“An officer of the Revolution”: The story of Mountjoy Bayly

The Mountjoy Bayly House (also known as the Bayly House, Hiram W. Johnson House, Chaplains Memorial Building, Parkington, and Mott House) located at 122 Maryland Avenue, NE in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Photograph courtesy of Wikimiedia. Mr. Bayly lived in this house while working as a doorkeeper and sergeant-at-arms in the US Senate, building it not before 1812, but sometime between 1817 and 1822. Currently, this is the headquarters of the Fund for Constitutional Government and the Stewart R. Mott Foundation. Previously it was the headquarters of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

This post continues the series on Maryland’s Extra Regiment,  focusing on the postwar lives of certain members of the unit whom information is plentiful about to explain wide-ranging trends. Mountjoy/Montjoy Bayly, whose last name can be spelled Bayley, Baley, Bailey, and Baillie, was not like unit commander Alexander Lawson Smith, who settled in Harford County until his death in 1802. Likely of Scottish origin, Mountjoy mmigrated from Virginia, living in Frederick Town, within Frederick County. [1]

By the end of the war, in 1783, he had, for the time being, ended his varied military career. He served as an adjutant, and later a captain, in the 7th Maryland Regiment, from December 1776 to September 1778, when he resigned, sending George Washington a letter acknowledging this reality. [2] Within his duties as a captain, he fought at the Battle of Brandywine. On the day of the battle, on September 11, 1777, he led a patrol of Maryland soldiers wearing red coats, with a Quaker and “well-to-do farmer,” named Joel Baily, thinking that they were the British and welcomed them heartily as a result. [3] However, Mountjoy soon would be out of commission for many years.

Within the sweltering weather and rough battle of Monmouth, in New Jersey, on June 18, 1778, he “broke a blood vessel” which rendered him “unfit for duty.” He remained unable to “do duty until the Spring of 1780,” sitting in a Pennsylvania hospital, as he said years later in his federal veterans pension application. [4] While he sat in the hospital, in an “unfortunate disposition,” his regiment was ordered south, as he recalls. Even though he was later considered an “invalid,” meaning that he had been injured in battle, he was still chosen as a captain in the Extra Regiment, which barely had a mention in his pension, only referenced in passing as the “additional regiment” of the Maryland Line. In later years, after serving in the Extra Regiment, he served as a recruiting officer in Frederick County and as “local city major and commandant of prisoners” in the town of Frederick as captured Hessian private Johann Conrad Döhla described him. [5] He placed people under arrest and oversaw Hessian prisoners, from 1781 to the end of the war. He even held a court-martial, in December 1781, in the town of Frederick since the officers commanding the militia in the county did not have, in his words, “the least Idea of discipline or indeed even distinction.”

Mountjoy’s life after the war

Fairfax County, Virginia (and surrounding counties) as pictured in Thomas Jeffery’s 1755 map. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

One year before the conclusion of the war, his father, William, died. However, Mountjoy still had many siblings and his mother, Mary, surviving him. He had six brothers (Pierce, William, Samuel, Joseph, Tarpley, and Robert), and three sisters (Sarah, Nancy, and Betty). [6] As a result of his father’s death he may have inherited his father’s land in Virginia, which likely included hundreds upon hundreds of acres. This is buttressed by the fact that Mountjoy was buying deeds to property in Fairfax County, Virginia in 1783 and 1784, along with part of a land agreement in 1782 with his father before his death. While Edward Papenfuse says he was entitled to 200 acres in Allegheny County for his service during the Revolutionary War, no record of his land plot in that county can currently be found. [7] However, Papenfuse may have a valid point in saying that he expanded his land holdings in Frederick County, including 47 acres of confiscated British property, and selling 192 acres between 1785 and 1805.

In 1784, Mountjoy cemented his ties with the Edelin/Edelen (Edelin is used in this article) family, prominent and wealthy within Frederick County, especially manifested in Christopher Edelin, a merchant who had become part of the local government in the county during the Revolutionary War. [8] As it turned out, Mountjoy married Elizabeth Edelin, the daughter of Christopher, with the connections between the two families continuing for years to come. He would have four children with Elizabeth, called by her first name in the rest of this article, named Benjamin, Richard, Eleanor, and Elizabeth. [9] Two land transactions the same year seems to indicate when Mountjoy was married. In September 1784, he paid a Baltimore merchant, Hugh Young, to buy a 450-acre tract known as “Victory” and later sold that same tract to Joseph Smith, who might be the son of the person it was originally surveyed for in 1773: Leonard Smith, when the tract consisted of 468 acres. [10] Since Elizabeth is not included on the first transaction, but is included on the second, this indicates she was possibly married to Mountjoy sometime between September 4 and 25.

Later in the 1780s, as Mountjoy continued to buy and sell land, Elizabeth would become more involved in these transactions, especially when it came to selling land. In December 1785, he bought the land on which his father-in-law, Christpher, previously mentioned, lived, which included a stone house and sat on a street in Frederick Town (present-day Frederick). [11] Not long after, he began his slave ownership, as much as we know. He bought an 19-year-old enslaved Black woman named “Pack” and an unnamed two-year-old enslaved Black female from Christopher. [12] These transactions were not surprising since Christopher would die the following year, 1786.

It would not be until 1787 that Elizabeth would agree with one of her husband’s sales. He would sell land to numerous individuals, such as Joseph Young and George Scott, while buying land from Benjamin Dulany, mortgaging land to George Schuertzell and Peter Mantz, a former major of the Maryland Flying Camp, as the Bayly family lived comfortably in Frederick Town. [13] This included one piece of land called Salsbury/Salisbury Plains which was originally surveyed for Christopher in 1774, and consisted of 131 acres. By 1789, there was another change: Mountjoy re-entered the US military in 1789 as a major, the first of his forays back into the armed services. [14]

Mountjoy, the Maryland House of Delegates, the “Whiskey Rebellion,” and French prisoners

A 1795 painting reportedly by Frederick Kemmelmeyer titled “The Whiskey Rebellion” which depicts George Washington and his troops near Fort Cumberland, MD before they suppress the revolting farmers in western Pennsylvania. Image is courtesy of Wikimedia.

As a story goes, on June 13, 1791, George Washington ascended a hill in Frederick County and looked over the “beautiful Monocacy Valley.” On that day, he was met by a “Cavalcade of Horsemen from Frederick” which included Mountjoy, and Colonel John McPherson, among others. [15] By this point, he had the political bug. While he had served as an auctioneer years earlier in Frederick County, it would not be until the mid-1780s and early 1790s he would serve as a delegate for Frederick County within the Maryland House of Delegates. [16] While serving as a legislator, he voted against creating a college on Maryland’s Western shore, supported the prohibition of taxes to help “ministers of the gospel of any denomination,” and helped prepare and bring in reports on inhabitants of Frederick Town and County. One year after his last legislative term, he rejoined the military as a brigadier general, serving in part of the Maryland Militia’s Ninth Brigade, based in the upper part of Frederick County. [17]

While Mountjoy only served in the armed forces, for the fourth time, from 1794 to 1795, he was involved in a strong assertion of federal power. From 1791 to 1794, angry farmers, which some call “protesters,” who declared themselves “Whiskey Boys,” attacked tax collectors in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. They did so because of the whiskey tax introduced by Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton, calling, in part, for a more progressive tax code that didn’t benefit the well-to-do. [18] Thomas Sim Lee, then the Governor of Maryland, organized state militia and “took an active part in the suppression of the Whisky Insurrection in western Pennsylvania and Maryland.” Governor Lee ordered Mountjoy to rally local militia in the area, arm them, place a guard at the arsenal, and instruct another Maryland general, Smith, to raise a force of 800 men to “restore order.” [19] By September 21, the rebelling farmers were dispersed, with most of them rounded up and turned over to the civil court system, as Governor Lee triumphantly told Hamilton. Mountjoy also met with Colonel Thomas Sprigg about guarding the “the magazine at Frederick.” He wrote two letters about this. The first to Governor Lee, on September 10, with part of this letter describing the political environment in Western Maryland, specifically Washington and Allegheny counties where a “Spirit of disorder” existed, with “actual riots and disturbances”:

I have thought it necessary to Send with the Arms &c Ordered to Allegany County a Strong Escort Consisting of one Complete Company. This I conceive will not be thought over cautious when your Excellency takes into View the existing Circumstances, these Arms &c will have to pass through Washington County Where the people are generally unfriendly to the present Views of the Government. Under this Idea of things I conceive it would be imprudent to risque the Supplies which you have Ordered.

Nine days later, Mountjoy wrote him another letter, in which he expanded on what he had said before:

In obedience to those orders, honoring me with the direction of the troops which your Excellency had commanded to rendezvouz at Frederick Town for the purpose of repressing that turbulent spirit which had violated peace & order and seemed to threaten Government itself in the Counties of Frederick Washington and Allegany…For that purpose I marched about 300 Infantry together with 70 horse through Harmans Gap which opens into the County of Washington near the Pennsylvania line, a rout which led me through the midst of those people whose turbulency it was your object to punish and repress. This was done with an intention to apprehend the characters who had been most active in their opposition to Governmt and whose names had been previously furnished to me for that purpose. It was supposed too that the appearance of an Armiment would have a very good effect, and convince those who had lost sight of their duty that Government could send forward a force at any time when necessity required it sufficient to inforce obedience to the Laws. On my arrival into Washington [County] I proceeded to carry into effect my arrangements by despatching the cavalry in quest of the Ringleaders. But upon the first display of the Horse, I found a party from Hagarstown [Hagerstown] had superceded the necessity of any exertion on my part, by having previously brought in those disorderly people to Justice. About the number of twenty [disorderly individuals] have been apprehended, all of which have been admitted to Bail except eight, these have not yet undergone their examination but most of them perhaps all of them will be committed to close Jail, without bail, however this is but opinion. Martin Bear and John Thompson had been examined before my arrival, and although both of them had been considered as notorious offenders they were admitted to Bail and to my great surprize Cols. [Thomas] Sprigg & [Rezin] Davis were their Securities. It is however but proper to add that upon the examination of these two men their was no evidence of their guilt save the general report as I am informed by those who were present [20]

Five years later, in September 1799, a captain in the First Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers, named Staats Morris (not the same as the British general of the same name) wrote to Hamilton about fifty French prisoners held by Mountjoy in Frederick Town. He says that

I have the honor to inform you that Lieut. Dyson returned from Frederick Town last night, having delivered the French prisoners (fifty in number) to Genl. Baily, as will appear by the enclosed receipt. By his report Lieut Newnan’s command is thought necessary as a guard over them. There have been several new cases of the fever at the fort since the date of my last letter; but from the report of the Surgeon and from the change in the weather, I am led to hope none will prove fatal. In my last letter I had the painful task of communicating to you the death of my young Kinsman, Lieut Lawrence Your letter received since containing orders for him (which I took the liberty of opening) has therefore been destroyed…[bottom:] enclosing Mountjoy Bayly’s receipt for fifty French prisoners

The same year, Mountjoy, a literate Presbyterian, planter, and “gentleman,” would become a charter member of the Society of Cincinnati, a group of former revolutionary war officers. [21] Specifically, he would be one of the original members of the Society’s branch in Maryland.

Mountjoy, slavery, and land transactions in the 1790s

Drawing of a manumission in Vermont in 1777. The precarious nature of a manumission is symbolized by the fact that the freedom of the enslaved Black woman (right) can be declared by the right hand of a White slaveowner (pictured left). It is hard to know if this picture is celebrating the manumission or making the enslaved Black woman look helpless. Courtesy of Fineartamerica.com.

In 1790, the Bayly family still lived in Frederick, Maryland. While living there, with the honorary title of Major still attached to his name, he owned ten enslaved Blacks, and had fourteen other “free white persons,” six of which were his family, including himself and his wife, but eight others are not known. [22] The same year, he further cemented his tie with the slave trade and southern slavery in the United States. He signed an agreement which sold a 17-year-old woman, named “Jenny,” to him but also agreed to manumit her at age 31, in 1807, when she would be “free” from the chains of human bondage. [23] It is worth noting that manumission was not a progressive action but was part of the framework of slavery itself, part of the slave system, and hence it was nothing novel as some slave traders would easily disregard manumissions while “free” Black people could still face harsh discrimination.

In later years, Mountjoy would continue his buying and selling of land, with just about each transaction ok’d by his wife, possibly indicating they worked together on business decisions, which would make sense considering she was part of the large landowning Edelin family. He would sell land to Peter Mantz, William Campbell, both of whom were revolutionary war veterans, and Henry Elser. [24] He would also be involved in a lawsuit about purchasing Venus and Badgen Hole, within Frederick county, and be involved in agreements about land in Virginia. The land he would sell would include a “century-old tract of land,” consisting of 120 acres, known for a long time as “Middle Plantation” which sits in the village of Mount Pleasant, with its “beautiful horse farms” as one website claims. He would also sell a part of a tract sitting on Flat Run called “Alexander’s Prospect” which was originally surveyed in 1766, consisting of 310 acres, which he bought (at a time when the acreage of the lot had decreased) along with 255 acres of a tract called Douthet’s Chance (originally 280 acres), and 68 acres of “The Resurvey on All Marys Mistake” tract. [25] When he bought this land it was from a man named “Alexander Hamilton” who was living in Prince George’s County. There is no confirmation this is the same as the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of the same name.

Mountjoy also made a number of land purchases. [26] He bought 184 acres of differing tracts, some within Emmitsburg, Frederick County, from John Payder of York County, Pennsylvania, whom he had sold certain lands before. Also, he was part of agreements between the Edelin and Bayly families, among others, over the division of the estate of his father–in-law, Christopher, and dividing up the estate of Charles M. Turner, a related party. [27] In later years, he would be a witness to the marriage of Susanna Ringer and Abraham Krumm (listed as “Mount Joy Bailey”) and would be involved in a case against William Sprigg Bowie and John S. Brookes of Frederick County within the state’s court system.

Mountjoy, the slave trade, Republicanism, and land deals

This is a map of leased properties in Monocacy Manor during the time of Christian Hufford (1716-1788). The land likely would have been different when Mountjoy was engaged in the buying and selling of land in this area, but this does give you the general idea. Courtesy of Find A Grave entry for Christian Hoffart.

By 1800, the Bayly family was still living in Frederick County, but this time specifically in the town of Liberty, likely referring to Libertytown, Maryland, a small town which is currently has only 950 people. While living there, the household consisted of 26 individuals, 14 who were enslaved Black laborers, twelve of whom were White, six of which included Mountjoy and and his family, the other six not currently known. [28] In later years, he would show that he was directly involved in proceedings about enslaved Blacks. In 1801, he would request that  certificate of the sale of two enslaved Black women, Rachel and Nell to Lindsey Delashmutt, and two years later, in 1803, he would attend a proceeding determining if two enslaved Blacks were delivered to their appropriate “master” for said enslaved Blacks. [29]

In the early 1800s, other than watching French prisoners (still) in Frederick Town, he would seem to show his political affiliation. In 1803 he would write Thomas Jefferson, the sitting president a letter, about a “sulphur spring,” noting that this letter was written from Georgetown, indicating that he had moved within the boundary of the District of Columbia. The following year, he would again write from Georgetown about a land dispute where he is living and the selling of sulpur, which could benefit the United States. To this letter, Jefferson  replied and said that he agreed with Mountjoy. No other letters are known. However, this could indicate that the political affiliation of Mountjoy was Democratic-Republican, or Republican for short, since many of those in this category were farmers, slaveowners (like himself), and others, who wanted less government intrusion into their lives.

In this first decade of the 19th century, Mountjoy would sell and buy land like never before, which his wife, Elizabeth, continued to agree with. He would sell 154 acres to William Emmit, land which was part of Monocacy Manor to John Ringer, and sells three different tracts all consisting of more than 48 acres to a man named Patrick Reed. [30] Monocacy Manor, within Frederick County, included “26 dwellings with a stone base chimney” and sat on the Monocacy River, bordered by a dwelling known as Woods Mill Farm. In 1801, Mountjoy gave a man named Michael Dutro part of his estate and interest in a lot which consisted of Monococy Manor. [31]

The Dutro (also spelled Dutrow, Dotterer, Detro, Duderoe, Tuttero, Dudderar) family was owned hundreds of acres and an estate/farm in within the county, since it was an “old Frederick County family” as one writer put it. [32] As for Michael, he was described as a Federalist in 1796, living in the same county as another officer of the Maryland Extra Regiment, Samuel Cock who is described on the next page as a Democratic-Republican or Republican for short. Michael may have been born in Franklin Township, Pennsylvania. He was living in Westminster, Maryland, with three other family members, one of whom is his wife, and likely his two children. [33] This means that Mountjoy was selling his land to a relative local but also a person likely of the same social class as him.

There are some strange land purchases by Mountjoy which are not all together clear. I’m not talking about the exchange of lands between Jacob Jumper (gained 25 acres) and Mountjoy (gained 35 acres) in 1803. [34] Rather, I’m referring to the selling of his estate, right, and title to John Cockey, Jr. (likely related to this person) of Baltimore County in 1801 and the buying of John Ringer’s Estate, Title, and interest to (and part of) a lot which consists Monococy Manor, only six days later. These purchases indicate the move-ability of the Bayly family, but could also mean it is moving to a new jurisdiction. [35]

Did Mountjoy live in Washington County, Maryland?

1877 map of Washington County. Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries.

Existing records show a “Mountjoy Bayly” of Washington County, described as released and no longer and insolent debtor, giving Samuel Bayly, Trustee to benefit the creditors, all the property, real and personal and mixed. [36] It further says that this individuals took all his bedding with him, and makes clear this transaction refers to Washington County in Western Maryland, not the short-lived Washington County within the District of Columbia where Maryland jurisdiction still applied at the time. It is worth noting that in 1774, Mountjoy was an overseer for his older brother named Samuel Bayly who was living in Colchester, Virginia. [37] Hence, one could make the argument that this Bayly is the same as Mountjoy we were talking about.

Further records, show this “Bayly” as living in Washington County, is an insolent debtors and a “petition from Mountjoy Bayly, of Washington county, praying an act of insolvency, was preferred, read, and referred to the committee appointed on petitions of a similar nature” in 1805. It also worth noting there is a Chancery Court case involving Washington County, specifically the “Insolvent estate of Bayly” at Clift Springs, a land tract seemingly within the county, which is apparently mentioned in this book. There is one entry for a “Clift Spring” owned Philip Barton Key in the 1790s, but it not known if this is the same property. [38]

In the agreement between this “Mountjoy Bayly” and Samuel Bayly, the following signature is given:

In Mountjoy’s letters to Jefferson, the following signatures are given:

The top signature is from his 1803 letter, the second is from his 1804 letter.

In the land agreements by Mountjoy from 1800 to 1803, the following signatures are given [39]:

From this, I conclude that the “Bayly” of Washington County, Maryland is a different person. In every single one of these signatures, except one, the letter M has a down curl. While he did write his name as “M Bayly” on several occasions, none of the signatures looked like that in the 1808 letter, which seems much neater. The fact that he did not live in this county is also reaffirmed by the letters he sent to Jefferson in 1803 and 1804 which were sent from “Georgetown,” a town within the District of Columbia. Also, the idea of him becoming an insolent debtor and giving up all of his property to creditors seems unlikely since no land records before this time indicate any sort of financial troubles. Still, some could see indicators it is Mountjoy. Ultimately, the only way to solve this dilemma once and for all would be to look at the Chancery Court case mentioned earlier, which is a case relating to the 1808 letter. However, this cannot be done currently as I do not have access to such resources. But, hopefully other researchers and interested persons can fill in this gap in the future.

Mr. Mountjoy goes to Washington

A 1793 map by Kroe, A. van der (Danish). It shows proposed government buildings, with relief shown by hachures and also covers Georgetown. Courtesy of DC Vote.

By the second decade of the 19th century, Mountjoy and his family was establishing itself in Washington. One year after his petition to Maryland General Assembly was accepted and he was paid five years full pay as a captain, he would be appointed sergeant-at-arms and doorkeeper of the US Senate. He would replace the existing sergeant-of-arms, James Mathers, who died on September 2, 1811, chosen as his successor on November 6th. [40] His time as a sergeant-at-arms would last 22 years, ending only on December 9, 1833. He only received $1,500 a year as sergeant-at-arms, more than the Assistant Doorkeeper but many times less than the Secretary of the Senate, even as people depended on him to keep order. While in this position, he placed his vouchers and certificates from his military service in the capitol’s senate chamber in 1812 but they were destroyed when the British burned the capital in 1814, just like many other records, such as the 1810 census of the city. [41]

Since there is no census, that limits the available historical information. Existing remarks on pensions of revolutionary war soldiers, and other documents, shows that he was definitively in the city in 1818 (also see here) and 1819. There is also information indicating that he observed the manumission of enslaved Blacks in 1817, 1819, 1820, 1822, and 1823. There there is his federal veterans pension, for which he applied for in 1818 while living in the District, with certain records finalized in 1828, but he remained on the federal pension roll until March 1836 as existing records indicate. [42]

A site, “Early Washington, D.C. Law and Family,” created by William G. Thomas and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has bountiful information about Mountjoy. In 1814, he was one of 12 members on a jury that ruled in favor of two enslaved Blacks (John and Serena) and against a preacher/slaveowner named Henry Moscross. The same occurred in a case between three enslaved Black females (a mother named Rachel and her two children Eliza and Jane) and Henry Jarvis. The same year, he was part of a jury that ruled against an enslaved Black man named Emanuel Gasbury of Northumberland County, Virginia, and in favor a slaveowner named Henry W. Ball. However, by 1816, Mountjoy was a witness to a seeming marriage bond between Richard Love, Car Withers, and Thomas Langston. Nothing else, even looking at the existing page for Mountjoy on the subject, is currently known.

Mountjoy and the Fourth Washington Ward

After 1822, Mountjoy would have been living at lot 726, on Capitol Hill, if the map from the Library of Congress is matched up with the location of the Bayly House on Google maps.

In 1820, the year that the city’s charter was changed, the Bayly family reappears on the census, living Washington Ward 4, Washington City, part of the District of Columbia. One enslaved Black female, aged 26-44, one free Black man, over age 45, and six “free white persons” are listed as part of the household. [43] The six White peoples are his son Benjamin (age 16-18), his son Richard (age 16-25), himself (over age 45), his daughter Eleanor (age 16-25), his daughter Elizabeth (age 26-44), and his wife Elizabeth (over age 45). While it is not known how many enslaved Blacks he owned between 1810 and 1820, the fact remains that he did own 14 enslaved Black laborers in 1800, as noted before, so having only two laborers (one enslaved and the other “free” with the genders possibly indicating they were a couple/in a relationship) is a drop dramatically.

The Bayly family, living in the Fourth Ward of Washington City, was joined by 276 other households. [44] Furthermore, there is total of 256 enslaved Blacks (163 female, 133 male), 225 “free” Black people (113 male, 112 female), and 120 enslaved Blacks being manumitted. By contract, there are 1019 “free whites” living in this ward (534 female, 485 male). This comes to a total of 1,620 inhabitants, but only within this ward of course. The breakdown of this data shows a mostly White population within the ward:

Made using ChartGo. Roughly, you could say, based off this chart, that about 30% of the population of the ward was Black.

Ray Gurganus of the DCGenWeb project, citing 1816 Washington Acts, 1820 Washington Laws, numerous issues of the National Intelligencer in 1816, 1819, 1821, and 1822, writes that in 1820 the city rearranged itself, making six wards. The second and third wards were the wealthiest, along with the area above SE E Street and to the Capitol and Treasury buildings drawing in the most well-to-do individuals, while wards in the northwest and along the river front was fraught by poverty, meaning that they didn’t attract the same individuals. Drawing from this, it means that the Bayly family lived in a district of households that were relatively well off.

It was during this time frame that Mountjoy built the Bayly House, with its picture at the beginning of this post. As the Stewart Mott Foundation describes it, he built the house sometime between 1817 and 1822, later selling the property, like the land transactions previously mentioned, to a lawyer with the name of William McCormick, in 1828. [45] Mr. McCormick would hold the land in a trust for a woman with the name of Alethia Van Horne. Hence, this land transaction in 1834 is likely related.

In 1822, the directory of Washington City residents described Mr. Bayly not only as the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms but also as “fronting the capitol square,” confirming, basically, that he was living in the house at the time. [46] Further confirming his presence is a letter that Mountjoy writes on Nov. 16, 1822, that is within the federal veterans pension application of Moore Wilson, a former soldier of the 7th Maryland Regiment:

Beyond this, very little is known. There is a record that Mountjoy was involved in an 1826 case relating to unpaid amounts by insolent debtors, where he was described as a “person of good understanding and correct demeanor” as even the defendant admitted. [47] Then there is a Senate resolution proposed by Thomas Hart Benton, a strong-willed Missouri Democrat, in 1830, which went to a second reading, titled “A Bill For the relief of Mountjoy Bayly.” The main text of the bill is worth reprinting here:

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, That the Secretary of War be directed to pay Mountjoy Bayly his commutation of five years full pay as a Captain in the Maryland line, in the war of the Revolution: Provided, He shall satisfy the Said Secretary that he was entitled to such commutation and never received it from the United States.

The last six years of Mountjoy

Gravestone of Mountjoy in the Congressional Cemetery. Courtesy of his Find A Grave entry.

Like the 1820 census, the 1830 census is full of information. Still living in the Fourth Ward, the household of “Genl M Bayly” as the census shows it, indicates that he is living with his family,, including his son Richard, his daughter Eleanor, his daughter Elizabeth, and his wife Elizabeth, along with two enslaved Blacks, one which is a female under age 10, another which is a female aged 36-54. [48] The same year a “Mary Bailey” was living in Georgetown, just like in 1820 when two “free” Black persons were living with her). Likely, this was his mother. [49] If it was, then this would add an interesting familial dynamic to the story. However, more research would be needed to see if this is the case. After all, many people with the last name of “Bailey” are listed as living in this ward in 1820 and 1830 but it is not known if they are related to Mountjoy. [50]

This same census showed 341 household, a “Benjamin Bayly” as the marshal in the city, and many colonels and military officers living within the ward. Furthermore, using all of the pages within the census of this Washington city region, it is clear that there are 1,860 inhabitants in the ward. Of these inhabitants, 535 are White males, 591 are White females, 117 are enslaved Black men, 134 are enslaved Black women, 212 are free Black men, and 271 are free Black women.This means this means there has been an increase in the number of households by about 23%. since there were 277 households in 1820.

In terms of the number of inhabitants, there were 200 more in 1830 that were not there in 1820, an increase of more than 12%. In terms of the distribution of those living in the ward, about 28.5% are White men, about 31.7% are White women, about 6.3% are enslaved Black men, about 7.2% are enslaved Black women, about 14.5% are free Black women, leaving 11.8% to be free Black men. That means that 60.2% of the town was White, with the rest as Black inhabitants, only 26.3% of which were “free,” and 13.5% enslaved.

Coming back to Bayly, in 1832, Elizabeth would die from a form of cancer, if I remember his federal veterans pension application correctly, which misstates who she is, no surprise in terms of pensions. [51] After her death, he would marry another woman. While her last name is not currently known, thanks to Edward Papenfuse, we know her first name was Rebecca. [52] The same year (and the year following) he would, from Washington City, attest to the fact that Benjamin Murdoch and Theodore Middleton were part of the Extra Regiment.

In the final years of his life, little is known. However, there are indications that he was “praying to be compensated for extra services” as noted in the journal of the U.S. Senate for Jun 27, 1834. Also, in the Federal Pension Roll of 1835 it noted that he lived within Washington County, a county within DC, not Maryland, still receiving a Federal pension of $4,320 since the pension started in July 1828, and an annual allowance of $480.00.

On March 22, 1836, within his 82 years of age, Mountjoy died and was buried in Washington D.C.’s Congressional Cemetery. As he still owned hundreds of acres in Frederick County [53], one newspaper would write a short death notice:

On the 22nd instant, GENERAL Mountjoy Bayly, an officer of the Revolution, in the 82nd year of his age. His friends are requested to attend his funeral from his late dwelling on Capitol Hill this evening at 4 o’clock.

This funeral’s location is not known. It likely was not at the Bayly House, but rather was at lot 13, square 637 within the District, a property sold to Benjamin S. Bayly in 1831. It could also be at lot 10, within square 637, also owned by Mr. Bayly sometime before 1832. Using the information on an 1835 map of DC shows that that square 637 is south of the Capitol, and near a canal, which means that he stayed in the Capitol Hill region, only slightly moving around. This is undoubtedly the current location of The Spirit of Justice Park, and he could have been living in what was later called George Washington Inn, which was demolished to make way for a parking garage for the House of Representatives.

The only way to find this out would be to, perhaps, would be to contact the DC Archives. I don’t feel it is my place to do this since I would be intruding on genealogy research by the family itself, but it is open for any other researchers.

The years after Mountjoy and reflection

As noted in the Heritage Gazette, a publication of the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery.

Since the last name of Mountjoy’s second wife, Rebecca is not currently known to this researcher, further family linkages cannot be determined. However, a number of aspects are clear. In 1838, Theodore Middleton, previously mentioned, would petition the US House of Representatives, saying that he served as a lieutenant in the Extra Regiment, wanting five years pay, citing Mountjoy as support. He would receive it, possibly indicating Mountjoy’s staying power.

Years later, in 1934, one ancestor of Mountjoy, McKendrec Bayly, would write the Washington Post a correction, showing that his spirit remained strong [54]:

In one New York Times obit from 1910 it cites a person named Richard Mountjoy Bailey Phillips as dying. It is not known if he is related to Mountjoy. However, one Baltimore Sun article about Mrs. Sumner A. Parker has this line, which concerns an estate they owned, “the Cloisters” which was the Green Spring Valley estate of Mr. and Mrs. Sumner A. Parker. [55] The relevant part is as follows:

…Mrs. Parker asserted in her will that she and her late husband…built the Cloisters…[which had within it] furniture handed down by her great-great-great grandfather, Gen, Monjoy Bailey, from his home in Frederick. The testator said that her ancestor had been sent to Frederick by Gen. George Washington and place in charge of the troops housed on the outskirts of the city.

This is partially right as noted earlier in this article. However, it is wrong to say that George Washington sent Mountjoy to Frederick. Instead, he was sent on Governor Lee’s orders and was in charge of troops within Frederick County, not anywhere else, like this implies. Other stories I found noted how Mountjoy was a better and gambler and how Sterling silver knives, which were made in England in 1790, owned by Mountjoy, were stolen in 1972. [56]

In later years, in July 2012, the 1st Vice President J. Patrick Warner of the Maryland Society of the Sons of the American Revolution would represent the Maryland Society in a “ceremony commemorating Mountjoy Bayly.” That means that to this day, people commemorate him.

There are many resources I could have used here. [57] Some sources said that the pension file of George Heeter is related to Mountjoy, but no evidence seems to indicate this at all. A related book and page by Fairfax SAR chapter, give helpful hints, the latter used for some of the sources in this article, but they do not provide all of the information. Possible other sources are out there, like the entries in “U.S. War Bounty Land Warrants, 1789-1858” for Mountjoy (called Mountjoy Bailey in the record), or “New Orleans, Louisiana, Slave Manifests, 1807-1860″ of about 1831 which involves Mountjoy shipping a enslaved Black man southward (if I read that right), all of which are records of Mr. Bayly all on Ancestry which can’t be currently accessed by this researcher. Other than that, there are probably online resources that I have not found. More likely the records I don’t have here are paper records within certain archives and databases across the East Coast.

I hope that this article contributed not only to an understanding of the story of Mountjoy, but also how the story of slavery is tied into US history deeply, along with Washington, D.C. from 1820 to 1836, at least. If this article did anything to improve people’s historical knowledge and encouraged further research, then then this research did right. As always, I look forward to your comments as I continue to write on the stories of certain members of the Extra Regiment after the Revolutionary War.

Notes

[1] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 119. He is listed as “Monjoy Baley” living in Frederick County’s Lower Potomac Hundred in 1776 here. The original paper record of this is in Box 2, f. 8, p. 1 of the 1776 Maryland Census. Bayly at some points preferred his last name to be spelled “Bayly” and at other points “Bailey” and “Bayley.”

[2] Ibid; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7: December 31, 1776, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 12, 113, 179, 180; Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, August 29, 1775 to July 6, 1776, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 11, 522, 523; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 18, 189, 326, 621.

[3] Thomas J. McGuire, The Philadelphia Campaign, Vol. 1: Brandywine and the fall of Philadelphia (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2006), 185, 186, 368-369.

[4] 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.

[5] Ibid; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 45, 356, 357, 358, 369, 658, 659, 660; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online, 16, 23, 33, 34, 72, 73, 95, 102, 103, 121, 140, 165, 204, 265, 477; Johann Conrad Döhla, A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution (edited and translated by Bruce E. Burgoyne, Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990), 200, 205-209; Pension of Erasmus Erp, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, Rejected Pension Application File, National Archives, NARA M804,  R, 3.364. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest; “Applicants for Pensions in 1841: Letter from the Secretary of War” within House Documents, Otherwise Publ. as Executive Documents: 13th Congress, 2d Session-49th Congress, 1st Session, Vol. 1 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1869), 4. Some records attest that Bayly was part of the Maryland Militia after 1781, although this cannot be confirmed.

[6] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 119. Walter H. Buck, in a letter titled “Bayley (Bailey)” within Notes and Queries section of Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. 61, September 1946, page 256, asked if Mr. Bayly was related to Pierce Bayley of Loundon County, Virginia. It seems he was related.

[7] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 119. The same is the case even when looking at “Lots Westward of Fort Cumberland” or the Military Lots Ledger. Of course, I didn’t find the information on “Map of Military Lots assigned to soldiers, Garrett County, Maryland. 1787” hosted by the Western Maryland Digital Library.

[8] Harry Wright Newman, Charles County Gentry (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002 reprint), 123, 140-141, 195-198. The Edelen house in Prince George’s County, Maryland may be related to this family.

[9] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 119.

[10] Victory, Leonard Smith, 468 Acres, Frederick County Circuit Court, Certificates, Patented, FR, April 29, 1755, Patented Certificate 4960 [MSA S1197-5387]. Courtesy of http://plato.mdarchives.state.md.us/; Deed between Mountjoy Bayley and Joseph Smith, Dec. 31, 1784, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 5, p. 273-275 [MSA CE 108-25]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Deed between Mountjoy Bayley and Hugh Young, Sept. 25, 1784, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 4, p. 413- [MSA CE 108-24]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net. Also referred to on page 5 of Liber 5.

[11] Deed Between Mountjoy Bailey and Christopher Edelen, Dec. 11,  1785, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 6, p. 230-232 [MSA CE 108-26]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[12] Purchase of enslaved Blacks by Mountjoy Bailey from Christopher Edelen, Dec. 30,  1785, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 6, p. 250 [MSA CE 108-26]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[13] Deed between Mountjoy Baily and Benjamin Dulany, Mar. 4, 1786, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 6, p. 344-345 [MSA CE 108-26]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Deed between Mountjoy Bayly, Joseph Young, and George Scott, Apr. 7, 1787, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 7, p. 220-221 [MSA CE 108-27]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Mortgage by Mountjoy Bayly with George Schuertzell and Peter Mantz, Jan. 31, 1788, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 7, p. 674-676 [MSA CE 108-27]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Salsbury Plains Helpt, Christopher Edelin, 131 Acres, May 23, 1774, Frederick County Circuit Court, Certificates, Patented, FR, Patented Certificate 4198 [MSA S1197-4619]. Courtesy of http://plato.mdarchives.state.md.us/; Deed between Mountjoy Bayly, his wife, and Johnson Baker, Jan. 6, 1789, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 8, p. 460-461 [MSA CE 108-28]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[14] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 119.

[15] William Jarboe Grove, History of Carrollton Manor, Frederick County, Md (Lime Kiln, MD: Historical Society of Frederick County, 1922), 150.

[16] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 119. Specifically he would serve in the Maryland General Assembly in 1785, 1786, 1786-1787, 1789, 1790, and 1793.

[17] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 119.

[18] Robert W. Coakley, The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1789–1878 (DIANE Publishing, 1996), 67. I get this part about the “progressive tax code” from what William Hogeland writes in Founding Finance. I haven’t read his book titled The Whiskey Rebellion yet, but it is still worth mentioning here.

[19] Robert W. Coakley, The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1789-1879 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1988), 49. He cites letters of Bayley to Lee and vice versa within vol. 18 of Red Book, item 138 and the Council Letterbook. Specifically see the following within Red Books: 1794, Sep. 12. BAILEY, MOUNTJOY (Frederick Town) to GOV. Militia preparations for the Whiskey Rebellion. MSA S 989-2908, MdHR 4583-137  1 /6 /4 /15.

[20] Founders Online cites “ALS, Hall of Records of Maryland, Annapolis” as a source, referring to the Maryland State Archives of course. It also says that “a similar account of these events is in The Maryland Journal, and the Baltimore Advertiser, September 22, 1794.”

[21] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 119.

[22] First Census of the United States, 1790, Frederick, Maryland, National Archives, NARA M637, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 3, Page 165. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest; A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 119.

[23] Manumission of an enslaved Black woman named Jenny, Jan. 12, 1790, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 9, p. 14-15 [MSA CE 108-29]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net. This also means she was born in 1773.

[24] Transaction between Mountjoy Bayly and Peter Mantz, July 30, 1790, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 9, p. 331-333 [MSA CE 108-29]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Deed between Mountjoy Bayly and Henry Elser, Oct. 22, 1793, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 12, p. 226-228 [MSA CE 108-32]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Deed between Mountjoy Bailey and William Campbell, Jan. 23, 1798, Frederick County Court, Liber WR 16, p. 165-166 [MSA CE 108-36]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Deed between Mountjoy Bayly and John Payder, Sept. 18, 1799, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 19, p. 41-42 [MSA CE 108-39]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net. Campbell was reportedly a veteran who had served as a captain in the Maryland Line.

[25] Indenture between Mountjoy Bailey and Alexander Hamilton, April 28, 1799, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 18, p. 241-243 [MSA CE 108-38]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Resurvey On All Marys Mistake, Alexander Masheen, 73 1/4 Acres, Frederick County Circuit Court, Certificates, Patented, FR, Oct. 23, 1755, Patented Certificate 3281 [MSA S1197-3699]. Courtesy of http://plato.mdarchives.state.md.us/; Alexanders Prospect, Alexander McKeen, 310 Acres, Frederick County Circuit Court, Certificates, Patented, FR, May 25, 1768, Patented Certificate 269 [MSA S1197-333]. Courtesy of  http://plato.mdarchives.state.md.us/; Douthets Chance, Alexander McKeen, 280 Acres, Frederick County Circuit Court, Certificates, Patented, FR, Oct. 30, 1752, Patented Certificate 1177 [MSA S1197-1241]. Courtesy of http://plato.mdarchives.state.md.us/. When the Resurvey tract was originally surveyed in 1765, it consisted of 67 3/4 acres and when Alexander’s Prospect was originally surveyed in 1766, 167 acres were vacant and only 143 acres occupied. As for Douthet’s Chance, this tract was originally surveyed in 1750 and was 280 acres.

[26] Bond between Mountjoy Bayly and John Payder, Oct. 5, 1797, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 15, p. 659-660 [MSA CE 108-35]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[27] Deed between Mountjoy Bayly, Elizabeth Bayly, Rebecca Edelin, John Lynn, Eleanor Lynn, John Hodge Bayard, Rebecca Bayard, Thomas Crabbs, Dec. 2, 1797, Frederick County Court, Liber WR 16, p. 96-98 [MSA CE 108-36]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Arrangement between Mountjoy Bayley, others, and Charles M. Turner, May 31, 1798, Frederick County Court, Liber WR 17, p. 28-30 [MSA CE 108-37]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net. In the first deed listed, the executors of Christopher Edelin’s estate (the father of Bayly’s wife, Elizabeth) have recovered some of the estate, including the house, after it was under a mortgage, and furthmore, Mountjoy Bayly, Elizabeth Bayly, Rebecca Edelin, John Lynn, Eleanor Lynn, John Hodge Bayard, and Rebecca Bayard are paid 200 pounds and now have control of the whole estate.  For the second one, there is an arrangement between the Bayly and Edelin families involved in dividing up the estate of Charles M. Turner, removing certain claims on his estate.

[28] Second Census of the United States, 1800, Liberty, Frederick, Maryland, National Archives, NARA M32, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 10, Page 221. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

[29] At the request of Genl. Mountjoy Bayly, April 25, 1801, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 19, p. 307 [MSA CE 108-39]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Notice by Mountjoy Bayley, July 20, 1803, Frederick County County, Land Records, Liber WR 24, p. 557-558 [MSA CE 108-44]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[30] Deed between Mountjoy Bailey and William Emmit, Sept. 9, 1800, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 20, p. 157-159 [MSA CE 108-40]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Indenture between Mountjoy Bailey and John Ringer, Oct. 2, 1800, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 20, p. 213-215 [MSA CE 108-40]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Indenture between Mountjoy Bailey and Patrick Reed, Nov. 26, 1800, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 20, p. 314-315 [MSA CE 108-40]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[31] Indenture between Mountjoy Bayly and Michael Dutro, April 18, 1801, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 21, p. 100-101 [MSA CE 108-41]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[32] Millard Milburn Rice, New Facts and Old Families: From the Records of Frederick County, Maryland (Baltimore: Geneaological Publishing Inc., 2002, reprint), vi, 128, 132-134; Thomas John Chew Williams and Folger McKinsey, History of Frederick County, Maryland, Vol. 1 (Frederick, MD: L.R. Titsworth & Co. 1910, 2003 reprint), 781, 860, 982-983, 200, 1282, 1364, 1654-1655, 1657, 1716;  John Clagett Proctor, Johannes Heintz and His Descendants (Greenville, PA, 1918), 80; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online, Vol. 18, 681.

[33] Henry Sassaman Dotterer, The Dotterer Family (Philadelphia: Henry Sassman Dotterer, 1903), 74-76, 78; Second Census of the United States, 1800, Westminster, Frederick, Maryland, National Archives, NARA M32, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 10, Page 193. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest. Other sources, like History of Carrollton Manor, Frederick County, Md, show the long-standing roots of his family in the county.

[34] Account between Mountjoy Baley and Jacob Jumper, June 2, 1803, Frederick County County, Land Records, Liber WR 24, p. 557-558 [MSA CE 108-44]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[35] Indenture between Mountjoy Bayly and John Cockey, Jr., April 20, 1801, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 21, p. 118-120 [MSA CE 108-41]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net; Deed between Mountjoy Bayley and John Ringer, April 26, 1801, Frederick County Court, Land Records, Liber WR 21, p. 121-122 [MSA CE 108-41]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net. In the latter record, John Ringer’s wife is described to be Ann.

[36] Deed of Mountjoy Bayly to Samuel Bayly, 1808,Washington County Court, Land Records, Original, Liber S, p. 1020-1021 [MSA CE 67-17]. Courtesy of mdlandrec.net.

[37] Margaret Lail Hopkins, Index to the Tithables of Loudoun County, Virginia, and to Slaveholders and Slaves, 1758-1786. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1991), 731. This record, apart from access on Ancestry, can also be found here.

[38] Further searches show that this property was purchased by William Claggett after 1806.

[39] Top signature comes from page 158 of 1800 “deed between Mountjoy Bailey and William Emmit.” The second and third signatures come from page 214 of 1800 “Indenture between Mountjoy Bailey and John Ringer.” The fourth and fith signature comes from page 315 of 1800 “Indenture between Mountjoy Bailey and Patrick Reed.” The sixth and seventh signatures comes from page 101 of the 1801 “Indenture between Mountjoy Bayly and Michael Dutro.” The eighth and ninth signatures come from page 120 of the 1801 “Indenture between Mountjoy Bayly and John Cockey, Jr.”

[40] Thomas J. McGuire, The Philadelphia Campaign, Vol. 1: Brandywine and the fall of Philadelphia (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2006), 368-369. McGuire notes that he served for years as “doorkeeper of the Senate and sergeant-at-arms,” and he spelled his last name Bayly. The People of the Founding Era database shows, that Bayly served in the army, was a Sergeant-at-Arms, Doorkeeper, and Officer.

[41] 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.

[42] Ibid.

  • [43] Fourth Census of the United States, 1820, Washington Ward 4, Washington, District of Columbia, National Archives, NARA M33, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll M33_5, Page 104. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

[44] The ward had 277 households including: Beale, Elliot, Brooks, Goodwin, Kidwell, Maloy, Brenet, Diggs, Brent, Craig, McCardle, Ball, Dunn, Sprigg, Jackson, Oakley, Homa (two different), Williams, Thomas (two types), Sprall, Sweeny, Kekoe, Patterson, Tuns, Cawtin?, Preston, Roar, Nowdan, Hickey, Hayn, Watkins, Hawkins, Harvey, Hickman, Martin, McCormick, Thruston, Blagrove, Galwin, Delphy, Dunn, Murphy, Fry, Loverring?, Williams, Gibson, Grafs, Philips, Murphy, Brown, Fitzsimmons, Clayton, Pie, Goyle, Fowler, Young, Gruttendea, Hill, Mattock, Blanchard (brought for this Mrs), Steward, Varden, Bradley, Beale Ian?, Dockin, Minckin, Dockin, Caldwell, Ingle, Coombe, Hyer, May, Queen, Croply, Hunter, Holbrook, Annis, Lynch, Pelligrew, Maquire, Crawford, Daffaing?, White, Fry, Garnes, Graham, Robinson, Hepburn, Douglass, Shields, Stewart, Stant, Giles, Locke, Robinson, Hicks, Pack, Lowry, Rowling, Ingle, Johnson, Diggs, Gurtes, Sims, Wiggins, Gustavus, Dowell, Addison,Warren, Johnson, Hurdle, Graffer, Parker, Barker, Rice, Joyce, McCarly, Callan, Valpy, Burns, McClophy, Jaranill?, Martin, Dunning, Harkin, Homan, Giverson, O’Neale, Reynolds, Hall, Jackson, Bean, Gloyd, Lankam, Ewell, Coulson, Brooks, Allison, Johnson, Baily, Vaughan, Githers, McGowan, Wood, Locke, Love, Wattson [brought for David of this last name], Gillick, Gray, Mallion, McGill, McGaffery, Emack, O’Donnell, McCormick, Carlson, Barnes, Raphine, Barch, Schaeffter, Collins, Thompson, Barrell, Poston, Brasheau, Mencer, Chub, Lowe, Brown, Duwall, McDonald, Simmons, Wheatty, Holiver, McIntosh, Allison [bought for], McBerry, Smith, Brown, Howard, Gault, Makong, Anderson, Thompson, Dover, Osborne, Kirkley, Brightwill, Drudge, Seveeney, Stevens, Thomas, Adams, Barrell, Leach, Fowler, Wilburn, Goldsmith, Howard, Chaney, Bond, Barnes, Wright, Brown, Powell, Dover, Paine, Simpson, Hazel, Scott, Farrell, Kelley, Broadwick, Orde, Beck, Pencoast, French, Goey, Hall, Sutherland, Shau, Gillespie, Gagan, Rosenph, Lucton, Fergulson, Barry, Grifton, Caldwell, McMantz, Gill, Watterson, Hanna, Shorter (two types), Burch [brought for], Gray, Stewart, Day, Harwood, Fenwick, Brown, Tippatry, Lucas, Stanton, Marlborough, Beall, Carbery, Stewart, Gardiner, Smith (two smiths) [related to Charles Smith?], Spalding, Vall, McKinney, Auster, Parsons, Cooper, Dorrett, Thomas, Orr, Logan, McWilliams, Boone, Burch, Berry, Dawson, Powler, Hepburn, Pritchard, Lows, Lewis, Dickson, Hall, Brown, and Crans.

[45] Thomas J. Carrier, Washington D.C.: A Historical Walking Tour (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2005 reprint), 18; Washington on Foot, Fifth Edition (ed. John J. Protopappas and Alvin R. Mcneal, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 2012), 31. Carrier writes that this house, built in 1822, served as Bayly’s residence as doorkeeper and sergeant-at-arms of the US Senate. It does not mention the selling of the house in 1828.

[46] Judah Dulano, The Washington Directory: Showing the Name, Occupation, and Residence, of Each Head of a Family and Person in Business : the Names of the Members of Congress, and where They Board : Together with Other Useful Information (Washington: William Duncan, 1822), 15.

[47] William Cranch, “Patons and Butcher v. E.J. Lee,” April Term, 1826 within Reports of Cases Civil and Criminal in the United States Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, from 1801 to 1841, Vol. 2 (Washington: William M. Morrison and Company, 1852), 649-650.

[48] Fifth Census of the United States, 1830,Washington Ward 4, Washington, District of Columbia, National Archives, NARA M19, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 14, Page 2. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

[49] Fifth Census of the United States, 1830, Georgetown, Washington, District of Columbia, National Archives, NARA M19, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 14, Page 142. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest; Fourth Census of the United States, 1820, Georgetown, Washington, District of Columbia, National Archives, NARA M33, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll M33_5, Page 51. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.

[50] In 1820, George Bailey, John Bailey (two of the same name), Lucy Bailey, Winder Bailey, and Winney Bailey are listed as living in DC. In 1830, a William Bailey, Lanor Baily, Thomas Baily, and Margaret Bayley are listed as living in DC. Even in 1800, Jesse Bailey (two of the same name), Robert Bailey (likely his brother), William Bailey, Daniel Bayly, and John Bealey  are listed as living in DC.

[51] 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.

[52] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 119.

[53] Ibid. This disproves, once again, the idea he lived in Maryland’s Washington County.

[54] BAYLY, McKENDREC. Washington, July 5. “Gen. Mountjoy Bayly.” The Washington Post (1923-1954): 8. Jul 10 1934. ProQuest. Web. 22 May 2017.

[55] Hiltner, George J. “The Cloisters Willed as Art Museum.” The Sun (1837-1991): 2. Oct 20 1972. ProQuest. Web. 22 May 2017. An ancestry search of city directories reveals a man named “George Mountjoy Bayley,” a Sergeant, living in New York in 1830. It is not known if he is related to Mr. Bayly.

[56] “GAMBLING IN WASHINGTON.” New York Times (1857-1922): 2. Dec 01 1872. ProQuest. Web. 22 May 2017; “$16,800 Collection Stolen Downtown.” The Sun (1837-1991): 1. Oct 29 1972. ProQuest. Web. 22 May 2017.

[57] For instance, I found Mr. Bayly mentioned in this soldier’s pension, and numerous books within the collections of the Virginia Historical Society on the geneaology of the Bayly family apparently, with the call number of “F 104 N6 A6 v.86 no.3-4 General Collection” Reportedly p. 235, 236, 239-241, 244, 245, 247, 249, 250 of A Hessian Officer’s Diary of the American Revolution talks about Baily. He is also listed in letters I don’t have access to within the War Department Papers. Records within Maryland State Papers Series A of  Bailey: “Receipt of money for enlistment purposes” (1776), “Receipt of funds for recruitment” (1777), “Order to pay and receipt by Capt. Mountjoy Bailey for militia pay” (1778), “Order to pay and receipt by Capt. Mountjoy Bailey” (1778), “Account of provisions” (1780), “Order to pay Capt. Mountjoy Bailey” (1780), “Order to pay Capt. Mountjoy Bailey” (1780), “Account for provisions” (1781), “Account for hay and corn” (1781), “Account for beef and flour” (1781), “Appointment as auctioneer and commander of the guard” (1781), “Court-martial of Col. Winchester’s Select Militia Comp.; need for wood” (1781), “Order to pay Maj. Mountjoy Bailey” (1781), “Assignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1781), “Sales account of confiscated property” (1782), “Insufficient number of guards for prisoners” (1782), “Request for funds for military expenses” (1782), “Order prohibiting liquor within the prison camp” (1782), “Appointment as sutler” (1782), “Defense of actions as commanding officer” (1782), “Defense of his actions; need for additional guards for prisoners” (1782), “Replacement of prisoner guards” (1782), “Lack of prisoner guards” (1782), “Deposition of Mr. Thomas concerning actions of Dr. Fisher” (1782), “Court of Equity proceedings; request for new prisoners guards; indenture of German prisoners” (1782), “Order to pay and receipt by Mountjoy Bailey” (1782), “Order to pay and receipt by Maj. Mountjoy Bayly” (1782), “Notification of debtors leaving the state” (1783), “Assignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1783?), “Reassignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1783?), “Order to give his pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Assignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Assignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Request to give his pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Assignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Assignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Reassignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Reassignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Reassignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Reassignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Reassignment of pay and gratuity to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Reassignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Reassignment of pay and gratuity to Mountjoy Bailey” (1784), “Assignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1785), “Reassignment of pay to Mountjoy Bailey” (1785), “Account and receipt for sale of confiscated property in FR” (1785), “Certification of Maj. Mountjoy Bailey’s services” (1785), “Statement of Mountjoy Bailey’s service in stopping pillage of timber from confiscated property” (1785), “Order to pay and receipt by Maj. Mountjoy Bailey” (1785), “Pertaining to Col. Wood’s request for a reappointment as magistrate” (1785), “Recommendation of Nicholas White as armorer” (1786), “Requests return of a letter” (1786), and “Refusal of Maj. Mountjoy Bailey to settle the account of Christopher Edelin” (1787). There are likely more records, so this is just a a sampling.

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

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

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

In the 1790s

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

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

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

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

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

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

Into the 1800s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After his death

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“…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 William Groves (who may have later become an ensign)
  14. Private Jesse Boswell (new person not previously mentioned)
  15. Private Giles Thomas (new person not previously mentioned)
  16.  Private Philip Huston (new person not previously mentioned)
  17. Private Thomas Gadd (confirms regiment was broken up before battle)
  18. Private William Patton
  19. 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.

“Ready to march Southward”: The story of the Maryland Extra Regiment

These brown-lined red coats were worn by the MD Extra Regiment. in 1780. Courtesy of Historic Art Prints.

Editor’s Note: This post uses information from biographies of Maryland soldiers John Plant, Josias Miller, Charles Smith, James Farnandis, and Samuel Luckett, assembled as part of the Finding the Maryland 400 research project of the Maryland State Archives. Three of these bios were written by yours truly, but one, Luckett’s, was written by the project manager, Owen Lourie, and the other by a previous researcher, Sean Baker. Content that is used here is used in correspondence with fair use requirements under copyright law and in the interest of promoting further historical scholarship. This post is part of a series about

The year was 1780. Maryland, one of the key states within the fledgling United States was called upon to alleviate the severe shortage of armed men for the Continental Army and reinforce it. This was because of casualties emanating from the battles as part of the Southern campaign. In the summer, Maryland’s generals, as ordered by the Council of Maryland filled the regiment, called the Extra Regiment, Regiment Extraordinary, or the New Regiment, with former deserters, “a detachment composed Chiefly of Men left at the Hospitals” and a few “Recruited for the old Regiments.” [1] Even though it comprised a motley crew, the regiment’s men still wore uniforms of red-lined brown coats.

This new regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Lawson Smith, a young man either in his 20s or 30s. Only one year earlier, he had been recommended for promotion by George Washington after receiving  recommendation from William Fitzhugh, a delegate representing Virginia in the Continental Congress. [2]

Samuel Luckett and Josias Miller, men in their twenties, a young man John Plant, mid-aged man Charles Smith, and a man named James Farnandis were among those in this new unit. These men were some of the remaining members of the “Maryland 400” who had fought in the Battle of Brooklyn so many years ago. In July, Luckett and Plant, both experienced soldiers, were made ensigns and later promoted to lieutenant in the fall. [3] While they experienced promotion, Miller joined the regiment as a lieutenant, and Smith as a captain, likely around the same time, or after, Luckett and Plant were promoted. [4] Still, becoming lieutenant, was, for Smith and Miller, a step up in rank from their previous positions in the Maryland Line. It is interesting that these combat veterans joined the regiment since it not only included former deserters, but also consisted of many who had little combat experience.

Regiment was slow to form. This was partially due to desertions from its ranks  and a lack of supplies. Before marching southward, the unit moved from Prince George’s County to Philadelphia, going to Head of Elk (present-day Elkton, Maryland), then going back down the Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis to gain more recruits for the beleaguered unit. [5]

In August, Uriah Forest, a high-ranking military man of Maryland wrote to George Washington, describing the state of the regiment:

“[your letter] to the Commanding Officer of the Maryland additional Regt was put into my hands yesterday…they have assembled at this place…three hundred & thirty [recruits]—a hundred & fifty more are daily expected from the more distant Counties, Returns of which have already come to hand. The Gentleman appointed to Command this Regiment not having Joined, & the Men being entirely destitute of Cloathing of every kind, has render’d the Execution of your Excellency’s orders with regard to their Marching altogether impracticable. The State Clothier is now busily employed, in getting them fitted with Shirts, Overalls and Shoes…It is with Real Concern I observe to your Excellency that there is no Prospect of procuring Men to fill up the Regiments. Almost the whole of the Horses and some of the Waggons required of this State are Obtained. I have the honor to be with Perfect Respect”

From then onto to the early winter, the regiment stayed in Annapolis, the state capital, for a “considerable time.” In the fall, some portions of the regiment, with Charles Smith, a Captain, among them, fought a small battle with the British near modern-day Fort Washington, Maryland on the Potomac River. [6] This skirmish occurred at Digg’s Landing or Digges Point, land owned by John Digges, with Smith’s company of Continentals fighting a small group of British soldiers who severely wounded him in the face by a cannon ball, as the story goes, bouncing off a rock. [7] The British, not long after, set fire to Want Water, the nearby house of Colonel William Lyles. After marching about 3.5 miles to the house, the Continentals took several prisoners. [8]

The whole regiment, not just one company, like Smith’s, soon began to march southward. In December, after gaining the “necessary Clothing &c. to equip them for the March,” it began marching to join Horatio Gates and General Nathaniel Greene at the Continental Army’s headquarters, then in Hilsboro, North Carolina, to assist in the Southern Campaign. [9]

Once the unit arrived in North Carolina, in January, a number of problems developed. It refused to join the main Continental Army because of disputes over rank. [10] General Greene took the side of veteran officers, who took charge when commanders of the unit who had trained the unit’s soldiers, for the past six months, were dismissed. As a result, the unit changed into the Second Maryland Regiment before the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781. As a result, many of the regiment’s senior members, including but not limited to, Luckett, Miller, Plant, Smith, and Farnandis, likely resigned in January since they could not retain their rank in the new unit. [11] Following this, these officers would , return home, away from the battlefront in the Southern United States. As John McCay put it, in his pension, “soon after the [extra] regiment broke up, the men transferred to fill other regiments and the Officers [from the extra regiment] were sent home,” an account confirmed by William Groves. With the officers leaving, the ordinary soldiers stayed in the 2nd Maryland regiment, fighting in the battle previously mentioned in this paragraph, and others that were part of the Southern campaign, with some discharged in Annapolis at the end of the war, ending their “public service.”

In the years that followed, after the dissolution of the regiment, each of the soldiers would go their separate ways. Plant, by 1783, would become a small farmer and slaveowner, owning two horses, one cattle, and one enslaved black child, while Miller would later live in Franklin County, Ohio, possibly on his bounty lands. [12] Smith, on the other hand, would be married to a sixteen-year-old woman, from Prince George’s County, Mary Bowling, and have three children named Benjamin, John, and Polly with her. [13] Farnandis also married and stayed in Charles County. However, he married for the second time after his first wife, Elizabeth, died, married a woman named Chloe McPherson. [14] Luckett also returned to his family. His wife, a woman named Monica Kennedy, whom he married before he left for war in 1776, he had two children with her, William and Francis H., before her death sometime in the 1780s. [15]

As for Alexander Lawson Smith, one of the co-founders of the Society of the Cincinnati, he had a similar, but different, story. He married a woman named Martha Griffith in 1792, the same year that his brother, Patrick Sim Smith, a well-off a merchant and legislator within the state, sold him eight enslaved blacks. [16] Eight years later, in 1800, he was still living in Harford County. He was with three young children under age 10 (two female, one male), and two young people aged 16-25 (one female, one male), along with 21 enslaved blacks, his with Martha likely among them. [17] He died in 1802. Later, he would be listed in many pension and bounty land warrant applications by those who were in his regiment during the war while his wife would get half-pay of a captain from the Treasurer of the Western Shore. [18]

Notes

[1] “To George Washington from Uriah Forrest, 17 August 1780,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified March 30, 2017; Beverley Waugh Bond, State Government in Maryland, 1777-1781 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1905), 38; Journals of Congress: Containing the Proceedings from January 1, 1780 to January 1, 1781 (Philadelphia: David C. Claypoole, 1781), 341-342; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 216273; Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online vol. 18, 342, 361362;  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; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 5.

[2] In the footnote, it describes Smith as from Maryland’s Harford County, serving “as a captain in Col. Moses Rawlings’s independent rifle regiment with a commission dating from July 1776.” It also says that “Smith later served briefly as lieutenant colonel commandant of a “Regiment Extraordinary” that Maryland raised and then disbanded in September 1780.” This sentence is erroneous, which is not mentioned in the only other letter on Founders Online with his name, as this posts shows. In his article in Volume 4, Issue 1 (p. 67) in the Maryland Historical Magazine, Christopher Johnson, in one of the articles of his genealogical series on the “Smith Family of Calvert County,” it cites the 1785 session of the House of Delegates, but since there are two sessions which cover that year, both were checked and no mention of information from Mr. Smith was given to the House of Delegates during this time.

[3] Order to pay Lt. Samuel Luckett, 17 October 1780, Maryland State Papers, Series A, box 22, no. 22/24, MdHR 6636-22-22/24 [MSA S1004-29-2635, 1/7/3/38]; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 234, 272, 273, 326, 327, 336, 337, 339, 340; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 58; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 445.

[4] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 234, 235, 272, 273; 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; Josias Miller Service Card (Regiment Extraordinary), Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, National Archives, NARA M881, Record Group 15, Roll 0408. Courtesy of Fold3.com; Order to pay and recript by Josias Miller, February 21, 1782, Maryland State Papers, Series A, MdHR 6636-44-41/14 [MSA S1004-60-13467, 1/7/3/53]; Pension of Charles Smith; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780 Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 233, 234; Order to pay Captain Charles Smith, October 24, 1780, Maryland State Papers, Series A, MdHR 6636-22-24/40 [MSA S1004-29-8019, 1/7/3/38]; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 48, 83.

As late as September 1780, the remaining roster rolls say that Miller had not joined the Regiment Extraordinary as an ensign. However, a pay receipt from 1782 shows that he was in this regiment and probably enlisted in October of that year. The pay order of Smith shows he was a captain in October 1780.

[5] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 45, 24, 25, 56.

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

[7] Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1732-1753, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 28, 553; Pension of Charles Smith; Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 47, 192, 197, 198. The first phase of the battle was near present-day Fort Washington while the second phase was at the Lyles House on a tributary of the Potomac River, Broad Creek. The house was constructed by an influential protestant family in Maryland, the Addison family. The remains of this structure exist near Harmony Hall, which is still standing today. Interestingly, the only mention of the house being burned was in April 1781 when Governor Lee was told the following: “Yesterday a Sixteen Gun Brig appeared off Swann Point & sent a Boat with six hands to destroy a vessel on the Stocks near that place eight Militia under Col Harris attacked them and took the Boat & Crew, the Prisoners are Ordered to Annapolis. This morning all the enemys vessels which were above sailed down Potomack and were below Cedar Point at eleven O’clock — they have done no damage since I last wrote you, except destroying Col Lyles house of which you have no doubt been informed I expect we shall have frequent visits from these plundering Banditts & hope we will so well prepare as to repel their attack that they will find the business as unprofitable as it is disgraceful. We thank your Excellency and Council for your kind attention in forwarding the Arms.” No other mention could be found in the Archives of Maryland, meaning that this letter still does not invalidate the stories in Smith’s pension. Digges’s Landing could also be owned by George Digges, later a delegate in a Maryland House of Delegates for Prince George’s County.

[8] Pension of Charles Smith.

[9] Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780, Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 43, 335336; 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; Josias Miller Service Card (First Maryland Regiment); 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; 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; Resolutions, laws, and ordinances, relating to the pay, half pay, commutation of half pay, bounty lands, and other promises made by Congress to the officers and soldiers of the Revolutionto the settlement of the accounts between the United States and the several states; and to funding the revolutionary debt (Washington: Thomas Allen, 1838), 415-416, 490. Other Maryland 400 veterans included Matthew Garner, Samuel Hanson (whose father was undoubtedly Walter, who said this son, an officer, was a prisoner in April 1781),  Charles Magruder, Vachel Burgess, Francis Shepard, and John Bryan. Another man who was in the regiment was Jacob Bythe.

[10] Lawrence E. Babits and Joshua B. Howard, Long, Obstinate, and Bloody: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009), 70-71, 148; Robert K. Wright, Jr., The Continental Army (Washington D.C.: Center of Military History, 1983), 278; Patrick O’Kelley, Nothing But Blood and SlaughterThe Revolutionary War in the Carolinas Vol. 3: 1781 (Lillington, NC: Blue House Tavern Press, 2005), 504.

[11] Order to pay Lt. Samuel Luckett, 25 May 1781, Maryland State Papers, Series A, box 32, no. 109B, MdHR 6636-32-109B [MSA S1004-42-603, 1/7/3/46]; Order to pay and receipt by Captain Charles Smith, March 29, 1781, Maryland State Papers, Series A, MdHR 6636-32-65/2 [MSA S1004-29-8019, 1/7/3/45]; Order to Pay Captain Charles Smith, November 30, 1781, Maryland State Papers, Series A, MdHR 6636-33-112/3 [MSA S1004-44-12571, 1/7/3/47];

[12] John Plant assessment record, 1783, General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Record, CH, Seventh District, General, p. 9 [MSA S1161-52, 1/4/5/48]; Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants Awared by State Governments (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2005), xxii-xxiv; Cyclopedia of American Government Vol I (ed. Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin and Albert Bushnell Hart, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1914), 168; C. Albert White, A History of the Rectangular Survey System (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Land Management, 1991, reprint), 10; William T. Martin, History of Franklin CountyA Collection of Reminiscences of the Early Settlement of the County; with Biographical Sketches, and a Complete History of the County to the Present Time (Columbus: Follett, Foster, & Company, 1858), 12; 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; Report from the Secretary of War (Washington: Duff Green, 1835), 58; Letter from the Secretary of War (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1820), 642; Letter from the Secretary of War (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1820), 642; Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. 4: Mid-Western States (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968, reprint from 1835), 184; Mark Andrew Tacyn “’To the End:’ The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution” (PhD diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), 318. Bounty lands were concentrated in Ohio and Kentucky. The child was male and under age eight.

[13] Pension of Charles Smith; Will of Charles Smith, 1788, Charles County Register of Wills, Wills, MdHR 7290-1, Liber AH 9, p. 549, 550, 551 [MSA C681-10, 1/8/10/10].

[14] Charles County, Court, Land Records, V3 p. 303 [MSA C 670-35]; Charles County, Register of Wills, Wills, 1788-1791, AI 10, p. 386 [MSA C 681-11]; Charles County, Register of Wills, Wills, 1791-1801, AK 11, p. 333 [MSA C 681-12]; Charles County, Register of Wills, Wills, AI 10, p. 386 [MSA C 681-11].

[15] Newman, 61-62; Pension of Samuel Luckett, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives, S 36,015. From Fold3.com; U.S. Federal Census, 1790, Charles County, Maryland; U.S. Federal Census, 1810, Fayette County, Kentucky; U.S. Federal Census, 1820, Barren County, Kentucky.

[16] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al., Archives of Maryland Online Vol. 426, 747, 748. This account of selling of enslaved blacks is further confirmed by the 1790 census which lists a Patrick Smith as owning three enslaved blacks and living in Hartford County (First Census of the United States, 1790, Harford, Maryland, NARA M637, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 3, page 98. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest). Reportedly, Across the Years in Prince George’s County” by Effie Gwynn Bowie, and Vol. I of ” Early Families of Southern Maryland” mention Smith, but these books cannot be currently accessed and even if they could, it would only be a mediocre secondary source.

[17]  Second Census of the United States, 1800, District 2, Harford, Maryland, NARA M32, Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29, Roll 11, Page 46. Courtesy of Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest. The 1790 census has 34 entries for people with the last name of Smith living in Harford, Maryland. Hence, he could have been related to any of these individuals. the 1800 census, where he is only listed as “Alexander Smith” is more straightforward. Other than this, Smith’s ancestry is not although clear, but confirmed by the Biographical Dictionary cited in Note 16.

[18] While some accounts say that he died in 1801, like Founders Online and Find A Grave, Christopher Johnson in “Smith Family of Calvert County,” (p. 385), an article in Volume 3, issue 4 of the Maryland Historical Magazine, describes Smith as one of 10 children (all with the last name of Smith: Patrick, 1742-1792; Richard, Dr. Clement, 1756-1831; Dr. Joseph Sim, ?-Sept 5, 1822; John Addison, unmarried sea-captain; Mary Sim, married Henry Huntt of Calvert County; Susanna, unmarried and died in 1824, and Rachel, unmarried and died in 1824) of Dr. Clement Smith (1718-1792) and Barbara Sim. It also says that Smith was born in 1754 and died in January 1802. Those dates cannot be independently confirmed beyond this article. The only other place they are mentioned is in Johnson’s  article in Volume 4, Issue 1 (p. 67-68) in the Maryland Historical Magazine, one of the articles within his genealogical series on the “Smith Family of Calvert County,” in which he says that Smith was (1) born in 1754 and died in January, 1802, (2) was “commissioned Captain in the Maryland Line 13 July, 1776,” (3) “was promoted to major in 1778,” (4)  that after the war Smith settled in Harford County, buried there on Jan. 26, 1802 as noted by St. George’s Register which is undoubtedly within this, (5) he married Martha Griffith (Sept. 16, 1771-Aug. 4, 1847) who later married Samuel Jay, and (6) Smith and Martha had three children: Samuel Griffith Smith (Dec. 25, 1794-?) who was unmarried, Francina Frenetta Smith (Nov. 10, 1797-Feb. 10, 1860) who was unmarried, and Mary Matilda Smith (Jul. 1, 1799-Sept. 14, 1860) who was unmarried. There are numerous other sources that mention Smith. A search of Google Books shows him mentioned on: page 603 of The Papers of Henry Clay: The Rising Statesman 1815–1820, Volume 2; page 364 of The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript, Volume 14; pages 229 to 230 of Congressional Series of United States Public Documents, Volume 462; page 88 of United States Congressional serial set, Issue 343; pages 328, 552 and 555 of the Journal of the Proceedings of the House of Delegates of the State of Maryland in 1838; pages 105, 128, 129, 216, and 331 of History of Harford County, Maryland: From 1608 and many others of which one can only see snippets.

From the Revolutionary War to the 1790s: the Creek Nation in the Southern Gulf Region

A map of indigenous nations before the ‘Trail of Tears’ courtesy of Pinterest.

Where we last left off, I wrote about how Gaither, a veteran of the Maryland 400, had served “seven years on the Georgian frontier, and two years in the Mississippi Territory as a U.S. Army officer” in which he was involved in numerous incidents on the frontier of Georgia, with disputes between the Creek Nation (Muskogee), other indigenous nations, and Georgian inhabitants. Specifically I told the stories of an incident in 1793 at the fork of the Tallahatchie River, reports of  robbery and murder of two Whites on the St. Mary’s River later that year and anger among the Creek Nation after James Seagrove, US Ambassador to the Creek Nation, called for retribution. Beyond this, I told the story of Major General Elijah Clarke’s failed expedition to invade Spanish territory in Louisiana in mid-1794, alarming even George Washington’s government, and Gaither at the end of his life, serving on the Mississippi River, and dying in 1811, at age 61 on a Washington D.C. plantation. A relatively new book by Early American/”North American borderlands” historian Kathleen DuVal titled Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution sheds light on the Creek Nation, which is even reviewed positively in the New York Times by Woody Holton and the post-war environment on the new frontier.

Before the revolutionary war, the Creek, Chickasaw, and Choctaw Nations spread from the Gulf Coast into the interior of the North American continent. [1] While these nations dominated the Southern Gulf (of Mexico) Coast region, the Choctaws likely had the biggest population, numbering, likely, twenty thousand by the early 1700s, in contrast to the five thousand Chickasaw and ten thousand Creek at the same time. [2] By the 1770s, Payamataha, chief of the Chickasaw, had made peace with the Choctaws, Cherokees, Catawbas, Creeks, and Quapaws, other nearby indigenous nations, while Creek-Chickasaw peace, starting in 1760s, continued to flourish. [3] As for the Creeks, the main focus of this story, they had a unique form of government. Living in the river valleys in a region that would become the present-day states of Alabama and Georgia, the Creeks, divided into the Lower Creeks and Upper Creeks comprised a loose confederation of 60 towns which had their own farms and lesser towns in their jurisdiction, with limited consultation on foreign policy and defense. [4] While this meant that each town or clan had the decision to go to war, engage in diplomacy, or create new towns,with a broad spread of governance, most of those in the towns spoke “related languages” and had “similar cultural practices and beliefs” to fellow members of the society. [5]

One man, named Alexander McGillivray, tried to change this. McGillivray, born into a matrilineal Creek society, with his mother, Sehoy Marchand, and maternal uncle, Red Shoes, was multi-racial because his father was a Scottish highlander and trader named Lachlan McGillivray. [6] He soon tried to gain an important role in the world of Creek politics and society. However, he had trouble persuading the Creek people as a whole to succeed against the British not only because “no one could dictate foreign policy to even one Creek town of clan, much less the loose Creek Confederacy” but he was not a Creek headman and proven warrior. [7] Additionally, the British, seemed be fighting against the Continental Army and pro-revolutionary individuals, but not against settlers, leading certain US individuals to try and sway the Creeks, complicating McGillivray’s attempts at diplomacy and persuasion of the Creek people. Apart from this changing aim, the Creek-British alliance seemed to go forward despite failed efforts at British-indigenous coordination, especially in 1778, leading to tension among the indigenous nations such as the Creeks and Chickasaws who fought alongside the British. [8] Additionally, the minds of the Creek people were taken off the war for a number of reasons. For one, the spread of smallpox across the continent limited the ability of the Creeks to contribute especially since they quarantined fellow indigenous (and British) towns infected by smallpox, and the involvement of the French and Spanish in the revolutionary war led to less inclination to be involved in an inter-empire conflict. [9]

By 1781, as the siege of Pensacola, then a town within colonial British Florida, seemed imminent, with the approach of a Spanish fleet, people’s hopes were scattered, depending on the groups of people affected. For McGillivray, who “hoped for personal glory and Creek victory,” he had trouble getting the Creeks to fight the Spaniards but succeeded by stressing stressed Creek interests in the war and “opportunities for glory on the Gulf coast.” [10] Not everyone was convinced, however, as some Creeks went to the Spanish as a show of strength and attempt an alliance, but this failed not only because of the unification on foreign policy, like the Chickasaws, and because the two parties (Spanish and Creek) could not come to an agreement. [11] In a united front, January 8, 1781, Maryland and Pennsylvania loyalists fought alongside hundreds of Lower Creeks and Choctaws on an attack on a Spanish post at the “Village, which was on the other side of bay from Mobile. [12] In the attack, ending in a clear Spanish victory, Daniel Higgins of Maryland Loyalist Regiment, could have been among those who fought, along with many other loyalists from Maryland and Pennsylvania. [13] There were two other complicating factors. For one, despite the fact that about 1,700 soldiers under the command of General John Campbell, who had been in British West Florida since 1778, the city’s defense depended on warriors from the Chickasaw, Creek, and Choctaw nations since reinforcements had not arrived. [14] The other factor was that many Creeks were tired of the British treating them poorly, with some questioning McGillivray’s motives, since he was paid as a British agent, but he was successful yet again in countering them by saying that “cultivating interdependence with the British would facilitate Creek protection of their eastern border, where the British were fighting the Creeks’ most hated enemies, Georgians and Virginians” as DuVal notes. [15]

On May 8, the Spanish, helped by the French, were victorious in their siege, as the city of Pensacola surrendered. Generally this meant that “the British had lost a colony that had not rebelled” and it would lead to a British decision to  “recognize American independence before things got any worse.” [16] As Ray Raphael has pointed out, even after the Battle of Yorktown, resulting in the British surrender of Lord Cornwallis’s almost 7,000 troops, on October 17, the war was far from over despite what “conventional wisdom” says. Not only was King George III not ready to capitulate, but Washington was worried of future British advances, and peace was not even proposed by British military commanders until August 1782, with a preliminary peace treaty signed on November 30 of the same year. [17] Compounding this was a total of 47,000 British soldiers stationed in New York, Canada, South Carolina, Georgia, and the West Indies, “four times as many as those serving in the Continental Army.” [18] It is worth also noting that Washington was worried about a separate peace treaty between British and France, dooming the colonies, that over 300 revolutionary soldiers dying after Yorktown, the global nature of the American Revolutionary War, the “strategic retreat” rather than surrender by the British, which tells more of the story than acting like the battle at Yorktown was the end of the war. [19]

For the Creeks the was also not over. As the Creeks left Pensacola before Spanish victory, they instructed Alexander Cameron to describe Creek commitment and bravery during the siege, especially the “details of Creek and Choctaw participation,” in a letter to the British in Georgia. [20] Apart from this, the Creeks and their allies fought even harder. Hundreds of Continental soldiers were killed until the final peace agreement in 1783 and the fight against US settlers moving westward intensified as the British were pulling out of their colonies. [21] While the British, Spanish, French, Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws, had seemed like bigger players in the war in the Southern Gulf region than the revolutionaries/”rebels,” the postwar arrangement would change all that. [22]

The Treaty of Paris, actually negotiated, in part, in the Versailles Palace, was signed by the US and Britain, with France and Spain begrudgingly accepting it. Angriest of all were the Creeks, Chickasaws, and Cherokees. In a letter to the Spanish King,these indigenous chiefs, brought together by McGillivray, said that the Treaty was not valid. They argued that the British ceded land they never possessed and that the Creek, Chickasaw, and Cherokee were nations of indigenous people who had independence and natural rights. [23] To complete this insult, the US government under the Articles of Confederation, made a broad assertion. They declared that indigenous nations between the Appalachians and Mississippi were not sovereign nations but aggressors in the war. [24] Essentially, this denied “independent sovereignty” of indigenous nations, which had been accepted by the British and Spanish in their negotiations with such nations, especially during the Revolutionary War.

In the years after the war, there were a number of changes. For one, McGillivray  went back to the town his mother was living, staying there with his family as his   British connections had become irrelevant. [25] Around the same time, Hoboithle Miko, also called the Tame King, Tallassee King, and Halfway-House King, the latter which recognized his role in negotiating good terms for those on both sides, of Great Tallassee, an Upper Creek town, and Niko Miko of Cussita, a Lower Creek town, led the negotiations with North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia since the British gave St. Augustine to the Spanish, along with broadly removing themselves from the region. [26] In terms of diplomacy, McGillivray led the way, helping push forward an alliance and trade with the Spanish, at a time that large numbers of Americans settling in lands claimed by Spanish and indigenous people. [27] The Creeks also experienced the unfriendly nature of the new United States first hand. When Hoboithle Miko and Niko Miko attended a meeting of the Georgia legislature, in 1783, to try to maintain good relations with the United States, a treaty was quickly negotiated. [28] While Georgians thought it was valid, Creeks from only a few towns out of the 60 were there, meaning that it held no weight, but the Georgians did not realize this, possibly because of their ignorance of Creek customs, leading to tension. On the same token, while the idea of “advantageous independence,” which DuVal defines as people trying to “establish a balance in which they might have more control over dependent relationships,” expressed itself most strongly in the postwar period, just like during the war, a planter culture developed. [29] This culture, in which Creeks were slaveowners, created a disparity in the Creek Nation which hadn’t been seen before despite its existence in the nation for many years before.

In the following years, McGillivray tried to steer the Creek Nation in a more nationalist direction. First off, an alliance between the Creek and Spanish  recognized sovereignty on both sides and “mutually beneficial trade,” giving the Creeks a “European ally.” [30] Secondly, McGillivray tried to centralize the foreign policy of the Creek Nation, recognizing that  it would be more effective if this was implemented in “conjunction with other southeastern nations and even Indians to the north,” trying to create a Southern Confederacy, even as this proved exceedingly difficult. [31] Thirdly, McGillivray presented to the world, but especially to the Europeans and Americans, a strong nationalist statement. While he didn’t want the Creek Nation to become a U.S. state, he did develop “a language of independent nationhood that carried particular weight with late-eighteenth century Europeans and Americans” with his explicit claims that the Creeks governed their “own independent nation.” [32] This went beyond the arrangement in the past were issues of Creek governance were debated internally instead of projected to other governments.

As Western expansion continued, Creeks began to be nervous. With Georgians encroaching on Creek hunting lands, and they were harder to remove, the Creek National Council took up arms in their defense, along with beginning to engage in small-scale raids into Georgia starting in 1785. [33] Not only did this lead to tension, but the Georgians seemed aloof by the attacks, not understanding their role and they attempted to negotiate. Adding to this was the complications that Spain faced in white US settlers entering disputed lands in Creek Country since it was not technically Spanish land, and Georgians had major claims, even as they secretly funded the actions of the Creeks. [34]

Tension between the Spanish and Creek Nation began to grow. When the Spanish welcomed immigration from the newly created United States of America, with the Creeks seeing no value in this. [35] McGillivray was hurt by these developments as he worked on gaining connections in the United States, gaining a truce with Georgia, along with other diplomacy to force the hand of Spain. Due to these strained relations, the Creeks were glad to hear that the British were involved in the region again. As a result, they tried to gain British connections, with supplies to the Creek nation, but this faltered due to the false promises by William Augustus Bowles, a former member of the Maryland Loyalist Regiment. [36] By 1788, the situation had changed as the Spanish had reversed their previous decision. They had begun to supply the Creeks with weapons. They sent  weapons, which helped them wage “wars against the United States through the War of 1812 and beyond.” [37] It is worth noting that the Creek Nation was by no stretch a colony of the Spanish or the British, but engaged in their own independent foreign policy, like the other indigenous nations at the time.

By the 1790s, the McGillivray’s influence in the Creek Nation seemed to waning. While the Creeks continued truce with US [38], until a new government was inaugurated in 1791 with the end of ratification, McGillivray signed a Congressional treaty. The document set the border between the Creek Nation and Georgia at the Oconee River which many Creeks thought was too much of a compromise, as did Georgians about the terms put forward by the administration of George Washington. [39] There was additional tension. In 1791, a Creek and Cherokee delegation to London said that the Creeks and Cherokees were united into one with the Chickasaws and Choctaws also swayed by the Council’s measures. [40] However, the Choctaws and Chickasaws did not agree, leading to increased friction among the indigenous nations. On February 17, 1793, he died  in Pensacola, with his first and second wives mourning him and his plantations distributed among his children. [41]

DuVal’s book, in terms of historical narrative, basically ends there, with some exceptions. She notes that by 1814, few Creeks came to defend Pensacola because “a few months earlier Jackson’s forces had fought alongside one Creek faction to defeat another in a disastrous civil war.” [42] She also adds that in 1834, which may have seemed unthinkable in 1793, the US “forcibly removed most Creeks across the Mississippi” with the Chickasaws only held out a few years longer. [43] Near the end, she says that the remove of Creeks and Chickasaws from their homelands “in the 1830s took their county but not their nationhood” but that Native American sovereignty has had a resurgence in recent years. [44]

Some readers may be wondering how this all ties to Henry Chew Gaither, a revolutionary war veteran and Marylander who was a major of the First Regiment of the U.S. Army from 1791 to 1792 and Lieutenant Colonel Commandant of the Third Sub-Legion from 1793 to 1802. The truth is that he likely never met McGillivray, since he died in the sixth month of Gaither’s deployment. Even so, the history of this article is directly relevant to the experience of Gaither while spent time on the Georgian frontier, until he went to Fort Adams, which sat alongside the Mississippi River in 1800, staying until 1802, when he finally retired from the military for good. In the end, even though Gaither is not part of this story, the connections to the Maryland Loyalist Regiment and expansion of the history of the Southern Gulf Region makes DuVal’s book valuable for understanding the Early American period while informing the happenings of the present.

Notes

[1] Kathleen DuVal, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution (New York: Random House, 2015), xvii.

[2] Ibid, 9, 13.

[3] Ibid, 17, 19.

[4] Ibid, xviii,  xxii, 9, 25-26. The Upper Creeks lived “along the Alabama, Coosa, and Tallapoosa rivers in present-day Alabama” and the Lower Creeks  near “the Chattahoochee River, the present-day border between Alabama and Georgia” as DuVal notes.

[5] Ibid, 25-27.

[6] Ibid, xviii, 24-25.

[7] Ibid, 77-81.

[8] Ibid, 85-87, 99, 115.

[9] Ibid, 165-166, 176.

[10] Ibid, xxv-xxvi, 177-178.

[11] Ibid, 181, 185-186. DuVal writes that among the Choctaws there was broad disagreement with some joining the Spanish and others the British.

[12] Ibid, 167, 182.

[13] Higgins was related to Peter Higgins of the Fourth Independent Company, which had Archibald Anderson as its First Lieutenant and James Hindman as its Captain. While it is possible that Barnet Turner, a veteran of the Maryland 400, was part of the Maryland Loyalist Regiment, he had deserted in 1778, three years before the fighting near Pensacola. Looking this up more in-depth, the Maryland Historical Society seems to have the muster rolls of the Maryland Loyalist Regiment in 1782, the Canadian Archives seems to have some records, there’s a 1778 Orderly Book of the Maryland Loyalists (along with other Ancestry databases here and here), relevant documents on the regiment transcribed here, this muster list, parts of this book, this orderly book, bits and pieces noted here, some results in the Journal of the American Revolution, and so on.

[14] Ibid, 194, 196, 205; George C. Osborn, “Major-General John Campbell in British West Florida,” The Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 4, p. 318, 332, 339.

[15] Ibid, 206-208.

[16] Ibid, 218.

[17] Ray Raphael, Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past (New York: The New Press, 2004), 211-214.

[18] Ibid, 214.

[19] Ibid, 215-225.

[20] DuVal, 217.

[21] Ibid, 228-229.

[22] Ibid, 128.

[23] Ibid, 236.

[24] Ibid, 236-237.

[25] Ibid, 246-247.

[26] Ibid, 247, 251.

[27] Ibid, xv, 248.

[28] Ibid, 250-253.

[29] Ibid, xxi, 249.

[30] Ibid, 257-258, 260.

[31] Ibid, 295-296.

[32] Ibid, 254-255.

[33] Ibid, 298-301.

[34] Ibid, 310-311.

[35] Ibid, 323, 326-327.

[36] Ibid, 327-329.

[37] Ibid, 341.

[38] Ibid, 332.

[39] Ibid, 342.

[40] Ibid, 304.

[41] Ibid, 343.

[42] Ibid, 340.

[43] Ibid, 343-344.

[44] Ibid, 350.

Col. Gaither: Seven years on Georgia’s frontier

Reposted from Academia.edu and originally written when I worked at the Maryland States Archives on the Finding the Maryland 400 project, with some changes and revisions in this version.

Map, courtesy of the Library of Congress, that shows Georgia’s frontier in 1795.

A biography I wrote about Henry Chew Gaither, a Revolutionary War captain of the First and Fourth Maryland Regiments, expands on previous descriptions on the blog of the Maryland 400 project. [1] On the eve of the Battle of Brooklyn, he served as a witness for Daniel Bowie’s will. Unlike most Revolutionary War veterans, Gaither remained in the military after the war, serving two years in Ohio [2], seven years on the Georgian frontier, and two years in the Mississippi Territory as a U.S. Army officer. [3] In August 1792, Gaither, 41 years old at the time, received nine pages of instructions for his service in Georgia from Secretary of War Henry Knox, telling him to obtain a “healthy” place for his troops, be cordial to the Spanish and Georgian governments, and avoid a “heated” incident with their governments. [4]

Gaither was involved in many incidents in Georgian frontier [5] which involved the inhabitants of Georgia, the Creek Nation (Muskogee), and other indigenous nations. The Creek were divided into the Lower Creek, who intermarried with Whites, and the Upper Creek who were traditional and “less effected by European influences.” In one such incident, in the first months of 1793, inhabitants of Georgia’s upper frontier drove cattle to the fork of the Tallahatchie River. [6] Interpreter Timothy Bernard, a US Army major and the son of Timopochee Barnard, the chief of the Creek Nation, wrote Gaither, worrying that since the cattle would likely be driven away and killed by local indigenous people, including the Creek, bloodshed would result if the cattle were not withdrawn. [6] Despite this warning, Georgians continued to move cattle near the Tallahatchie River’s forks and the King of the Cussetah, part of the Creek Confederacy, blamed the Coweta, also part of the Confederacy, for stealing horses of Georgian inhabitants. [7]

In April and May 1793, Gaither relayed reports to Knox of the robbery and murder of two Whites on the St. Mary’s River and that James Seagrove, the Agent/Ambassador to the Creek Nation demanded retribution from the Creek Nation. [8] Hoboithle Micco, the Halfway House King, of the Upper Creek, and his loyal warriors responded to Seagrove’s demand for the supposed Creek perpetrators to turn themselves over to the appropriate authorities with a call to kill Whites, resulting in Gaither telling Georgia militia officers to stand guard. [9] Despite this call from the Upper Creek, Bird King, a chief of the Creek Nation, told Gaither that the “bad” town of Halfway House King caused trouble and that the Creeks did not want war. [10] Bernard confirmed this to Gaither, saying that three-quarters of the Creek Nation favored peace but he feared that some White men would not discriminate between innocent and guilty Creek people in an attempt to enact retribution. [11] While it seemed, at the time, that blood spilled across the frontier meant a “general war with the Creek and Cherokee Indians,” Gaither was still told by Knox to take efforts to “calm every attempt to raise a storm.” [12] Ultimately a war didn’t break out, and a treaty was signed three years later, in 1796, between the Creek Nation and the United States, with Gaither as a witness.

In mid-1794, Major General Elijah Clarke tried to launch an expedition to invade Spanish territory in Louisiana. [13] Letters show that Gaither, then established as lieutenant colonel commandant, was notified of this by Knox who told him to work with Georgia Governor George Matthews to suppress this “illegal combination of men.” Later, Clarke was apprehended after he refused to move his soldiers from the banks of the Oconee River, apparently in preparation for his expedition. [14] This incident was serious enough to merit concern from Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton and have it addressed publicly by President George Washington. In May, Washington told members of the House and Senate about “certain hostile threats against territories of Spain in our neighborhood” and that the expedition, “projected against the Spanish dominions,” was relinquished. If Clarke’s expedition had succeeded, it is possible that Spain may have not signed Pinckney’s Treaty the following year which dropped duties on “American trade passing through New Orleans” and voided “Spanish guarantees of military support…to Native Americans in the disputed region.” This treaty ended the supposed instigation of indigenous nations such as the Cherokee by “Spanish agents” in earlier years and served as a motivation for White settlers to continue their expansion westward. [15]

Our story ends by tying together loose ends. In 1800, Gaither was ordered to replace Senior Army Officer James Wilkinson at Fort Adams, on the Mississippi River, where Gaither served as a witness to a Treaty with the Choctaw in 1801 and gave a valedictory address to soldiers at the Fort the same year, until 1802, when he was honorably discharged. [16] In 1811, Gaither died, at the age of 61, on a plantation in present-day Washington, D.C., owning a few enslaved Blacks, and having a funeral procession in the city. [17] As for the indigenous nations, they didn’t fare as well. The Creek were defeated at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814 by Andrew Jackson, forcing them to acquiesce much of their land, and were forcibly removed in the brutal ‘Trail of Tears,’ along with other indigenous peoples. In the end, it is clear that Gaither was part of a history of indigenous people in North America and a post-revolutionary early republic.

Notes

[1] Gaither was stationed or are mentioned in the 76 letters I looked at, at a number of locations in Georgia, some of which are highlighted in this post.

[2] The National Archives. M233. Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914. NARA Record Group 94 National Archives Catalog ID: NARA M233. Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914. Roll: MIUSA1798_102864. Roll Number: 5. Fold 3. In his two years in Ohio, he served in one of the final phases of Little Turtle’s War (1785-1795), included participating in the disastrous “St. Clair’s Defeat” in November 1791 in which an army led by Arthur St. Clair, assisted by the Choctaw and Chickasaw, was defeated by the British-allied Western Confederacy, later memorized in a ballad of the same name.

[3] June 7, 1792, The Federal Gazette and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, page 2; “To George Washington from Henry Knox, 24 September 1791,” Founders Online, National Archives.

[4] “Orders for Deployment to Georgia,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 11 August 1792, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[5]  It is worth remembering that the State of Georgia originally “claimed its western boundary extended to the Mississippi River” which includes the upper parts of the present-day states of Mississippi and Alabama.

[6] “A warning about the effect of white settler encroachments on Indian land,” Timothy Bernard and Henry Gaither, 18 February 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[7] “Letter from Timothy Barnard [Bernard] to Major Henry Gaither regarding translator Mr George Cornells, son of Joseph Cornells,” Timothy Bernard and Henry Gaither, 4 March 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Letters that appear in searches for the terms Buzzard’s Roast, Tullapatchee River and Tallahatchee River reveal what happened next.

[8] This action by Seagrove divided the Creek Nation. “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox regarding murder and robbery at Traders Hill on St Marys,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 7 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox on the robbery and murder at Traders Hill St Marys,” 17 April 1793,  Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[9] “To George Washington from Henry Knox, 18 April 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives; “His Warriors are Determined to Spill Human Blood,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 19 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox on the robbery and murder at Traders Hill St Marys,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 19 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; According to pages 90, 158, 215-216 of Andrew K. Frank’s Peculiar breed of whites“: race, culture, and identity in the Creek Confederacy, Micco was originally a mixed individual and pioneer named James McQueen who later changed his name after integrating himself enough with the Creek.

[10] “Letter from Bird King Cussetas King to Major Gaither on trouble caused by Halfway King,” Bird King to Henry Gaither, 13 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Also referred to as Bird Tail King.

[11] “Letter from Timothy Barnard [Bernard] to Major Henry Gaither regarding meeting with Cussetahs, scalpings, robbery and murder at Robert Seagrove’s store Traders Hill on St Mary’s River, Spaniard Dons,” Timothy Bernard to Henry Gaither, 8 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Timothy Bernard to Major Gaither regarding Major James Seagrove’s demands in aftemath of violations,” Timothy Bernard to Henry Gaither, 20 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[12] U.S. Senate. Report by Mr. Elliott to the Military Committee. 17th Cong., 1st Sess. (S.Doc.64). Washington: Gales & Seaton, April 15, 1822. pp. 3. (Serial Set 60); “Conducting the Security of the Frontier in Georgia,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 29 April 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Letter from Major Henry Gaither to Secretary of War Henry Knox on Indian theft and murder,” Henry Gaither to Henry Knox, 6 May 1793, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. John Elliott was a U.S. Senator representing Georgia at the time.

[13] Correspondence of Clark and Genet: Selections from the Draper Collection in the Possession of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin to Elucidate the Proposed French Expedition Under George Rogers Clark Against Louisiana, in the Years 1793-94. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897, 936-943; “To George Washington from Henry Knox, 14 May 1794,” Founders Online, National Archives; “Extract of a letter from the Secretary of War, to Lieut. Col. Gaither, dated 14th May, 1794,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 14 May 1794, Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media; “Suppressing the Illegal Combination of Men,” Henry Knox to Henry Gaither, 14 May 1794,  Papers of the War Department 1794 to 1800, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

[14] “From Alexander Hamilton to George Mathews, 25 September 1794,” Founders Online, National Archives.

[15] Report by Mr. Elliott to the Military Committee, 2.

[16] The Territorial papers of the United States: The Territory of Mississippi 1798-1817 (vol. 5, ed. Clarence Edwin Carter). Washington, DC: GPO, 1937. 124-5.; “To Alexander Hamilton from James Wilkinson, 25 February 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives; “To Alexander Hamilton from James Wilkinson, 7 March 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives.

[17] Assessments of 1793, 1795, 1796 and 1797, Montgomery County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessment Record, MdHR 20015-1-1, p. 115-116, 159, 228, 256, 268 (MSA C1110-1, 1/18/14/17); Assessments of 1813 and 1816, Montgomery County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessment Record, MdHR 20015-3-1, p. 53, 99, 130 (MSA C1110-3, 1/18/14/19); Assessments of 1798, 1801, 1802, 1804, 1811, Montgomery County Commissioners of the Tax, Assessment Record, MdHR 20015-2-1, p. 94, 33, 138, 146, 151, 163, 205, 265, 406, 424 (MSA C1110-2, 1/18/14/18); General Assembly House of Delegates, Assessment Records, 1783, 3-4, 18 (MSA S1161-78, 1/4/5/51).

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.