Search billions of records on













                               Thomas Arvin

                                                   Part 2 – Revolutionary Times




                                                The American Revolution was effected before the war

                                                commenced. The Revolution was in the hearts and minds

                                                of the people.                               John Adams, 1818                             






     As 1775 opened, Thomas Arvin and his family found themselves caught up in this American Revolution.


1775 historical timeline:

 9 February 
 Parliament, ignoring the grievances of the congress, declares the American colonies “in a state of rebellion.” Rumors fly that thousands of British troops are on their way to force the colonies to submit.

23 March   Patrick Henry’s famous speech at the Virginia Convention. He proclaims, “Give me liberty or give me death!” 

3 April   Hamilton: “The People talk of a very great price for their tobacco this year [and are] very sanguine in their opinion that the Laws will be Repealed and plenty of goods in [stores] this Summer. Should an accommodation not take place, the People will be in the Greatest distress imaginable, and I am afraid will create a great deal of Mischief among themselves.”191

18 April   British troops in Boston move toward Lexington. Paul Revere rides that night to sound a warning to towns along the way (his “midnight ride.”) Firefight between the militia with its minutemen and the British troops on Lexington common; British regulars then march toward Concord. Turned back by militia and minutemen at Concord’s Old North Bridge (they “fired the shot heard round the world,”) they retreat to Boston with heavy casualties. (The entire area is preserved today as Minuteman National Park.)  News of these events spreads like wildfire to Maryland and throughout the colonies.

24 April to 3 May   The Maryland Convention, meeting in Annapolis, receives word of the Battle of Lexington, “which added fuel to the flame already kindled.”

10 May   Second Continental Congress meets, again in Philadelphia. It recommends that minutemen also be established in Connecticut, New Hampshire—and Maryland.

16 May   Hamilton writes to Brown, “My present prospect of a remittance for this year is very unpromising. The unhappy dispute betwixt Great Britain & her Colonys will throw every thing into the greatest confusion and must in short time be extremely distressing to both Countrys, for in all probability, unless the Mother Country will quickly adopt some Conciliatory Measures, all commercial intercourse betwixt the two Countrys will be stopped. It is at this time generally believed that the Congress now sitting in Philadelphia will put an immediate stop to the Exportation and also take the Different Governments into their own hands. Should that be the case, your property here will be in very desperate situation. I am also well satisfied that many Debtors are desirous and would willingly pay their Debts, though many would be very glad of the Excuse, but it will not then be in their power, having no specie among them, and if they had, no Trade to Command it. I yet hope that by the prudence and Wisdom of this Great Assembly, a happy & Lasting reconciliation will be effected and which I believe is the sincere desire of every well wisher to this Country. There has been an engagement betwixt the Regulars & the Country people of Massachusetts Bay. It is told many different ways, by the Country people that the Regulars were the aggressors, and by the Regulars, that the Country people were the aggressors. I inclose you one of the Accounts of the Engagement, and I make no doubt, but you will see all the other Accts, as well as what has been done by the severall Colony and Provincial Congresses in the present disputes.

     “Tobacco has come into the Warehouses very slow, and I have as yet made very small collections,  not above fifty Hhds.”

16 May  Hamilton writes in a separate letter the same day, that “Your Debts come in very slow, and I am under the necessity of taking the payment as the Debtors can raise it, as they are Customers to the store I cannot press them further. I think the greatest part of them are good.”192

8 June   Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, and his family flee the province, leaving it without a government. They live aboard HMS Fowey anchored near Yorktown. Loyalist families join them, creating a flotilla of “upwards of 90 sail” in the Bay. For more than a year, they would skirmish with patriots on shore and endure a smallpox epidemic on board their ships. Maryland Govenor Eden would join them in June 1776. They would all finally depart Chesapeake Bay in August 1776.

15 June   Retired Virginia militia colonel George Washington is appointed commander-in-chief of the American forces by the Continental Congress. Within a week he leaves for Boston. He will not set eyes on Mt. Vernon again for six years.

17 June   The Battle of Bunker Hill, just north across the Charles River from Boston.

30 June   “The harvest of Rye and Wheat is come on, the greatest I have ever seen since I came to the Country; there will be little Tobacco brought to the warehouses until it is over….

     “The Congress is still sitting in Philadelphia.…They have resolved …That no provisions or necessarys of any kind be further furnished or supplied to or for the use of the British army or Navy, in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay….These are the only resolves that have yet been published, But it is said they have voted 800 Rifle Men from the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland & Pennsylvania to be immediately raised & Marched to the assistance of the Provincial Army at Boston;…Colonel George Washington is appointed Generall & Commander in chief of the army at Boston, and three Generalls are appointed under him…. They went from Philadelphia to Boston about the 10th of this month. I inclose you a Copy of a hand bill which came here on the 25th by which you will see there has been another engagement in Boston. As there is no press open but for one side of the present dispute, it will be some considerable time, before the particulars comes out. However from this hand bill one may conclude the Provincials have got a severe drubbing. You will see there is but small hopes of an accommodation soon. The ports will be shut the 10th Septr. Affairs every where here carry a most Gloomy Aspect. I shall make out a Copy of this years Ledger and if I cannot get it home to you, will endeavour to secret it in case of any Misfortune befalling your other books.”193

3 July  At Cambridge, near Boston, George Washington assumes his role of Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.

15 July   “We shall endeavour to get the Margaret’s quantity on board as soon as possible, that she may get away before Matters get to their Hight. They appear to me to be growing worse every day.

     “The Congress has resolved, (after repeating to the public that their petition to his Majesty has been rejected, and that an armed force is sent out to reduce them to Slavery,) that troops be immediately raised throughout the Colonys for defence of their liberty, and that they be prepared for a bloody War.”194

2 August   “Many of my customers have been obliged to part with some of their Tobacco for Goods to supply their familys, and some of them Villanous enough to take advantage of the times, knowing that they cannot be compelled at this time to do justice. It is imagined that the August court will be the last in this province; in some of the Courts it has been little better for this some time past. Matters are growing daily worse, and there is no way of knowing to what lengths a few Violent people may carry their Malice & Ill nature against a few foreigners, who cannot by the Smallness of their Numbers, make any resistance. Our Provincial Convention is now sitting, and unless the Moderate part get the ascendancy, I am greatly afraid I shall be obliged to pay you a visit as well as many others. The most unexceptionable Conduct will not screen any Man. The cry is now if they will not fight for us, they are against us, no neutrality now. I sincerely wish for an accommodation and peace lasting and agreeable to both partys, and soon. I am greatly afraid your debts will suffer much; in times of Anarchy & Confusion people’s principles as well as Estates grow worse. However I am determined to stick by them untill I am drove off.

     “…There will be a verry fine Crop of both Corn & Tobacco, if the Weather continues favourable, especially the former; of the latter there is no so much planted as usual, but it will be much better tended and it is on their best ground, so that I think it will be good average Crop. There has been an amazing large & good crop of Wheat made. I never saw such a plenty of grain of every kind. It must go verry much against the Inclinations of the People to see their Crops ly in their houses wasting and destroying by Vermin. I believe none will be exported.”195 [The non-exportation agreement is set to go into effect on 10 September.]

20 August   “…the Common people have entertained, that there will not be any Law to compel them to pay their debts, and also to Many adjourned Courts in Charles County and which has kept the business very backward. Many who owe live in that County and they have taken advantage of the time….You will see by the newspapers that go home by this ship that our Convention have some resolves respecting the Administration of Justice, which if properly adhered to, may be a means of keeping the people within bounds in these times of distress. They have also drawn up an association [The Association of Freemen of Maryland], which is, in a short time to be offered by [them for] every body to sign. The Associators engage themselves in the most solemn manner to oppose with their lives & fortunes the measures adopted by the Administration; That all who are capable to bear arms from 16 to 50 are to muster & learn the Military Exercise and that one fourth of that number is to ingage themselves to march whenever requested to any part of the Continent. They are to receive pay, when they enter on actual duty, and that they may be well prepared they are to muster two days in the week. These are called Minute Men.

     “I am told every body is to have ten days to Consider before he signs the Association, and those who refuse to sign it are to be returned (their names) to the Council of Safety in the recess of the Convention, and to the Convention if they are Sitting. I have not yet heard the resolve, if there is any, against those who refuse to sign.”196

23 August   King George III declares the American colonies in open rebellion.

29 August   “The Margaret will sail in a few days having all her Tobo. on board.

     “My situation becomes every day more disagreeable. The Convention is broke up, and they have resolved that every male from 16 to 50 shall muster, and that every person shall sign the Association and engage himself to fight against the British troops whenever he is called upon, if a minute man, anywhere on the Continent, if of the Militia any where in the Province, and that the Committees do immediately offer the Same to be signed, and make a return of the recusants to the Convention, if they do not sign in ten days after [it] is offered to them, that they may take order therein, so that we are altogether in the dark in respect of the Consequences of a Refusal. I have endeavoured to find out what is to be done with those who refuse, but have not yet been able to do it. I applied to Mr. Daniel Dulaney [leader of the proprietary faction in Maryland] through my good friend Mr. Addison [Rev. Henry Addison, rector of St. John’s parish, Piscataway, where Elias and Elisha Arvin live], and Mr. Dulany told him that he had taken every method in his power to find it out, but had been unsuccessful, and told him that he should set off for New York immediately in expectation of finding Asilum in these convulsed times, and if he could not get it there, he would with his family go to Britain. Many others will take the same step. I have prevailed on Mr. Hoggan to Sign the Association, and as he is very lame and not likely to get over it, he will be excused from mustering & turning out to fight. I shall endeavor to make him acquainted with the Situation of the business of this store, that he may be able to get the debts put on the best footing the times will allow, and while I am allowed to stay, I shall use my utmost endeavors for that purpose, that when this unhappy Contest is settled, no disputes may arise to the person who may have the Collection of them. I have ever since our first Convention openly & candidly declared that I would not take up arms to fight against my sovereign, and that Country that gave me birth, and lately when there was a false alarm spread through the Country that some British troops were landed on Patuxent, I was called upon and I refused to fight. I am pointed out and I expect, and with abundance of Anxiety, every moment that the Association will be offered to me to sign. I wish it may no be before the tenth of September or before I get all your Tobacco on board. However I will stay as long as I can and with any degree of safety.

     “This will be delivered to you by Mr. Wilson who has desired me to allow him to go home, to which I readily consented. To keep him here at this time would be burthening you with a needless expense.” [Walter Wilson came to Piscataway in 1772 as Hamilton’s assistant. His wages were 10 sterling per annum in 1774 and 15 per annum in 1775. Hamilton induced both him and James Hoggan to join the militia and sign the Association of Freemen in order to protect the interests of the Glasgow firms from property confiscation by the revolutionaries. After serving in the militia for nine months, Wilson returned to Britain when required to fight for the Americans. He embarked on The Margaret on 31 August 1775, but...] 

2 September   A hurricane hits the Atlantic coast, running many vessels, including the Margaret, aground and destroying much of the tobacco and other crops still in the fields. Here is how it was reported in The Maryland Gazette:



                                                           A  N  N  A  P  O  L  I  S ,    September 7.

                                                        On Saturday night last we had a most violent storm

                                                     from the north-east, which for several hours blew a

                                                     mere hurricane, with heavy rain ;  the water rose three

                                                     feet perpendicular above the common tide ; a great

                                                     quantity of the copper on the state-house was torn up,

                                                     and the market-house blown down ;  the damage sus-

                                                     tained in different parts of the province, we are told,

                                                     is very considereable.



8 September   “The Margaret went ashore Saturday night the 2d instant in a most violent hurricane that ever I saw; however she got off by taking out 55 hhds. Tobacco, her water cashes & provisions, without receiving any damage, & is now ready to proceed on her voyage in good order. The 8 Hhds. I wrote you was to go on board the Potowmack was in this hurricane drove ashore at Chickamuxen and I am afraid totally lost. I have engaged people to shack [shake] them out & put in order, and to repack & prize them again, and if liberty can be procured from the Convention, I am in hopes they will be sent to you by the Potowmack…

   “The association was yesterday offered to me to sign. I refused and desired that my name be given in the Convention. [He thereby becomes a “nonassociator.”] I am resolved to stay as long as I can. As soon as I can get your business in a Situation that may put your debts on a better footing, and there is not any alteration in the present Contest for the better, I will leave the Country.

     “The Revd. Mr. H.A. [Henry Addison] leaves the Country next week & goes for London. He cannot approve of the behavior of the present leaders, and by which he is looked on as a friend of the Government, and therefore Obnoxious, and if he continues here he may be treated harshly.”197

11 September    “The Tobo. in this Province that is now growing has suffered very much in the Late storm and should an accommodation take place, the Remittances in that commodity will be short to what it would have been.”198

14 September   “I am in hopes your debts will be considerably reduced by this years Remittance and what I may Collect betwixt [now] and the first day of January. My time will be taken up Clearly untill that time in Settling, and Collecting the Debts, on the best terms our present situation will permit, and if I am permitted to stay. I shall be very diligent in getting a state of this stores business made out and sent it to you, if any opportunity should offer. No doubt you will be very anxious to Know how it stands, and what Subject you may have in this Country. I am greatly afraid, if this unhappy Contest continues a few years, you will lose many of your debts, which if it had not happened, would have been very good. You must make the most of what has been Remitted this year, to making good what is left behind; from the present appearances there is no hopes of an accomadation and I am greatly afraid there will be much blood shed before that is Brought about.

19 September   “The exports were stopped the 10th instant, and it is said will be strictly adhered to. The farmers who will immediately feel it, may grumble, but it is Supposed [that] will be all. The Congress is now Sitting, nothing of what they are about has yet transpired….As I am a recusant, it is very probably I shall be obliged to go to Virginia as a Assilum. However, I will stay [in Maryland] as long as I can with Safety.”199

28 September   “I now enclose you my first exchange on the Company…for 57..10..7 Stg. and which is all I have been able to collect from your debts since my last remittance of May 16th. And I am greatly afraid it will be the last untill this unhappy contest is amicably Settled….in case of any misfortune befalling me.…I will write you again by the Potomack, who will carry home many of your old acquaintances…” 

     In another letter of the same date, “Such an Effect has the present dispute on the people, that the Courts of Justice for the recovery of Debts are in a manner Shutt up; And from a recent example in Charles County, where a number of the Relations & friends of the prisoner…broke open the prison & Lett him at liberty, little of no payments may be expected…and unless a stop can be put to such riotous proceedings, this once happy & flourishing province will become a scene of horror & bloodshed.”200

10 October   “The weather since my last has been very wet and has hurt the standing Tobo. and also that on scaffolds very much. I do not believe there will be half the crop in Maryland….The Corn in many places has also received Considerable damage.

     “I am afraid that my Collection in money will turn out grately Short of my expectations….Many take advantage of the times and now there is no compelling them to pay, for the Courts for Civil business are in a manner shut up. I shall continue to collect as long as I can be permitted [to]…”201     

 December   The Maryland Convention again meets in Annapolis. “This Maryland Convention also set about changes in the militia and the military force for the protection of the province. Minute companies were to be discontinued after March 1, 1776, but every able-bodied freeman between 16 and 50 years of age was to enroll in some company of militia. It was agreed to raise 1444 men for the defense of the province…with Colonel William Smallwood of Charles County as commanding officer.”202 It would become known as Smallwood's Battalion of Regular Troops.



The 1775 Piscataway Accounts


     Elias, Elisha and Thomas, Jr. all continued to trade with James Brown & Company in 1775. Debits on folio 126 for Elias:



              Elias    Arvine     Dr

January..  1 To your Bond from folio.  .  .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .    .   9 .  .    .   .    .  . .  . 7..11..6 

                 "  To Ballance of Accot do .   .    .   .   .   .   . "   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  . . .  10.10

February  28 To Narrow Hoe 4/7..1 Stick mohair 5d .  .  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .   .  .   .  .   ..  .5   ..

  August    1  To 25:10d Nails ½:32..Elizabeth Luper 950 Crop Tobo   .    .    112 . . 950 .     .   .   .   .   .  .  

                 21 ToBen & Normilion 230a Bonl(?) Robertion 475a .  .  .  .  . .39.175.  705 . .   .  

Septemr     16 To Interest andll on ₤5..2..½  fro:1stJanry to this date.  .   137 .   .   .   .   .   .   ..11¼

                                                                                                                                                                      =======         ===============

                                                                                                                                                     1655. . .  .  .   8..11..6¾

                              ===============                                                                             ==============================================t;


Credits on folio 126 for Elias:


                            Contra .  .  .   .  .  Cr    

August    1  By Crop Tobacco on Piscatty E A 387.1092..91..937.   .   .  65

                                                                      4prCent .   .   .   .  37

               21 By ditto on ditto               EA 603..988.84.904 .  .   .   .   .   .66

                                                                4 prCent .  .   .   .36



                     By discounted to Currency at 30/prCt  .   .   .   .    253 .  .  .   .  .  .   .  3..15.10¾

                     By error in charging to Richd Roby on Lr No 9 }

                                                         twice .  .   .  .   .   .  .    .    }  .   .   .   .  .   .   .  3..~..~

    Septr   16 By Your Noteof Hand for .. to Lr No 11 .   .   .   .  .   .   .    .  . 6 .   .   .  1 15 .8

                                                                                                                                                     ======          ==========

                                                                                                    1655                    8..11.6¾

                ===============                                                            =============================================


Here is the account of Elisha for 1775:


                  Elisha     Arvine  Dr

January   1 To Your Bond from folio   .   .   .   .   .   .    .    .  9 .   .   .   .   .   .   11..~.. ½

                " To Balance of Acct .   .   .   .   .   .   .    .   .   .   .    .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  8 .3

March    31 To 250 10d Nails 1/.  2/6/April 19th/ 1½ Bushells Salt ¾ ..5/1.  .   .   .   .   7. 6   

     July   25 To 250 10d Nails 3½ William Brown 419Dumfries 104PrC/393 . 6..3½

Novembr 6  To Interest to this date .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  137 .  .   .   .   .   .    . 8.. ¾


                                                                                                              393.  . 12.19.4¾



The credit side of his account for 1775:


                                 Contra         Cr

      July  25 By Transfer Notes No 62 ..  543

                                             6PrCent .  .  . 32      571

                    By Discounted to Currency @ 30/ . .118 is .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   . 1  15..4¾

                                                                              ---------- .  .   .   .   393  

 Novemr   6  By Cash .   .  .   .   .     .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    .    .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  4. 6

                 "  By your Bond on Int. from date to Lr No11 .6 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 10  10. 3


                                                                                                             393.  .   . . 12..10.4¾                        

                      ====================                                 ================================================  


And Thomas Jr’s purchases for 1775:


        Thomas    Arvine    Dr

January    1 To your Note of hand from folio .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .9 .   .  .   .   .  .  . . 37 .4 .6½

February  4 To 2 oz colld Thread 5d..10d./ 28th / 1 prLeading Lines ½ .   .   .   .  .  . ..~  . 1.10

March     18 To 2 pr Leading Lines 1/.. 2 pr 6 Ells Rolls  1/ 4  8/.. Felt hatt 3/2 .  . .   .   .  .  13 . 2

May          6 To 1 Broad Hoe 4/6 .. 8¾ Ells Rolls @ 1/3. 10/11¼  .  .   .  .  .   .   .   .   .  . .15 5¼

June         16 To Crop Tobacco 1 Hhd on Portobacco .  .   .   .    .   64 . .  . 1120 .  .   .

                 ..  To Samuel Hanson 794ea C Tobo..1 Caroline Felt~7/6       94.  .  .   794.   .  .   . 7 ..6

August       21 To 100 4d Nails 6d /October 17th/1 Bushell Salt ¾: .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .   .   .  .  . .    3..10

Novemr       28 To 2 yards Shalloone 2/9: 5/6  .  .   .   .  .   .   .     .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  5. .6

                                                                                                                   ========     ==========

1914            39.11.10

 ====================                                           =================================================  


 Thomas Jr’s credits for 1775:


                    Contra           Cr

May       6 By John Smith.  Jordon 130/ .  .   .  .   .   .   .   .  .    .  .49  .  .  .  .   .  .  .   6..10..~

June      16 By CropToboon Piscatty TA 204.1091.109.982 .  .  . 64.

                                                             4prCt .  .  .   .  .  .  39 1024 

Augt       10 By ditto  on ditto  TA 477.1085..106:979}.  .  .  .  .  . 65

                                                      4 PrCent.  .  .  .    39}1018


                    By discounted to Currency @ 30/prCt .  .  .  .  .125  .  .  .   .   .  .   .   .  .   .1. 17 .6

                                                                                                                      =====.  . .  .  .  .   .   .  1914

                    By note of Hand to Ledger No 11.  .  .  .  .   .   .   .    .  6 .  .  .  .   .  .  . .  31 .4 .4 

                                                                                                                    ======          =========

                                                                                                                                              1914         39 11 10

      ==============                                                                                      ======================================



      The account of Thomas Arvin & Thomas Darnall was still inactive, except for an entry on March 18: an interest charge on the 1039 lbs. of Crop Tobacco which they owed the firm and which was being carried on the books. Apparently the partners had received credit for this amount of tobacco at some time prior to 1771. The interest was for “30th August 71: to the date” and amounted to an additional 295 lbs. of tobacco. This was added to their old balance of 1039, bringing the total to 1334 lbs. [Folio not abstracted.] As we shall see, interest charges would become a source of extreme irritation with the colonists. 



      Alexander Hamilton in effect wrote off several debts in December. This folio speaks starkly to the situation facing many of the poor planters at this time.



           Desperate Debts              Dr         

                        To Ballance from Ledger No. 10 .   .    .    .    .     .   .    .    .    119

December 30  To John Clifford Snowden, dead & left nothing .   .   .   .   .   .   .   6

                        To Josias Wade, dead & left nothing . bond  .   .   .    .   .    .   .    8

                        To John Loveless, dead & left nothing .  .   .  .   .   .  .  .   .   .  .   12

                        To Philip Bryan gone to Viginia & no Effects  .    .   .    .   .   .   . 15

                        To William Bryan, dead & left nothing  .  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  16

                        To James Kerrick, dead & left nothing .   .   .   .   .    .   .   .     .  16

                        To John Good ran away to Carolina .   .   .  .    .   .   .   .   .   .   .  "

                        To James Roberson, dead & left nothing  .   .   .   .   .    .    .   .  .  "

                        To Rachael Savage, ran away to Virginia .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .  .  .  "

                        To James Taylor, Run away .   .    .   .    .    .     .    .    .    .  .   .   "

                        To John Wheeler, dead & left nothing .   .   .     .    .    .     .   .   .  "






1776 historical timeline:

9 January   Thomas Paine’s Common Sense is published in Philadelphia. It refers to the colonies as “THE FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES OF AMERICA,” and it electrifies the colonists everywhere on the continent.

9 February    “This accompanies under cover of your direction…the following papers, Vizt. Inventory, List of Debts, and your own accot. For Piscattaway store…which I hope you will Receive Safe & in good order….I have continued my former method of Classing the Debts, and I think it a more distinct manner than formerly, their Situation & Security. I wish I could give you still further Satisfaction in respect to your debts. But that Cannot be done without I was with you. The goods on hand are, many of them, very unsaleable. I shall be the best I can with them. And Perhaps from the Sale of them I may be able to pay some of the Debts due you. At all events I will pay none except by this way & my Collection. The debts due to the Rum Store I am In hopes will be sufficient to make good the Several Ballances due the Partners. But if this unhappy Contest continues two or three years longer, I am very much afraid they will be greatly injured, and at present we have not the Smallest prospect of an accommodation.”203


     Here is the List of Debts. It lists the debtors and the amounts they owe James Brown & Company as of 1776. This folio alone lists 49 debtors and total debts of over 178. Apparently the three Arvin sons (again spelled with a trailing “e”) are now among the debtors rated in the 2nd Class (supposed doubtful) according to Alexander Hamilton’s system.

     This is the top of the left-hand side of the folio: 


N 6

                                Maryland   Anno 1776

Folios   Folios                                                                                                       On Open Accompt                  .                              

of  Lr    of  Lr                            2d Class                                      C Tobo             Currency             Sterling                            

No 12    No 11


   6 .  .  .  .   .  . James         Atchison of Igns .  .   .   .   .114√  .   .   .   .   .   .  .   . 1  .   .   .   .  

   6 .  .  .  .   .  . Igns&James Atchison .  .  .   .    .    .   .    9√ .  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  

             50       Thomas .  .  Arvine .  .  .  .   .   .   .   .   111  .  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .     

   6 .  .   .  .  .  . Elisha .  .  .  Arvine .   .    .   .   .   .  .   142√ .  .   .   .  .    .   .   .    .   .   .   .  . 

   6 .  .  .   .   .   Elias  .   .  .  Arvine  .   .   .   .    .   .  .  126√ .  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   . 

   6  .   .   .   .  . Samuel .  .  .Alley  .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .   90√ .  .   .  .   .   .   .  .12..13..5  .   .   .

   6 .  .  .  .  .  .  Ignatius.  .  .Atchison Junr .  .   .   .   .  . 40√ .  .   .   .  .   .   .   .     10  6.  .   .  

   6 .  .  .  .  .  .  Ebenezar .  .Athey .  .  .   .    .   .   .  .   .   9√ .  .   .   .   .   .  .   2   18 11 .   .   .

   6.   .  .   .   .   Elizabeth .  .Ailder  .  .   .  .    .   .   .     .182√ .   .   .   .   .   .  .  1  16  2¼ .   .   

   6 .  .  .  .   .  . George .  .  .Athey  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .     1√ .   .   .   .   .   .   .     11 .3 .   .  .

   6  .   .   .   .  . Thomas .  .  Beale Junr .   .    .   .   .   .  102√.    .   .    .   .    .   .    8 10¾ .  .  

   7.  .   .   .  .  . John . P.   . Brashears .   .  .   .   .   .  .  50√.   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .    .   .   .   .



   Here is the top of the right-hand side of folio 6 of Ledger No 11: 


                                                                                          6 N

                    Ledger No. 11

Dates when       Dates of                        On Bonds                  .   Dates of    On Notes of Hand not on Interest

theIntsbegins    the Bonds   C Tobo        Currency       Sterling    the Notes   C Tobo    Currency      Sterling


75 March 25 75March25 .  .  .   .   . .   8 .  9   2 .  .   .   .   .

73Septmbr28 73Septmbr28 .   .   .  .  .  .  5 .  ,,   ,, .  .   .   .   .

.   .   .   .   .   .    .   .   .   .   .     .   .  .   .   .   .    .   .   .   .   .  .74January27 .  .   .   .31 .4 .4  .   .   .   .  .

75Novr 6    75 Novr .6 .  .  .   .   .   . 10 .10. 3

.   .  .  .  .   .   .  .   .   .  .    .   .   .    .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   . 75Septemr16  . .  .   .  1.15. 8 .   .   .   .   .

74Decr.30  74 Decr .30 .   .   .   .   .    7  18. 4  .   .    .   .   .



.  .   .   .   .    .    .   .   .    .    .    .    .    .     .    .   .  .  .    .    .  75Septemr  2 .  .  . . 10..11  1 .   .   .   .  


75 May 22 75 May  22 .  .   .   .   .   . 6    ..  7  .   .   .   .   .





     Thomas Jr. has a “note of hand” in the amount of ₤31..4..4 dated  27 January 1774, but apparently is not accruing interest at this time. Hamilton has not yet been able to persuade young Thomas to sign a bond. Elisha’s debt of ₤10..10..3 is “on bond” dated 6 November 1775, and it has been accruing interest since that date. And Elias also has a note for ₤1..15..8 dated 16 September 1775. He has not signed a bond yet either. “When the war came and trade with the mother country ceased, Charles County inhabitants owed thousands of pounds of tobacco and money to English and Scottish merchants. As early as 1774, avoiding those debts was regarded as a patriotic act.”204

     The tenacious Hamilton still carried the debt of Francis King, Sr., the Piscataway innkeeper who died in 1771, on his books in 1776. The deceased King’s debt is listed as 3rd Class.

March   Under siege by the American forces, British troops evacuate Boston, and set sail for New York. General Washington, anticipating this, begins to move his entire Continental Army to New York.

March   “Indicating the stress of circumstances and uncertainty about supplies,” John Glassford, one of the big five “Tobacco Lords” of Glasgow, sells out to a French agent. Glassford has over 500,000 in accounts receivable.

10 April   A Rage Militare, or “passion for arms,” to meet the British challenge is sweeping the colonies. The Continental Congress begins the process of forming a “Flying Camp,” to consist of 10,000 militia and state troops from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. It will be designed to travel on short notice anywhere in the Continental Army’s Middle Department, in order to defend that area.

8 to 25 May   The Maryland Convention meets in Annapolis. At first, it instructs its delegates to the Continental Congress to strive for reconciliation with Great Britain.

20 June   Maryland had been reluctant to sever all ties with the mother country, but she came to the realization that there was no other way. And so, at the meeting of the Maryland Convention…the former instructions were recalled, and the deputies to Congress…were authorized and empowered to concur with the other United Colonies in declaring themselves free….As soon as the Maryland delegates appeared with these instructions the Continental Congress, on July 2, declared the United Colonies to be free and Independent States…and on July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson’s ‘Declaration of Independence’ was adopted.”205

6 July   Meanwhile, the Maryland Convention orders Colonel Smallwood and his regiment to join General Washington in the environs of New York. And Smallwood is already on the way.

August 2   The Declaration of Independence signed by delegates in Congress at Philadelphia.

August 14 to November 11   The Maryland Convention met in its last session. Among other issues, it set out Montgomery County from the southern portion of Frederick County, and started the formation of the new state government. On November 11, the Constitution of the State of Maryland went into effect. The Maryland Convention also called for additional companies of volunteers to be enrolled from the militia for Continental service until 1 December 1776.   



The Census of 1776


      “Beset by skyrocketing debts created by the military demands of the Revolution, Congress took measures to fill the empty coffers of the Continental treasury. On the 26th of December 1775 the members resolved to raise another three million dollars by the further emission of bills of credit.

     “Congress intended to secure the bills by levying a tax on each colony according to a quota to be determined by population. A copy of the resolution was sent to each of the now United Colonies requesting that a census be made of the total population according to race, age and sex. The results were needed to set the quotas. Not until June 1776 did the Council of Safety in Maryland send copies of the Congressional resolution to the Committees of Observation in each county. These extra-legal committees were authorized to employ persons to take the number of inhabitants and return it to them. The Council agreed to pay for the services of the census takers.

     “The census takers returns varied. Baltimore, Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, Caroline and Anne Arundel counties listed only the heads of households, grouping the number of individuals in the household by age and sex as is common in the early federal censuses. Other counties like Harford, Prince Georges, and Frederick named each of the individuals, giving their ages, sexes and races.”206  This census, hand written of course, was completed 31 August 1776. Apparently the census for Charles County has not survived, but we do still have Prince George’s County, part of which is shown here.


Prince George’s County, St. John’s Hundred. 207




Elias Harvin 25:23:2:1 Mary 24 :25 . . . . . . . . 2 . .2 .  .  .  .2   .   .   .   . 



The census taker wrote columnar headings at the top of each page. Here is a transposition of the vertical headings to horizontal in order to make them easier to read:


free negroes Under 16                    ~

free negroes Above 16                    ~

Male Whites between 16 & 50       2

defective m whites Abv 16             ~

Male Whites Under 16                   2

female Whites                                 2

Slaves above 16                              ~

Slaves under 16                              ~


     In summary, in this household we find Elias, age 25; another male, probably Elisha, age 23; a male child age 2; a male child age 1; Mary, age 24, and another female, age 25. Perhaps Elisha and his wife were living with Elias, Mary and their two boys.


In another household we find:



Bryan Town Hundred, Taken by Jno. Harbin, Constable.


Allen Harbin

William Harbin           

Elisha Harbin                 



The Harbins, as far as can be determined, are probably not related to the Arvins.



The War for Independence


     As 1776 neared an end, things went from bad to worse for the fledgling Continental Army. They were being routed by the most powerful military force in the world. Colonel Smallwood and his Maryland troops, now with the Commander-in-Chief in the state of New York, participated in one punishing encounter after another: the Battle of Harlem Heights (September 16), the Battle of White Plains (October 27) and the surrenders of Fort Washington (November 16) and Fort Lee (November 20.) The Continental Army was quickly unravelling; they stood on the brink of completely disintegrating. Thomas Paine felt compelled to write, “The Crisis,” in which he began, “These are the times which try men’s souls.” (It filled the entire front page of the 2 January 1777 edition of The Maryland Gazette.) The Commander-in-Chief, General Washington, was forced to gamble everything on one last desperate measure--a surprise attack at Trenton, New Jersey. “After these disastrous defeats, General Washington gathered the remnants of his army, many of them from Maryland who had re-enlisted for three years, and defeated the British in the Battle of Trenton on December 26. This was followed by the defeat of the British in the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777, so that spirits were lifted as Washington went into winter quarters at Morristown, while the enemy retired to Brunswick. Congress gave General Washington power to raise and equip 16 additional regiments.”208


     Social pressure began to increase on the loyalists who remained in America. “Unable to agree to bear arms against their countrymen, many of the Scottish merchants left Maryland.…Alexander Hamilton remained in Piscataway and attempted to salvage the property owned by Brown and other Glasgow firms. On October 23, 1776 Hamilton bought two lots in Nottingham marketplace from John Glassford for five shillings. [Other property also purchased from Glassford and other Scots.] On the following day Hamilton conveyed all this property to [Henry] Riddell [John Glassford’s son-in-law, living in Prince George’s County] for the same price. Evidently their aim was to secure the Glassford property from confiscation by transferring the title from British owners. Hamilton and his associates were not altogether successful in their efforts. Property confiscated from James Brown and Company and John Glassford and John Buchannan, among others, was advertised for sale in 1781. The Brown store at Piscataway...escaped confiscation, in any event, as it was held in Hamilton’s name….”209 When he finally decided to sell the property, Hamilton placed this advertisement in The Maryland Gazette. It ran from 10 July 1777 through November.  

                                         Piscataway, July 1, 1777-
            For        S         A         L        E,
MY lot in Piscataway : The improvements there-
on are, a dwelling-house two stories high, thirty
by eighteen, two rooms below, and two above, a stone
cellar the dimensions of the house, a stable thirty by
fourteen, a story and a half high, and an old store-
house, new covered about three years ago, and with a
small expense may be made either a convenient store-
house or kitchen ; the lot is enclosed with locust posts
and oak paling, and contains near an acre. Part of
the price may be made easy to the purchaser, on giv-
ing proper security, with interest
     tf                                        ALEX.    HAMILTON

     “Hamilton probably remained at Piscataway until 1777 or even later. He retired to his brother’s property in Berkeley County, (West) Virginia and remained there until January 1784. He then returned to Prince George’s County and made repeated efforts to resume the business and to regain the company’s debts.”209      “It was to his brother’s home that Alexander Hamilton fled during the war, probably to escape the wrath of his patriotic neighbors who resented his neutrality during the Revolution and to escape payments from the creditors of James Brown & Co. who wanted to pay their debts in depreciated currency.”210  (although “..laws had been passed during the Revolution permitting debtors to discharge their obligations by paying them into the state treasury in depreciated currency.”)211

     Hamilton’s personal ledger folio shows an entry for 80 in wages for 1777, and brief notes for work done during 1778 and 1779. The store did very little business in 1777 and none in 1778. He probably took the account books of Simson Baird & Company and James Brown & Company with him when he finally departed for his brother Gavin’s place. Gavin operated an iron forge (Keep Triste Furnace) located at the confluence of Elk Run and the Potomac near Harper's Ferry.
     James Hoggan passed away in the summer of 1777, and the responsibility of settling his estate fell to Hamilton. He ran the following ad in the Gazette on 31 July 1777: 

TO be SOLD, by public sale, on the 22d day of
August next, at the store of the late Mr. James
Hoggan, merchant, in Bladensburg, for ready money,
all his EFFECTS and wearing apparel.
    All persons indebted to him, or to whom he is in-
debted, are desired to settle the same with Mr. Joseph
Noble Baynes, at Bladensburg, or with
                                     ALEX.  HAMILTON, Executor.
    The creditors will not forget, that the vouchers for
their claims must be legally authenticated, before they
can be paid.

     “He made no charges to James Brown & Co. for work done between November 18, 1779 (when he ‘went to Portobacco’) and December 31, 1783 (when he again rented a house in Piscataway). After the death of James Hoggan in 1777, Hamilton placed Joseph Noble Baynes in charge of the Bladensburg store. Charges to this store’s account indicate that it was probably operated through mid-1778, although in June 1779 the establishment paid an ‘assessment’ of 17.7.6 currency….It is highly probable that Hamilton left Maryland in early 1778 and returned periodically (such as the trip to Port Tobacco in 1779) to attend court sessions in an effort to collect part of the debt owed James Brown & Co.”212

     “Upon his return to the lower Potomac valley, Hamilton found himself in a peculiar situation. Most of his company’s creditors felt him to be a ‘foreigner’ collecting debts for an alien firm, debts which for nearly a decade they had not expected to pay. On the other hand, James Brown & Company now considered their former factor a foreigner since the peace treaty made him an American citizen.”213 



The Census of 1778


     “This ‘census’ was much less of all individuals living in the state than if was a means to determine who had not signed the Oath of Fidelity. The law which demanded that all free male inhabitants take an oath or affirmation of fidelity to the state (Chapter 20 of the Acts of 1777) provided in Section 7 that the constable of every hundred prepare before March 1, 1778 (the deadline for taking the oath) an alphabetical list of all free male inhabitants over age eighteen on that date. The list should include those resident in the hundred….The Governor and Council were to make a list of all persons not taking the oath by comparing this ‘census’ with the lists of those signing the oath in order to determine who would be subject to the treble tax specified in the law. Constables were given considerable incentive to prepare the list since they would receive a per diem wage for their efforts and would be fined 200 pounds for failure to create the list. The lists were to be sent both to the Governor and Council and to the county courts. Surprisingly few of these lists seem to have survived. Our (Census of 1778) records are from the county courts….We have records from hundreds in Caroline (found in Land Records, Liber A), Charles and Queen Anne’s counties. These are no more than alphabetical list of names of free males over 18 unlike the Census of 1776 which covered all ages, races and sexes.214  




Charles County Census, 1778 (1800 persons)


Male Persons Eighteen Years Old and Upward in the:

Port Tobacco, East Hundred, Taken by Peter Griffith, Constable.

Arvin, Thomas Jr.

Arvin, Thomas Sr.

Arvin, Joseph            [perhaps a misspelling of the name of Thomas’s fifth son, Joshua Arvin.]

Arvin, Edward






Port Tobacco, Upper Hundred, Taken by Sam’l Smallwood, Constable.


Moses Harvin    [A Moses Arvin would maintain an account with James Brown & Company

                            at the Piscataway store in 1793. This might be the same person.]





     “The oath was to be taken before a magistrate of the county in which one resided….The Magistrate was required to spend one day per week at the “most convenient places in his neighborhood” to administer the oath. These places were to be advertised and magistrates were subject to a 500 pound fine for failure to perform these duties. Those not taking the oath were subject to a treble tax on real and personal property; could not vote or bring suit, vote or hold civil or military office; and could not engage in retail trade, law, medicine, pharmacy, gospel ministry or public or private education.”217

     In July of 1779, young Edward Darnall Arvin enlisted “for the duration” in the Maryland Line of the Continental Army. He left Zachia Manor and marched off to join the main army in New York. He received a bounty of cash, new clothes and a warrant for frontier land, to be granted when the war was won. In so doing, he would become (potentially at least) the first of the Arvin clan to be a freeholder and thereby also a voter. All he has to do is remain in the army for the duration of the war. This may have been the first time Edward had ever been out of the Maryland, or even left home for more than a few days.



Arvin's Enlargement       


     Upon the advice of the Continental Congress, Maryland decided to confiscate British-held property in the state, although it took years to come to the decision. “As early as 1777, the Continental Congress had recommended to the states that they confiscate and sell property belonging to Loyalists, but the Maryland Assembly did not pass a confiscation bill until December 1779.”218  The tipping point came when the Bank of England refused to honor a withdrawal by the Maryland state treasurer of funds invested in Bank of England bank stock which had come due in 1779. The Senate then finally agreed with the House to confiscation, and a bill to do so was passed in June 1780. The money was needed to pay state debts, pay the soldiers, construct a warship, and to raise bounty money to entice young men (such as Edward Darnall Arvin) to enlist in the Continental Line.  

     This meant that all of the manors of Henry Harford, illegitimate son of Frederick the last Lord Baltimore, who was now the proprietor, were to be confiscated and sold. Zachia Manor was included. Once again, a traumatic situation developed for the Arvin household. “The proprietor’s British citizenship provided the rationale for confiscating his estate in Maryland, but the citizens of the province who resided on his manors, not just Henry Harford, were directly affected by the state’s action. By sequestering the proprietor’s property in Maryland, the state in reality seized the farms and plantations of scores of his tenants without regard to their loyalty.

     “Although manor tenants were not immediately deprived of their land as long as they held valid leases, the state made no provision for renewing them. Thus, confiscation eliminated the security tenants had enjoyed under the proprietor and even if no one purchased their tenements at the state sales, the tenants’ tenure was certain to terminate as soon as their leases expired….confiscation also posed an unprecedented risk for tenants who desired to retain possession of their homes and improvements, especially since for many the value of these improvements constituted the bulk of their assets.”219  Thomas’s lease, which had begun on 2 September 1765 and ran for 18½ years, would therefore expire on 1 March 1784.

     Three commissioners, Clement Hollyday, William Paca (a signer of the Declaration of Independence) and Uriah Forrest (military hero and a future delegate to the Continental Congress) were appointed to handle the auctions. Gabriel Duvall (a future United States Supreme Court justice) was their clerk. They systematically started to auction off the manors one by one between October 1781 and November 1782. “Tenements were auctioned off at a public place at or near the manor being sold. At least one commissioner was present at each auction, although the actual sale was conducted by an auctioneer hired for that purpose. The sales were generally well attended and bidding was frequently very competitive…The majority of the manors, including all those in…Charles [County], were sold for specie (usually paid in an equivalent amount of one of several types of paper currency) or red money [currency printed in red ink] on three-years’ credit.”220

     Zachia Manor had always been among the poorest of His Lordship’s manors. “The natural resources and improvements on Zachiah Manor in Charles County were poorer than on any other manor on the lower Western Shore, so the tenants who resided there might have expected little bidding competition from speculators. The majority of the tenants on the manor were very poor, however, judging from the small size of houses on their tenements and the lack of other improvements, most had fewer assets than residents on other manors in the regions. As a result, when the manor leaseholders gathered at Sirlatt’s Tavern near Bryan Town on October 11, 1781, they must have felt little satisfaction in seeing few wealthy outsiders in the crowd, because regardless of how cheaply the land sold most tenants must have known that paying for their leaseholds would be difficult or impossible.”221



                 Sale of Zachiah Manor Confiscated property of Henry Harford Esq.

                 Sold under the direction of Gabriel Duvall Comm. 10.11th Octb 1781~

                 Terms Specie or Red Money in thirds 1st Septr 1782 . 83 . 84 ~


[Several winning bidders are cross referenced from folio 47 to this folio. Among them]



47. Thomas Arvin.  .   .   .   .   .   .  .  . 11½ acres.  .  @15/6 .  .   .  .  8:18: 3

                                                           √ 126 .  .  .  .  .  .  .15/  .  .  .  .  94:10: ~             

                                                              66 .  .  .  .  .  .  .15/  .  .  .  .  49:10: ~      152:18:3


[Other winning bidders are also cross referenced from folio 47.

  Cross referencing begins from folio 48. Among the names]


48. Stephen Roby .  .  .  .  .   .   .   .  .    123.  .  .  .  .  .  .  15/   .   .   .                      90:15: ~   




     The parcels correspond to Lott No. 33, Lott No. 38 and Lott No. 40 of Zachia Manor (see survey of 1789). Thomas was one of those who purchased more property than he had previously rented. Most of this land had belonged to John Loveless, who was age 70 in 1768 (according to the manor rent rolls) and was probably now deceased. Lott No. 33 was called “The Mill Lott, or Hickory Thickett” and sold for slightly more than the other two lots. We could conclude that Dressing branch ran through it and that it had improvements such as a homestead and/or a grist mill. Thomas may have wanted this property because it adjoined or included his homestead on the old fifteen acre plot he had originally named “Littleworth” in 1765. Lott No. 38 was known as “Poor Man’s Hope,” and LottNo. 40 as “Lovelass Addition.” 

     How could Thomas ever hope to pay for this land? Why would he do such a thing? There was certainly one good reason to take action. The vote. “Under the state constitution of 1776, the right to vote…was limited to fifty acre freeholders or property owners worth 30 currency money. Thus a tenant exchanging his leasehold for a freehold was automatically enfranchising himself.”223 But there was a much more fundemental reason. Thomas and Sarah were trying to preserve their homestead, with all its improvements, and take possession of the unoccupied land around it for their large and growing family and the families of their children. With only 19 acres in their leasehold, the Arvins were overburdening tiny Littleworth and couldn't help but impose on the Darnalls, some of them perhaps even living on and farming the Darnall acreage. Thomas knew he was taking a big gamble, almost as big as coming to America in the first place, but with the acquisition of this new land he could establish a more than ten-fold enlargement of his holdings. He could therefore create enough space for his entire family's needs for the forseeable future. They had already lost Elias and Elisha and their families to Prince George’s County, and the siren call of the western lands was becoming increasingly irresistible. Kentucky in particular was beginning to develop a sizable Catholic migration. Thomas, Jr., at twenty-six the oldest son still on the manor and perhaps married himself, might be the next to leave. Sarah and Thomas Sr., certainly didn't want to lose contact with any more of their family.

     We also note from the survey of Zachia Manor made in 1789 that Lotts No. 36 and 42 were owned at that time by a partnership of “Sirlott Hardy & Boarman” rather than by Thomas Darnall. These Boarmans may be Thomas Darnall’s daughter and son-in-law. Perhaps Thomas and Sarah Darnall continued to live on this land with the Boarmans. Thomas Darnall would have been about 75 at this time.

     The lot purchased by Stephen Roby corresponds to Lott No. 41 in Zachia Manor. It is nestled inside the bounds of Thomas’s three lots (see Survey.) Fifth son Joshua Arvin will buy this lot from Stephen Roby on 21 March 1784 for 200 pounds currency. (It is then described as 105 acres.) Joshua will name the land, “Arvin’s Dispute.” Written on the back: “By John Robey, father, executor for Stephen Roby. May 11, 1792.” Appeal to Chancellor of Maryland for patent since Roby died.224  


      “Nearly all the Zachiah Manor tracts auctioned off at the state sale brought low prices, but despite this, only fifteen of the twenty-nine tenants on the manor were able to purchase land. Five of the fifteen bought more land than they held by lease…”225  Thomas was one of those.       

     “For the most part, purchasers preferred going into debt by giving their bonds to the state rather than making cash payments for their lands….the state received bonds for the redemption of red money [printed in red ink, equal to 1.67 British pound]…for black money [printed in black ink, on par with the British pound]…continental state money…[and] specie.” Apparently three signers were required by law on these bonds. Joshua Arvin and Stephen Roby (perhaps a cousin) co-signed for Thomas’s bond, which, with the interest, amounted to “two hundred & forty pounds Gold Currency.” In return, Thomas was a co-signer for Stephen Robey’s bond that same day. Terms of the bonds required equal one-third payments on or before the first of September 1782, 1783 and 1784, when the crops were harvested and funds (in theory) would be available. Thomas had obligated himself to pay more than ₤50 each fall for the next three years. Plus interest. It would have to be a combined effort of the whole clan, and it just might work. He decided to call his new land “Arvin’s Enlargement.”226     



War on the Potomac


        “The militia was called out whenever a naval squadron cruised off the county….Enemy brigs, sloops, schooners, barges, and even a frigate or two cruised at will, challenged only by winds and currents, all the way from the mouth of the river to the town of Alexandria. Laying waste to plantations and tobacco warehouses and threatening General Washington’s Mount Vernon, a target sure to quicken any loyal British heart, the raiders ‘kept the Inhabitants on the Waters of the Potomack in constant alarm’ or a least ‘disquiet,’ for months.

     “This action was part of a massive British naval assault intended to destroy as much property as possible beside the Chesapeake’s principal rivers…They preferred to ‘land at unguarded places, plunder & destroy,’ then, ‘[as] Soon as they see the Militia gathering they embark and go to another unguarded place.’


     The Arvin’s oldest son, Elias Arvin, still living in Prince George’s County, was called up for militia duty on 8 June 1782.




“Pay Roll for Richard Stonestreet’s Company of the Eleventh Battalion, Prince George’s County,

who were on duty by Command of Col. William Tyler when the British Ships were up the Potomack.”


Elias Arvin



He received pay for 6 day's service at a token amount of only 6 2/3 pence per day.227


     “By all accounts, people in Charles and other counties on both sides of the Potomac wanted to offer stiffer resistance but were hampered by lack of munitions and accurate knowledge of the enemy’s intentions.”228



Contributions to the Public Store


        “In late 1777 the Assembly established the basic principles and administrative structure through which procurement thereafter proceeded. The state consistently preferred to acquire surplus goods, rather than those set aside for subsistence, but it was prepared to confiscate property if necessary. In every county, state-appointed provisioning agents organized collecting activities and had authority to buy or seize designated commodities, ranging from horses to hats. These men worked on commission. Initially the state purchased supplies with cash, but as military requisitions mounted and public coffers emptied, it sometimes resorted to interest-bearing certificates, which were nothing more than promises to pay (if the war ended favorably.)… 

     Maryland’s performance in mobilizing military supplies was substantial, sometimes even heroic….Charles County proved most successful in furnishing simple goods that clothed and sheltered the army, and above all, the food that sustained it…People…supported the war effort with thousands of pounds of beef, pork, corn and wheat. From one year to the next, they produced increasing amounts of supplies, until, by the Battle of Yorktown, men and women were working at a feverish pace, and ‘Charles County Carts’ laden with provisions were a familiar sight along the dusty roads leading away from the county.  


Maryland Ss1 28th Decr   1782       No 256

I certify that Thomas Luckett this Day delivered

into the Public Store two Bushels & one Peck

of wheat for the use of this State ~~

                                              Tas Farn and is Comny

                                              of Purchs for Chas County


Maryland Ss1 28th Decr   1782        No 257

I certify that Leonard Hamilton this Day delivered

into the Public Store Six Bushels of wheat for

the use of this State   ~~       Tas Farn and is Comny

                                              of Purchs for Chas County


Maryland Ss1 28th Decr   1782        No  258

I certify that Thos Arvin this Day delivered into the

Public Store one Bushel & one Peck of wheat for

the use of this State                 Tas Farn and is Compy

                                                           of Purchs for Chass County




     “Although every household contributed materiel, either voluntarily or otherwise, only a few men—gentry men—organized the local supply effort…They and their assistants knocked on doors, spotted surplus good, elicited cooperation and sometimes resorted to confiscation….”

     With the arrival of the French fleet under Rochambeau, which stayed in Virginia until mid 1782, hard currency had become available for payment of these contributions, undoubtably making them easier to procure. “One local provisioner, Daniel Jenifer of Port Tobacco, accomplished more than any other. While his better know brother, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, sought wider horizons in state and national politics, Daniel Jenifer’s world was Charles County….Jenifer was a dedicated provisioner who more than sacrificed personal interests for the public good….Jenifer presents the extraordinary sight of a county court justice, a man whom people customarily approached with some degree of deference, going door to door asking householders to part with their humble possessions, receiving ‘liberal abuse’ from war-weary inhabitants….  

     “These scenes in Charles County were part of a tapestry woven throughout Maryland…and when Washington saw it whole, he was moved to rare praise: ‘The supplies granted by the State are so liberal, that they remove any apprehensions of want.’”230



Peace,  But a Troublesome Treaty


     Everyone, to a greater or lesser extent, kept themselves informed about the war and its progress. Especially families like the Arvins, who had a son in harm's way. And by 1781, “People sensed that the war was building to a climax…”231  In fact, as General Washington bottled up the British army under Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in the last great conflict of the war, “People living in the county actually heard the tremendous cannonade a hundred miles the south.”232

     “Although Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown in the fall of 1781 [ October 17, only a week after Thomas made the purchase of his properties] marked the end of the Revolutionary War, minor battles between the British and the colonists continued for another two years. Finally, in February of 1783 George III issued his Proclamation of Cessation of Hostilities, culminating in the Peace Treaty of 1783. Signed in Paris on September 3, 1783, the agreement—also known as the Paris Peace Treaty—formally ended the United States War for Independence.” 233

     Signing for the United States in Paris were John Adams, John Jay and Benjamin Franklin. The treaty was later ratified at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, where the Confederation Congress was meeting. There were nine articles in the Treaty. One short article, Article IV, would prove to be an unbearable burden for the small planters in debt.






                                              It is agreed that creditors on either side shall meet no lawful

                                              impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money

                                              of all bone fide debts heretofore contracted.   






     That summer, in July of 1783, the Maryland troops from the Continental Army, including Edward D. Arvin, had shipped home from Charleston, South Carolina. They disembarked at Annapolis and Baltimore, and were placed on furlough pending their discharge. Word came that the treaty had been signed, and they were disbanded in November. Edward was now entitled to his bounty land. He had gone unpaid throughout the war, and was now also due his back pay and a “gratuity” for his service (although actual payment would not be made for years.) Though only 26 years old, he was a seasoned veteran of both the Continental Army’s winter at Morristown and its grueling Southern Campaign in the Carolinas. Lucky to have even survived the War for Independence, he walked home to his father’s land in the old Zachia Manor. He was probably amazed at how much land his father now owned. And no doubt the entire Arvin (and Darnall) families were overjoyed to have him back. Imagine the scene when he unexpectedly showed up one summer afternoon, perhpas still dressed in his Continental soldier uniform.

     The 1783 tax assessment for the fourth district of Charles County234 paints a vivid picture of the Arvin family that year. Thomas Arvin, Sr., 58 years old, is the patriarch of a large extended family living on Arvin’s Enlargement, which contained 143 acres valued at ₤64 but with marginal soil. The properties, Loveless’s Venture (60 arable acres) and Loveless’s Addition (51 arable acres) are described as having “stiff clay” soil. The property Still Seat [i.e., Mill Seat, the homestead on Mill Lott?] (13 arable acres) has “poor stiff soil.” His old original property, Littleworth, is described as containing 19 wooded acres and a “small logd House.” Thomas is the owner of a slave, 18 to 44 years of age, valued at ₤25. He owned no silver plate, but he had four horses and seven beef cattle valued at ₤25, and “other property” valued at ₤16. His total assessed value was ₤125 and his assessment was ₤1..5s, or 6s..3d in specie (hard money.) There were six “white inhabitants” in his household in 1783. His sons, 28-year old Thomas, Jr., the recently returned veteran Edward and the younger brother Joshua, about 24, are also living on their father’s land, essentially all sharing their common possessions. Joshua and Edward each were listed as the owner of a slave. The extended family had 9 horses and 19 cattle valued at ₤63 and other property valued at ₤41. The total value of all their property combined was ₤236. At this high point in Thomas’s life there were a total of eighteen whites and three slaves living on Arvin’s Enlargement.

      At noon on 23 December 1783, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, His Excellency General George Washington, resigned his commission at a public ceremony before the Confederation Congress at the Annapolis State House. Hardly a person in the room did not shed a tear. The General’s hand shook visibly as he read his remarks. “Horses were waiting at the door immediately after Washington read his statement. The crowd gathered at the doorway to wave him off. It was the greatest exit in American history.”235  He arrived home at Mount Vernon in time to be with Martha for Christmas. On the Maryland side of the Potomac in Zachia Manor, Thomas Arvin and his clan celebrated Christmas also.               



The Struggle for Debt Relief


     What Thomas might have hoped for when he enlarged his property evolved into a disaster within a few short years. After the War for Independence, Maryland prospered, but it soon fell into a deep economic depression, on the order of the Great Depression of the twentieth century. In fact, many of the same mistakes made in monetary policy that led to the Great Depression were made in the fledgling state of Maryland in the late eighteenth century.

     “At the close of the War, Maryland had outstanding three separate issue of Revolutionary paper money known as continental state money, black money (both issued in 1780), and red money issued in 1781, each of which depreciated in value almost immediately after being printed.”236 However, these issues were redeemed by various actions of the state in the early 1780’s. And although it was not generally recognized at the time, these redemptions did tame inflation, but in its place they spawned a new demon, a much more ruinous and almost impossible burden for debtors to bear — they unleashed deflation.

    Money, especially red money which Thomas needed to repay the bond which he had taken out on his Confiscated British Property, became especially hard to come by. “The assembly...accepted the depreciation of Maryland paper and in the fall of 1782 fixed the rate at which it should be received [back]....It took steps to raise the value of money by reducing the quantity in circulation, for it provided that where the two state emissions were received for taxes or for confiscated property, they should be destroyed. Every year the Committee of Claims reported to the House of Delegates the burning of considerable sums of all these emissions [the Continental, the black and the red money].” By November 1785, “all the red had been redeemed except for ₤1832 12s.”237

     “The natural result of these measures was to deflate the currency—that is to increase the value of emissions of paper money in relation to commodities [and land], and thereby render more difficult the payment of debts contracted during the period of wartime inflation….In addition to these measures, the General Assembly provided, under the ‘consolidating act,’ that all bonds for confiscated property…and all tax arrearages be pledged for the redemption of state debt by January 1, 1790.…the act brought pressure on tax collectors [who were legally liable to the state  for the taxes, whether or not they actually collected them]  to increase their exertions on behalf of the government, at whatever cost to the state’s inhabitants. All of these factors occurring concomitantly—the deflation of the currency, the renewed effort of the part of the British creditors to collect their pre-war debts, the systematization of the collection of the public debt, especially that incurred by the purchase of confiscated property, and the acceleration of the collection of tax arrearages—combined to make the years 1785-1787 difficult indeed for no small part of the state’s population. Debtors, large and small, turned to the state government for relief in the form of cheap paper money…

     “Advocates for cheap money as a panacea for the prevailing economic evils became more insistent in the public press throughout 1785 and early 1786. Petitions addressed to the state authorities made similar complaints and demands.”238 Typical of the broadsides which circulated on the Western Shore was this one, a petition to the Governor and Council, containing the popular grievance:




                              We were unhappily involved in debt before the late war, some of us to British

                        and others to domestic creditors. The state and continental debt incurred during

                        the late war is enormous. The expenses of our civil government are heavy. We are

                        not able to pay the present taxes, and satisfy our creditors. We are really in a most

                       deplorable situation. …The very great number of suits for debts in the general court,

                       and in the county courts, prove the melancholy truth. Our tobacco and lumber bear

                       a very low price, and the value of our wheat has fallen. Our property is at the mercy

                       of sheriffs and collectors and [when] sold, will not bring one third its real value….


     The petition closed by demanding an emission of paper money as “…the most eligible plan to relieve, in some degree our present distress.” 239


     “Tax collectors and county officers in other parts of the state were apparently finding it equally difficult to execute their trusts, and petitions poured into the General Assembly begging sufferance for the delay in the collection of the state’s revenues. In the Session of 1786 alone, the House of Delegates received fifteen petitions from tax collectors in eleven different counties praying for further time to complete their failure to comply with their obligations to the state….Executions [of debt judgments] on the public assessment imposed November Session 1785 were ordered suspended until May 1, 1787.”240

     “During the summer of 1786 advocates of paper money tried once more to arouse democratic resentment against the aristocracy of wealth….

     “In Anne Arundel County [which contains Annapolis], handbills were circulated inciting the people to overthrow the unholy combination of merchants, money lenders, and wealthy men entrenched in the Senate:



                       All of you except a few importing Merchants, money lenders, and very opulent men,

                      are for an emission of money on loan…. The reason why importing Merchants are

                      against Paper Money is, that they may purchase your Wheat and Tobacco at their own

                      prices…Money Lenders are against an emission by the State on loan because they well

                      know, that no man will give them 25 per cent premium, if he can borrow from the State

                      at six per cent interest.

                               Wealthy men (and some there are in every County), oppose Paper Money, because,

                      having specie, they can purchase, at one third of its value, their neighbour’s land or other

                      property, when sold on execution by the Sheriff or Collector. The rich  know not the

                     distresses of the middling brand of men; living in affluence and ease, with every

                     necessary, and many of the luxuries of life, they neither know, feel, or care, for the wants

                     of others….Wealthy men, in general, are proud and arrogant, and despise the inferior

                     classes of life….” 241




The State Relents, Creditors Do Not


     “Initially, the attitude of state officials was intransigent toward delinquent debtors, and some forfeitures of manor tracts occurred because purchasers were unable to make payments. With the cessation of hostilities, however, the state could afford to be more lenient and tenants who had paid at least part of the purchase price for their lots were generally indulged with additional time.”242 Thomas may have been able to make at least some payment against his bond, for he did maintain possession of Arvin’s Enlargement during these tough times.

      But debts to private creditors were an another matter. “As early as 1779 the Maryland legislature attempted to enact a law whereby debtors whose creditors were non-residents of the state and did not have agents in the state could discharge the debt by paying it to the state treasury in depreciated currency….Many debtors did this. In addition, no debtor could be sued for any debt unless the debtor refused to pay interest on demand, with the grace period running until January 1, 1784.

     “Yet Article IV of the…Peace of Paris…expressly provided that ‘Creditors on either side shall meet with no lawful Impediment to the Recovery of full value in Sterling Money of all bona fide Debts heretofore contracted…’. If both the spirit and the letter of the Peace Treaty were to be observed, Maryland’s lawmakers would have to offer these men [such as Alexander Hamilton and others, returning to collect debts due British merchants] free access to the regular legal machinery of the state, and in so doing to sacrifice the state’s own citizens to their demands. The only other solution would be to observe the letter and disregard the spirit, and it was through this avenue that the General Assembly eventually tried to escape from their dilemma.”243 


     A second issue which faced the legislators concerned the application of Article IV to the 1780 law, canceling debts with deposits to the state treasury. Did the treaty automatically void this legislation? In 1786 the General Assembly declared, “the Treaty of Paris between his Britannic majesty [to be] the supreme law within this state,” thus giving full force to Article IV.244  A final resolution was not achieved until after the ratification of the United States Constitution, which proclaimed treaties made under the authority of the United States to be the supreme law of the land, and established federal courts with jurisdiction over the state courts. 

     “The law’s delays, the hostility of county judges, the obstructionist tactics of local lawyers, the enmity of the people which sometimes broke out into open violence—all combined to make the path of justice steep and difficult for British merchants and their harassed agents.”245



Hamilton Returns to Piscataway


     “After spending much of the War of Independence in voluntary exile in Berkeley County, Virginia, [now Jefferson County, West Virginia] Hamilton returned to the hamlet of Piscataway in Prince George’s County in an effort to collect the debts due his employer and with hopes of re-establishing his tobacco factory on the Potomac tidewater. In both these aspirations 1784 was a disappointing year.

     “Debt collecting he found to be ‘a damnable’ business of which he wrote, ‘I cannot get anything, scarcely a renewall’ of an old note. He found several reasons for this situation, among which were the surprise of the planters at the provisions of the Peace of Paris requiring payments for all pre-war debts, the opposition of all debtors to the paying of interest for the war years, and the fact that ‘Death, Bankruptcy, and Imigration to the South & West’ had deprived the company of many possible collections.

     Hamilton’s position as a factor for Scottish merchants was jeopardized by at lease three economic developments of the period. The first was the growing influx of American factors into the tobacco trade….A second trend saw the concentration of commercial development away from the tobacco inspection stations at places like Piscataway, Bladensburg, Port Tobacco, and Chaptico…to more urbanized trading communities like Baltimore, Georgetown, and Alexandria. Finally, the Scottish tobacco lords had received a severe economic jolt as a result of the American War of Independence and turned much of their capital investments away from trade with the former colonies to other opportunities in the British West Indies or into manufacturing enterprises in Scotland. Although Hamilton did not in the beginning realize what was happening, his failure to secure either goods or continue his old factoring arrangement or credit so that he might open his own establishment at Piscataway was probably in part due to these post-war economic developments.

     “For Hamilton these business problems were complicated by several personal financial obligations. Among these was his continuous worry over the estate of his father….Also important were attempts to resolve matters relative to the estate of James Hoggan, a factor for James Brown & Co. at Bladensburg [from 1774 until he died in 1777], slaves which Hamilton had kept for Andrew Buchanan after Buchanan’s departure for Britain in 1775, and merchandise which Glasgow merchant John Pagan left in Maryland for Brown & Co. to sell…

     “His disappointment—‘mortifying’ he described it—at the James Brown & Co. refusal to continue their operations in Piscataway caused Hamilton to use a simple letter of introduction as a device for soliciting possible employment elsewhere. He informed the London firm of John Alexander Anderson ‘that my present employment, not one of the most agreeable, is that of Collecting J. B & Coys. Old debts’ and that he ‘should be very glad to hear from you, and to do you any service I can on this side of the water.’”

     But on the other hand: “To a people harassed by domestic creditors, loaded with a large public debt, and suffering a severe monetary deflation, the importunities of these Tory debt-collectors must indeed have seemed a gratuitous burden. For the most part, these men had until only recently been enemies of the state and had given active or passive support to the British government in its was against the United States. They were now returning under the protection of the law to press loyal Americans for the payment of debts which the war might have been expected to wipe out. Alexander Hamilton reports that many people in Maryland believed that it was this very debt that caused the war. It is not unlikely that many Marylanders shared the opinion which, according to George Mason, was current in Virginia: ‘If we are now to pay the debts to the British merchants what have we been fighting for all this while?’” 246



Hamilton’s 1784 letters: 247

25 January
 Post To James Brown & Company, “I expect if you find it for your interest, you will in the spring send me out goods, but should you not be disposed to carry on business here, you will please to give me early information as you can….Goods have Sold very high here this last year and considerable profits have been made by them….Yet the peoples expectations are very sanguine that it will be higher when the great quantity of shipping arrives that is expected from Europe, and that business will be carried on in the same manner it was during the former connection with Britain and goods as cheap as they have been ever sold....I think it will be prudent to…sell it either for Cash of good Bills of Exchange and remitt to you or otherwise as you may advise….I think I mentioned to you in my last about reviewing your debts by Bonds or otherways

I can (the copy is in my chest, which lyes weather bound in Alexandria ever since I came down). I see by the definitive treaty that all British debts are to be paid, but nothing is said about what debts may hereafter be contracted by British traders in the course of their business…I do not know in what light the Laws may hold them as to their right of recovery. If your debts are recovered in your own name, a question may arise whether they come under Article the fourth of the definitive treaty. I think it would not be prudent to give room for such a question…If they are renewed in my name, they would stand as Country debts, and in case of Bankruptcy come in as such, and the debtors be liable at any to be sued, as I am deemed a Subject….

   “As all the agents or factors of the Glasgow trade that remained in the Country will no doubt have wrote their respective Employers on this subject, it certainly would not be amiss to lay your heads together (as the planters used to do of old in keeping up the price of Tobacco) and form some general plan for the settling & collection of your debts in this state…”     

10 March   To James Brown & Company, “This has been the most severe winter known since the year 1740. The rivers have been froze up since 1st January & it continued Snow on the ground. Tobacco has rose in price, it’s now 35/ & 40/ all Cash and the planters refuse to take these prices. They expect 50/ & some 60/ pCt. If these prices now giving continue, the people who are willing may pay part of their debts, but I am afraid nothing but Law will make them do it. When the weather permits the getting Tobacco layd [in] Warehouses, I shall be better able to judge of the inclinations of the debtors to pay. Collecting debts in this world was att all times a very fatiguing as well as a disagreeable business, it is now greatly more so. A relaxation of the law always vitiates the Morals of Mankind. Here this has not only been the case during the War but it has been strongly encouraged by too many acts of the Legislature. As it was the generally received opinion that there would be a totall annihilation of all British debts, the being obliged by the treaty of peace to pay, that that too in Sterling money, is a Stroke so unexpected that it has created a general amazement. It will be very difficult to persuade them to pay. Yet I am on hopes the high price of Tobacco will not only encourage them but enable them to pay, and that the Legislature will not take any step to encourage nonpayments.

     “What opportunity I have had, which has been but little by the extreme severity of the weather, to inquire into the situation of your debts here and at Bladensburg, and Imigration to the South & West has made a Considerable gap in them. Two months hence I shall be better able to give you an acct. of them.

     “I now enclose you a Scheme of a Cargoe of goods which if you have not already sent out, may be sent by the first opportunity, if you continue to do business here, but should you not, and it would be convenient for you to give me Credit for the Cargoe, It would put me in a way of doing something for myself. Tho’ I cannot expect such a favour, I cannot give you any security in Britain or here. My expectations of any Consequence was from what I expected from my fathers Estate. As I am ignorant of its situation, I can expect no credit on that Score nor on what little the Estate owes me, as, by your letter it’s uncertain whether I shall even get it. So that at present my prospect of getting Credit can only be on the opinion of my Integrity, assiduity, and attention to business. Tho’ I cannot flatter myself that will be sufficient inducement. The loss that the British Traders have suffered by people here ought reasonably to make them very Cautious of Crediting a Citizen of America. Notwithstanding, large quantitys of goods are expected this spring & summer by Citizens of this State from London, many of whom never were in business before. If I stand so well in your opinion as to get this Credit, It will be a very great favour done one.”

19 May   To [his brother] Francis Hamilton, “They surely cannot expect that I will continue to collect their debts, if any better business offers or that may be more more to my inclination. Be that as it may, I shall continue to do their business this year, it is probable they will be more clear in the next Letters. They advise me not to come home for I cannot be of any Service in my fathers affairs.

     “Jacky is well. [John Alexander Hamilton, son of Francis and nephew of Alexander, who is apparently living at Piscataway. Eventually he became a principal heir of his uncle, who died in 1799.] Do not forget his shirts and the buckwheat by the first opportunity.”

20 May   To James Brown & Company, “What Notes and Bonds I have taken has been in my own name, being of opinion that was the most eligible way untill I heard from you. What I have taken since the 14th is in your Name. Annexed is a Note of those taken in my name, that in case of my death without a Will or assignment, may be known to be your property as will by this letter as by your books. If you deam an assignment necessary, please advise and it shall immediately be made.

     “Payments come in very Slow, though I get some settlements I am putt of[f] by sorry excuses, and I dare not yet use threats except to some whom I know well. You must have patience, for the Collection will be a work of time. I am affraied you will get but a small remittance this year, altho’ the fatigue will be very great. I wish I may keep my health so as to hold it out this season.”   

     “In 1779 I was very suspicious that British property would be forfeited, therefore I conveyed away by deed your lott & storehouse in Bladensbg. It was advertised for sale by the Commissioners for forfeitures but the Conveyances being made before the Law took place has preserved it. I was affraied to say anything about it or the lands in Frederick in case of accidents befalling any letters before the definitive treaty was signed. I believe they are safe now, the deed for the land is jointly in Mr. Riddel’s & my name.

     “In your letters of Janury. and April 1783 you say you will send out an assortment of goods in July and Oct. You say nothing about it the 16th Feby. Last. You say you are very desirous of sending them out but you did not receive my letter until the 6th Janury. and that you will send them out in the fall….I have no store house here nor can I get one on the uncertainty you seem to be in and it is as well I did not rent one as it would have been so much money thrown away. I am at a loss what to do and must continue so until I hear from you again….

     “You will please to consider that I have not had any assistance on the present business, and a great many accots. To draw of[f] as well as those to make out for renewals & payments, which with riding about gives one very little spare time. However, I shall write you as frequently as possible, to make out states of our business here and at Bladensbg. At present [this] will take me off too much from the Settling and Collecting. I think it will be more for your interest to wait for these things untill the fall.

     “It is yet impossible for me to give you an accot. [of] what losses you have sustained in your debts at both stores. I am endeavouring to inform myself as fast as possible, and hope when I send you states of your debts, [I] shall be able to give you some knowledge of them. I have already discovered the loss will not be small.

     “The partners of the deceased Mr. Glassford have assumed a New firm and have sent out pretty large quantitys of goods to Messrs. Alexr. Henderson in Virginia and Robt. Fergusson in Maryland, whom they have taken in as partners. [other stores mentioned ] I doubt not of their management for in my humble opinion there is not for their business two more experienced and capable men in the United States of America.

     “I have never in my remembrance saw a better prospect for a large crop of Tobacco. Plants are excellent and innumerable to what they were in general years and not a smallest complaint for want of them. No fly has plagued them this year, and a few weeks more of this seasonable weather will plant on of the largest crops that ever was truck in the ground without some unforeseen accident….The grounds are fresh and the Tobacco large, brown & leafy.”


The Annex to his letter is partially abstracted below:





                                List of Renewals of Bonds &c in my Name

                                                                                                                  Present debt

1784                                                                      old balance                  Bonds on Int.

January  23                 Jacob Martin 36                     3.. 1.. 8                      4.. 8 .. 1

                                         on acct.

Febry      2                  William Bayden 37                2..11.                         3..12.. 1

                                      accts. & note


[several other names here]


April       8                   Elisha Arvin 42                    10..10..3                     15..16..


[other names here] 


April      10                  Elias Arvin, 45   Note             1..15.. 8                      2..13.10





     When editors David Skaggs and James MacMaster published the “Post-Revolutionary Letters of Alexander Hamilton, Piscataway Merchant, Part 1, January-June 1784” in the Maryland Historical Magazine in December of 1968, they abstracted Hamilton’s letter of 20th May 1784 to James Brown & Company, and included the Annex. The editors researched each name on the Annex and footnoted it. Here verbatim are the footnotes for Elisha Arvin and Elias Arvin:


42 In the household of Elias Harvin there was an unnamed free male, age 23,

 in 1776 (1776 Census, Prince George’s County, Folder 81 HR). This might have

 been Elisha Harvin (Arvin).


45 An Elis Harvin[sic], age 25, wife Mary, age 24, two children, and an unidentified

white free male lived in Prince George’s County in 1776 (1776 Census, Prince

Georges County, Folder 81 HR). The problem with the Arvins or Harvins is

complicated by the fact that in 1789 and 1793 Hamilton received title to land in

Charles County from a Thomas Arvin and a Joshua Arvin (Land Records,

Charles County, Liber D #4, ff 593-594, and Liber N #4, ff 35-36). The

family name is spelled “Arvine” in the 1776 debt list (Glassford Papers, vol.

143, f.188).    


     Hamilton had painstakingly calculated the interest on hundreds of accounts from their original pre-war amounts and updated them to include that interest. He had apparently managed to transport all the Simson Baird and James Brown & Company books to his brother’s residence, and had brought them back to Piscataway in 1784.  Notice that Thomas Arvin, Jr. either has either not been contacted or not agreed to payment yet. It is not too hard to imagine him as the firebrand of the family, a “patriot,” unwilling to deal with Hamilton. Hamilton apparently has also not made contact with Thomas Arvin, Sr. and Thomas Darnall, or has not brought them to settlement yet either.



17 July   To “Mr. Robt. Fergusson, Mercht. Portobacco, By post, “The dread bodys has taken it into their heads, especially your Country Gentry, to refuse to pay the Interest. It is said some of your Wiseacres of Majestrates has determined that point. How they may reconcile this conduct with their oaths to do justice according to the Laws of the Land, is, you may say, another affair. Be it so, but it it rather a troublesome precedent. I cannot get anything scarcely a renewal.

     “I wish you would come up. I have got a good many accts. To prove & Certify which ought to be done, but I believe I must be at Portobacco for it.”

20 July   To James Brown and Company, “I refer you to my last of 20th May Since which nothing has happened with respect to the settling and collecting [of] your debts, only that I can get a very few of the one or the other, as they generally refuse to pay Interest, and in my opinion it will be imprudent to give up anything which you are entitled to by the Law, which allows Interest on all open accounts from Septemr. 1st 1776.

     “An attempt has been once made to repeal the Law but they failed, and as the assembly did not sett this spring nothing further could be done, but when they meet in the fall it is expected there will be a push made to repeal it absolutely. And should that be the case we shall be in a very bad Situation. The 4th article of the treaty of peace had it been clearly worded, might have been used as an argument to get Interest on open accost, but will avail little, especially as it is done on the part of Britain with such ignorance, carelessness, and indifference that your negociators seem to have attended very little to the Interest of the British traders. I can only raise it as a Secondary to the act of the assembly in my endeavors to prevail on the debtors to allow the Interest, and should that Law be repealed, it will be of no use in respect to Interest without an explanatory additional article by the American & British ministers. I am afraid on the repeal, the next push will be that no Interest will be paid on bonds. The Magistrates and Jurors in Charles County refuse to allow Interest notwithstanding the oath they have taken to execute the Laws, which makes the business with debtors living in that County extremely troublesome and they can pay nothing they say ‘till next year. I can see nothing but plague and trouble for many years to come in this business, for it will necessarily be a work of sometime if no impediment was thowen in the way, but much more so by this Conduct.

     “I believe there is no commercial treaty betwixt Britain & America, if there is you will know it before it reaches this Country…

     “From what I have seen and from all I can hear, the present prospect for a Crop of Tobacco & Corn is very great….Tobacco has sold…high…Notwithstanding I cannot get any cash for debts…

     “I am affraied by Collection will be so very trifling that I shall not be able to make you an remittances this year, tho’ I have been promised by several such payments as would have enabled me to make one but I am affraied they will disappoint me.

     “I shall be obliged to employ somebody to ride after the Bladensburg debts, they lye at such a distance and [are] so scattered that I am not able to ride after tham all, being chiefly in the upper parts of Prince Georges, Montgomerie & Frederick Countys.”

2 October   To James Brown and Company, “Your declining business in this Country, after the letters you wrote me on that Subject has been prejudicial to me (and would have been very mortifying if I had engaged a store & apartment and bespoke somebody to ride after your debts) for from what you have said in these [earlier] letters I have refused two very good offers to take charge of two stores. I doubt not but the wages I should have got, would have been at least as good as what you may now give me, and a great deal less fatigue and plague, vexation & anxiety. However I shall do the best I can for you in settling & collecting your debts until some better business offers which I dare say you will not have any objections to me accepting….

     “My collection has been so little that I shall not, without some better payments, be able to make you any remittance this year. They make promises of payment next year, but there is very little dependence on them, especially when they cannot be compelled by Law.

     “The prices of Tobacco has continued…it is expected to fall rapidly. I never saw such quantitys growing before…

     “Mr. James Miller goes home passenger on the Lion. [He operated the Bladensburg store.] You will please to inform me what you incline should be done with your store & Lott in Bladensburg.”

Undated   To James Brown, “I wrote to you sometime ago about getting me a perfect knowledge of the situation of the debt due by my fathers estate to me. I am informed I will never get a farthing of it, that will be very hard indeed. There was estate enough when I put my affairs into your hands….If I could get this money and the Interest on it, I would endeavour to get somebody to take me into trade for such a share as the money might entitle me to having respect to the Credit that such a Sum of ready money would get me. You will inform me fully what I have to depend on from that quarter.”

18 October   To John Anderson (of John & Alexander Anderson, Merchants in London), “Dear Sir, I have taken this opportunity of informing you that I returned to this place from the backwoods of Virginia where I resided during the late war, that my present employment, not one of the most agreeable, is that of Collecting J.B & Coys old debts, they having declined any business here for sometime, and that I am glad to hear you are happily settled in London with your Brother. I wish you success in your business….I should be very glad to hear from you, and to do you any service I can on this side of the water.”

21 October  To Matthew Blair [He represented Cuninghame, Findlay & Co. at Newport before the Revolution and continued as a Findlay factor in Maryland upon his return. He was associated with Hamilton in the collection of debts in the 1790’s.]  “I wish you success in your business, and should have been very glad you could have suited yourself nearer this place than among those cursed marshes at Chaptico where you will be eased of your superfluous British flesh. I must come down & see you soon for I suppose you will be too much engaged to ride up this length for sometime. Did you see Mr. Miller as he went down the Bay? He has left some Volums at Bladensburg for your perusal when you have some spare time. I am trying to collect money but get none. Interest in the Cry, they will not pay it. It is a damned business for an old grey hair’d man to be pestered with.”



The Debt Collection Book 


     Here is a partial abstract from the Collection Book which Walter Dent (apparently a collection agent working under the supervision of Alexander Hamilton) used while he was attempting to collect debts due John Glassford & Company and James Brown & Company. The front page of the book is written thus:




     A memorandum of Walter Dent’s transactions

     on the business of John Glassford & Company at their

     Stores at Portobacco, Benedict, Piscataway and

     Notingham in 1785 &



 July     30    Applied to Mr John Manning at his house for

                    a Settlement of his Debt to John G & C at their

                    Piscataway Store, he refused to renew his bond

                    on  acct of the Interest, said he would discharge

                    the principall as soon as he could. but that

                    it was out of his power to do it this Summer, ~

                    any part, will written on Mr. Hamilton west (?)


Augt       1   Demanded settlement with Benjamin B Taylor for his acct   

                   due John Glassford &Comy Piscataway Store,he said he had

                          not the money,but would pay if others did, I told him to    

                          observe that this was a demand,and if he did not Settle

                          Soon he would be Sued, and in all possibility the




 [The book continues on for several folios, documenting discussions

 with many debtors  about their accounts. By March of 1786, a Mr.

 Jeremiah Dyer is making the calls and doing the annotations. And

 on folio 30 of the book we find:]




March   29

Piscataway ____________________________________________

                Thomas Darnall, from home, told his Daughter in Law      

 Thomas     my Business, she said that Mr Darnall will                          

 Darnall      attend Chas County Court all the week

                                                                 Mr  Jeremiah Dyer


                 Thomas Arvin from home told his Wife my Business         

  Thomas     he will be at Chas Court, is Summoned as an Essoiner           [a person presenting

  Arvin                                                 Mr  Jeremiah Dyer                         another’s excuse for

                    ___________________________________________      failure to attend court]

                   Lyddius Moreland demanded a Settlement of his (?)

 Lyddius       due JGlsfo Piscataway Store, told him the Amount says

Moreland     it is right and will pay it Soon

                                                           Mr Jeremiah Dyer




     [Documentation of many more calls follows these entries.]



     Notice that we have documentation that Thomas was indeed married. Jeremiah Dyer notes he spoke to "his Wife," although Sarah is not mentioned by name.


     Thomas Darnall was about seventy-two years old in 1786. Thomas Arvin was about sixty-one. And Alexander Hamilton, although getting up there in years also, still did considerable collection work himself in attempting to resolve the debts of the John Glassford Company. Here’s his description of his call on John Robey:

     “I went to John Robey’s house about half-way betwixt Bladensburg and Georgetown and demanded payment of his debt—I showed him the bond and his mark, he said it was right, and was an acco[un]t of his son John, and that he would pay the principal but no the interest and would go to jail and lye there rather than pay my interest, and swore he would go to hell sooner than pay the interest. I asked him for the money and if he could not pay to give security, he said he could not pay at this time, he said he was going to Virginia to live about 16 miles from the ferry opposite Georgetown on Mr. Lee’s land.”248



The Charles County Court Riot


     With this flurry of collection activity came a hundred lawsuits, filed in Charles County by attorney John Allen Thomas for Alexander Hamilton on behalf of John Glassford & Company and James Brown & Company. Everything was set for the 1786 spring court. But it did not meet. “…several courts, including the one a Port Tobacco, adjourned their spring 1786 sessions to delay the day when debtors had to settle their accounts or go to jail.”249 Now even more was riding on the June 1786 court.


     The debt collection laws in Maryland at this time were very harsh. In addition, deflation was working to the advantage of the creditor and the disadvantage of the debtor.  “…any creditor who had obtained a legal judgment against his debtor had two choices in the execution of that judgment: (1) execution could be levied against the defendant’s goods to an amount equal to the value of the judgment, and the creditor could take the risk of disposing of the goods at a price which could net him a sum equal to the amount of the debt; or (2) execution could be levied against the body of the defendant, i.e., he could be imprisoned until he satisfied the judgment. If the successful plaintiff chose the latter mode, his debtor was obliged to sell off his property for whatever price he could obtain in order to free himself from prison. In a period when money was dear in relation to land and goods, insistent creditors could thus compel hard-pressed debtors to part with their property at a great loss and to an amount far in excess of what the original commodity value of the debt had been.”250  


     “Although Maryland was never threatened with a populist uprising of the size and importance of Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts, the state nevertheless suffered a number of disturbances serious enough to give pause to men of property and wealth. Of these the most dramatic was the Charles County Court riot in June of 1786 directed against John Allen Thomas for bringing suits for the recovery of pre-war British debts.”251  Although court records for the 1780s are missing, it seems quite likely that Thomas Darnall, and Thomas Arvin, Sr, (along with Elias, Elisha and Thomas Jr.—all of whom owed money to James Brown & Company) would have been at this court session. The day had arrived.


On the morning of June 12, 1786, the day the court had scheduled to convene, ten of the twelve incumbent justices stayed away and thereby prevented a quorum. The two who appeared were Chief Justice Walter Hanson, who had been on the bench since the 1740s and had been active in the Revolution, and John Dent, a member of the court since the 1760s….A third justice was needed, but the morning passed, and none appeared. Finally, someone suggested that Hanson and Dent send for another magistrate, a common procedure. Yet, ‘these two Gentlemen never moved one Step to forward the Execution of Justice,’ according to one of the attorneys who was present. [They] later contended that…only Samuel Hanson, Jr….was within nine miles of Port Tobacco. Since he was serving then as public tobacco inspector, ‘’twas Understood that he Apprehended he could not Serve in the double Capacity of a Justice of the peace and Inspector.’ Two attorneys nevertheless sent an urgent message asking the younger [Samuel] Hanson to hurry to the courthouse. He did, only to announce that he ‘did not Choose’ to join the court ‘’til he rode home to Consult the Constitution and form of Government’ about his ‘double Capacity’—a question that seems not to have bothered him until that day. He did not return to Port Tobacco until late in the afternoon, just as the elder Hanson and Dent were on the verge of adjourning the court. They probably regretted his arrival.
    When the three magistrates finally got down to business, sitting beside them on the bench were Sheriff [Francis] Ware, Colonel Josias Hawkins, and Henry Massey Hanson [even though they were not court officials.]…Attorney John Allen Thomas…was eager to proceed, for he had filed one hundred suits that session on behalf of Alexander Hamilton’s tobacco firm….[There were] rumors that several people ‘threat’ned to Use Mr. Jno Allen Thomas very rudely for bringing a great number of suits for British Creditors against the inhabitants of s[ai]d County.’
    Proceeding down a docket that, by all accounts, was loaded down with debt cases, the magistrates began with several defendants who already had lost their suits and faced imprisonment because they had not settled their debts. After ordering them jailed, the court abruptly reversed itself and asked the creditors’ attorneys whether they really intended to send people to debtors’ prison. Thereupon Chief Justice Hanson reportedly said that he ‘could not bear to send a Man to Gaol for debt’ (although he had been doing just that for forty-five years). Furthermore, he expressed hope that the legislature would exempt from prison any debtor who surrendered his effects to his creditors, especially ‘at a time when Debts to a most Enourmous amount that have lain Dormant ever since the commencement of the War without any demand made or any person Empower’d to receive are now called for with such Rapidity that the Goals must be filled with Wretched and Unhappy Debtors.’ Unmoved, Thomas persevered. After he delivered what he politely called an ‘Expostulation,’ the court returned to the docket and, as evening came on, again began sentencing delinquent debtors to jail. Thomas was sure Hanson’s soliloquy had ‘no Purpose under Heaven but…showing the Sense of the Court, and to rouse the People.’
    Roused they were. Sometime after taking a seat on the bench, Hawkins noticed approximately ten men lined up on the courthouse green and warned Hanson that ‘he fancied that he would soon have some disagreeable company, & Mr. Hanson replyed he supposed so.’ The crowd quickly grew to a hundred, then rushed the courtroom ‘in a most riotous and tumultuous Manner’ and demanded that Thomas remove his name from every British suit he had filed, an act that would render them moot. By now the mob was convinced that no other attorney would represent British creditors, so that with the court openly sympathetic to postponing debt litigation, only Thomas blocked the way. He, however, refused to strike his name from the docket. Thereupon a middling planter named William Ward threatened to use ‘Arbitrary power,’ a compatriot named Joseph Nelson ‘spoke to some men that stood near him & bid them come on boys,’ and the mob pressed forward to the bar. As Thomas later told the story, ‘the Rioters immediately advanced and laid violent hands’ on him. All Nelson and Ward publicly admitted to was taking Thomas by the coat and hand. On this point memory somehow failed the presiding justices and Hawkins, but they vividly recalled the beleaguered attorney beating a hasty retreat to the bench, ensconcing himself between the chief justice and the sheriff, and throwing himself on ‘the Protection of the Law and the Court.’
    There are several versions of what happened next, and why.  Thomas accused the justices of sitting ‘perfectly silent and apparently indifferent, not once endeavouring  by Persuasion Expostulation, Threats, or even by Commanding the Officers of the Court to preserve the Peace, to rescue…[him] from the impending Danger.’ Instead the court allowed the mob to force him to submit to its demand. A shaken Thomas believed that the chief justice and Dent, ‘so far from discountenancing such riotous Conduct, were actually behind the Curtain supporting it’ and that Hanson particularly had incited the mob, ‘for this very humane tender hearted Old Gentleman who a few Minutes before could not bear to see a Man goe to Gaol for debt, could sit in Court perfectly unmoved, and forgetful of his Humanity & of his Oath, see a fellow Citizen assaulted and shamefully abused by a riotous and tumultuous Mob, without using one single Effort to prevent it.’
    The justices’ version of what happened was slightly more heroic. Disclaiming any prior knowledge, much less incitement to riot, they described themselves as, ‘Apprehensive some Mischief was Intended to Mr. Thomas.’ Concluding it would be futile to order Sheriff Ware ‘to raise a Superior force’ to quell the disturbance because ‘nine tenths of the Multitude the[re] present were Engaged in it,’ the justices took a different approach. While the chief justice counseled the rioters not [to] be so violent’ and ‘not to be out of temper but keep the Peace[,] observing to them that he was glad to See them all perfectly sober,’ John Dent tried to persuade Thomas ‘to Save his Person.’ Assured that the hapless attorney would probably satisfy it, a quieter but no less determined mob waited until Thomas, feeling very alone in the packed courtroom, agreed to drop the debt cases. The rioters then dispersed as Hanson loudly proclaimed that filing so many lawsuits was ‘shameful.’
    Thomas’s client, Alexander Hamilton, was in Port Tobacco but not at the courthouse during the uproar. He thought he escaped injury only because the mob could not find him. Upon returning to Prince George’s County, he learned that a man named Walter Smallwood ‘has been boasting of his Exploits at the head of the Liberty Boys of Charles County’ and that he and others were threatening to break into Hamilton’s house to seize and burn account books and other evidence of indebtedness. Several weeks later the old Scotsman still suspected he might be assassinated and announced, ‘I have made my Will.’
    In words echoed during the 1780s from Massachusetts to South Carolina, from Shay’s Rebellion to the Camden riot, Hamilton attributed the Charles County episode and continuing harassment to ‘some radical Deffect in our Constitution.’ Magistrates who disregarded their oaths actually encouraged ‘dangerous rising,’ he charged, and under the 1776 state constitution the governor lacked power to hold, ‘the most worthless part of the Society in check. ‘I am affraied by aiming at too much Liberty we shall lose it altogether,’ he confided to [fellow factor Robert] Fergusson. ‘You are a Republican and so must I be, and I am, with the greatest deference & respect to the established Mode of Government, of opinion that in the Nature of things it cannot long subsist in this Continent.’
    Attorney Thomas offered his own interpretation of events. Three days after the riot he sent a memorial to Governor Smallwood…He asked for an investigation of the justices’ conduct…
    …Governor Smallwood reportedly was ‘much displeased with this affair’ in his home county and ‘determined to have it searched to the bottom.’…On July 13 Smallwood issued a strongly worded proclamation emphasizing that ‘riotous Proceedings’ like those at Port Tobacco threatened the welfare of the state and ‘are highly Criminal and punishable with severe Pains and Penalties.’…He then ordered Sheriff Ware to read the proclamation at the courthouse and other public gathering places and to pepper the county with printed copies. In addition, the proclamation was disseminated throughout the state in the Maryland Gazette.
    The governor’s subsequent handling of the riot did not match the ardor of his denunciation.…He and the Council asked…the accused justices, the clerk of the court, the sheriff, and [attorney John Allen] Thomas to appear at an inquiry in Annapolis on August 10….
    In the end Smallwood and the Council…pronounced the Charles County magistrates not guilty ‘of any wilfull violation of their duty.’…
    …During the fall of 1786 a chastened Charles County court ‘severely reprimanded & fined’ the riot leaders, after which Hamilton reported, ‘they are quiet but do not pay any better.’ In 1787 the General Assembly recognized the Peace of Paris, including the debt clause, as legal within Maryland. By December, when the postwar depression was still so severe that public officers went unpaid and John Hoskins Stone lamented that ‘our Affairs wear such a Gloomy Aspect,’ calm nonetheless prevailed at the courthouse. Fergusson informed Smallwood that in a court session lasting more than two weeks, ‘much business was done, and the sitting Magistrates gave much consent to the Bar and Suitors. In short we have the pleasing prospect of our Court business in this County being in an agreeable situation soon to the satisfaction of all concerned. Not all: Dent and Walter Hanson stayed home.
    The episode at Port Tobacco was a classic eighteenth-century riot. The mob was disciplined and determined, had a specific objective, and disbanded rapidly once that objective was attained. Town dwellers and local planters closed ranks behind the rioters and the justices, whose behavior protected everyone from British debt litigation. No one came forward to name members of the mob, to support Thomas’s version and interpretation of events, or to provide a detailed narrative of those events from beginning to end. Finally, it was a common form of early American riot because what sparked it was a problem for which no legal remedy then existed.
    The riot broke out, it will be remembered, as the court reluctantly began consigning debtors to jail—the only possible judicial response in cases where creditors had earlier obtained judgment and the defendants proved unable to pay. During the colonial period such insolvents languished in dark, dank confinement or were sold into indentured servitude to satisfy their creditors….As Walter Hanson perceived, however, such measures seemed inappropriate for the freemen of a republican state….Responding to intense public pressure, the Assembly…passed the state’s first comprehensive bankruptcy act in May 1787. Charles County insolvents promptly sought refuge in it.”252

Thomas Sells His Property


     In what could be interpreted as a precursor to declaring bankruptcy, or an attempt to beat the May 1787 deadline for resumption of executions of judgments, Thomas sells almost everything he owns. Is he trying to establish on the public records that he is no longer the owner of this property? He keeps a small acreage, perhaps where his homestead is in Lott 33. Here is how it is recorded in the Charles County Deeds Book:





[Other entries for other persons appear here.]  



At the request of Edward D. Arvin the following Bill Sale & Assignment was recorded

this 5th day of april 1787~                                Tobacco


Middleton }  To 1 cow and yearling  _______    300

      &         }  To 1 ditto______ditto  _______     300 

Arvin Senr }  To 1 ditto______ditto  _______     300

                      To  1 cow & Calf    _________      300

                      To  1 black Gelding age 18 years do ____________  6.0.0

                      To  1 quare walnut Table _______________________________  1 .5 .0  

                          To  1 small chest 40 To 6 pewter plates & 2 pewter dishes 26 66  ".5.7½     

                                                                                Tobacco 1266   ₤ 7.10.7½       I   


James Middleton owns Lott 42, which adjoins Thomas’s old Lott 39 on the northeast. 

His son is Ignatius Middleton.




I do hereby assign will and make over unto James Middleton of Charles County the

articles above mentioned for and in Consideration of the full and Just sum of twelve

hundred and sixty six pounds Crop Tobacco and seven pounds ten shillings twelve

pence half penny Currency. To have and to hold the above said articles unto the said

James Middleton his heirs Executors and Administrators and assigns forever, I do for

myself my heirs Executors and Administrators Covenant promise grant and agree

to and with the said James Middleton his Heirs Executors Administrators and assign

to warrant and defend the above said articles against all persons whatsoever

as Witness my hand and seal this 30th day of March Anno Domini 1787:


Test. Zachariah Moreland                                                                his

                                                                                        Thomas    X    Arvin Sen (seal)

Ig. Middleton                                                                                  mark


     At the foot of the foregoing Bill Sale was there written to wit

I do hereby assign and make over unto Edward D. Arvin all my right title

claim and interest unto the above Bill Sale as is his own right and title, as

witness my hand this thrteeth day of March Anno Domini 1787.



Zachariah Moreland                                                                 James Middleton


Ig. Middleton


     At the request of Thomas Arvin Senior the following Bond was recorded this 5th

April 1787. Maryland Ss. Know all men by these presents that we Edward D.

Arvin and Zachariah Moreland of Charles County planters am held and firmly bound

unto Thomas Arvin Senior and his Securities on the purchase of his Lands being

Confiscated property in the just and full sum of three hundred pounds Common

Money of Maryland to the which payment will and truly to be made and done

we bind ourselves our heirs Executors Administrators and assigns in and for the whole

family and severally sealed with our seals and dates this thirteenth day of March

Anno Domini on thousand Seven hundred and Eighty seven

The Condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bound Edward D.

Arvin and Zachariah Moreland do and shall will and truly Extricate and indemnify

the said Thomas Arvin & Securities from any Charge Cost or molestation being brought

against the said Thomas Arvin or Securities on the purchase of his Confiscated Land

containing by estimation one hundred and twenty six acres and also one other tract

of Land containing sixty six acres all of which Land exclusive thirty nine acres

he the said Thomas Arvin Sen. do hereby these presents resign all his right title and

claim to his son Edward D. Arvin and the residue thirty nine acres of Land unto               [note reference to “his son”]   

Zachariah Moreland, which Land has been in and yet is in the possession of

the said Zachariah Moreland, and the said Thomas Arvin Senr do promise and

agree to and with the said Edward D. Arvin and Zachariah Moreland that

the Land and premises above assigned to be the right title and inheritance of

the above mentioned Edward D. Arvin & Zachariah Moreland, and the said Edward

D. Arvin and Zachariah Moreland shall will and truly fully and absolutely comply           

with the above bond then the above obligation to be void otherwise to stand remain

and be in full force and virtue of law                                      Edward D. Arvin (seal)

Signed Sealed and delivered in the presence of )                    Zachariah Moreland (seal)

                                                                            )                               his

Ed Scott Ware, Hindley McCoy                                            Thomas    T    Arvin Senr (seal)




Note that Thomas referred to Edward D. Arvin as “his son.” We can consider this as documentary evidence of  “proof of relationship.”  




     At the request of Edward D. Arvin the following Bill Sale was recorded this

5th April Anno Domini 1787 ---                                                                               s    d


Edward D. Arvin  ) To  2 old Feather Beds Furniture & Bedsteads                      7    0   0                              

           A                ) To  2 old ditto & their furniture & 2 Bedsteads  ₤3               6    0   0       

Thomas Arvin Sen) To 10 shoats about six months old at 7/6 each                      3   15   0

                                 To  1 Sow and 9 pigs                           @                           1     5   0                                 

                                 To  1 Sorry ditto                                   @                                 10  0

                                 To  1 pair Cart wheels                          @                             1   15  0                               

                                 To  1 large Iron pott                              @                                  14  4

                                 To  1 small ditto do                              @                                     5  0

                                 To  2 pair pott hooks at 1/3 each                                                 2  6

                                 To  1 old Dutch oven                            @                                     2  6

                                 To  1 fryan pan                                      @                                    7  6

                                 To  1 old Tea kettle                               @                                    5  0

                                 To  1 old Cubbert                                  @                                  12  6

                                 To  8 old chairs @ 1/3 each                                                         10  0

                                 To  2 pewter basons 4# at/9d p pound                                          3  0

                                 To  1 small looking glass                      @                                       3  0

                                 To  1 Trunk                                           @                                     5  0

                                 To  1 small ditto                                    @                                      1  0

                                 To  2 Weading Hoes at 2/6 each                                                   5  0

                                 To  3 old hilling hoes at 1/6 each                                                    4  6

                                 To  1 old grubbing ditto                        @                                       2  0

                                 To  6 white stone plates at /6d each                                               3  0

                                 To  5 earthen ditto at /4d each                                                       1  8

                                 To  1 plough 9 #  weight at 6d p pound                                          4  6

                                 To  1 old floor hoe                                @                                       2  0

                                 To  1 old man saddle                             @                                 1   0  0

                                 To  ½ dox. case knives & forks            @                                   0  5  0

                                 To  1 pair Iron Wedges                         @                                  0  5  0

                                 To   old cotton Wheel                           @                                   0  5  0

                                 To  6 Barrells Corn at 15/  p pound      @                                   4 10  0

                                 To  2 hip skins                                       @ 6/3 each                    0 12  6

                                 To  old Fro                                            @                                  0   3  0

                                 To  draw knive                                       @                                 0   3  0                                          

                                 To  old hand saw                                    @                                 0   3  9

                                 To  1 coopers howell                             @                                  0   2  6

                                 To  1 adz                                                 @                                 0  1  6

                                 To  3 old reap hooks at 10d each                                                0  2  6

                                 To  1 old narrow Ax                              @                                   0  2  6

                                 To  1 pair Fire Tongs                             @                                   0  2  6

                                 To  1 set of narrow Hoes at 2/each                                              0  6  0

                                 To  10 pewter spoons                            @                                   0  3  0


                                                                                                                               ₤ 33  3  9

on the back of the forgoing test was thus written to wit                                              ________                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                       I  do



I do here hereby assign sell and make over unto Edward D. Arvin of Charles County

the Articles within mentioned for and in Consideration of the full land Just sum of

Thirty Three pounds three shillings and nine pence Currency. To have and to hold the

written said articles unto the said Edward D. Arvin his Heirs Executors Adminstrators

and assign forever, I do for myself my heirs Executors and Adminstratiors Covenant

promise grant and agree to and with the said Edward D. Arvin his heirs Executors

Administrators and assign to warrant and defend the within said articles against all

person or persons whatsoever, as witness my hand and seal this 30th day of march

Anno Domini 1787.                                                                                his

Test   Ig. Middleton  Zachariah Moreland.                               Thomas    T    Arvin Sen (seal)









     The Maryland legislature had passed the state’s first comprehensive bankruptcy law in May of 1787. The law allowed that debtors who deeded all their property to their creditors were absolved of the debts. Mindful of Alexander Hamilton breathing down his neck, these sales might have been made in contemplation of Thomas declaring bankruptcy.254  However, the bankruptcy laws were rescinded in 1788. Now what? “Because of …disagreements [between the House and the Senate] the Maryland [debtor] relief system proved unusually unstable in the postwar decades. The legislature enacted a full bankruptcy statue in 1787 only to repeal it the following year. It then revived the old limited general law of 1774, but in 1789 it began discharging named debtors by special act.”255  The outlook turned cloudy again for the small debtors like Thomas.





     Through the clouds of the Arvin’s financial gloom, there were some rays of sunshine. With such a large family, it is easy to visualize Sarah and Thomas being blessed with many grandchildren. And on Thursday, 3 January 1788, the family may have gathered at St. John’s Episcopalian Church in Broad Creek, Prince George’s County, for a baptism. Elias and Mary were having their newest daughter baptized at the church. Unfortunately, her first name is illegible on the records.256  Broad Creek Church, built during the tenure of the Rev. Henry Addison, is still in use today. According to church history (and a sign on the north side of the church) “Washington…did attend services here from time to time, after making an easy trip up the Potomac River and Broad Creek in his multi-oared barge.” And, this was in fact the very church to which James Brown had dispatched Alexander Hamilton in 1769 to post the advertisement of his new store in Piscataway.

     This baptism might be considered evidence that Elias and Mary were practicing members of the Episcopalian Church. (The Anglican Church—the Church of England—became the Episcopalian church in America after the Revolution.) “The Church of England was newly established as the state church of Maryland when Prince George’s County was erected [1696], and most residents were still unchurched, with little contact with organized religion. But unchurched society became an Anglican one. Small Catholic and Presbyterian minorities clung to their faiths, but through the course of the eighteenth century most Prince Georgeans came to think of themselves as Anglicans, at least at baptism, wedding, and burying times.”257  Perhaps Mary, whose maiden name we do not know, had been raised Anglican. Perhaps her family were members of this church.


Hamilton Finally Wins


     On 26 October 1789, Alexander Hamilton won his long struggle with Thomas.

     “…an investigation of the trend of judicial decisions…indicates a decidedly favorable turn in the legal fortunes of British creditors. In that session, [1788] the Court heard several cases instituted by British merchant houses either for debts contracted before the war or for executions on judgments obtained before 1776, and in each case, judgment was rendered for the plaintiffs. The records running from May, 1789, through October, 1790, show no single instance of a British creditor suing for a pre-war debt and losing his case.”258


     With so many court records missing, we may never be able to tell exactly what happened between the time Thomas sold, or attempted to sell, his property in 1787 and this date. Perhaps the “sales” of the property to Edward and Zachariah Moreland actually represented only promises to sell by Thomas, dependent on Edward and Zachariah’s fulfillment of their side of the bargain. Or perhaps the tireless Hamilton forced a reversal of these property sales by Thomas in court. Certainly Thomas understood that he had no actual equity in the land, as he likely still owed the state for its purchase. He may have realized there were no alternatives to Hamilton’s demands, save debtors’ prison. Perhaps he and Sarah had to move off the land and onto or one of their children’s lands. We simply do not know the exact scenario with the documentation which now survives.  


     Alexander Hamilton had a survey made of Lott No. 38 (64 acres), Lott No. 33 (12 acres) and Lott No. 40 (90 acres) plus vacancies. The total size was 243-2-9 acres. It was “Arvin’s Enlargement.” And, with language that sounds equivalent to the proscribed bankruptcy wording, he deeded this land, “and also all and every other tract or parcel of Land by whatever name it may have passed to me,” to Alexander Hamilton for the token sum of five shillings. “Hamilton, the Piscataway factor for the Scottish firm of James Brown and Company, probably acquired his 243 acres on the manor in settlement for a debt, because the tract was assigned by the person who bought it at the state sale.”259





[Other items recorded here for other persons here.]


At the request of Alexander Hamilton the following Instrument of

Writing was Recorded this 26th day of October Anno Domini 1789~

Know all men by these presents that I Thomas Arvin of Charles




County in the State of Maryland for divers good causes and considerations as

well as for and Consideration of the sum of five shillings Sterling money to

me in hand paid by Alexander Hamilton of Prince Georges County in

said State the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge and him therefrom

doth forever exonerate and discharge have assigned transferred made over

and confirmed and by these presents do assign transfer make over and

confirm unto him the said Alexander Hamilton his heirs and assigns the

three following tracts and parcels of Land formerly leased and belonging to

John Loveless then lying in his Lordships Manor of Zachiah in Charles

County. One tract called the Mill Lott or hickory thicket containing twelve        

acres more or less, one other tract called Loveless’ addition containing ninety

acres more or Less and one other tract called the poor mans Hope containing

Sixty four acres more or less, also all and every other tract or parcel of Land

by whatever name it may have passed to me, Together with all & singular

the rents issues and profits of the same. To have and to hold the said three parcels

or tracts of Land and every other Tract or parcel of land by whatever name it may

have passed to me with the rents issues and profits of them and each of them

unto him the said Alexander Hamilton his heirs and assigns together with all

my right title interest property claim and demand whatsoever for and during

the term of time contained in the said Leases and I hereby warrant and defend

the same to him the said Alexander Hamilton his heirs and assigns against

me and all other persons whatsoever  In witness whereof I have hereunto

sett my hand and Seal this Twenty Sixth day of October Seventeen hundred and

eighty nine~                                                                          his     

Signed Sealed and delivered in the presence of     Thomas     T    Arvin  (seal)

     Dan Jenifer       Henry Barnes                                         mark

                                     Instrument of writing

On the back of the foregoing  ^ deed was this written to wit

Charles County to wit 26th October 1789  Then received from Alexander Hamilton

within named the sum of five shillings Sterling being part of the Consideration

within exected~                                                                                 his

                                                                                         Thomas    T   Arvin

               Witness                                                                            mark   

Charles County to wit  Be it Remembered that on this Twenty Sixth day of

October in the year Seventeen hundred and eighty nine came before me Daniel

Jenifer & Henry Barnes the subscribers two of the Justices of the Peace for Charles

County Thomas Arvin party to the within instrument of writing and Acknow=

=ledged the same to be his Act and Deed and the land and premises thereby

assigned and made over to be the right and estate of the within named Alex=

=ander Hamilton his heirs and assigns according to the true intent and meaning

of the same and according to the form of the Act of Assembly in such case made

and provided  In Testimony whereof we have hereunto subscribed our named th

day and year first above written~                              Dan Jenifer

                                                                      Henry Barnes~  




Daniel Jenifer (older brother of Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer) was the same Charles County justice who served as provisioner during the War for Independence. He lived at “Ellerslie,” which is south of Port Tobacco and still standing today. Henry Barnes was a prominent Charles County lawyer who lived at “Linden,” a large home near LaPlata, also still standing. 260



Hamilton Collects His Bounty    


     A page from the Return Book for Reserved Lands, “containing a list of all returns on confiscated lands for which patents were issued,” is shown below. This is page 12 of the book, showing properties which were patented by their owners. (It was a way of declaring ownership in the public records.) On this page alone, we see seven small planters had lost their lands to Alexander Hamilton.




                               Charles County continued



Patented the 3d of August 1790 .  .  .  .  .  5      Sept  Matthew Moore Senr ____32a 36.

                                                                                                        Moore’s part of Montgomery Venture

  Patented the 24th July 1790__________ "____"  James Middleton  ________38..2..32

                                                                                                                         Montgomery’s Venture

Patented to AlexdrHamilton 20 My 1790 ____29.  October Thomas Arvin ______243½a 29pr

                                                                                                                         Arvin’s Enlargement

                                                                  19th November WilliamMcPherson  2a / 1 pr The Bow

                                                                       1790 29  April   Richard Estq(?)~~~~ 206a 21prLotsts37&34

                                                                                                                                        Calverton Manor

                                                                                23  July      James Middleton____38..2..32

                                                                                                                                            Montgomery’s Venture

                                                                                         27_____William Wheatley____136Wheatley’s Addition

                                                                                         30______Cap.John Gardner______ 1¾ Thin and Profit

                                                                                           "                     John Smith _______   146½ Addition to

                                                                                                                                                                      Jenkins Poor Chance

[other patents recorded here]


                                         March 15

Pat 10 Febry~1793.  .   .   .   .   .   " .  .  .  .  .   .   .   .   .  . Stephen Roby .  .  .  . 124..1..36 Arvin’s



[other patents recorded here]





First Census of the United States 1790

Page 542 Page 543


      Here is an excerpt from the Census of 1790, taken throughout the United States as of the first Monday in August.

This bound edition was published in 1907.





Heads of Families—Maryland


Page 47:

Charles County:

                                   Free white males 16 &            Free white males      Free white females        Slaves

                                               upward, including heads       under 16 years         including heads of                           

                                               of families                                                                    families


Arvin, Thomas, Junr               1                                     4                           4                      ~

Arvin, Thos, Senr                    2                                     1                           3                      1

Arvin, Edwd                           1                                     3                           3                      ~

Arvin, Joshua                         1                                     4                           4                      1


Page 50:          

Harvin, Thomas                      1                                     5                           4

Harvin, Zephaniah &

Henry Parker Ap-

    rentice to the said Harvin    2                                     3                           1

Harvin, Allen                         1                                      3                           2                      1

Harvin, Roswell                     1                                      2                           1

Harvin, William                      2                                      3  


      [These Harvins appear to be a separate clan, not related to the Thomas Arvin clan.] 



     Sarah Arvin and Thomas Arvin Sr., who is now about sixty-five years of age, are probably still living on Arvin’s Enlargement with their still bustling family. Thomas Jr. is married and has a large family, and Edward D. is married and has a large family. They are probably now all tenants of Alexander Hamilton. Joshua is also married and has a large family, and is living close by on Arvin's Dispute. There are a total of 31 family members living in the Arvin compound. 


     Thomas Arvin Sr. and Joshua Arvin are each listed as the owner of a slave. “...we tend to overlook the roles played by anonymous men and women of the middling sort. Nothing...has suggested that they subscribed to values different from those of the men at the top. Had they commanded the means, they too would have bought slaves, and with as little regard for the moral consequences of their acts. The growth of slavery in the Chesapeake was, indeed, the result of many unthinking decisions.”262

     “When a Zachiah tenant was able, he purchased a slave. Slaves may have been a wise investment in a tobacco-growing area like Charles County, but the purchase of one did little, at least immediately, to improve the living conditions of the tenant and his family.”263

     The source of these slaves which were flooding the market in these times was other financially strapped planters. “…planters, hard pressed to pay their debts and taxes, sold off slaves. So rapid was their dispersal that the extent of slaveholding among white households jumped by one-third between 1782 and 1790, and Charles County earned the dubious distinction of having the highest proportion of slaveholding households in Maryland.”264

     “Planting families that added a slave or two, or acquired them for the first time, might anticipate somewhat higher incomes, lightened manual labor, and the enhanced status that came with owning blacks. Here was opportunity amid the economic turmoil of the postwar era. On the other hand, the relocated slaves had to adjust to new surroundings, the demands and idiosyncrasies of new owners, and, perhaps, greater difficulties in maintaining family and communal ties.”265       


     First son Elias and second son Elisha are likely living in Prince George’s County at the time of this census: 




Prince George’s County:


Harben, Elisha                        1                                      2                            6


[This was likely Elisha Arvin; the information matches the 1800 census (see below.)]



     Elisha has a big family, with two sons and five daughters.

     Elias Arvin is missing from this census. He may have been about to migrate, or already have migrated west to Kentucky at this time.



The Generations Turn


     As the older generation started to pass from the scene, a new generation was taking over. On 28 June 1790, Thomas Darnall, who was about eleven years older than Thomas Arvin, died. Thomas Darnall Jr. was “to take care of his mother Sarah, until she dies, at which time he goes West.”266  Thomas Darnall Jr., Elias Arvin, Thomas Arvin Jr., and a Moses Arvin (yet another son?) each had an account in these times with Henderson, Ferguson & Gibson, a successor company to John Glassford, who himself had died in 1783. Apparently Alexander Hamilton’s method of classifying debts was still being used by this firm. Moses’ account is listed as 2nd Class in 1803, and as 3rd Class in 1805. Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Arvin’s old nemesis, died in 1799.267


     Joshua Arvin had now come into his own and his name had found its way into the Charles County records of “conveyance.” On 21 March 1784, he had purchased Lott 41, comprising 105 acres in Zachia, from Stephen Roby for 200 pounds currency. This was the confiscated land Stephen Roby had won at the Zachia Manor auction and was, according to the Return Book, patented—apparently by Joshua—on 10 February 1793. Joshua named this land Arvin’s Dispute. It is nestled in with the three lots previously owned by Thomas Arvin, which were patented by Alexander Hamilton. (See the Zachia Manor survey.)

     On 19 September 1786, Joshua signed his mark as witness to the sale of “one negro Woman name milly and all her futor increase” by Thomas Darnall, Jr. from a James Smallwood.268

     On 18 May 1790, a John Morland Sr. (sic) of VA sold Joshua Arvin the estate of his father, John Moreland (sic) for ₤10. The transaction was witnessed by Thomas Darnall and Elias Arvin.269  The estate could have included Lot 49 of the old Zachia Manor. (See survey.) On 2 March 1793, Joshua Arvin and his wife Mary Sabria Arvin sold part of Lot 41, Arvin’s Dispute, (9¼ acres—this was perhaps a homestead) to Alexander Hamilton for 9 and 5s.270

     Joshua also sold some of Lott 41 to John Bartain Hagan for 20 on 8 April 1794. The sale was recorded and patented on 28 August 1794.271  Then on 6 October 1794, Joshua and John B. Hagon together sold this same property to John Francis Hardy for 117. This sale was witnessed by Alexr McPherson & Wm H McPherson.272 


     On 13 March 1792, Joshua Arvin bought another slave. He bought a Negro girl named Dinah, about 16 years old, “and her future increase,” from Ignatius Middleton for 1809 pounds of tobacco in Piscattaway warehouse.273 Then on 30 March 1792, Joshua, in an unusual transaction, “leases back” Dinah to Ignatius Middleton.274  Here is an abstract:       





                                                  [other recordings here]


At the request of George Hargraves the following Instrument of Writing was recorded this 5th

day of November Anno Domini 1795 ~ ~

Charles County Ss Whereas on the thirtieth day of March Seventeen hundred and Ninety two

I  Joshua Arvin, did actually convey by Bill of Sale unto Ignatius Middleton his

heirs and assigns forever, a certain Negro Girl named Dinah for and in consideration of the sum

     thousand eight  

of one ^ hundred and nine pounds neat new inspected Crop Tobacco in Piscattaway Warehouse

the receipt thereof I acknowledged, as will appear. Now be it known and understood that

the said Joshua Arvin do hereby farther covenant, promise & agree to pay or cause to be paid unto

Ignatius Middleton the full and Just quantity of one hundred and forty five pounds neat

new inspected crop Tobacco in Piscattaway Warehouse per annum and the assessment on the

                       being for hire of the said Dinah

said Negro Dinah ^ from the said 30th day of March 1792 which the said Joshua Arvin agree to

pay for hire at the above state Pr annum until the said Ignatius Middleton should have a

call to sell at publick sale said Negro Dinah in order to furnish himself with the above

sum of one thousand eight hundred & nine pounds neat new inspected crop Tobacco, in Piscattaway Ware

house, and the full and Just hire of said Negro Dinah, in like Tobacco, above expressed  in Piscattawy Ware

house ~  Note Likewise if the said Negro Dinah should die during the time the said

Arvin keeps her the said Dinah in Possession as a hireland, in that case the said




Arvin do hereby oblige himself his Heirs Executors or Administrators to pay of cause to be paid unto

the said Ignatius Middleton the full & Just Sum of one thousand eighth hundred & nine pounds

neat new inspected, Crop Tobacco in Piscattaway Warehouse, and likewise the full and Just


hire that will be due from the 30th day of March 1792 to the day of her death. Given^under my

hand and Seal this nineth day of July Anno Domini seventeen hundred Ninety Three~

                                            the                                                      his

Signed Sealed & Delivered in ^ presence of ~ July 9, 1793 – Joshua + Arvin  (seal)

                      her                                                                          mark

Wit Catharine  +  Middleton


On the back of the foregoing Instrument of Writing was this written, to wit, ~

The within1809lb neat new inspected Crop Tobacco In Piscattaway Warehouse ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 1809

The hire of Dinah to 4th October 1794 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~-----------------------------  364½

1794                                                                                                                                         2173½ 

October 4th  By Isidore Hardey for Henry Hardey as pr line bearing date the 3d }_________ 2173½

                    October 1794~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  }

    Whereas the within named Joshua Arvin satisfied me as above credited, I do hereby assign

over all my right, title Interest & Claim that I have to certain negro Girl by name of Dinah, ~

Given under my hand this seventy fourth day of October Anno Domini Seventeen hundred

& Ninty five ~                                                                            Ig Middleton ~

Witness   Chrissy Dyer ~






Hamilton Grants to Zachariah Moreland 


     As shown above, Hamilton patented Arvin’s Enlargement in May of 1790. Two years later, in 1792, Hamilton

sold some of this land to Zachariah Moreland. One suspects that Thomas, Sarah and their family still lived in their

homestead which was on or near Arvin’s Enlargement, regardless of who owned it. Perhaps Zachariah Moreland was

helping, by this purchase, to insure that Thomas had a place to live.





        [Another transaction recorded here.]




At the request of Zachariah Moreland the following deed was recorded this 19th Day of March

Anno Domini 1792.

This Indenture made this twenty first day of September one thousand seven hundred and ninety

one Between Alexander Hamilton of Prince Georges County in the State of Maryland on the one part

and Zachariah Moreland of Charles County in the Said state on the other part Witness that the

said Alexander Hamilton for and in consideration of the sum of Fifty three pounds eight shillings

three pence current money to him secured to be paid As also for and in consideration of the sum of

five shillings sterling to him in hand paid by the said Zachariah Moreland the receipt whereof he

doth hereby acknowledge and him therefrom doth forever exonerate and discharge the said Alexan: 

=der Hamilton hath given granted bargained sold aliened enfeofed and confirmed and by these

presents doth give grant bargain sell alien release enfeofe and confirm unto the said Zachariah More:

=land part of a tract of land now known as Arvin’s Enlargement lying in Charles County aforesaid purchased

by him of the State of Maryland being part of Zachiah Manor as by reference to the patent there=

=fore will more fully appear Beginning at a Bound stone being the end of the nineteenth line of        [refers to line 19 of

the Original Tract and running thence with the said Tract North  forty nine degrees east seventy          the survey which

one perches to a bound post then north thirty one degrees and one half degree east one hundred        Hamilton had drawn 

and twelve perches to a bound post then South Sixty three degrees and one half degrees east            up in October 1789]

Seventy two perches then south forty one degrees and one half degrees east twenty seven perches

to a bound post then south sixty eight degrees west forty two perches to a bound post then south

thirty five degrees west thirty two perches to a bound post then South Seventy five degrees and

three quarters of a degree west twenty perches and one half of a perch to a bound Stone then south

thirty degrees and three quarters of a degree west nineteen perches to a bound Stone Standing

by a marked maple tree in the said Morelands Spring branch then leaving the lines of

the Original tract & running thence north sixty two degrees west twenty perches to a bound 



     There are some interesting items in the wording of the deed. Note that this is only part Arvin’s Enlargement—just 51

and ¼ acres. Alexander Hamilton made several other “conveyances” of land to other persons during this decade, but

none of them involve the approximately 192 acres which constitute the balance of Arvin’s Enlargement. Note that

Zachariah Moreland buys the land with money “secured to be paid,” (i.e., on a promise to pay.) Only five shillings

was actually “paid in hand” to Hamilton.




Stone there with a Straight line to the beginning containing Fifty one Acres and one

quarter of an acre more or less with all the buildings houses fences, orchards and

improvements on the same and the advantages and emoluments thereunto belonging

or any ways appertaining and all the right title interest claim property and demand

of him the said Alexander Hamilton or his heirs of in and to the same and every part and

parcel thereof To have and to hold the said parcel of land before Bargained and sold

or mentioned or intended by these presents so to be to him the said Zachariah Moreland

and his heirs and assigns to the only proper use and behoof of the said Zachariah

Moreland and his heirs and assigns forever. and the said Alexander Hamilton for

himself and hi heirs executors and administrators doth hereby covenant and agree to and

with the said Zachariah Moreland and his heirs and assigns in manner and form

following to wit that he the said Zachariah Moreland and his heirs and assigns may at

all times hereafter peaceable possess have hold occupy and enjoy the said parcel of Land

and premises with the appurtenances without the lawfull let hinderance or molestation

of the said Alexander Hamilton his heirs or assigns or any other person claiming by from

or under him~ And the said Alexander Hamilton and his heirs shall and will at all

times hereafter at the reasonable request and at the cost and charges in the law of the

said Zachariah Moreland make do execute and acknowledge and suffer or cause to be

made done executed acknowledged and suffered all such other Act and Acts deeds

conveyances and assurances in the law for the further better Securing Assuring and

conveying the premises aforesaid to the said Zachariah Moreland and his heirs and

assigns as by him and them or his or their council learned in the law shall be reasonably

devised advised and required, and that the said Alexander Hamilton and his heirs

the said parcel of land and premises with the appurtenances unto the said Zachariah

Moreland and his heirs and assigns against all persons claiming by through or under him’

shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents. In witness whereof the said

Alexander Hamilton has hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and year first

above written

Sealed and delivered in the presence of }              AlrHamilton       (seal) 

Henry Barnes.   Alexr McPherson          } 

On the back of the aforegoing Deed was thus written to wit~

Be it remembered that on this twenty first day of September in the year one thousand

seven hundred and ninety one Came before us Alexander McPherson and Henry Barnes

the subscribers two of the Justices of the peace for the said County Alexander Hamilton

party to the with indenture and acknowledged the same to be his Act and deed and

the land & premises thereby bargained sold and conveyed to be the right and inheritance

of the within named Zachariah Moreland and his heirs and assigns for ever According

to the  true intent and meaning of the same deed and according to the form of the Act of

Assembly in such case made and provided In testimony whereof we have hereunto

subscribed our names the day and year first above writen~  

                                                                                              Henry Barnes

                                                                                          Alexr McPherson





    Also note that Alexander Hamilton purchased the land from the State of Maryland, even though Thomas Arvin had signed all his property over to Hamilton in October of 1789. Apparently at some point in time Thomas’s ownership was extinguished by the state, most likely via bankruptcy. No records have so far been uncovered which can show conclusively what happened, but the basic thrust of the events is clear. In 1798 the United States Congress ordered a federal property tax to be levied on U.S. citizens. Thomas Harvin, Jr., and Edward Harvin are listed as “occupants” of land owned by Alexander Hamilton.275 They probably still lived on Arvin’s Enlargement, but they were now tenants.      



Death of George Washington


     Also in 1799, the first President of the United States, still known to all as General George Washington, died at Mount Vernon. He was by far the most renowned person in America.


On Thursday December 12, 1799 Washington spent the day on horseback supervising his farming activities. A mix of snow, sleet and cold rain fell soaking his clothing. When he arrived back at his home for dinner he did not change his damp attire so as not to delay the meal. On Friday, December 13, he began noticing a sore throat as he did further work on his estate [marking some trees on the slope between the mansion and the river for cutting]. He became hoarse in the evening while reading his mail and the printed news of the day. He retired early, noting that he was suffering from a cold. At around 2 a.m. on Saturday, he awakened with a sore neck, strained voice and fever. 

     Martha Washington sent for his secretary Tobias Lear, who found the General in distress. The farm overseer, Mr. George Rawlings, was requested to come to Washington’s bedside. By 7 a.m. Rawlings, who was skilled as a bloodletter of the servants, was requested to bleed the General. Martha pleaded with George not to be bled but was rejected, and approximately 14 ounces were removed. Rawlings also…attempted to administer a mixture of molasses, butter and vinegar, but the formula was impossible to swallow and caused choking and near suffocation. 

     Long-time friend and Surgeon General of the Continental Army, Dr. James Craik, arrived at 9 a.m. [He] induced a second bleeding of about a quart of blood. A third bleeding of about the same volume was removed at 11 a.m. With no noticeable improvement, blisters (flannel dipped in cantharides [ground up blister beetles, known as Spanish Fly], ammonia solution) were wrapped around the neck with the feet bathed in warm water. A gargle concoction of vinegar and sage tea [was] provided for the sore throat.

     At noon an enema was given. Martha Washington became more alarmed and sent for a second physician, Dr. Gustavus Brown of Port Tobacco. Since he didn’t arrive with dispatch, Lear sent for another young physician, Dr. Elisha Dick, who arrived at 3 p.m. At about the same time Dr. Brown arrived….Drs. Craik and Brown favor[ed] a fourth bleeding, which was performed over the objections or Dr. Dick. Dr. Dick made the plea that the General…should undergo a tracheotomy for what he thought was an inflammation of the throat membranes….Although unknown as a treatment in the United States, tracheotomy was a well-accepted procedure in Europe….The two senior physicians were certainly concerned about treating their famous patient and did not want to perform any type of treatment never attempted in this country. [At this point there were no more alternatives. Eighteenth-century American medicine would be of no further use at Mount Vernon. The doctors had reached their limits.] 

     At 4:30 p.m. Washington called for a review of his wills, one of which was burned in the bedroom fireplace. By 5 p.m. he arose for the chair in which he had been sitting, undressed himself and took to his bed for the last time, realizing his approaching demise. More blisters and cataplasm (wheat bran paste or flaxseed applied to the skin, covered with flannel). Shortly afterward, Washington thanked his doctors for all they had done and requested nothing further be done….276   

     The end came between ten and eleven o’clock on the evening of December 14. Besides the doctors, Lear, and Martha, the bedside entourage included three women slaves serving as nurses and Washington’s body servant, Christopher Sheels….As that end approached, Washington noticed that Christopher, who had been standing for many hours, was visibly fatigued, so he invited him to sit down. His last words were, ‘’Tis well.’ His last act, taking charge for the final time, was to feel his own pulse as he expired.

     He was buried in the family vault three days later….As far as his contemporaries were concerned, there was no question about his stature in American history. In the extravaganza of mourning that occurred in more than four hundred towns and hamlets throughout the land, he was described as the only indisputable hero of the age, the one and only, ‘His Excellency.’277

     By December 17 the Maryland Legislature had “Resolved unanimously, that a message from the legislature be communicated to the governor, requesting him to appoint, by proclamation, a day of mourning, humiliation and prayer, throughout this state, and to recommend it to the citizens thereof to assemble in their respective places of worship, to testify, in the most public manner, their veneration for his memory.…[and] that there be furnished a scarf and hatband [for all state officials] to be worn…as the external mark of their unfeigned grief .”278   



Second Census of the United States 1800




Charles County, Port Tobacco Parish

                                     _________Males                            Females____________

                                     -10      10-16      16-26      26-45      45+         -10      10-16      16-26      26-45      45+     Slaves


Arvin, Edward D.                  3         2                1                             2       1       1  

Arvin, Thomas                                 1                 1                             1       0       1         1       

Arvin, Thomas               3      3                           1          1                          1


Prince George’s County

Arvin, Elisha                  1                 1                1                             6       1




     Thomas Sr. (now about seventy-five) and Sarah Arvin still have youngsters living in their household. They are perhaps grandchildren who are acting as care givers for their grandparents. Thomas Jr. and Edward D. Arvin are still living close. But note that Joshua Arvin is not listed. He and his family have heeded the call of adventure and sought fresh new land in the west. He is shown on the tax list for Garrard County, Kentucky, for the year 1800.279


     Within a few years of this census, Elisha and his wife, now with two sons and six daughters, would also move to Kentucky. They probably settled near older brother Elias Arvin and his family. An Elias Ervin is listed in the 1810 Census of Kentucky, living in Pendleton County.280 But even in their new state, both sons are still struggling with debt. Both are listed on pages 348 & 349 of:


    Delinquent Tax Lists for Pendleton County Kentucky

    For the Years 1799 through 1813

    Court Order Book B




Delq Tax List      November 1811                 Where Removed To     

                         [for tax year 1810]


Elias Arvin                                                       Montgomery County           [probably Kentucky, not Maryland]

Elisha Arvin                                                     Montgomery County


(An Elisha Erwin, who would have been about 78 years old, is shown on the Fifth Census of the United States, taken in 1830, still living in Pendleton County, Kentucky.)



Death of Thomas Arvin


     Sometime in the first decade of the nineteenth century, Thomas Arvin died. We do not have any specific information about his death. There are no family traditions to tell us what happened. He is not listed on the Third Census of the United States, taken in 1810. There are no death records; he left no will; he left no estate to probate. We have no definite date of death or cause of death. We do not even know if Sarah predeceased him. All that is certain is that he did indeed die. He was about eighty years old.

    There would have been a gathering of the family, a wake and a funeral service within days of his death. The family probably paid whatever expenses there were, although expenses were customarily borne by the deceased’s estate. “Officials looked with disfavor on excessive burial expenses, as they were the first costs to be deducted out of the estate. Friends and relatives were provided with black mourning ribbons, and a funeral dinner was generally given with beer and liquor served. These were just as legitimate an expense as the digging of the grave, the coffin or canvas bag and the winding sheet.”281


     Tomas Ó hÈireamhóin, born in poverty in Ireland, immigrant to the New World, indentured servant, later a freeman, a poor tenant, a husband, family man, father and grandfather, left this world as materially poor as when he came into it. Perhaps only a simple wooden cross, long since deteriorated, marked his grave. 




Sidebar: Where is Thomas Arvin Buried?


     It is intriguing to consider where Thomas might be buried. There are no definite answers; there are precious few burial records from this era. It is possible that he was buried in a family cemetery or a community cemetery. But it is also quite possible that he could have been buried at either of the Catholic churches which served the area in those times: St. Ignatius of Upper Zekiah, or St. Mary’s Lower Zekiah.

     St. Ignatius of Upper Zekiah is now known as St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Waldorf. Their history states that “The first church was located in St. Peter’s cemetery about one mile east of the present location on Poplar Hill Road. The site of the old cemetery is one that impresses the visitor with a sense of strength and endurance, as he walks among the age worn tombstones, reading names of those who labored to build the old frame chapel that was used for about 150 years.”

     The other possible Catholic burial site, St. Mary’s Lower Zekiah, is now known as St. Mary’s at Bryantown. (Dr. Samuel A. Mudd is supposed to have been introduced to President Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth at the cemetery there, and Dr. Mudd is buried there.)

     We should also consider the possibility that Thomas Arvin was buried at an Episcopalian cemetery. Mindful that Elias and Mary Arvin had their child baptized at the Episcopalian Church at Broad Creek, and that the Darnalls and the Robys were probably Anglican, this possibility cannot be dismissed. 

     One very likely Episcopalian site is St. Paul’s Piney Chapel in Zachia Manor. An internet search for the term “St-Paul’s-Piney-Chapel” reveals that there were several Robeys interred at this church in the nineteenth century. The Robys were Sarah Arvin’s mother’s family. Even if Thomas was born and raised Roman Catholic in Ireland, he lived most of his life in a culture where Anglican had been the official, government-supported religion. He married into what was probably an Anglican family. And St. Paul’s, Piney, was close to his land. So it would not be hard to imagine Sarah and/or the children deciding to bury him at this cemetery. But there is no documentation and of course no marker.





Postscript: Where Exactly Was Thomas Arvin’s Land?


     It is an exciting experience to actually stand on the very land which Thomas and his family lived on and farmed in the eighteenth century. To quote author James A. Michener, now “only the land remains.”

      From the 1731 survey of Zachia Manor, we know it was shaped like this and located just about here. We know that Arvin’s Enlargement, including the vacant land surrounding the original tracts, contained a total of 243 plus acres, according to the survey made for Alexander Hamilton in 1790.282 Thomas deeded, or attempted to deed, some of his land to his fourth son Edward Darnall Arvin and Thomas Darnall’s son-in-law Zachariah Moreland, but as we saw, most of it wound up in the possession of Mr. Hamilton. Eventually Hamilton himself conveyed 51 acres of the land (“part of a tract of land called Arvin’s Enlargement”) to Zachariah Moreland,283 who in turn willed it to his grandson in 1815.285

     But at the time of his death in 1799, Alexander Hamilton still owned the balance of the original Arvin’s Enlargement, containing 192 plus acres. Robert Ferguson, a fellow Scotsman and his old friend from Port Tobacco, served as one of the executors of Hamilton’s estate. They sold these remaining 192 acres to John Clark Reeves in 1805. Reeves sold part of the property to Edward Owens in 1809, but because of death or nonpayment the entire property wound up in the custody of the Chancery Court. A court trustee, Nicholas Stonestreet, eventually sold the property to John Boswell in 1823, but for some reason title did not transfer until 1831, at which time Mr. Boswell sold 48 acres of Arvin’s Enlargement to a certain Reverend Lemuel Wilmer for $105.   

     Rev. Wilmer turns out to be quite an interesting historical figure. Originally from a prominent and wealthy old Eastern Shore family, he was the parson of the Port Tobacco Parish, which at that time included Piney Chapel, a “chapel of ease” for parishoners living in Zachia Manor. He served his parish for almost half a century, from 1822 until he died in 1869. Parson Wilmer already owned 84 acres, including a residence, situated directly across the road from St. Paul’s. Its location is indicated on this 1993 US Geological Survey map. The new 48 acres adjoined it on the north — lying east of the intersection of St. Paul’s Drive and Piney Church Road. Today most of this land is overgrown and wooded, but we know that the 84 acres are part of old Lotts No. 29, 30 and 31, later known as “Widow's Pleasure.” And the 48 acres are the western half of Thomas Arvin’s tract orginally called “Loveless’ Addition,” his old Lott No. 40!

     Rev. Wilmer was a very progressive minister. The original wooden Piney Chapel had burned down in 1823, and early on in his new ministry he oversaw the building of a replacement church made of brick on the same site. It was named St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Piney Parish. The brick church still stands today, and St. Paul’s is still an active parish. In 1835 Parson Wilmer provided almost four acres of land on the east side of Piney Church Road, including a dwelling, and the funding to start a free public school “for 100 children living in the vicinity without regard to their sect, sex or circumstance.” (Recent additions have brought the size of the tract to seven acres. The church still owns this land. He also donated almost three acres of land on the west side of the road to allow for expansion of the cemetery. His family sold his other properties in 1910.)


      John Boswell retained ownership of the remaining balance of Arvin’s Enlargement. He farmed it much as Thomas had done in the previous century, although on a bit grander scale. The census of 1860 reveals Boswell owned 26 slaves that year. Upon his death, his children William Boswell, Elizabeth Clark and Melvina Boswell Hardy inherited Arvin’s Enlargement. When Melvina died, it went to her son William Clinton Hardy. Mr. Hardy owned it until, in 1930 as an elderly widower with no surviving children, he decided to will it to his two half-sisters-in-law. Upon their deaths it was to go to St. Paul’s, Piney, which it did in 1942. The Maryland legislature affirmed the removal of this property, described as 130 acres, from the tax rolls in 1945.284

     St. Paul’s sold that land to a George and Mary Adams in 1942, and through the years ownership passed from Adams to Berst (1944), to Williner (1950), to DePorter (1956), to McSweeney (1957), to Krempasky (1962), to Interstate Land (1972), and finally to the St. Charles Community, LLC (1997). St. Charles now has housing developments on some of the land near the church. This encroachment is clearly visible on satellite images of the area. (Use Microsoft Virtual Earth or Google Earth.)

     Thomas’s fifth son, Joshua Arvin, owned another lot in Zachia Manor, Lott No. 41, containing 105 plus acres. He called it Arvin’s Dispute, and it was nestled inside the three lots – 33, 38 and 40 – which comprised Arvin’s Enlargement. All together they formed a sort of Arvin family compound. (Refer to the 1789 survey. The scale is “100 perches [1650 feet] in an inch.”) Today about half of Arvin’s Dispute, 56 acres, had been made into the Robert Dean Stethem Memorial Park, complete with ten baseball diamonds. They are easliy recognizable in satellite images of the area, and they can be used to get an idea of where Zachia Manor lies.

     Now picture satellite images superimposed over the 1789 survey to get a sense of scale. Two of the westernmost borders of Thomas’s Lott No. 40 lie along Piney Church Road in the immediate area of the church and match the angle of a bend in the road there. (It’s the area where St. Paul’s Drive intersects Piney Church Road.) This is confirmed by the survey for “Widow’s Pleasure,” Lotts No. 29, 30 and 31, which mentions “a bound post standing on the Road side near the Chapple of Ease” on its western border in this same area.

     The beginning point for the surveys of both Arvin’s Dispute and Arvin’s Enlargement is visible on the 1980 Zoning Map 24, and is mentioned in a 1962 deed to the property. From the southernmost point of the baseball diamonds at Stethem Park, it is located about 450 feet east off into the woods. The large field to the south of the sports complex is part of the 130-acre William C. Hardy property; a power transmission line bisects it. The area west of it is the 84 acres where Rev. Wilmer had his residence. And St. Paul’s, Piney, itself is on the west side of Piney Church Road, located between St. Paul’s Drive and George’s Drive. The cemetery is clearly visible on the church property just to the north.

     Present-day access to Arvin’s Enlargement begins where Sweet Corn Place branches off from the entrance to the “borrow pit” (a sand and gravel pit). This area is also very near the homestead of Thomas's original Lott No. 29 — Littleworth. It is here where Thomas Arvin lived when he first came to America in 1745, where he and Sarah began their married life together, where they built their “small logd house,” planted a “very good orchard” and started their family. Littleworth can be visualized beginning roughly from a little west of Sweet Corn Place, then extending south of the gravel pit, off eastward about 3300 feet, to aproximately 2000 feet west of Route 5. Dressing Branch is now called Piney Branch and can be seen on the USGS topographical map. Their original homestead was perhaps located just to the northwest of the “160” symbol on the contour map line on the topographical map. Thomas Arvin not only farmed this very land, but he and Sarah might actually be buried in St. Paul’s cemetery.


     After the deaths of Sarah and Thomas things changed and the world moved on. And they will keep on changing. No doubt in a few years old Lott No. 40 and the William C. Hardy property will be completely given over to development. But we can still dream about what it was like back in Zachia Manor in those colonial times so long ago....

    On the last page of James A. Michener’s novel Chesapeake, the sea reclaims fictional Devon Island, “where for a few centuries life had been so pleasant.” Like Devon Island, Zachia Manor, in “this once happy & flourishing province,” is no more. It exists now only in the imagination. And if you stand the grounds of St. Paul’s Church and look to the east into the underbrush and brambles of the undeveloped land across Piney Church Road, you can see not the present—but the past. As your imagination takes you deep into those woods, Rev. Wilmer’s brand new parsonage of 1833 comes into view. There he is now, just leaving his residence, heading over for services at St. Paul’s.

    And as you travel deeper into the woods you move to an even more remote time. Now all the way back to a glorious sunny afternoon in the summer of 1753, even before the original wooden Piney Chapel was built. There’s the newly-seated homestead of Sarah and Thomas Arvin, all fresh and clean, near a large white oak tree standing in the head of a glade, close to the waters of a little creek called Dressing Branch. The newlyweds are in the prime of their lives; they’re just starting out. Sarah’s in the house tending her little elf, Elias. (She’s planning on another baby soon.) Thomas, her knight in shining armor, is out in his plantation, hoeing the tobacco mounds. The ground is fresh; the tobacco is large, green and leafy. The whip-poor-wills will soon begin to call. And riding up the trail (which would later be known as Piney Church Road) on horseback, why, isn’t that Mr. Philip Key himself? He’s making a detour on his way back home from Annapolis. He’s coming by to pay a personal visit to one of the best Irish manservants he ever had, a young man who is now his favorite Irish sharecropper-tenant. He’s coming to see his friend, Thomas Arvin.



Continued from Thomas Arvin Part 1 – Colonial Times

Researched and written by Robert Joseph Arvin, Jr.     
©  Copyright A.D. 2006, 2008




Many thanks to Mr. Dale Flowers, board member of the Conservancy for Charles County, Inc. and long-time resident of the county, for his expertise, his research assistance and his generous hospitality.


Also many thanks to Ms. Betsey Krempasky, retired Director of Planning and Codes Administration for Caroline County, Maryland, and long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. Her family owned Arvin’s Enlargement from 1962 to 1972. Her insight and research assistance was invaluable.



191.  “Letterbooks, Part II,” p 325

192.  “The Letterbooks of Alexander Hamilton, Piscataway Factor. Part III, 1775-1776 Maryland Historical Magazine

         (June 1967) Vol. 62, Issue 2, p 140

193.  “Letterbooks. Part III,” p 143, 145-146

194.  “Letterbooks. Part III,” p 147

195.  “Letterbooks. Part III,” p 148-149

196.  “Letterbooks. Part III,” p 151-152

197.  “Letterbooks. Part III,” p 156

198.  “Letterbooks. Part III,” p 157

199.  Letterbooks. Part III,” p 160

200.  “Letterbooks. Part III,” p 162

201.  “Letterbooks. Part III,” p 163

202.  Louise Joyner Hienton, Prince George’s Heritage, p 176

203.  “Letterbooks. Part III,” p 167

204.  Lee, Price of Nationhood, p 228-229

205.  Hienton, Prince George’s Heritage, p 178

206.  Maryland State Archives, The Archivists’ Bulldog, Vol. 1, No. 8, 4 May 1987

207.  Brumbaugh, Records, Revolutionary, etc., Vol. 1, p 81

208.  Hienton, Prince George’s Heritage, p 181-182

209.  MacMaster and Skaggs, “Letterbooks of Alexander Hamilton. Part I,” p 152-154

210.  “Post Revolutionary War Letters of Alexander Hamilton, Piscataway Factor. Part I, January-June 1784, Maryland

         Historical Magazine, (Dec 1968) Vol. 63, Issue 1, p 24

211.  Crowl, Maryland During and After the Revolution, p 65

212.  “Letterbooks. Part III,” p 139

213.  “Post Rev. Letters. Part I – Jan-June 1784,” p24

214.  Maryland State Archives, The Archivists’ Bulldog, Vol. 1, No. 9, 11 May 1987

215.  Maryland State Archives, Lib. X, No. 3, fol. 630-640

216.  Maryland State Archives, X 3, p 634. Ref S1419-7-10808

217.  Maryland State Archives, The Archivists’ Bulldog, Vol.1, No. 9, 18 May 1987

218.  Hoffman, Spirit of Dissension, p 258; Stiverson, Poverty in a Land of Plenty p 111

219.  Stiverson, Poverty in a Land of Plenty, p 113-115

220.  Stiverson, Poverty, p 117

221.  Stiverson, Poverty, p 113-114

222.  Sale Book of Confiscated British Property 1781-1785, p 19-20. Maryland State Archives

223.  Crowl, Maryland, p 59

224.  Charles County Patent 80

225.  Stiverson, Land of Plenty, p 128

226.  See the Archives of Maryland Online for actual images of the bond. General Court of the Western Shore

         (Land Records) 1783-1786, Volume 728, pp 147-48, 151-2.(

227.  Revolutionary War Papers of Prince George’s County, Box 6, Folder 21

228.  Jean Lee, Price of Nationhood, p 148-152

229.  Maryland State Papers, Item 49, Box 42, Folder 20. Accession: 6636

230.  Lee, Price of Nationhood, p180-184

231.  Lee, Price of Nationhood, p 81

232.  “Charles Carroll of Carrollton to Charles Carroll of Annapolis, October 15, 1781,” Colonial Papers (MS206) Vol. 7,

         n. 675, Maryland Historical Society, as quoted by Lee in Price of Nationhood, p 182

233.  Milestone Historic Documents website

234.  Maryland State Archives, Accession MSA S 1161-4-12, 1/4/5/47

235.  Ellis, George Washington, p 146. Also The Maryland Gazette 25 December 1783.

236.  Crowl, Maryland, p 87

237.  Kathryn L. Behrens, Paper Money in Maryland, 1727-1789 (1923), p 74-75

238.  Crowl, Maryland, p 88-89

239.  Broadsides, Library of Congress, Folio 28; as quoted in Crowl, Maryland, p 90

240.  Crowl, Maryland, p 95-96

241.  Broadside: “A Friend to Paper Money,” To the Voters of Anne Arundel County, (23 Sept 1786) Maryland

         Historical Society, as quoted by Crowl, Maryland, p 101

242.  Stiverson, Land of Plenty, p 120

243.  Crowl, Maryland, p 68-69

243.  Crowl, Maryland, p 71

245.  Crowl, Maryland, p 71

246.  Crowl, Maryland, p 81-82

247.  “Post Revolutionary War Letters of Alexander Hamilton, Piscataway Factor. Part I, Jan-June 1784” Maryland

         Historical Magazine, Vol. 63, Issue 1 (Dec 1968) p 22-54. And, “Post Revolutionary War Letters of Alexander

         Hamilton, Piscataway Factor. Part II, July-Oct 1784” Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. 65 (Spring 1970)

         p 18-35

248.  Alexander Hamilton Letterbook”, as quoted by Edward C. Papenfuse in “Planter Behavior and Economic

         Opportunity in a Staple Economy,” (April 1972) Agricultural History, p 309-310

249.  Lee, Price of Nationhood, p 232

250.  Crowl, Maryland, p 104

251.  Crowl, Maryland, p 92

252.  Lee, Price of Nationhood, p 232-239

253.  Charles County Deeds D#4, ff 54-57

254.  Lee, Price of Nationhood, p 239, note on p 359

255.  Peter J. Coleman, Debtors and Creditors in America, Insolvency, Imprisonment for Debt, and Bankruptcy

         1607-1900, p 171

256.  Indexes of Church Registers, Prince George’s County, Maryland, 1686-1885. Vol 1. Protestant Episcopal

         Church, King George’s Parish – Queen Anne’s Parish (1979).Compiled by Helen W. Brown, Prince George’s

         County Historical Society.

257.  Prince George’s County Historical Society website

258.  Crowl, Maryland, p 75

259.  Stiverson, Poverty, p 129

260.  Charles County Deeds D # 4, ff 593-594

261.  Crowl, Maryland, p 56 note

262.  Main, Tobacco Colony, p 263

263.  Stiverson, Poverty, p 53-54

264.  Lee, Price of Nationhood, p 9

265.  Lee, Price of Nationhood, p 253

266.  Robey, Robey/Roby/Robie,(1994) Vol. 1, p 64; Also freepages: ~KenMullins

267.  Library of Congress, Records of John Glassford and Company, Descriptive Overview

268.  Charles County Land Records, Deeds K # 4, p 1

269.  Charles County Land Records, Deeds K # 4, p 77

270.  CC Deeds N # 4, p 35-36

271.  CC Deeds N # 4, p 290

272.  CC Deeds N # 4, p 336

273.  CC Deed Book K# 4, p 416

274.  CC Deeds N # 4 p 477

275. 1798 Federal Direct Tax, Archives of Maryland Online, Volume 729, p 1387 (

276.  Dr. David R. Curfman, The Medical History of the Father of Our Country – General George Washington.

         The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America website

277.  Ellis, George Washington, p 269-270

278.  The Maryland Gazette, 19 December 1799

279. G. Glenn Clift, “Second Census” of Kentucky 1800 (1970), p 9

280. US 1810 Census records for Kentucky, Pendleton County, roll 105, page 11

281.  Margaret Brown Klapthor and Paul Dennis Brown, The History of Charles County,Maryland, Written in Its

         Tercentenary Year of 1958, p 29

282. Maryland State Archives, Charles County Circuit Court, Land Survey,

         Subdivision, and Condominium Plats, MSA S1195, Patented Certificate 81. Viewable on-line.

283. Charles County Land Records, Conveyances, K#4, ff 400-401

284.  Charles County Will Book 13, p 393

285.  Archives of Maryland Vol. 589, p 836, 846. See also Vol. 580, p 1325


George Washington by James Peale, after Charles Willson Peale. Courtesy National Park Service, Museum Management Program and Independence National Historic Park. Object INDE 14171. (
Kensington Palace from the south by Jan Kip. The plate was made for Britannia Illustrata (1707-8). Courtesy Wikipedia Commons
Broadside printed by George Dunlop 4 July 1776. ibid. Object INDE 1071.
Pamphlet by Thomas Paine, Courtesy NPS, MMP and Guilford Courthouse. Object GUCO 1815.
Portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
Washington resigning his commission in the Old Senate Chamber courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

Arvin Ancestry Biographical Sketches