Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bartram's Botanical Garden _ Catalog cover - 1814

Bartram's Catalog 1814 from the Special Collections of the National Agricultural Libray
(USDA ARS NAL) - Beltsville
               We return thanks to our friends for many valuable presents of rare plants, which have served to increase the variety and usefulness of our collection; and to the public for their encouragement, which has enabled us to render the farden worthy of the general resort of travellers, and the lovers of horticulture.
            The following catalogue contains the names of all the plants, both domestic and foreign, which are cultivated and for sale at the Kingsess Botanic garden, - where are disposed of, seeds of American and foreign plants, on the most reasonable terms.

            N. B. The curious, by making timely application, may be furnished with dired specimens of American and foreign plants, &c.

Barney's flotilla moves up the river to Benedict, Maryland - reported June 28, 1814


               We have been favored with the perusal of a letter from Benedict [Maryland], dated on Sunday evening, stating that the flotilla in which was blockaded in St, Leanoard's creek, had fought its way into the Patuxent, and had arrived before Benedcit.  The blockading force consisted of a 74, a razee, and 2 frigates.  The loss on board the flotilla it is stated, was five killed and seven wounded.  The enemy's loss not known, but supposed to be considerable.   

               It is verbally stated, that the gunboats were dismantled and left behind, the barges only escaping.

               We have not been able to obtain any further particulars - the general facts are no doubt as above stated. [1]

[1] Federal Republican; Date: 06-28-1814; Page: 3; Location: Georgetown, District of Columbia.
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, June 29th, 2013.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

For Sale in Baltimore - June of 1814 - Only Day's Ride from Bladensburg, Maryland


The subscribers have for sale at their

                                                                                No. 65, Market-street,
The Following Goods

Which will be sold wholesale and retail at the lowest prices for cash, or approved paper at short dates.

65 chests, half chests
   & caddie boxes, Im-
  perial, "old Hyson,
  Yg, Hyson, Hyson
   Skin and Souchong
   Teas. Also, superior
   Quality Black Teas,
   Such as out up for
   the English market
   Muscovado Sugars
   Loaf & & Lump Sugar
   Green and white Cof-
   Fee in bags & bbls.
   White Havana Sug-
   Brown do   do
   Sup. qual. old Chew-
      Ing Tobacco in ib.
      twists; 3-1-2 years
      old and fit for pres-
      ent use.
   Rappe and Scotch
      Snuff best Haavana
      Segars in boxes and
      Half boxes.
   Glauber Salts in bls.
      and kegs, Madder
      in bbls. and kegs,
      Dupont's Powder in
      kegs and pound pa-
      pers, also Powder in
      kegs and pound pa-
      pers, also Powder
      from the Aetna
     powder Mills, war-
      ranted to be of good
      quality, &c. sold at
      the factory prices,
      patent shot all si-
      zes, Juniper berries
      in bbls. scented.   

   Soaps in small box
   es, Champagne and
Old Claret Wines,
Choice Old Port and
   Madeira Wines in
   pipes, or casks & in
   bottles, a part a lon
   time in bottles and
   recom'd to those u-
   sing it medically.
Cherry & Lisbon wine
Palma Wine, nearly
   equal to Port and at
   half price.
Fig Blue on boxes and
   half boxes.
Writing & Wrapping
   paper, Playing Cards,
   Ink Powder, Castor
   Oil in bottles, Sweet
   Oil in do. Spermaceti
   Oil in [hhd]s. tierces
   And by retial.
Raisins in boxes and
kegs. Almonds in bls.
& bags. Prunes, Cur-
rants, Chocolate No. 1
and 3, in boxes and
half boxes, Brown and
White Soap in boxes,
Mould & Dip Candles
of the best quality -
blacking balls & cakes,
sugar boxes, Sperma-
ceti Candles, White
Wax do. Cordials on
tap & in bottles, old
American Cheese -
Pine Apple do. &c.  

     Who have in pipes and on tap fine old Cognac Brandy and old ARye Whiskey, also in bhds. on tap very choice quality old Spirits.[1]
               May 28                                                            t&s6t

[1] Baltimore Patriot & Evening Advertiser.; Date: 06-16-1814; Volume: 3; Issue: 142; Page: [1]; Location: Baltimore, Maryland.
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson. June 16th, 2013.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Com. Barney, to the Secretary of the Navy, dated Patuxent, St. Leonard's Creek, June 9th, 1814

                                                                                          WASHINGTON, JUNE 11.
Extract of a letter from Com. Barney, to the Secretary of the Navy, dated Patuxent, St. Leonard's Creek, June 9th, 1814.[1]
               "Since mine of the 3d and 4th inst. the enemy has been reinforced with a Razee and a sloop of war brig; I then moved up to the mouth of this creek. _ At [5] A. M. yesterday we perceived one ship, a brig, two schooners, and 15 barges coming up the Patuxent, the wind at East.  I got the flotilla under way and moved up the creek about two miles, and moored in line, abreast, across the channel, and prepared for action.  At 8 A. M. the enemy's barges came up the creek; the ship, &c. anchored at the mouth of the Creek; a Rocket barge [2] was advanced upon us; we fired several shot to try the distance, which fell short.  I got my barges (13 in number,) under way, leaving the Scorpion [3] and gunboats at anchor[.] and rowed down upon them, when they precipitately fled from their position behind a point and sailed and rowed off with all their means.  We pursued them until near the shipping - fired several shot among them, when we returned to our morrings.  In the afternoon they came up again --again threw rockets, and were again pursued out of the creek.  The militia under col. Taney [4] are on the alert.  I am this moment informed the ship, &c, have entered the mouth if the creek.[5]  

The shape and arrangement of sails on an American privateer schooner, brig or brigantine, are quickly movable to much more radical angles. English seamen have written that they saw privateers escaping "sailing directly into the wind." -  
Credit:   US Navy Historical Center

[1] The First Battle of St. Leonard’s Creek: 10 June 1814. Naval History Blog. 2010. {accessed June 13, 2013]

"The battle off Cedar Point, Maryland, on 1 June ended in a draw with the Americans retreating to the safety of St. Leonard’s Creek, Maryland, and the British waiting in the Patuxent River for a reinforcement of smaller, more maneuverable vessels. The British took this potential threat to their naval supremacy in the bay very seriously.

Twice-daily attacks by the British on 8-9 June ended inconclusively. Barney, not relishing a defensive posture, planned a surprise counterattack. On the afternoon of 10 June, as soon as the British boats entered St. Leonard’s Creek, Barney ordered his barges (dismasted for greater speed) to attack the enemy. After a spirited fight, the British disengaged and the Americans pursued, catching the blockading force in the Patuxent unprepared for battle. For a brief time the Americans were ascendant, but soon the British flotilla chased the Americans back to their anchorage. Thus concluded the first battle of St. Leonard’s Creek or the battle of the barges.'"

[2] These are the famous Congreve rockets of "red glare" fame in the U. S. national anthem.

[3] USS Scorpion was a self-propelled floating artillery battery in commission with the United States Navy from 1812 to 1814. The Scorpion was sloop-rigged and could also be propelled by oars. She probably was built under contract for the U.S. Navy in 1812 for service during the War of 1812.  from Wikipedia

[4] Archives of Maryland  (Biographical Series) Michael Taney (b. 1750 - d. 1820) MSA SC 5496-050789
War of 1812 Claimant, Calvert County, Maryland

"Michael Taney was born in 1750 to Michael and Jane (Doyne) Taney in Calvert County, Maryland. He was commonly called Miles by his close family and friends. He attended the college of English Jesuits at St. Omer's and later at Bruge, France. Taney married Monica Brooke (1752-1814) on June 25, 1771, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in St. Mary's County. They had the following children: Michael, Roger Brooke (1777-1864), Augustus (1787-1823), Octavius C. (?-1832), Dorothy, Sophia Y., and Alice.

    Taney was involved in Calvert County society, working as a coroner from 1777-1785. He served as the first Lieutenant of the Calvert County Militia from 1776-1778, as a member of the Lower House, Calvert County, from 1781-82, 1784-88, and 1797-98, and as Lieutenant-Colonel, 31st Maryland Regiment, from 1812-1815. As a member of the House of Delegates, Taney moved to abolish property qualifications for voting or holding office in 1797. His sons Michael, Roger, and Octavius all later served in public offices.

    Michael Taney owned approximately twenty-seven slaves in Calvert County, employing an overseer named William Brinkley. In 1814, British officers under the command of Captain Joseph Nourse forcibly removed twenty-one of Taney's slaves from his property, lying on the Patuxent River. The slaves were taken to Captain Nourse's ship, the Severn. Taney believed that his slaves were carried down to the Tangier Islands. At the time Michael Taney relocated his family, furniture, and stock a safe distance away from the family home.

    On July 1, 1819, Taney killed his neighbor John Magruder in a duel. He fled to Virginia, and on July 15, 1819, he conveyed all of his property to his sons, Roger and Octavius C. They, in turn, were to pay him $1,000 a year from the profits of the estate. Michael Taney died circa March 1820, in Loudon County, Virginia, from injuries sustained in a fall from a horse. Two of Taney's slaves returned his body to Maryland for burial in the family cemetery in Calvert County, Maryland."

His son Roger Brooke Taney was born in Calvert County, Maryland, on March 17, 1777.

[5] Baltimore Patriot & Evening Advertiser.; Date: 06-13-1814; Volume: 3; Issue: 139; Page: [2]; Location: Baltimore, Maryland.
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, June 13th, 2013.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

War of 1812 - Barney Reports, May 21, 1814

 MARYLAND.                                                                                    BALTIMORE May 21.


            A flag arrived yesterday at 11 A. M. at Annapolis, sent by Admiral Cockburn, with dispatches from Admiral Cochrane at Bermuda, to Mr. Monroe[1]; also letters to Mr. Barclay British agent[2] for prisoners, which have been forwarded to Washington.  My look out boat has returned with the above information - no additional force of the enemy is in our Bay.                  J. BARNEY.[3]

[1] Secretary of State and future President of the United States.

[2] Col. Thomas Barclay was appointed British Consul at New York in 1799. In Nova Scotia he was a member and the speaker of the House of Assembly. During the War of 1812 he was Commissary for the care and exchange of prisoners of war.  As British agent for prisoners in the War of 1812, he resided at "Bostwick," the oldest surviving structure at Bladensburg.

[3] Joshua Barney (6 July 1759 – 1 December 1818) was, born in Baltimore, Maryland, and served in the Continental Navy during the Revolutionary War. He later achieved the rank of commodore in the United States Navy and also served in the War of 1812.  

New-Bedford Mercury.; Date: 06-03-1814; Volume: 7; Issue: 45; Page: [3]; Location: New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, June 11th, 2013.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Valuable Mill in Bladensburg to be Leased - 1813


ON Thursday the 17th inst. will be offered to the highest bidder, on the premises, on a lease of ten or fifteen years (if not before leased by private bargain) for so much money paid down, or to be paid in one, two or three years, with interest, the Bladensburg Mill, with about 30 acres of ground attached to it.  The advantages of the situation, from its contiguity to a good grain country, from its being at the head of tide water, where boats may be loaded and unloaded, and from the command which it has of a most copious and unfailing spring of water, render the property highly valuable and make it a peculiar manner worth the attention of personas wishing to engage in the manufacturing business.  Application to be made to Daniel Brent, in the city of Washington, or to the subscriber, at Green Hill, Prince George's county.
                                                                                        Wm. DUDLEY DIGGES.
               June 4 [1]

[1] Daily National Intelligencer; Date: 06-09-1813; Volume: I; Issue: 137; Page: [1]; Location: Washington (DC), District of Columbia.
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, June 9th, 2013.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Bladensburg Turnpike - 1812

 The Bladensburg Turnpike

               Just prior to the War of 1812 a new Washington Turnpike Company was incorporated in December of 1812. This incorporated the Bladensburg Turnpike section which names four shareholders from Bladensburg:

An act to incorporate a company to make a Turnpike Road from the District of Columbia to the city of Baltimore,
SEC 1. BE IT ENACTED by the General Assembly of Maryland, That a company shall be incorporated for making a turnpike road from the district of Columbia to the city of Baltimore; and for making the said road a subscription shall be opened for a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, in shares of fifty dollars each, under the direction of George Calvert, Richard Ross, Thomas Bowie and William Fitzgerald, at Bladensburgh; Archibald Dorsey, Richard G.Stockett, John S. Belt and Thomas Lee, Junr. At M'Coy's tavern; and William Lorman, Henry Payson, George Lindenberger and Jacob Giles Smith, in the city of Baltimore.
AND BE IT ENACTED, That the commissioners shall lay out a road from the city of Baltimore to the district of Columbia, byway of Norwood's ferry, on the Patapsco river, M'Coy's tavern, Vansville, White House, Ross' tavern and Bladensburgh, on as straight a line between each of said places as the nature of the country will admit.[1]  

               The charter first directed that public subscriptions should be opened for the sum of $500,000, divided into shares, and appointed managers to receive them. As soon as a specified number of shares should be sold the subscribers were to meet and elect twelve directors, who were in turn to meet and elect a president from among the stockholders. The latter were incorporated as the Turnpike Company. The president and directors were then authorized to appoint five commissioners to lay out and mark the road. Damages and compensation for land, stone, gravel, etc., were to be assessed by agreement with the owners, if possible, by condemnation proceedings if necessary.
The prescribed method of road construction was quite elaborate and scientific. In this particular the charters of 1796, 1797, and 1804-5 were practically identical. The roads were to be:

"Sixty-six feet wide, twenty-one feet whereof in breadth, at least, shall be made an artificial road, which shall be bedded with wood, stone, gravel, or any other hard substance, well compacted together, a sufficient depth to secure a solid foundation to the same; and the said road shall be faced with gravel, or stone pounded, or other small hard substance, so as to secure a firm, and, as near as materials will admit, an even surface, rising towards the middle by a gradual arch; and the said road shall be made so nearly level in its progress as that it shall in no place rise or fall more than will form an angle of 4 degrees with an horizontal line, and shall ever thereafter maintain and keep the same in good and perfect order and repair."

As different sections of the roads should be finished, toll gates might be established by the directors, and tolls not to exceed certain prescribed maximums might be exacted. A curious item was that fixing the toll for "every single horse, camel, ass or mule". These tolls might be farmed out. Driving around the gates to avoid payment of tolls was punished by fines, as had been done by the Act of 1787.

Provided by: Aeon Preservation Services LLC Final 6-02-2013

[1] Maryland State Archives. Volume 618, Page 72.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Growing Food in Bladensburg

                "The situation of Bladensburgh is unhealthy, among swamps which surround it on all sides, and every fall obstinate fevers spread among the inhabitants of the region, which on the other hand is rich in manifold beautiful plants. Negroes are beginning to be more numerously kept here, and the people show already a strong tincture of southern ease and behavior. Also several plants are grown here which farther to the north are scarcely seen. Cotton wool (Gossypium herbaceum) and sweet potatoes (Convolvulus Battatas) [sic] are raised by each family sufficiently for its needs. The blacks raise Been nuts (Arachishypogaea) this is a pretty hardy growth, which at all events stands a few cold nights without hurt. The thin shells of the nuts, or more properly the husks, are broken, and the kernels planted towards the end of April in good light soil, perhaps a span apart. They must then be diligently weeded, and when they begin to make a growth of stems all the filaments or joints are covered with earth. After the blooming time, the pistils and young seed cases bury themselves in the ground and mature under the earth which is continually heaped upon them. The kernels have an oily taste and roasted are like cacao. With this view the culture of them for general use has been long recommended in the Philosophical Transactions, and the advantages of making this domestic oil plainly enough pointed out, but without the desired result. The wild chesnuts [sic] growing so generally in all the forests might yield a fruit quite as useful for the whole of America. It is known that in certain parts of Europe the chesnut is of almost as important a use as the jaka, or breadfruit tree. The native chesnut tree is found everywhere in America but is not regarded except as furnishing good timber for fence rails. Its fruit is indeed small, dry and inferior in taste to the European great chesnuts, but in Italy these are had only from inoculated trees, the fruit of the wild chesnut there, as in America, being neither large nor agreeable in taste. By inoculation, then, there could be had quite as fine great chesnuts here. But without that, on account of its great usefulness this fruit has received some attention from the Americans who eat it boiled and roasted, convert it into meal and bread, and fresh shelled and ground use it as a kind of soap with plenty of water.

               Unfavorable weather and the hope of finding in the swamps along the several branches of the Potowmack certain other particular seeds or plants made our stay here also a few days longer. But we found very little we had not seen. However we were fortunate enough here to obtain a stock of acorns and nuts which elsewhere had failed. These with some other seeds we shipped on board a brigantine bound from Georgetown to London, but which never came to port."[1]

provided by:  Aeon Preservation Services LLC Final 6-02-2013

[1] Schöpf, Johann David, 1788. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Market Master's House, Bladensburg, Maryland

Market Master's House, Bladensburg, Maryland
Library of Congress

The first known description of the Market Master’s House, in Bladensburg, Maryland, was recorded in the 1798 Federal Direct Tax Assessment. The assessment describes the Market Master’s House, which was then in Benjamin Lowndes’ possession, as a “single story stone dwelling 24 by 20 [feet].” The stone house had five windows. Additionally, the property was improved by a 20 by 16-foot stable. The Federal Direct Tax also reveals that a second portion of Lot 38 was improved with an unoccupied “single story framed dwelling house 27 by 17 [feet]” and an 8-foot-square framed kitchen. The Federal Direct Tax, which noted owners as well as occupants of the properties being assessed, indicated that the Market Master’s House was not occupied by Benjamin Lowndes, or any other member of the Lowndes family. Rather, as stated in the tax assessment, Benjamin Lowndes lived in a three-story brick dwelling on Lot 60 and Henry Jones occupied the Market Master’s House.[1] No Henry Jones was identified in either the 1790 or 1800 Federal Censuses, thus nothing is currently known about this
early occupant of the Market Master’s House.

Although the Federal Direct Tax recorded the Market Master’s House as a dwelling,
other evidence suggests that it may have been used as a store for the Lowndes Company.
In 1800, a notice appeared in the George-Town and Washington Advertiser that “A number
of inhabitants of Prince George’s County intend applying to the next General Assembly
of Maryland, for a law, authorizing the laying out of a road from Bladensburg across
the Eastern Branch opposite Mr. Lowndes’ store [emphasis added] and to run … the
nearest and best way to the City of Washington.”[2] Although the notice does not provide
any more information about the location of the Lowndes store, an 1802 controversy over
Benjamin Lowndes’ dereliction of duty as Postmaster of the Town of Bladensburg suggests
that the store was located in the stone building.

According to a letter published in the Washington Federalist, on two occasions Benjamin
Lowndes left his store, which also served as the Post Office, prior to the arrival of the
mail. The Post Master was required to remain at his station even if the mail arrived late,
as it was on these instances. Lowndes went home, apparently intending to return when
the mail arrived. Even though Lowndes had left the store in the care of an unnamed associate,
he was dismissed for failing to receive and examine the mail in a timely manner. In an open letter to the Postmaster General dated February 25, 1802, Lowndes appealed
to return to his position:

The post-office at Bladensburg is worth no man’s acceptance, but after seventeen years servitude (the attention requisite can be called nothing else) I consider myself as intitled [sic] to it as any person. I have acted, I believe without censure, and I know I have done my duty faithfully.

An editorial in the Washington Federalist defended Lowndes’ actions, noting that his home was close enough to his store:

For the exchange of mails, one quarter of an hour is allowed, but it can be
proved that in the instances alluded to, the mail carriers did not stay five
minutes. It is not true that Mr. Lownde’s [sic] dwelling house, even with
all the meanders is half a mile from his store, the more direct way does
not exceed 630 yards…

The author’s identification of the store as being located between a third and a half of a
mile from Lowndes’ house supports the contention that the store/post office was indeed
the Market Master’s House (Benjamin Lowndes’ house on Lot 60 was located on the parcel
directly to the southeast of Bostwick). After Lowndes was dismissed, the Washington Federalist reported that the Post Office moved into another store somewhere on Market Street.[3]

from:    Maryland State Highway Administration
            Project Planning Division
            Environmental Evaluation Section
            October 2009

[1] 1798 Federal Direct Tax, New Scotland, Oxen & Bladensburg, Maryland State Archives, Archives of
Maryland Online, Volume 729.

[2] “Notice,” The Centinel of Liberty, George-Town and Washington Advertiser, 9 September 1800.
[3] Washington Federalist, 19 April 1802. see also: 1802 Dismissal of Benjamin Lowndes as Postmaster of Bladensburg Maryland

Sunday, June 2, 2013

One Cent Reward for a Runaway Apprentice Hair Dresser - Alecandria, Virgina June 2, 1814

One Cent Reward.
RANAWAY from the subscriber on
the 27th inst:

Thomas Williams,

An apprentice to the Hair Dressing business, about 17 years of age, stout and well made.  All persons are hereby forwarned [sic] against harboring or trustung him on my account. _ Whoever will return said boy to me at my Shop on Royal Street [Alexandria, Virginia], shall  receive the above reward but no charges will be paid.

                                                                                                         Thom. Shields.
May 31 [1]

[1] Alexandria Gazette Commercial and Political; Date: 06-02-1814; Volume: XIV; Issue: 4170; Page: [1]; Location: Alexandria, Virginia.
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, June 2, 2013.