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].

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.