Slavery in Prince Georges County, Maryland
Maryland Gazette
Thursday, December 15, 1757

Run away from the Subfcriber, living in Prince-George's
County, on the 16th of September laft, the Three following
Negroes, viz.

Forrester, a lusty well-made Fellow, between 50 and 60
Years of Age. Had on when he went away, a light Cloth
colour'd Jacket, with Halfh Sleeves, a striped Country Cloth
Jacket and Breeches, Check Shirt, and old Stockings.

Joe, a low well-made Fellow, about 30 Years of Age. He
had on when he went away, a Country Cloth Jacket and
Breeches, an Osnabrigs Shirt, and old Shoes and
Stockings.

Bess, a low well-made Wench, between 40 and 50 Years
of Age. She had on when fhe went away, a Country Cloth
Jacket and Petticoat, an Ofnabrigs Shift, and old Shoes
and Stockings; and took with her a Callico Jacket and
Petticoat, and a Cotton Ditto.

Whoever takes up the faid Negroes, and brings them
home, fhall have Ten Shillings Reward foreach, befides
what the Law allows, paid by

Thomas Noble
Colonial Runaway Ad
SHERIFF'S SALE

By virtue of five writs of fieri facias issued out of Prince
George's County Court, and directed to the Sheriff of said
County, and levied before his death, I will sell at public sale
to the highest bidder for cash on Tuesday the 18th day of
May next, at the tavern of Henry M. Chew in the village of
Nottingham, all the right, title interest, property claim and
demand both at law and in equity of Thomas Bruce, Josias
Young, Henry M Chew, Walter B. Brooke, James Baden, and
the survivors of Edward W. Belt, of, in and to the following
property, to wit: one negro man named Stephen--one do do
Charles; one do do Tom; one do do Richard; one ditto boy
named Henry, and do do named Richard; and a tract or
parcel of Land called "Mazoonscon & Newton," containing
371 acres more or less, lying and being in Prince George's
County, and adjoining the lands of Thomas N. Baden and
others; Levied on and taken in execution as the property of
the said Thos. Bruce, Josias Young, H.M. Chew, W.B.
Brooke, James Baden and the survivors of E.W. Belt, and
will be sold to satisfy the following judgments in said court
against them to wit: one in favor of State use of Gibbons &
Childs use of John W. Keirle; one in favor of State use of
John B. Brooke; one in favor of State use of William H. S.
Boswell; and one in favor of State use of George
Beltzhoover.
Sale to commence at 2 o'clock, p.m.
WM H. TUCK adm'r of Th. H. Edelen lat Shff. of P.G. Co.
April 22, 1841
P. G. Sheriff'S Sale
PUBLIC SALE.

By virtue of 3 writs of fi fi issued by George T. Brown, Esq. a
Justice of the Peace for P.G. county at the suit of Thos H.
Claggett Adm'r of John H. Barnes dec't against the goods
and chattles, lands and tenements of William Linsey, and to
me directed, I have seized and taken in execution all the
right, title, claim, and interest, in and to, one negro boy
named John, age 12 years; Levied on and taken in
execution as the property of said Linsey, and I hereby give
notice that on the 20th day of May, 1841, I will offer said
property for sale to the highest binder for cash in the village
of Piscataway in front of Hardy's Tavern.
Sale to commence at 12 o'clock, A.M.
THOS. S. MARTIN, Const.
April 29, 1841
Prince George's Advertisement
Major Crimes Reported in Maryland Gazette,
1745-60

1745  Stabbing of overseer to death by slave.

1746  Convict woman servant as accomplice to          
others in murder.

1747  Rape of white girl by a black.

1748  Threat to strike overseer by a slave.

1749  Burning of master's house supposedly by          
vengeful servant;
Rape of white girl by a black;
Burning of master's houses by a slave;
Murder of master by a servant.

1750  Murder of pursuing master by runaway              
mulatto.

1751  Convict rape of white woman by black;
Murder of master's children by convict                
servant;
Murder of overseer by convict servant;
Burning of tobacco house by black women;
Stabbing of man by black robber;
Murder of mistress and attempted murder           of
master by servants at urging of overseer.

1752  Attempted murder of master and mistress          
by convict servants.

1753  Attempted murder of master by slave;
Conspiracy among blacks to kill whites;

1754  Burning of master's house by servants;
Burning of master's houses supposedly by           
black women;
Murder of master, stealing of ship by                  
servants;
Murder of white girl and white woman by            black;
Assaulting, robbing of whites by blacks;
Murder of master by slave.

1755  Threat to kill man during robbery by                   
convicts;
Murder of overseer by slave;
Poisoning of master by slaves and white             
servant;
Attempted poisoning of master by slaves;
Attempted murder of man by convict                  
servant with axe.

1756  Murder of master by servant;
Murder of white man by mulatto

1757  Attempted poisoning of master by slave girl.

(1758-1760 - no incidents reported)
Table I: Occupations of Male Slaves in Prince
George's County, 1774-1791
Occupation:      % 2,037 Slaves

Agricultural
Field Hands    82%
Plowmen         4%
Drivers         4%
Family Farmers  2%
TOTAL        92%

Semiskilled
Servants        1%
Carters         *
Watermen        *
Other           *
TOTAL         2%

Craftsmen
Carpenters       3%
Cloth trades     *
Blacksmiths      *
Shoemakers       *
Ironworkers      1%
Other groups     *
TOTAL           5%

GRAND TOTAL       99%

*Less than 1%
  1640
1650
1660
1670
1680
1690
1700
White and African
583
4504
8426
13226
17904
24024
29604
African
20
300
758
1190
1611
2162
3327
  White
  Slave
  Free Black
   
Year
Number
% Pop
Number
% Pop
Number
% Pop
Total
1790
10,004
47%
11,176
52%
164
1%
21,344
1800
8,346
39%
12,191
58%
648
3%
21,185
1810
6,471
39%
9,189
56%
1096
5%
16,482
1820
7,935
39%
11,185
55%
1,096
5%
20,216
1830
7,687
38%
11,585
57%
1,202
6%
20,474
1840
7,823
40%
10,636
54%
1,080
5%
19,539
1850
8,901
41%
11,510
53%
1,138
5%
21,549
1860
9,650
41%
12,479
53%
1,197
5%
23,326
Slavery was a part of the history of Prince George's County from establishment in 1699. Slaves were, with land, a tangible
asset and a symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the white owners. The economic prosperity of the county depended upon
the labor of slaves and the tax revenue on the valuation of slavery.

Colonial Slave Families
One of the earliest slave families that to be freed in Prince George's County was freed before Prince George's became
incorporated as a county -- Henry Quando. He was held by Henry Adams and freed with Margaret Pugg in his 1684 will. The
Quanders believe that they are descended through Henry Quando from a Egya Amkwandoh of Ghana. The family motto is
"We are many, but we are one." The family claims to be the oldest free black family in Prince George's.  

One of the first slave stories of Prince George's County concerns Ann Joice, a black woman born in Barbados, moved to
England as a servant, then sold into slavery in Maryland in the 1670's. She became the property of the Darnall family of
Prince George's near Nottingham. In the 1670's and 1680's she had seven children with several white men; all the children
remained slaves. These children formed the basis of a black family in the Nottingham area.

Three children lived on the Darnall family plantation throughout their entire lives. One was sold to a planter a few miles away
and another, Sarah Harbard, sold to William Digges about 5 miles away. The next generation included Peter Harbard (born
1715-1720), the son of Francis Harbard, one of the children remained on the Darnall property. He was sold to George
Gordon, a planter, who lived across the road from Darnall. At this time the extended family consisted of his grandmother, his
father, several paternal uncles and aunts, seven cousins, and more family members who had been moved to Annapolis.

One of the slaves'greatest fears was the death of the master because it represented the potential for a break-up of the
family. Prince George's slavery was no exception to this rule.

Daphne, the daughter of Nan, was born about 1736 on a large plantation owned by Robert Tyler, Sr. For two years she
lived with her mother, two brothers, and two sisters. In 1738 Robert Tyler died. Daphne continued to live on the main Tyler
plantation but 3 of her siblings were bequeathed to Tyler's granddaughter Ruth Tyler who married Mordecai Jacob, her
grandfather's next-door neighbor. From 1736-1787 Daphne had six different masters but continued to reside on the Tyler
plantation. During this time she had ten children whom she continued to live with until 1779. In 1779 Robert Tyler III
(grandson of Robert Tyler) died. Daphne's children and grandchildren were divided among his son and daughter. The
younger children were removed from the plantation and sent to Millicent Beanes (the daughter of Robert Tyler III) several
miles away.

Smaller plantations or economically insecure owners where even more likely to cause the break-up of slave. Rachael was
born in the late 1730's and bore ten children between 1758 and 1784. As a child she lived on the plantation of Alexander
Magruder in Nottingham. In 1746 she was given to Alexander's son Hezekiah who mortaged her to two merchants. In 1757
she was seized by Samuel Roundall for Hezekiah's debt. In 1760 she was sold with her eldest daughter to Samuel Lovejoy
who lived about nine miles from Roundall.  

Unfortunately family breakups were a constant occurrence also due to the whims of their white masters. In 1761 Thomas
Brook a wealthy Prince George's planter, sent his two-year-old son Isaac to live with Elizabeth Batt, a miller who lived fifteen
miles away and sent an adolescent girl Ally to tend him.  In 1749 Samuel White, a plantation owner, gave a five year-old girl
named Murrier to his son Guy (12 years old), Ball to his son Samuel, Harry to his son Joseph and Pegg to his daughter
Casey.

Colonial Slave Work
The slave's work, while including tobacco farming, was not confined only to tobacco farming. Plantations were expected to
be miniature villages so slave labor was diversified among many fields. In the 1730's and 40's besides using slaves for labor
in the tobacco crops, 75% of the men who owned slaves owned sheep, and 50% of those owned the cards and wheels to
process the wool.  

By 1705 John Addison owned one of the first slave artisans, a mulatto carpenter, in the Colony of Maryland. His son,
grandson, and great-grandson also kept artisan slaves throughout the colonial period. Thomas Addison, who died in 1775,
had 4 carpenters, a joiner, a shoemaker, and a tailor.

By 1770 artisans were almost always found on farms in Prince George's which had more than 10 slaves. Until 1760 this
usually meant carpenters or coopers (making hogsheads or repairing farm structures). By 1770 2/5 of the tradesmen were
shoemakers, blacksmiths, shipwrights, masons, and tailors. The role of female slaves was mostly field work, with about 1/20
of the female Prince George's slaves being house servants, spinners, and weavers.  

Artisan and other slaves had the opportunity to make money with which they could buy material to make fancy or quality
dress. Other slaves had to wear shoes, shirts, and trousers given by the master once a year. Females received shoes and
shifts. Through the runaway ads one finds that male slaves typically wore shirts, trousers, stockings, shoes, and several
jackets, some owned coats and hats.  Landon Carter, a Prince George's owner stated that he, "allowed them but one shirt
and obliged them to buy linen to make their other shirt instead of buying liquor with their fowls."

Colonial Trials and Legal Proceedings
In Colonial Prince George's County capital crimes were rare. Eight of the nine slaves charged with capital crimes in Prince
George's County between 1740 and 1779 were convicted and hung. This rate is extremely low considering the social trauma
of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.

One famous crime concerned Jack Wood and Jack Crane the descendants of Ann Joice. Along with a slave named Davy
they murdered their overseer, William Elson. Because of their descent (from a slave that should have been free and white
parentage), they felt that this overseer was working them too hard. They struck him with a club and when Elson regained
consciousness, they cut his throat from ear to ear with an axe. One man confessed and all three were hung.  

Colonial Slave Resistance
What constituted slave resistance? Slave resistance could be characterized as anything from minor resistance to full-blown
rebellion. The minor resistance could include everything from illnesses, supposed ignorance, losing tools, stealing, breaking
material, etc. Could any of the criminal trials be included in this section? Probably. Jack Wood and Jack Crane would have
probably characterized their actions as slave resistance rather than simple murder. Would anyone today characterize
slavery itself as a legal, moral institution?

This section will analyze both extremes left out of the court proceedings. Some items are simple instances that broke no law,
yet serve to show that slavery was not accepted by slaves, but vigorously fought against at many levels. The second part of
this section is an actual Prince George's slave conspiracy in which the goal was to overthrow slavery in Maryland.

One of these minor instances in Prince George's County is contained in the William Wirt Papers. William Sydebotham, a
Bladensburg merchant, who liked to get drunk every evening had two slaves named Wat and Jerry. Wat would get drunk
along with his master and proceed to annoy his master if possible. One particular evening he started a quarrel with Jerry
until Sydebotham got tired of the situation and made Wat and Jerry strip and fight each other. After this incident
Sydebotham drank "his afternoons' booze in peace."

In 1729 runaway slaves were encouraging shipmates to join them in runaway communities on the Maryland frontier. Of a far
more serious nature and lasting threat to the white slaveholders was the Poplar Neck Slave Conspiracy of 1739. This is the
major slave insurrection of Prince George's during the colonial period.

Poplar Neck and the Slave Conspiracy of 1739
Poplar Neck was a plantation on the upper reaches of Piscataway Creek, approximately six miles southwest of Upper
Marlboro. At this time it was owned by Jane Brooke, a widow.

The sources that report this conspiracy are all white sources. Sources included court records, newspaper reports, letter
book of John Thomas Scharf. This can also be viewed against the backdrop of slave revolts throughout the south during
this particular time period. The court testimony given by the slaves gives no indication of the methods used to procure the
testimony. The fact that only one person was actually hung and no insurrection took place, make much of this story suspect.

The court, identified leader of this conspiracy was Jack Ransom, a slave of Mrs. Brooke. He was between 40 and 50 years
old. Ransom's plan, according to his captors, was to start the insurrection on a Sunday, kill the white males, and march on
Annapolis.

Unfortunately for Ransom, bad weather continually disrupted their plans. On December 1, 1739 rain destroyed their plans. A
slave of Jane Brooke's son Henry learned of the plot and reported to his master.

Six slaves were seized. John Hepburn and William Smith, justices of the peace for Prince George's County took depositions
of the slaves regarding the conspiracy. The Maryland Council appointed Oyer and Terminer to form a special commission to
try the slaves.

A 1737 law required the slaves to be tried in Upper Marlboro where the governor directed the sheriffs to continue the
investigation.  More depositions were taken from slaves.

At the March 1740 session of the Prince George's County Court, Jack Ransom, George, a slave of Jane Brooke; Frank a
slave of Thomas Blanford; Peter, a slave of Richard Lee; and Will, a slave of Hyde Hoxton were tried. Jack Ransom was
found guilty of citing an insurrection and plotting the murder of Jane Brooke, Henry Brooke, Joseph Brooke, and others. He
was convicted by a jury of twelve and hung. The other slaves were acquitted. No other slaves were tried. The sixth slave
belonging to John Blanford died in jail.

The general reaction throughout Maryland was one of genuine alarm and fear. Militia units were formed. Passes were
required for entry into Annapolis on Sundays by slaves. Proclamations were sent by the Governor throughout the state.

The Revolutionary War Period
Maryland was the only major slave holding state that actively recruited African-Americans for service in the Revolutionary
War. Cupid Plummer and about thirty other blacks became soldiers in the 2nd Maryland Regiment of Foot Soldiers formed in
Upper Marlboro.  Slaves could be substituted for white soldiers and as a benefit of their service were promised their
freedom. By 1780 any able bodied slave between 16 and 40 could enter the service with the consent and agreement of his
master. In 1781 free blacks were subject to the draft. This is one of the first recorded instances of Black Prince Georgians
and their struggle for the freedom of this country. (
Rev War Application for 1st Maryland Regiment)

In 1785 the Maryland legislature voted twenty-two to thirty-two to abolish slavery.  In the new Constitution for the State of
Maryland free black males were eligible voters. The only requirement was a property requirement that applied to all
Marylanders. After this liberal post-war period ended, Maryland retreated to denying free black males the right to vote. That
right would not be regained for sixty years until the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution, in force for the 1870
election.
Growth of Slavery in the Post Revolutionary War Era
Estimated Population of Maryland 1640-1700









Source:
United States Bureau of the Census Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1957. Washington
D.C., 1960, p. 756.

From the 1790 census onward slaves constituted a majority of the population in Prince George's County. By 1860 the free
black population was only 5% of the total population of Prince George's.

By 1810 the County was suffering from a white flight as the white population dropped from  10,000 in 1776 to 9,864 in 1782
to 6,471 by 1810. This trend represented the growth in Prince George's of larger agricultural holdings. By 1810 over half of
the slaveholders owned more than 20 slaves.

POPULATION OF PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MARYLAND, 1790-1860
















Slave Patrols
The 1820 Assembly established a patrol from Prince George's, Charles, Saint Mary's and Anne-Arundel counties. The
patrols were called into being by the Justice of the Peace composed of not more than 15 persons in one company. They
would have an eight hour period in which they could disperse all unlawful and riotous assemblages of blacks and arrest all
blacks who may have been runaways, emigrated from another state, or in any way violated the laws of Maryland. The
patrols had the right of search and seizure in any house owned by a black that the patrol thought might contain a runaway
slave.

Religious Restrictions
In 1828 a special law was passed by the Maryland Assembly regarding a church in the Piscataway district of Prince
George's County. Because of complaints of whites in the neighborhood the church was restricted to public worship from 7
a.m. till 5 p.m. on Sundays, Easter Monday, and Whit-Monday only. However blacks could attend public worship anywhere
and at any time whites were in attendance. The punishment for disregarding this act was to be "moderate" on slaves and a
"moderate" fine on free blacks which would be paid to the Sunday School Fund of the District or the school fund of the
County.

Other Laws
In the 1833 Assembly a law was passed for Prince George's County to set the jail fee for runaway slaves at 25 cents a day.
This money was to furnish food and drink for the runaway slave.

The 1845 Assembly passed a law for Prince George's County that enabled the sheriff or constable to bring to court or to a
judge anyone dealing illegally with blacks or receiving stolen goods. Their punishment would be to have their license taken
away. The license could only be restored on appeal to the full County Court.

The 1851 Assembly passed a special bill for Prince George's, Kent, Montgomery, Anne Arundel and Charles counties which
made free blacks liable for up to two days a year service labor to repair public roads. If the person was employed by a white
citizen or whose property exceeded the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars they were exempt from this duty.

Economic Evaluation
The Marlbro Gazette and Prince George's County Advertiser for July 15, 1841 give a statement
of the valuation of the county and the role that slavery paid in the valuation and the expenditures. In Table II the important
item to notice is the $512.66 allocated to the removal of people of colour. This money was used for the Maryland
Colonization society to send freed people to Liberia and Haiti. Table III lists the value of slavery to the county and to each
election district.

Insurrection of 1845
Also in early 1845 the second known instance of an armed insurrection occurred in Prince George's County. In July of 1845
several armed bands of slaves left their homes in Charles, Prince George's and St. Mary's Counties. They met and
combined forces near Washington. Their combined size was between thirty-eight and seventy-four armed individuals. At
Montgomery County near Gaithersburg they fought a pitched battle with some farmers. Several of the slaves were killed, the
rest of the group were subdued. The leaders were hung and the remaining slaves were sold to the deep south.
 
The slaveholders met at Port Tobacco, Md. to decide a course of action to prevent future insurrections. They developed a
six point plan that they hoped would be accepted by the legislature. First, they called for an increase in the size of the police
force. Second, paying a fair price for their goods, the meeting proposed that all free blacks would be removed from Prince
George's County by December 1, 1846. Third, no one would authorize religious services at night for blacks. Fourth, no
blacks would be allowed to work in any waterfront jobs. Fifth, inter-farm visitation passes for slaves would be stopped. Sixth,
they asked for the intervention of the state in capturing runaway slaves.
Public Opinion

Thomas Turner, the first editor of the
Planter's Advocate wrote his initial editorial about slavery in the opening edition of

September 10, 1851:
Domestic slavery, as it exists among us to be a truly conservative and beneficial institution. and he will ever maintain -
contenting the same time for a controlling influence for agriculture in the policy of the state.

By 1852 on the eve of the first anniversary of the
Planter's Advocate an editorial was written justifying the Planter's belief in
slavery:

In respect of slavery, our course has been uniform. The tendency of all we have advocated is resolvable into this: We would
have the institution remain as it is... But facts do most undoubtly show, it is a merciful dispensation for the slave, and they
show, moreover, that his life subsequent to his manumission or escape is one of untold misery compared with the prior part
of it.  

The severe restrictions that could be placed on all blacks that lived in Prince George's County can be found in the Act to
incorporate the village of Bladensburg passed on March 9, 1854. This 17 section bill includes in paragraph 15 the
appointment of a constable (who is also the bailiff and collector). His job was "to prevent the tumultous and irregular
meetings of slaves or free negroes within the limits of said village, and to punish, with moderate correction, all such slaves
and free negroes as shall be found wandering or strolling about the streets in the night time, and to prevent slaves
frequenting the houses of other persons in said village without the consent of their master or mistress."

By the 1854 Assembly slaves and freed blacks in Prince George's were no longer allowed in any store or manufacturer after
sundown where liquor was made or sold. Not only was the fine $50 but half the fine would go to the informer. It was illegal for
any person to sell liquor to any slaves or freed blacks under this law. All stores had to swear an oath that they would uphold
this law to receive their licenses.

Slave Accounts
Prince George's has a unique contribution to the slave accounts of our country with the book that was written by Nellie
Arnold Plummer entitled
Out of the Depths or The Triumph of the Cross.  It is the only known account of slavery kept while in
slavery in Prince George's County. The WPA accounts taken in the depression when the former slaves were far removed
from the fact of slavery. Some of these accounts show biases from the fact that most of these accounts were made by
people who were slaves as children. However, these accounts are striking by their lack of nostalgia for the "good old days".

Dennis Simms
Dennis Simms, a resident of Baltimore, was interviewed taken on 19 September 1937. He was owned by Richard and
Charless Contee of the Contee tobacco plantation and listed his birth date as June 17, 1841. He had a brother George
Simms who was born on July 18, 1849.

"We would work from sunrise to sunset every day except Sundays and on New Year's Day. Christmas made little difference
at Contee, except that we were given extra rations of food then. We had to toe the mark or be flogged with a rawhide whip,
and almost every day there was from two to ten thrashings given on the plantation to disobedient Negro slaves."
 
Whipping seemed to be the preferred method of slave-control according to Simms. You could receive the `nine nine-ne' a
flogging until the person fell over or begged for mercy. If the slave was caught outside the plantation without a pass he could
be given 20 lashes across the bare back. They could also be branded with a hot iron on the cheek with the letter `R'.

For murder he said that they would have their right hand cut off, handed in the usual manner, have the head severed from
the body, divided into four quarters and set up in the most public places of the county.  

"We lived in rudely constructed log houses, one story in height, with huge stone chimneys, and slept on beds of straw...In
summer the slaves went without shoes and wore three-quarter checkered baggy pants, some wearing only a long shirt to
cover their body...Our food consisted of bread, hominy, black strap molasses and a red herring a day. Sometimes, by
special permission from our master or overseer, we would go hunting and catch a coon or possum and a pot pie would be a
real treat."   

Lewis Chambers
Another version of the life of a slave was provided by Lewis C. Chambers:

"I have been a slave, and been sold three times. My last master was William Little, Nottingham, Maryland. My second master
was a tyrant, and I didn't get much to eat sometimes; but the last man who owned me was a man of better feeling. For eight
years I had control of his farm, and I thought more of him than I did of my own father. He educated me to believe that I
shouldn't fellowship with the poor class of whites or the free people of color. But still he deceived me. He used to reason me
out of going to see my own father, through he belonged to the Presbyterian Church, as I did then. He promised me my
freedom and that stimulated me to work and really, I did not know my own condition until I read
"Jay's Inquiry". I purchased
my freedom, giving $1250, and after I purchased my freedom, they drove me out of the State. I then came under title of
`worthless fellow'. "

Hensin Williams
The final Prince George's version from the Federal Writer's Project in the 1930's was that of Parson Hesin Williams. He was
interviewed between September 18 and 24, 1937 in Baltimore, Md. At the time of the interview he was 115 years old and
credited with being the oldest African American who served in the Civil War. His other firsts included the oldest registered
voter in Maryland, the oldest "freedman" in the United States and his father worked for George Washington.

He was born on the Bowie plantation "Fairview" on March 11, 1822. His father had been born at "Mattaponi" near
Nottingham. He served as a bishop of the Union American Methodist Church and attended every President's inauguration
since Abraham Lincoln's.

In the war he served as a teamster at Gettysburg. He served under Generals McClelland, Hooker, Meade, and Grant.

His views of slave life included knowing that slaves could not buy or sell anything except with the permission of their master.
If a slave was caught ten miles from his master's home, and had no signed permit, he was arrested as a runaway and
harshly punished. He also knew that Indians that caught a runaway slave received a match coat.

He stated that the punishment the slaves feared most was the "nine ninety".The master gave the slave usually ten to
ninety-nine or 99 lashes with a rawhide whip and sometimes they were unmercifully flogged until unconscious.

Parson Williams stated that the slaves were usually well treated and respected the overseer. However living conditions were
nothing to speak of: cabins made of slabs running up and down crudely furnished, working time sunrise until sunset, no
money to spend and permission needed to attend religious meetings, attention from a physician if they were seriously ill,
and a rough box with same day burial.

By special permission of plantation owners throughout Maryland he was allowed to conduct religious meetings. He wore a
black "Kentucky" suit with baggy trousers and a cane.

The food of slaves was mostly red herring and molasses. They also had possum, rabbits, and other fish. Parson's favorite
food was cornpone and fried liver.

He conveyed this story of the patrolers:

"Once before the war, I was rigind Lazy, my donkey, a few miles from the bosses place at Fairview, when along came a
dozen or more patrollers. They questioned me and decided I was a runaway slave and they was going to give me a coat of
tar and feathers when the boss rode up and ordered my release. He told them dreaded white patrollers that I was a freeman
and a `parson'."

Slavery clothing he described as only a shirt. Some wore a three-quarter striped pants and perhaps a large funnel-shaped
straw hat.

"In winter oxhide shoes were worn, much too large, and the soles contained several layers of paper. We called them
`program' shoes because the paper used for stuffing, consisted of discarded programs. We gathered herbs from which we
made medicine, snake root and sassafras bark being a great remedy for many ailments."

He also had some experience working in the slave pens where he felt owners thought he was a good judge of healthy
slaves. He recounted a time when he was used a decoy to lure slaves from a boat in Baltimore to the auction block at the
slave market pen. While a good slave from 18 to 35 would bring from $200 to $800, women would bring about half the price.
He remembered the dividing up of families.

William "Mac" Pinckney
William "Mac" Pinckney was probably the last slave alive in Prince George's County. He died in 1981 at the age of 118. He
lived near Croom, Md and was born in 1863. While he couldn't possibly have remembered much about life as a slave, his
stories could have been either stories handed down from his mother or post-war stories. He reported that: "They used to
beat my mother when she wouldn't do what they told her . . . and I better not have gotten  mad when it happened." He stated
that the worst indignity was "putting out food---usually milk and flour---on the floor and making us eat it."
Patrol Release

To the honorable Levy courts of Prince George's
County

Gentlemen,
 We the undersigned consider that Alison F. Bealle
hath discharged the duty of a constable in patroling
and dispersing the tumultious meetings of the
negroes for the last 12 months as witness our hands
June 1831.

Geo Brown        Alex Marbury    
Joseph Elelin        James Leete
John Bosacel        Rapail Edelen
Samuel Coe        Naith Hatton
P.H. Griffin
  1841
1852
Value
5,824,605.96
9,532,096
Rate of Tax per $100
.56
.58
Amount of Levy
$32,617.79
$55,287.15
Justices of Orphans
Court
$240
$306
Register of Wills
$165.25
$251.00
Justices of Levy Court
$268
 
Clerk of Levy Court
$400
 
Clerk of County Court
$900.00
$1054.10
Justices of Mag and
District
$377.30
 
Judges and Clerks of
Elections
$424.00
$300.00
Sheriffs
$774.28
$581.52
States Dept Attorney
$400.00
$450
States Witnesses
$246.99
$279.53
Jurors & Baliffs
$2500.00
$1800.00
Constables
$197.39
$307.46
Alms House
$800.00
$850.00
Out Pensioners
$2150.00
$1775.00
Jailer
$193.00
$409.62
Roads and Bridges
5008.50
$4971.92
Crier to County Court
$125.00
 
Crier to Orphans and
Chancery
$74.00
 
Standard Keeper of
Weights and Measures
$120.00
$80.00
Crows Heads
$304.30
$307.46
Removal of People of
Colour
$512.66
$512.66
Keeper of Court House
$75.00
$75.00
Table IV
Evaluation of Assessed Real and Personal Property
and each general charge of expenditures in Prince
George's County for the year 1841 and 1852
Custom Search
My Great Web page
Prince George's Advertisement

PUBLIC SALE.

 By virtue of 3 writs of fi fi issued by George T. Brown,
Esq. a Justice of the Peace for P.G. county at the suit of
Thos H. Claggett Adm'r of John H. Barnes dec't against
the goods and chattles, lands and tenements of William
Linsey, and to me directed, I have seized and taken in
execution all the right, title, claim, and interest, in and to,
one negro boy named John, age 12 years; Levied on and
taken in execution as the property of said Linsey, and I
hereby give notice that on the 20th day of May, 1841, I
will offer said property for sale to the highest binder for
cash in the village of Piscataway in front of Hardy's
Tavern.
Sale to commence at 12 o'clock, A.M.
 THOS. S. MARTIN, Const.
 April 29, 1841
Table I
Slave Valuation in Prince George's,
1841

Slaves..... 8443
Total Value $1,581,001

Districts  #     Value
1        1000        182,747
2        1138        214,226
3        2854        542,442
4        1562        291,960
5        1485        270,581
6         404         79,045

Average value per slave
$187.00
   Bill for Spirituous Liquors

State of Maryland for the body of Prince
George's County do present John Brook and
Company they being retailers for selling
spirituous liquors to William Butler's man Davy
between sun set and sun rise some time in
the month of November or December last on
the information of Richard H. Hendricks.

State of Maryland Prince George's County to
writ: The jurors of the State of Maryland for
the body of Prince George's County do upon
their oath present that John Brooks late of
Prince George's County and Julius Boleler
late of Prince George's County yeoman on
the 10th day of December in the year of our
Lord 1832 with force and arms at the county
aforesaid. They the said John Brooks and
Julus A. Boleler then and their being licenses
retailers and then and there trading and
merchandizing under the name styler and firm
of John Brooks and Company and then and
there accustomed to sell Distilled Spirits and
other Liquors did then and there suffer a
certain negro slave called and known by the
name of Davy the proper negro. slave of a
certain William Butler wherein they said John
Brooks and Julius Boleler where then and
there access to (illegible) to sell Distilled
Spirits and other liquors between sun set in
the evening of the Day afore said and been
use of the succeeding morning did then and
there, sell to this said negro slave called Davy
certain Spirituous liquors and distilled spirits
that is to say one pint of whiskey to the said
negro slave then and there not having any
written order or license for that purpose from
his master, mistress, or overseer or any other
person in whose employment the said negro
slave Davy there and then legally was with the
consent of the said Negro slave Davy's owner
and the said negro slave Davy then or there
not being employed as a wagoner or traveller.
Table of Contents
Maryland Law
Relations with Other
States
U. S. Fugitive Slave Law
1793
U. S. Fugitive Slave Law
1850
Federal Laws Regarding
Slavery
Slavery in Prince
George's County
Maryland
Maryland Abolition of
Slavery
Free People of Colour
Before the End of Slavery
Dred Scott Decision
Organizations against
Slavery
 
Dr. Bronson Main Page
Assorted Documents of
Prince Georges County
Prince Georges 1861
Map
Author's Introduction