Climate Change and the Military: Examining the Pentagon’s Integration of National Security Interests and Environmental Goals under Clinton

Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security Sherri Goodman at an environmental conference, June 2, 1997
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security Sherri Goodman at an environmental conference, June 2, 1997. Goodman was a negotiator in Kyoto and a major advocate for Pentagon efforts to emphasize environmental security as a part of national security policy. (Photo credit: National Archives at College Park)

This post is reprinted from the National Security Archive website. Archived here.

Briefing Book # 794

Edited by Burkely Hermann

For more information, contact: 202-994-7000 or nsarchiv@gwu.edu

Related Links

National Security and Climate Change: Behind the U.S. Pursuit of Military Exemptions to the Kyoto Protocol

The Clinton White House and Climate Change, Part II: Engaging the Oval Office

The Clinton White House and Climate Change: The Struggle to Restore U.S. Leadership

Kyoto Redux?

U.S. Climate Change Policy in the 1980s

The U.S. and Climate Change: Washington’s See-Saw on Global Leadership

Washington, D.C., May 26, 2022 – The Pentagon’s role in U.S. environmental policy expanded during the Clinton presidency as the Pentagon became a more active player at international climate change conferences and pressed for acceptance of policies favorable to the U.S. military, according to declassified documents posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.

For example, the Defense Department pushed for military exemptions to the Kyoto Protocol and gained defenders for that provision among U.S. climate change negotiators despite calls from other countries and nongovernmental environmental organizations to close what they described as a “loophole.” Partly responding to pressure from these quarters, the Pentagon also committed to adhering to practices that were more environmentally responsible.

The records in today’s posting primarily focus on perspectives of U.S.

President George H.W. Bush signing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Photos)
President George H.W. Bush signing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Photos)

diplomats and officials who realized the importance of issues like bunker fuels, but also describe the Defense Department’s energy consumption, role in environmental policy, and interagency cooperation on climate change issues. This e-book also includes views of President Clinton’s closest advisers and shows the importance to the U.S. delegation of exemptions won in Kyoto after the third Conference of Parties in 1997.

 

These documents have particular relevance as a recent Munich Security Conference report concluded that climate change was a more pressing threat than war, while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted to consider how pipelines and other projects affect climate change and greenhouse gas emissions in their future assessments. [1]

Frank Loy, under secretary of state for global affairs in Clinton's first term
Frank Loy, under secretary of state for global affairs in Clinton’s first term. (Wikipedia)

Virtually all of the documents posted here are the result of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. They appear in the latest collection from the Digital National Security Archive, The Diplomacy of Climate Change: U.S. Policy from the Montreal Protocol to the Paris Agreement, 1981-2015, edited by Dr. Robert A. Wampler, consisting of 2,440 professionally catalogued and indexed records, plus numerous finding aids, published by ProQuest and available at many major libraries.

*****

“Consistent with national security”: The Pentagon’s integration of military objectives and environmental security

By Burkely Hermann

In an earlier posting, the National Security Archive featured declassified documents that provided insight into Pentagon demands for military exemptions during the 1997 Kyoto climate negotiations and U.S. efforts to convince other countries to agree to exempt specific military operations from emissions requirements. Those documents also highlighted the perspectives of U.S. negotiators, officials, and legislators who wanted bigger carve-outs for military operations and were critical of the Kyoto Protocol.

The documents in this post expand on that story by focusing on the Pentagon’s role in U.S. environmental policy, including sending representatives to international climate change conferences, and feature perspectives of U.S. officials who realized the importance of such matters as bunker fuels and the military’s role in environmental policy.

Holly Kaufman
Holly Kaufman was a special advisor in the Pentagon’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Environmental Security) and a representative at the fourth Conference of Parties in Buenos Aires. (LinkedIn)

Throughout the 1990s, the Clinton administration emphasized climate change policy, making it even more a part of U.S. diplomacy and military action than in previous years. In April 1996, the State Department provided recommendations on temperature adjustments, global warming potentials, marine bunkers, international aviation fuels, and accounting for imported electricity in order to prepare national communications for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. [Document 1] Although the State Department’s position paper did not directly mention national security, the paper does make it clear that bunker fuels and international aviation fuels were an important issue for U.S. climate negotiators and notes their significance as “sources of emission.”

At the same time, the U.S. Congress considered appropriating funds to the Pentagon for fuel cells and electric vehicles. The military simultaneously doubled down on domestic environmental programs and emphasized “environmental security” as part of national security policy. Unfortunately, the declassified record appears to be virtually nonexistent when it comes to documenting internal debates within the U.S. military over these issues. As such, it is hard to know whether this was an initiative of specific military officials or a result of pressure from high-ranking officers, necessitating educated guesses.

Duncan Marsh
Duncan Marsh, State Department climate change negotiator, in a more recent photo. (YouTube)

This focus was spearheaded by officials such as Sherri W. Goodman, the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security who had been appointed to lead the Pentagon’s Office of Environmental Security in 1993. She called for the use of environmentally sustainable technologies and declared that 1996 was an “exciting time for DOD’s environmental professionals.” She also noted the Pentagon’s collaboration with other U.S. agencies, like the State Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Energy.[2]

 

Supporting this was William J. Perry, the secretary of defense at the time. He argued in a speech to the Society of American Military Engineers in November 1996, that a “strong environmental program” was important for the Pentagon. He further said that environmental protection was critical to military “quality of life” and military readiness. He then stated that the military’s environmental program was a way to engage “militaries of new democracies.”[3] Not surprisingly, there was pushback, with Laurent R. Hourcle, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, who had served as the head of the Air Force’s Environmental Law division, complaining about environmental regulations which he called onerous. Hourcle admitted that in terms of such laws, military activities pollute, adding that “they always have and they always will.” For example, he noted that due to exhaust from land and sea vehicles, these emissions are a “form of pollution” and that many of the military’s weapons were built when environmental regulations were “much less stringent.”[4]

Bunker fuels and other military concerns remained on the minds of U.S. climate negotiators.

Mark G. Hambley
Ambassador Mark G. Hambley, represented the U.S. at Kyoto and in other climate fora during the 1990s. (Socosix.com)

In January 1997, Jonathan C. Pershing, the U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, wrote to Jan Corfee-Morlot, an official of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Pollution Prevention and Control Division. In a position paper attached to his letter, he described the U.S. support for changes to a tax on marine bunker fuels, implying opposition to these taxes, and noted that such taxes would affect global shipping. [Document 2] Although neither national security nor the military is mentioned in the paper, such taxes would have undoubtedly affected U.S. military operations due to global U.S. naval activities.

Climate negotiators also gladly invited the Pentagon to be a part of the U.S. climate negotiations, promoting their involvement in order to buttress arguments in favor of U.S. objectives. In July 1997, the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Office of Global Change submitted a non-classified climate action report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat. In the report, the Pentagon is noted as the largest energy consumer within the federal government, accounting for “over 80 percent of total energy use” and 93% of equipment and vehicle energy use. The report also pointed to cooperation between the Pentagon and Department of Energy on energy efficiency, the military’s collaboration with other agencies on climate change issues, and involvement in developing biomass energy. [Document 3]

By 1997, the Pentagon recognized the military’s role in environmental pollution and greenhouse gases. There were calls to make the U.S. military’s environmental programs more effective, while using “innovative technologies” to cut costs and improve mission readiness.[5] In an article in the summer of 1997, Goodman called for a further emphasis on “environmental considerations,” describing it as critical to military activities, “quality of life,” and an important element of U.S. national security policy. She pointed to the Department’s collaboration with other federal agencies, countries, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on environmental matters. She went on to declare that the U.S. military is “lean, mean and green.”[6]

Goodman’s statements were further buttressed by her role in climate negotiations, as a delegate at the Kyoto conference in 1997 as well as a key Pentagon contributor to high-level interagency discussions about climate, including helping to develop the U.S. position on greenhouse gas commitments for developing countries in the soon-to-be-formed Kyoto agreement. [Document 4]

The Pentagon directly advocated for its interests during the Kyoto negotiations. This is evident in a September 1997 letter from Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre to Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. In the letter, he notes the Pentagon’s approval of President Clinton’s efforts on climate change, while calling on the State Department to “protect national security” with provisions within the Kyoto Protocol that allow military operations, “military tactical and strategic systems,” including those in space, and military readiness, to be exempt from emissions reductions. He ends the letter by touting the Pentagon’s reduction in energy use, describes the military as a “leader in energy conservation and efficiency,” and argues that reducing energy usage can be beneficial. He also states that the Pentagon would support energy reductions “to the extent consistent with national security.” [Document 5]

President Clinton’s advisers communicated the military’s concerns on climate change policy to him. On October 18, Eugene B. Sperling, Katie McGinty, Daniel Tarullo, Jim Steinberg, and Todd Stern told him that the Pentagon wanted exemptions to emission requirements because of the military’s concern that “fuel reduction requirements could hamper military operations.” However, these advisers stated that while they agreed with the military’s objective, they did not agree with having wide exemptions, and stated that they were working with the Pentagon to clarify their objectives and resolve differences. [Document 6]

Additional documents in 1997 and 1998 indicate the military’s involvement in environmental policy, integrating it as part of national security policy. In October 1997, the White House Office of Environmental Initiatives pointed out that the Pentagon was working with other federal agencies and industry groups on efforts to “develop, demonstrate and deploy housing technologies and practices” in order to build more sustainable, disaster-resistant, and safer homes. [Document 7] It would include homes for the military’s civilian personnel. In May 1998, it was noted that the U.S. military was involved in the interagency U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program, otherwise known as USGCRP. [Document 8]

While Goodman professed the need of the Pentagon to help create an “environmentally and economically sustainable future,” Rear Admiral Andrew A. Granuzzo voiced his approval for legislative efforts to exempt military training and readiness from emission reduction requirements. He also supported the qualified military exemptions within the Kyoto Protocol, describing them as necessary to “maintain military readiness.” Others, like environmental consultants Michael A. Katz and Jerry R. Hudson, called for the Pentagon to meet emission reduction goals without “affecting national security goals” while acknowledging that the U.S. military was the biggest single energy user in the U.S.[7]

U.S. climate negotiators accommodated the Pentagon’s desire to reduce emissions, sometimes only implicitly, rather than directly. For instance, in November 1998, Mark G. Hambley, the U.S. Special Negotiator on Climate Change, forwarded notes from Holly Kaufman, a Special Advisor in the Pentagon’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Environmental Security) and representative at the fourth Conference of Parties in Buenos Aires to other U.S. climate negotiators. In her notes, Kaufman describes discussions among delegates on environmental efficiency, flexible mechanisms within the Kyoto treaty, U.S. consideration of climate models, and other topics. Although she does not directly mention national security, her report does reveal the Pentagon’s interest in these topics which fits with the military’s focus on environmental security during this time period. [Document 9]

Such efforts were part of the Clinton administration push to emphasize climate change as central to national policy. This inevitably involved the military. Thus, Kaufman was not the only Pentagon representative in Buenos Aires. The Pentagon’s Associate General Counsel, Dan Benton, and the Defense Representative on the White House Climate Change Task Force, John Gibson, were also present.[8] Gibson was senior counsel on the White House Climate Change Task Force, coordinating policy development and strategic communications planning for an “interagency task force to address global warming.” Kaufman, on the other hand, managed a national security and climate change portfolio at the Pentagon.[9]

A series of State Department documents in November 1998 describe the involvement of Pentagon representatives as part of the U.S. climate change negotiating team in Buenos Aires. These documents indicate the Pentagon’s interest in technology development, technology transfer, climate observation and research. This also manifested itself in U.S. pushback to suggestions by Austria, on behalf of European Union countries, that bunker fuels be included in national totals. Such an action, if it was implemented, would have reverted the exemptions won by the Pentagon in Kyoto. [Documents 10 and 11]

Continued emphasis by U.S. negotiators on national security goals remained paramount. On November 12, 1998, Stuart E. Eizenstat, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, spoke to the fourth Conference of Parties to U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, calling for environmental cooperation to combat climate change, and pointed to the flexible mechanisms within the Kyoto agreement. After stating that the U.S. would sign the Kyoto Protocol, he stated that the U.S. is “guided by the firm belief that the signing will serve our environmental, economic, and national security goals.” [Document 12] Such a statement not only refers to the Pentagon winning military exemptions in Kyoto the previous year but retention of those exemptions during the conference in 1998.

The Pentagon continued to be focused on the same issues addressed by the exemptions gained in Kyoto. In June 1999, Kevin Green of the Department of Transportation[10] recalled discussions with Jose Romero, a Swiss climate representative, and others, on “international bunker fuels.” [Document 13] Continued importance of this issue makes clear that military goals were still on the minds of U.S. delegates during climate change negotiations. Such a focus was not a surprise since Kaufman and Benton were again Pentagon representatives at the fifth Conference of Parties in Bonn, Germany. They were joined by Bruce DeGreta, the Pentagon’s Deputy Assistant Secretary, and the Pentagon’s Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Environmental Quality, Bruce DeGrazia. Kaufman and DeGrazia would represent the Pentagon during the climate conference in The Hague the following year, along with David “Dave” T. Peters, director of the Pentagon’s Worldwide Pollution Prevention Programs.[11]

A memorandum from Hambley in June 1999 noted that the proposed decision on bunker fuels was a controversial issue for non-governmental organizations. He further stated that Department of Transportation and Pentagon reports provided the “ins-and-outs” of the discussion. [Document 14] In July 1999, Duncan Marsh, foreign affairs officer for the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Office of Global Change,[12] indicated that U.S. negotiators saw this issue as important. In a message to David Sandalow, then at the Council on Environmental Quality on the National Security Council staff, he called for possible redrafting of responses to environmental non-governmental organizations on carbon sinks, bunker fuels, and other issues, asking him for a quick response. Sandalow would later become the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs on October 28, 1999.[13]

Marsh included a summary, by Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Frank E. Loy and White House Climate Change Task Force chair Roger Ballantine, of the national security exemptions secured by the Pentagon in Kyoto, and reporting of those emissions. Loy and Ballantine claimed that the exemptions resolved “unique challenges” from international aviation and maritime activities but called for international action to reduce these emissions that did not dislodge the exemptions. This document was also sent to Benton, one of the Pentagon representatives at the conference, showing that he was in the loop of climate change policymakers.

Another challenge advocates for military exemptions faced came from environmental activists. One of the documents Marsh forwarded to Sandalow is a letter from representatives of groups such as US Climate Action Network, Environmental Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and Sierra Club.[14]Their letter criticizes the U.S. climate change negotiating strategy. This is expanded in an appended report which, in part, calls for the closure of the “international bunker fuel loophole.” [Document 15] Such an approach, however, did not recognize that the U.S. was committed to retaining such exemptions, a position supported by climate negotiators, politicians, and officials alike.

In August 1999, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and Fisheries R. Tucker Scully told Loy about claims raised by environmental non-governmental organizations. He worried that attempts to resolve the issue around bunker fuels could “raise questions about the exemption for military operations.” He further defended the approach by U.S. diplomats, saying they had worked to refute claims that the Kyoto agreement damages national security, and hoped that such organizations could be satisfied by pointing to future action by U.N. organs on bunker fuels. [Document 16] By September 2000, however, bunker fuels were still a topic of discussion during climate negotiations, as an unclassified memorandum from Hambley shows. In an attachment to the memorandum, one of the Pentagon representatives, Dave Peters, reports on responses from Swiss and French delegations on the topic of bunker fuels during the conference negotiations in The Hague. [Document 17] The Swiss demanded international action by the ICAO and IMO on emissions, while the French, representing the European Union, emphasized the importance of greenhouse gases emitted from “international transportation” to the Kyoto Protocol. They also urged further international cooperation on climate change.

Pentagon concern over greenhouse gas emissions remained. Congressional appropriations instructed the military to study large temperature changes in the Arctic Ocean and their possible “impact on global climate change” and comply with Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution by Ships (MARPOL).[15] At the same time, Roy Salomon, a Pentagon representative in Kyoto in 1997, raised concerns in a summer 1999 article in the Federal Facilities Environmental Journal. He pointed to growing U.S. emissions between 1990 and 1997 and detailed Pentagon energy usage, while noting a challenge during the negotiations was to ensure that emissions reductions did not negatively impact “competitiveness” and military readiness. He touched on other points relating to Defense Department concerns, including the need to ensure that military operations and training were not affected by new reductions (which the Clinton administration recognized) and the Pentagon’s efforts to “improve energy efficiency.” Finally, he stated that the Kyoto agreement represented a “step toward” meeting U.S. objectives “for environmental security and regional stability.”[16]

In the years that followed, military leaders continued to cast themselves as environmentally responsible and committed to environmental security. This included an assertion that the U.S. Navy would have “environmentally sound” ships, a commitment to researching a reduction in chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) use, and calls for more efficient fuel use and alternative fuels. It is probable that these actions transpired, considering that the U.S. Navy declared that its aircraft carriers were “CFC-free” in April 2009, even though discharges by the U.S. Navy of substances that deplete the ozone has been reported.[17] Some sources even asserted that environmental stewardship was integrated into military operations in Balkan War. Military leaders like Rear Admiral Larry C. Baucom professed environmental security and environmental protection to be compatible with Pentagon objectives.[18]

However, the U.S. military retained an arsenal of over 500,000 tons of munitions and consumed millions of gallons of gasoline, with over 2 million gallons consumed by the Army Test and Evaluation Command alone in fiscal year 1999. Because of this, there continued to be calls for military vehicles to conserve fuel and military leaders arguing for a balance between “environmental responsibilities” and the demands of military readiness, necessitating partnerships with various organizations.[19]

All the while, the Pentagon continued to believe that the climate change negotiations were an important way to achieve military objectives. Senior military officers communicated this point regularly, for instance through Bruce Harding at the Pentagon’s Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Defense, Installations and Environment, who served as a U.S. military representative at climate change conferences in 2001 and 2002.[20]

Since then, the Pentagon has continued efforts to be more “green” and “sustainable” while still pressing for recognition of military requirements. During much of the Bush-43 Presidency, although the White House belittled climate change concerns, there were efforts elsewhere in the Administration, including at DOD, to address the crisis. For example, the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment commissioned a controversial 23-page report in 2003 which stated that climate change should be a “U.S. national security concern.”[21] In the Obama administration, attention to the environment grew substantially, including the enactment of policies such as expanding investment in renewable energy on military bases. Despite full-blown climate change denialism effectively becoming national policy in the next administration, specific initiatives taken under Obama remained in effect. The Biden administration has continued to implement a return to treating climate change as a genuine threat and recognizing a role for the military in addressing it. Most recently, the U.S. Army’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Installations, Energy and Environment issued a 20-page climate strategy, while the Army’s Futures and Concepts Center, other military organs, and top military brass, asserted that they want the military to be more “green”.[22]

Even so, this has been countered by recent incidents like a military fuel tank leakage in Hawaii which polluted drinking water, forcing thousands to leave their homes and sickening thousands more. In addition, some have criticized the military’s current climate plan as a form of greenwashing.[23] In any case, the Pentagon will continue to integrate environmental policy and national security policy into one, as they have done in the past.

The Documents

Document 1

Source: Department of State FOIA

Department of State offers views on temperature adjustments, global warming potential, marine bunkers, and related issues relating to guidelines for creating national communications under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. While national security is not discussed in this position paper, on pages 3-5 the importance of bunker fuels to U.S. climate negotiators and its parallel to imported electricity are mentioned.

Document 2

Source: Department of State FOIA

Jonathan C. Pershing provides U.S. comments on proposed emissions trading schemes, possible changes to electricity sectors, sustainable transport, marine bunker fuel taxes, and other matters. Pershing, in an attachment entitled “Marine Bunker Fuels Taxes Paper,” comprising pages 22 to 25 of the document, comments that the U.S. delegation is pleased with changes to provisions on a tax on marine bunker fuels, and implies U.S. opposition to such taxes, noting their effects on global shipping. While neither the military nor national security is mentioned, there is no doubt that such taxes would affect U.S. military operations.

Document 3

This climate change policy report reviews factors impacting U.S. environmental policy and assesses greenhouse gas inventory, plans to mitigate climate change, and climate change adaptation.  It also highlights U.S. climate research, education, and international activities. On page 46, the Department of Defense (DOD) is described as the biggest energy consumer within the federal government. Page 78 notes cooperation between the DOD and Department of Energy (DOE) on an energy efficiency program. Later pages, for example 155, 160, 187, describe the DOD as “involved in climate change issues” and working with the EPA, DOE, NASA, USDA, and Department of State (DOS) in joint initiatives. The report also notes, on page 169, the Pentagon’s involvement in developing biomass energy, and (on page 279) its role in developing energy efficient lighting products in coordination with DOE.

Document 4

Source: Department of State FOIA

Rafe Pomerance forwards to 20 different agencies this draft paper explaining the U.S. position on controlling greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, incentives to encourage developing countries to support the U.S. proposal for the Kyoto Protocol, views of other negotiating blocs, domestic opposition, and negotiating strategies. On page 2, Sherri Goodman, deputy undersecretary of defense for environmental security, is mentioned, indicating DOD’s continuing involvement in climate change policy and negotiations.

Document 5

Source: Department of State FOIA

Deputy Secretary of Defense Hamre, in a letter to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, calls on the State Department to “protect national security” by adding specific provisions to the Kyoto Protocol. The document directly states some of the DOD’s core concerns regarding climate change negotiations and spells out what the Pentagon wants to see within the Kyoto Protocol, including emissions reductions which are “consistent with national security.”

Document 6

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

Eugene B. (“Gene”) Sperling, Katie McGinty, Daniel Tarullo, Jim Steinberg, and Todd Stern request decisions from President Clinton on climate change policy measures to advance U.S. environmental goals domestically and internationally. On the final page of this memorandum, the authors write that the DOD is seeking an exemption under the climate treaty due to concerns that “fuel reduction requirements could hamper military operations.” They note that while the president’s advisers agree with the DOD’s objective, they may disagree on the scope of the exemption. They further indicate that they are working with the DOD to clarify the Pentagon’s objectives, resolve differences in positions, and note they will provide further information on the issue the following week. Although this document calls it a “national security exemption,” it is, more accurately, a set of exemptions.

Document 7

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

The White House Office of Environmental Initiatives describes principles guiding President Clinton’s climate change policies and frameworks for action and presents fact sheets on various environmental issues. Reflecting the scope of the military’s involvement with climate policy, the DOD is mentioned on page 16 as working with the DOE, Department of Housing and Urban Development, EPA, Department of Labor, Department of Commerce, and FEMA, along with industry partners, on the Partnership for Advancing Technologies in Housing. Such a program is committed to developing, demonstrating, and deploying “housing technologies and practices” in order to make cheaper homes that are more resistant to disaster, more sustainable, and “provide a safer working environment.”

Document 8

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

Office of Science and Technology Policy advisers Rosina M. Bierbaum, Peter Backlund, and Susan Bassow provide background, scientific focus, research priorities, talking points, and answers to questions about interagency U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program (USGCRP). On page 1 of this briefing paper, the DOD’s involvement in USGCRP and cooperation with other agencies are mentioned. This document serves as further evidence of the DOD’s integral involvement in climate change policy during the Clinton administration.

Document 9

Source: Department of State FOIA

State Department negotiator Mark Hambley forwards notes taken by U.S. diplomats on meetings at the fourth Conference of Parties to U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. He mentions that Holly Kaufman, one of the DOD representatives in Buenos Aires, took notes on an afternoon meeting of the U.N. Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and joint meeting of SBSTA and the U.N. Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI). In her notes, on pages 5 and 6, she describes discussions on environmental efficiency, flexible mechanisms within the Kyoto Protocol, a U.S. proposal for consideration of other climate models, the fact that some countries favor a continuation of the joint implementation phase, and additional topics. While national security is not directly mentioned, it does reveal the DOD’s interest in these topics, fitting with the Pentagon’s focus on “environmental security” which took center stage in the 1990s.

Document 10

Source: Department of State FOIA

William S. Breed, Dan Benton, and Paul Schwengels report on the fourth Conference of the Parties to U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting on technological development, technology transfers, and climate research and observation. While Breed is an environmental scientist who worked for the DOE’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, and Schwengels worked as a senior program manager for the Environmental Protection Agency, Benton worked for the DOD. He was the Pentagon’s Associate General Counsel. His involvement indicates the Pentagon’s interest in technology transfer, development, climate research, observation and involvement in climate change negotiations.

Document 11

Source: Department of State FOIA

Mark Hambley forwards to U.S. government colleagues more notes taken at meetings of the fourth Conference of Parties to United Nations Convention on Climate Change.  Topics include flexible mechanisms, compensation for developing countries affected by climate change, and scientific research and observation. Hambley attaches notes, on pages 6 and 7, by Colonel Benton, one of the DOD’s representatives, on the afternoon SBSTA session, which summarize the discussion by delegations about climate change research, observation, and methodological issues. Benton summarizes the argument by Austria, on behalf of the European Union, that bunker fuels should be included in national totals. He then notes U.S. pushback to this suggestion and describes a Swiss call for the SBSTA/SBI looking at chlorofluorocarbon substitutes rather than at a meeting of the Montreal Protocol parties.

Document 12

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

Stuart Eizenstat addressed the fourth Conference of Parties to U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, calling for further environmental cooperation to combat climate change.  His prepared remarks highlight the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms, including emissions trading schemes, emissions reductions by developing countries, carbon sinks, and treaty compliance. On the second page of his speech, he says that the U.S. will sign the Kyoto Protocol and that Washington is “guided by the firm belief that the signing will serve our environmental, economic, and national security goals.” The latter phrase refers in part to the accomplishment of the military’s objectives in Kyoto the previous year at the third Conference of Parties.

Document 13

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

U.S. negotiator Hambley forwards reports from the Bonn climate change conference on meetings regarding developing country communications and bunker fuels. In the attached report, on pages 3 and 4, by Kevin Green of the Department of Transportation (DOT), he notes consultations with Swiss representative Jose Romero and other delegates about bunker fuels. Even though national security is not explicitly mentioned, this document indicates the continued importance to U.S. negotiators of bunker fuels as a solvable issue.

Document 14

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

Climate negotiator Mark Hambley provides an informal report of meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice. He notes, on page 4, that one of the more controversial issues for nongovernmental organizations is on the proposed decision about bunker fuels, saying the ins and outs of the discussion are covered in DOD and Department of Transportation (DOT) reports.

Document 15

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

Duncan Marsh forwards responses to letters from environmental groups in preparation for a meeting on carbon sinks and related issues. This includes a summary by Frank Loy and Roger Ballantine, on pages 3 and 4, of national security exemptions secured during the third Conference of Parties, and the work by the IMO and ICAO to reduce bunker fuel emissions, reporting of said emissions, and other matters. Dan Benton, a DOD representative, is mentioned on page 5 as receiving Loy and Ballantine’s memorandum. One of the responses, from the US Climate Action Network and affiliated groups, includes a discussion of bunker fuels, on page 11, and calls for closing the “international bunker fuel loophole.” The latter is a reference to the military exemptions gained by DOD at the third Conference of Parties.

Document 16

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

R. Tucker Scully provides background information to Frank E. Loy, and outlines the U.S. position ahead of a meeting with environmental groups about carbon sinks and other related issues. He notes, on pages 7 to 9, the claim by environmental non-governmental organizations that the U.S. is undermining text proposed on international bunker fuels during climate change negotiations. He points to the agreement in Kyoto on the issue and worries that efforts to resolve this issue could “raise questions about the exemption for military operations.” He further argues that diplomats have gone to “great lengths” to refute accusations that the Kyoto Protocol undermines national security. He adds that environmental NGOs can be satisfied by pointing to future action by the ICAO and IMO on bunker fuels. His points are reinforced by talking points for meetings with environmental groups outlined on pages 19 to 22.

Document 17

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

State Department negotiator Mark Hambley reports on meetings of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change subsidiary bodies in Lyon, France, ahead of climate change negotiations in The Hague. This includes noting, on page 4, that no decision had yet been taken on bunker fuels and pointing out DOD representative Dave Peters as being present at the conference. Hambley includes a report from Peters on page 8, which focuses on greenhouse gas emissions from international transportation, noting responses from the Swiss, French, and U.S. delegations on this issue.


Notes

[1] See “Climate Change Is Seen as Most Worrying Threat to World Security,” by Jonathan Tirone, Bloomberg, Feb. 18, 2022; “Turning the Tide: Unlearning Helplessness,” Munich Security Report 2022, Feb. 2022; “Federal pipeline regulator will consider climate change in assessing new projects,” by Maxine Joselow, Washington Post, Feb. 18, 2022; “Gas pipeline regulators to consider climate impacts for new projects,” by Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Feb. 17, 2022.

[2] “Congressional Action Relating to DOD and DOE Environmental Activities” (Summer 1996), Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 138-9; Goodman, Sherri W. (Autumn 1996) “DOD Environmental Security: Investing in the Future,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 97, 104.

[3] Goodman, Sherri W. (Winter 1997) “Remarks by Secretary of Defense William J. Perry to the Society of American Military Engineers,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 108-11.

[4] Hourcle, Laurent R. (Summer 1996) “Environmental Compliance and Military Readiness,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 7-11.

[5] Schweiter, Henry J. (Winter 1997) “Defense Environmental Legislation in the 104th Congress- A Retrospective,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 17; Doxey, Kevin, Jeffrey Marqusee and Wendy Dunn. (Spring 1997) “DOD’s Environmental Technology Development,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 74.

[6] Goodman, Sherri W. (Summer 1997) “Environmental Security and the Marshall Plan: A Historical Perspective,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 144-6; Goodman, Sherri W. (Winter 1997) “Remarks by Secretary of Defense William J. Perry to the Society of American Military Engineers,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 107. In the Summer 1997 article, Goodman says that the U.S. military had been working with NATO on environmental matters since 1991.

[7] Goodman, Sherri W. (Winter 1998) “Defense Reform and Environmental Security,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 67, 69, 71; West, Michael A. (Summer 1998) “Interview with Rear Admiral Andrew A. Granuzzo,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 14-5; Katz, Michael A. and Jerry R. Hudson (Spring 1998) “National Defense Center for Environmental Excellence,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 113-4.

[8] “Parties,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 4, 1998. The document also listed, on page 24, a military representative from Saudi Arabia, Sayed Faithi Al-Khouli, an economic advisor of the Meteorological and Environmental Protection Administration, part of the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation.

[9] See “John D. Gibson,” Sourcewatch; “Holly Kaufman,” Sun Valley Forum, “Holly Kaufman,” GreenBiz; “Principal’s Biography,” Environment & Enterprise Strategies; “Holly Kaufman,” HuffPost; “ENB Retirees,” Earth Negotiations Bulletin. Kaufman also noted her former work in a December 20, 2017 tweet, writing that “the Nt’l Sec Strategy included climate change as threat since I worked on it at Defense Dept under Clinton in 1996.” She later worked as part of a “clean energy” organization on behalf of then-candidate Joe Biden in 2020 as noted on her LinkedIn , and co-authored an article with Goodman and former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), John Conger, in December 2021.

[10] Green is now Division Chief of DOT’s division on Corporate Average Fuel Economy. In 2000 he authored a four-page document on ways to reduce emissions in the transportation sector.

[11] “Parties,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 5, 1999; “Parties,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 6, 2000, p. 59-60. Peters, who worked within the Pentagon’s Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security, would later describe himself as a “DOD worldwide pollution prevention leader.” He is also described by dtp-consulting as a “negotiator on the International Climate Treaty.”

[12] See “Duncan Marsh,” Climate Solutions which describes him as “a former US climate change negotiator, serving the US State Department from 1997 to 2001” and states that “he worked on the Kyoto protocol, the predecessor to the Paris climate agreement.” His LinkedIn states that he was a Foreign Affairs Officer from 1997 to 2001.

[13] In a March 31, 1998 press briefing, Sandalow noted that he was at the Council on Environmental Quality as associate director for the global environment and with the National Security Council as director for environmental affairs. He left post as assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs on January 19, 2001. He would return to positions within the U.S. Department of Energy between 2009 to 2013.

[14] Other groups included Center for Environmental Law, Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficient Economy, National Environmental Trust, National Resources Defense Council, Ozone Action, Union of Concerned Scientists, World Wildlife Fund, and 20/20 Vision. Additional groups signed the appended report, some of which did not sign the original letter.

[15] “Congressional Action Relating to DOD and DOE Environmental Activities” (Winter 1999), Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 103, 122. The Pentagon had been allocated money to prevent pollution from ships to “authorize discharges resulting from the use of pulpers and shredders” in 1996, consistent with the MARPOL Convention, according to page 117 of “Congressional Action Relating to DOD and DOE Environmental Activities” (Summer 1996), Federal Facilities Environmental Journal.

[16] Salomon, Roy K. (Summer 1999) “Global Climate Change and Military Readiness,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 135-7, 139-42. By 1999, Saloman was no longer a Pentagon employee but he was working for them as an senior associate at the Booz Allen & Hamilton advising the Pentagon on “methodologies for calculating greenhouse gas emissions associated with bunker fuels and military operations and training.”

[17] See “NAVSEA Eliminates CFCs Onboard Carriers,” MarineLink, Apr. 6, 2009; “Navy settles environmental violations at Naval Station Norfolk,” Environmental Protection Agency, May 6, 2015.

[18] Yarosckak, Paul J. (Autumn 2000) “Department of the Navy – Fall Update,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 136, 138-40, 142-3; Walker, Paul F. (Autumn 2000) “Environmental Management of Military Munitions and Lands,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 142-3; Zettersten, Gay C. and Debra A. Dale (Winter 2000) “U.S. Army Environmental Protection Activities during Operations Joint Endeavor, Joint Guard, and Joint Forge,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 24-26; McCall, Thomas (Autumn 2001) “How to Succeed in Winning and Maintaining Public Support for Military Testing and Training in the United States,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 97; West, Michael A. (Summer 2001) “Interview with Rear Admiral Larry C. Baucom, Director of the Environmental Protection, Safety, and Occupational Health Division of the Department of the Navy,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 7-8, 18.

[19] Canes, Michael E., Daniel P. Jackson, and Terri M. Jenkins (Autumn 2002) “Army Test and Evaluation Command Non-Tactical Vehicle Fleet: A Strategy for Complying with Executive Order 13149,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 73-4, 76, 78; “Congressional Action Relating to DOD Environmental Activities” (Summer 2003), Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 116; West, Michael A. (Spring 2003) “Interview with Ray DuBois, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment); Paul W. Mayberry, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Readiness); and Benjamin Cohen, General Counsel,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 8, 10.

[20] “List of Participants,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 7, 2001, p 38; “Parties,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 8, 2002, p. 37.

[21] “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security,” by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, October 2003; “To Take Climate Change Seriously, the U.S. Military Needs to Shrink,” Time, Alejandro de la Garza, Feb. 17, 2022. The Time article also notes that “about 70% of all the DOD’s energy use.”

[22] U.S. Army, “Climate Strategy,” February 2022; “Cutting Carbon Pollution in America,” Obama Administration White House Site, accessed May 17, 2022; “Obama: Climate change a national security issue,” by Leo Shane III, Military Times, May 20, 2015.

[23] See “Pentagon shutting down fuel tank facility in Hawaii that leaked into drinking water” by Ellen Mitchell, The Hill, Mar. 7, 2022; “Pentagon asking for $1B for Red Hill closure” by Kim Jarrett, Center Square, Mar. 29, 2022; “Pentagon to shut down leaking fuel tank facility in Hawaii” by Lolita S. Baldor, Associated Press, Mar. 7, 2022; “Pentagon Shuttering Hawaii Fuel Storage Facility that Leaked and Sickened Military Families” by Rebecca Kheel, Military.com, Mar. 7, 2022; “Is super-polluting Pentagon’s climate plan just ‘military-grade greenwash’?” by Iffah Kitchlew, The Guardian, Mar. 10, 2022.


ADDENDUM

Editor’s Note: I removed this text after agreeing that it deviated too much from the point in this piece. But, in order to be totally transparent, I’m publishing that text, for the first time, here.

In August 2009, in the first year of the Obama administration, Todd Stern, the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, argued that the “national security threat” posed by climate change could be an argument for the American Clean Energy and Security Act, otherwise known as the Waxman-Markey Bill. The law proposed a system known as cap and trade in which the U.S. government could cap the amount of greenhouse gas emissions the U.S. could emit and then allow companies to trade and buy permits to emit these gases.

Stern’s email to Jacob J. Sullivan, Huma Abedin, and Cheryl D. Mills, all advisors to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also pointed to the role of the Pentagon in combating climate change and said this interconnected with U.S. national security policy. [Document 18] Mills later forwarded this email to Secretary Clinton to inform her of Stern’s strategy. Although the Waxman-Markey Bill narrowly passed the House of Representatives, it never came before the Senate for a vote or discussion. [1] Even so, the email shows the continued importance of the Pentagon’s actions to environmental policymakers, even though Pentagon representatives stopped appearing at climate conferences as part of the U.S. delegation in 2002.


Document 18

Email Message, United States Special Envoy for Climate Change, Todd Stern to Jacob J. Sullivan, Huma Abedin, and Cheryl D. Mills, Excised Copy, Forward Copy, Subject: Broder Cover Story in Sunday NYT [Classification Unknown]

Date: 2009-08-10

Source: Department of State FOIA

Description: Todd Stern, the new U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, recommends to Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton’s advisers that the Obama administration use the “national security threat” posed by global climate change as argument for passage of proposed environmental legislation. This email message notes the role of the Pentagon in fighting climate change and how that is intertwined with national security policy. Cheryl D. Mills later forwards the message to Secretary Clinton.

Notes

[1] See “Was Waxman-Markey A Waste of Energy?,” by Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones; “Why the Climate Bill Died,” by Bryan Welsh, Time.


Photos I wanted to add but were not added in the final post for some reason:

John J. Sheehan (left), U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry (center), and Lt. Gen. Charles E. Wilhelm (right)
Supreme Allied Commander John J. Sheehan (left), U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry (center), and Lt. Gen. Charles E. Wilhelm (right) at Camp Lejeune in August 1996. Perry, as Defense Secretary, was a big proponent of the Pentagon’s focus on environmental security as part of the military’s mission. (Photo credit: National Archives at College Park)
Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre
Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre answers a question at a July 8, 1999, Pentagon press briefing on U.S. participation in NATO Operation Allied Force. In September 1997, Hamre wrote a letter to Secretary of State Strobe Talbot calling for Kyoto Protocol provisions that “protect national security.” (Photo credit: Department of Defense)
Holly Kaufman
Holly Kaufman shaking hands with Vice President Al Gore. She served as a Pentagon representative in Buenos Aires at the UN Climate Change Conference in 1998. (Photo credit: Environment & Enterprise Strategies)
Stuart Eizenstat
Stuart Eizenstat appears before The Senate Judiciary Committee in October 1999. Eizenstat, the Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs from 1997 to 1999, spoke to the fourth Conference of Parties in November 1998, noting that the Kyoto Protocol fulfills U.S. “national security goals.” (Photo credit: US Department of the Treasury. Also see here)
Bruce DeGrazia
Bruce DeGrazia speaking on procurement and funding of homeland security programs in October 2002. In 1999 and 2000, he served as the Pentagon’s Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Environmental Quality and was one of the Pentagon representatives at global climate change conferences during those years. (Photo credit: C-Span: https://www.c-span.org/video/?173351-1/homeland-security-financing at 0:7.22)
Dave Peters
Col. Darrell Jones, Ken Paton, Col. Thomas Koning, and Col. David “Dave” T. Peters, during the ceremony in 2003. Peters was a Pentagon representative at the global climate change conference in 2000, along with other military officials. (Photo credit: US Army Corps of Engineers New England District, “Yankee Engineer”: https://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/AA/00/06/45/10/00036/03-2003.pdf (see page 11))
Secretary Clinton announces that Todd Stern is appointed as the Special Envoy on Climate Change in January 2009. Stern sent an email to Clinton’s advisors arguing that the “national security threat” posed by climate change could be used to argue for the Waxman-Markey Bill. (Photo credit: State Department photo by Michael Gross, also here)

 

National Security and Climate Change: Behind the U.S. Pursuit of Military Exemptions to the Kyoto Protocol

Pentagon insistence, lodged over State Department concerns, drove strong U.S. push
to exclude military operations from climate treaty

Kyoto experience presents parallels as Biden administration faces challenges on climate policy

This post is reprinted from the National Security Archive website. Archived here and here.

Washington, D.C., January 20, 2022 – Pentagon demands for military exemptions during the 1997 Kyoto climate negotiations posed a substantial challenge for the Clinton administration both internally and with American allies, according to a collection of declassified internal papers posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.

The Defense Department proposal created rifts with other federal agencies and American negotiators in Kyoto had to wrestle to convince other countries to agree to exempt specific military operations from emissions requirements. Still, some governments willingly agreed with the idea and openly supported it. Ultimately, the Pentagon’s basic wishes were included as part of the Kyoto accord.

The records in today’s posting primarily focus on the perspectives of U.S. negotiators and officials, but also include the views of members of Congress and others who were critical of the Kyoto Protocol because they wanted even larger carve-outs for military operations.

These documents have particular relevance as the Biden administration advances its climate change policy and the Pentagon commits to climate adaptation measures.

*****

An issue “the Pentagon cared most about”: Behind the U.S. push for national security exemptions in Kyoto

By Burkely Hermann

President Clinton, sitting at a desk on the edge of the Grand Canyon in September 1996, signs a proclamation establishing the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, while Vice President Al Gore stands beside him. Clinton’s advisors, including Todd Stern, kept him informed of the push for military exemptions in Kyoto and there are no records that he had any objections to these efforts. (Photo credit: William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum)

In earlier postings, the National Security Archive made available declassified documents which provided insight into the Clinton administration’s climate change policy, including the negotiations in Kyoto and the subsequent protocol. Those documents also highlighted challenges this policy faced abroad from other countries and at home from legislators and business leaders.

The documents in this post expand that story by focusing on the advocacy by U.S. negotiators in Kyoto for national security exemptions during and after the climate change conference. Journalists and commentators have argued lobbying by the United States meant that the Kyoto Protocol gave militaries a large exemption from emissions targets and standards.[1] However, the documents tell a different story, of exemptions which were not as wide as the Pentagon or critics of the agreement would have liked. These provisions exempted emissions from international operations authorized by the United Nations or those described as in accordance with the UN Charter, and bunker fuels from being added to national emissions totals.

President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright confer during the Wye River Plenary Session in October 1998. Albright strongly favored national security exemptions at the Kyoto negotiations, and later affirmed that the Pentagon’s aims in Kyoto had been achieved. (photo credit: The National Archives and Records Administration)

By early October 1997, Pentagon officials, like Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security Sherri W. Goodman, had declared that the protocol would harm “military readiness,” with serious implications for military training, operations, and fuel use.[2] Goodman even attached a proposed national security waiver to her memorandum. State Department officials heard these objections loud and clear. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright voiced her approval for national security exemptions, saying she wanted to explore the idea as it related to supporting peacekeeping and military readiness [see Document 1]. While she acknowledged that much of the federal government’s energy consumption came from the military, she argued that NATO operations would not be compromised by greenhouse gas limitations, justifying this by arguing that it would be hard to calculate emissions. She proposed language for the exemptions and noted that fellow NATO members would be asked to support these exemptions.

Secretary of Defense William Cohen listens to U.S. Army Supreme Allied Commander for Europe Gen. Wesley Clark in September 1998. Cohen originally agreed with critics of the agreement who wanted larger military exemptions, but he later acceded to the exemptions implemented in Kyoto. (Photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense)

Pentagon officials Christopher E. Weaver, executive officer to the director for logistics for the Joint Staff, and Roy K. Salomon, a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel who was part of Deputy Secretary of Defense John P. White’s staff, were U.S. delegates in Kyoto.[3] They spoke with delegates about national security exemptions. Delegates from Australia and New Zealand expressed cautious interest, with the Australian military considering it an issue and wanting continued dialogue, while New Zealand saw merit in the proposal. The U.S. delegation later supplied a statement calling for a national security or national emergency provision, hoping that other delegates would consider how emissions requirements could affect military forces, training, and peacekeeping operations [see Documents 2, 3, 4].

Stuart Eizenstat, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, headed the U.S. delegation in Kyoto. (Photo credit: unknown)

By late November 1997, the U.S. delegation in Kyoto led by Stuart E. Eizenstat, Under Secretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs,[4] had made national security one of their primary issues. In a memo to negotiators, a Council on Environmental Quality official wrote that the State Department was opposing broad national security exemptions, with Eizenstat believing there was too high of a risk of failure of achieving it in negotiations, a position that Katie McGinty and Todd Stern[5] from the White House team in the U.S. delegation agreed with. Even so, State Department staff tried to narrow the exemptions, believing this would have increased success, while opposing the Pentagon’s request for blanket exemptions, saying that no agency nor White House office supported such a request. The memorandum further summarized goals of the Pentagon in the negotiations, including exemption of bunker fuels and exemption of multilateral operations from emissions requirements [see Document 5].

Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security Sherri Goodman takes reporters’ questions on climate matters at the Pentagon in 2000. Goodman was originally a critic of the Kyoto Protocol but later defended the military exemptions won by the U.S. delegation in Kyoto. (Photo credit: DOD photo by R.D. Ward)

Bunker fuels are fuel oils stored in compartments on ships known as bunkers, which are used to move seagoing vessels and cause significant air pollution. These vessels include military craft, civilian ships, tankers, and other marine transport.[6] It can also include aviation fuel, such as those consumed by international passenger flights, and “international flights by the United States military,” as noted by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Kyoto Protocol paired both kinds of bunker fuels together, as part of emissions limitations.[7]

National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, Assistant to the President for International Economic Policy Daniel Tarullo, Deputy National Security Advisor James Steinberg, and Kyoto delegates Katie McGinty and Todd Stern later wrote President Clinton in late November 1997, communicating Pentagon concerns about the Kyoto Protocol, including the impact on military readiness, basing negotiations, and surge operations. Their aim was to avoid having the same requirements which apply to non-military facilities be applied to military facilities. In response, U.S. climate negotiators crafted a proposal where military operations would not be affected by domestic emissions trading, according to Sperling, Tarullo, Steinberg, McGinty, and Stern.

Mark Hambley, pictured here as U.S. Ambassador to Qatar in 1992, was one of the alternate heads of the delegation in Kyoto. (Photo credit: National Archives at College Park)

Even so, a proposal to exclude emissions from surge operations was described as unachievable in climate change negotiations. DOD officials stated that absent a decision on this topic, the U.S. should not join the proposed Kyoto Protocol. Sperling, Tarullo, Steinberg, McGinty, and Stern advised President Clinton that he would need to make a decision whether to proceed with the protocol if Pentagon aims were not met. They further warned him that military concerns about the climate change treaty had received attention on Capitol Hill and from industry groups which opposed the agreement [see Document 6].

Mainstream press aligned with this analysis, noting rejection of bigger exemptions, justified by military efforts to cut their own emissions and improvements in energy efficiency. Previously, White House officials had stated that there had been administration efforts to use military resources for environmentally friendly technologies and authorized the release of classified environmental data to help researchers.[8]

Katie McGinty, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, engages with President Clinton in the Oval Office. (Date unknown) McGinty was a U.S. delegate in Kyoto. (Photo credit: unknown, presumably a White House photographer; accessed from Pennsylvania Women Vote!)

The following month, the U.S. delegation continued to push for national security exemptions. Weaver, one of the Pentagon’s negotiators in Kyoto, received pushback from the British delegation, which wanted exemptions broadened to cover domestic military training. He was told that the European Union was becoming fatigued with U.S. proposals. Weaver framed the exemptions as ensuring military readiness and something all militaries should be concerned about, while the British delegates promised to remain engaged on the issue [see Document 7].

Ambassador Mark Hambley, one of the alternate heads of the delegation, reported on meetings between Pentagon delegates and those from Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, and Switzerland in Kyoto about the national security exemptions. He noted concerns from Japanese and New Zealand delegates. European Union representatives were confused why the issue was “so important to the US,” with Weaver and Salomon calling it an “extremely important” part of the U.S. position [see Documents 8, 9].

Portrait of Christopher E. Weaver in January 2001. Weaver was one of the Pentagon’s delegates in Kyoto. (Photo credit: National Archives at College Park)

Hambley called the exemptions a “potentially volatile issue,” noted objections from China and Russia, while Sharon Saile, an EPA delegate in Kyoto, described objections from the United Kingdom. This changed on December 9, when a report noted that exemptions would be adopted with “very little discussion” [see Documents 10, 11, 12]. Reporting in mainstream press aligned with this timeline. A Washington Post article noted that the proposal was protested by Iraq, and initially by Russia. It was claimed that the proposal had drawn skepticism from military allies when proposed at the Bonn Climate Change Conference in October of that year.[9] The latter was confirmed by a declassified document which asked Madeleine Albright about the military exemptions [see Document 13]. Scholar Caroline Fehl argued that European decision makers accommodated U.S. demands in Kyoto,[10] one of which were the exemptions.

Democratic Congresswoman Pat Danner from Missouri was one of the legislative critics of the Kyoto Protocol who wanted wider military exemptions than the U.S. delegation had achieved in Kyoto. (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

On December 11, 1997, the same day the Kyoto Protocol was adopted,[11] the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties released a decision which enshrined the exemptions within the treaty itself. The decision stated that emissions “based upon fuel sold to ships or aircraft engaged in international transport,” i.e., bunker fuels, should not be part of national totals. It was further decided that emissions from multilateral operations following the United Nations Charter would not be included in national emissions totals but would be “reported separately” [see Document 14].

U.S. negotiators later described the provision as exempting “bunker fuels stored in overseas bases” [see Document 15]. The mainstream press depicted it as applying to military vessels traveling overseas or participating in such “operations as the recent relief mission to Somalia or the U.S.-led war against Iraq.” DOD officials described it as an issue “the Pentagon cared most about,” while environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council called it a “big loophole.”[12] It was reported that the U.S. pushed for the proposal in an attempt to undermine Republican critics of the Kyoto Protocol. If the latter is true, it was unsuccessful because James M. Inhofe (R-OK), a conservative U.S. senator and one of the biggest opponents to the protocol, claimed that the agreement was a “political, economic, and national security fiasco.”[13]

U.S. diplomats called the inclusion of the exemptions a “major victory.” They argued that the Kyoto Protocol was consistent with the Pentagon’s goals, which included exempting bunker fuels and emissions from multilateral operations and allowing countries to account for those emissions in their own ways [see Documents 16, 17]. Other documents noted that operations like Desert Storm, in Kosovo, Somalia, and Grenada would not be included in national emissions totals [see Document 18].

During the Gulf War, hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil poured into the Persian Gulf, with the U.S.-led coalition forces and Iraqi forces accusing each other of causing the spill. It was later concluded that the spill caused “unprecedented environmental devastation,” especially on the coast of Saudi Arabia, salt marshes, sandy shores, rocky shores, and coral reefs, while the war was said to cause “serious environmental damage” to parts of the Mideast. During the same conflict, Iraqi military forces had set fire to hundreds of oil wells when retreating from advancing coalition forces, while during the conflict in Kosovo, water was polluted by oil derivatives. NATO strikes on oil refineries, pharmaceutical plants, and other facilities during the Kosovo War, caused significant environmental damage.[14]

Some legislators, such as Benjamin A. Gilman and Pat A. Danner, wanted a “clear cut exemption of military emissions,” telling President Clinton they were concerned that emissions from domestic military training and operations of U.S. armed forces were not included [see Documents 19, 20]. Other critics spoke out as well. For example, the Committee to Preserve Security and Sovereignty (COMPASS), a group composed of analysts and former government officials like Dick Cheney, Lawrence Eagleburger, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Richard Burt, and Alexander Haig, supported then-Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, who had said that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions should not impinge on “national security.” COMPASS, seemingly affiliated with the George C. Marshall Institute, a conservative think tank central to a network of organizations denying climate change was caused by humans, claimed that the treaty would threaten “exercise of American military power.”[15]

State Department negotiators argued back that the agreement achieved the Pentagon’s aim of protecting military operations. They claimed that U.S. military emissions were low and pointed out that there was ample room within emission reduction commitments to accommodate U.S. military emissions [see Document 21]. The Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Office of Global Change further said that the department wanted specific and well-defined military operations to be excluded, such as those authorized by the United Nations, rather than more general operations [see Document 22].

Other documents in this posting note that the Pentagon was satisfied with the agreement, proposed that President Clinton announce opposition to emissions limits on domestic military operations and training, and argued that during the climate change negotiations U.S. goals included preserving “military protections” [see Documents 23, 24, 25]. The same year, the Pentagon was exempted from energy conservation and efficiency standards for military training, combat vehicles, and military support.[16]

In February 1998, Stuart Eizenstat told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that U.S. negotiators in Kyoto had taken “special pains” to protect U.S. military superiority. He said that they achieved everything the Pentagon “outlined as necessary.” Following his testimony, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) praised the work of the team and the military exemptions. In another hearing, Madeleine Albright argued that the Pentagon’s aims had been achieved in Kyoto and said that the Pentagon was satisfied with the agreement.[17]

In May 1998, Eizenstat noted that domestic implementation of the Kyoto Protocol would not include military operations and training, another Pentagon objective. In a joint letter the same month, Albright and Cohen said that the agreement had served the environmental and national security interests of the United States. In June 1998, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security Goodman wrote in a Washington Times letter that one of the key objectives for the U.S. delegation was to preserve the “ability to conduct military operations.” She noted that President Clinton approved of the exemptions and stated that “virtually all current military operations are multilateral in nature.” She further argued that Cohen and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were satisfied with the agreement. She was responding to an op-ed by former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, who claimed that the agreement would be a “diplomatic and military nightmare.”[18]

Stern, now the White House climate change coordinator, described the letters to President Clinton in a June 1998 report on climate change policy. He described Carlucci’s op-ed as inaccurate and revealed that the White House worked with Goodman on her letter [see Document 27]. In November 1998, Stern wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that the Kyoto Protocol had “provisions that protect our national security” and did not cover activities of U.S. military forces.[19]

Despite assurances from State Department officials and negotiators that the Pentagon’s goals had been achieved, critics of the protocol wanted wider exemptions. U.S. lawmakers included a section in the 1998 National Defense Authorization Act which exempted U.S. military operations completely from the Kyoto agreement without any qualifications.[20] However, Stern stated to President Clinton that the White House did not oppose the amendment, but only had “technical concerns” with its wording [see Document 26].

In summer 1999, Salomon outlined how military exemptions in the protocol “protect[ed] military readiness.” He noted that the protections provided to military operations were becoming “institutionalized within the UNFCCC itself” and would remain even if the climate treaty was not enacted. While he worried that since the exemptions were not directly in the protocol they could possibly be reversed by a “future Decision of the Parties,” he acknowledged that the treaty protected military readiness. Some years later, one of the treaty’s critics, Henry Miller of the Hoover Institution, declared that the exemptions were “anything but successful,” while Goodman defended the administration’s actions.[21]

In the years that followed, U.N. documents attested that bunker fuels and certain military emissions would not be included in national emissions totals and would be reported separately, while certain emissions would be aggregated at a minimum to “protect confidential business and military information.” These were actions that the U.S. delegation fully supported.[22]

The U.S. delegates had received partial exemptions in Kyoto. Some called this a mockery of the U.N. climate process and posited that military emissions were so large that they wanted an exemption. They said that this resulted in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change treating military emissions differently than other kinds of emissions.[23] Despite this victory for the Pentagon, the Kyoto Protocol was not ratified by the U.S. Senate. Scholars John Peterson and Mark A. Pollack surmised that due to the political weakness of President Clinton after his impeachment in Congress in late 1998, his advisers decided to not send the climate agreement to the Senate.[24]

Journalists have written that the military exemptions in the Kyoto Protocol were “eliminated” under the 2015 Paris Agreement. It was reported that the agreement did not require countries to supply full data on military emissions or to cut these emissions. It was also said that the exemptions were made moot for the U.S. when it pulled out of the Paris Agreement in 2020, although the U.S. rejoined the agreement in 2021. Most countries reportedly agreed with the decision to include language in the Paris Agreement, which changed how emissions were reported. Certain researchers have argued that since reporting military emissions is voluntary, it leads to what they call a “military emissions gap.”

Sarah E. Light, a business ethics scholar, has argued that while the military appears to not be the friend of the environment in its massive energy use, it has a complex relationship with the environment, and has the potential to “make an enormous impact on climate change policy.” She terms this the military-environmental complex, saying the military can make strides in environmental protection and sustainability, which may require it to challenge its “long-held beliefs” about energy consumption.[25]

While the Kyoto Protocol expired at the end of 2020,[26] the Pentagon declared in 2021 that it considered climate change to be a “national security priority.” It drafted plans for climate adaptation and stated that the changing climate is already affecting military readiness.[27] Even so, energy consumption from the military continued to be excluded and not included in national totals.[28] This is despite non-governmental organizations like Staygrounded stating that emissions from “military aviation are likely significant, unchecked and virtually ignored.”[29] It is unlikely that the Pentagon, which emitted almost 52 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in fiscal year 2020 alone, the equivalent of 11.2 million automobiles[30], will get behind a proposal of all countries to submit emissions from warfare and military operations, as the Bolivian delegation asked for in 2011 and activists called for at COP-26, anytime soon.[31]

The Documents

Document 1

Source: Department of State FOIA

This action cable from the State Department informs Ambassador Mark Hambley and other addressees that the United States wants to “explore” the possibility of national security exemptions to rules and regulations on greenhouse gas emissions for activities in support of peacekeeping operations. While the Department acknowledges that the Pentagon consumes more energy than other federal agencies and believes this is similar in other NATO countries, the cable notes that it makes sense that emissions limits do not curtail UN peacekeeping operations, IFOR or SFOR in Bosnia. The document further claims that calculating emissions from military operations in areas outside the borders of the host country is a “difficult task.” The cable adds that national security exemptions are important to avoid discouraging countries from deploying military forces outside of their national borders, shares draft language for exemptions, and expresses hope for responses from other NATO countries to the proposal.

Document 2

Source: Department of State FOIA

Ambassador Hambley provides an update on climate change negotiations – “one of a series of unofficial and informal reports” – including responses to U.S. proposals, status of key issues, Canadian decisions on emissions control target, and other matters, such as countries wanting to exempt their militaries from emissions standards. The last two pages of the update include summaries of conversations between Captain Christopher Weaver and members of the Australian and Canadian delegations. Weaver recalled that Meg McDonald, the Australian environment ambassador, said that the Australian military had considered how emissions limits affected national security, and that it was “worthy of development.” McDonald suggested to Weaver that the Pentagon contact Australian military representatives in Washington, D.C., and seemed interested in discussing the issue further. Weaver later summarized the discussion with Jennifer Irish of the Canadian Foreign Ministry, who said that Canada felt the exemptions were a “relevant topic” and was worried about accounting for emissions from emergencies that can’t be predicted. Both Australia and Canada were “genuinely interested” in having national security exemptions.

Document 3

Source: Department of State FOIA

State Department official Dilday summarizes responses from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan to the U.S. demarche on climate change policy. In one of his post reports, he notes that New Zealand officials see merit in the proposal for national security exemptions, despite the fact they only have a “modest involvement” in peacekeeping actions.

Document 4

Source: Department of State FOIA

The U.S. delegation explains to the Russian delegation at the Bonn Climate Change Conference the reasons why the U.S. supports a national security exemptions provision that doesn’t create a conflict between “protect[ing] world peace” and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. delegation says, in the notes below the statement, that they hope that countries consider how many emissions come from multilateral military operations. The notes express the worry that emissions control measures could prevent “rapid decisions” on military training and operations and indicate a desire to discuss the issue further with “interested parties” before the conference in Kyoto begins.

Document 5

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

This internal document from the Council on Environmental Quality describes State Department opposition to broad national security exemptions within the Kyoto protocol, noting that CEQ Chair Katie McGinty and special envoy Todd Stern “appear to share this view.”  The paper also lists, with commentary, Pentagon goals in the climate change negotiations. They include an exemption for military bunker fuels, attributing emissions from U.S. military bases to U.S. national totals, exempting emissions from multilateral operations, and assurance from the administration that domestic military training and operations will be exempted from domestic implementation of a climate change agreement.

Document 6

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

President Clinton receives negotiating guidance from Eugene B. Sperling, Katie McGinty, Daniel Tarullo, James Steinberg, and Todd Stern for the conference on the Kyoto Protocol, with mention of emissions targets, emission reductions, joint implementation, commitments from developing countries, and national security exemptions. On the final page of this memorandum, Sperling, McGinty, Tarullo, Steinberg, and Stern note that the Pentagon has outlined its worry about the climate change treaty and how it will impact military operations, noting that the U.S. negotiation team for the conference has put together an approach for handling national security exemptions which “appears achievable.” However, they state that while an exemption for surge operations had been initially explored, it was later abandoned. They warn President Clinton that if U.S. negotiators cannot obtain a decision on the matter, then he will have to decide whether to proceed with the treaty or not. They remind him that the impact of the protocol on the military has gained attention from industry groups and those opposing the treaty in Congress.

Document 7

Source: Department of State FOIA

Captain Christopher Weaver summarizes his discussion with David Lyscom of the U.K. delegation at the climate change conference in Kyoto on the national security exemptions provision to the climate change treaty. In this memorandum, Weaver tells Ambassador Hambley that Lyscom opposed larger exemptions which included domestic military operations and training, and expresses his worry, to Lyscom, that the E.U. and NATO not believe they are simply being asked to accommodate the U.S. as opposed to embracing the issue of their own military readiness. Weaver recounts that Lyscom described the provision as looking like another U.S. plea for flexibility with the climate change agreement, saying the E.U. is getting “fatigued” with this approach. Even so, he promised to consider the issue further, although he was not convinced by Weaver’s arguments.

Document 8

Source: Department of State FOIA

Ambassador Hambley reports on the first days of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto, describing tensions between participants, briefings with interested parties, discussion of a national security exemptions provision, and other topics. On page 2 of this memorandum, he notes that Pentagon representatives, with help of Sue Biniaz, a lead State Department climate lawyer and Kyoto delegate, discussed the exemptions with other delegates from the informal JUSCANZ bloc (Japan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) who were supportive, and British delegates who were not. Hambley adds that Eizenstadt’s earlier intervention will likely reverse this “potential problem.”

Later in the document, on pages 8 and 9, the discussion between European Union and Pentagon delegates about the national security provision, is summarized. The EU delegates interestingly note that they are confused as to why this is such an important matter to the U.S. delegation, calling it a “relatively small issue,” while Weaver and Salomon describe it as significant and an “extremely important aspect” of U.S. negotiations. While the European delegates continue to say they want to avoid an issue like the provision in negotiations, they remain willing to discuss it further after consulting with other European Union members.

Document 9

Source: Department of State FOIA

Ambassador Hambley reports again on activities and meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto, including Canada and New Zealand pledging to reduce emissions, a proposed European Union amendment, and other issues. On pages 2 and 5 of this memorandum, Hambley notes that the two Pentagon representatives to the COP have “carefully orchestrated” the military exemptions issue, which he describes as “very problematic,” and adds that the delegation is seeking views on proposed language. He further argues that the exemptions are a “potentially volatile issue.”

Document 10

Source: Department of State FOIA

Ambassador Hambley submits another report on activities and meetings at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto, including proposed emission reduction measures, attempts to achieve U.S. policy objectives, opposition to New Zealand’s scheme to control greenhouse gas emissions, and other matters. On Page 3, he says that the military exemptions language presented by the U.S. delegation “failed to pass” due to opposition from the Chinese and Russian delegations, although the Iranian delegation remained silent. He notes that Raul Estrada-Oyuela, chair of the Committee of the Whole, called for “additional consultations” on the issue, stating that while the Chinese delegates were cooperative, he expected the Russian delegates might not be, and described the European Union delegates as “not particularly helpful” on this issue.

Document 11

Source: Department of State FOIA

EPA official Sharon Saile, who is attending the UNFCCC talks, summarizes opposition to proposed language on military exemptions to emissions measurements and comments on other sections of draft Kyoto Protocol. Specifically, Saile notes British objections to the language of the exemptions, which required the U.S. and U.K. to work together on new wording, while other countries supported the exemptions. She laments that the decision by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) was ultimately “bogged down by unresolved issues.”

Document 12

Source: Department of State FOIA

Ambassador Hambley forwards reports prepared by U.S. representatives to the Conference of the Parties to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto. On page 3, in a December 6 report, Debbie Stowell, a Department of Energy delegate, says that a late-night session of the Committee of the Whole adopted language on military emissions from multilateral operations with “very little discussion.”

Document 13

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

Rep. Sensenbrenner, appointed to lead a bipartisan House observer delegation on Kyoto, asks Madeleine Albright about emissions estimates, carbon sinks, participation by developing nations, the Kyoto protocol, emissions from military operations, and the U.S. negotiating position for the talks. On page 5 of this letter, Sensenbrenner notes that the U.S. first raised the issue of national security exemptions at the end of October at the Bonn Climate Change Conference.  He requests clarification on the U.S. objectives for military emissions and whether the United States would have to offset such emissions with other domestic reductions in the event a military waiver was granted.

Document 14

Source: United Nations Climate Change [https://unfccc.int]

This document summarizes the Third Session of Conference of the Parties in Kyoto from December 1 to December 11, 1997, including actions taken during the conference, and it lists carbon dioxide emissions of participants in 1990. On page 31 is a resolution entitled “Methodological issues related to the Kyoto protocol,” decided on the last day of the conference. This resolution urges the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) to elaborate on the inclusion of emissions from bunker fuels in national emissions inventories. It decides that emissions from multilateral military operations pursuant to the United Nations Charter will be reported separately rather than “included in national totals” along with other related emissions then being included in national emissions totals of another country. This is the only time that the national security exemptions are explicitly stated in a United Nations document, couched in legalese, and it was a victory for the Pentagon.

Document 15

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

The White House Office of Environmental Initiatives asserts the global importance of the Kyoto protocol, summarizes terms of the treaty, and presents President Clinton’s three-stage climate change plan. At the end of this background paper, it is stated that industrialized countries, like the U.S., believed that the climate change agreement should not “impede national security considerations.” The document then states that, as a result of this common belief among these countries, emissions from multilateral military operations were exempted from the Kyoto Protocol, along with “bunker fuels stored in overseas bases.” This paper seems to gloss over the fact that the United States, not other countries, was the proponent behind the national security exemptions during climate change negotiations, but that may be because this is a fact sheet, rather than a cable or in-depth report.

Document 16

Source: Department of State FOIA

This cable from Main State summarizes outcomes from the Kyoto climate change conference, including the agreement reached on the Kyoto Protocol. The cable analyzes the treaty and suggests pushing for specific provisions in future negotiations. On page 4, the message indicates that the three objectives of the Pentagon were achieved and describes the inclusion of the exemptions as a “major victory.”

Document 17

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

This backgrounder from the Environment Division of the Office of Science and Technology Policy provides answers to questions about the Kyoto Protocol. On page 2, it is stated that the agreement will not hamper military readiness or U.S. military operations; rather, it includes “several provisions” sought by the Pentagon, such as exemption of bunker fuels and “surge” operations. The document further notes that under the protocol the U.S. has complete discretion in accounting for military emissions.

Document 18

Source: Department of State FOIA

The State Department provides background on emissions targets, international emissions trading, flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol; and discusses developing country participation, military emission exemptions, treaty compliance, and entry into force. Pages 4 and 5 of this document argue that the objectives identified by the Pentagon to “protect U.S. military operations” were achieved by the climate change treaty. This includes, the document notes,  exemptions of bunker fuels and multilateral military operations, and allowing countries to decide how to account for emissions from such operations.

Document 19

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

U.S. members of Congress Benjamin A. Gilman, Pat Danner, Christopher H. Smith, J.C. Watts, James A. Traficant, Dan Burton, Bob Inglis, Richard Burr, Jay Kim, Joe Scarborough, Fred Upton, and Zach Wamp voice concerns to President Clinton about commitments made by the U.S. at the Conference of the Parties to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that have been enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol. One of these concerns is about emissions from domestic military training and operations, acknowledging the exemptions gained in Kyoto. The authors claim that not exempting these military actions will cause the United Nations to curtail these “necessary” operations and training.

Document 20

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

The White House Office of Environmental Initiatives gathers questions on emissions targets, emissions trading, the Clean Development Mechanism, and other aspects of the Kyoto Protocol. On pages 3 and 4, the document poses questions about the effects of the climate change agreement on domestic military operations and training, and the limited nature of national security exemptions. One question in particular asks why a “clearcut exemption of military emissions,” which the Pentagon has wanted, was not included in the treaty rather than the existing exemptions that U.S. negotiators achieved in Kyoto.

Document 21

Source: Department of State FOIA

 This State Department paper rebuts points raised in a separate letter by COMPASS (Committee to Preserve American Security and Sovereignty) about the economic and environmental effects of the Kyoto Protocol, including verification measures and national security exemptions within the climate change treaty. On page 3, the Department argues that the agreement achieves the Pentagon’s goals, and states that there is room within the emissions reduction commitments of treaty to accommodate any emissions from unilateral or multilateral U.S. military actions.

Document 22

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

These talking points provide answers to questions about the Kyoto Protocol, including on treaty ratification, implementation, and compliance; climate science; economic issues; national security exemptions; emissions trading; and related topics. On pages 11 and 12, the Office of Global Change argues that the agreement gave the Pentagon everything it “outlined as necessary” to protect U.S. military operations and national security.  The argument goes on to claim that U.S. military emissions are extremely small relative to total U.S. figures, and says there is room within emissions commitments made in Kyoto to accommodate any emissions from U.S. military actions. The Q&A explains that the agreement exempts emissions from bunker fuels and multilateral operations justified by the United Nations Charter, and allows countries to decide how to account for emissions arising from such operations. The document says, however, that exempting the military completely would overlook opportunities for Federal agencies to be more energy efficient, and praises what are described as “significant strides” by the military, including in procuring fuel.

Document 23

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

Jim Steinberg, Todd Stern, Katie McGinty, and Gene Sperling tell President Clinton that Republicans including U.S. Senators Chuck Hagel, James Inhofe, and former government officials such as Dick Cheney and Jeanne Kirkpatrick have been attacking the Kyoto Protocol claiming it will damage the U.S. military. Steinberg, Stern, McGinty, and Sperling then note that the Pentagon is “reasonably satisfied” with the climate change treaty for exempting multilateral military operations, and international military air and marine transport from emissions accounting. However, they state that the Pentagon has concerns over domestic implementation of the treaty and has been arguing that if emissions limits are applied to military training and operations it would “compromise military readiness.” The document then describes two options to counter critics of the climate change agreement: either state the administration’s opposition to emissions limits on military training and operations or emphasize the diplomatic success achieved in Kyoto and argue that consideration of domestic issues is “premature.” Steinberg, Stern, McGinty, and Sperling end by stating that Clinton’s advisors unanimously oppose the second option and support the first option instead.

Document 24

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

This backgrounder outlines sources of Defense Department emissions, reasons that the Clinton administration pushed for national security exemptions, elements within the Kyoto Protocol which protect U.S. national security interests, the relevance of military emissions toward national greenhouse gas allowances, and reductions in energy consumption by the military since 1990. This document is unusually enlightening in that it succinctly notes the specific decisions by the Conference of Parties which pertain to the exemptions and domestic action by the Clinton Administration aimed at fulfilling the military’s interests.

Document 25

Source: Department of State FOIA

This internal State Department paper provides background and sets forth U.S. goals for negotiations on the regulation of bunker fuels used in airline and shipping industries at climate change talks in The Hague. The document summarizes the 1997 resolution which enshrined the national security exemptions in the Kyoto Protocol.  It goes on to describe U.S. efforts to keep this intact with the help of a U.S. emissions trading scheme known as the “Umbrella Group,” a coalition of countries that consult with one another on environmental policy. The paper further states that one of the U.S. goals in climate change negotiations is to “ensure that the military protections are preserved.”

Document 26

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

Todd Stern provides President Clinton with a weekly report on climate change policy, noting domestic actions, diplomatic environment-related initiatives, congressional responses to administration proposals, and outreach to labor and environmental groups on Kyoto Protocol. Stern specifically describes an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that would stop “regulations issued under the Kyoto Protocol” from restricting U.S. military operations. He goes on to say that the amendment itself is consistent with policy guidance Clinton approved several months prior. He says that while the White House does not oppose the amendment, they have “technical concerns” which they will try to remedy as the bill proceeds to the U.S. Senate.  The document is replete with Clinton’s handwritten comments; he marks this particular passage with a check, evidently indicating his approval.

Document 27

Source: Clinton Library FOIA

Todd Stern provides President Clinton with another weekly report on climate change, which notes negotiations in Bonn, a meeting of the U.S.-Mexico Binational Commission, the largely adverse congressional response to proposed administration policy, and various news media coverage. Stern also mentions a recent op-ed by DOD Assistant Secretary Sherri Goodman (in the Washington Times rather than Wall Street Journal) aimed at refuting an earlier piece by former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci on Kyoto Protocol’s effect on military readiness.


Notes

[1] See “World’s militaries avoiding scrutiny over emissions, scientists say,” by Tom Ambrose, The Guardian; “The world’s largest military isn’t reporting its giant ‘carbon bootprint’,” by Anny Oberlink, Popular Science; “The West’s armies are getting more serious about climate change,” The Economist.

[2]Pentagon officials consider asking for waiver for U.S. forces,” Inside the Pentagon, Vol. 13, No. 41 (October 9, 1997), p. 1; Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., “The Pentagon’s Newest Enemy: Hot Air,” Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 1997. In August 1996, Goodman gave a speech to the National Defense University where she emphasized the Pentagon’s new focus on “environmental security,” concluding that “environmental degradation or scarcity” could interact with other factors and “cause instability and conflict” in parts of the world. She also noted the Pentagon started establishing “defense environmental relationships” beginning in 1994.

[3] See “U.S. DELEGATION TEAM TO THE COP-3” on U.S. Department of State Archive; “Rear Admiral Christopher Weaver” biography on U.S. Navy website; Memorandum to David J. Barram on April 5, 1997 on U.S. Department of Defense website. According to Goodman, the U.S. was “the only delegation at Kyoto that had two military officers as representatives on its team.”

[4] Ambassador Thomas Foley, Acting Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Melinda Kimble, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Rafe Pomerance, and Ambassador Mark G. Hambley were alternate heads of the delegation.

[5] Stern was named to “coordinate the Administration’s efforts on climate change” on March 11, 1998, and was said to have “played a major role in managing the Administration’s climate change initiative from July 1997, through the Kyoto conference.” Before March 1998, he was the White House Staff Secretary.

[6] See the June 1995 “Bunker Fuel Operations” Audit Report from the Department of Defense Inspector General, the “Bunker (Fuel)” page on ScienceDirect, “At Last, the Shipping Industry Begins Cleaning Up Its Dirty Fuels” by Maria Gallucci, “Oil Market Report Glossary” from the International Energy Agency, and “Emissions from fuels used for international aviation and maritime transport” from the UNFCCC.

[7] See “Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation and Marine Fuel Use” Presentation by Gail Bruss (U.S. Navy) and Wiley Barbour (EPA) at 10th International Emission Inventory Conference, May 2001; “Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change,” United Nations, 1998.

[8] Joby Warwick, “Kyoto Pact Includes a Pentagon Exemption,” Washington Post, January 7, 1998; “Press Briefing by Press Secretary Mike McCurry, Assistant to the President for International Economic Policy Dan Tarullo and Chair of the Council on Environment Quality Katie Mcginty,” The American Presidency Project, June 26, 1997; “[President Clinton] Remarks to the National Oceans Conference in Monterey, California,” The American Presidency Project, Jun. 12, 1998.

[9] Warwick, “Kyoto Pact Includes a Pentagon Exemption,” Jan. 7, 1998.

[10] This is discussed in Caroline Fehl’s Living with a Reluctant Hegemon: Explaining European Responses to US Unilateralism (Oxford University Press, London, 2012), pp. 36.

[11] See “The Kyoto Protocol – Status of Ratification,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

[12] Warwick, “Kyoto Pact Includes a Pentagon Exemption,” Jan. 7, 1998.

[13] John M. Broder, “The Climate Accord: The Overview; Clinton Adamant On 3d World Role In Climate Accord,” New York Times, Dec. 12, 1997.

[14]Timeline: 20 years of major oil spills,” ABC News (Australia), May 3, 2020; Thomas W. Lippman and William Booth, “Oil Spreading Off Kuwait Poses Ecological Disaster,” Washington Post, Jan. 26, 1991; Associated Press, “Gulf Found to Recover From War’s Oil Spill,” New York Times, Mar. 18, 1993; Paul R. Paumann, “Environmental Warfare: 1991 Persian Gulf War,” SUNY Oneonta, 2001; Joyner, Christopher C. and Kirkhope, James T. (1992), “The Persian Gulf War Oil Spill: Reassessing the Law of Environmental Protection and the Law of Armed Conflict,” Case Western Reserve Journal of Environmental Law (Vol. 24, No. 1), 29-31, 33, 50-51, 53-54, 57-58, 62; Issa, Nivine and Vempatti, Sreya (2018), “Oil Spills in the Arabian Gulf: A Case Study and Environmental Review,” Environment and Natural Resources Research (Vol. 8, No. 2), 144-146; United Nations Environment Programme and United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (1999), “The Kosovo Conflict: Consequences for the Environment & Human Settlements,” pp. 6-7, 12; Sinha, Manoj Kumar (2001), “Protection of the Environment During Armed Conflicts: A Case Study of Kosovo,” ISIL Year Book of International Humanitarian and Refugee Law; Barth, Hans-Jörg (2001), “The coastal ecosystems 10 years after the 1991 Gulf War oil spill,” Preliminary Report,  pp. 1, 3-10.

[15] Jeb Shannon Blain (2010), “International climate change negotiations: the role of power, preferences, and information in negotiation outcomes,” California State University, MA Thesis, pp. 22-23, 118-119; Knight, Danielle. “CLIMATE: U.S. Exempts Military from Kyoto Treaty,” Inter-Press Service, May 20, 1998; Nelsen, Arthur. “Pentagon to lose emissions exemption under Paris climate deal,” The Guardian, Dec. 14, 2015; Terry Lee Anderson and Henry I. Miller, The Greening of U.S. Foreign Policy (Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, California, 2000), 182; White, Ben. “Yanking His Cheney,” Grist Magazine, Jul. 25, 2000; COMPASS Letter to President Clinton, George C. Marshall Institute, Jan. 22, 1998; Cushman, Jr., John H. “Critics Rise Up Against Environmental Education,” New York Times, Apr. 22, 1997; Vaidyananthan, Gayathri. “Think tank that cast doubt on climate change science morphs into smaller one,” E&E News (subscriber-only), Dec. 12, 2015; James Lawrence Powell, The Inquisition of Climate Change (Columbia University Press, New York City, 2011), 101-3; Pilkington, Ed. “Palin fought safeguards for polar bears with studies by climate change sceptics,” The Guardian, Sept. 30, 2008; Begley, Sharon, “The Truth About Denial,” Newsweek, Aug. 13, 2007. Apart from Burt, Kirkpatrick, Cheney, Eagleburger, Kirkpatrick, and Haig, former high-ranking military officials Donald Rice, Caspar Weinberger, and Frank Carlucci, and officials like William Brock, Peter Rodman, Malcolm Wallop, Charles Price II, and Roger W. Robinson, Jr. were signatories to the COMPASS letter.

[16] This is discussed in Robert F. Durant’s The Greening of the U.S. Military: Environmental Policy, National Security, and Organizational Change (Georgetown University Press, Washington, D.C., 2007), 215-6.

[17]Implications of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, One Hundred Fifth Congress Second Session, Feb. 11, 1998; “Questions for the Record Submitted by Congressman Latham to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright,” House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, Feb. 25, 1998, pp. 216.

[18]The Kyoto Protocol: Problems with U.S. Sovereignty and the Lack of Developing Country Participation,” Hearing before the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifth Congress Second Session, May 13, 1998; Salomon, Roy K. (Summer 1999) “Global Climate Change and U S . Military Readiness,” Federal Facilities Environmental Journal, p. 137, 139-140; Carlucci, Frank, “Making military sense out of Kyoto,” Washington Times, May 18, 1998; Goodman, Sherri W., “Kyoto treaty doesn’t compromise our national security,” Washington Times, Jun. 6, 1998.

[19] Stern, Todd. “The Politics of Global Climate Change: View from the White House: Momentum Building for ‘Balanced Approach’,” Washington Post, Nov 2, 1998.

[20] See Knight, Danielle. “CLIMATE: U.S. Exempts Military from Kyoto Treaty,” Inter-Press Service, May 20, 1998. The provision was originally included in Section 1232 of Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 and was later included in section 1210 of the final law.

[21] Miller, Henry I. “U.S. Armed Forces Aren’t Green Warriors,” Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2003; Miller, Henry I. “Letters to the Editor: How Eco-Rules Crippled Our Military,” Wall Street Journal, Apr. 5, 2003; Goodman, Sherri. “Green Rules Haven’t Hurt Military or Its Readiness,” Wall Street Journal, Apr. 23, 2003; Salomon, “Global Climate Change and U S. Military Readiness,” p. 139, 142.

[22]Methodological Issues: Emissions Resulting from Fuel Used for International Transportation,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, May 11, 1999; “Methodological Issues: Emissions Resulting from Fuel Used for International Transportation,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, Sept. 24, 1999; “Emissions resulting from fuel used for international transportation: Aviation and marine ‘bunker fuels’,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 7, 2001; “National Communications from Parties Included in Annex I to the Convention,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, Mar. 18, 1999, p. 6-8, 13; “National Communications from Parties Included in Annex I to the Convention,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, Apr. 15, 1999, p. 28; “Report of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice On Its Tenth Session,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, Sept. 7, 1999, p. 9, 39; “Report of the Individual Review of the Greenhouse Gas Inventory of the United States of American Submitted in the Year 2000,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, Jul. 11, 2002, p. 2-3, 12-13; “Methodological issues relating to emissions from international aviation and maritime transport,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, May 11, 2004, p. 5-6, 10; “Revision of the UNFCCC reporting guidelines on annual inventories for Parties included in Annex I to the Convention,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 17, Nov. 2011, p. 11.

[23] Sheila D. Collins, “War and Climate Change: Time to Connect the Dots,” Truthout, Oct. 1, 2014; Charles Davis (Jan. 2009), “Fear of U.S. Political Fallout Kills Talk of Military CO2 Rules,” Inside EPA’s Clean Air Report, Vol. 20, No. 1, p. 25; Reglobalization (ed. Matthew Louis Bishop and Anthony Payne, Routledge, London, 2021), p. 149; Ronald C. Kramer, Carbon Criminals, Climate Crimes (Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2020), 123; Walter C. Clemens, Dynamics of International Relations: Conflict and Mutual Gain in an Era of Global Interdependence (Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, 2004), 498

[24] John Peterson and Mark A. Pollack, Europe, America, Bush: Transatlantic Relations in the Twenty-first Century (Routledge, London, 2003), pp. 122.

[25] See “What activists will be demanding on the sidelines of COP26” by Joyce Nelson, rabble.ca; “World’s militaries avoiding scrutiny over emissions, scientists say,” by Tom Ambrose, The Guardian; “Pentagon to lose emissions exemption under Paris climate deal,” by Arthur Nelsen, The Guardian; “How the world’s militaries hide their huge carbon emissions,” by Doug Weir, Benjamin Neimark, and Oliver Belcher, The Conversation; “Problem,” Military Emissions Gap, accessed December 3, 2021; Light, Sarah E. (2014) “The Military-Environmental Complex,” Boston College Law Review, Vol. 55 (3): 881-882, 884-888, 891-893, 898-899, 902, 906, 909-910, 912-913, 918-919, 933, 938-946.

[26] See “Nigeria, Jamaica bring closure to the Kyoto Protocol era, in last-minute dash” by Chloé Farand, Climate Home News.

[27] Aaron Mehta, “Climate change is now a national security priority for the Pentagon,” DefenseNews, Jan. 27, 2021; Peter Martin and Roxana Trion, “Climate change is damaging troop readiness, Pentagon official says,” Stars and Stripes, Oct. 22, 2021; U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment and Energy Resilience, “DOD Announces Plan to Tackle Climate Crisis,” Oct. 7, 2021.

[28] U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Annual Energy Outlook 2021 Narrative,” Feb. 2021, p. 5; U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2009,” Mar. 2011, p. 31.

[29]A Talanoa Dialogue Submission: Recommending that the UNFCCC set policy that directly regulates aviation emissions,” Stay Grounded, Oct. 18, 2018, p. 5

[30] The Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program compiles data on emissions from federal agencies and departments in its “Comprehensive Annual Energy Data and Sustainability Performance” report. The subtotals of all three categories on the page for the Department of Defense were added together resulting in about 52 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. The EPA says that a typical passenger vehicle “emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year,” so the number 52 million was divided by 4.6, and this came to about 11.2 million. Also see the “How much is a ton of carbon dioxide?” page on the MIT Climate Portal.

[31]Views on the elaboration of non-market-based mechanisms: Submissions from Parties,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention, Fourteenth session, Mar. 21, 2011, p. 5; Joyce Nelson, “What activists will be demanding on the sidelines of COP26,” rabble.ca, Oct. 27, 2021.

 

Find a Grave – It’s About Time

I know this post is from back in March, but this an effort which everyone should support. Find A Grave should change their name!

The Hipster Historian

Find A Grave.

What a site. It landed on the genealogy scene in 1995 when Salt Lake City resident Jim Timpton built a genealogical database with his hobby of visiting celebrity gravestones. Since then, it has grown into a global database for many of the millions of dead from around the world.

Anna N Daniloff — Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Members and non-members alike can sift through the multitudes of data and find information on their ancestors and view their finals resting places. Due to the interest in genealogy, per the increase in awareness of family history through companies like Ancestry and 23 & Me, more and more people are getting interested in their past and finding their ancestors.

With this increase in popularity, there are some parts of the genealogy world that haven’t moved into the future.Pride Flag

I’ve always loved Find a Grave, I’ve used it since…

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The post-war lives of Maryland’s revolutionary soldiers

First Maryland Regiment Retaking British Field Artillery at Guilford Court House, North Carolina. Courtesy of Art.com.

An Irish-born man named Robert Ratliff, a Baltimorean named William Marr, a Marylander likely born in Cecil County named George Lashley, a Charles County man named John Plant, another man from the same county named John Neal, another Marylander likely born in Cecil County named John Lowry, and one Marylander likely born in the same county named William Dawson all have one thing in common: they had fought in the Maryland Line. While Ratliff was a five foot, eight inch tall man who was part of the Seventh Independent Company, which recruited from the Eastern Shore, just like Dawson, Marr and Lashley were part of the Col. Nathaniel Ramsey’s Fifth Company, mustered at Whetstone Point (present-day Fort McHenry), part of the First Maryland Regiment. [1] As for the other Marylanders, Plant and Neal were part of Captain John Hoskins Stone‘s First Company of the First Maryland Regiment, enlisted in Port Tobacco, Maryland, while Lowry was part of  Captain Peter Adams‘s Sixth Company of the First Maryland Regiment. [2] Jo Asher has commented on this post that “John Lowery is my direct ancestor. Manassah Finney was his father-in-law. He (Manassah) had three daughters…John Lowery was a weaver, an unlikely occupation for the son of a gentleman, and the stipulation of his lease of land from Manassah was payment by enough yards of linen to make a number of shirts. John followed his daughter Margaret Willis ( m. Cornelius Willis) to Baltimore and died intestate there in 1818. During the bombing of Baltimore in the War of 1812 he “having been wounded in the hip during the Revolution and unable to mount a horse, helped pass ammunition to the boats”. I believe this article has incorrectly identified my direct ancestor by combining the histories of other men of the same name.” Sadly, since I do not work at the Archives anymore, I cannot look at the records I examined when I wrote that biography, but still generally stand with my research. Even with arguably shared military experience, their lives after the revolutionary war were different and tell us about the lives of Maryland soldiers in later years.

After the war, Dawson returned to Cecil County. On December 29, 1780, he married a woman named Elizabeth Graves, with the matrimony affirmed by minister William Thomson of an Episcopal Church in Elkton, Maryland. [3]The same year, on February 27, Neal stayed in  Somerset County, where he had been discharged, marrying a local woman named Margaret Miller in Boundbrook, New Jersey. [4] They had two children named Benjamin (b. 1781) and Theodocia (b. 1802).

As for Lowry, in 1783, he was living as a single man in Harford County’s Spesutia Upper Hundred. [5] The same year, Dawson was in a similar predicament. He was described as a pauper, living on the land, which was likely rented, with nine other inhabitants. [6] While Dawson was granted 50 acres of bounty land in Western Maryland after the war, it sat vacant. He may have felt with fellow veteran Mark McPherson who said the land, located in a remote mountainous area of Western Maryland, was “absolutely good for nothing . . . unfit for Cultivation.” [7] Plant was also settling down after the war. Living in Charles County, he became a well-off small farmer and slaveowner who owned two horses, one cattle, and one enslaved black child. [8] The same was also the case with Ratliff, who settled down in Cecil County. In 1783, he lived with his relative, James, who owned four horses and 150 acres of land. [9]

Three years after Marr ended his war service, he settled down and his life changed. On June 14, 1784, Airey Owings married Marr in Baltimore County at St. Paul’s Parish, with the ceremony conducted by Reverend William West. [10] Marr and Airey lived in Baltimore County, raised “a family of children,” including a son named William, and he worked as a reputable farmer. [11] It is possible that Marr’s farm was among the 45.6% of Maryland dwellings that we not taxed, explaining its absence from the 1783 tax assessments. [12] At this time, Baltimore County had a varied economy with ” furnaces, forges, cotton mills, and wollen factories,” even by the early 19th century, while Baltimore was gaining importance as a commercial center. [13] One “William Marr” is listed in the 1810 US Census as the head of household along with his wife and three children: one male child under 10, one male under 16, and one female under age 10. [14]

Coming back to Neal, while he was living in New Jersey, he served in the militia in Somerset County, which fought off British incursions in New Jersey until the end of the war, serving at least one four-month term. [15] In the county, called the “crossroads of the revolution” by some, the destruction of the war had dissipated by the 1780s, with industry and commerce thriving in the final years of the war even as militiamen decried depreciation of Continental currency. [16]

On October 13, 1787, Ratliff married Mary Kirk. [17] A few years later, on December 23, 1800, he married another woman named Anne Husler. [18] The reason he remarried is that his wife died. At some point, Anne died and he married a third time to woman named Elizabeth, who survived him. [19] He had two children named James and Elizabeth, but the mother’s name is not known.

As for Plant, on June 15, 1788, he married an eighteen-year-old woman named Mary Ann Davis. [20] He later reminisced about his revolutionary service with his cousin, William Stewart, who said that Plant had “strict integrity” and good character. [21] Sadly, more recounts on his memories on his war service other than a few pages of his pension cannot be found.

At some point before 1788, while living in Harford County, Lowry married a woman named Hannah Finney. [22] In the spring of 1788, Finney’s mother, Manassah, died, and willed ten acres of her farm to Finney and Lowry to use until 1789. [23] This bequest reaffirmed a lease Lowry and Manassah made in 1783 that the farm was near Welles Swamp, and was given under certain conditions. [24] Likely the farm was on one of the two tracts owned by Manassah in Harford County’s Deer Creek Middle Hundred, named Giles and Webster’s Discovery, a tract of land that spanned 70 acres in total. [25] While Lowry was called to testify against his brother-in-law, James Barnett, who was the executor of her estate, in 1791, he later received money, along with his wife, when assets of the estate were distributed in 1809. [26]

By 1790, John Lowry was living with his wife, and possibly two children, in Cecil County’s Elk Neck. [27] They were possibly living on a 100-acre land tract, which he had leased to a wealthy Cecil County man named Samuel Redgrave in February 1781. [28] The tract was called Tedart and sat on the west side of the Elk River. The tract had been owned by his father, James, before his death.

In the late 1790s, Ratliff and his wife were living in Kent County, Maryland. [29] In 1802, still living in Kent County, he bought land in New Castle County, Delaware, preparing for the next stage of his life. [30]

Years later, in 1805, he was living in Harford County and received compensation for his revolutionary war service. [31] However, in the early nineteenth century, Lowry bought land in Fells Point, Baltimore, called Leasehold, some of which he leased, and lived in Baltimore County until his death. [32] At that time, he was staying with his second wife, Elizabeth Maidwell, who he had married on October 22, 1801. [33] In the fall of 1804, she leased him land in the town of Baltimore, for the next 99 years, which had part of the estate of her former husband, Alexander Maidwell. [34] The fate of Lowry’s first wife, Hannah, is not known.

In later years, Plant and his wife moved to what became Washington, D.C. At the time, it was a largely rural and sparsely populated area which had thriving ports at Georgetown and Alexanders, in addition to the federal town of Washington City, which had about 8,200 inhabitants. [35] Slavemasters and over 7,900 enslaved blacks living in the area were an important part of D.C.’s society. [36] Plant died there on November 14, 1808. [37]

As for Dawson, in later years, he lived in the Bohemia Manor area of Cecil County, Maryland, staying there until 1810, with his wife Elizabeth and one child whose name is not currently known. [38] In 1808, he petitioned the Maryland House of Delegates saying he had served in the Revolutionary War and prayed “to be placed on the pension list.” [39] The House of Delegates endorsed his plea and in 1810, Dawson, a “meritorious soldier in the revolutionary war,” in an “indigent situation” because of his old age, was paid the half pay of a private. [40] He was paid a state pension for years to come. Sometime in the fall of 1815, before September 6, John Lowry died in Baltimore County without a will, and his estate was administered by Cornelius Willis. [41]

In 1810, Ratliff was living in St. George’s Hundred, in the same county of Delaware, with his wife, children, and two enslaved blacks. [42] A few years later, in 1813, he was a farmer in Delaware’s Appoquinimink Hundred, on a plot of land with his wife. [43] He was well-off, owning a walnut dining table, small looking glass, 3 cows, 7 sheep, and a few horses. [44] Being very “weak in body,” Ratliff wrote his will on April 5, 1813, making his “beloved wife” Elizabeth his executor, manumitted an black enslaved woman, named Jane, and distributed his land to his children. [45] He died sometime between the writing of his will and collection of testimony on November 3, 1814.

Dawson moved from state to state. In 1810, he was living in Glasgow, New Castle County, Delaware, with his wife and a young child. [46] Eight years later, he was living in New Castle’s Pencader Hundred, in Delaware, just over the Maryland line. [47] Two years later, he moved back to Cecil County and settled in Elkton, Maryland. [48]

Neal, like Dawson, also had moved out of the state. By 1810, he and his family had moved to Ovid, New York, in the northern part of the state near the Finger Lakes, where they lived. Once there, he filed for his Federal veterans pension in 1818. [49] Two years later, he lived in the adjoining town of Covert, New York on a half-acre of land, with a wooden clock, a chest, and some cookery, a shabby wagon, small pigs, one cow, and eight sheep. [50] In his pension application, he claimed to be in “reduced circumstances” and that he had lost his discharge papers or any other paper records proving his service in the First Maryland Line, an appeal that was successful.

After the war, Lashley continued to live in the state of Maryland. On April 25, 1816, Lashley married Jane Bashford, a 41-year-old woman, in Cecil County. [51]

In 1819, one year after Marr began collecting his pension and one day before July 4, he died in Baltimore at the age of 66. [52] He died without making a will and left Airey a widow, who never remarried, allowing her to receive pension money at his death. [53] She lived to April 1843, aged 79, working to collect some of the pension in the 1830s and 1840s given due to her late husband’s military service. [54] At his death, while he may not have been well honored by people within the military and different levels of government, his story is still one worth telling.

In September 1820, when Lashley began receiving his federal pension, despite losing his discharge papers, he was living in the same county with his wife and had no children or heirs. [55] Since his memory was failing him, he originally said he was part of the Second Maryland Regiment, but later corrected himself and two long-time residents recalled seeing him march “away with the said [Ramsey’s] Company.” [56]

In Dawson’s 1820 application for his Federal veterans pension, he said that his wife was sixty years old and “infirm,” just like himself. [57] Additionally, he noted that a young grandchild living with him whom also had to support. He also owned three dollars worth of farm animals (a cow and a calf) and was living in “reduced circumstances” with twenty dollars of debt. His “infirmities of old age,” which had “disabled him in “his left arm and leg,” led him to be classified as an “invalid.” [58] Despite the fact that his discharge papers had been lost, his pension was granted in the fall of 1820. [59]

Dawson’s life after this point is unclear. While final payment vouchers say that payments to him ended in 1820, he did not die that year. [60] Instead, he died on July 11, 1824, and his state pension payments were sent to his administrator, Jane Dawson, possibly his second wife. [61] The following year, another soldier passed away. On July 22, Neal died in New York State. [62]

In November 1823, members of Ratliff’s family agreed that Ratliff’s son, James, should own his father’s estate in Delaware. [63] A few years later, James negotiated to buy his father’s land in Delaware. [64] By the 1850s, the Ratliff family was still living in Appoquinimink Hundred. [65]

As for Lashley, in 1827, he received payment from the State of Maryland equal to half pay of a private as a result of his service in the Revolutionary War. [66] He continued to receive payments quartetly until his death on March 4, 1831 at the age of 76. [67] Five years later, his declared legal representatives, Mary Sproul and Nancy Lashley, received the money that was due to him before his death in 1831. [68]

Mary Ann, the wife of Plant, fought to receive her husband’s pension payments. In February 1835, she asked for “remuneration” for her husband’s military service from the U.S. House of Representatives, and following year asked the same from the U.S. Senate. [69] By 1838, at sixty-eight-years-old, she petitioned the federal government for pension benefits. However, because Plant either had no official discharge papers or had lost them, Mary Ann had trouble receiving money. [70] Her fate is not known.

Notes

[1] Lashley enlisted in the company at a public house called Battle Swamp tavern, near present-day Woodlawn, Maryland.

[2] Pay Role of Prisoners taken on Long Island from 27th August to the 10th Dec. 1776, Maryland State Papers, Revolutionary Papers, MdHR 19970-19-02 [MSA S997-19-2 01/07/03/15]; Journal of the House of Representatives of the United StatesAt the Second Session of the Eighth Congress, in the Twenty-ninth Year of the Independence of the United States (Washington City: Samuel Harrison Smith, 1805), 242; Henry C. Peden, Abstracts of the Orphans Court Proceedings 1778-1800: Harford County Maryland (Westminster: Family Line Publications, 1990), 38-39. Lowry was grievously injured in the groin and was taken prisoner by the British after the Battle of Brooklyn, then released from British custody in December 1776.

[3] Marriage of William Dawson and Elizabeth Graves, 1780, Cecil County Court, Marriage Licenses, MdHR 9435, p. 23 [MSA C632-1, 1/11/6/38]; Collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. 1 (Philadelphia: John Pennington and Henry C. Baird, 1853), 338-389.

[4] Pension of John Neal; Ronald V. Jackson, Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp. New Jersey Census, 1643-1890. Courtesy of Ancestry.com. It is likely that he knew Miller before he married her in 1780, possibly from his militia service.

[5] Record of John Lowry, 1783, General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Record, p. 54 [MSA S1161-67, 1/4/5/49].

[6] William Dawson record, 1783, Cecil County Fourth District, General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Record, p. 6 [MSA S1161-39, 1/4/5/47].

[7] Westward of Fort CumberlandMilitary Lots Set Off for Maryland’s Revolutionary Soldiers (ed. Mary K. Meyer, Westminister: Heritage Books, 2008), 21, 103; William Dawson’s lot in Western Maryland, Land Office, Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland, MdHR 17302, p. 27 [SE1-1]; Pension of Mark McPherson and Widow’s Pension of Mary McPherson. The National Archives. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files. NARA M804, W 2144. 1-73. From Fold3.com. His lot was number 273.

[8] John Plant assessment record, 1783, General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Record, CH, Seventh District, General, p. 9 [MSA S1161-52, 1/4/5/48]. The child was male and under age eight.

[9] Record of James Ratliff and Robert Ratliff, 1783, General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Record, p. 7 [MSA S1161-37, 1/4/5/46].

[10] National Archives, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1631, William Marr, Pension number W. 3838. courtesy of fold3.com; Marriage of William Marr and Arrey Owings; “Part IV: Marriages proved through Maryland pension applications,” Maryland Revolutionary Records, pp. 118; Bill and Martha Reamy, Records of St. Paul’s Parish Vol. 1, xi, 39, 150.

[11] National Archives, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1631, William Marr, Pension number W. 3838. courtesy of fold3.com.

[12] Shammas, “The Housing Stock of the Early United States: Refinement Meets Migration,” 557, 559, 563.

[13] McGrain, From Pig Iron to Cotton Duck: A History of Manufacturing Villages in Baltimore County; Vol. I, 2; Hall, Baltimore: Its History and Its People; Vol. 1, 39, 56; Hollander, The Financial History of Baltimore; Vol. 20, 17.

[14] Third Census of the United States, 1810. (NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls). Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[15] Pension of John Van Tuyl, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2451, pension number W.22483. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Service Card of John Sebring, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 93, Roll 0641. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Folkerd Sebring, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2147, pension number W. 24926. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Abraham Sebring, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2147, pension number S. 22972. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of John Van Tuyl; Pension of John Haas, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1150, pension number S. 1,012. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Isaac Manning, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1624, pension number W. 7400. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of David King, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1428, pension number S. 13655. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Jacob Mesler, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1717, pension number R. 7143. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of John Swaim, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2326, pension number W. 2486. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Abraham Sebring; 2nd Battalion of Somerset rolls, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, Record Group 93, NARA M846, Roll 0063, folder 60. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of William Durham, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 0874, pension number R. 3160. Courtesy of Fold3.com; James P. Snell and Franklin Ellis, History of Hunterdon and Somerset counties, New Jersey, with illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers (Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1881), 83, 98. Census records show a “John Neale” living in Burlington County in 1790 and 1800, but it cannot be confirmed this is the same person as John Neal.

[16] William A. Schleicher and Susan J. Winter, Somerset County: Crossroads of the American Revolution (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 1999), 7-8, 17-18, 22, 24-25, 34; Multiple authors, Somerset County Historical Quarterly Vol. VII (Somerville, NJ: Somerset County Historical Society, 1919), 18-20, 31, 79, 104, 170-172; Abraham Messler, Centennial History of Somerset County (Somerville: C.M. Jameson Publishers, 1878), 69-71, 74, 77-78, 81, 101, 109-110, 112-113; Richard A. Harrison, Princetonians, 1769-1775: A Biographical Dictionary (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980), 28-29, 80-81. It may have been called the crossroads because competing Continental and British armies maneuvered in the county and Morristown was also located there.

[17] Marriage of Mary Kirk and Robert Ratliff, 1787, Cecil County Court, Marriage Licenses, MdHR 9435, p. 45 [MSA C632-1, 1/11/6/38].

[18] Marriage of Anne Husler and Robert Ratliff, 1800, Cecil County Court, Marriage Licenses, MdHR 9435, p. 127 [MSA C632-1, 1/11/6/38].

[19] Will of Robert Ratliff, 1813, New Castle County Court House, Wilmington, Delaware, Register of Wills, Book R 1813-1823, p. 40-41. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Probate of Robert Ratliff, 1814-1815, New Castle, Register of Wills, Delaware State Archives, New Castle County Probates, Record Group 2545. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Indenture between Robert Ratliff, Elizabeth, and Sarah Baird, June 13, 1799, Kent County Court, Land Records, Liber TW 1, p. 214-216 [MSA CE 118-31].

[20] Pension of John Plant.

[21] Ibid. Sadly, the specifics of what Plant told his cousin are not known.

[22] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 18, 661; Will of Manassah Finney, 1788, Harford County Register of Wills, Wills, Liber AJ 2, p. 206-207 [MSA CM599-2, CR 44758-2]. Sometimes her last name is spelled Phinney or Finny.

[23] Will of Manassah Finney.

[24] Lease of John Lowry and Manassah Finney, 1788, Harford County Court, Land Records, Liber JLG H, p. 435 [MSA CE 113-8].

[25] Record of Manasseth Finney, 1783, General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Record, p. 90 [MSA S1161-67, 1/4/5/49]; Patent for Manassah Finney, 1774, Land Office, Patent Record, MdHR 17455, Liber BC & GS 44, p. 395-396 [MSA S11-145, 1/23/4/9]; Patent for Manassah Finney, 1772, Land Office, Patent Record, MdHR 17461, Liber BC & GS 50, p. 70 [MSA S11-151, 1/23/4/18]. This assessment record lists Finney as owning two tracts of land: Giles and Webster’s Discovery (75 acres) and Renshaws Last Purchase (50 acres). Other records show that Renshaws Last Purchase was considered part of Baltimore County at one point, so it is unlikely the farm was on this land.

[26] Peden Jr., 42; Distribution of Manassah Finney’s Estate by James Barnett, June 27, 1809, Harford Register of Wills, Distributions, Liber TSB 1, p. 88-89 [MSA CM557-1, CR 10960-1].

[27] Census for Elk Neck, Cecil, Maryland, First Census of the United States, 1790, National Archives, NARA M637, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, roll 3, page 323, image 553. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.

[28] Lease of John Lowrey and Samuel Readgrave, February 3, 1781, Cecil County, Land Records, Liber 15, p. 88-89 [MSA CE 133-17]; Record of Samuel Redgrave, 1783, General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Record, Cecil County Fourth District, p. 1, 10 [MSA S 1161-4-2, 1/4/5/47].

[29] Indenture between Robert Ratliff, Elizabeth, and Sarah Baird.

[30] Record of Robert Ratliff, June 1802, Delaware, Land Records, 1677–1947, Delaware Public Archives, Recorder of Deeds, New Castle County, RG 2555, Subgroup 000, Series 011, p. 440, 442. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Session Laws, 1824, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 629, 44. Ratliff owned land near John Zillefro/Zilerfrow. This man was the first husband of Rachel Ozier, who was living with her second husband, Maryland 400 veteran Andrew Meloan, and their children, in Montgomery County, Kentucky at the time.

[31] Journal of the House of Representatives of the United StatesAt the Second Session of the Eighth Congress, in the Twenty-ninth Year of the Independence of the United States (Washington City: Samuel Harrison Smith, 1805), 242.

[32] Purchase of land by John Lowry from Elizabeth Mains, October 10, 1803, Baltimore County Court, Land Records, Liber WG 78, p. 363-365 [MSA CE 66-128]; Deed and Gift of land to John Lowrey from Joseph Lambert, December 1803, Baltimore County Court, Land Records, Liber WG 78, p. 365-366 [MSA CE 66-128]; John Lowry lease to John Griffith, April 11, 1805, Baltimore County Court, Land Records, Liber WG 84, p. 412-413 [MSA CE 66-134]; List of Letters Remaining at the Post-Office, Baltimore, June 6, 1800, Federal Gazette, Baltimore, June 7, 1800, Vol. XII, issue 2040, p. 2. Two men named John Lowry are recorded as living in Baltimore in 1800.

[33] Marriage of John Lowry and Elizabeth Maidwell, October 22, 1801, Baltimore County Court, Marriage Licenses, MdHR 9122, p. 59 [MSA C376-2, 2/14/14/12].

[34] Elizabeth Maidwell lease to John Lowrey, November 1, 1804, Baltimore County Court, Land Records, Liber WG 84, p. 410-412 [MSA CE 66-134]; Marriage of Alexander Maidwell and Elizabeth Winnick, April 27, 1795, Baltimore County Court, Marriage Licenses, MdHR 9121, p. 143 [MSA C376-1, 2/14/14/11]. Elizabeth Maidwell, whose maiden name was Winnick, had only married Alexander Maidwell, her first husband, in April 1795.

[35] J. D. Dickey, Empire of Mud: The Secret History of Washington, DC (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), ix, xiv, xvii, 1, 3, 4, 7-9, 12, 14-15, 17, 19-22, 24-25, 28, 31; Tom Lewis, Washington: A History of Our National City (New York: Basic Books, 2015), xx, 1, 10, 14, 20, 24. The estimate of population comes from data assembled by Social Explorer for the 1810 census.

[36] According to data assembled by Social Explorer for the 1810 census, the rural Washington County, a jurisdiction within D.C., had only about 2,300 residents, a county Plant may have lived in. This data also shows 7,944 non-white persons, excluding Indians, living in D.C. in 1810.

[37] Pension of John Plant.

[38] Census for Bohemia Manor, Cecil County, 1790, First Census of the United States, 1790, NARA M637, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, roll 3, page 320. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Census for Bohemia Manor, Cecil County, 1800, Second Census of the United States, 1800, NARA M32, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, roll 10, page 53. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.

[39] Journal of the House of Delegates, 1808, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 556, 16, 31, 73.

[40] Session Laws, 1810, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 599, 100.

[41] Bond of Cornelius Willis, Edward Vernon and William H. Lenox, September 6, 1815, Baltimore County Register of Wills, Administration Bonds, MdHR 11644, Liber 11, p. 76 [MSA C264-11, 2/28/12/35]; Administration Docket of John Lowry, 1815, Baltimore County Register of Wills, Administration Docket, Liber 6, p. 171 [MSA CM130-6, CR 10674-2]. This means none of the three invalid pensioners named John Lowry listed on the 1835 pension rolls are him.

[42] Census of St. Georges Hundred, New Castle, Delaware, 1810, Third Census of the United States, 1810, National Archives, NARA M252, Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 4, Pagw 287. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.

[43] “Ratliff’s land,” 1813, Delaware, Land Records, 1677–1947, Delaware Public Archives, Recorder of Deeds, New Castle County, RG 2555, Subgroup 000, Series 011, p. 435. Courtesy of Ancestry.com

[44] Probate of Robert Ratliff. He also owned a young enslaved black male who was only two years old.

[45] Will of Robert Ratliff.

[46] Census for Glasgow, New Castle, Delaware, 1810, Third Census of the United States, 1810, NARA M252, Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, roll 4, page 261. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.

[47] Pension of William Dawson.

[48] Pension of William Dawson; Census for Elkton, Cecil County, 1820, Fourth Census of the United States, 1820, NARA M33, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, roll M33_40, page 135. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.

[49] Pension of John Neal; Tacyn, 318; Pension of Abraham Sebring; Third Census of the United States, 1810, Ovid, Seneca, New York; NARA M252; Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives; p. 252; Image: 00160; Family History Library Film: 0181390. Courtesy of Ancestry.com. Ovid included a town and village of the same name which was still small even in 1850 and to the present-day. A number of men named “John Niles” were living in the town of Oneida, as recorded by the 1800 census, which is about 81 to 96 miles away from Ovid, but it cannot be confirmed this is the same man as John Neal.

[50] Fourth Census of the United States, 1820, Covert, Seneca, New York; NARA M33; Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, p. 298, Image: 61. Courtesy of Ancestry.com. Covert was a town formed from part of Ovid.

[51] Marriage of George Leslie and Jane Bashford, 1816, Marriage Licenses, Cecil County Court, MdHR 9435, p. 247 [MSA C632-1, 1/11/6/38].

[52] Index to Selected Final Payment Vouchers, compiled 1818 – 1864, Record Group 217, roll box06_00007, pensioner William Marr, July 3, 1819. courtesy of fold3.com; National Archives, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1631, William Marr, Pension number W. 3838. courtesy of fold3.com; United States Senate.The Pension Roll of 1835. 4 vols. 1968 Reprint, with index. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1992; “Persons on the Pension Roll Under the Law of the 18th of March, 1818, Maryland,” Pension List of 1820, pp. 547.

[53] National Archives, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1631, William Marr, Pension number W. 3838. courtesy of fold3.com; Adminstration Docket of William Marr.

[54] Ibid; Archives of Maryland, vol. 214, page 717.

[55] George Lashley Pension; Marriage of George Leslie and Jane Bashford, 1816, Marriage Licenses, Cecil County Court, MdHR 9435, p. 247 [MSA C632-1, 1/11/6/38].

[56] George Lashley Pension.

[57] Pension of William Dawson. Dawson had been applying for pension benefits since 1818.

[58] Pension of William Dawson.

[59] Dawson specifically accused Lieutenant John Sears of losing his discharge, saying that “this despondent cannot produce the said discharge, having sent by Lieutenant John Sears to Annapolis” after he was discharged.

[60] Final Payment Voucher for William Dawson, 1820, Final Revolutionary War Pension Payment Vouchers: Delaware, National Archives, NARA M2079, Record Group 217, Roll 0001. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Final Payment Voucher for William Dawson from General Accounting Office, 1820, Index to Selected Final Payment Vouchers, 1818-1864, National Archives, Record Group 217, box05_00005. Courtesy of Fold3.com. It is clear that William Dawson is not the same as a Justice of the Peace in Talbot County.

[61] Record of pension payment to William Dawson, Treasurer of the Western Shore, Military Pension Roll, MdHR 4534-4, p. 31 [MSA S613-1, 2/63/10/33]; “Sheriff’s Sale,” American Watchman, Wilmington, Delaware, June 5, 1827, page 3. He may have died in Delaware but this cannot be confirmed. By 1827, his heirs may have been living in Delaware, as a sale by a local sheriff in Wilmington, Delaware, mentions “heirs of William Dawson.” However, it is not known if this the same as Dawson, who may have moved back to Delaware before his death.

[62] Pension of John Neal; Letter about John Neal, September 18, 1895. New York County, District and Probate Courts. Administration, Vol C-D, 1815-1883, p. 136. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, Hector, Tompkins, New York, NARA M432; Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives; p. 420A, Image: 441. Courtesy of Ancestry.com. His wife, Margaret, was the administrator of Neal’s estate after his death. Years after his death, his wife re-married to a man named John Benjamin Smith. She continued to fight for Neal’s pension payments until at least 1850, living in the small town of Hector, New York, only about 16 miles away from Ovid, with another family. She died in the 1850s, the exact date not known.

[63] Indenture between James Ratliff and Hannah, Thomas Ratliff and Mary, and Henry Webb and Elizabeth, November 23, 1823, Delaware, Land Records, 1677–1947, Delaware Public Archives, Recorder of Deeds, New Castle County, RG 2555, Subgroup 000, Series 011, p. 4-6. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Session Laws, 1824, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 629, 44; Indenture between James Ratliff and Jacob Hornes (Colored Man), May 26, 1826, Delaware, Land Records, 1677–1947, Delaware Public Archives, Recorder of Deeds, New Castle County, RG 2555, Subgroup 000, Series 011, p. 300-301. Courtesy of Ancestry.com. These members of his family included his son James and his wife Hannah in Cecil County, Thomas Ratliff and his wife Mary in Butler County, Ohio, and Elizabeth Webb, his daughter, and Henry Webb. They all received some part of the estate.

[64] Indenture between James Ratliff and Jacob Hornes (Colored Man).

[65] Indenture between Thomas Ratliff and Ann Ratliff, October 9, 1854, Delaware, Land Records, 1677–1947, Delaware Public Archives, Recorder of Deeds, New Castle County, RG 2555, Subgroup 000, Series 011, p. 59-62. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.

[66] Session Laws, 1826 Session. Archives of Maryland Online vol. 437, 253.

[67] George Lashley Pension; State Pension of George Lashley, Treasurer of the Western Shore, Pension Roll, MdHR 4534-4, p. 36, 48 [MSA S613-1, 2/63/10/33].

[68] Session Laws, 1835 Session. Archives of Maryland Online vol. 214, 754. While his pension says he has no heirs, this legislation says “the heirs and legal representatives of George Lashly.” It is possible that this language is just a formality, but there is no explanation as to why Lashley had heirs by his death or if the legal representatives are his children.

[69] Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States: Being the Second Session of the Twenty-Third Congress, Begun and Held at the City of Washington, and in the Fifty-Ninth Year of the Independence of the United States (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1835), 390; “Twenty-Fourth Congress First Session,” Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C., April 26, 1836, Vol. XXIV, issue 7240, p. 3.

[70] Pension of John Plant. As one ancestor put it years later, this situation led to Mary Ann almost being “deprived of a pension.”

Hezekiah Foard: A high-ranking military officer and well-known public official

1877 map of Cecil County, courtesy of Accessible Archives.

Reposted from Academia.edu. This was originally written when I was working at the Maryland State Archives for the Finding the Maryland 400 project.

Hezekiah Foard was born in early 1752, likely in Cecil County. [1] He had one brother named Josiah.

At age twenty-four, in early 1776, Foard enlisted as a sergeant in Edward Veazey‘s Seventh Independent Company. [2] He was a five foot, ten inch tall man. Many of those in the Seventh Independent Company were recruited from Kent and Queen Anne counties, and were in their mid-twenties. [3] Overall, the average age was about twenty-five, but soldiers born in America were younger than those from foreign countries. [4]

Sergeants, like Foard, had important roles in the Maryland Line. As non-commissioned officers, their duties included maintaining discipline within their company, and inspecting the new recruits. [5] Their other duties included carrying sick soldiers to the hospital as needed, reporting on the sickness of men within the ranks, and leading groups of men to guard prisoners or supplies if circumstances required it. [6] For these services they were paid more than corporals in Maryland, who they oversaw, and worked with, to keep order in place in the company, including breaking up disputes between soldiers. [7] In order to get in this position, however, their field officers or captains had to recommend them for promotion. [8]

The independent companies, early in the war, had a different role than William Smallwood’s First Maryland Regiment. They had the role of securing the Chesapeake Bay’s shoreline from British attack. Smallwood’s regiment, on the other hand, were raised as full-time Maryland soldiers to be part of the Continental Army, and were divided between Annapolis and Baltimore. The Seventh Independent Company was stationed in Kent County’s Chestertown and Queen Anne County’s Kent Island. [9] During this time, Veazey was uneasy that they did not receive “arms nor ammunition” until June. [10]

While the independent companies were originally intended to defend Maryland, three of them accompanied the First Maryland Regiment when it marched up to New York in July 1776. The transfer of the independent companies to the Continental Army showed that Maryland was more than willing to do its part to recruit the men needed. [11] The independent companies and the First Maryland Regiment arrived in New York in early August, with the Battle of Brooklyn set between the Continental Army and the British Army, joined by their Hessian allies.

Foard served with his company at the Battle of Brooklyn in late August 1776. Along with the companies of Daniel Bowie and Peter Adams, which suffered heavy casualties, sixty-eight percent of Veazey’s company were killed, wounded or captured. Captain Veazey was “killed at his [Foard’s] side,” while Second Lieutenant Samuel Turbett Wright and Third Lieutenant Edward De Coursey were captured. [12] As a result of Veazey’s death, First Lieutenant William Harrison took charge of the company. After the battle, only about 36 men remained out of the original force of over 100. [13] The loss of life confirmed the assessment of the British Parliament’s Annual Register which described how “almost a whole regiment from Maryland…of young men from the best families in the country was cut to pieces” even as the battle brought the men of the Maryland 400 together. [14]

The Battle of Brooklyn, the first large-scale battle of the war, fits into the larger context of the Revolutionary War. If the Maryland Line had not stood and fought the British, enabling the rest of the Continental Army to escape, then the Continental Army would been decimated, resulting in the end of the Revolutionary War. This heroic stand gave the regiment the nickname of the Old Line and those who made the stand in the battle are remembered as the Maryland 400.

Foard survived the Battle of Brooklyn and was not taken prisoner. In the fall of 1776 and early 1777, he joined other Marylanders at the battles of White Plains, Trenton, and Princeton.

By the spring of 1777, the command of the Seventh Independent Company was uncertain since Wright and De Coursey were prisoners, Veazey had been killed, and Harrison had resigned. [15] As a result, the company, among with the other independent companies, became part of the Second Maryland Regiment. Likely in early 1777, Foard reenlisted in the Second Maryland Regiment, where he remained a sergeant until September 1777. [16]

He was promoted to ensign on September 1, 1777, and served until at least May 1780, mostly in the regiment’s sixth and seventh companies. [17] In April 1779, while serving in the regiment’s sixth company, he was furloughed. [18] In the summer of 1779, he signed a statement, along with 95 other Maryland officers, including John Mitchell,  John Gassaway, and Gassaway Watkins, and co-signed by William Smallwood, to receive all the money that was owed to them. [19] Their plea was ultimately successful.

In early 1780, Foard was accused of disobeying an order to march the Second Maryland Regiment to parade, a time when the movement of soldiers is limited by marching or drilling. He also was accused of relating orders different from “those he had received.” [20] He was supposed to march the company, but by disobeying the orders, he was engaging in “conduct unbecoming the character of an officer and a gentleman.” Furthermore, he was said to have “contempt” for the orders given to him by Colonel Thomas Woolford of the Fifth Maryland Regiment. Despite this accusation, he was “acquitted with honor” by the officers overseeing the court-martial and was released from arrest, as approved by George Washington himself. This incident could be why, in May 1780 he was absent with leave, from the service. [21]

Ensigns, like Foard, were the lowest rank of commissioned officers. They were mainly responsible for carrying the flags of their unit on the battlefield and reported to the colonel of the unit. [22] Additionally, they were charged with maintaining cleanliness of the soldiers, inspecting their clothes when the company paraded, and otherwise observing them. [23] Ensigns also had the duty of examining the conduct of the company’s non-commissioned officers, such as sergeants and corporals, and carrying the company flags in order to keep the unit organized. [24]

During his service, he marched to South Carolina in spring 1780 and participated in the Southern Campaign. [25] During his term as an officer, he also fought at Brandywine (1777) and Monmouth (1778). [26] He likely fought at White Marsh (1777) and Germantown (1777) as well.

On August 16, 1780, Foard returned to the First Maryland Regiment as an ensign. On the same day, he participated in the battle at Camden. During the retreat he was attacked by a determined British soldier:

“…he was attacked hand to hand by a stout athletic Englishman; others were advancing on them [the Continentals]–in the scuffle [Foard] threw [the British soldier], the enemy holding [Foard] by his hair; [Foard] having nothing but his long espontoon he shortened the handle and pinned [the British soldier] to the sand; as the Englishman relaxed his hold he extricated himself, and finding his weapon fast beyond recovery, he fled without it.” [27]

After the Battle of Camden, Foard was promoted to lieutenant, filling the role Edward Duvall, who was killed in the battle. [28] Foard served in that role until January 1, 1783.

Foard fought at “the defeat of Tarlenton at Cowpens,” in January 1781, as part of Gates’s Continental Army. [29] Due to his service in these two battles, he likely fought at Hobkirk’s Hill (1781) and Yorktown (1781). Before he was discharged in 1783, he was promoted by brevet to captain. [30] He was likely discharged in November since he was one of the founding members of Maryland’s chapter of the Society of Cincinnati, along with Henry Chew Gaither and Mordecai Gist [31]

After the Revolutionary War, Foard returned to Cecil County. On December 14, 1785, Foard married a woman named Sarah Lawrensen. [32] They had three children named Hezekiah Jr, Richard, and Josiah.

In 1787, Foard and his brother Josiah bought six horses, a few cows, two sheep, and other amenities needed for their farm sitting on Bohemia Manor. [33] For the next 46 years, he continued to live on the manor with his children, wife, and a couple of enslaved black individuals, along with necessary supplies to keep the farm up and running. [34]

Foard acquired and negotiated transfers of huge amounts of land in the county. On August 4, 1789, he also was issued 200 acres of bounty land west of Fort Cumberland, divided into four lots, due to his military service. [35] Since he did not claim it, his land sat vacant. Foard likely left his land alone because the bounty land was “absolutely good for nothing . . . unfit for Cultivation.” [36] In later years, Foard helped sell the 586 acre estate of Cecil County resident, Thomas Richardson and obtained “letters of administration” for Lilburn Williams’s estate. [37]

By 1818, Foard was living in Cecil County and was called a “general” despite the fact he never attained that rank. [38] However, he did serve in Cecil County as a major in the 49th regiment of the Maryland militia, from 1794 until 1799, when he resigned. [39]

In 1821, Foard was granted half-pay of a lieutenant for his “meritorious services” by the Maryland General Assembly. [40] In his Federal veterans pension application, in 1828, Foard, still a farmer on Cecil County’s Bohemia Manor, claimed that he was a lieutenant in the Second Maryland Regiment. [41] On August 29, 1828 his pension was granted.

Foard held numerous civil positions in Cecil County. He was commissioner of the tax for two three-year terms, lasting from 1797 until 1806. [42] He was later appointed as justice of the peace by the Governor of Maryland, serving for nine years in total, over the years, a position he held until his death. [43] Additionally, he served as a justice on the Levy Court, which handled tax allotment, for five years in the early nineteenth century. [44]

Foard’s political affiliation is clear. In April 1821, he was the chairman of a “very large and respectable meeting of the democratic republicans of Cecil County” at a house in Elkton, Maryland in order to pick electors for the upcoming Maryland Senate election. [45] At the meeting they also recommended candidates for the Republican Party in the autumn elections and published proceedings of the meeting in Baltimore Republican papers. In the autumn, the Republicans were victorious in a landslide in elections for state senate’s electoral assembly. They garnered fourteen of the open electoral positions, while the Federalists only gained four electoral positions. [46]

As chairman of a meeting of Republicans, Foard held an important role. A few years later, the same group of individuals welcomed General Marquis de Lafayette to the United States, preparing inkeepers in Elkton for his accommodations. [47]

Foard lived until February 16, 1833, dying at age 81, at Bohemia Manor, then owned by his son. [48] Obituaries for him appeared in papers across the Eastern seaboard of the United States. [49] The Brattlesboro Messenger in Vermont praised his fighting “during our struggle of independence, while the Salem Gazette in Massachuetts declared that “another pillar of the American Revolution had crumbled to the dust!” [50] The Daily National Intelligencer in Washington, D.C. remembered him affectionately, saying that he was “beloved and lamented by all who knew him.” [51]

At the end of his life, Foard was relatively well off. He had possessions such as a carriage and harness, a walnut desk, and a looking glass. [52] In his will, Foard appointed Josiah and Richard as executors of his estate, with the money not distributed until 1835. [53] By 1837, his son, Hezekiah, had helped establish property lines, and sold off the manor to the Bayard family. [54] Foard gave his grandson, William Freeman, one hundred dollars, his son Richard a silver watch, and divided his estate evenly between his three sons. [55] Since his wife was not mentioned in his will, she presumably had already died.

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

Notes

[1] Descriptions of men in Capt. Edward Veazey’s Independent Comp, 1776, Maryland State Papers, Revolutionary Papers, MdHR 19970-15-36/01 [MSA S997-15-36, 1/7/3/13]. In the descriptions of men in Veazey’s company, Foard is described as age 24. Based on his obituaries (which list him as age 81 and 82), it means he was born in 1752. While his last name is sometimes spelled Ford, the name Foard is used here as it is consistent with vital records during his lifetime.

[2] Descriptions of men in Capt. Edward Veazey’s Independent Comp; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 18, 28; Mark Andrew Tacyn, “’To the End:’ The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution” (PhD diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), 34; “Mortuary Notice,” Salem Gazette, Salem, Massachusetts, March 1, 1833, Vol. XI, issue 18, p. 3. An obituary by the Salem Gazette claims that Foard entered the army as a private, but this is not supported by available evidence.

[3] Tacyn, 24-25, 97.

[4] For more information, see “Demographics in the First Maryland Regiment” on the Finding the Maryland 400 research blog.

[5] James Thacher, A Military Journal During the American Revolutionary War, from 1775 to 1783 (Boston: A Richardson and Lord, 1823), 458, 468-470, 473, 475, 483-484, 520; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7-December 31, 1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 12, 145; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 335.

[6] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 343; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7-December 31, 1776, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 12, 125255; Journal of the Maryland Convention July 26 to August 14, 1775, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 11, 50; Proceedings of the Conventions of the Province of Maryland, 1774-1776, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 78, 23; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, August 29, 1775 to July 6, 1776, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 11, 439; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 334.

[7] Thatcher, 45, 73, 476; Proceedings of the Conventions of the Province of Maryland, 1774-1776, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 78, 92.

[8] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 71.

[9] Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7-December 31, 1776, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 12, 4; Tacyn, 33-34.

[10] Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, August 29, 1775 to July 6, 1776, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 11, 318, 468; Tacyn, 37, 39.

[11] Arthur Alexander, “How Maryland Tried to Raise Her Continental Quotas.” Maryland Historical Magazine 42, no. 3 (1947), 187-188, 196.

[12] “Mortuary Notice,” Salem Gazette, Salem, Massachusetts, March 1, 1833, Vol. XI, issue 18, p. 3.

[13] Revolutionary War Rolls, NARA M246, p. 92, From Fold3.com; Tacyn, 98.

[14] Tacyn, 4.

[15] List of Regular Officers by Chamberlaine, December 1776, Maryland State Papers, Red Books, MdHR 4573, Liber 12, p. 66 [MSA S989-17, 1/6/4/5].

[16] Rolls of the Second Maryland Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Roll 0033. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 108; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 16, 244.

[17] Service Card of Hezekiah Ford (Second Maryland Regiment), Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 93, Roll 0399. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Service Card of Hezekiah Ford (First Maryland Regiment), Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 93, Roll 0397. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Rolls of the Second Maryland Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Roll 0033. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Rolls of Various Organizations, 1777, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Roll 0034. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 108; Service Card of Hezekiah Foard (Second Maryland Regiment), Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 93, Roll 0399. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, April 1, 1778 through October 26, 1779, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 21, 567. Some sources say he was commissioned as an adjutant in June 1779, but this unclear.

[18] Service Card of Hezekiah Foard (Second Maryland Regiment).

[19] Daniel Wunderlich Nead, The Pennsylvania-German in the Settlement of Maryland (Lancaster, PA: Pennsylvania German Society, 1914), 255-259; Hanson’s Laws of Maryland, Session Laws 1779, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 203, 214.

[20] Attorney General Scammell’s Orderly Book Dec 15, 1779-Mar 21, 1780, Vol. 34, Numbered Records Books Concerning Military Operations and Service, Pay and Settlement of Accounts, and Supplies in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, National Archives, NARA M853, Roll 0005, p. 117-118.

[21] Service Card of Hezekiah Foard (Second Maryland Regiment).

[22] Frederick Stueben, Regulations for Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, Part I (Philadelphia: Styner and Cist, 1779), 54.

[23] Stueben, 143.

[24] Stueben, 143-144.

[25] Pension of Francis Freeman, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1022, pension number S. 35951. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Pension of Neals Jones, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1443, pension number S. 36,023. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[26] “Mortuary Notice,” Brattleboro Messenger, Brattleboro, Vermont, Vol. XII, issue 8, page 3.

[27] “Mortuary Notice,” Salem Gazette, Salem, Massachusetts, March 1, 1833, Vol. XI, issue 18, p. 3; Weekly Messenger, Boston, Massachusetts, March 7, 1833, page 4.

[28] Service Card of Hezekiah Ford (First Maryland Regiment); Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 362, 365, 378, 435, 476, 477, 478, 520; Pension of Hezekiah Foard, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 0993, pension number S. 47187. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[29] “Mortuary Notice,” Brattleboro Messenger, Brattleboro, Vermont, Vol. XII, issue 8, page 3.

[30] “Mortuary Notice,” Salem Gazette, Salem, Massachusetts, March 1, 1833, Vol. XI, issue 18, p. 3; “To George Washington from William Smallwood, 29 November 1783,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified October 5, 2016.

[31] Register of the Society of the Cincinnati of Maryland Brought Down to February 22nd, 1897 (Baltimore: Society of the Cincinnati of Maryland, 1897), 88.

[32] Marriage of Hezekiah Ford and Sarah Lawrensen, 1785, Cecil County Court, Marriage Licenses, MdHR 9435, p. 42 [MSA C632-1, 1/11/6/38].

[33] Dwight P. Lanmon, Lorraine Welling Lanmon, and Dominque Coulet du Gard, Josephine Foard and the Glazed Pottery of Laguna Pueblo (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007), 3, 204; Bill of sale by Joseph Taylor to Hezekiah and Josiah Foard, 1787, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Liber 16, p. 119 [MSA CE 133-18].

[34] Census for Bohemia Manor, Cecil, Maryland, 1790, First Census of the United States, 1790, National Archives, NARA M637, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, roll 3, page 320. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Census for Election District 1, Cecil, Maryland, 1820, Fourth Census of the United States, 1820, National Archives, NARA M33, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, roll M33_40, page 123. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Census for District 1, Cecil, Maryland, 1830, Fifth Census of the United States, 1830, NARA M19, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, roll 56, page 14. Courtesy of Ancestry.com; Manumission of Hannah Ann by Hezekiah Foard, 1823, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Liber JS 20, p. 313-314 [MSA CE 133-47]; Hezekiah Foard, Elizabeth Logue, James Foard, Eliza Logue, and Francis Reynolds’s petition to sell Bohemia Manor, February 17, 1796, Chancery Court, Chancery Papers, MdHR 17898-1798 [MSA S512-1873, 1/36/1/91]; Bill of sale of John S. Vandergift to John Rawlins and Hezekiah Foard, 1832, Cecil County Court, Land Records, JS 30, p. 381-382 [MSA CE 133-57]. Other supplies included ploughs and household furniture. In 1796, Foard and other members of his family petitioned to sell the estate and plantation at Bohemia Manor, but nothing else of this case is known.

[35] Pension of Hezekiah Foard; Westward of Fort CumberlandMilitary Lots Set Off for Maryland’s Revolutionary Soldiers (ed. Mary K. Meyer, Westminister: Heritage Books, 2008), 3, 156; Hezekiah Ford’s lots in Western Maryland, Land Office, Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland, MdHR 17302, p. 319, 320, [SE1-1]. His lots were 3265, 3274, 3275, and 3276.

[36] Pension of Mark McPherson and Widow’s Pension of Mary McPherson. The National Archives. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files. NARA M804, W 2144. 1-73. From Fold3.com.

[37] American Watchman, Wilmington, Delaware, July 22, 1812, Vol. IV, issue 309, page 4; “Notice,” Aurora General Advertiser, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 27, 1804, issue 4156, page 4.

[38] Pension of Francis Freeman; Pension of Neals Jones.

[39] Appointment of Hezekiah Ford, 1794, Adjutant General, Militia Appointments, MdHR 5587, Militia Appointments Liber 2, p. 95 [MSA S348-2, 2/6/5/10]; Appointment of Hezekiah Ford, 1794, Adjutant General, Militia Appointments, MdHR 1349, Militia Appointments Liber 1, p. 12 [MSA S348-1, 2/8/3/13].

[40] Journal of the House of Delegates 1821 (Dec. 3 – Feb. 23), Archives of Maryland Online, 87 [MSA SC M 12329]; Session Laws, 1821, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 626, 176.

[41] Pension of Hezekiah Foard.

[42] Session Laws, 1803, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 560, 61; Session Laws, 1797, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 652, 93.

[43] Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1792, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1899 [MSA S1082-2, 2/26/4/40]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1833, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1924, p. 44 [MSA S1082-24, 2/26/4/41]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1832, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1923, p. 35 [MSA S1082-23, 2/26/4/41]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1831, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1922, p. 22 [MSA S1082-22, 2/26/4/41]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1831, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1921, p. 22 [MSA S1082-21, 2/26/4/41]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1829, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1919, p. 36 [MSA S1082-19, 2/26/4/41]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1828, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1918, p. 35 [MSA S1082-18, 2/26/4/41]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1828, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1917, p. 45 [MSA S1082-17, 2/26/4/41]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1827, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1916, p. 41 [MSA S1082-16, 2/26/4/40]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1826, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1915, p. 48 [MSA S1082-15, 2/26/4/40]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1825, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1914, p. 48 [MSA S1082-14, 2/26/4/40]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1824, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1913-2 [MSA S1082-13, 2/26/4/40];

[44] Memoranda of Maryland…, 1828, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 561, 97, 98; “Appointments by the Governor and Council of Maryland. January 1822,” Republican Star, Easton, Maryland, January 22, 1822, Vol. XXIII, issue 22, page 3; “A List of Justices of the Peace, in Cecil County,” Baltimore Patriot, Baltimore, Maryland, September 7, 1815, Vol. VI, issue 842, page 2; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1823, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1911, p. 57 [MSA S1082-11, 2/26/4/40]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1821, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1909 [MSA S1082-10, 2/26/4/40]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1811, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1902 [MSA S1082-5, 2/26/4/40]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1802, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1901 [MSA S1082-4, 2/26/4/40]; Appointment of Hezekiah Foard, 1801, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1900 [MSA S1082-3, 2/26/4/40].

[45] “Cecil County,” Baltimore Patriot, Baltimore, Maryland, May 3, 1821, Vol. XVII, issue 2565, page 2.

[46] Federalists won in Alleghany, Dorchester, Montgomery, and Somerset counties. Republicans won in cities such as Annapolis and Baltimore. They also won in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Kent, Prince George, Queen Anne, Talbot, Washington, and Worcester counties

[47] “Reception of La Fayette in Cecil County, Md,” Easton Gazette, Easton, Maryland, September 18, 1824, Vol. VII, issue 40, page 2.

[48] Pension of Hezekiah Foard; Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. 3: Southern States (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968, reprint from 1835), 69; “Mortuary Notice,” Salem Gazette, Salem, Massachusetts, March 1, 1833, Vol. XI, issue 18, p. 3; Helen West Ridgely, Historic Graves of Maryland and the District of ColumbiaWith the Inscriptions Appearing on the Tombstones in Most of the Counties of the State and in Washington and Georgetown (New York: The Grafton Press, 1908), 229. Some said he died in 82.

[49] “Mortuary Notice,” Spectator, New York, March 6, 1833 , Vol. XXXVI, issue 46, page 4; “Mortuary Notice,” Commercial Advertiser, New York, March 1, 1833, page 2; Newark Daily Advertiser, Newark, New Jersey, February 28, 1833, page 2; “From the Cecil Republican,” Easton Star, Easton, Maryland, March 5, 1833, page 3.

[50] “Mortuary Notice,” Brattleboro Messenger, Brattleboro, Vermont, Vol. XII, issue 8, page 3; “Mortuary Notice,” Salem Gazette, Salem, Massachusetts, March 1, 1833, Vol. XI, issue 18, p. 3.

[51] “Mortuary Notice,” Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C., February 28, 1833, Vol. XXI, issue 6258, page 3.

[52] Inventory of Hezekiah Foard, March 1833, Cecil County Register of Wills, Inventories, MdHR 16577-1, p. 678-679 [MSA C620-26, 1/11/12/42].

[53] Administration account of Hezekiah Foard, 1835, Cecil County Register of Wills, Administration Accounts, MdHR 16595-1, p. 264-266 [MSA C586-15, 1/11/13/20]; Administration bond relating to Hezekiah Foard, 1833, Cecil County Register of Wills, Administration Bonds, MdHR 16562-1, p. 464 [MSA C589-10, 1/11/14/1]; Estate of Hezekiah Foard, 1833-1835, Cecil County Register of Wills, Estate Papers, MdHR 16607-36 [MSA C645-36, 1/12/6/48].

[54] Indenture of Hezekiah Ford, Jr., 1830, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Liber JS 28, p. 30-33 [MSA CE 133-55]; Indenture between Hezekiah Ford, Jr., and Thomas Miller, Jr., 1834, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Liber JS 28, p. 311-312 [MSA CE 133-55]; Indenture between Hezekiah Ford, Jr., and Thomas Miller, Jr., 1832, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Liber JS 28, p. 313-315 [MSA CE 133-55]; Indenture between Hezekiah Ford, Jr., Albert C. Byran, and Martha W. Byran, 1832, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Liber JS 28, p. 315-317 [MSA CE 133-55]; Establishing property boundaries between lands of Foard, Hudson, and Bayard families, 1831, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Liber JS 29, p. 438-441 [MSA CE 133-56]; Indenture between Benjamin Harris and Hezekiah Ford, Jr., 1834, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Liber JS 34, p. 91-92 [MSA CE 133-61]; Hezekiah Ford, Jr. selling enslaved black George Holland to James Hyland, 1835, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Liber JS 35, p. 79-80 [MSA CE 133-62]; Selling of Bohemia Manor from Foard to Bayard family, 1835, Cecil County Court, Land Records, Liber JS 35, p. 83-84 [MSA CE 133-62]; Marriage of Hezekiah Foard Jr. and Mary Ann Hyland, 1828, Cecil County Court, Marriage Licenses, MdHR 9435, p. 334 [MSA C632-1, 1/11/6/38]. According to marriage records, Foard’s son would marry a woman named Mary Ann Hyland in 1828. His son was, like his father, a slaveowner.

[55] Will of Hezekiah Foard, 1833, Cecil County Register of Wills, Wills, MdHR 16556, p. 411-412 [MSA C646-7, 1/11/14/14].

Barton Lucas: well-off Cadet, Ensign, and Captain

Battlefields of the Seven Years War, courtesy of this website.

Reposted from Academia.edu. I originally wrote this biography when I was working at the Maryland State Archives for the Finding the Maryland 400 project.

Barton Lucas, a captain of the Third Company of the First Maryland Regiment, was born, according to some sources, in 1730, in Prince George’s County. His father was Thomas Lucas and mother Anne Keene. Barton had four siblings named Basil, Margaret, Thomas, and Sarah. [1]

Lucas served in the Seven Years’ War (1754-1763) which had Britain, France and indigenous people as combatants, resulting in transfer of northern parts of America and Canada from France to Britain. [2] In 1758, he signed on as a cadet, a military officer in waiting, in Joshua Bell’s Company and he soon was a ensign in Captain Alexander Beall’s Maryland Company, for which he received modest pay. [3] Maryland troops fought at the battle of Fort Duquesne in September of that year, joined by South Carolinian troops, to fend off indigenous attacks, but the English were defeated and Marylanders covered their retreat. [4] During these military engagements, Lucas was injured. [5]

In 1762, Lucas married Priscilla Sprigg, whose last name changed to Lucas after their marriage. His “beloved wife” Priscilla, “Prisey,” was born in 1735 to Osborn Sprigg, a Maryland legislator, and Rachel Belt, and was one of five siblings. [6] In 1756, Lucas’s father died, willing 112 acres and his plantation to Lucas. [7] In the 1750s and 1760s, Barton bought and sold enslaved blacks for his plantation. [8]

During the Revolutionary War, Lucas, a prominent community figure and combat veteran, served in the military. He was recommended as a field officer to a Battalion “on the upper part of the Patuxent” in 1775, however, he likely never served in this capacity since he was chosen in January of the next year as a Captain of the Third Company of Col. William Smallwood‘s Maryland Battalion. [9] In the summer of 1776, this Maryland regiment marched to New York and was put under the command of Gen. George Washington.

At the Battle of Brooklyn, the First Maryland Regiment, especially companies led by Lucas, Daniel Bowie, Peter Adams, Benjamin Ford, and Edward Veazey, later called the Maryland 400, held off the British while the rest of the Continental Army escaped Long Island to safety. While Lucas’s company played a key role in the Battle of Brooklyn, on August 27, 1776 with sixty percent of his company killed, Lucas was ill and could not participate in the battle itself. [10] John Hughes, a private in his company, said years later that “Capt. Barton Lucas became deranged in consequence of losing his company.” Still listed as ill, after the battle, Lucas was returned home and later resigned on October 11, 1776. However, Lucas rejoined the military as a colonel in the Prince George’s County Militia from 1777-1778. [11]

After his military service, Lucas settled down to his plantation in Prince George’s County. Existing records show that enslaved blacks, plantation tools, and farm animals were part of his overall property. [12] At his death, sometime between April 8, 1784 and May 16, 1785, in Prince George’s County, he was still called a colonel and much of his property value consisted of enslaved blacks. [13]

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

Notes

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

[2] John Frost, Pictorial Life of General Washington: Embracing a Complete History of the Seven Years War, the Revolutionary War, The Formation of the Federal Constitution, and the Administration of Washington (Philadelphia: Lery, Getz & Co., 1860), 52, 65, 106.

[3] Letter to George Washington from Captain Nathaniel Ewing, 9 March 1779. Founders Online. National Archives; Orderly Book, 10 November 1758. Founders Online. National Archives; Letter to George Washington from Robert Stewart, 25 February 1762. Founders Online. National Archives; Archives of Maryland, vol. 61, pp. 392; Archives of Maryland vol. 59, pp. 54, 159, 170, 173, 196-7, and 251; “French and Indian War: Roster of Maryland Troops, 1757-1759 [Calvert Papers].” Maryland Historical Magazine 5, no. 3 (1910): 281; Maryland State Papers (Scharf Collection). 1759-1801. Certification of military service on the frontier [2/19/1767]. S1005 [MSA S1005-57-2, 1/8/5/44].

[4] Joshua Dorsey Warfield, The founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland: A genealogical and biographical review from wills, deeds and church records (Baltimore: Kohn & Pollack, 1905), 213; “French and Indian War: Roster of Maryland Troops, 1757-1759 [Calvert Papers],” Maryland Historical Magazine 5, no.3, (1910): 272; Mary K. Meyer, “Genealogica Marylandia: MARYLAND MUSTER ROLLS 1757-1758.” Maryland Historical Magazine 70, no. 2 (1975): 225; Mary K. Meyer, “Genealogica Marylandia: MARYLAND MUSTER ROLLS 1757-1758.” Maryland Historical Magazine 70, no. 1 (1975): 107.

[5] Archives of Maryland vol. 61, page 392.

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

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

[8] Will of Thomas Lucas, 1765, Prerogative Court, Wills, Liber BT2, pp. 114, MdHR 1308-1. [MSA S538-44, 1/11/01/038]; Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1765, Liber TT, p. 0338-9 [MSA CE65-19, accessed via MDLANDREC.NET]; Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1759, Liber PP, p. 0093, 0144, 0321-2 [MSA CE65-17, accessed via MDLANDREC.NET]; Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1772, Liber BB 3, p. 0068, 0085 [MSA CE65-22, accessed via MDLANDREC.NET]; Prince George’s County Court, Land Records, 1775, Liber CC 2, p. 0135 [MSA CE65-23, accessed via MDLANDREC.NET].

[9] “Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution,” Archives of Maryland vol. 18, pp. 9; Archives of Maryland vol. 78, pp. 67 and 93; Archives of Maryland vol. 12, pp. 16; Archives of Maryland vol. 11, 92, 169, and 406.

[10] Fragments of letter of an Unknown Patriot Soldier (September 1, 1776), The Sprit of ‘Seventy-Six: The Story of the American Revolution as Told by Participants (ed. Henry Steele Commager and Richard B. Morris. New York: Harper and Row, 1967), 440 [0/60/3/35]. Fully reprinted in Henry Onderdonk, Revolutionary Incidents of Suffolk and Kings Counties (New York: Levitt & Company, 1849), 147-8.

[11] “Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution.” Archives of Maryland vol. 18, pp. 333; Archives of Maryland vol. 16, pp. 532.

[12] Prince George’s County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessment Record, Rock Creek Hundred, personal property, MdHR 40220-24 [MSA C1162-10, 1/21/10/011]; Will of Barton Lucas, Prince George’s County, Register of Wills, Administration Bonds, October 1785, MdHR 9791 [MSA C1146-4, 1/25/08/003].

[13] At her death in October 1785, Priscilla’s will listed one enslaved black woman and named her next of kin. Will of Priscilla Lucas, Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Administration Bonds, October 1785, MdHR 9791 [MSA C1146-4, 1/25/08/003]; Inventories of Precilla Lucas and Col. Barton Lucas, Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Inventories, Liber ST, pp. 337-40, MdHR 9799 [MSA C1228-9, 1/25/09/001]; Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Administration Accounts, 1791, Liber ST 1, p. 376, MdHR 9805 [MSA C1144-4, 1/25/10/015]; Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Administration Accounts, Liber ST 2, p. 6, MdHR 18865 [MSA C1144-6, 1/25/10/017]; Will of Barton Lucas, 1784, Prince George’s County Register of Wills, Wills, Liber T1, p. 216, MdHR 9725-1 [MSA C1326-3, 1/25/07/004]

John Mitchell: long-time military man and magistrate

Map is courtesy of FamilySearch.

This is a verbatim reposting from Academia.edu and the bio I wrote while at the Maryland State Archives working on the Finding the Maryland 400 project.

John Mitchell was born in 1760 in Charles County, Maryland, to Scottish settler Hugh Mitchell and his wife, Anne Hanson. [1] Mitchell had two sisters named Katherine and Jenet. [2] In early 1761, Mitchell’s father, a well-off planter, merchant, and landowner, died. He willed his daughter Katherine and wife land in Charles County, divided his estate among his children, including the sixteen enslaved blacks working on his plantation. [3] Unlike Katherine, John was not willed anything specifically by his father. However, as the eldest son he would have gained control over 373 acres of land divided up into three tracts: Shaws Folly, Cains Purchase, and Moberly. [4]

On January 24, 1776, he enlisted as a sergeant in Captain John Hoskins Stone‘s First Company of the First Maryland Regiment, commanded by William Smallwood. [5] Mitchell, like many of those in the First Company, was recruited from Charles County. The company trained in Annapolis until they departed for New York. [6] As Mitchell got his first taste of battle, he would begin his “career of glory” and fight under “the command of the gallant Smallwood.” [7]

A sergeant, like Mitchell, had an important role in the Maryland Line. As non-commissioned officers, their duties included maintaining discipline within their company, and inspecting the new recruits. [8] Their other duties included carrying sick soldiers to the hospital as needed, reporting on the sickness of men within the ranks, and leading groups of men to guard prisoners or supplies if circumstances required it. [9] For these services they were paid more than corporals in Maryland, who they oversaw, and worked with, to keep order in place in the company, including breaking up disputes between soldiers. [10] In order to get in this position, however, their field officers or captains had to recommend them for promotion. [11]

The First Maryland Regiment were the first troops Maryland raised at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Maryland was more than willing to do its part to recruit the men needed to fill the Continental Army’s depleted ranks. [12] A few days after independence was declared, the First Maryland Regiment were ordered to New York so it could join the forces of General George Washington. The regiment arrived there in early August, with the Battle of Brooklyn set between the Continental Army and the British Army, joined by their Hessian allies.

Mitchell served with 26-year-old Stone and his company at the Battle of Brooklyn in late August 1776. Unlike the companies of Barton Lucas, Daniel Bowie, Peter Adams, Benjamin Ford, and Edward Veazey, only 15 percent of the First Company were either killed or captured, with these other companies suffering heavier losses. Few were killed, while the company’s ensign, James Farnandis, was captured by British forces. [13] Even so, the loss of life by the other companies confirmed the assessment of the British Parliament’s Annual Register which described how “almost a whole regiment from Maryland…of young men from the best families in the country was cut to pieces” even as the battle brought the men of the Maryland 400 together. [14]

The Battle of Brooklyn, the first large-scale battle of the war, fits into the larger context of the Revolutionary War. If the Maryland Line had not stood and fought the British, enabling the rest of the Continental Army to escape, then the Continental Army would been decimated, resulting in the end of the Revolutionary War. This heroic stand gave the regiment the nickname of the Old Line and those who made the stand in the battle are remembered as the Maryland 400.

Mitchell survived the Battle of Brooklyn like most of the company. In December 1776, Mitchell re-enlisted in the First Maryland Regiment and was promoted to second lieutenant. [15] He only occupied this position for six months, as his rank increased to first lieutenant in June 1777. [16] He would stay in this position for almost two years, serving in Henry Chew Gaither‘s company. During this time period, he served with his company in the battles of Trenton (1776), Brandywine (1777) and Germantown (1777). He likely did not participate in the Battle of Monmouth because he was put on furlough in the summer of 1778 and may have lived in Charles County’s Port Tobacco West Hundred during that time period. [17]

In May 1779 he became regimental adjutant of the First Maryland Regiment, and chief administrator of the unit. [18] In this position he kept one of the orderly books for the regiment as they wrote down the orders of the regiment every day. [19] Adjutants tried to maintain discipline, and at times this could include overseeing executions of soldiers convicted of wrongs. [20] These officers inspected guards and soldiers of the regiment while in camp. [21] They also rode along the regiment’s flank to observe regularity in marching.

He did not have this rank for long. In July 1779, he was promoted once again to the position of captain. [22] As captain, he led his company in numerous military engagements. While there were quartermasters, he received the normal supplies for his soldiers, including gallons of rum and coffee. [23] In the summer of 1779, he signed a statement, along with 95 other Maryland officers, including John Gassaway and Gassaway Watkins, and co-signed by William Smallwood, to ask for support from the state legislature because of depreciated Continental currency, a plea which was successful. [24]

On January 1, 1781 he was transferred to the Fourth Maryland Regiment and retained his rank as a captain. [25] In this capacity, he fought alongside his company in the battles of Camden (1780), Cowpens (1781), Hobkirk’s Hill (1781), Eutaw Springs (1781), and Yorktown (1781), serving until his retirement in April 1783. [26] During the battle of Camden, Mitchell was hit with a musket ball in the chest, and, as the story goes, his gold watch key deflected the ball, saving his life. [27] In November 1783, he joined the Society of the Cincinnati of Maryland, meaning he was one of the Society’s original members along with John Hoskins Stone and Mordecai Gist. [28]

Many years later, he served as a vestryman of Charles County’s Durham Parish from 1791 to 1795, in 1797, and 1799 to 1801. [29] For the first two years of his service, Smallwood was a fellow vestry member until his death in February 1792. Mitchell had been a member of the parish since the 1770s, like Smallwood, and remained a member until the end of his life. [30] He petitioning the legislature for money to repair of the parish’s church, called Old Durham Church or Christ Church, and building a chapel. The church, near the current town of Ironsides, was built in 1732 and visited by George Washington in 1771. [31]

After the war, Mitchell settled down in Southern Maryland. He may have owned 62-acre plantation located in the adjacent Calvert County named Thatcomb along with seven horses and six enslaved blacks. [32] However, it is clear that Mitchell lived in Charles County from 1790 to 1810, with his wife and children, and owned an average of about twenty-two enslaved blacks. [33] By 1810, he owned the 732-acre plantation in Nanjemoy, Charles County, named Holly Springs, along with twenty-five to thirty enslaved blacks, where he grew tobacco. [34] He also owned two other small tracts containing about 90 acres, one near Port Tobacco, Maryland and another in present-day Washington D.C. [35] He also had about 200 acres in Western Maryland and thousands of acres in Federal land beyond the Appalachian Mountains. It is not known when he obtained the plantation since the previous owner, Walter Hanson Harrison, rector of Durham Parish, resided there until his death in 1798. [36]

While living in Charles County, he married Lucinda “Lucy” Heaberd Truman Stoddert. They had one child named John Truman Stoddert Heaberd Mitchell, who Mitchell later called his “eldest son.” [37] Nine years later, in 1800, Mitchell, with his nine-year-old son, sued John and Priscilla Courts for control of Smallwood’s estate. He was able to file as a co-heir to Smallwood because his wife Lucy, was the niece of William Smallwood. [38] As for the Court family, Smallwood’s sister, Prescilla, married John Courts, creating another familial tie. [39] The resolution of this case is not known.

After the death of Lucy Stoddert, Mitchell married a woman named Catherine Barnes. [40] Mitchell and Catherine had four children: Walter Hanson Jennifer Mitchell (1801-1870), Richard Henry Barnes, Mary Ann Mitchell and Elizabeth Mitchell. [41]

Mitchell held numerous public offices after the war. From 1794-1797 he served in the Maryland militia. [42] He first served as lieutenant colonel of the Forty-Third Regiment of Maryland militia in Charles County. He later served as Brigadier General, and he carried the title “General John Mitchell” for the rest of his life, of the Fifth Brigade of Maryland militia. When this term of service ended, in 1797, he was appointed as commissioner of the tax for Charles County by the state legislature. [43] A few years later, from 1801 to 1802, he was a magistrate in Charles County. [44] Interestingly, he was appointed as a magistrate by Governor John F. Mercer, a Continental Army officer during the Revolutionary War.

Mitchell was a supporter of the Republican Party. He ran as a presidential elector in 1796 and 1804 but lost to Federalist candidates both times. [45] In later years, he again ran as a presidential elector and for the U.S. House of Representatives, but he earned fewer than ten votes in each election, losing to Federalist and other Republican candidates. [46] This political allegiance puts his letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1810 in more context.

In 1810, Mitchell wrote Jefferson, former President of the United States, calling himself “a decided friend & supporter of the [Jefferson] Administration.” [47] He also said that he had been swindled out of about two thousand dollars and asked Jefferson to assist him. In closing, Mitchell said that his wife, “two lovely Daughters…2 promising Boys & himself” would “call him blessed” if Jefferson lent him money.

On October 11, 1812, Mitchell died in Welcome, Charles County. [48] He had become a well-off planter, slaveowner, and gentleman. He willed his six enslaved blacks to his sons, John, Walter, and Richard, and daughter, Elizabeth and his plantation to his wife, Catherine. [49] He also equally divided his property among his children. He paid for a funeral after his death, and asked that his wife be paid whatever is necessary for her support and to continue education of his sons and daughters. [50] At the time of his death, he ran a plantation, worked by seventeen enslaved blacks, which grew wheat, tobacco, and cotton. [51] It also had farm animals such as cows, pigs, and sheep. As for Mitchell, he was very well-read, possessing books on geography, English history, and an “old world map.”

After his death, his wife Catherine was appointed as executor of his estate. [52] She tried to pay off creditors and address Mitchell’s debt. This was only the beginning of battles over his estate. From 1819 to 1851, the Barnes and Mitchell families fought over his estate, arguing in a huge legal case, that each of them had valid claims to John Mitchell’s property. [53] The main points of contention in this case were over ownership of land and enslaved blacks. While the Barnes family administered the estate of Catherine in 1814, John Mitchell’s son, Walter H.J. Mitchell, managed the estate until 1822 when the property passed into the Barnes family, adding fuel to the ongoing legal case. [54] Before the case, the Barnes family served as Walter’s guardians after his father passed away. [55] It was not until 1851, 39 years after Mitchell’s death, that the fight over his estate would end.

On October 30, 1812, the Federal Gazette and Baltimore Daily Advertiser, a Baltimorean paper with Federalist leanings, wrote a glowing obituary for John Mitchell. [56] They declared that he valiantly fought for his country, which was proud to serve for, and that he was not adequately compensated for his services. [57] They also said that Mitchell was born when “heroism and love of country were common virtues,” that his “heart beat high with liberty” when he joined the Continental Army but that by the end of the war he “was rich in fame but poor in worldly circumstances.”

The Gazette also claimed that Mitchell “lived to feel the ingratitude of his country and to witness her disgrace.” This is likely a reference to the attack on a fellow Federalist paper, the Federal Republican, published by Alexander Contee Hanson, by a group of angry Baltimoreans four months before, leading not only to a “riotous temper” in the town, but the first casualties of the war on the streets of Baltimore. [58] The Gazette, which often reprinted selections from the Federal Republican, also declared that the War of 1812 was “Madison’s War,” protesting the new taxes to fight the war, the “horrors of war,” and the fight to acquire Canada. [59]

Despite Mitchell’s different political viewpoint, the Gazette likely wrote the obituary because they wanted to harken back to the Revolutionary period and further oppose the War of 1812. [60] Their eulogy ended on a high note, saying that with his death he had found “a refuge in the silence of the tomb and he trust his patriotism will now be rewarded. Light lie the sod that covers the breast of a solder. Honored be his memory.”

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

Notes

[1] “John Mitchell to Thomas Jefferson, 26 February 1810,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Will of Hugh Mitchell, 1761, Charles County Register of Wills, Wills, MdHR 7285, Liber AD 5, p. 180-181 [MSA C681-5, 1/8/10/5]; George A. Hanson, Old Kent: The Eastern Shore of Maryland (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002, reprint), 114-115, 117, 119-120; Swepson Earle, Chesapeake Bay Country (Baltimore: Thomsen Ellis Co., 1929), 116; Capt. John Mitchell gravestone, Find A Grave, updated November 12, 2012, accessed September 7, 2016. Some sources say he was born in 1756, but he said that he was a seventeen year-old when he enlisted in the Continental Army in his letter to Thomas Jefferson, creating some ambiguity about his birth date. Some sources say he was born in Saint Mary’s County but this cannot be confirmed. Mitchell’s father had a brother named John Mitchell which must be kept in mind when reading his two-page will.

[2] Hanson, 119; Will of Hugh Mitchell; Inventory of Hugh Mitchell, 1761, Charles County Register of Wills, Wills, MdHR 7299, Liber 4, p. 299-302 [MSA C665-4, 1/8/10/19].

[3] Deed of Hugh Mitchell to George Huton, 1757, Charles County Court, Land Records, Liber G 3, p. 97-98 [MSA CE 82-32]; Deed of Hugh Mitchell to Ralph Shaw, 1759, Charles County Court, Land Records, Liber G 3, p. 290-292 [MSA CE 82-32]; Deed of Hugh Mitchell to Alexander McPherson, 1760, Charles County Court, Land Records, Liber G 3, p. 412-413 [MSA CE 82-32]; Deed of John Mitchell (his brother) to Hugh Mitchell, 1760, Charles County Court, Land Records, Liber G 3, p. 435-436 [MSA CE 82-32]; Deed of John Smoot to Hugh Mitchell, 1760, Charles County Court, Land Records, Liber G 3, p. 437-439 [MSA CE 82-32]; Sale of Hugh Mitchell to Leonard Mitchell, 1761, Charles County Court, Land Records, Liber G 3, p. 525-527 [MSA CE 82-32]; Hanson, 119; David Dobson, More Scottish Settlers, 1667-1827 (Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 2005), 54; Harry Wright Newman, The Maryland Semmes and Kindred Families: A Genealogical History of Marmaduke Semme(s), Gent., and His Descendants (Westminister, MD: Heritage Books, 2007, reprint), 270; Harry Wright Newman, Charles County GentryA Genealogical History of Six Emigrants – Thomas Dent, John Dent, Richard Edelen, John Hanson, George Newman, Humphrey Warren (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002, reprint), 237, 252; Will of Hugh Mitchell; Administration account of Hugh Mitchell, October 1764, Charles County Register of Wills, Administration Accounts, MdHR 7312, p. 126-129 [MSA C650-4, 1/8/10/32]; Inventory of Hugh Mitchell, 1761, Charles County Register of Wills, Inventories, MdHR Liber 4, p. 299-301 [MSA 7299, 1/8/10/19]. Mitchell’s plantation had farm animals such as horses. As for Mitchell himself, he was well read enough to have books on history of the Portuguese, the Bible, and many other books. Also, Anne later remarried to a man named Samuel Stone. Additionally, records also show that the estate of Hugh Mitchell was not fully settled until three years after his death in 1764.

[4] Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1760, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17673-4, Liber 14, CH, p. 7 [MSA S12-77, 1/24/2/14]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1763, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17674-2, Liber 15 (1763), CH, p. 1 [MSA S12-80, 1/24/2/15]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1764, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17674-3, Liber 15 (1764), CH, p. 1 [MSA S12-81, 1/24/2/15]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1765, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17674-4, Liber 15 (1765), CH, p. 1 [MSA S12-82, 1/24/2/15]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1766, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17674-5, Liber 15 (1766), CH, p. 1 [MSA S12-83, 1/24/2/15]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1767, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17675-1, Liber 16 (1767), CH, p. 1 [MSA S12-84, 1/24/2/16]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1768, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17675-2, Liber 16 (1768), CH, p. 1 [MSA S12-85, 1/24/2/16]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1769, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17675-3, Liber 16 (1769), CH, p. 1 [MSA S12-86, 1/24/2/16]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1770, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17675-4, Liber 16 (1770), CH, p. 51 [MSA S12-87, 1/24/2/16]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1771, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17675-5, Liber 16 (1771), CH, p. 34 [MSA S12-88, 1/24/2/16]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1772, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17676-1, Liber 17 (1772), CH, p. 48 [MSA S12-89, 1/24/2/17]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1773, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17676-2, Liber 17 (1773), CH, p. 60 [MSA S12-90, 1/24/2/17]; Entry for Hugh Mitchell, 1774, Land Office, Debt Book, MdHR 17676-3, Liber 17 (1774), CH, p. 47 [MSA S12-91, 1/24/2/17]

[5] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 5; Roster of regular officers in Smallwood’s battalion, January 1777, Red Books, MdHR 4573, Red Book 12, p. 66 [MSA S989-17, 1/6/4/5].

[6] Mark Andrew Tacyn “’To the End:’ The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution” (PhD diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), 21.

[7] Federal Gazette, Baltimore, October 31, 1812, Vol. XXXVIII, issue 5734, p. 3.

[8] James Thacher, A Military Journal During the American Revolutionary War, from 1775 to 1783 (Boston: A Richardson and Lord, 1823), 458, 468-470, 473, 475, 483-484, 520; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7-December 31, 1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 12, 145; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 335.

[9] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 343; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7-December 31, 1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 12, 125, 255; Journal of the Maryland Convention July 26 to August 14, 1775 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 11, 50; Proceedings of the Conventions of the Province of Maryland, 1774-1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 78, 23; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, August 29, 1775 to July 6, 1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 11, 439; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1-March 20, 1777 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 16, 334.

[10] Thatcher, 45, 73, 476; Proceedings of the Conventions of the Province of Maryland, 1774-1776 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 78, 92.

[11] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 71.

[12] Arthur Alexander, “How Maryland Tried to Raise Her Continental Quotas.” Maryland Historical Magazine 42, no. 3 (1947), 187-188, 196.

[13] Return of the six Independent Companies and First Regiment of Maryland Regulars, in the service of the United Colonies, commanded by Colonel Smallwood, Sept. 13, 1776, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 93, Roll 0034, courtesy of Fold3.com; Return of the First Regiment of Maryland Regulars in the service of the United Colonies Commanded by William Smallwood, Oct. 11, 1776, p. 92-93, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 93, Roll 0034, folder 35, courtesy of Fold3.com; Tacyn, 95. Stone was sick, and one musician, a drummer or fifer, was needed to complete the rank-and-file of the company in the fall of 1776.

[14] Tacyn, 4.

[15] Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the U.S. Army Vol 1 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1903), 395; Service Card of John Mitchell (First Maryland Regiment), Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 93, roll 0398. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 136. This lists Mitchell as becoming captain in July 1777 but this does not align with other records and is incorrect.

[16] Heitman, 395; Service Card of John Mitchell (First Maryland Regiment); Pension of Adam Addams, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 0008, pension number S. 34,623. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[17] Service Card of John Mitchell (First Maryland Regiment); Tacyn, 15, 139, 209; Port Tobacco West Hundred, March 1778, Charles County Court, Census of 1778, MdHR 8167-2, Liber X 3, p. 630-632 [MSA C654-1, 1/7/7/27]. The census says that he was one of the men living in Charles County that was older than 18 which would align with his birth record. To read more about the battle of Brandywine see the “British “masters of the field”: The disaster at Brandywine” on the Finding the Maryland 400 blog.

[18] Heitman, 395.

[19] Patrick O’Kelley, Unwaried Patience and Fortitude: Francis Marion’s Orderly Book (West Conoshocken, PA: Infinity Publishing, 2007), iii.

[20] Harry M. Ward, George Washington’s Enforcers: Policing the Continental Army (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2006), 193; George W. Mitchell, Memoir of Brigadier-General John Dagworthy of the Revolutionary War (Wilmington: Historical Society of Delaware, 1895), 7, 58-59. This duty was also shared by the corporal and sergeant, who they likely worked with in keeping order.

[21] Robert K. Wright Jr., The Continental Army (Washington D.C., Center of Military History, 1983), 18, 176; Frederick Stueben, Regulations for Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, Part I (Philadelphia: Styner and Cist, 1779), 132-134.

[22] Heitman, 395; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 70, 137, 229, 286, 346, 364, 380, 382, 476, 480, 602, 615, 641; S. Eugene Clements and F. Edward Wright, The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War (Silver Spring, MD: Family Lien Publications, 1987), 104, 154, 166, 171, 172. This rank in July 1779 makes it clear that he is not the same as John Pugh Mitchell who is a captain in the Fourth Maryland Regiment in 1779, a deserter in Somerset county, a private in a number of different regiments or other members of the Continental line.

[23] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 118, 163, 223, 322.

[24] Daniel Wunderlich Nead, The Pennsylvania-German in the Settlement of Maryland (Lancaster, PA: Pennsylvania German Society, 1914), 255-259; Hanson’s Laws of Maryland, Session Laws 1779, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 203, 214. See “An Act relating to the officers and soldiers of this state in the American army, and other purposes therein mentioned” for specifics of the law which passed.

[25] Heitman, 395; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 370, 458. Some letters indicate that there was a Captain John Mitchell in the First Maryland Regiment, but this contradicts the record as laid out by Heitman.

[26] Heitman, 395; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 521; “John Mitchell to Thomas Jefferson, 26 February 1810,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016. Some sources say he served until November 1783 but this is not supported by the available evidence. For more information on the battles of Brandywine and Hobkirk’s Hill, see “British “masters of the field”: The disaster at Brandywine” and “A Short Fight on Hobkirk’s Hill: Surprise, Blame, and Defeat” on the Finding the Maryland 400 research blog.

[27] Charles County Bicentennial Committee, Charles County, Maryland: A History (So. Hackensack, NJ: Custom Book Inc., 1976), 311.

[28] Society of the Cincinnati of Maryland, Register of the Society of the Cincinnati of Maryland Brought Down to February 22nd, 1897 (Baltimore, Order of the Society, 1897), 95.

[29] Margaret Brown Klopter and Paul Dennis Brown, History of Charles County Maryland (La Plata: Charles County Tercentenary, 1958), 73-74; William Smallwood gravestone, Find A Grave, updated July 28, 2007, accessed September 13, 2016; Durham Parish Vestry Minutes, 1776-1777, 1791-1811, Special Collections, Durham Parish Collection, p. 47-49, 51, 53-58, 61, 63, 65-66, 68-73, 76, 78, 83, 91, 93, 95, 113-114, 119, 122, 129-131, 133 [MSA SC 2604-1-1, SCM 9950-1 (scanned)]. Since he is not listed in many of the records after this point, it is hard to know if he was still considered a vestryman between 1795-1797, and 1797-1799 since his attendance record was not, in those years and afterwards as consistent as it had been between 1791-1795, possibly because of other civic duties. Interestingly, after 1800, he was called Gen. John Mitchell, likely because of service in the militia. His son, John H.T.S. was later a member of the vestry from 1808 to 1811.

[30] Session Laws, 1811 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 614, 74; The Laws of Maryland from the End of the Year 1799 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 192, 1183, 1184; “John Mitchell to Thomas Jefferson, 26 February 1810,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Durham Parish Vestry Minutes, 1791-1811, Special Collections, Durham Parish Collection, p. 8-9, 12 [MSA SC 2604-1-1, SCM 9950-1 (scanned)].

[31] “[Diary entry: 30 May 1771],” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, “Old Durham Parish Church historic marker,” CH-851 [MSA SE5-30950]; Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, “Old Durham Church (Christ Episcopal Church),” CH-63 [MSA SE5-7900].

[32] Thatcomb land tract, 1783, Assessment of 1783, CV 2nd District, p. 20 [MSA S1161-3-2, 1/4/5/46 (scanned)]; Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, “Linden,” CH-48 [MSA SE5-7882]; Earle, 115-16, 119; Christopher R. Eck, Southern Maryland’s Historic Landmarks (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2016), 101. This farm was not Linden as some sources have indicated since a wealthy merchant in Port Tobacco, Henry Barnes, owned the property at the time. Walter Mitchell would not occupy the property until much later. Some claim that John Mitchell built the property of Linden but this cannot be confirmed.

[33] Census of 1790 for Charles County, U.S. Census Bureau, Maryland Census Record, p. 576 [MSA SM61-7, SCM 2053-1 (scanned)]; Census of 1800 for Charles County’s Durham Parish, U.S. Census Bureau, Maryland Census Record, p. 495 [MSA SM61-28, SCM 2055-3 (scanned)]; Census of 1810 for Charles County, U.S. Census Bureau, Maryland Census Record, p. 315 [MSA SM61-48, SCM 2060-4 (scanned)]. This average comes from these records: 21 enslaved blacks in 1790, 24 enslaved blacks in 1800 and 16 enslaved blacks in 1810. Other census information shows that in 1790 two white people over the age of 16, one free white male under age 16, and three white females lived in the household. The 1800 census on the other hand shows 32 people, in total, living in the household, including two free white males under the age of 10, one free white male under the age of 16, two free white males under age 45, two free white women under the age of 10, and one free white woman over the age of 45. This could mean that Mitchell had indentured servants or other wage-workers at his plantation. The final census used here is the 1810 census which lists one white male under age two, one white male up to age 10, one white male above age 45, one white woman age 10 or older, one white woman under age 20, and one white female of age 45 and older.

[34] “John Mitchell to Thomas Jefferson, 26 February 1810,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Durham Parish Vestry Minutes, 1776-1777, Special Collections, Durham Parish Collection, p. 57 [MSA SC 2604-1-1, SCM 9950-1 (scanned)].

[35] “John Mitchell to Thomas Jefferson, 26 February 1810,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016; Westward of Fort Cumberland: Military Lots Set Off for Maryland’s Revolutionary Soldiers (ed. Mary K. Meyer, Baltimore: Heritage Books, 1994), 4; Indenture of John Mitchell to Thomas Crackell, 1780, Charles County Court, Land Records, Liber V 3, p. 480-481 [MSA CE 82-36]; Indenture of John Mitchell to George Noble Lyles, 1803, Charles County Court, Land Records, Liber IB 5, p. 326-329 [MSA CE 82-43].

[36] Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, “Holly Springs,” CH-109 [MSA SE5-7941]; Peter Kolchin, American Slavery: 1619-1877 (New York: Hill and Wang, 2003, reprint), 34; Jeffrey Richardson Brackett, The Negro in Maryland: A Study of the Institution of Slavery Vol. 6 (Baltimore: N. Murray, 1889), 49, 52. He was the brother of Samuel Hanson, a member of the lower house for Charles County. This means that Mitchell was among many of the white households of the Maryland and Virginia tidewater region who owned enslaved blacks, many of whom, in Maryland, lived in Calvert and Charles counties. Other counties with large enslaved black populations were Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties.

[37] Gen. John Mitchell Will, November 14, 1812, Charles County Register of Wills, Estate Papers, MdHR 7326-15 [MSA C651-16, 1/8/11/34]; Hanson, 119; Genealogies of Virginia FamiliesFrom Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine Vol. 1 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007), 119; Will of John Mitchell, February 1812, Charles County Register of Wills, Wills, MdHR 7294, Liber HBBH 13, p. 192, 194 [MSA C681-14, 1/8/10/14]; Genealogies of Virginia Families: From Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine Vol. 1 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007), 118. He was born with the name of John Truman Stoddert Heaberd Mitchell or John T. S. Heaberd Mitchell for the short, with Heaberd sometimes spelled as Heberd. He is not the same person as John Truman Stoddert who was born to different parents.

[38] John Herbert Truman Stoddart Mitchell and John Mitchell vs. John Courts and Priscilla Courts in the case of William Smallwood’s estate, 1800, Chancery Court, Chancery Papers, MdHR 17898-3602 [MSA S512-3720, 1/36/3/65]; Pension of William Smallwood, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2202, pension number B. L. Wt. 656-1100. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Harrison Dwight Cavanagh, Colonial Chesapeake Families: British Origins and Descendants Vol. 2 (Bloomington, IN: XLibris, 2014), 189; Genealogies of Virginia Families: From Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine Vol. 1 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007), 118.

[39] Pension of William Smallwood; Papenfuse, Edward C., et. al. “William Smallwood,” in A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789, vol. 2:  I-Z. Baltimore:  The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979, pp. 741. John Courts may have been related to William Courts.

[40] Catherine Barnes Mitchell gravestone, Find A Grave, updated November 24, 2012, accessed September 7, 2016; Will of John Mitchell, 193.

[41] John Barnes petition for letters of the estate of General Mitchell, October 12, 1814, Charles County Register of Wills, Estate Papers, MdHR 7326-17 [MSA C651-17, 1/8/11/36]; Will of John Mitchell, 193; Gen Walter Hanson Jennifer Mitchell gravestone, Find A Grave, updated June 8, 2011, accessed September 7, 2016. He would later serve as a Confederate general in the Civil War.

[42] Appointments of John Mitchell, 1794-1796, Adjutant General, Militia Appointments, MdHR 5587, Militia Appointments Liber 2, p. 90, 94 [MSA S348-2, 2/6/5/10]; Earle, 116. This resource is also scanned at SR 2332. This confirms Earle, among other sources, that claim that he was in charge of state militia in Charles County before his death.

[43] Session Laws, 1797 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 652, 93.

[44] Appointment of John Mitchell, 1801-1802, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1900 [MSA S1082-3, 2/26/4/40]; Resignation of John Mitchell, 1802-1803, Governor and Council, Appointment List, MdHR 1901 [MSA S1082-4, 2/26/4/40].

[45] Maryland 1804 Electoral College, District 1 election, A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787-1825, Tufts University, accessed September 14, 2016; Maryland 1796 Electoral College, District 1 election, A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787-1825, Tufts University, accessed September 14, 2016.

[46] Maryland 1808 Electoral College, District 1 election, A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787-1825, Tufts University, accessed September 14, 2016; Maryland 1808 U.S. House of Representatives, District 1 election, A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787-1825, Tufts University, accessed September 14, 2016.

[47] “John Mitchell to Thomas Jefferson, 26 February 1810,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016.

[48] Capt. John Mitchell gravestone, Find A Grave, updated November 12, 2012, accessed September 7, 2016.

[49] Will of John Mitchell, 191-195; John Barnes petition for letters of the estate of General Mitchell. The enslaved blacks included four male children named Pegy, Phil, Allen, John (given to him by Richard Barnes) and Davie, one female child named Anney, and Sophia, the mother of Davie. Interestingly, he said his son John was entitled to 1/6 part of the enslaved black child, named John.

[50] He allowed for his sons Walter and Richard to own his plantation if his wife died. In the event that his sons died, then the ownership of his plantation would be transferred to his daughters Mary and Elizabeth.

[51] Gen. John Mitchell Will; Inventory of John Mitchell, 1813, Charles County Register of Wills, Inventories, MdHR 7306-1, p. 104-108 [MSA C665-15, 1/8/10/26]; Gen. John Mitchell Inventory, June 11, 1813, Charles County Register of Wills, Estate Papers, MdHR 7326-16 [MSA C651-16, 1/8/11/35]. Mitchell owned books such as Volume 1 of John Marshall’s Life of Washington, Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia, and David Hume’s Eight Volume History of England, a volume of John Locke’s works, and Newton Principles of Philosophy. His inventory also shows that he was a “gentleman” planter, and that his plantation had cotton, spinning wheel, plows and wheelbarrows, among other possessions.

[52] Catherine Mitchell Petition, June 9, 1813, Charles County Register of Wills, Estate Papers, MdHR 7326-16 [MSA C651-16, 1/8/11/35]; Catherine Mitchell petition for a process, December 9, 1812, Charles County Register of Wills, Estate Papers, MdHR 7326-14 [MSA C651-14, 1/8/11/33].

[53] Inventories of John and Catherine Mitchell, 1824, Charles County Register of Wills, Inventories, MdHR 7309-1, p. 454-455, 457-460, 468-474 [MSA C665-18, 1/8/20/29]; Inventories of John and Catherine Mitchell, 1821, Charles County Register of Wills, Inventories, MdHR 7308-1, p. 386-389 [MSA C665-17, 1/8/20/28].

[54] John Barnes vs. Walter H.J. Mitchell with an injunction against execution of judgment, 1836, Chancery Court, Chancery Papers, MdHR 17898-6518 [MSA S512-6577, 1/37/3/40]; Walter H. Mitchell vs. John Barnes on the issue of the estate of Mary B. Barnes and an enslaved black named William, 1836, Chancery Court, Chancery Papers, MdHR 17898-9458 [MSA S512-9373, 1/38/5/3]; Catherine Mitchell Testamentary Bond, December 8, 1815, Charles County Register of Wills, Estate Papers, MdHR 7326-18 [MSA C651-18, 1/8/11/37]; Gen. John Mitchell Testamentary Bond, November 14, 1812, Charles County Register of Wills, Estate Papers, MdHR 7326-15 [MSA C651-15, 1/8/11/34]; John Mitchell Administration Bond, December 8, 1814, Charles County Register of Wills, Estate Papers, MdHR 7326-17 [MSA C651-17, 1/8/11/36].

[55] Walter H.J. Mitchell Guardian Bond, December 8, 1815, Charles County Register of Wills, Estate Papers, MdHR 7326-18 [MSA C651-18, 1/8/11/37].

[56] Federal Gazette, Baltimore, October 31, 1812, Vol. XXXVIII, issue 5734, p. 3; Edward L. Larson, A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America’s First Presidential Campaign (New York: Free Press, 2007), 147; Philip I. Blumberg, Repressive Jurisprudence in the Early American Republic: The First Amendment and the Legacy of English Law (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 42; Bruce Ackerman, The Failure of the Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Marshall, and the Rise of Presidential Democracy (London: Belknap Press, 2010), 320; Religion and the American Presidency (ed. Mark J. Rozell and Gleaves Whitney, New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2007), 48-49; Eric R. Schlereth, An Age of Infidels: The Politics of Religious Controversy in the Early United States (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 124; L. Marx Renzulli, Maryland: The Federalist Years (Madison: Fairleigh University Press, 1972), 183; Cheryl C. Boots, Singing for Equality: Hymns in the American Antislavery and Indian Rights Movements, 1640-1855 (London: McFarland and Symbol Company, 2013), 82; John C. Nefane, Violence Against the Press: Policing the Public Sphere in U.S. History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 70; Frank A. Cassell, Merchant Congressman in the Young Republic: Samuel Smith of Maryland, 1752-1839 (Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1971), 72, 83, 89; A. Rachel Minick, A History of Printing in Maryland 1791-1800 (Baltimore: Enoch Pratt Free Library, 1949), 42, 43, 44. They also took a position in favor of church property, against deists, and carried an obit of a black preacher, Richard Allen. John Hewes, editor of the paper, was called a “federalist editor” by Eric R. Schlereth.

[57] Federal Gazette, Baltimore, Dec. 7, 1811, Vol. XXXV, issue 5455, p. 2. It is not known whether they were right about Mitchell not being adequately compensated but he did petition the state legislature in 1811, along with Robert Halkerstone of Charles County, for relief as a late revolutionary officer.

[58] Testimony of John Worthington and Nicholas Brice on “the attack on the Federal Republican Office,” 1812, Maryland State Archives, Accession Problems and Miscellaneous [MSA T68-14-2, 2/4/2/14].

[59] “Important Letter from France. From the Federal Republican,” Federal Gazette, Baltimore, June 3, 1812, Vol. XXXVI, issue 5608, p. 2; “From the Federal Republican,” Federal Gazette, Baltimore, April 15, 1812, Vol. XXXVI, issue 5566, p. 2; “The “6257”. From the Federal Republican,” Federal Gazette, Baltimore, May 9, 1812, Vol. XXXVI, issue 5587, p. 3; Federal Gazette, Baltimore, March 12, 1812, Vol. XXXVI, issue 5537, p. 3; “From the Federal Republican. Disbursement of Public Money,” Federal Gazette, Baltimore, Vol. XXXVI, issue 5500, p. 2; Federal Gazette, Baltimore, December 2, 1812, Vol. XXXVIII, issue 5761, p. 3; Federal Gazette, Baltimore, October 21, 1812, Vol. XXXVIII, issue 5725, p. 3; “Congress of the United States,” Federal Gazette, Baltimore, June 17, 1812, Vol. XXXVI, issue 5620, p. 3; Federal Gazette, Baltimore, June 9, 1812, Vol. XXXVI, issue 5612, p. 2; Federal Gazette, Baltimore, June 19, 1812, Vol. XXXVI, issue 5622, p. 3; “Letter of Edwin Gray,” Federal Gazette, Baltimore, June 5, 1812, Vol. XXXVI, issue 5610, p. 2; “Philadelphia, June 15,” Federal Gazette, June 16, 1812, Vol. XXXVI, issue 5619, p. 3.

[60] Michael Schudson, Discovering the News, Key Readings in Journalism (ed. Elliot King and Jane L. Chapman, New York: Routledge, 2012), 16. The Gazette was also, like many papers before the 1830s, was trying to gain a “readership of commercial elites.” Additionally, the paper was changing ownership with longtime editor, John Hewes, selling the paper to thirty-seven year-old William Gwynn, who would remain the paper’s editor until 1833. The paper’s publishers likely also changed, who were also federalist, named Leonard Yundt and Matthew Brown as noted by the Library of Congress. Hewes’s letter discussing the sale is also available as part of the William Allen Blankenship, Jr., Collection.

Sickened Marylanders and the Philadelphia Bettering House

Reposted from Academia.edu. I originally wrote this when working at the Maryland State Archives on the Maryland 400 project. There is one slight change of names, from Abigail Smith to Abigail Adams.

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 Adams. 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 Otto. During 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.

Persecuted in Revolutionary Baltimore: The Sufferings of Quakers

Reposted from Academia.edu. I originally wrote this when I was working for the Maryland State Archives on the Finding the Maryland 400 project.

“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.

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

Reposted from Academia.edu. I originally wrote this when I worked at the Maryland State Archives on the Finding the Maryland 400 project.

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.