free Press, 1987), 32; Eric Burns, The Spirits of America: A Social History of Alcohol (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004), 16; Sarah H. Meachan, Every Home a Distillery: Alcohol, Gender, and Technology in the Colonial Chesapeake (Baltimore: JHU Press, 2009), 5, 95. George Washington specifically hated alcohol abuse even though he ordered alcohol for his men, as a morale booster.

[17] Rorabaugh, 10; Korss, 48; Thompson, 549; Russell, 28, 30, 33; Sharon V. Salinger, Taverns and Drinking in Early America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), 246, 252, 282; Rorabaugh, 21, 25, 36, 67, 136, 149-150, 167, 219; Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin, Drinking In America: A History (New York: The Free Press, 1987), 38, 46; The Concise Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History (ed., Michael Kazin, Rebecca Edwards, and Adam Rothman, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2011), 405. Americans continued to drink in huge quantities, despite the failed efforts of temperance advocates, like Benjamin Rush, to limit consumption in taverns, inns, and drinking houses.

[18] Peter McCandless, Slavery, Disease, and Suffering in the Southern Lowcountry (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 196, 272; Drugs in America: A Documentary History (ed. David F. Musto, New York: New York University Press, 2002), 3; Scott C. Martin, “Introduction: Toward a Cultural Theory of the Market Revolution,” Cultural Change and the Market Revolution in America, 1789-1860 (ed. Scott C. Martin, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005), 3;  Mitchel P. Roth, Crime and Punishment: A History of the Criminal Justice System (Second Edition, United States: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010), 112; Marvin Kitman, The Making of the President 1789: The Unauthorized Campaign Biography (New York: Grove Press, 1989), 40.

Victory at Yorktown!

On October 19, 1781, British General Charles, Lord Conwallis surrendered his army of more than 8,000 men to George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia. Cornwallis’s action brought an end to a siege which had lasted nearly two weeks.  It was also the end of major combat in the American Revolution.

Although soldiers from Maryland fought at nearly all major battles of the war, often playing pivotal roles in combat, none took part in the Battle of Yorktown. The Third and Fourth Maryland Regiments were in the Yorktown area, but apparently took no part in the fighting.  The greatest contribution to the victory at Yorktown that the Marylanders made was in keeping a contingent of British reinforcements bottled up in South Carolina, unable to reach Cornwallis. It was probably just as well, since the Maryland Line had been reduced to a small fragment of its original strength. [1]

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Charles Willson Peale, Washington, Lafayette, & Tilghman at Yorktown, 1784. Maryland State Archives

The siege at Yorktown had begun on October 6, and was carried out by a combined force of American and French troops.  A week later, on October 14, they launched a major assault on the British. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and political leader of Revolutionary Maryland, noted on October 15 that “The cannonading at York[town] can be heared distinctly in Charles County.” The British sought to escape by water on October 16, but weather prevented them, and they surrendered the next day.  Maryland native Tench Tlighman, Washington’s Aide-de-Camp, was dispatched to Congress with the news of Cornwallis’s surrender. [2]

The war was not yet over, and Maryland’s soldiers continued to serve, countering the British threat in South Carolina. Most soldiers were not discharged until the summer of 1783. That winter, George Washington resigned his commission as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in the Maryland State House. In 1784, Charles Willson Peale installed his famous portrait of Washington, Tilghman, and the Marquis de Lafayette, a French general, in the State House. The portrait shows the three men at Yorktown, and remains on display at the State House in Annapolis.

–Owen

Notes:

1. John Dwight Kilbourne, A Short History of the Maryland Line in the Continental Army (BaltimoreL The Society of the Cincinnati of Maryland, 1992), 56-57; See also Yorktown Battlefield, History of the Siege of Yorktown and Unit and Casualty Lists, National Park Service.

2. Charles Carroll of Carrollton to Charles Carroll of Annapolis, 15 October 1781, in Ronald Hoffman, et al., eds., Dear Papa, Dear Charley, vol. III (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), 1481.

 

Sickened Marylanders and the Philadelphia Bettering House

An illustration of the Philadelphia Bettering House in 1828, courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

An illustration of the Philadelphia Bettering House in 1828, courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, which is likely what it looked like in 1776 and 1777 as well.

On April 13, 1777, John Adams described the spread of disease in Philadelphia and the fate of the sick soldiers in that city in a letter to his wife, Abigail Smith. In his letter, he mentioned a local institution, called the Philadelphia Bettering House. He told her that

“I have spent an Hour, this Morning, in the Congregation of the dead. I took a Walk into the Potters Field, a burying Ground between the new stone Prison, and the Hospital, and I never in my whole Life was affected with so much Melancholly. The Graves of the soldiers, who have been buryed, in this Ground, from the Hospital and bettering House, during the Course of the last Summer, Fall, and Winter, dead of the small Pox, and Camp Diseases, are enough to make the Heart of stone to melt away. The Sexton told me, that upwards of two Thousand soldiers had been buried there…To what Causes this Plague is to be attributed I dont know….Disease has destroyed Ten Men for Us, where the Sword of the Enemy has killed one.” [1]

The Bettering House, built in 1766 or 1767, sitting on south Spruce street, was an important part of the city’s landscape. At the time, it was an almshouse, where fever-stricken patients were cared for by nuns and fed warm meals. [2] The house offered monetary and spiritual “relief” to the poor. [3] In the main building, the first floor consisted of offices, the second floor was where a steward, governor, and doctors stayed, the third floor housed the sick, the fourth housed people deemed “insane,” and the fifth floor was for other sick individuals. The “paupers” were divided by gender, with men in one side and women on the others, staying in the building’s left and right wings.

By late 1776, the Bettering House had been commandeered by the Continental Army. Months earlier, in September 1776, managers and attendants of the house opposed Continental militia, sick with dysentery, sent there to recover because their presence would endanger the health of those others staying in house. [4] It was only one of the many places in the city where sick and wounded soldiers were housed in the winter of 1776-1777. An estimated 500 soldiers with a variety of aliments were sheltered in Philadelphia, including at least thirty Marylanders in the Bettering House. [5] Some of these soldiers slept on hard floors in stores and private homes that had been quickly turned into hospitals. Due to the amount of men housed in the city and poor conditions, some of those in the Maryland Flying Camp were even sent out of the city and back to a Baltimore hospital in order to receive the best care for the soldiers. [6]

Members of the Maryland 400, Michael Nowland, John Booth, and John Price were some of the invalids housed in the city’s Bettering House, then run by a military surgeon of the Continental Army, Bodo OttoDuring this period, a college-educated doctor, John White, and surgeon’s mate at a local hospital, likely tended sick and wounded soldiers, and was almost killed by fever himself. [7] Nowland was described as “convalescent,” meaning that he was recovering from his sickness. As for Booth, he was “walking about, but weak” while Price had “slow fever & deafness,” with slow fever referring to typhoid and deafness perhaps coming from gunfire during the battle. [8]

Of the 98 soldiers housed in the Bettering House, half were convalescent, weak and recovering, or “fit for duty.” Of the other soldiers, they suffered from wounds received on the battlefield, swelling, fever and related illnesses, the digestive disease of jaundice, rheumatic diseases that affect muscles and joints, and other pains in the body. [9] There were also three listed without conditions, one of whom pleaded for a discharge from the house.

From 1777 to 1778, after the British victories at Brandywine and Germantown in the fall of 1777, the British occupied Philadelphia, and took over the Bettering House, using it to care for their own soldiers. [10] By that time, the Continentals were still suffering from diseases, illnesses, and war wounds, but they were sent elsewhere or cared for in camps in Morristown, New Jersey, and Wilmington, Delaware, used by the Marylanders in subsequent winters.

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


Notes

[1] John L. Cotter, Daniel G. Roberts, and Michael Parrington, The Buried Past: An Archaeological History of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994, reprint), 206; Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 13 April 1777 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society.

[2] Louise Stockton, The Bettering House and Other Charities, A Sylvan City: Or, Quaint Corners in Philadelphia Illustrated (Philadelphia: Our Continent Publishing Co., 1883), 398, 404, 408-410, 418, 422-423, 426; Priscilla Ferguson Clement, Welfare and the Poor in the Nineteenth-century City: Philadelphia, 1800-1854 (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985), 40, 81, 83-85. It was not the same as the Blockley Almshouse.

[3] Gary Nash, “Poverty and Politics in Early American History,” Down and Out in Early America (ed. Billy G. Smith, University Park, PA: Philadelphia, 2004), 16-17; Simon Newman, “Dead Bodies: Poverty and Death in Early National Philadelphia, Down and Out in Early America (ed. Billy G. Smith, University Park, PA: Philadelphia, 2004), 55; Karin Wolf, “Gender and the Political Economy of Poor Relief in Colonial Philadelphia,” Down and Out in Early America (ed. Billy G. Smith, University Park, PA: Philadelphia, 2004), 163, 166, 174, 177, 179, 181-182, 184; Michael Meranze, Laboratories of Virtue: Punishment, Revolution, and Authority in Philadelphia, 1760-1835 (Chapel Hill: Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1996), 152-153; Steven Rosswurm, Arms, Country, and Class: The Philadelphia Militia and the “Lower Sort” During the American Revolution (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1989, reprint), 27-28. 

[4] Philadelphia Hospital Reports Vol. 1: 1890 (ed. Charles K. Mills, Philadelphia: Detre and Blackburn, 1891), 4-5.

[5] Richard L. Blanco. “American Army Hospitals in Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War.” Pennsylvania History vol. 48, no. 4 (1981), 347, 349, 352, 354; Mary C. Gillett, The Army Medical Department 1775-1818 (Washington D.C.: Center of Military History, 1981), 70. The influx of sick soldiers led Philadelphia to have a vital role to the Continental army as a smallpox inoculation center, while it was   a medical center of the United States at this period. This ameliorated George Washington’s concern about the “threat of contagion” and complimented his attempt to establish hospitals in locations that did not lead to further spread of illness. Philadelphia. As for Maryland soldiers, Thomas Hamilton may have stayed in the Bettering House, but due to conflicting names this cannot be confirmed.

[6] After the battles of Brooklyn and White Plains, many of the soldiers of the Maryland 400 were transferred to hospitals. Some were sent to North Castle, New York, like William Marr, due to their wounds on the battlefield, while others, such as John RileyValentine Smith, and possibly James Garner, were sent to a military hospital in Annapolis. Later in the war, Walter Muse, then captain of the Second Maryland Regiment, later supervised a hospital as part of his duties. Another man, George McNamara, who enlisted in the Fourth Independent Company, deserted before the Battle of Brooklyn, and was left in a hospital by his new company. Later, James Hindman, his captain, asked that McNamara receive a discharge due to his swollen leg.

[7] Colonial And Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania, Vol. 1 (ed. John W. Jordan Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004, reprint), 326, 872-873; Richard A. Harrison, Princetonians, 1776-1783: A Biographical Dictionary (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981), 210; Gillett, 44, 70.

[8] “List of Sick Soldiers in Philadelphia, December 1776.” Pennsylvania Archives Second Series Vol I. (ed. John B. Linn and Wm. H. Egle M.D., Harrisburg: Benjamin Singerly State Printer, 1874), 528, 531-532.

[9] “List of Sick Soldiers in Philadelphia, December 1776,” 528-532.

[10] Philadelphia Hospital Reports Vol. 1: 1890 (ed. Charles K. Mills, Philadelphia: Detre and Blackburn, 1891), 5-7; Gillett, 109. After the Continentals re-occupied Philadelphia, the Bettering House was again used to house sick soldiers.

“The misfortune which ensued”: The defeat at Germantown

Saverio Xavier della Gatta, an eighteenth-century Neopolitan painter, painted this scene of the Battle of Germantown in 1782, possibly for a British officer. Courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution.

On the morning of October 4, 1777, Continental troops encountered British forces, led by Lord William Howe, encamped at Germantown, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia’s outskirts. George Washington believed that he had surprise on his side. [1] He had ordered his multiple divisions to march twenty miles from their camp at Perkeomen, with some of the soldiers having neither food or blankets. [2] Washington thought that if the British were defeated he could retake the Continental capital of Philadelphia and reverse his disaster at Brandywine.

Among the men who marched with Washington were 210 Marylanders, including many veterans of the Maryland 400. [3] The seven Maryland regiments, commanded by General John Sullivan, were at the lead of the Continental attack. After marching most of the night, like the rest of the Continental Army, they arrived at Chestnut Hill, three miles from Mount Airy, and encountered a British picket. [4] Later, Sullivan’s division advanced and fought British light infantry in a 15-20 minute clash in an orchard. [5] The Marylanders progressed on the road to Germantown, pushing down fences as they moved forward during this “very foggy morning.” [6] As Enoch Anderson of the Delaware Regiment described it, the scene became bloody in the thick fog:

“Bullets began to fly on both sides,–some were killed,–some wounded, but the order was to advance. We advanced in the line of the division,—the firing on both sides increased,—and what with the thickness of the air and the firing of guns, we could see but a little way before us.” [7]

As the battle moved forward, many Continentals fought at the house of Benjamin Chew, also called Cliveden. The Marylanders advanced upon a small breastwork in Germantown, leading to an intense fight with many lying dead, and they  later captured British artillery. [8] Later on, Sullivan ordered the Marylanders, within 400 or 500 yards of the stone house, to retreat since this obstacle had stopped their advance. [9] In response to the hundred or so British troops who came out of the house and a British advance from Lord Charles Cornwallis‘s reinforcements, some Marylanders fired a volley in response. After a British officer was killed, they did not pursue Sullivan’s men. When the smoke cleared, Colonel John Hoskins Stone and General Uriah Forest were wounded while two Marylanders were missing. [10]

Regiments from New Jersey, Connecticut, North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania also fought in the battle. Like the Marylanders, these Continentals were initially successful in pushing back the British. [11] They were even successful against the Hessian Jägerkorps who had soundly defeated them at the Battle of Brandywine, 24 days earlier. [12] As George Washington recounted, the Continental troops were part of his plan to flank the British, advancing at sunrise, but that they

“retreated a considerable distance, having previously thrown a party into Mr Chews House, who were in a situation not to be easily forced, and had it in their power from the Windows to give us no small annoyance, and in a great measure to obstruct our advance…The Morning was extremely foggy, which prevented our improving the advantages we gained so well, as we should otherwise have done. This circumstance…obliged us to act with more caution and less expedition than we could have wished, and gave the Enemy time to recover from the effects of our first impression…It also occasioned them [the Continentals] to mistake One another for the Enemy, which, I believe, more than any thing else contributed to the misfortune which ensued.” [13]

Clearly, the successes of these Continentals were reversed because they attempted to take the well-defended stone house, which was “shot to pieces” in the intense fighting and friendly fire. Some, such as Connecticut Lieutenant James Morris III recalled that in the “memorable battle of Germantown,” the Continental Army’s victory “in the outsetting seemed to perch on our standards.” [14] He also wrote that the day’s success turned against them due to, in his view, the “misconduct” of General Adam Stephen and “undisciplined” soldiers scattering.

Illustration of the battle at the stone house by American artist Christian Schussele

Illustration of the battle at the Chew House by American artist Christian Schussele

Regardless of who is blamed, the heavy fighting undoubtedly resulted in the death and wounding of many soldiers, leading to a withdrawal. [15] Soldiers were disoriented and confused by heavy morning radiation fog, caused by a 34 degree temperature and humidity, along with the thick black powder smoke from cannons and muskets. This annulled any chance for victory, even though some claimed that they were near to “gaining a compleat Victory.” [16] Washington said that his army would have gained victory if “the fogginess of the Morning” hadn’t prevented the Continental Army “from seeing the advantage we had gained.” [17] In later letters he told General William Heath, his brother John Augustine Washington, and Virginia politician John Page a similar story. He wrote that the hazy day was “overcast by dark & heavy fog,” was “extremely foggy,” and “a thick Fog rendered so infinitely dark at times.” [18] From his viewpoint, this prevented the enemy from sustaining “total defeat” with complications including the Continental Army’s right wing lacking ammunition as the battle dragged on.

After the battle, the Continental Army moved twenty miles way to collect their forces and care for the wounded as the British still held on to Philadelphia. [19] While wounded Marylanders were sent to Reading, Pennsylvania, the Continental Army camped beside the Delaware River before returning to Perkeomen, where they had been stationed before the battle. [20]

George Washington, with the help of other officers and informers, repeatedly tried to assess their losses and that of the British. Washington claimed that the Continental Army suffered “no material loss of Men.” His estimates of those killed, wounded, and missing ranged from 300 to 1,000. [21] He also said that only one artillery piece was lost, along with some captured due to the foggy conditions. In his memoirs, in early nineteenth century, Connecticut Lieutenant James Morris wrote that “many fell in battle and about five hundred of our men were made prisoners of War, who surrendered at discretion.” [22] While the number of casualties from the battle is not known since the official return of Continental causalities from the battle has been lost, the Annual Register, a British parliamentary publication, may be the most reliable, as they reported that 200-300 Continentals were slain, 600 wounded and more than 400 were taken prisoner. [23]

The estimates of British casualties are also not clear. Through the month of October, informers, who were often deserters, told George Washington and other high-level generals that hundreds of wagons came into the city of Philadelphia with wounded soldiers. [24] Those that were wounded reportedly included British army general William Erskine and Hessian general William von Knyphausen, along with 300 to 2,500 British killed and wounded on the bloody day. [25] The Annual Register said that the British losses of wounded, killed, and captured numbered 535, but only 75 were killed and 54 officers taken prisoner. [26] Hence, the estimates by deserters that 2,500 British were casualties may have been exaggerated.

The Continental prisoners from the battle did not fair well. James Morris described how he was captured ten miles away from Germantown after being “continually harassed” by British light infantry and dragoons. [27] Morris, like many others, was taken prisoner, and held in Germantown from October 4 to 5th. He was moved to Philadelphia, where he was a prisoner in Walnut Street Jail. [28] He remained there along with 400 to 500 Continentals in squalid conditions until May 1778. The jail was cold, dark, and desolate, and many prisoners had no bedding, blankets, or general provisions, while others became sick or died. [29]

As the Continentals languished in Philadelphia, officers were accused of being responsible for the defeat and court-martialed as a result. While some believed that the battle reflected “honor upon the General and the Army” and that General Sullivan was a “brave Man,” not everyone agreed. [30] He was partly criticuzed for the friendly fire between Sullivan’s division and Nathaniel Greene‘s troops during the battle, due to the fog. [31] He was likely seen as part of the reason for the  “real Injury to America” caused by the defeat: the continued British occupation of Philadelphia. Sullivan defended himself by writing to Washington that after the battle “the field remained his [Howe’s,] the victory was yours” and that Howe could only be defeated by “a Successful General Action.” [32] Others accused of improprieties during the battle included Pennsylvania militia general Thomas Conway, accused later of conspiring against Washington, Captain Abner Crump of Virginia, Nathaniel Greene, Captain Edward Vail of North Carolina, and Captain Adam Stephen of Connecticut. [33] Of these men, Vail, Crump, and Conway were court-martialed and removed from the Continental Army.

Despite the fact that the battle was a defeat for the Continental Army, it served a purpose for the revolutionary cause. John Adams wrote, in July 1778, that “General Washingtons attack upon the Enemy at Germantown” was considered by “the military Gentlemen in Europe” to be the “most decisive Proof that America would finally succeed.” [34]

In the following months, some Marylanders fought along the Delaware River in forts Red Bank and Mifflin. The British were trying to push the Continentals clear out the Delaware River in order to secure Philadelphia. [35] By the end of the campaign, however, their only victory was ensuring that the city was “a good lodging” for the British Army. The rest of Marylanders stayed in camp until they wintered in Wilmington, Delaware and the rest of the army wintered in Valley Forge. [36] In the following years, the First Maryland Regiment would fight in the northern colonies until they joined the Southern campaign in 1780 and 1781. [37]

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


Notes

[1] “To George Washington from Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 23 April 1778,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; The Annual Register, 135. The Annual Register says that British patrols found the Continentals by 3:00 in the morning, so their attack was no surprise.

[2] Mark Andrew Tacyn, “’To the End:’ The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution” (PhD diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), 143-144; Pension of James Morris, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land-Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1771, pension number W. 2035. Courtesy of Fold3.com; James Morris, Memoirs of James Morris of South Farms in Litchfield (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1933), 18; Pension of Jacob Armstrong, Revolutionary War Pensions, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, pension number S.22090, roll 0075. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Stanley Weintraub, Iron Tears: America’s Battle for Freedom, Britain’s Quagmire: 1775-1783 (New York: Free Press, 2005), 116-117;  Andrew O’Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America: British Command During the Revolutionary War and the Preservation of the Empire (London: One World Publications, 2013), 109; “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” Maryland Historical Magazine June 1908. Vol. 3, no.2, 110; John Dwight Kilbourne, A Short History of the Maryland Line in the Continental Army (Baltimore: Society of Cincinnati of Maryland, 1992), 14;  “From George Washington to Brigadier General Alexander McDougall, 25 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Pension of James Morris, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land-Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1771, pension number W. 2035. Courtesy of Fold3.com; James Morris, Memoirs of James Morris of South Farms in Litchfield (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1933), 18; “From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 18 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016. The reference to no food or blanket specifically refers to James Morris of Connecticut. Washington’s headquarters was on Pennibecker’s Mill on the Skippack Road from September 26-29 and October 4 to October 8th, 1777. The Continental Army had camped at Chester throughout late September, but Morris says they camped near the Leni River. However, a river of this name does not exist, so he may have meant a branch off the Schuykill River or maybe the Delaware River, since the Leni-Lenape indigenous group lived on the river.

[3] “From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 18 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Page, 11 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016;  “From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 8 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; C.H. Lesser, The Sinews of Independence, Monthly Strength Reports of the Continental Army (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976), 80.

[4] Tacyn, 4, 115, 144; Enoch Anderson, Personal Recollections of Captain Enoch Anderson: Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution (New York: New York Times & Arno Press, 1971), 44; “From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 8 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[5] Tacyn, 145.

[6] Anderson, 45.

[7] Anderson, 45.

[8] Anderson, 45.

[9] Tacyn, 145-146; Anderson, 45; “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” 110-111.

[10] Tacyn, 15, 209-210, 289, 291;  Pension of James Morris, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land-Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1408, pension number W. 11929. Courtesy of Fold3.com. Thomas Carvin and James Reynolds were said to be missing after the battle. Reportedly, a Marylander named Elisha Jarvis was ordered by William Smallwood to guard the baggage train at the Battle of Germantown.

[11] Thomas Thorleifur Sobol, “William Maxwell, New Jersey’s Hard Fighting General,” Journal of the American Revolution, August 15, 2016. Accessed October 3, 2016; “From George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 7 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[12] David Ross, The Hessian Jagerkorps in New York and Pennsylvania, 1776-1777Journal of the American Revolution, May 14, 2015. Accessed October 3, 2016.

[13] “From George Washington to John Hancock, 5 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[14] Pension of James Morris; Morris, 18-19.

[15] Don N. Hagist, “Who killed General Agnew? Not Hans Boyer,” Journal of the American Revolution, August 17, 2016. Accessed October 3, 2016; Don N. Hagist, “Martin Hurley’s Last Charge,” Journal of the American Revolution, April 14, 2015. Accessed October 3, 2016; John Rees, “War as Waiter: Soldier Servants,” Journal of the American Revolution, April 28, 2015. Accessed October 3, 2016; Thomas Verenna, “20 Terrifying Revolutionary War Soldier Experiences,” Journal of the American Revolution, April 24, 2015. Accessed October 3, 2016; Thomas Verenna, “Explaining Pennsylvania’s Militia,” Journal of the American Revolution, June 17, 2014. Accessed October 3, 2016; “General Orders, 11 November 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016. Richard St. George and Martin Hurley of the British army were wounded and James Agnew, a British general, was killed.

[16] Pension of Jacob Armstrong; The Annual Register or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature, for the Year 1777 (4th Edition, London: J. Dosley, 1794), 129-130; Sir George Otto Trevelyan, The American Revolution: Saratoga and Brandywine, Valley Forge, England and France at War, Vol. 4 (London: Longmans Greens Co., 1920), 275; O’Shaughnessy, 110; “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” 110-111; Kilbourne, 17, 19;  “From George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 7 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[17] “From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Smith, 7 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[18] “From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 8 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Page, 11 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 18 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Hancock, 7 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[19] “From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 18 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[20] “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” 111; Anderson, 45-46.

[21] “From George Washington to John Hancock, 5 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 7 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Hancock, 7 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 8 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Page, 11 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 18 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016. In his letters he said that Grant was wounded while Nash (died after the battle from wounds) and Agnew were killed.

[22] Pension of James Morris; Morris, 19.

[23] “General Orders, 5 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Annual Register, 136.

[24] “From George Washington to John Hancock, 5 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Major John Clark, Jr., 6 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Smith, 7 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 7 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016;  “From George Washington to John Hancock, 7 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016;  “From George Washington to Major General Israel Putnam, 8 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 8 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[25]  “From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 18 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Major John Clark, Jr., 6 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Smith, 7 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 7 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Hancock, 7 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016;  “From George Washington to Major General Israel Putnam, 8 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Smith, 9 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016;  “From George Washington to John Page, 11 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Captain Henry Lee, Jr., 15 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 18 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Annual Register, 137. One letter says fifty British were killed and another says fifty-seven. The British Annual Register confirms that Nash was killed.

[26] Annual Register, 136-137.

[27] Pension of James Morris; Morris, 19.

[28] Pension of James Morris; Morris, 19-25; “To George Washington from Pelatiah Webster, 19 November 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Thomas McKean, 8 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016,

[29] Pension of James Morris, Morris, 23-29, 31; “To George Washington from Captain Henry Lee, Jr., 9 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Persifor Frazer, 9 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Pelatiah Webster, 19 November 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016. He also said that he was then shipped to Philadelphia where he served a prisoner on Long Island as a farm laborer until May 1781.

[30] “To John Adams from Joseph Ward, 9 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[31] “The Committee for Foreign Affairs to the American Commissioners, 6[–9] October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To Benjamin Franklin from the Massachusetts Board of War, 24 October 1777: résumé,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[32] “To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 25 November 1777,”  Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “Major General John Sullivan’s Opinion, 29 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[33] “To John Adams from Benjamin Rush, 13 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016;  “General Orders, 19 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Major General Nathanael Greene, 24 November 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “General Orders, 22 December 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Captain Edward Vail, 22 November 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “General Orders, 13 June 1778,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from William Gordon, 25 February 1778,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Major General Adam Stephen, 9 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[34] Trevelyan, 249; O’Shaughnessy, 111; Christopher Hibbert, George III: A Personal History (New York: Basic Books, 1998), 154-155; “From John Adams to James Lovell, 26 July 1778,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[35] Annual Register, 137-141.

[36] Anderson, 53; Tacyn, 146; Thomas Thorleifur Sobol, “William Maxwell, New Jersey’s Hard Fighting General,” Journal of the American Revolution, August 15, 2016. Accessed October 3, 2016; “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” 110; Kilbourne, 14; “From George Washington to George Clinton, 15 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to Major General Israel Putnam, 15 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Major John Clark, Jr., 27 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Brigadier General Henry Knox, 26 November 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Major John Clark, Jr., 6 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Hancock, 7 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[37] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, April 1, 1778 through October 26, 1779 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 21, 118; Kilbourne, 21-22, 24-27, 29-30, 31, 33; Tacyn, 241. Some argue that in the battle of Eutaw Springs parts of the battle of Germantown were repeated.

“Flecking the hedges with red”: Palmer’s Ballad on the Maryland 400

palmer-photo-150x150

A photograph of John Williamson Palmer who wrote ‘The Maryland Battalion’

In the past, we have written about poems and songs relating to the Maryland 400. [1] They were celebrated years after and during the Revolutionary War, with newspapers often containing poems and songs. Such poems included one about William Sterrett in 1776 and a song by Tom Wisner titled “The Old Line.” Poems and ballads, which are narrative poems, not only appeared in newspapers but also in books. This post analyzes the 1901 ballad titled “The Maryland Battalion in the Battle of Long Island” and its author. [2]

The ballad’s author was a native Baltimorean named John Williamson Palmer. He was a physician by profession, but later became a journalist, and served as a New York Tribune correspondent in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. [3] He traveled across the world to India and elsewhere in East Asia, worked for the East India Company, and warned acclaim after contributing to numerous periodicals. [4] During the Civil War, Palmer wrote the well-known ballad titled “Stonewall Jackson’s Way” during the Battle of Antietam in 1862. [5] This ballad became one of the South’s most popular lyrics. This is not surprising because Palmer joined the Confederate Army and later served on the staff of John C. Breckinridge, the Secretary of War of the Confederacy. [6] After the Civil War, he published a book of folk songs and numerous other books of note. He had become, as his former employer, the New York Tribune, called him, “a veteran balladist” who will “be long remembered” because of his good verse. [7] By the early twentieth century, some claimed that he become a writer with “vigorous lyric faculty.” [8]

“The Maryland Battalion” was originally printed in a 1902 book titled Every Day in the Year. The book was a “poetical anthology” which commemorated “the most striking events in history” and the men and women who “have left an imprint on their day and generation.” [9] The ballad was printed with an introduction making it clear it was about the Battle of Brooklyn. [10] His ballad fits with those he wrote about Stonewall Jackson and the Battle of the San Jacinto in 1836 by exhibiting a patriotic theme, from his point of view. [11]

The text of this ballad is reprinted below [12]:

Spruce Macaronis, and pretty to see,
Tidy and dapper and gallant were we;
Blooded fine gentlemen, proper and tall,
Bold in a fox-hunt and gay at a ball;
Prancing soldados so martial and bluff,
Billets for bullets, in scarlet and buff—
But our cockades were clasped with a mother’s low prayer
And the sweethearts that braided the sword-knots were
fair [13]

There was grummer of drums humming hoarse in the hills,
And the bugles sang fanfares down by the mills,
By Flatbush [14] the bagpipes were droning amain,
And keen cracked the rifles in Martense’s lane [15];
For the Hessians were flecking the hedges with red [16],
And the grenadiers’ tramp marked the roll of the dead

Three to one, flank and rear, flashed the files of St. George [17],
The fierce gleam of their steel as the glow of a forge.
The brutal boom-boom of their swart cannoneers
Was sweet music compared with the taunt of their cheers—
For the brunt of their onset, our crippled array,
And the light of God’s leading gone out in the fray.

Oh, the rout on the left and the tug on the right!
The mad plunge of the charge and the wreck of the flight!
When the cohorts of Grant [18] held stout Stirling [19] at strain,
And the mongrels of Hesse [20] went tearing the slain;
When at Freeke’s Mill the flumes and the sluices ran red,
And the dead choked the dike and the marsh choked the dead!

“Oh, Stirling, good Stirling, how long must we wait?
Shall the shout of your trumpet unleash us too late?
Have you never a dash for brave Mordecai Gist [21]
With his heart in his throat, and his blade in his fist?
Are we good for no more than to prance in a ball,
When the drums beat the charge and the clarions call?”

Tralára! Tralára! Now praise we the Lord
For the clang of His call and the flash of His sword!
Tralára! Tralára! Now forward to die;
For the banner, hurrah! and for sweethearts, good-by!
“Four hundred wild lads!” May be so. I’ll be bound
’T will be easy to count us, face up, on the ground.
If we hold the road open, though Death take the toll,
We’ll be missed on parade when the States call the roll—
When the flags meet in peace and the guns are at rest,
And fair Freedom is singing Sweet Home in the West. [22]

At the time, the ballad was positively received. Noted writer Rossiter Johnson said it reminded him of classic lyrics of another balladist, while the Chicago Tribune said that the ballad, along with his other writings, had become “familiar to the American people.” [23] The St. Louis Republic called it “blood-stirring” and the Baltimore Sun said it had no less “dash and ring” than his other ballads and would, which “rouse the blood to action and enthusiasm.” [24] Acclaimed poet Charles D. Roberts even praised it, calling it a “splendid piece of work, inevitable and unforgettable.” This flattery is not surprising because the ballad was written in style of that time by catering to a Victorian appetite for heroes and legends and preserving the Maryland 400’s story, while cultivating Maryland pride.

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


Notes

[1] Another post on this blog also put the ‘Midnight Ride of Paul Revere’ into context as it relates to Maryland.

[2] Alan, a volunteer at the Baltimore County Historical Society, gave me a copy of this ballad this summer when I made a trip to this historical society. In order to be consistent, the word ballad is used even though some refer to it as a poem.

[3] Henry E. Shepard, The Representative Authors of Maryland: From the Earliest Time to the Present Day With Biographical Notes and Comments Upon Their Work (New York: Whitehall Publishing Company, 1911), 100; American History Told by Contemporaries: Welding of the Nation 1845-1900 (ed. Albert Bushnell Hart, Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific, 2002, reprint of 1921 edition), 282.

[4] Rand Richards. Mud, Blood, and Gold: San Francisco in 1849 (San Francisco: Heritage House Publishers, 2008), 201; Shepard, 100; American History Told by Contemporaries282.

[5] Richards, 86, 101; Southern Life in Southern Literature: Selections of Representative Prose and Poetry (ed. Maurice Garland Fulton, New York: Ginn and Economy, 1917), 259-261.

[6] American History Told by Contemporaries, 282; “Words of the Hour”: A New Anthology of Civil War Poetry (ed. Faith Barrett and Cristanne Miller, Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2005), 389; Herman Melville, Correspondence (Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 1993), 516; Women reading Shakespeare 1660-1900: An anthology of criticism (ed. Ann Thompson and Sasha Roberts, New York: Manchester University Press, 1997), 110; Shakespeare: The Critical Tradition. The Merchant of Venice (ed. William Baker and Brian Vickers, New York: Thoemes Continuum, 2005), 86; Shepard, 100-101; Southern Life in Southern Literature, 259. Before the war, in 1855, he married Henrietta Lee, a Baltimorean who was a prolific writer and reader of Shakespeare. Palmer also had correspondence with the acclaimed novelist Herman Melville after the Civil War.

[7] “A Southern Poet.” The Evangelical Episcopalian. Vol. 14, no. 1. March 1902. pp. 464; Every Day in the Year: A Poetical Epitome of the World’s History (ed. James L. Ford and Mary K. Ford, New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1902), v. Others called him “one of America’s real poets,” before his death in 1906.

[8] John Wanamaker, Book News: A Monthly Survey of General Literature. Vol. 19 (Philadelphia: John Wanamaker, 1901), 684.

[9] Every Day in the Year, 289.

[10] Ibid, 133, 157-158.

[11] Poetry of the People (ed. Charles Mills Gayley and Martin C. Flaherty, Boston: Ginn & Company Publishers, 1904), 238-239; The Home Book of Verse: American and English 1580-1918 Third Edition (ed. Burton Egbert Stevenson, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1918), 2429; Index of Current Literature (ed. Edward J. Wheeler). Vol. 40. New York: The Current Literature Publishing Company, Jan-June 1906, 449-450.

[12] The tune of this ballad is not known.

[13] “Scarlet and buff” is a reference to the uniforms Smallwood’s soldiers and said to have worn. In actuality they did not wear these uniforms. Instead, they wore white linen or hunting shirts, leather breeches, leather belts, stockings, leather shoes with buckles, and felt hats.

[14] General Sullivan was driven back by the Hessians, hired soldiers fighting for the British, and flanked by Clinton’s forces in Flatbush.

[15] Martenese’s lane was a road that was the Greenwood cemetery’s southern border in Brooklyn

[16] As a private of the Maryland  William McMillian put it in his description of the battle, “We were surrounded by Healanders [Scottish Highlanders] on one side, Hessians on the other.”

[17] The “files of St. George” are British soldiers.

[18] A British general named James Grant commanded the left wing during the battle.

[19] Lord Stirling, or William Alexander, was a veteran of the Seven Years War, and was a brigadier general during the battle.

[20] Refers to Hessians.

[21] Mordecai Gist was a native Baltimorean and commanded the Marylanders during the Battle.

[22] The last lines are saying that people should fight at any cost for their freedom and is challenging readers to fight and not be weak.

[23] The Missionary Review of the World vol. 24, part 2. Funk & Wagnalls, 1901, 160.

[24] The Missionary Review of the World, 115, 160, 181-182; The Literary Digest Vol. XXII, no. 25. June 22, 1901, 1A2.

Which Private Smith is the Right Private Smith?

Piecing together service records of Revolutionary War soldiers can be complicated. No one got a DD 214 when they were mustered out. Many soldiers had their service records compiled by the Federal Government in the late nineteenth century, and applications for Federal veteran’s pensions usually include a (mostly) thorough record of service. Unfortunately, the compiled service records often omit early 1776 service–most of what we need–and not all men applied for pensions.

The rest of the time, as a result, figuring out a Revolutionary War soldier’s military career means paging through books, letters, and other records, trying to find information about his service. This is especially tricky when there is more than one soldier with the same name. In many such cases, it is simply impossible to differentiate the men. There were at least seven John Smiths who enlisted in the First Maryland Regiment in 1776, for example, and well more than that over the rest of the war. There were no Social Security Numbers, street addresses, or phone numbers in the eighteenth century to help differentiate people easily.

We recently researched one soldier who had a common name, but left behind plenty of clues that help distinguish him. Peter Smith enlisted as a private in the Fourth Company of the First Maryland Regiment on January 24, 1776. While he had a common name, he also had a very distinct signature, and that enabled us to track his military career, and even his parts of his civilian life afterward.

His signature on pay receipts in 1779 helped confirm service we found in other sources:

psmith0003 psmith0002psmith0001Smith’s signature was even more helpful after the war. There were many Peter Smiths in Maryland’s population, but our Peter Smith still stood out. It let us eliminate a number of other people, including a Peter Smith who was a land speculator in Western Maryland. With the ability to eliminate many other more00011Peter Smiths, we could zero in on the most likely man, one who came from Harford County. Unfortunately for us, he left the state around 1800, and gave us no paper trail to follow.

Be sure to read Peter Smith’s complete biography to learn more of what we found!

–Owen

British “masters of the field”: The disaster at Brandywine

brandywine

Illustration of the Battle of Brandywine, drawn by cartographer, engraver and illustrator Johann Martin Will (1727-1806) in 1777. Image is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

On the night of September 10, 1777, many of the soldiers and commanding officers of the Continental Army sat around their campfires and listened to an ominous sermon that would predict the events of the following day. Chaplain Jeremias (or Joab) Trout declared that God was on their side and that

“we have met this evening perhaps for the last time…alike we have endured the cold and hunger, the contumely of the internal foe and the courage of foreign oppression…the sunlight…tomorrow…will glimmer on scenes of blood…Tomorrow morning we will go forth to battle…Many of us may fall tomorrow.” [1]

The following day, the Continentals would be badly defeated by the British and scenes of blood” would indeed appear on the ground near Brandywine Creek.

In the previous month, a British flotilla consisting of 28 ships, loaded with over 12,000 troops, had sailed up the Chesapeake Bay. [2] They disembarked at the Head of Elk (now Elkton, Maryland) in July, under the command of Sir William Howe, and had one objective: to attack the American capital of Philadelphia. [3] Howe had planned to form a united front with John Burgoyne, but bad communication made this impossible. [4] At the same time, Burgoyne was preoccupied with fighting the Continental Army in Saratoga, where he ultimately surrendered later in the fall. With Howe’s redcoats, light dragoons, grenadiers, and artillerymen were Hessian soldiers fighting for the Crown. [5]

Opposing these forces were two sections of the Continental Army. The first was the main body of Continentals led by George Washington, consisting of light infantry, artillery, ordinary foot-soldiers, and militia from Pennsylvania and Maryland. The second was the Continental right wing commanded by John Sullivan, which consisted of infantry from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland. The latter was led by William Smallwood and included the First Maryland Regiment. Other Marylanders who participated in the battle included Walter Brooke Cox, Joseph Marbury, Daniel Rankins, Samuel Hamilton, John Toomy, John Brady, and Francis Reveley. While the British were nearby, the 15,000-man Continental Army fortified itself at Chadd’s Ford, sitting on Brandywine Creek in order to defend Philadelphia from British attack. [6]

A map by Johann Martin Will in early 1777, in the same set as the illustration of the battle at the beginning of this post, which shows British and Continental troop movements during the Battle of Brandywine.

The morning of September 11 was warm, still, and quiet in the Continental Army camp on the green and sloping area behind Brandywine Creek. [7] Civilians from surrounding towns who were favoring the Crown, the revolutionary cause, or were neutral watched the events that were about to unfold. [8]

Suddenly, at 8:00, the British, on the other side of the creek, began to bombard the Continental positions facing the creek complimented by Hessians firing their muskets. [9] However, these attacks were never meant as a direct assault on Continental lines. [10] Instead, the British wanted to cross the creek, which had few bridges, including one unguarded bridge called Jeffries’ Ford on Great Valley Road. As Howe engaged in a flanking maneuver, which he had used at the Battle of Brooklyn, the Marylanders would again find themselves on the front lines.

As the British continued their diversionary frontal attack on the Continental lines, thousands of them moved across the unguarded bridge that carried Great Valley Road over Brandywine Creek. Washington received reports about this British movement throughout the day but since these messages were inconsistent, he did not act on them until later. [11] At that point, he sent Sullivan’s wing, including Marylanders, to push back the advancing British flank. [12]

These Marylanders encountered seasoned Hessian troops who, when joined by British guards and grenadiers, attacked the Marylanders. Due to the precise and constant fire from Hessians and a British infantry charge with bayonets, the Marylanders fled in panic. [13] Lieutenant William Beatty of the Second Maryland Regiment, who would perish in the  Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill, recounted this attack:

“…[in] the Middle of this Afternoon…a strong Body of the Enemy had Cross’d above our Army and were in full march to out-flank us; this Obliged our Right wing to Change their front…before this could be fully [executed]…the Enemy Appeared and made a very Brisk Attack which put the whole of our Right Wing to flight…this was not done without some Considerable loss on their side, as of the Right wing behaved Gallantly…the Attack was made on the Right, the British…made the fire…on all Quarters.” [14]

As a Marylanders endured a “severe cannonade” from the British, the main body of the Continental Army was in trouble. [15] Joseph Armstrong of Pennsylvania, a private in a Pennsylvania militia unit, described retreating after the British had crossed Brandywine Creek, and moved back even further, at 5:00, for eight or nine miles, with the British in hot pursuit. [16]

Despite the “heavy and well supported fire of small arms and artillery,” the Continentals could not stop the British and Hessian troops, who ultimately pushed the Americans into the nearby woods. [17] The British soldiers, exhausted and wearing wool, were able to push back the Continentals at 5:30 on that hot day. [18] As Washington would admit in his apologetic letter to the President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, “…in this days engagement we have been obliged to leave the enemy masters of the field.” [19]

As the smoke cleared, the carnage was evident. Numerous Continentals were wounded, along with French military men such as the Marquis de Lafayette. [20] Despite Washington’s claim that “our loss of men is not…very considerable…[and] much less than the enemys,” about 200-300 were killed and 400 taken prisoner. [21] This would confirm Lieutenant Beatty’s claim that Continental losses included eight artillery pieces, “500 men killed, wounded and prisoners.” [22] In contrast, on the British side, fewer than a hundred were killed while as many as 500 were wounded. [23] Beatty’s assessment was that the British loss was “considerable” due to a “great deal of very heavy firing.” [24] Still, as victors, the British slept on the battlefield that night.

Not long after, the British engaged in a feint attack to draw away the Continental Army from Philadelphia and marched into the city without firing a shot, occupying it for the next ten months. [25] In the meantime, Congress fled to York, Pennsylvania, where it stayed until Philadelphia could be re-occupied in late June 1778.

In the months after the battle, the Continental Army chose who would be punished for the defeat. This went beyond John Adams’s response to the news of the battle: “…Is Philadelphia to be lost? If lost, is the cause lost? No–The cause is not lost but may be hurt.” [26] While Washington accepted no blame for the defeat, others were court-martialed. [27]

One man was strongly accused for the defeat: John Sullivan. While some, such as Charles Pickney, praised Sullivan for his “calmness and bravery” during the battle, a sentiment that numerous Maryland officers agreed with, others disagreed. [28] A member of Congress from North Carolina, Thomas Burke, claimed that Sullivan engaged in “evil conduct” leading to misfortune, and that Sullivan was “void of judgment and foresight.” [29] He said this as he attempted to remove Sullivan from his commanding position. Since Sullivan’s division mostly fled the battleground, even as some resisted British advances, and former Quaker Nathaniel Greene led a slow retreat, the blame of Sullivan is not a surprise. [30] Burke’s effort did not succeed since Maryland officers and soldiers admired Sullivan for his aggressive actions and bravery, winning him support. [31]

Another officer accused of misdeeds was a Marylander named William Courts, a veteran of the Battle of Brooklyn. He was accused of “cowardice at the Battle of Brandywine” and for talking to Major Peter Adams of the 7th Maryland Regiment with “impertinent, and abusive language” when Adams questioned Courts’ battlefield conduct. [32] Courts was ultimately acquitted, though he left the Army shortly afterwards. However, his case indicates that the Continental Army was looking for scapegoats for the defeat.

The rest of the remaining Continental Army marched off in the cover of darkness, preventing a battle the following day. They camped at Chester, on the other side of the Schuylkill River, where they stayed throughout late September. [33] Twenty-four days after the battle on the Brandywine, the Continental Army attacked the British camp at Germantown but foggy conditions led to friendly fire, annulling any chance for victory. [34] While it was a defeat, the Battle of Germantown served the revolutionary cause by raising hopes for the United States in the minds of European nobility. [35] It may have also convinced Howe to resign from the British Army, as commander of British forces in North America, later that month.

In the following months, the Continental Army continued to fight around Philadelphia and New Jersey. After the battle at Germantown, the British laid siege to Fort Mifflin on Mud Island for over a month. They also engaged in an intensified siege on Fort Mercer at Red Bank, leading to its surrender in late October. In an attempt to assist Continental forces, a detachment of Maryland volunteers under Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Smith were sent to fight in the battle at Fort Mifflin. [36] By November, the Continentals abandoned Fort Mifflin and retired to Valley Forge. Still, this hard-fought defense of the Fort denied the British use of the Delaware River, foiling their plans to further defeat Continental forces.

As the war went on, the First Maryland Regiment would fight in the northern colonies until 1780 in battles at Monmouth (1778) and Stony Point (1779) before moving to the Southern states as part of Greene’s southern campaign. [37] They would come face-to-face with formidable British forces again in battles at Camden (1780), Cowpens (1781), Guilford Courthouse (1781), and Eutaw Springs (1781). In the end, what the Scottish economist Adam Smith wrote in 1776 held true in the Battle of Brandywine and until the end of the war: that Americans would not voluntarily agree with British imperial control and would die to free themselves from such control. [38]

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


Notes

[1] Collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. 1 (Merrehew & Thompson, 1853), 70-72; Lydia Minturn Post, Personal Recollections of the American Revolution: A Private Journal (ed. Sidney Barclay, New York: Rudd & Carleton, 1859), 207-218; Virginia Biography, Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography Vol. V (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915), 658. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; George F. Scheer, and Hugh F. Rankin, Rebels and Redcoats: The American Revolution Through the Eyes of Those who Fought and Lived It (New York: De Capo Press, 1957, reprint in 1987), 234. Trout, who was also a Reverend, would not survive the battle. While some records reprint his name as “Joab Traut,” other sources indicate that his first name was actually Jeremias and that his last name is sometimes spelled Trout.

[2] Andrew O’Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America: British Command During the Revolutionary War and the Preservation of the Empire (London: One World Publications, 2013), 254; Ferling, 177; Letters from Gen. George Washington, Vol. 5, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_344144_0001, item number 152, p. 87; “A Further Extract from the Examination of Joseph Galloway, Esq; by a Committee of the British House of Commons,” Maryland Journal, December 7, 1779, Baltimore, Vol. VI, issue 324, page 1.

[3] Washington thrown back at Brandywine, Chronicle of America (ed. Daniel Clifton, Mount Kisco, NY: Chronicle Publications, 1988), 163; “The Examination of Joseph Galloway, Esq; before the House of Commons,” Maryland Journal, November 23, 1779, Baltimore, Vol. VI, issue 322, page 1. Joseph Galloway, a former member of the Contintental Congress who later became favorable to the British Crown, claimed that inhabitants supplied the British on the way to Brandywine.

[4] Stanley Weintraub, Iron Tears: America’s Battle for Freedom, Britain’s Quagmire: 1775-1783 (New York: Free Press, 2005), 115.

[5] Bethany Collins, “8 Fast Facts About Hessians,” Journal of the American Revolution, August 19, 2014. Accessed August 31, 2016. They were called Hessians since many of them came from the German state of Hesse-Kassel, and many of them were led by Baron Wilhelm Von Knyphausen.

[6] Chronicle of America, 163; Letters from Gen. George Washington, Vol. 5, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_344144_0001, item number 152, p. 33. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Letters from Gen. George Washington, Vol. 5, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_344144_0001, item number 152, p. 37. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Letters from Gen. George Washington, Vol. 5, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_344144_0001, item number 152, p. 41. Courtesy of Fold3.com; The Annual Register or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature, for the Year 1777 (4th Edition, London: J. Dosley, 1794, 127-8; Mark Andrew Tacyn, “’To the End:’ The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution” (PhD diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), 137; The Winning of Independence, 1777-1783American Military History (Washington D.C.: Center for Military History, 1989), 72-73.

[7] John E. Ferling, Setting the World Abaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 175-176; O’Shaughnessy, 107. O’Shaughnessy argues that the encampment at Chad’s Ford was an “excellent defensive position.”

[8] Thomas J. McGuire, The Philadelphia Campaign: Brandywine and the Fall of Philadelphia Vol. I (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2006), 172-173. Reportedly, some Quakers ignored the dueling armies and went about their daily business but others such as Joseph Townsend did watch the battle and worried about their fate if the British were to be victorious.

[9] Ferling, 175-176; “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” Maryland Historical Magazine June 1908. Vol. 3, no.2, 109. The British had endured two weeks of horrible weather conditions in their journey from Elkton.

[10] Tacyn, 138; Ferling, 175; O’Shaughnessy, 7, 226, 228.

[11] “II: From Lieutenant Colonel James Ross, 11 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “III: To Colonel Theodorick Bland, 11 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “IV: From Major General John Sullivan, 11 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “V: From Colonel Theodorick Bland, 11 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “VII: Lieutenant Colonel Robert Hanson Harrison to John Hancock, 11 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “From George Washington to John Hancock, 13 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “To George Washington from Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 19 September 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Scheer, and Rankin, 235.

[12] Tacyn, 138-9; Scheer, and Rankin, 236; McGuire, 184-185, 167, 171, 186, 193, 196, 241.

[13] The Winning of Independence, 1777-1783American Military History (Washington D.C.: Center for Military History, 1989), 72-73; Tacyn, 139; David Ross, The Hessian Jagerkorps in New York and Pennsylvania, 1776-1777Journal of the American Revolution, May 14, 2015. Accessed August 31, 2016. The British and Hessians advanced with minimal casualties.

[14] “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” 109-110; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 18, 189, 310, 344, 345, 363, 379, 388519. William Beatty would become a captain in April 1778 in the Seventh Maryland Regiment, then in the First Maryland Regiment in early 1781.

[15] Letters from Gen. George Washington, Vol. 5, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_344144_0001, item number 152, p. 49. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[16] Pension of Jacob Armstrong, Revolutionary War Pensions, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, pension number S.22090, roll 0075. Courtesy of Fold3.com; “VII: Lieutenant Colonel Robert Hanson Harrison to John Hancock, 11 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016. Jacob served as a substitute for his father, Simon Armstrong.

[17] The Annual Register, 128-129.

[18] Ferling, 176.

[19] Weintraub, 118; “VIII: To John Hancock, 11 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Letters from Gen. George Washington, Vol. 5, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_344144_0001, item number 152, p. 53-53a; “VIII: To John Hancock, 11 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016. This letter was published by order of Congress.

[20] Tacyn, 140; The Annual Register, 129-130; Letters from Gen. George Washington, Vol. 5, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_344144_0001, item number 152, p. 53-53a; “VIII: To John Hancock, 11 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Letters from Gen. George Washington, Vol. 5, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_344144_0001, item number 152, p. 287. Courtesy of Fold3.com; “To George Washington from Brigadier General William Woodford, 2 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 458; Scheer, and Rankin, 240.

[21] Ferling, 177; O’Shaughnessy, 109; Washington thrown back at Brandywine, Chronicle of America, 163; Letters from Gen. George Washington, Vol. 5, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_344144_0001, item number 152, p. 53-53a; “VIII: To John Hancock, 11 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Petitions Address to Congress, 1775-189, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_419789_0001, item number 42, p. 159. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Jacob Ritter (prisoner after battle), Revolutionary War Pensions, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, pension number S.9080, roll 2052. Courtesy of Fold3.com; John Dwight Kilbourne, A Short History of the Maryland Line in the Continental Army (Baltimore: Society of Cincinnati of Maryland, 1992), 14; Howard H. Peckham, The War for Independence: A Military History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 68-70; Scheer, and Rankin, 239. Washington’s letter was later published by order of Congress.

[22]  “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” 110.

[23] O’Shaughnessy, 109; The Annual Register, 129-130; “To George Washington from Major John Clark, Jr., 12 November 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Peckham, 70; Scheer, and Rankin, 239.

[24] “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” 110; Peckham, 70; McGuire, 209. Claims by Continentals that there were many British casualties may have been explained by British tactics.

[25]  “A Further Extract from the Examination of Joseph Galloway, Esq; by a Committee of the British House of Commons”;  “The Examination of Joseph Galloway, Esq; before the House of Commons”; Weintraub, 115; Tacyn, 143; Trevelyan, 249, 275; O’Shaughnessy, 110.

[26] John Adams diary 28, 6 February – 21 November 1777 [electronic edition], entries for September 16, Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society

[27] “A Further Extract from the Examination of Joseph Galloway, Esq; by a Committee of the British House of Commons” ; “General Orders, 19 October 1777,” Founders Online,National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “General Orders, 25 September 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; “General Orders, 3 January 1778,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[28] Tacyn, 142; Letters from General Officers, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives, NARA M247, Record Group 360, roll pcc_4345518_0001, item number 100, p. 69. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[29] Tacyn, 141.

[30] Tacyn, 140-141.

[31] Tacyn, 143.

[32] “General Orders, 19 October 1777,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[33] Pension of Jacob Armstrong; Weintraub, 116-117; O’Shaughnessy, 109; “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” 110; Kilbourne, 14.

[34] Pension of Jacob Armstrong; The Annual Register, 129-130; Sir George Otto Trevelyan, The American Revolution: Saratoga and Brandywine, Valley Forge, England and France at War, Vol. 4 (London: Longmans Greens Co., 1920), 275; O’Shaughnessy, 110; Ross, “The Hessian Jagerkorps in New York and Pennsylvania, 1776-1777,” Journal of the American Revolution, May 14, 2015. Accessed August 31, 2016; “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” 110-111; Kilbourne, 17, 19. As Beatty recounts, Marylanders were joined by the Maryland militia and were still part of General Sullivan’s division.

[35] Trevelyan, 249; O’Shaughnessy, 111; Christopher Hibbert, George III: A Personal History (New York: Basic Books, 1998), 154-155.

[36] “Journal of Captain William Beatty 1776-1781,” 110; Kilbourne, 14.

[37] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, April 1, 1778 through October 26, 1779 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 21, 118; Kilbourne, 21-22, 24-27, 29-30, 31, 33.

[38] Adam Smith, Chapter VII: Of Colonies, Part Third: Of the advantages which Europe has derived from the Discovery of America, and from that of a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (ed. Edward Canman, New York: The Modern Library, reprint 1937, originally printed in 1776), 587- 588.

Another Company Finished!

We are very pleased to announce that we have written biographies of all the soldiers in the Fourth Company of the First Maryland Regiment! There are 71 biographies of Fourth Company soldiers, which make up an important part of the more than 200 now online. You can read all of them on our Biographies page.

The Fourth Company was at the heart of the Maryland 400’s last stand at the Battle of Brooklyn, and suffered the worst losses of the Maryland companies. Only 14 men escaped capture or death: one sergeant, 12 privates, and the company’s drummer.

We definitively know the names of seven of the survivors: Sergeant John Toomy, Drummer Patrick Ivory, and privates William Chaplin (who later earned special notoriety), Edward Cosgrove, John Herron, William Nixon, and Thomas Wiseman. There is good evidence about six other men, although mathematically not all of them could have survived: William Baggott, Thomas Hamilton, William Parr, John Price, John Riley, and Valentine Smith.

At least 11 men from the company were taken prisoner during the Battle of Brooklyn: Lieutenant Edward Prall, Ensign William Courts, Sergeant Samuel McMillan, Corporal William McMillan, and privates Robert Crafford, Samuel Glasgow, Thomas Mason, Charles Riely, and Richard Whelan. Captain Daniel Bowie and Leiutenent Joseph Butler were both mortally wounded and died in British captivity. We have been unable to learn more about who was captured or killed from the company, owing to missing records.

The Fourth Company was also the unit that brothers William and Samuel McMillan served in. William’s first-hand account of the battle is compelling and vivid, and tells us a great deal about what happened at the battle and afterward. The McMillans were both captured and then taken to a British prison in Nova Scotia. Together with a group of other captured American soldiers, they escaped and traveled by foot to Boston, a trip that took most of the spring and summer of 1777. After recovering, both brothers reenlisted and served in the army for several more years.

Not all of the Fourth Company men we wrote about fought at the Battle of Brooklyn, however. While we have records of 71 soldiers enlisting, some of them must have left the company at some point in the summer of 1776, before the Marylanders marched to fight in New York. On the eve of their departure, there were only 58 officers and men present. We’re not sure which of the men on our list did not travel north to join the Continental Army.

We still have a long way to go before we have met our goal of writing biographies of all the Marylanders who fought at the Battle of Brooklyn. We know the names of about 850 of them, so we have many more biographies to write. Our funding from the Maryland Society of the Sons of the American Revolution will allow us to continue to make progress towards our goal.

If you have enjoyed following the project or used its resources, please support it through a donation to the Friends of the Maryland State Archives. Be sure to list Maryland 400 under “Additional Comments.” Thank you very much!

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

–Owen

Persecuted in Revolutionary Baltimore: The Sufferings of Quakers

quaker lady detaining the english general

“Quaker Lady detaining the English General.” This engraving refers to Mary Lindley Murray who, as legend has it, delayed Sir Henry Clinton and his officers by treating them to food and drink, tempting them with her charms, while the Americans under the command of Israel Putnam escaped after the disastrous Battle of Kip’s Bay in September 1776. This cartoon counters the feelings of some revolutionaries by making Quakers seem favorable to the revolutionary cause.

In March 1777, revolutionary leader John Adams wrote an angry letter to his wife, Abigail. He declared that Baltimore was a “dull place” where many of the town’s remaining inhabitants were Quakers, who he described as “dull as Beetles” and a “kind of neutral Tribe, or the Race of the insipids.” [1] This article continues the series about Baltimore Town by focusing on the Baltimorean Quakers, also called the Society of Friends. These Quakers were living in a town where religious beliefs interlinked with political events. You can read our other posts about Baltimore during the Revolutionary War period here.

Adams clearly misrepresented the role of Quakers in Baltimore Town. [2] The Quakers were controversial in the public arena because of their dedication to pacifism resulting in refusal to pay war taxes, assert loyalty to the colonies, or lend supplies to the Continental Army.

Even though some Maryland Quakers raised money to feed the people of Boston in 1775, revolutionaries still saw them as supporting the Crown, rather than taking a neutral position. [3] Revolutionary pamphleteer Thomas Paine, the son of a Quaker, even declared that “were the Quakers…influenced by the quiet principles they profess to hold, they would…be the first of all men to approve of independence” because it gives the opportunity of “carrying their favourite principle of peace into general practice, by establishing governments that shall hereafter exist without wars.” [4] Others thought that the Quakers engaged in espionage for the British, were treasonous to the revolutionary cause or partook in illegalities. [5]

The negative perception of Quakers by revolutionaries led to fines, looting of their property, imprisonment, and numerous other forms of discrimination. [6] However, they didn’t stay silent. One letter to the Maryland Journal, in 1777, by a presumed Quaker named ‘Pacifius’ defended neutrals, like Quakers, saying “let us remember our duty, as Christians, to love our enemies” and that the Maryland legislature should repeal “acts, which create disqualifications, or impose a tax on…neutrals.” [7]

The Maryland Committee of Sufferings recorded acts of Quaker persecution in the turbulent revolutionary environment. This committee, similar to Meetings for Sufferings created in the Northern colonies in the early 1770s, petitioned the state government of Maryland about discrimination against them, pushed for exemptions to military service, and generally advocated on behalf of Quakers. [8]

In October 1778, the Committee of Sufferings in Kent County, the first of its kind in Maryland, told fellow brethren that Quakers experienced long terms of imprisonment and banishment. [9] They endured the consequences of not wanting to comply with “human injunctions and institutions.” [10] Their reasoning was laid out in detail in an appeal to the Maryland General Assembly in October 1778 by this committee. In the letter they declared that they were resolute in their principles and opposed their Revolutionary War:

“…we behold…the devastation occasioned by the present war…we believe it to be our indispensable duty to abstain from all wars & combat which have the tendency to destroy the lives of men….we cannot, consistent with our religious principles, join with either of the contending parties….constrained from entering into solemn engagements of allegiance with either….in consequence thereof, we have been brought under great sufferings…[the state] government will not derive any advantage from…continuing our sufferings…we charitably hope the Legislature of Maryland would…avoid…the imputation of persecution…we…desire to live peace with all men, and should of any of our members now deviate from our…principles by joining in war, entering into plots…against the government…the guilt of such will most assuredly be on themselves” [11]

The war caused divisions in the Quakers community. Some Quakers wanted to give their oaths of allegiance or otherwise join the revolutionary cause. [12] This concerned those on the committee because this action went against established principles since it constituted participating directly in the war’s bloodshed. Other “concerned Quakers” made munitions for the Continental Army, worked for the Army, or gave starving soldiers food and supplies. [13] Later in the war, in Philadelphia, some joined the “Free Quakers,” and took up weapons against the British.

Still, the majority of Quakers adhered to their pacifist principles and disowned such dissident forces, charging them with disobedience. If someone was disowned they would be forcibly renounced or no longer accepted in the Quaker community, which could result in exile.

The story of a Cecil County man, named Jeremiah Brown, shows discrimination that Quakers faced and how the Quaker community stuck together. On March 24, 1778 he admitted his wrong at the Brick Meeting House in Calvert, Cecil County:

“…when my wagon and team came back, which were forcibly taken to carry military stores, [I] did receive wages for the same and was paid for one of the horses which were lost in the journey, which compliance has not been easy to mind, being convinced that the testimony of truth is against such, I do not hereby acknowledge my weakness therein, hoping and desiring for the future to give closer attention to the inward principles which preserve the error.” [14]

This was against Quaker rules because it constituted complicity in the war. While the meeting was unhappy that a member of Brown’s family went to check to see on the care of their impounded horses, Brown could have felt “weak” since he been a loyal Quaker for many years. [15] Interestingly, there is no record that Brown was exiled from the Quakers since he was an active member for years to come. [16]

Actions similar to Brown’s admission either didn’t happen or were downplayed in the Baltimore meeting. This was proven to be the case when in 1781, the Baltimore Yearly Meeting declared to fellow members that “most Friends appear to be careful in maintaining our testimony against war by refusing payment of taxes.” [17]

The Baltimore meeting of Quakers was politicized by slavery. Throughout 1776, they discussed slavery in their quarterly meetings. [18]. By 1777, Maryland Quakers, under the jurisdiction of the Baltimore meeting, were threatened to be disowned if they manumit their enslaved blacks. [19] From February 1776 to November 1777, a report was prepared by Henry Wilson, Benjamin Howard, and other brethren, on those Quakers who kept slaves. The meeting recorded the manumissions of sixty-two enslaved blacks owned by fellow members and continued to assist their fellow brethren in other matters. [20] However, manumissions were not an end to slavery. The use of manumissions in Baltimore Town, for example, sustained and expanded slavery for years to come. [21] Compounding this reality was the vital role the town played in the regional slave trade, which it had largely siphoned off from Philadelphia. [22]

In November 1777, the report, strongly condemning the practice of slavery, was released to the Baltimore quarterly meeting. The committee reported that

“…they have carefully visited nearly all the families of friends that are involv’d in the oppressive practice of Slave-keeping & have with sorrow to observe the backwardness that prevails with too many Elders in society, to do Justice to that oppressed people…Testimony should be maintain’d against this oppressive practice.” [23]

While Quakers were seen by revolutionaries as siding with the British Crown, they took sides when it came to the moral issue of slavery.

In the turbulent revolutionary environment, Quakers in Baltimore Town survived through a war which would change the new United States as the British imperial system was removed and the colonial elite structures remained.

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


Notes

[1] Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 7 March 1777 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society.

[2] It is possible that Adams was factious in this letter.

[3] Indian Spring Monthly Meeting: Minutes (Sandy Spring), 1772-1817, 27 October 1775 [MSA SC 2978 SCM 638-1]. The Indian Spring meeting specifically, as some have noted, “even indirectly contributed to the war effort by raising money in 1775 for the inhabitants of faraway Boston after the start of the Revolution.”

[4] Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis Number III,” Maryland Journal, May 6, 1777, Baltimore, Vol. IV, issue 182, page 2.

[5] Maryland Journal, May 13, 1777, Baltimore, Vol. IV, issue 184, page 1; Maryland Journal, September 16, 1777, Baltimore, Vol. IV, issue 202, page 1-2.

[6] J. Saurin Norris, The early Friends (or Quakers) in Maryland (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1862), 25; Camila Townsend, Tales of Two Cities: Race and Economic Culture in Early Republican North and South America: Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Baltimore, Maryland (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000), 105. In Maryland, the General Assembly, even in 1747, passed a law to condemn public drunkenness outside Quakers houses of worship among other laws in 1718, 17481752, 1757, and 1765. Even so, they continued to meet in a Baltimorean private dwelling, a meeting place since about 1700. Starting in the 1770s, Quaker millers, who lived in Philadelphia, were displaced by the Revolution and settled near Baltimore. It is worth noting that a general meeting of the Quakers for the state of Maryland was not held in Baltimore until 1787.

[7] Pacificus, “To the Public,” Maryland Journal, June 16, 1778, Baltimore, Vol. V, issue 242, page 1. This is not the same as Alexander Hamilton, a man who took the pseudonym ‘Pacificus’ and debated with framers of the Constitution.

[8] Arthur Mekeel, “The American Revolution: New York Divided,” Quaker Crosscurrents: Three Hundred Years of Friends in the New York Yearly Meetings (ed. Hugh Barbour, Christopher Densmore, Elizabeth H. Moger, Nancy C. Sorel, Alson D. Van Wagner, and Arthur J. Worrall, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1995), 51-61; David Cooper, “For the Testimony of Truth,” American Quaker War Tax Resistance (ed. David M. Gross, second edition, ebook: CreateSpace, 2011), 216-217; “Conclusion of the Piece Begun in the Maryland Journal Extraordinary of the 6th of November,” Maryland Journal, December 3, 1782, Vol. IX, issue 483, page 1. Based on the types of persecution that Quakers endured in later years it is possible to infer the conditions that they lived through in that fateful year of independence. Even with their outspoken beliefs, the Quakers were still worshipping in a meeting house in Baltimore by the end of the war, along with the town’s other religious denominations.

[9] Baltimore Yearly Meetings, Meeting for sufferings 1778-1841, October 1778, p. 2-3 [MSA SC 2400, SCM 556-2].

[10] Baltimore Quarterly Meeting: Minutes, 1710-1822, 1776, Quarterly Meeting for the Western Shore Collection, Special Collections, p. 132 [MSA SC 3123, SCM 571-1].

[11] Baltimore Yearly Meetings, October 1778, Meeting for sufferings 1778-1841, p. 4-5 [MSA SC 2400, SCM 556-2].

[12] Baltimore Yearly Meetings, October 1778, Meeting for sufferings 1778-1841,  p. 4-5 [MSA SC 2400, SCM 556-2].

[13] Peter Brock, Pacifism in the United States: From the Colonial Era to the First World War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968), 223, 228; Maryland Journal, November 4, 1777, Vol. v, issue 209, page 4; Maryland Journal, April 21, 1778, Vol. V, issue 233, page 1.

[14] Brock, 39, 223; Bi-centennial of Brick Meeting-House, Calvert, Cecil County, Maryland (Lancaster: Wickersham Printing Company, 1902), 55. This text also notes that Brown was born in Little Britain, Pennsylvania, which had its own meeting of Quakers was associated with the East Nottingham meeting in Maryland, which was in Cecil County’s East Nottingham Hundred.

[15] Brock, 223; Grace L. Tracey and John Philip Dern, Pioneers of Old Monocacy: The Early Settlement of Frederick County, Maryland 1721-1743 (Baltimore: Genealogical Printing, 1989), 82; Bi-centennial of Brick Meeting-House, 46, 53, 56. It is possible that some of these Jeremiah Browns could have been his father.

[16] Bi-centennial of Brick Meeting-House, 66, 70.

[17] Brock, 212; “The Examination of Joseph Galloway, Esq; before the House of Commons,” Maryland Journal, November 23, 1779, Baltimore, Vol. VI, issue 322, page 1; “A Further Extract from the Examination of Joseph Galloway, Esq; by a Committee of the British House of Commons,” Maryland Journal, December 7, 1779, Baltimore, Vol. VI, issue 324, page 1. It is likely that Quakers lived under similar conditions in 1776, especially after the Declaration of Independence. During the British occupation of Philadelphia after 1778, the British reported that one-fourth of the population were Quakers and that they refused to carry arms.

[18] Baltimore Quarterly Meeting: Minutes, 1710-1822, 1776-1777, Quarterly Meeting for the Western Shore Collection, Special Collections, p. 131, 133-134 [MSA SC 3123, SCM 571-1]. They also discussed slavery in their yearly meetings, of course.

[19] Herbert Aptheker, “The Quakers and Negro Slavery.” The Journal of Negro History 25, no. 3 (1940): 352; Jennifer H. Doresey, Hirelings: African American Workers and Free Labor in Early Maryland (London: Cornell University Press, 2011), 40; David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 25; David W Jordan, “”Gods Candle” within Government: Quakers and Politics in Early Maryland.” The William and Mary Quarterly 39, no. 4 (1982): 653. In earlier years, Quakers in Baltimore had “participated integrally in the local and provisional life of the colony,” even engaging in acts of civil disobedience.

[20] Baltimore Quarterly Meeting: Minutes, 1710-1822, 1777, Quarterly Meeting for the Western Shore Collection, Special Collections, p. 135-137 [MSA SC 3123, SCM 571-1]; Baltimore Yearly Meetings, Miscellaneous Contents, 1677–1901, Advice (General), p. 6-7 [MSA SC 2400, SCM 551-1].

[21] Stephen Whitman, “Diverse Good Causes: Manumission and the Transformation of Urban Slavery.” Social Science History 19, no. 3 (1995): 334.

[22] Jean R. Soderlund, Quakers and Slavery: A Divided Spirit (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), 57.

[23] Baltimore Quarterly Meeting: Minutes, 1710-1822, 1777, Quarterly Meeting for the Western Shore Collection, Special Collections, p. 137 [MSA SC 3123, SCM 571-1]. In that meeting, the investigation of fellow brethren who held enslaved blacks was continued, with a report scheduled for the next quarterly meeting.