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Governor Horatio Sharpe

VOL. Ill

I 76 I -I 77 I

Published by Authority of the State, under the Direction
OF the Maryland Historical Society


Maryland Historical Society



V. \^



Rooms of the Maryland Historical Society,

Baltimore, October -^o., 1895.

To the Maryland Historical Society :

Gentlemen :

We have the honor to submit the Fourteenth Volume of the
Maryland Archives, being the third and concludinor volume of the
Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe.


Bradley T. Johnson,
Clayton C. Hall,



The following volumes have been published :


Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 163 7/8- 1664, 1883


Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, i 666-1 676, - 1884

Proceedings OF THE Council, 1 636-1 667, - - - - 1885


Judicial and Testamentary Records of the Provincial Court,

1637-1650, 1887

Proceedings OF THE Council, 1 667-1 687/8, 1887


Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe, I, 1753- 17 57, - 1888

Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, i 678-1 683, - 1889

Proceedings OF THE Council, 1687/8-1693, 1890


Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe, II, 1757-1 761, - 1890


Judicial and Testamentary Records of the Provincial Court,

1650-1657, 1891


Journal of the Maryland Convention, July 26-AuG. 14, 1775 ]
Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Safety, Aug. V 1 892
29. 1775-JuLY 6, 1776, )


Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Safety, July 7-

Dec. 31,1776, 1893


Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1684-1692, - 1894

Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe, III, 1761-1771, 1895


This volume completes the correspondence of Governor Sharpe.
All his letters that could be found, either in his letter-books or else-
where, have been printed, and all communications to him, except such
as properly belong to Council business.

The period covered by this volume is one of great interest in Mary-
land's history. It includes the settlement of the boundary-dispute with
Pennsylvania and the establishment of Mason and Dixon's line, the
stamp-act, the violent resistance to it and its repeal, and various matters
of importance in the internal policy of the Province.

It was the good, fortune of Maryland that during this critical time
the executive power was lodged in the hands of a man so wise, just,
energetic and moderate as Horatio Sharpe. These volumes of his
correspondence are at once a revelation of his character, and record of
his actions; and it would be hard to find in one of them any just
ground for censure. As a colonial governor, responsible to the British
government, he was the conservator of the rights of the crown, and
bound to carry out the instructions of the ministry ; as the sworn repre-
sentative and executive officer of the Proprietary he was the custodian
of the Proprietary rights, which the people were always ready to invade,
curtail, or impede — not always without reason ; and as a citizen and
well-wisher of the Province his wish as well as his duty was to admin-
ister justice and promote prosperity and good-feeling. \\ hile the
clashing of these interests often rendered his action difficult, he seems
to have weighed in an impartial balance his duties to the crown, the
Proprietary and the people.

During the period covered by this volume, the old Secretary Cecilius
Calvert, Lord Baltimore's uncle, died, and was replaced by Hugh
Hamersley. Calvert seems to have been a well-meaning man of a
rather chaotic mind, and his letters, though intelligible, are extraordi-
nary examples of confusion in expression. Doubtless this was partly
owing to age and long sickness. Hamersley, on the other hand, was
an able, clear-headed man, and his letters are full, intelligent, and lucid.
It has seemed worth while to reproduce the protests by the minority in
the Lords against the repeal of the Stamp Act (inclosed in Hamersley's
letter of March 22, 1766) because of the great importance to American
history of all the proceedings of that critical time.

On the same ground of general interest some papers connected with
the relief sent by Maryland to the sufferers by the great Boston fire of
March 20, 1760, have been printed in an appendix.

vi Preface.

An impartial examination of this correspondence throughout will,
the editor thinks, tend to modify the harsh judgment that has been
generally passed on Frederick, sixth Lord Baltimore. It is true, he
was neither a George nor a Cecilius ; but his letters and those of his
secretaries, as well as his formal instructions (which, as belonging to
Council business, are not printed here) show — in the present editor's
judgment — a desire to deal justly, and even generously, with the
people of his Province. From almost the very founding of the colony
there had been, as was natural enough, a party opposed to the Proprie-
tary, and hostility to him was usually a sure road to popular favor. In
Frederick's case this hostility was particularly fierce and unscrupulous,
and the impressions it left have descended to our own time. We judge
Frederick much as we should judge the loyalists of the Revolution, if
we had nothing to guide us but the traditions, pamphlets, and news-
papers of the time.

The editor confesses to having shared this prejudice, and in regard
to an infamous charge brought against the Proprietary (alluded to in
the correspondence) was inclined to believe it true, until he read the
official report of the trial and testimony of the witnesses, which left him
convinced that the specific charge brought was untrue, and the whole
affair an attempt at black-mail.

While this volume was passing through the press, a discovery of the
highest importance to Maryland history has been made. Two volumes
of original Council Books, of which no later copies are known to exist,
which at some unknown time (certainly more than thirty years ago)
had been removed from Annapolis, have been discovered, almost by
accident, and placed in the custody of the Maryland Historical Society.
These volumes, extending with more or less completeness over the
years 1671-1685/6, will go far to fill up one of the most deplorable
gaps in our colonial record, which, in our published series, was imper-
fectly bridged by the publication of documents, mostly obtained from
England, which shed some light upon the time. The Society trust to
be enabled to add these records to our inestimable series of published

A brief calendar of these two volumes follows.

Council Books.

Liber — [unnamed]. Original. 1677/8-1683.

A small folio, bound in law sheep : 35 pp. text, paged, and 14 pp.
index. Some 20 pp. are missing at the beginning, and the tops of
the first two or three leaves are a little damaged; otherwise in
good condition. Written in a fine legible court-hand of the 17"'
century. Begins with Instructions to W. Burges commanding
St. Maries militia. Mar. 16, 1677/8. Council Proceedings begin
Mar. 23, 1677/8 and end April 3, 1683.

Preface. vii

Liber RR. Original. 167 1-1685/6.

A small folio, bound in law sheep: 320 pp. text, paged, and 27
pp. index. Perfect and in excellent preservation. Begins with a
proclamation of Gov. Charles Calvert, Deer. 8, 1671.

This book, so far as it overlaps the preceding volume, seems to
be devoted chiefly to public documents, such as instructions, procla-
mations, commissions, etc. After the previous volume leaves off,
the Council Proceedings are continued in this.


Page 97, line 21. "no such word as Fort." The allusion is to a
matter that was long a bone of contention between the Lower House
and the Proprietary. By various Acts of Assembly, founded upon the
Act of 1664, the Proprietaries were allowed one shilling per hhd.on all
tobacco shipped from the port, the proceeds to go to the support of the
government. After the close of the royal government, this tax was
disputed on the ground that this revenue was intended to erect and
garrison forts, and that it was not a "port-duty" but a "fort-duty."
Examination of the act showed that this contention was unfounded
and frivolous.

Page 123, line 4. Reference is to John Wilkes.

Page 144, line 14. Word erased in original, probably "Judas."

Page 178, line 46. " ffin." So it reads in Glencairn's peculiar hand.
Perhaps " Edin."

Page 248. Foot-note in original.

Page 272, line 41. " Tributary arrows." Under the charter the Pro-
prietary paid to the crown, in lieu of all services, two Indian arrows of
the Province, delivered at Windsor Castle on Tuesday of Easter week.

Page 323, line 21. The turbulent parson, Bennet Allen, was a
friend and protege of Baltimore, and there are many letters from him
to his patron among the Calvert Papers, besides other documents,
pamphlets, etc., in the collections of the Historical Society. He was a
man of good education, great energy and determination, and no mean
intelligence ; but he was arrogant, grasping, and violent, and got into
hot water wherever he went. The following note on him, in the hand-
writing of the late Robert Gilmor, is in the Society's collections:
" The Rev. Bennett Allen was well known in Maryland as the fighting,
horse-racing parson who possessed the favor of Governor Sharpe and
the Lord Proprietor, Frederick, Lord Baltimore. He was continually
in quarrels in his parishes, and when appointed to that of Frederick,
against the wishes of the congregation, he forced his way into the
church overnight through a window, by means of a ladder, on Saturday
night, read his induction from the desk, and the Thirty-nine Articles,
and then unbolted the door, which had had the lock taken off, and the
next day, by some address, got into the church and pulpit, and had
proceeded as far as the second lesson, when half-a-dozen of the gentle-
men of the vestry marched up the aisle and staircase to pull him out.
In his letter to Governor Sharpe giving an account of the proceed-
ing, he says that he let the foremost man' approach within two paces,

X Notes.

when he presented his pistol to his head, and they all fell back. He
then went through the service and marched out of the church, not one
daring to touch him. He afterwards killed Lloyd Dulany in a duel in
London, was tried for his life, and acquitted. It was supposed the duel
was unfair. R. G." Letters and other papers giving an account of
his quarrel with the Dulanys, and of the duel, are in the collections of
the Historical Society.

Page 349, line i6. " Country Parish " should be " Coventry Parish."

Page 462, line 22. The work referred to is Baltimore's "Tour in
the East in the years 1763 and 1764, with Remarks on the City of
Constantinople and the Turks."

Page 512, line 27. The beginning of this letter is missing.

Page 533, line 7. Dr. Gregory Sharpe, Master of the Temple, an
eminent divine and Orientalist.

Page 533, line 43. " howens," i. e. hounds.

Page 549, line 29. " Burn." Burn's Ecclesiastical Law, one of the
authorities cited by Allen in his argument for the Proprietary's ecclesi-
astical supremacy (p. 443).

[Calvert to Sharpe.] Caiven


London March 17'^ 1761.

In a former to you I mentioned "Is it not the time of choice
of an opponent from the Lo: House as a continuance of proof
that what they aledge is not real, but in view of taking the
Loaves & Fishes?" this when I propounded, I thought not
important, only reference to a Rule by the administrators of
the late Lord ; I agree with you the step is impolitick, & tho'
it may be, is seldom to be practiced : this proposition has been
admonished from the Province here ag' further admittance
i. e. only themselves. However as the Law of reason is the
Rule of Goverm' & the consideration thereof is reciprocal
Benefit past, present or to come, & tho' what is now offered
may lead to temptation, yet^ I mean with honour as may
deliver from Evil ; therefore shall proceed Viz'

It must seem astonishing to any Man who knows that the
Goverment of Maryland preferable to any in America, has
within itself all the Materials & Powers proper for attaining
the several Ends of Goverment, to find at the same time that
scarce any one End of Goverment is answered ; but if a Man
having within his Power all the springs, wheeles & Materials
for a well regulated watch, will not adapt each to its proper
place & Office, can he expect to find from it, the advantageous
Effects of a regular movement? I would not be thought to
insinuate any Blame to you Sir the Governor for this state &
condition of things; I know your intentions towards his Lord-
ship & the Province in General to be such as every Governor
ought to have, nor are you fettered by Instructions, the design
of your Instructions being only as General Rules of Conduct.
Whether 'tis from over Scrupulosity and exactness may induce
you to consider as particular & invariable Rules in all cases &
emergencies. I dont pretend to know that this is the case,
nor can I say whence it arises; but to Me it seems extreamly
easy, with the several advantages this Goverment has, to pre-
vent for the future that Turbulent & Malevolent Spirit in the
Lower House of Assembly ; with that silly affectation of popu-
larity & those prejudices even in his Lordships Courts of

2 Correspondence of Governor Sharpe.

Pa'ers' J"^^^'^^ ^.g' his LordP' Just Rights, And so to Knit & Unite
' the several Branches of Power there, as to form one Grand &
Regular Movement, all tending to the Honour & prosperity
of his Lordship, & the Happiness & Welfare of the whole
Province, without leaving it in the Power of any Individual
amongst them, either from Motives of Interest, Avarice or
Ambition, to disturb its operations. I have always consid-
ered his Lordships right of Nominating to the Council Board,
not as a feather wherewith to Tickle the Vanity of such as he
may be inclined to please, but as the chief Strength & Sup-
port not only of his Lordships rights, but of the whole frame
of Goverment ; 'tis by their advice Assemblys are called,
progued & dissolved, & all the Subordinate parts of the Gov-
erment are directed & put into Motion ; It must therefore be
of the last consequence to his LordP how the Vacancies that
happen there, are filled up ; If this point is disregarded, you
may admitt a fool who will not only be troublesome & Imper-
tinent but will Blabb every thing he knows; or if he has abili-
ties, unless you are sure he is well affected to the Proprietor
& Goverment, he will be the more Dangerous in proportion
to those Abilities ; for I am very well Satisfied that placing
such a one there is so far from putting him out of the way, as
is the pretended opinion of some there, that it is increasing
his Power of doing Mischief, by letting him into all the Secrets
of the Goverment, & giving him a share of Managem' in that
Power which is to controul & direct all the rest & so far cor-
rupting & weakning the only check this Goverment has over
the Madness of popular fury ; a Third & very material con-
sideration is, what attachments amongst themselves the per-
son you propose to admit (whether he has abilities or no)
either has at the time, or may in all likelyhood fall into ;
because otherwise such a one may serve only to Strengthen
an opposition to his Lordships Rights both private & Public
& tho' capable of no more, yet by a single Vote either in oppo-
sition to the Just and wise Measures of a Governor or by fall-
ing in with the Measures of the Lower House, over turn the
whole frame of the Constitution, & throw every thinginto the
hands of the People ; And lastly, they ought to be such as can
both in point of Health & distance constantly attend upon
every Emergency ; add to this, that your Council Act not only
in a Consultive & Legislative, but likewise in a Judicial Capa-
city, & have the last decision of property in this Province of
every thing that is brought before them ; all which important
Powers, very plainly Indicate not only the Propriety but
Necessity of filling up Vacancies that may happen at this
Board, with Men of Abilities, of strict & Impartial Justice, &
of proper attachment to his Lordships Just rights & proroga-

Correspondence of Governor Sharpe. 3

tive. When the Council shall be thus Constituted, I think p*'^"^*/'
there cannot be much danger from the Noise & clamour that
any Lower House of Assembly may raise ; But as the bare
preventing Mischiefs to the Proprietors rights & the interest
of the Province in General will tend very little to the further-
ance of both, it is worth considering whether the pretended
patriot Spirit & clamour of the Lower House, cannot be either
totally silenced, or rather directed towards the improvement
both of the interest & Honour of his Lordship & his Gover-
ment & of the prosperity and happiness of the people in
General. And here give Me leave to observe & to lay it
down as a Rule, that whatever Noise & clamour may be raised
under the appearance of consulting & promoting the Welfare
& happiness of the people, by their Representatives, 19 in 20
of these in fact only consult & intend their own private inter-
est ; & therefore by throwing out a Sop in a proper manner
to these Noisy Animals it will render them not only Silent, but
tame enough to bear Strokingr & tractable enouo-h to follow
any directions that may be thought fit to be given to them : I
would not be understood here to mean, the buying of those
who shall be pleased to call themselves Leaders, for besides,
that tho' they are in themselves really too insignificant &
worthless, yet would they demand and expect a very consid-
erable price, w*" when they had obtained they would be turned
out of the House, & could consequently be of no further ser-
vice ; and one would no sooner be bought off, than their num-
bers would be Increased by others starting up, with the very
view, from the example thus shown them ; but instead of this
I would take off their followers & leave the Leaders to
Explain either alone or with so Slender a Train as to prevent
their doing any Mischief, or obstructing any wise or Salutary
Measure ; And this I think may be executed by the Means
the Goverment already have in their hands, even without Mul-
tiplying Officers for this purpose.

There are 58 Members of that House; 14 Counties send
four each, & the City of Annapolis sends two. Now the buis-
siness is to find Baits for 30 of these ; which number is a clear
Majority, Supposing they were all to attend ; But it is very
rare by information that above two thirds are present, & not
above one Day in a Session that they Exceed 48. To answer
therefore this purpose, I would appropriate the 14 Sheriffs
places, which will undoubtedly secure 14 Members & may by
good Management of their Comissions secure double that
number; (But with this reserve ag' appropriation of the Sher-
iffs in case it shall hurt the receipt of his Lordships Revenue)
There are 14 Farmers of his Lordships Quit- Rents, 14 Deputy
Comiss" and 14 Deputy Surveyours; all these places are con-

4 Correspondence of Governor Sharpe.

Calvert giderable to the Middling sort of people, of whom the Lower
House is composed, & might gain a great Majority of that
House by being properly applyed amongst them, their
Brothers & Sons ; besides Military Comissions & those of
Justice of the Peace without number, for others who may be
lead by their Vanity & fondness of making a figure & being
Vested with Power amongst their Neighbours. In order to
carry this Plan into Execution ; it would be proper to Reduce
the Nomination of the New Sheriffs & Farmers of his LordP'
Quit-Rents (who generally hold their places for three years)
to one & the same year, & to the same time of that year, as
the Month of Nov"^ for instance ; every new Representative of
the people too should be Elected about the same time by
which means, as their continuance is for 3 years their begin-
ning & End will be as those of the Sheriffs & Farmers
Offices ; upon the meeting of a New Assembly it can be no
difficult matter to insiniuate to one or two Members of each
County something concern^ the Sheriffs Comission, & to others
the Farming of the Quit-Rents, & the Deputy Comiss"''^ &
Deputy Surveyors Comissions for themselves or their Rela-
tions as it may be thought to suit best, to be Entered upon as
soon as that Assembly expires, that is, at the End of three
years ; by this means they will be made at least cool & Mod-
erate, & by an hint at proper Intervals in case of Misbeha-
viour, they may & will be brought to Act as they ought, with-
out any great apprehension of lossing the People's favour on
another Election since as soon as they cease to be Assembly
Men, they commence Sheriffs Farmers &c^And thus they will
be made to Earn these Comissions before they have them, &
they will be executing these Comissions for three years, while
others are in that House Earning the Succession. But in
order to acquire a Credit to such hints or proposals, they
should be Inviolably complyed with, unless for some palpable
Misbehaviour in the House, or during their several offices ; in
which last case they ought to be immediately removed &
granted to the then next in Desert ; for as at first obtaining
those Comissions should depend on their behaviour in that
House, so ought their continuance in their offices to depend on
their behaviour under their Comissions, that neither his Lord-
ship nor the Public may suffer by either a Negligent or
oppresive discharge of their Duty.

It may prehaps be objected ; What, will you hazard his Lord-
ships Revenues to answer the purposes of Goverment ? to
which I answer, there will be no hazard of his Lordships Rev-
enues, for the present Farmers are of the Middling set of
People of whom the Lower House is composed, nay they are
now actually in the hands of the Sheriffs, of which Comission

Correspondence of Governor Sharpe. 5

there are few in the Lower House who would not accept ; *^»'ve"
Besides, the Farmers must then as they do now, give good "'""•
security for their faithfull discharge of their Duty, you will
perceive too, by this Plan the Sheriffs & Farmers Coffiissions
are to be put into different hands for the sake of Extending
the Influence. And indeed, either of them with attending at
the same time to his own private affairs, is full Employm' for
any one Man ; (but with reserve ag' alteration of the Sheriffs
as aforesaid) Those two Comissions with those of the Deputy
Comissaries & Deputy Surveyors, I have already observed
should be sacredly applyed to the purpose of stripping the
Leaders in the Lower House of their followers, & never
Employed to any other purpose or given to any other Person's
than Members of that House or their Brothers or Sons, but
when there can be found none there worthy of that favour.
By three years of this course of proceeding, it would be gen-
erally understood to be the Resolution of the Goverment
(without its being mentioned, which it might not be proper to
do) to bestow those places amongst the most deserving of
that House & when it once comes to be found that getting
into that House & behaving there with prudence & Modera-
tion, is a certain & the only introduction to those Comissions,
You will have People who are now very Indifferent about
getting there, pushing to be chose with this very view.

The foregoing Plan Supposes that these favours are to be
Earned before they are obtained & indeed it is much more
safe & prudent that these Gentlemen should trust to the
Honour of the Goverment than that the Goverment should
trust to their Gratitude ; for it is known from experience, that
of the Numbers who have been trusted with these places,
before they have done any thing to deserve them, there is
scarce one but what has upon quitting his ofifice, flowen in the
face of the Goverment.

It is highly proper too, for the excecution of this plan, that

Online LibraryWilliam Hand BrowneArchives of Maryland (Volume v.14) → online text (page 1 of 64)