“…the new Regiment now raising”: Continuing the story of the Extra Regiment

The 2nd Maryland Regiment at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781. This regiment was broadly the successor of the Regiment Extra. Courtesy of the Military Print Company.

In our last post, many of the contours of the Maryland Extra Regiment/Regiment Extra were outlined. This post aims to expand that story. It was pointed out that Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Lawson Smith (called Alexander Smith in the rest of this article), described as a “gentleman Who’s Conduct & Bravery deserves Your Excellency notice” by Harford County’s Richard Dallam in a letter to Maryland Governor Thomas Sim Lee on July 14, 1780, led the regiment. [1] Within this unit, Maryland 400 veterans Samuel Luckett, Josias Miller, John Plant, Charles Smith, and James Farnandis were all mid or high-ranking military officers. This post aims to outline the known members of the Extra Regiment beyond these six individuals using available information, telling more of the story of this regiment which is broadly lost to history. Sometimes this will overlap with what was said in the previous post, but generally it will be new information to expand existing scholarship on the subject.

Recruiting and desertion within the Extra Regiment

In July of 1780, to alleviate the “Exigencies of the War in the Southern Department” or southern theater of the Revolutionary War, the Council of Maryland ordered the creation of this regiment. Originally, it was supposed to consist of 531 men, with orders it be ready by July. [2] However, recruiting was so abysmal that hardly “one-half the promised number was obtained.” This means that there was less than 265 men, with exactly 228 in the regiment, commanded by Mr. Alexander Smith, by December, marching later that year. This was not only because the state did not have sufficient funds for the recruitment of individuals into the regiment, later giving men 1,500 pounds to serve for only a three-month period, a successful measure, but also trying to draw in former deserters. The latter was compounded by armed boats reportedly “maned by the torys” in the lower part of Dorcester County, suppressed by Lieutenant Jonathan Smoot, later a captain, who burned the houses of those who held pro-British Crown sympathies and hung others of the same political persuasion.

The other problems of deserters was outlined by Benjamin MacKall, recruiter for the regiment in Calvert County, who told Col. Uriah Forest that in July only one man joined the Extra Regiment, with two enlisted, and former deserters, escaping by “breaking through the Prison wall.” Adding to this was that fact that the local militia was not paying more than 5% toward procuring new recruits for the regiment, leading certain counties to not fulfill their quotas required to fill the ranks of new regiment. Still, in some counties, like Queen Anne’s, 31 men were enlisted by William Hemsley even with lackluster recruiting in general.

Other problems with recruiting the necessary men led to continuing pleas. As the “extravagant prices given to Soldiers” for the regiment reduced recruiting for other regiments, new recruits were even furnished “with meat” so that they would stay within the ranks. This confirms that the idea that Maryland abandoned the idea of an Extra Regiment after the Battle of Camden on August 16 is completely erroneous. Nine days after that battle, the Council of Maryland  wrote the wife of Governor Lee, Mary Digges Lee, saying:

We are very anxious to send forward the Regiment Extraordinary to reinforce the American Army. The Impracticability of procuring immediately by Purchase, a Sufficient Quantity of Linen, for Shirts for all the Men, induces us to solicit your Assistance at this Emergency, and to request a Loan of two hundred and sixty Shirts, which we will not fail to replace when you may deem it necessary to demand them.

In later months, the situation would seem to get worse. Fifty men within the regiment, as of September 17, were in the hospital, and “a number” deserted, but the Continental Congress still directed the state of Maryland to take certain measures “for the march of the new raised Regiment.” As the year progressed, the soldiers of the regiment were clothed, even with continuing desertions and defections to “the Enemy’s vessels,” and was given the appropriate supplies for its imminent march Southward. Some soldiers were even rejected by the state, but then were allowed to march again under certain circumstances. Even the paymaster of southern department, Joseph Clay, was given 2,060 dollars on October 25 by the Continental Congress to enable the “extra regiment…to proceed to the Southward.” [3] It was around this time that the Maryland legislature set the stage for the final dissolution of the regiment, by saying that “the non-commissioned officers and privates of the regiment extra ordinary be draughted into the old battalions of the quota of this state in the continental service, and that the field and commissioned officers of said regiment be recalled” with Mr. Alexander Smith holding “the rank of lieutenant-colonel, as a supernumerary officer of this state in the continental service.” This does not mean that the regiment was abolished as other records prove that the regiment stayed intact until the following year.

On September 21, Mr. Alexander Smith was given his orders for marching the regiment, which he would follow and execute when the unit marched in December to join the Continental Army:

“The board think proper to direct That you proceed from :Annapolis as soon as circumstances will permit, on your March to Join the Southern Army by way of Alexandria to orange Court House & from thence by Charlotteville to Hillsborough. Alexandria being but two or three days march from Annapolis. Your men can take Provisions enough with them to last them thither, should there be no Issuing Post between. You will write to Col James Wood Commanding at Charlotteville, informing him when you expect to leave Annapolis. & on your March give him information of your movements by every private opportunity, it will not be necessary that you send Expresses. If on your route to Charlotteville you should receive orders from Col. Wood to halt, or hasten your March you will obey them, & from thence forward put yourself entirely under his Command, but if Col Wood should not find it necessary to alter your destination, you will proceed as already directed.”

As discussed earlier, the extra regiment dissolved before the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, never seeing action under its name, with most of the regiment’s men, but not all, merging into the Second Maryland Regiment. Some, such as Samuel Hanson, one of the regiment’s ensigns, joined the 2nd Maryland. Lieutenant Colonel John Eager Howard wrote, as reprinted on page 87 of Cool deliberate courage: John Eager Howard in the American Revolution:

“there was a new regiment [Extra Regiment] sent out from Maryland which had been raised by the state, and it was thought that the officers had been more favored than the officers of the old regiments. It joined us a few days before the action and there were such jealousies among the officers that Genl Greene sent all the new officers home, and made a new arrangement of the two regiments. This was at the time my light infantry [troops who fought at the Battle of Cowpens] joined their regiments. The most of the new men were thrown into the second regiment which was very deficient of officers”

While some records show that some left the regiment on January 1st, it was not until February 12 that the Maryland General Assembly confirmed that the regiment was no more. Regardless, there is agreement among those who submitted pensions and with the existing records that the regiment was dismembered before the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, with the officers returning home as “Supernumerary” meaning that they stayed part of the Continental Army but were not “part of the regular staff,” the regular group of officers. This explains why, in February, Mr. Alexander Smith was allowed to “hold the Rank of Lieutenant Colonel as a supernumerary Officer in this State in the continental Service.” The following month, the General Assembly said that the regiment had been “reduced,” recalling the field and commissioned officers, along with non-commissioned officers and privates, within old regiments, which confirmed what had happened earlier that year. By June 11, the Council of Maryland noted that several former soldiers within the old regiments and extra regiment applied for their bounties and they wished to “do justice to them” by giving them the money they deserved.

Who served in the regiment?

As noted in the previous section, 228 men were in the regiment as of December 1780. Even with this number of men, only the names of 184, at most, including some who later deserted, are known through remaining digitized paper records. If the number of 228 is taken as a fact, then that means that 44 names are not known. But, if the number of 531 men, the number they were aiming for with the creation of this regiment, then 347 names, at most, would not be known. Based on the fact that the regiment had problems with recruiting, it is more likely that between 44-100 names are not known.

From available information, it is evident that there were eight companies led by Captains James Gillespie, from Washington County, Samuel Cock (7th Company), a “young man with some property and of a very credible family,” Mr. Charles Smith (Maryland 400 veteran), Benjamin Murdock (1st Company), Vachel Burgess, Samuel McLane, Henry Hill (son of Henry), and Montjoy/Mountjoy Bailey/Bayley, who later went on to be a captain in the Second Maryland Regiment and Seventh Maryland Regiment. [4] There was also Captain Archibald Golder, sometimes spelled incorrectly as Colder. But, he was described in numerous documents as the regiment’s paymaster. [5] Hence, it is not known if he commanded a company or not. If there were eight companies and each had 55 people, this means there was about of 480 people, but since 531 were originally requested for the regiment, this means that there may have been an idea to create 10, 11, 12, 13, or even 14 companies, although this did not occur.

According to the records, there were twelve lieutenants within the Extra Regiment. They were Francis Shepard/Sheppard, Samuel McLane, Ignatius Boone/Boon (earlier an ensign), John Plant (earlier an ensign), Samuel Hamilton, Samuel Hanson of Walt, John Lucas, Samuel Jones, Mr. Samuel Luckett, and Charles Magruder (earlier an ensign). [6] There are eight other mid-level officers known. These men include ensigns Basil Clements, James Bickham, Ignatius Blandford, Theodore Middleton, Nathaniel Magruder, Mr. Josias Miller, Basil Gaither, and Joshua Warfield. [7] There was also Major Edward Giles, an officer who was second-in-command of the regiment.

Luckily some information survives on promotion and resignation of certain ranks. On September 1, Mr. Charles Smith, Samuel Cock, Archibald Golder, Samuel Hanson, Mr. Josias Miller, and James Bigham? resigned their ranks, while Benjamin Murdoch, Vachel Burgess, Francis Shepard, Samuel McLane, John Lucas, Charles Magruder, Mr. Samuel Luckett, Ignatius Boone/Boon, Theodore Middleton, John Plant, Jacob Gray, and Basil Clements were promoted. When this happened, the newly appointed ensigns to the unit were told that if they accept this promotion, they will “repair as soon as possible to this Place, to take Command.”

The records of ordinary soldiers in the Extra Regiment are thin. A digital copy showing the return of those within Samuel Cock’s Seventh Company is incomplete. There is only one page with the full return, of 55 men, and another showing 60 men within the company. Other pages are ripped off, only showing 18 or 29 men respectively. [8] They were clearly drawn from Prince George’s, Charles, Queen Anne’s, Kent, Wicomico, Worchester, and Charles counties, to name a few, as the records indicate. Some are listed as sick, others on furlough or not joined. The full return, with most of the men with blankets, shirts, shoes, and other equipment, with a few exceptions. [9] By later September, only 37 of Cock’s company were present and able to march. The others were either sick in an Annapolis hospital, deserted from Annapolis, hadn’t joined the company, sick in a Philadelphia Hospital, were “on command,” or deserted at the Head of Elk earlier that month. [10]

There are scattered records of others who enlisted in the regiment. In July, there were 30 men who were described as the “1st 30 for Extra Regiment.” [11] Seventeen others were mentioned at the end of this list. It is not known if they enlisted in the regiment or not. [12] On August 16, six men enlisted in the regiment (William Gloury, Francis McClain, John Butler, Peter Scott, James Scott, and Thomas Beaver), all of whom went down to Annapolis aboard “the Sloop Liberty.” By November, there were 28 more within the regiment’s ranks, with numerous desertions and non-joiners not among them. [13] If this isn’t enough, there are assorted records for 24 individuals. One of them, John Hard, was “old & Deaf” and confined for desertion, which was different from the capture of John Collins, a private who had deserted to Kent County. [14]

Three other individuals seemed as people who wanted to join the regiment. In July 1780, William Hopewell of Salisbury, within Wicomico County, requested to have a command position within the regiment. Nothing else of Mr. Hopewell is known. The same month, Daniel Jennifer, in Charles County’s Port Tobacco, said that he would be “glad” to be officer as part of the regiment. The same goes for Jacob Bythe who was proposed as a lieutenant for the regiment but the story ends there. Constantine Wright was part of the regiment reportedly as well and Private Jacob Blake was possibly a soldier, but his enlistment has not been confirmed. In all, Matthew Garner, Samuel Hanson (whose father was undoubtedly Walter, who said this son was a prisoner in April 1781), Charles Magruder, Vachel Burgess, Francis Shepard, and John Bryan were veterans of the Maryland 400, as noted in our last post.

Pensions and closing

While existing records only show records for 184 men in the regiment, only a few actually wrote pensions. Specifically 19 men had pensions:

  1. Lt. Col. Alexander Lawson Smith [15]
  2. Captain Charles Smith [16]
  3. Captain Benjamin Murdock/Murdoch (includes a statement in which Montjoy Bayley asserts he was a captain in the regiment)
  4. Captain Montjoy Bayley [17]
  5. Captain Archibald Golder [18]
  6. Lieutenant Samuel Luckett [19]
  7. Lieutenant John Plant (previously an ensign) [20]
  8. Ensign Josias Miller [21]
  9. Ensign Theodore Middleton [22]
  10. Private John McKay/McCay (new person not previously mentioned)
  11. Private William Elkins (new person not previously mentioned)
  12. Private John Shanks (new person not previously mentioned)
  13. Private John McKay (new person not previously mentioned)
  14. Private William Groves (who may have later become an ensign)
  15. Private Jesse Boswell (new person not previously mentioned)
  16. Private Giles Thomas (new person not previously mentioned)
  17.  Private Philip Huston (new person not previously mentioned)
  18. Private Thomas Gadd (confirms regiment was broken up before battle)
  19. Private William Patton
  20. Private John Newton [23]

Others, such as James Hopkins, have no pension but are mentioned in other pensions, like his brother’s pension in this case. This means that less than 11% of the men within the regiment, currently known, wrote pensions. Even the pensions themselves don’t say much about the regiment as a whole. There may be even more since some of the names may be spelled differently in the pension records than those in the muster rolls.

Hence, it is hard to know the full story of those within the regiment, but the information gathered in this article and put into sections, brings it into public view, which is helpful for those researching their family lineage and those interested in military history.

Notes

[1] Beverly W. Bond, Jr., “Chapter III: Military Aid” within “State Government in Maryland 1777-1781,” Johns Hopkins University Studies, Series 23, Nos. 3-4 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, March-April 1905), p. 38-39.

[2] While Mr. Alexander Smith resigned from the position of Lieutenant Colonel on September 1st, 1780, he was re-promoted by the Council of Maryland the following day to the same position!

[3] Journals of Congress, From January 1st, 1780 to January 1st, 1781 (Philadelphia: David C. Claypoole, 1781), 341-342.

[4] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 56, 241, 367, 370, 444; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 233, 234, 338; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 54, 60; “Autograph Letters,” American Historical Record Vol. I, No. 4, April 1872, p. 175. As Thomas Johnson notes in this July 16, 1780 letter, Mr. Cock requested to a captain in the regiment in July. Also see the pensions of Robert Green, Solomon Turner, Aquilla Smith, Wilson Moore, William Nick, John Ferguson, and Patrick Connolly for other mentions of Mr. Bayley, who has a service card on Fold3, but apparently no pension. He would later be listed as living in Frederick County, just like the rest of the Bayley/Bailey family in Maryland, and lived a total of 81 years.

[5] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 335; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 250, 253, 371; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 54, 94.

[6] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 233, 234, 262; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 325, 367, 370, 415; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 58, 60. A man named Edward Hood was “awarded a pension as a ‘maimed’ soldier in the 1st Regt. of the Maryland line” and says he “served under Captains Samuel Griffin, Samuel Jones and Nicholas Gassaway.”

[7] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 294, 334, 367; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 60, 94, 129; Congressional serial set (Washington: G.P.O, date not known), 133. Page 25 of Lawrence E. Babits’s A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens, notes that Edward Giles is part of the Extra Regiment.

[8] Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, folder 28, roll 0034. Courtesy of Fold3.com. Here are the 29 listed on the first and second pages of the record: Jonathan Deare, Jacob Hofselton, John Burk, William Devine, Jacob Guttinger, Jacob Hofselton (different from above), Christopher Hambert, Thomas Ball, John Smith, Thomas Burk, George Hamilton, Michael McGowery, Michael Redmond, William Gillisby, John Desmond, Michael Moon, ? Graydy, John Flowson, John Barker, Isam Coleman, Thomas Glifson?, James Hopkins, Isiah Mason, John Clark, Lenard Smith (close, but not his pension), John Jackson, Josias Miller, John Anderson, and ? Gibson (crossed out). Here are the 18 soldiers listed on pages 3 and 4 (and 5?) of the document: Michael Garner, Henry Savage, Christopher Miller, Michael Longisfetter?[full name cannot be read], Michael Redman, John Barker, Thomas Burke, William Devine, John Butler, John McCarty, John Burk, Morris Leary, Gary Hamilton, Chris? Lamford, Michael McGowan, John Morris, William Falton, and Philip Fitzpatrick.

[9] The following are those listed in the full return: William Ewing, Patrick Pharple? [unreadable], Theophilus Cumford, Joseph McLain, Michael Cofner, Laughlin Fannen, Michael Longisfetter [unreadable], Henry Savage, John Butler, John Morris, William Patton, William Preft, Joseph Wright, James Thomson/Thompson who was recommended for captain of the regiment by William Hemsley, Roger Swanson, Michael Mann, John Derr who is pardoned by the governor later on (there is a John Derr with a pension who served in the Maryland Line, number S. 12762, but it is not known if this is him although some indications seem to indicate it could be; he is described as a deserter at one point), Jacob Hartman, John Burk, William Devine (some indications that pension number R.2906 is him but this cannot be confirmed), Jacob Citleringer, Jacob Hofselton, Christopher Flamb, Thomas Ball, John Smith (there are eight John Smiths who have MD pensions as an ancestry search shows, but none of them seem to be him), Thomas Burk, George Hammilton, Michael McGowan, Michael Redmond, William Gibson, John Desmond,  John McCarty, Philip Fitzpatrick, William Siggs [unreadable], John Enerson [unreadable], Michael Stoelker, Peter Pomish?, John Reyler, William Deyler, John Ellison, Jonathan Parker, James Woodward, James Neel, Jacob Meyers, Morris Leary, Henry Creger, William Diach, David Crady, John Flower, John Barker, Thomas Gibson, John Colman, John C[?]Millan, James Hopkins, and John Clare.

[10] John Allison Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see pages 4-5. Courtesy of Fold3.com; John Burke Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 5. Courtesy of Fold3.com; William Divine Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; John Clare Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; William Gilasby Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Leonard Smith Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see pages 2-4. Courtesy of Fold3.com; William Ewing Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; John Smith Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Michael Steeker Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Roger Sullivan Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Joseph White Service Card; Rolls of Extraordinary Regiment, 1780, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, National Archives, NARA M246, Record Group 93, see page 2. Courtesy of Fold3.com. Specifically, the Fold3 muster rolls, not the serve cards, show that John Clare “deserted from Annapolis”  three were sick in an Annapolis Hospital, six deserted at Head of Elk on Sept. 3 (William Ewing, Joseph White, Roger Sullivan, John Smith, Michael [last name cannot be made out], and James Hopkins), six hadn’t joined (John Jackson, Josias Miller, John Anderson, Morris Leary, Thomas Gibson, John Neale), three were sick in Philly Hospital (William Gillaspie, Christopher Lambert, and Patrick Charro?), and four were on command (Josiah Mason, Thomas Burke, ? Woodward, and Michael Redman), leaving a company which is supposed to be 60, of actually only 37. Service Cards confirm this, showing that John Burke and William Devine were sick in an Annapolis hospital, that John Clare deserted from Annapolis, that William Gillaspie/Gilasby was sick in Philly hospital and Leonard Smith was sick on furlough, and having records of five who deserted at “Head of Elk”: William Ewing, John Smith, Michael Streeker, Roger Sullivan, and Joseph White. Also, a man named John Allison is mentioned on a return of Sept. 29, 1780 as present, but noting else is known.

[11] These men were Thomas Pendoor, James Bigwood, George Clarke, John Higgins, John Pickering, William Stewart (close, but not his pension), Daniel Bulger, John McGuire, Edward Daw, William Cox, John Maginnis, James Barrow, Joseph Floyd, John Harvey, Jesse McCarty, Henry Crane, William Curtin (related to Thomas Certain?), John Whealand, Thomas McBride, John McCoune in place of William Quinton, Thomas Maddin, John Buller, Patrick Smith, Richard Downes, John Smith, Patrick Cavenough, Thomas Shears, Thomas Ahair, Thomas Pennifield, and Richard Kisby.

[12] These seventeen others, not including dead James North or deserter John Tucker, are: Richard Whiley, Patrick Riley, John Butcher, John Robbins, Robert Ferrell, John Jones, Elijah Clarke, John Freeman, Anthony Wedge, William Groves, Thomas Elliss, Thomas Matthews, Stephen Fennell, Thomas Burch, Charles Reynolds (possibly mentioned in this pension), Timothy McLamar, and John Clayton.

[13] The list of “recruits and deserters,” were acquired by Queen Ann’s County officers, including William Hemsley, for the regiment, raised in July shows 2 people who deserted before joining (Thomas Fox and Valentine Saint Tee), three former deserters who never joined (Thomas Trew, Joseph Crouch, and James Chittendon), while three former deserters did join (David Willon, Thomas Terrett, and Benjamin Loftsman). Then there are the 25 regular people recruited who are not deserters: Thomas Yewell, George Duncan, Edward Legg, Charles White, Job Sylvester, Robert Legg, Thomas Gadd, William Aller, Daniel Dulany, John West Tate, Benjamin Lee, Richard Gemmeson, Edward Vickers, Elijah Barn, John Oliver (possibly him but cannot be confirmed), William Carter, John Moore, John West, Joseph Paggat, James Baver, Lambert Phillips, John Hickins, Richard Murphy, Timothy Connor, and Edward Dominie.

[14] The other 22 men are William Clements, James Bartclay, William Jeffries, Francis Rogers, Dennis Larey, John Cooper, Elisa Huff, George Plumbley, Bauer Wibb, Frederick James, Jesse Power (close but not his pension) William Hickin, Joseph Points, William Simmons (close but not his pension), Benjamin Smith (related to the other Smiths?), John Bryan, William Campbell, John Muir, William Holt, John Lewin, John Moore, and John Newton (“wounded in two instances” as a result of his fighting in the war).

[15] Pension of Alexander Lawson Smith, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 2208, pension number W. 4247. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[16] Pension of Charles Smith, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, W 25,002, from Fold3.com.

[17] Pension of Mountjoy Bayly, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, S-12094, BLWt 685-300. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

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

[19] Pension of Samuel Luckett, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, S 36,015. From Fold3.com.

[20] Pension of John Plant, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1942, pension number W. 26908. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[21] Pension of Josias Miller, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1728, pension number S. 40,160. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[22] Pension of Theodore Middleton, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, Record Group 15, Roll 1720, pension number S. 11,075. Courtesy of Fold3.com.

[23] Pension of John Newton, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, NARA M804, S.35009. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

Col. Barton Lucas: more than a military man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.