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Archives of Maryland




State Council of Maryland



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



Maryland Historical Society

193 1




The following volumes have been published (under the editorship of William
Hand Browne volumes I to XVII and XIX to XXXII ; Clayton Coleman
Hall volumes XXXIII to XXXV; Bernard Christian Steiner volume XVIII
and volumes XXXVI to XLV; and J. Hall Pleasants volumes XLVI to

I. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (i),

1637/8-1664, - - - - 1883

II. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (2),

1666-1676, - - - - - - - 1884

III. Proceedings OF THE Council ( I ), 1636-1667, - - - - 1885

IV. Proceedings of the Provincial Court (i), 1637-1650, - 1887

V. Proceedings OF THE Council (2), 1667-1687/8, - - - 1887

VI. Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe (i),

1753-1757. - - - - - - - 1888

VII. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (3),

1678-1683, - - - - - - - 1889

VIII. Proceedings of the Council (3), 1687/8-1693, - - - 1890

IX. Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe (2),

1757-1761, - - - - - - - 1890

X. Proceedings of the Provincial Court (2), 1650-1657, - 1891

XI. Journal of the Maryland Convention, July 26-AuG.
14, 1775, Journal and Correspondence of the
Council of Safety (i), Aug. 29, 1775-JuLY 6,
1776, - - - - - - - - 1892

XII. Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Safety

(2), July 7-Dec. 31, 1776, - - - - - 1893

XIII. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (4),

1684-1692, -. - _ - -____. 1894

XIV. Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe (3),

1761-1771, - - - - - - - 1895

XV. Proceedings OF the Council (4), 1671-1681, - - - - 1896

XVI. Journal and Correspondence of the Council of
Safety, Jan. i-March 20, 1777, Journal and Cor-
respondence OF the State Council (3), March
20, 1777-MARCH 28, 1778, - - - - 1897

iv Archives of Maryland.

XVII. Proceedings OF THE Council (5), 1 68 i-i 685/6, - - - 1898

XVIII. Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Mary-
land Troops in the American Revolution, - - - 1899

XIX. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (5),

1693-1697, - - .._ 1899

XX. Proceedings of the Council (6), 1693-1697 - - - - 1900

XXI. Journal and Correspondence of the State Council

(4), April i, 1778-OcTOBER 26, 1779, - - - 1901

XXII. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (6),

1697/8-1699, - - 1902

XXIII. Proceedings of the Council (7), 1696/7-1698, 1903

XXIV. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (7),

I7OO-MAY, 1704, - .- igo4

XXV. Proceedings OF the Council (8), 1698-1731, - - - - 1905

XXVI. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (8),

September, 1704-1706, - - - - - 1906

XXVII. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (9),

1707-171O, -._- igoy

XXVIII. Proceedings of the Council (9), 1732-1753, - - - - 1908

XXIX. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (10),

1711-1714, - - - - - - - 1909

XXX. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (ii),

I7I5-I716, - _ - - IQIO

XXXI. Proceedings of the Council (10), 1753-1761, Corre-
spondence of Governor Sharpe (4), 1754-1765, - 1911

XXXII. Proceedings OF the Council (ii), 1761-1770, Minutes
of the Board of Revenue, i 768-1 775, Opinions on
the Regulation of Fees, Instructions to Gov-
ernor Eden, March 2, 1773, - - - - 1912

XXXIII. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (12),

1717-APRiL, 1720, - - - - - - 1913

XXXIV. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (13),

October, 1720-1723, - __ - 1914

XXXV. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (14),

1724-1726, - - 1915

XXXVI. Proceedings AND Acts OF THE General Assembly (15),

1727-1729, WITH Appendix of Statutes 1714-1726, - 1916

XXXVII. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (16),

1730-1732, - - - - - - - 1917

Archives of Maryland. V

XXXVIII. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (17),

Acts Hitherto Unprinted, 1694-1729, - - - - 1918

XXXIX. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (18),

1733-1736. 1919

XL. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (19),

1737-1740, - - - 1921

XLI. Proceedings of the Provincial Court (3), 1658-1662, - 1922

XLII. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (20),

1740-1744, - - - - - - - 1923

XLIII. Journal and Correspondence of the State Council

(5), October 27, 1779-NovEMBER 11, 1780, - - - 1924

XLIV. Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly (21),

1744-1747, - - - - - - - 1925

XLV. Journal and Correspondence of the State Council

(6), July i, 1780-NovEMBER 13, 1781, 1927

XLVI. Proceedings AND Acts OF THE General Assembly (22),

1748-1751, - - - - 1929

XLVII. Journal and Correspondence of the State Council
(Letters to the Governor and Council) (7),

1781, - 1930

XLVIII. Journal and Correspondence of the State Council

of Maryland (8), 1781-1784, - - - - 193 1

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in 2009 with funding from

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Baltimore, December i, 193 1.
To the Maryland Historical Society:
This volume of the Archives of Maryland is the forty-eighth of the general
series and the eighth of the sub-series dealing with activities during the Revo-
lutionary period of the Council of Safety and its successor, the State Council.
It covers the Journal and Correspondence of the State Council for the three
years from November 19, 1781 to November 11, 1784, thus furnishing a com-
plete record of the proceedings of the Governor and Council, and the letters
emanating from them, during the last two years of the Revolution and the
year following the conclusion of the peace. This volume is a direct continuation
of the Proceedings of the Council which appeared in Volume Six of the State
Council sub-series {Archives of Maryland, Volume XLV).

With the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, October 19, 1781, and the
cessation of active hostilities on a large scale, the volume of business handled
by the Council began to decline, but until the news was received of the signing
of the preliminary articles of peace at Paris, November 30, 1782, the Council
found its hands more than full with matters relating to the war. In addition
to the civil administration of State affairs, it was called upon to furnish and
expend the funds needed to keep the Maryland troops supplied with food and
clothing, to stimulate recruiting, to guard effectively the British and German
prisoners captured at Yorktown and imprisoned at Fredericktown, to send
money and food to the wretched Maryland prisoners confined in the British
prison ships at New York, to suppress the incessant depredations of small
enemy vessels in the bay, to conciliate the disbanded soldiers clamoring for
their pay, and to do all these and innumerable other things, not with " hard
money " which was well nigh unobtainable, but with bills of credit, dubiously
secured, and paper currency, rapidly depreciating in value.

The great bulk of the entries are orders from the Council to the treasurers
of the Eastern and Western shores to pay sundry individuals for their services
or for supplies furnished, the orders specifying whether payments are to be
made in bills of credit, in paper currency, or in specie. Payments in specie were
rarely ordered, for " hard money " was scarce, and consisted of gold and silver
foreign coins circulating at fixed ratios of value as determined by the Assembly.
There was no State or Confederation coinage, and the silver coins issued in
1783 from the private mint of John Chalmers, an Annapolis silversmith, ap-
parently with the tacit approval of the State authorities, probably did not have
a wide circulation.

The journals of the Council also record the issuance of commissions to
various county officials, such as justices, judges of the orphans courts, sheriffs

viii Letter of Transmittal.

and coroners. Reference can be made here to only a few of the more important
matters with which we find the Council dealing.

There were constant appeals to Robert Morris, the superintendent of finance,
and to Congress, to furnish promised suppHes of clothing, food, and equipment
to the Maryland troops in the Continental Army, most of which seem to have
gone unheeded. The care of the British and German prisoners, confined for
the most part at Frederick, although it was the business of the Continental
authorities, seems to have devolved largely upon the local militia, as the plan
to entrust this guard duty to partly invalided Continental troops would appear
not to have been effectively carried out. There were numerous escapes of
prisoners and it is even intimated that some of the British officers were not
unwelcome guests at the houses of certain prominent Marylanders. That the
needs of the Frederick prisoners were not met to their satisfaction by their
captors, is indicated by the arrival at Baltimore in April, 1782, of two British
sloops from New York under a flag of truce with supplies for them.

The hardships endured by these British prisoners at Frederick, who seem to
have had greater liberty of movement than met the approval of the Council,
must have been mild in comparison with the sufiferings of the unfortunate
American soldiers confined in the unspeakably overcrowded and unhygienic
British prison ships at New York, where neglect and disease claimed an enor-
mous portion of victims. We find duly recorded the repeated efiforts of the
Council to ship, under flags of truce to New York, tobacco, and later corn and
flour, there to be sold by the British commanders. Sir Guy Carleton and Ad-
miral Robert Digby, and the proceeds used for the payment of debts of the
Maryland officers in confinement there, and the relief of the pressing needs of
the other Maryland prisoners.

The surrender of Cornwallis and the control of the bay by de Grasse did
not end the depredations of small enemy ships in the Chesapeake. The planta-
tions of the lower counties, especially on the Eastern Shore, were constantly
and ruthlessly plundered and burned by the crews of the enemy's barges which
had their headquarters in the islands of Tangier Sound. Somerset County was
a centre of Toryism and it would appear that Tories and refugees rather than
British sailors, were largely responsible for these attacks upon inoffensive non-
combatants. In at least one instance a large British privateer penetrated the
bay as far up as Annapolis before it was chased off by a French brig of sixteen

These small enemy vessels, or barges, as they were called, harassed not only
the bay-side plantations of the lower Eastern and Western shores, but on oc-
casion sailed far up the Patuxent and other tidal rivers, and even ascended the
bay as far as the Patapsco. The Council made constant but ineffective efforts
to equip and man sufficient vessels to put an end to the depredations of these
" pirates ", which continued through the year 1782, and into the following year
until the peace. On November 30th Captain Zedekiah Walley, in command of
the small State fleet, in an engagement with several enemy barges near Tangier
Island known as the Battle of the Barges had his vessel blown up and was killed
together with a large number of his crew. Although the French naval vessels

Letter of Transmittal. ix

in the bay were constantly called upon for help, they were of little use because
their greater draught prevented their following the light enemy vessels up
the shallow creeks. When finally a sufficient force of Maryland barges had
been assembled to give promise of success in ridding the bay of these scourges
and was about to sail for Tangier Sound, peace was declared.

In the summer of 1782 a considerable contingent of the French troops of the
army of Rochambeau was encamped in Annapolis and an even larger number
in Baltimore. While the privates were taken care of in their own encampments,
the record shows that suitable provision for the housing of the officers pre-
sented a delicate problem which the Council found great difficulty in solving.
The arrival of Rochambeau in Annapolis August 11, 1782, with his troops,
was celebrated by a public reception and the reading of an address of welcome
in the name of the Governor and Council. Although the Governor at the re-
quest of the Assembly had previously by proclamation celebrated on June 25
the recent birth of the Dauphin, formal congratulations upon the event were
again offered to the Count.

It is interesting to note that with the cessation of active hostilities, certain
rather humane amenities were observed between the belligerents. We find the
Council, January 30, 1783, "dictated by motives of humanity" requesting
Admiral Robert Digby in command of the British fleet, to issue a passport to
Edward Giles described as a gentleman of Maryland, an officer of the American
Army and a delegate to Congress now suffering from " a disorder of the breast "
(undoubtedly tuberculosis of the lungs), to proceed to Bermuda for his health in
his own vessel with a companion and slaves to attend him, and requesting the
Admiral to make recommendations to the Governor of the Island on his behalf.
Giles died a week or two later before the request could be acted upon. Per-
mission was given to Thomas Jenings, a prominent and wealthy resident of
Annapolis and a former attorney-general, to have shipped to him from New
York through the enemy lines various articles for personal use which he had
ordered in England before the Revolution and which had been lying there
since its capture by the British, including such essentials as laced ruffled shirts,
embroidered waistcoats, and a copper plate engraved with his coat of arms.
We also note permission granted to Dennis Ryan of Baltimore to go to New
York with his company of comedians and their properties. Authority was given
various individuals to proceed to New York for business or family reasons
and to enter the enemy's lines there. A few weeks after the surrender at
Yorktown, Washington is asked for a flag of truce to permit the representa-
tives of Cecil County to proceed to New York to secure the restoration of the
public records of that county, which had been carried ofif by General Howe
in 1777 when he passed through the Head of Elk in his advance on Philadelphia.

Not only was the Council incessantly struggling with the problem of securing
sufficient funds to meet its requirements, but it was engaged in a constant
squabble with that most important state official, the Intendant of the Revenue,
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, as to their respective powers in the handling
of the public funds, and at times the dispute became very acrimonious. After

X Letter of Transmittal.

peace was established Samuel Chase was sent to England to secure the trans-
fer to the State of the stock of the Bank of England which stood in the name
of the old provincial government. It may be added that he not only succeeded
in doing this but also secured for himself a second wife while on this visit to
England. In 1783 a resident of Harford County brought sweeping charges
against eight justices of that county, including malversation in office, perjury,
drunkenness, and incompetency. The charges were not substantiated, however,
and were dismissed by the Council. The late proprietary Governor, Sir Robert
Eden, returned to Maryland after peace was established as the legal representa-
tive of Henry Harford, the last proprietary, with a view to securing from the
State either recognition of the rights in Maryland lands which Harford still
claimed, or compensation for his losses through their confiscation. Eden, who
had always been personally popular and was the last of the British governors in
the colonies to leave his post after the outbreak of the Revolution, presumed too
much upon his former popularity, however, when soon after his arrival in
Maryland he actually began in January, 1784, to issue and sign patents in the
name of the former proprietary to vacant lands to which the latter still made
claim. At once the State was in a turmoil, and February 21, we find the Gover-
nor and Council instructing Luther Martin, the attorney-general, to take im-
mediate steps to determine whether Eden should not be prosecuted for fraud
and treason in this offence against the sovereignty and dignity of the State.
These activities apparently ceased as we find no further reference to him in this
connection, and he died in Maryland, September 3, 1784, while on this mission
for Harford.

At least two instances of disputes between Maryland and other states are
recorded in these records. Under date of March 19, 1783, Governor Paca
sent a stinging letter to the Governor of Rhode Island protesting against the
capture and confiscation by a Rhode Island schooner of a small Maryland
sloop, which under a flag of truce was on the way to New York with food
shipped by the Council for the relief of the one hundred and fifty or more
wretched Marylanders confined there in British prison ships, and demanded
redress and immediate release of the schooner. Another instance of interstate
friction involved the extradition to Pennsylvania of a certain Captain Henry
Carberry, a citizen of Maryland but lately a captain in the Pennsylvania Line,
charged with " dangerous insurrection " in Philadelphia in June 1784, doubt-
less a disbanded soldier clamoring too vigorously for back pay. An inter-
minable correspondence arose involving at first the jurisdiction of the states
of Maryland and Pennsylvania in what was deemed to be a case of treason,
as well as the question of State or Confederation jurisdiction. The affair ends,
however, in a lengthy and acrimonious dispute between Governor Paca and the
General Court of Maryland as to the respective authority of the Governor and
the Court in the matter, in which the governor insists in a long and heated
letter that the authority to deliver up to another jurisdiction a person so charged
is vested not in the judiciary but in the executive alone, and announces his

Letter of Transmittal. xi

intention of laying the matter before the General Assembly for its determina-
tion. It is of interest to note that the Assembly at the next session passed an
act upholding Paca's contention, but we are not told what was the fate of the

Congress held its session in the State House at Annapolis from November 26,
1783 to June 3, 1784. The proceedings of the Council contain only casual
references to this session, made notable by the circumstance that it was then
that Washington came to Annapolis to relinquish his military command and
to deliver his celebrated address on December 23, 1783. The Governor and
Council under date of December 20, had sent him an address expressing their
warm appreciation of his services, to which he made appropriate answer. Both
of these addresses are entered in the records. An entry also appears in the
proceedings of the Council that pursuant to a resolution of the Assembly,
the Chevalier d'Annemours, or d'Anmour as it is usually spelled in contempo-
rary American records, recently received by Congress as Consul General of
France to the United States, should likewise be recognized as Consul General
to the State of Maryland.

At this period the Governor and Council were elected annually by the General
Assembly. The Council journal opens with the selection, November 19, 1781,
of Thomas Sim Lee as governor. A year later William Paca became governor,
and he was reelected in 1784. The Council, in addition to the Governor, was
made up of a president and five members The members of the Council during
the three years covered by this volume were as a rule men of ability and
distinction. We find the names of John Hoskins Stone, later a governor,
James Price, a distinguished Annapolis lawyer, Jeremiah Townley Chase,
afterwards the Chief Judge of Maryland Court of Appeals, William Paca, the
" signer," Gabriel Duvall, later a justice of the United States Supreme Court,
Benjamin Ogle, afterwards governor, Benjamin Stoddert, Secretary of the
Navy under Adams, Samuel Turbutt Wright, Charles Wallace, and John David-
son. During this three year period from time to time we find members
resigning because of disapproval of the action of the majority of their

With the conclusion of the peace the amount of business transacted by the
Council shows a rapid decrease. The proceedings and correspondence for 1784
in amount is scarcely a fourth of that transacted in each of the two preceding
years. The records here presented are to be found in manuscript form in
Liber C. B. No. 24 of the Journal of the Council and in Liber No. 78 of the
Letters from the Council. The contents of these two books, as in the pre-
vious volumes of this Revolutionary sub-series, have been combined so that
the entries from both of them are here brought together and arranged ac-
cording to dates. It is to be regretted that the letters addressed to the Council
during the same period cannot be included in this volume in a similar way.
Their number is so great and so many of them do not relate to the business of
the Council as shown by its own journals, however, that it seems wise to
continue the publication in separate volumes of such of these letters as seem
of special historical value.

xii Letter of Transmittal.

In the preparation of this volume for the press the editor has had the as-
sistance of Mr. Charles Fickus of the staff of the Maryland Historical Society.
The carefully prepared index is the work of Miss Elizabeth Mann.

The next volume of the Archives, which is now in press and will appear in
the near future, is the Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1663-1666. It will
be followed by the fiftieth volume of the series, the Acts and Proceedings of
the Assembly from 1752 to 1754.

Respectfully submitted,

Samuel K. Dennis,
J. Hall Pleasants,
John M. Vincent,

Committee on Publications.




November ip, lySi-Novemher 14, 1^82.

On Monday the 19"" Day of November seventeen hundred and November
eighty one The General Assembly, agreeable to the Constitution and 19
Form of Government, Unanimously reappointed Thomas Sim Lee No. 24
Esquire Governor, who on the Day following qualified in presence p- ^^^
of both Houses of the Assembly by taking, repeating, and subscrib-
ing the several Oaths required, and making and Subscribing a Decla-
ration of his belief in the Christian Religion. —

Wednesday the 21*' of the same Month the General Assembly November
proceeded to the Choice of a Council to the Governor and the follow- ?V ^ g
ing Gentlemen were appointed. — No. 24

the Honorable John Hoskins Stone ^

James Brice

Jeremiah Townly Chase
Samuel Turbutt Wright
Benjamin Stoddert


Thursday 22"^ November 1781. November

John H Stone, James Brice, Jeremiah T. Chase and Samuel T. Liber C.B.
Wright Esquires attended, produced Certificates of their Qualifica- N0.24
tion and took their Seats. —

Thomas Johnson junior was appointed Clerk to the Council and
Certificate of his Qualification produced and filed. —

[Council to Col° Henry Hollingsworth.] November

We are informed there is still remaining in several Counties on Liber No. 78
the Eastern Shore, a considerable Number of Beef Cattle, which we p- 303
request you to direct to be immediately slaughtered and salted. All
above a Sufficiency to maintain your Post, to be lodged with M""
Calhoun Commissary of the Western Shore. On Application, Col°
Blaine will supply you with Salt. —

[Council to Charles Blake Esq*"] Ibij^

We wrote to you the i^' Instant, directing you to slaughter and
salt down immediately, all the Cattle in your Possession. We now

2 Journal and Correspondence.

November repeat that Order, and shall have the Vessels immediately procured

Liber No. 78 ^"^ ^^^^ *o y°^- The Beef, when salted, is to be transported to this

p. 303 Post, unless Col° Blaine has ordered it to the Head of Elk. For Fear

we should not be able to send you the Vessels in Time, you are hereby

authorized and empowered to impress such Vessels as are necessary

for the Transportation of the Beef.

November Saturday 24*^" November 1781.

Liber C. B Ordered that the western shore Treasurer pay to William Bayley
No. 24 . .

p. 181 Esq*" two pounds, six shillings and eight pence of the Bills emitted

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