Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat or Change A Will

My grandparents lived outside of Delmar, close to St George's Church on a small farm of about 26 acres. When my grandfather died in 1936 his will was typical of the wills made in that time period and before. In the will he allowed my grandmother to continue living on the property and on her death or remarriage the land was distributed to their sons, with an allowance made for their one daughter. As I said up until about 75 years ago this was typical of the wills. The wives were not deemed capable of managing property or financial affairs. Just a hundred years before that wives were not even deemed capable of raising their children after the death of their husband and a male guardian was appointed by the courts to oversee the welfare of the children.

Anyway my Grandmother was much disturbed by the will, she felt strongly she had worked just as hard for the farm as her husband had. Her answer to the problem was to not pay the taxes on the farm. The farm went to a tax sale and she bought the farm with the withheld tax money. The farm was now in her name, thusly voiding out the wishes of the will.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Was Your Forefather A Tory?

We would all like to believe that our forefathers were Revolutionary war heroes and patriots but there is a high likelihood they supported the King. After all if you had land and material possessions why would you want to upset the status quo? A recent article in the "Shore Line" Magazine (from the Nabb Research Center) reminded me of this fact. The article is called "Zachariah Campbell: The Patriot Who Saved Salisbury" by David Ranzan.

The part that interested me (since it refers to a location next to Delmar) was the letter written on February 1, 1777 by Zachariah Campbell, in Vienna, Md. at the time, to his brother James Campbell, Captain of the eight gun schooner Enterpise.

The Tories in Sussex, Somerset and Worcester Counties have been assembling for some days. They have 250 men collected at Parker's Mill (situated on present day Leonard's Pond) about nine miles from Salisbury and 'tis reported they have three field pieces, which they received from the Roebuck (44-gun British Frigate) with some men, with intention to seize the Magazine and destroy the property of the Whiggs, Coll. (George) Dashiell is now at Salisbury with what Whiggs he could collect about 130 and is to be reinforced on Monday by eight companies from this county

On February 19th help arrived in the form of General Smallwood and about a thousand men and order was restored. The Tory leaders were arrested, They were Angelo Atkinson, Josephus Beall, Rev. John Bowie, Hamilton Callalo, Dr. andrew Francis Cheney, Jesse Gray, Dr. John Odell Hart, Levi Lankford, Stoughton Maddox, Thomas Malcom, Thomas Moore, Thomas Pollett Jr, William pollett, and Whittington Turpin.

A brief review for those who may have forgotten;
Loyalists/Tories-Loyalists were British North American colonists who remained loyal subjects of the British crown during the American Revolution. They were also called Tories, King's Men, or Royalists.

Patriots/Whigs- supported the Revolution, were called Patriots, Whigs, Rebels, Congress Men

An excellent history of Parker's Mill and Leonard's Mill Pond is located here.