“A Gentleman of Maryland”: the short life of Edward Giles

Focus on what Christopher Weeks argues is the land within Harford Lower Hundred (“all the land drained by Romney Creek, Bush River, and Cranberry Run”), using an 1858 “map of Harford Co., Maryland.” Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Edward Giles was a gentleman that was different from the other officers of the Extra Regiment, who marched Southward just like him. After all, Edward had ancestors who were immigrants to Massachusetts in the 1630s and some of the “earliest settlers of Baltimore County,” specifically to “Old Baltimore.” His short life is worth noting, with its twists and turns, as it tells a story which has never been fully told in print.

In the final years of military service: 1780-1782

Edward was a major in the Extra Regiment as noted by fellow officer Theodore Middleton and a soldier named Giles Thomas. Remaining records of the Maryland Line would also show his military service within the regiment. [1] He held many other military positions. He was reportedly a captain in Hazen’s (2nd Canadian) regiment from 1778-1779, a major and aide-to-camp of General Morgan from 1779 to 1781, as he would note in a January 1781 letter. He was even made Brevet Major in Continental Army in March 1781 in honor of his role in the Battle of Cowpens, which he seems to have reported to Thomas Jefferson in a glowing account. [2] Until the close of the war, he served as an aide-to-camp of General Smallwood until the close of the war. Reportedly he also commanded Virginia militia in December 1780. [3] He was, undoubtedly, a “prolific correspondent” on the Extra Regiment.

In 1781, the Maryland General Assembly consider raising an all-Black regiment, similar to the state’s German Regiment, but did not do so. Even so, Edward wrote to Otho Holland Williams on June 1st arguing that

I wish the [Black] regiment would be raised. I am of the opinion that the Blacks will make excellent soldiers—indeed experience proves it…As to the danger of training them to Arms—tis the Child of a distempered Imagination. There are some people who are forever frightening themselves with Bugbears of their own Creation. [4]

The following year, Edward would be elected to the Continental Congress. However, he would not attend that year possibly related to his military service, but the true reason is not known. [5] The same year he would defend Samuel Chase, who then represented Maryland in the Continental Congress, from charges that he had used “secret congressional information to corner the market on flour,” knowing that the French fleet would be arriving in Maryland. Specifically he wrote to James McHenry saying that the evidence before the Maryland General Assembly had shown Chase innocent and urged the author of the “Publius” essays to retract their charges. As a letter from Alexander Hamilton to McHenry revealed (also implied in McHenry’s letter to Hamilton earlier that year), he was Publius, which comes as no surprise. Interestingly, Hamilton was angry that Edward had become a champion of Chase:

…You know that I can have no personal enmity to him, and that considerations of public good alone dictated my attack upon his conduct and character, influenced by a persuasion produced by the strongest authorities, that he was acting a part inconsistent with patriotism, or honor… I could not refuse it to my own feelings, to make him the most explicit and complete retribution…As to the discovery of my name demanded with such preposterous vehemence, by a volunteer in the dispute, I conceive myself under no obligation to make it…I have esteemed Major [Giles] character; and am sorry for his sake that he has so indelicately entered the lists; and made himself, not only the champion of Mr. Ch——e’s innocence in the present case, but of his virtues in general, certainly at best equivocal in spite of the Major’s panygerics. He should have recollected, that by an alliance with his family, he did not ally himself with his principles; and that he degrades Mr. Ch——e, as well as commits himself by unnecessarily taking up the glove for him…an apprehension of his, or any man’s resentment is a motive incapable of operating upon me or having the least share either in the concealment of my name or in the moderate return I make to his invectives.

In sum, Hamilton is saying that Edward is using formal speech (panegyrics) to defend Chase but that by doing so, he has made himself a champion of the latter’s values. He also suggests that he is degrading Chase by doing so and standing by his side, allying with the Chase family. Hamilton then worried about people guessing his motives so he decides to keep his name hidden.

The next year, 1783, the county assessment for Harford County would note Edward’s large landholdings, living in the same county as the former commanding officer of the Extra Regiment, Alexander Lawson Smith. He would own a total of 1,401 acres in Harford Lower Hundred. These acres were parceled out into seven land tracts:

  1. 90 acre tract called Mats Island
  2. a 50 acre tract called Hog Neck
  3. a 147 acre tract called Shepherds Choice
  4. a 770 acre tract called Rumney Marsh
  5. a 28 acre tract called Shepherds Adventure
  6. a two acre tract called Minorca
  7. 314 acre tract called Atkinsons Purchase.

Soon this would all change.

The last hurrah: A trip to Bermuda

A close-up of Bermuda within Joseph Smith Speer’s 1774 map of the 13 colonies, West Indies, and Caribbean. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

On January 30, 1783, Governor William Paca and the Council of Maryland would write to Admiral Robert Digby of the Royal Navy. Guided by the “Motives of Humanity” he would describe Edward’s condition:

…Mr Edward Giles, a Gentleman of Maryland, is reduced to such a State, by a Disorder in the Breast, that his Physicians advise a Change of Climate as the only probable Means of his Recovery. As he is too Weak to undertake a long Voyage, his Friends are extremely desirous that he should try the Salutary Air of Bermuda, and it is at their earnest Solicitations that we have the Honor to request the Favor of your Excellency’s Passport for a Vessel to carry him thither, with a Companion and two Slaves to attend him; and Provisions for the Use of the Crew and his Family. Candor requires that you should be informed, that Mr Giles has been an Officer in the American Army, and that he is, at this Time, a Delegate to Congress. We know not whether it is in your Excellency’s Department to grant Mr Giles Permission to reside in Bermuda until his Health be restored, but if it is not, we persuade ourselves, from your acknowledg’d Attention to the Rights of Humanity, that you will be so obliging as to recommend him, for this Purpose, to the Governor of the Island [William Browne].

With the above letter showing his wealth, with two enslaved Blacks and a companion (his wife?), it is partially revealing. The following day, Edward would write a letter to Washington mentioning the above letter, noting that he felt “highly obliged” and hoped he could use the latter’s influence to “obtain the Passport and Permission as soon as possible.” As he described it,

“…With your Letter please to have that of the Governor and Council transmitted. I hope the Admirals not being furnished with the name and tonnage of the Vessel and number of hands will not impede the Business. It is impossible to give him this Information accurately as the Vessell is yet to be obtained. Thus far however he may be assured, she will be chosen for her good Cabbin Accomadations and her hands will not exceed eight. I am sensible that was Admiral Digby (tho’ an Enemy) acquainted with my Situation, he would blush to throw any obstructions in my Way. Your Excellency’s Veneration for humanity fills me with undoubting hopes that you will leave no means unessayed to accomplish this interesting Business. It is the opinion of my Physicians, that the month of March and April in this Climate might so confirm my Disorder as to make it an [   ] for Life. My Fate hangs on every passing hour, a small Delay may prove fatal to my Existence. Excuse the Anxiety of an Invalid, and believe Me to be with Sentiments of real Regard”-

This desperate plea would not go unanswered by Washington. Twelve days later on February 12, Washington would remark that he had received the letter, noting that the application should have “gone thro Mr Morris as Agent of Marine” and not himself, but since a “delay in the transaction of this business might have been fatal to you.” As a result, he sent the Admiral a letter immediately, noting that any answer he receives shall be forwarded to him.

Sadly, he would not make it another month. On March 13, the Maryland Gazette would announce his death in a detailed obituary. They would describe him as a man with a “liberal education” and imbued “patriotism,” calling him a “virtuous citizen” and an “excellent young man”:

Quotes around this obituary seem to say it was reprinted from another paper which is not currently known.

Using the first line of the obituary, one can easily calculate that he died on March 10, 1783, with others coming to the same conclusion. [6]

Over 148 years later, on December 1, 1931, Samuel K. Dennis, J. Hall Pleasants, and J. M. Vincents, would write to the “gentlemen” of the Maryland Historical Society about whole episode. They would write about how the council requested that Admiral Digby, commanding the British fleet, issue a “passport to Edward Giles” who seems to have had “tuberculosis of the lungs” and noted “Giles died a week or two later before the request could be acted upon” with subsequent developments thereafter in “humane amenities…between the belligerents” when the main hostilities seemed to cease.

Beyond this, little information is known other than the fact that his death would be reported in British newspapers by June, and a possible federal veterans pension in later years. Due to his death in 1783, this means he would not be in any of the federal censuses and would have no direct federal pension records associated with him. Regardless, he would live on, in some way, shape, and form through his ancestors and scattered records in varied pensions of others.

 

Notes

[1] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 43, 234, 248, 306, 314, 341, 530; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 45, 45, 46, 100, 211, 334, 514, 541, 617; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 48, 98.

[2] Francis Bernard Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1783 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982), 248; John Thomas Scharf, History of Maryland from the Earliest Period Until the Present Day, Vol. II (Baltimore: John. B. Piet, 1879), 407-409.

[3] John Thomas Scharf, History of Maryland, 401.

[4] The Finding the Maryland 400 Project cites a letter from Major Edward Giles to Otho Holland Williams, 1 Jun 1781 within the Williams Papers, Maryland Historical Society which is quoted in Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the American Revolution (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1961), 56-57.

[5] Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005: The Continental Congress, September 5, 1774, to October 21, 1788, and the Congress of the United States, from the First Through the One Hundred Eighth Congresses, March 4, 1789, to January 3, 2005, Inclusive (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2005), 35 or page 5 of this PDF.

[6] Scharf, History of Maryland, 436.

A “person of trust”: the story of Archibald Golder

Focus on Annapolis, which is taken from a map of Maryland in 1786 by John Churchman for the American Philosophical Society. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In our previous post, it was noted that Archibald Golder was a captain within the Extra Regiment, even as he was a rank lower than Alexander Lawson Smith, the commander of the regiment. However, he was described in numerous documents as the “regiment’s paymaster” and it is not known if he commanded a company. In September 1780, he resigned his rank, and was one of the 19 known people within the regiment who had a pension. This article uses the said pension and other documents to expand the story of Archibald, a “person of trust.”

The last years of the war

During the last years of the revolutionary war, Archibald served numerous military positions. Before his service as a captain in the Extra Regiment, he was part of the state government in Annapolis, helping Maryland Governor Thomas Sims Lee with coordinating distribution of provisions across the state to the Maryland military units, for example. Still, he would serve as a captain even after the dissolution of the Extra Regiment, gaining certain supplies and such in March 1781. In 1782, even as he still received his payments for his service, he was requested to supply and quarter incoming French troops into Baltimore. [1] On September 7, 1782, the Council of Maryland, then the state government, wrote to the Chevalier De la Valette, saying that [2]:

“We are honored with your Letter, and have directed Mr Golder to provide proper Quarters for your Officers and Men, and make no Doubt of his doing it in such a Manner as to give you and the Officers Satisfaction. If it is necessary a Person should be constantly on the Spot, to prevent your Men from suffering, and it should be inconvenient to Mr Golder to remain, we will appoint a fit Person to do that Duty; but it is our Wish, as it would be more agreeable to the Inhabitants of the Town, that temporary Barracks or Huts, be erected on Whetstone Point for the Soldiers, and the State will pay any extraordinary Expence which may be incurred therein.”

The same day, he would be requested by this same council to provide quarters for the French troops and officers. Later that month he would be notified that boats and hands for the French Army would be hired, and told to inform himself “particularly of this Transaction, and make a Representation of all Circumstances to us.” [3] Basically, he would be the welcoming party for the French coming to America, providing quarters, and allowing the French to ”procure Waggons, Carts, Teams and Drivers, Vessels and hands for the Carriage and Transportation of their Baggage through the State” as one letter in July stated. [4]

Years later, in 1836, Archibald’s wife, Sarah, would appear before a Baltimore City court saying that her husband was a lieutenant and captain within the Extra Regiment, along with being the regiment’s paymaster and quartermaster. Within her widows pension to the federal government, it would be noted that he served in the Maryland line for two years (1780-1782), was a paymaster from Oct. 1780 to Nov. 1782, and would have been a “supernumerary officer” of the state after 1781, since the Extra Regiment ceased to exist. [5] Also, Archibald would be described as a person would was appointed Lt. in Extra Regiment on July 27, appointed captain on Sept. 1, and appointed paymaster on Oct. 18. This list of documents would also say he would be appointed quartermaster in another regiment on July 18, 1782, serving in this position until Nov. 11, 1782.

Marriage and settling down

Page 168 of this PDF which indexes marriage references within the annals of the Maryland State Archives.

In 1782, Archibald’s military career would end. On the tale end of his service in the Maryland Line, on April 4, he would marry a woman named Sarah Ashmead in Annapolis, Maryland. [6] A woman named Sarah Callahan would be present at the marriage ceremony as is noted in the widows pension. Reportedly, she would be born in 1758, making her two years older than Archibald. [7]

In the following years Archibald would begin to sink his roots in Annapolis. In 1783, a Anne Arundel County assessment would say that he only owned one acre of land within Annapolis Hundred. The following year he would be elected as a part of the clerk’s committee within the House of Delegates. [8] This would not be a surprise since he had been elected as an assistant clerk in House of Delegates in 1777. That same year, the following “runaway slave advertisement” would appear in the Maryland Gazette:

It would describe Benedict Calvert as the former owner and say that this enslaved black woman  was his “property,” showing that his wealth was growing even during this time. This advertisement would also cement Archibald as directly involved in the oppressive system of slavery.

The following year he would receive (or buy?) $1.22 in liquidated debt certificate from Maryland. More importantly was his appointment, along with Thomas Purdy, Ephraim Ramsey, and William Meroney as a clerk of Maryland elections.

Three years later, in February 1788, he would be appointed as an assistant clerk of Constitutional Convention. [9] For this, he would be called a “person of trust” by William Smallwood, later a governor of Maryland for several years (1785-1788) and former military man. By May 1788, Archibald would be appointed by the Maryland state government to tell the Continental Congress about “the Proceedings of the said Convention and their Act ratifying the Plan of Government proposed for the United States.” The following year, he would be chosen as an officer to “carry [an] election certificate to the secretary of Congress.”

A life in Annapolis

Focus on Annapolis from map of Maryland in 1795 by multiple authors (Dennis Griffith, James Thackara,  and John Vallance). Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Also see this 1797 map of Maryland by a German cartographer.

By 1790, Archibald and his wife Sarah would be living in Annapolis. While he does not appear in the U.S. federal census that year, there is no doubt he is living in the city. This is evidenced by the fact that he assaulted a man named William Grant, for reasons not yet known, that year. [10] Grant was reportedly from the Highlands of Scotland and had a distaste for British power but was also a private in the Maryland line. His son, of the same name, would reportedly be one of the first White settlers in Kentucky, marrying into the Boone family, which pioneer Daniel Boone was part of. [11] He was a former blacksmith (and silversmith) within the city, which means that Archibald could have been a higher class than him, setting up the possibility of inter-class conflict in the fight between these two individuals.

Five years later, in 1795, Archibald would increase his land holdings. He would pay Charles Carroll of Carrolton, a Catholic powerbroker with Maryland, and Western shore senator, five hundred pounds for lots 67, 68, and 69. [12] However, due to previous land agreements he would acquiesce to not buying a part of lot 67 which was sold by John Golder (his father?) to a man named John Gordon. One of the structures Archibald would buy was a “structure in which he was born.” The following year he would reportedly open “a dry and wet goods store in that building.”

Later that year, in December 1795 he would be the clerk for a committee meeting in Annapolis. This committee would handle the issues of “specie remaining in the treasury…fines and forfeitures, marriage, ordinary and retailers licences…[and state of] a land-office on the eastern shore,” accompanied by the pay to the state treasurer.

This notice of continuing meetings would appear in the December 10 and December 17 issues of the Maryland Gazette as well.

On December 14, a man named Quaker named John Needles, of Easton, Maryland and former high sheriff of Talbot,  would die “at the house of Archibald Golder.” He would be given a one-paragraph obituary with a poem with Christian religious themes tacked on the end:

The late 1790s and Archibald concentrating wealth in Annapolis

In 1797, Archibald would again make an agreement on his land holdings. Three commissioners of Annapolis,Charles Wallace, James Brice, John Randall, commissioners of Annapolis, along with William Hall III, and James Mackubin would buy, for 100 pounds, lot 69 within Annapolis. [13] It would be used for “the purpose of a public prison” in Anne Arundel County, which would serve his new business well. As such, it is no surprise that he, and his wife, were on-board with this land agreement.

By 1798, the Federal Tax Assessment would indicate Archibald’s increased property holdings in Annapolis. He would be listed as owning three enslaved blacks but also numerous other “property” in terms of land. He would control one frame dwelling in “very bad repair”:

Other columns on page 100, relating to this entry, indicate that this property is only worth $100.10 and cover 1/4 of an acre.

Apart from this, other records indicate that he owned three other buildings on Annapolis’s West Street. They would consist of a “brick dwelling,” and two frame dwellings, one of which has a frame edition, kitchen, six outhouses, milk house, and other small house:

All together these properties consist 2 1/2 acres and are worth $700.10 dollars. William Spencer is living in the brick dwelling and Richard Daws in the first frame dwelling.

The Baltimore Sun would later note that Archibald owned a tavern in the city. Possibly consisting the last property in the above picture, it would consist of a clientele that at oysters, shucking lots of “tasty mollusks and chuck[ing] the shells,” which ate at his Sign of the Waggon and Horse tavern. According to the Sun, visitors could fill up on “food and wine and retire to a boarding room to sleep it off” with such remnants “of bygone revelry” which includes bone toothbrushes, tobacco pipes, and oyster shells, would be “unearthed by archaeologists at 44 West St., about two blocks from the State House” in 2007. [14]
Since the list of original writing of “three frame dwellings and four support structures on his property” which he owned in 1798 is hard to read at times, one researcher transcribed the above picture and every property/entry listed in the 1798 assessment of parts of Maryland. What they said of Archibald showed that two of his properties had one tenant each but two others did not:

In 1799, Gottlieb Grammar would be reported as leasing Golder’s two-story frame dwelling on West Street, which he operated as a “house of entertainment” known as the “Sign of the Pennsylvania Farmer.” In later years, his tavern at 46 West Street, alternately known as “Mount Vernon” or “Hunter’s Tavern”,  would remainin operation through the early 19th century. [15] This reported leasing would be declared in the November 28, 1799 issue of the Maryland Gazette:

While this leasing would not be reported in the land records of Maryland, as much as we know, in 1989, archeology would uncover “late eighteenth through early nineteenth century artifacts, including tin-glazed earthenware, pearlware, and creamware,” which were interpreted as remnants of the Archibald Golder’s occupation starting in 1760 and the subsequent use of the space as “a tavern or hotel service area after 1799.”

Living in Annapolis in the early 19th century

Focus on Annapolis from a 1933 map of Maryland. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In 1800, Archibald, would, with his family, be listed as living in Annapolis, for the first time in the federal census. [16] He would be the owner of four enslaved Blacks and have “free” White adults in the household, including:

  • two boys under age 10 [Archibald and Sarah’s sons?]
  • one young man aged 10-15 [Archibald and Sarah’s son?]
  • one young adult aged 16-25 [Archibald and Sarah’s son?]
  • one male adult aged 26-44 [Archibald and Sarah’s son?]
  • a male adult over age 45 [Archibald]
  • one young girl aged 10-15 [Archibald and Sarah’s daughter?]
  • a woman aged 26-44 [Sarah].

This means that  Sarah would have been younger than Archibald, and indicates their possible family size of eight, including the parents.

While Archibald owned lot 1124, presumably within Annapolis, in January 1799 and January 1800, at least, he would make another land agreement. In 1802, Richard Daw/Daws, the same person was a tenant in one of the buildings he owned in 1798 would lease lot 79 from him for a twenty-year term. [17] The rent would be seven pounds ten shillings per year, but seemingly the Daw family would be be expelled if they don’t pay their rent within a certain timeframe, an agreement to which Archibald and Daw agreed.

A resident of Annapolis since at least April 1796, Daw would be part of the city’s working class. He was described a young man and wheelwright on numerous occasions, especially in advertisements in the Maryland Gazette in the early 1800s. [18] Wheelwrights were skilled craftsmen who had great knowledge of timber’s properties, had extremely accurate workmanship, and constructed wheels of wagons, carriages, and riding chairs, over a six-month process, using various woods that were available, along with necessary metals for the wheels. From February to May 1801 (at least) he would sell all his belongings, perhaps indicating he was going broke or changing his living quarters, which is more than a year before he leased a lot from Archibald:

The following year, 1803, Archibald would become a part of Annapolis Lodge No. 36, a chapter of the Free Masons, with other other members including John Gassaway, John Kilty, and Zachariah Duvall. [19] However, this lodge would fall apart by May 1807. He would also, reportedly, in 1804, manumit a 28-year-old enslaved woman named Rachel, along with her sons, a four-year-old named John and a newborn. [20] Considering his involvement in the slave trade and slavery in the “Upper South” it is unlikely he did this out of the goodness of his heart, although guessing on his motivations would be unsubstantiated speculation. The same year, he wold go with William Farris on a boat, although further details are not known. [21]

The final years

From 1805 to 1807, Archibald would live his last years. Reportedly, he would die of mushroom poisoning, although this cannot be confirmed. [22] In her widow’s pension years later, Sarah would note that her husband died in 1807. She would say that she had been a widow since that time until 1836. [23] However, actual records tell a slightly different story. On April 14, 1808, the Maryland Gazette would publish a notice from the administrator of “the estate of Archibald Golder,” John Golder, perhaps Archibald’s son, and request all persons with claims against the estate to show them. This notice would mean that Archibald died sometime before April 14, although the exact date is not known:

This same notice would be posted again in a supplement in the same newspaper and on April 21. The following month, on May 3, a Chancery Court case between John Golder and a number of other individuals (Henrietta A. Golder, John Golder, Archibald Golder, Robert Golder, and George Golder) would focus on one main issue: the “Estate of Archibald Golder.” His announced resignation from an office of “the Corporation” of some type may have also affected the litigation.

In December 1808, John Golder would sell the land of Archibald, with certain lots occupied by William Glover for a tavern, other parts occupied by Samuel Mead, William Hall, and others. He would also, own 50 acres of land west of Fort Cumberland, Maryland, which would be his bounty land, which was implied:

After his death: The Golder family lives on

In 1810, the federal census would list Sarah, now a widow. She would have four enslaved blacks, one while male (aged 26-44), likely her son, one white female aged 16-25, likely her daughter, and one other white female over age 45, with the role of the latter in the household cannot be determined. [24]

Two years later, a drummer in Golder’s company, Philip Huston, living in Washington County, Pennsylvania, would note that he served in “Captain Golders Company” and note that he entered “the service in Captain Golders company attached to the extra State Regiment. Even with the death of Archibald, the memory of this “man of trust” would live on.

The same year, John Golder would join the Charitable Society of Annapolis, keeping the Golder family strong in the city. However, not everything was going positively. In 1812, there was another court case, this time between John Golder et al. vs. John Hicks over “Ejectment – Lot 67 in Annapolis” one of those owned by Archibald. As the files show, the case, with Golder as the plaintiff and Hicks as the defendant, would be over boundary lines, with notes that the tavern was occupied by James Hunter, while numerous Golder family members who had been suing each other over Archibald’s estate would come together and Hicks would be seemingly concerned about his eviction from the property. Ultimately it would be agreed that the land was deeded to John Golder, a piece of land which was surveyed and looked like the following:

Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives.

In 1814, Archibald Golder, his son, was said to be born in Baltimore in 1788 “to a wealthy merchant family,” and enlisting in the Maryland militia during the war with the British between 1812 and 1815, serving as a defender of Baltimore. [25] The same year, he would dissolve a business co-Partnership.” The following year, the Golder family would fight over land yet again as noted in a search of Plat References, Anne Arundel, Index:

In the 1830s, Sarah would finally request a widows pension for her husband Archibald, avoiding the family squabbling over his estate. With the pension money beginning in March 1831 and lasting to September 1836, she would be living in Baltimore, described as a “lady of excellent character and of a very advanced age. [26] Within this pension it was noted that Sarah and Archibald had five children, three of which would be living in Baltimore as of 1836, two of which were “residents of Philadelphia” in 1837 and one of which was later a resident of New York. The names of their children were: Archibald, George, Henrietta A, John and Robert. [27] With this familial connection it is no surprise that the $480 she received each year in pension benefits would be sent to her children after her death on December 18 reportedly from cancer.

The legacy of Archibald

In 1840, there would be a petition to sell Archibald’s property in Annapolis, with his son of the same name involved in the case. Five years later, the final touchings of the federal veterans pension application would be filed. [28]

In 1850, a man named Archibald would be living in Baltimore, age 62, with his occupation as a paperhanger. His sister, Henrietta, age 64, would be living with him, as wold his wife Mary, and eight other individuals who are likely the children of this Archibald and Mary: Robert, age 32, paperhanger; Mary L., age 23; Hester A., age 28, William W., age 26, paperhanger who was married; Howard, age 19, clerk; and Sarah L., age 16. [29] He would die five years later, in 1858, seemingly at age 67. However, his death notice in the Baltimore Sun that same year would say he was age 71, contradicting previous information:

Source: “DIED.” The Sun (1837-1991): 2. Aug 03 1858. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017 .

Many years later, in the 20th century, ancestors would sent letters to the Federal Government asking for information about Mr. Archibald Golder, showing that his legacy lived on. [30]

A conclusion

While this article is not comprehensive on Archibald, it does paid an more full picture than may be currently known. While I used numerous resources such as Vol. 529 of the Archives of Maryland Online which is an index of the 1798 Federal Direct Tax of Maryland, and this index of Anne Arundel County Land Records, there are others I skipped due to their irrelevance. [31] Some other records such as the specific words of the Chancery Court cases can only be accessed in person. While such resources would enhance this story, I still feel that this post provides a good starting off point for further research.

Notes

[1] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 48, 54; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 45, 250.

[2] In July, the Council of Maryland would say something similar to Chevalier D’Anmaurs, writing: “We are honored with your Address of the 14th July and can assure your Excellency we shall always be happy in having it in our Power to contribute to the Assistance of the Army of our illustrious Ally, and demonstrating our inviolable Attachment to his Interest, and have, with the greatest Chearfulness, complied with your Requests, in giving full Powers to Mr Colder [Golder] to provide proper Quarters for the General Officers and the Establishments necessary for the Subsistence of the Troops, and to procure Vessels, Boats and Carriages Drivers and Hands for the Transportation of your Baggage, by Impress, if they cannot be otherwise obtained. Should your Excellency stand in Need of any other Aid on your March, or during your Stay in the State, it will give us particular Pleasure to render it. Mr Colder [Golder] will follow your Express in a few Hours.”

[3] On August 1782 he would give an “Account of payments for boats” as noted in document within the Maryland State Papers.

[4] Gregory A. Wood, The French Presence in Maryland, 1524-1800 (Gateway Press, 1978), 129.

[5] Pension of Sarah and Archibald Golder, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, W.943. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

[6] Pension of Sarah and Archibald Golder, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, W.943. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest; Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh, Maryland Records: Colonial, Revolutionary, County and Church from Original Sources, Vol. 1 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993), 438.

[7] Application by William Walker Golder, May 6, 1940, Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Microfilm, 508 rolls, Vol. 296. Courtesy of Ancestry.com. Cites page 114 of Henry Wright Newman’s Maryland Revolutionary Records and Archives of Maryland Vol. XLIII, page 272. The former is confirmed by a search of ancestry.com records, says that they were married in Anne Arundel County, MD, on, yes, page 114. This document also claims she died on Dec. 19, 1836, and says he was born on March 27, 1760 in Annapolis. Beyond this, it says she is buried at a family lot in Baltimore’s Greenmount Cemetery.

[8] Index to the journals of the Senate and House of Delegates of the State of Maryland, as prepared under resolution 50, of 1849, and the Act of 1854, Vol. 1 (Annapolis: Requa & Wilson, 1856), 88, 397.

[9] Documentary History of the Constitution of the United States of America, 1786-1870: Derived from Records, Manuscripts, and Rolls Deposited in the Bureau of Rolls and Library of the Department of State, Vol. 2 (Washington: Department of State, 1894), 99; Documentary History of the Constitution of the United States of America, 1786-1870: Derived from Records, Manuscripts, and Rolls Deposited in the Bureau of Rolls and Library of the Department of State, Vol. 4 (Washington: Department of State, 1905), 604.

[10] Elihu Samuel Riley, “The ancient city” : a history of Annapolis, in Maryland, 1649-1887 (Annapolis: Record Printing Office, 1887), 229.

[11] Joshua Dorsey Warfield, The founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland: A genealogical and biographical review from wills, deeds and church records (Baltimore: K.D. Publishers, 1905), 475;Hazel Atterbury Spencer, The Boone Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of George and Mary Boone who Came to America in 1717; Containing Many Unpublished Bits of Early Kentucky History (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2006 reprint), 61-65; Lyman Copeland Draper, The Life of Daniel Boone (ed. Ted Franklin Belue, Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1998), 125, 147, 159, 171.

[12] Archibald Golder and Charles Carroll of Carrollton Esquire, also of Annapolis, Jan. 9, 1795, Anne Arundel County Court, Land Records, Liber NH 7, p. 393, 394395 [MSA CE 76-35]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[13] Agreement between Archibald Golder, William Hall III of Anne Arundel County, Charles Wallace, James Brice, John Randall, and James Mackubin of Annapolis, Aug. 26, 1797, Anne Arundel County Court, Land Records, Liber NH 8, p. 638, 639, 640, 641 [MSA CE 76-36]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[14] The excavation of this property would begin in 1991, continue in 2000, and become part of Annapolis’s Historic District. Individually, however, this would not have an entry within the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties because a building in the 1970s was built on top of the remains of Archibald’s 44 West Street tavern.

[15] It would, during the 1830s, have “a large stable designed to accommodate 30 horses was constructed on the rear lot of the tavern.”

[16] Second Census of the United States, 1800, Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland, National Archives, NARA M32, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 9, Page 60. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest.

[17] Archibald Golder to Richard Daw, lease of Lot in Annapolis, Oct. 18, 1802, Anne Arundel County Court, Land Records, Liber NH 11, pp. 620, 621 [MSA CE 76-39]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[18] F. Edward WrightMaryland Militia, War of 1812 Vol. 3 (Baltimore: Family Line, 1980), 1; “Richard Daw, Wheelwright,” The Maryland Gazette, Thursday March 5, 1807, No. 3138. Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives. Alternative version of this page; “Richard Daw, Wheelwright,” The Maryland Gazette, Thursday March 12, 1807, No. 3139. Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives; “Richard Daw, Wheelwright,” The Maryland Gazette, Thursday March 26, 1807, No. 3141. Courtesy of the Maryland State Archive. He is also noted as living in the city here and here in 1796, within the Maryland Gazette.

[19] Edward T. Schultz, History of Freemasonry in Maryland, of All the Rites Introduced Into Maryland, from the Earliest Times to the Present Vol. II (Baltimore: J.H. Mediary & Co., 1885), 51.

[20] Reportedly this comes from within “The Significance of Group Manumissions in Post-Revolutionary Rural Maryland” but it cannot be read with the current resources I have at my disposal.

[21] The diary of William Faris: the daily life of an Annapolis silversmith (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 2003), 148, 235, 245.

[22] Edward C. Papenfuse, In Pursuit of Profit: The Annapolis Merchants in the Era of the American Revolution, 1763-1805 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975), 149.

[23] Pension of Sarah and Archibald Golder, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, W.943. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

[24] Third Census of the United States, 1810, Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland, National Archives, NARA M252, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 14, Page 118. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest.

[25] He would work as a paper hanger after the war and would die in 1858 at the age of 70, buried at Green Mount Cemetery with his second wife, Mary Ann Cameron. Interestingly, he had fallen in a “painful accident” earlier that year but recovered, with the Sun calling him one of Baltimore’s “most aged and respected citizens” (“LOCAL MATTERS.” The Sun (1837-1991): 4. Aug 02 1858. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017).

[26] Sarah Golder of Archibald and revolutionary pension, 1831-1836, Ledgers of Payments, 1818-1872, to U.S. Pensioners Under Acts of 1818 Through 1858 From Records of the Office of the Third Auditor of the Treasury, 1818-1872, National Archives, NARA T718, Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, 1775-1978, Record Group 217, Roll 15. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Pension of Sarah and Archibald Golder, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, W.943. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest. She was also said to be a “most excellent lady, universally respected and beloved.”

[27] Archibald, George, and Henrietta A. would be living in Baltimore as of 1836, John and Robert would be living outside the state, later reported they were “residents of Philadelphia” in 1837. By 1845, John Golder would be living in New York. Henrietta would marry a man named Captain Augustus McLaughlin and would die in May 1888 (“DEATHS AND BURIALS.” The Sun (1837-1991): 6. May 31 1888. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017), as would L. Howard Golder, a son of Archibald’s son (“DIED.” The Sun (1837-1991): 2. Apr 22 1881. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017) and a person named Mary, a daughter of the same Archibald (“DIED.” The Sun (1837-1991): 2. Apr 01 1871. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “DIED.” The Sun (1837-1991): 2. Mar 30 1871. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017), along with another named Sarah Louisa (“DIED.” The Sun (1837-1991): 6. Jul 07 1913. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017) and a son named William (“DIED.” The Sun (1837-1991): 4. Mar 08 1907. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017).

[28] Pension of Sarah and Archibald Golder, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, W.943. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

[29] Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, Baltimore Ward 13, Baltimore, Maryland, National Archives, NARA M432, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll M432_285, Page 341A. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest. The status of Mary L. Lawrence, age 23; George W. Lawrence, age 26, a physician; and Catherine Weaver, age 24, within the household is not known.

[30] Pension of Sarah and Archibald Golder. In later years, a man named Archibald Golder, an ancestor, would be a history (and economics) teacher within Baltimore City, teaching at Baltimore City College (from 1918 to 1966) with black students and active participant in the Maryland Historical Society and speaker on topics such as the Kellogg-Briand Pact (“From Freedom’s Foundations.” Afro-American (1893-1988): 8. May 19 1956. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “Rites for Archibald Golder, City College Teacher, Today.” The Sun (1837-1991): 1. Jul 25 1966. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “School Board Delays Dispute Over Building.” The Sun (1837-1991): 4. Nov 04 1922. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “To Address Young People.” The Sun (1837-1991): 8. Mar 15 1930. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “City College Wins Foundation Award.” Afro-American (1893-1988): 8. May 19 1956. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “Clubs.” The Sun (1837-1991): 5. Apr 03 1936. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “”Friars’ Frolic” Presented by City College Students.” The Sun (1837-1991): 9. Dec 13 1924. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017). There is also another man named Archibald Golder of Baltimore, living in the 1890s, but no further information is known although he could be the related to or same as the history teacher, who graduated from City College in 1914. (“In the Orphans Court of Baltimore City.” The Sun (1837-1991): 2. Feb 08 1890. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “Legal Notice 2 — no Title.” The Sun (1837-1991): 2. Jan 25 1890. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “CITY COLLEGE ALUMNI DINE.” The Sun (1837-1991): 3. Jan 10 1917. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “Orphans Court,” The Sun (1837-1991): 15. Jan 04 1922. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017; “Legal Notice 1 — no Title.” The Sun (1837-1991): 2. Feb 01 1890. ProQuest. Web. 29 May 2017).

[31] These included mentions of an Archibald Golder employed as a collector at St. John’s College (related), perhaps his grandfather, mention of a “Mr. Archibald Golder for ‘Tallow Tree’,”  mentions in the Calendar of Maryland State Papers, focus on his father presumably who was seemingly a cabinetmaker, and notes how he is Archibald Golder the III, with two others of the same name before him.

The post-war life of Alexander Lawson Smith, a “Harford Man”

Parts of a 1878 map of Harford County with specific emphasis on the areas of Alexander’s lands along Swan Creek (left), near Rumney Creek (middle), and on Gunpowder Neck (right). Map is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Where we left off, the specifics of the Maryland’s Extra Regiment were outlined, with some focus on Alexander Lawson Smith, the commander of this regiment who had served in the Maryland Line since 1776. He had fought at the Battle of Fort Washington but did not proceed to Fort Pitt with riflemen in 1779, staying behind with the 4th Maryland Regiment until his resignation as a captain, was accepted by Continental Congress the same year.

In the 1790s

In the post-war period, Alexander became a co-founder of the Society of the Cincinnati. In 1792, he married Martha Griffith. Martha came from a family that descended from Wales, owning hundreds of acres and numerous enslaved Blacks and living across the state, but with strong roots in Anne Arundel County, and contributed more soldiers to revolutionary cause than any other family in the state of Maryland. [1] This is confirmed by the Assessment of 1783 showing those within the Griffith family owning over two thousand acres within Harford County, including an area named “Rumney Royal,” which would be kept in the Griffith family, a land which, would, in the coming years, be part of the story of Alexander Smith, a “Harford Man.” Reportedly, Alexander and Martha would have three children, Samuel (b. 1794), Francina Francis (1797-1860), and Martia Matilida (1799-1860)

As Alexander was settling in Harford County after the war, he began to acquire land. In February 1795, he paid a man named Michael Allen, living in the town of “William Michael,” 45 pounds to buy a parcel of land named “Duch Point,” which sat on Swan Creek, which is near present-day Havre De Grace. [2] As part of the agreement, Alexander had to defend the “tract and premises” against all claiming a part of the land. Later that month, the wife of Michael, named Elizabeth, appeared before local Justices of the Peace, with both Michael and Alexander present, relinquishing her right to the land and premises, saying that she was not coerced to do so, but did so “freely and willingly” since Michael had no “displeasure” in parting with the land, it seemed.. This is is interesting because it implies that some women were coerced, but also may indicate that Elizabeth had a degree of autonomy.

The location of “Duch Point” cannot be currently found within Harford County. Since this parcel of land sat on Swan Creek, which has a few “points” (High Point, Cedar Point, Plum Point, and Swan Creek Point), it cannot be the same as historical Dutch Island. Even with the exact location unknown, the contours of this story can be filled out. For one, Swan Creek, a “branch of Chesapeake Bay, mouth (2) miles north of Cole,” with a village of the same name less than a two miles northeast of Aberdeen, with warehouses there, and a place of much activity during the revolutionary war, to not be confused with other areas named Swan Creek across the state.

In later years, Marta, Alexander, and the rest of the family lived in Swansbury at the house of her widowed mother, a frame dwelling of some type. It is also worth mentioning that George Washington saw Alexander as a “personal friend,” making him an original member of the Society of Cincinnati.

In 1798, he would own 463 acres in Harford Lower & Spesutia Lower Hundreds which was worth almost $2,500 dollars on first valuation, and over $2,800 as analyzed by the commissioner. Additionally he would own 2 acres which contained six out houses and one dwelling house worth a total of $500. This specific land would be described in more detail on the page for the specific hundred, which would say the following:

Another page lists Smith as owning 370 acres in Gunpowder Lower Hundred called Tapley’s Neck. There he had one dwelling house, one mory, one 16 x 16 kitchen, one 14 x 12 x 11 house, and other specifications which cannot be read due to the nature of the original record. For all this land, he only paid $16.63 in tax, a small amount. This means that minus taxes, he would have $3283.37 worth of property, the relative value of which would be $65,300 in current U.S. dollars.

Into the 1800s

Five years later, in 1800, Alexander headed a household in Harford County’s District 2 or Halls Cross Roads. Apart from his son under age 10, daughter aged 16-25, his two daughters ages 16-25, and his wife, Martha, he owned twenty-one enslaved Blacks. [3] This made him a well-off slaveowner and part of the region’s politics, with the Chesapeake Bay a major region for slavery, even into the 19th century, as slavery began to expand into indigenous homelands and other areas in the Deep South. This undoubtedly reinforced his standing as a “gentleman” among the Maryland social elite, which he had gained not only as a clerk of the Harford County court but through his military career, famous from the battle at Fort Washington in 1776. Even so, the “respectability” he gained should not mask the brutalities inherent to slavery in the Americas and elsewhere.

The same year, Alexander, and Martha, his wife, along with two of her sisters, Frances and Sarah, sold a tract of land in the same county. For 1,060 pounds, they sold a tract of 370 acres named Tapley/Tapley’s Neck, that sat along Gunpowder (River) Neck, to a Baltimore City revolutionary war veteran and slaveowner named George Presbury, later a local political figure in Harford County. [4] This region of the county consists of an area south of Edgewood, Maryland. By August, the transaction was complete, making the Smith-Griffith families much wealthier. To find the equivalent in today’s money requires some calculations. [5] After going through many calculations, it is clear they would be garnering $134,489 in US dollars from George, which by today’s standards would put them (and likely George) within the top ten percent of income earners. Back then they still would have been well-off landowners, but in a different way as only select people owned land rather than a vast majority.

The 1941 Gazetteer of Maryland describes Gunpowder Neck as a neck “in Harford County; lying between Bush River, Chesapeake Bay and Gunpowder River.” While the area, but the 1830s, would have road-building to and from “Belle Air” (present-day Belair, Maryland), in the time that Tapley Neck was sold, there was a “small plantation” in the region, possibly one that sat on the land that was sold to George, with Maryland militiamen stationed on the neck during the Revolutionary War. The region, includes a 19-mile long tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, Bush River, has a “lower end” near the bay and an “upper end” and is still south of Edgewood. Currently, this whole region is part of Aberdeen Proving Ground, a 75,000 acre military base which was created in 1917, where chemical (and biological) weapons and agents have been tested, meaning that people who “accidentally ingest or come in direct contact with contaminated ground water, surface water, soil, or sediments may be at risk.”

One year later, in June 1801, Alexander, Elijah Davis, Samuel Griffith, and  Frances Garretson (likely related to Aquila Nelson), all were executors of the will of Samuel Griffith, the father of Alexander’s wife, Martha, agreed on an indenture with other members of the Griffith family (Lewis Griffith and Avarella Maria Hynson of Kent County). In this agreement, the executors of Samuel Griffith’s gave the Griffith family 100 acres of land called “Rummy Royal”/Rumney Royal which sat in the county at the head of Rummy Creek between Williams Swamp and “long Bridge,” while being bound by other lands, such as Spring Garden. [6] This land is along Little Romney Creek, which sits within the county to this day, or “Romney Creek,” to be more broad. Furthermore, there is an area named “Romney Royal,” where a farm used to exist, so this use of words is clearly just another spelling of something that already exists. [7] He would die very shortly, so this property was likely distributed after his death to related family members and claimants to his estate.

The date of his death is of some dispute. Some sources claim he was buried on January 26, 1802, while his gravestone seems to say he died on Jan. 24, 1801. In this case, the gravestone should be believed over the other claims. Numerous issues of the Maryland Gazette in late January and early February 1801 and in 1802 turned up no results on Alexander. All that we have is an inscription on his tombstone as noted by one site

In memory of Col. Alexander Lawson Smith, who departed this life on the 24th of Jan. 1801, in the 48th year of his age.

While this pegs his birth in 1753, it is strange that he had no obituary within the Maryland Gazette considering his role in the war, not even in the January 29th issue. No other information is known.

After his death

In 1801, the House of Delegates reported that Alexander had been part of a petition to reopen a case between his wife and other petitioners in the Maryland Court of Appeals. It was first considered (as noted at the top of the page) and then later read and order to “lie on the table” (bottom of page). Hence, one could say that this law did not pass. Martha, his wife, was a part of numerous cases after that point, but it not known if any of them involved him, since he cannot be found within this page.

Thirty five years later, in 1836, Martha, who had remarried to a man named Samuel Jay, would petition the Maryland General Assembly for redress, and would be paid the half-pay of a captain “during her widowhood,” a time period which was not defined in the legislation:

Many years later, Alexander’s heirs would petition the US House of Representatives for additional redress, asking for pension payments.

Other than this, some would mention Alexander in their petition to public officials such as Henry Clay, and within the pension of William Elkins.

In later years, the Griffith family would go on to live in Arkansas. To this day, they are buried in Perryman’s Spesutia churchyard, within Harford County. [8] As for Alexander’s ancestors, they would later be living in Illinois, reportedly.

More information would have been added to this article but online searchings only brought up the above information, as did some other searches on the topic. Regardless, this a good start to future historical research on the topic.

Notes

[1] R. R. Griffith, Genealogy of the Griffith family: the descendants of William and Sarah Maccubbin Griffith (Baltimore, William K. Boyle, 1892), 282, 286, 288-290,  292. In Anne Arundel County there is a Griffith Family Cemetery. The claim about contributions of soldiers comes from William Neal Hurley’s The Griffith Families. The Griffith Family is also mentioned on numerous pages within Thomas Joseph Peterman‘s Catholics in Colonial Delmarva along with mentions in the Harford Historical Bulletin Subject Index. The Maryland Genealogical Society also reports that in Vol. 18, no. 3 there is a “Griffith Family Register” by Nettie Leitsch Major.

[2] Deed sold to Alexander Lawson Smith by Michael Allen, 1795, Harford County Court, Land Records, Liber JLG L, p. 365-366 [MSA CE113-11]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[3] Second Census of the United States, 1800, District 2, Harford, Maryland, National Archives, NARA M32, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 11, Page 46. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

[4] Mariana L.R. Dantas, Black Townsmen: Urban Slavery and Freedom in the Eighteenth-Century Americas (New York: Palgrave MacMillian, 2008), 176; Walter Wilkes Preston, History of Harford County, Maryland (Baltimore: Press of Sun Book Office, 1901), 89, 106, 271; Laws Made And Passed By The General Assembly of the State of Maryland in 1816 (Annapolis: Jonas Green, 1817), 94, 159; Harford County Court, Certificates of Freedom, 1806-1811 and 1818-1842, Archives of Maryland Online vol. 857, 46; Laying out vacant land for George Presbury of William, December 22, 1803, Harford County Circuit Court, Certificates, Unpatented, HA, Unpatented Certificate 111 [MSA S1222-111]. Courtesy of Plats.Net; Deed sold to George Presbury by Alexander L. Smith, Martha Smith, Frances Griffith, and Sarah Griffith, 1800, Harford County Court, Land Records, Liber JLG P, p. 104-105 [MSA CE113-15]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net. The land deed confirms that Martha’s father was Samuel Griffith, but was dead by this time, and that Martha’s last name was Griffith. As for the plat, it shows that Mr. Presbury owned a two-acre tract of land in Gunpowder Neck called Hugh’s Fortune, which just happened to border Tapley’s Neck, which he had owned after 1760. He may have also had royal ancestry while his family would have deep roots in Harford County for years to come as noted in William B. Marye’s “Place Names of Baltimore and Harford Counties” within Vol. 53, No. 3 of Maryland Historical Magazine, specifically focusing on pages 246-247, 249-252.

[5] If we are to take this conversion seriously, with 1.333 Maryland Pounds (pcm) equaling one pound sterling, then that would be about 795 pounds sterling. Using Measuring Worth, the relative real price is £58,910.00 in pounds, as of 2016. If you multiple this times the inflation rate of 2016-2017, 1.76, you get 103,681.6. In order to make a more even number, let’s round this to 103,682. Using XE Currency Converter, converting British pounds sterling into US dollars, it shows that this amount of British Pounds equals 134,489.42 or to round to a more even number, 134,489.

[6] Preston, History of Harford County, Maryland, 203; Richard D. Sears, Ancestors of Rev. John Gregg Fee, Matilda (Hamilton) Fee, and John Gregg Hanson (US: Lulu.com, 2007), 143. Indenture of executors of Samuel Griffith’s will to members of the Griffith family, Harford County Court, Land Records, Liber JLG P, p. 457-460 [MSA CE113-15]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net. More information about the Smith family can likely be found from resources available from FamilySearch. While only a snippet of Sears’s book can be found on Google Books, one phrase from that section shows that Mr. Smith, Ms. Griffith, and Ms. Garretson are connected: “…Alexander Lawson Smith, his wife Martha Griffith, and his sister-in-law Frances Garretson

[7] William Bose Marye, “The Place Names of Baltimore and Harford Counties,” Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. 25, No. 4, Dec. 1930, p. 338, 358. Also, in the Archives Vertical Files Documents of the Harford County Historical Society, there is a cross-reference to Romney Royal within the “Aberdeen Proving Ground – Michaelsville & various tracts” folder as noted in page 221 of this PDF.

[8] Helen West Ridgely, Historic Graves of Maryland and the District of Columbia (New York: The Grafton Press, 1908), 95-97, 180-181. This book lists a number of Griffiths: Martha, Alexander L., Cordelia, John H., Hannah Emily, Emily, and Samuel. Even Col. Alexander Lawson Smith is buried there, described as dying on Jan 24, 1801 at 48 years old! two others are buried in Montgomery County: Capt. Samuel Griffith (May 7, 1752-May 12, 1833), H. Griffith (d. 1794, aged 73 years), E. Griffith (d. Oct. 1797, aged 33 years), Ruth Griffith (died 49 years old), and many others not listed here.