Part III – Grandma was Penniless

This is my third and final post in the series, “Grandma was Penniless…”

1859

Honorable Richard J. Bowie

You know that I would have gotten my deed in two or three weeks when you came to the office begged of me to let let you get me a chancery deed.  You told me it should cost me nothing.  You said if I wished to sell I would find very few that would buy it at a Sheriff sale and I told you I would never sell.  I wanted it for my home.  You then said I will make the Trustees answerable for all the property Francis Simpson put into his hands I then said you may file a bill.  You said I will get your deed the first court.  Court after court passes and I never got a deed.  Had I thought for one moment I had all the property safe under the sheriff sale except a note of five hundred dollars that Forest had to collect the the heirs of George Wolfe.  You told me not to employ another counsel that you would attend to my business properly.  I stated my case to Sandy Magruder from Annapolis he said that I take Bowie to be an honest young man and he is your counsel.  I don’t see any need for you employing another.  For fourteen years you made me believe that Doctor Gustavus Warfield and the Trustee robed me of my land.  I called on you twice a year to know if there was any way by which I could get my property.  You said Warfield and the Trustee has so fixed the business that nothing can be done in the case.  I then asked could I not get some of the money I had paid them on the land.  You said no they have so fixed the business that I could get nothing.  You showed great sorrow for me.  You thought they were the worst of robbers.  I asked if Mrs. Ann Williams could not get her money as Francis Simpson was owing her twelve or thirteen thousand dollars at the time he appointed Trustee.  Knowing that if she got hers she would pay me what she owed me.  You only gave her two hundred dollars and I got two hundred dollars from you looking into my business since the year 1852. I knew that you and you alone where my robber.  I wanted you and Price and Hobbs’ Counsel to tell them that they had no interest or right to my land and to allow me to moderate rent for it.  That you would not do. If you do not pay me interest in the two hundred dollars that you had the use of for twenty three or twenty four years and give me entire satisfaction with regard to my business, I will publish your conduct.  Do not think that your position as it regads to Office has any influence with me for I esteem men according to their merit.  If you would cultivate justice and with an honest heart say I will give Mrs. Gardiner her land that I took from her and allow her moderate rent and pay her the interest in the year 1859 after having had the use of it for 23 or 24 years.  With this conclusion you would feel more happiness that you now feel.  You must feel unhappy when you think how you persuaded me to let you get me a chancery deed.  I am your friend and I wish you to believe in God for he sees and judges our actions,  You will please answer this and let me know what you will do in the business.  I will expect to hear from you soon.  Until then I remain.

Yours Respectfully,

Henrietta Gardiner

New London, Frederick County, Maryland

Grandma was penniless…Part Two

richardjbowie

Last week I posted a blog titled, Grandma was penniless…but the letter is priceless.  It chronicled a letter I discovered at the Maryland Hall of Records written by my my gggg-grandmother – Henrietta Simpson Gardiner in which she wrote to the Governor of Maryland in the year 1863.  In the letter she eluded that Chief Justice Richard J. Bowie richardjbowiedid rob or swindle her, taking her money and land.  She begged the Governor to re-open her case. Today I am sharing with you another letter that Henrietta Gardiner wrote this time to Richard J. Bowie, the alleged robber.  It gives us great insight not only to her character, but the sad turn of events that left her penniless.    

I typed as written with no corrections. 

Honorable Richard J. Bowie

October 22, 1863

My reason for not sending those letters.  I thought that the Governor has no power to give me my jeopardy but necessarily calls upon me to say, Can you, will you, will you hold my property and longer?  Is not the weight too heavy for you to walk under when you think of your kind language you made use of and what you would do for my brother if I would let you file a bill and get me a chancery deed.   Mr. Gardiner  asked Dr. Warfield what he sold my land for.  Dr. Warfield said he did not sell my land.  Richard J. Bowie sold it to Thomas J. Hobbs some few months after you gave him the deed, said you wrote to him and Price if they would make you up $900 against March 1837 you would give them deeds for my land.  You do know that my land was paid for.  You know that Mr. Gardiner did give up his property for fear of his life and liberty.  Henry C. Gaither you know said that property should not remain in the state you put it in but, they would not be too good to burn him and his property up if he interfered in it.  You know that Price never had possession given him.  Mr. Gardiner rented a house took his little son home with him for fear their lives and liberty would be taken.  My son was taken sick.  I went to see him,  Price drove my servant out and put my furniture out for you know the Sheriff said he never would give him possession; for he had no right to it.  You thought I had better give it up, but I never give up though I look for death every hour.  I am not willing to give up my land.

Uriah Forrest came to our house shortly after you got their deeds for them and said to my son in my presence,  Price gave me $200.00 to take your land from you, and if you will employ me, when you are a grown man, I will take it from him, for he had no right to it.  Dr. Warfield said he had no hand in drawing up the petition. You sent it to him and he signed it, believing you were my Counsel and I was satisfied with it. 

 

Oh let me entrust you to believe to believe the word of God, for it says things can be done in secret but shall be proclaimed.  Cant you with an honest heart go to those that may have the power to give me my property, tell them you were my Counsel, did take my property from me and wish them to give it to me.  Oh how beautiful it is to acknowledge the truth.  You will never be more respected than you are; you know Prices’character and if I had sent him to penitentiary when I had it in my power.  It would have not been in your power to give him my land. 

My charges are heavy against you, but truth is mighty and I feel the weight of these truths.  What was done with the $2200 I paid on the land?  What was done with the $900 the Trustee sold my land for? What was done with the $114o you sold my land for?  Lend me the interest on the $200 you paid me in the year 1859.  What right had you to demand my papers from Dr. Warfield if you were not my Counsellor?  Warfield states in his answer that it was put in his hands for debt, that debt must have been satisfied or  Warfield would have brought some claims against the land.  The first Trustee knew my land was paid for when se sold it to Hobbs or he would have not told Hobbs to give Dr. Warfield his note for the balance of the money for my use.  After paying Jamison the note he gave Jamison for his own debt. My brother with the consent of his friends allowed me $30 per acre for the land 3 or 4 years before he appointed a Trustee, put up a large barn, repaired the house and built a brick Spring house improved the land and you gave Price and his son-in-law my 200 acres for $2000.  You deny being my Counsellor – what did you come into the office for and beg me to file a bill?  You know Mrs. Williams had appointed my husband her agent in order to prevent that note. I got judgement on from doing us any evil.  You know that Simpson was owing her at the lowest rate $1200 or $1300.  I have a letter you wrote to Mrs. Williams you ought to answer a note of $550, Forrest had to collect for Simpson.  I hope you will not try to deny one word I have written, for did you I could get twenty to swear it was untrue, it would still remain the truth.

I am you well-wishes,

Henrietta Gardiner

Grandma was penniless…but letter is priceless

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henriettaletter1225px-augustus_williamson_bradford_-_photo_portrait_standing       When I find myself hitting a brickwall in genealogical research what do I do?  Well…google it of course.  So here I am researching Henrietta Gardiner, my gggg Grandmother.  Frustrated…and against a wall…I google her name.  Now mind you I have googled it consecutively for the last few years, when ALAS (something I think she would have said) a result was returned!  The link read:

 “Alleged swindling of Henrietta Gardiner by Chief Justice Bowie.”

So I blinked…once then twice, and eagerly clicked on the link.  It directed me to the Maryland State Archives website.  I couldn’t wait for Saturday to come to head to the Hall of Records in Annapolis, MD.  Upon arrival, I carefully filled out the request slip for the original document to be retrieved from storage. It was housed in GOVERNOR (Miscellaneous Papers) 1863.  I pulled my white protective gloves on and waited what seemed to be a lifetime, reminding myself, not to get too excited.  Finally the storage box was delivered to my desk, I carefully took of the lid and started going through all of the correspondence to the then Governor of Maryland, Augustus Williamson Bradford who was Maryland’s Civil War Governor serving in office from 1862-1866. 

Then I found what I was looking for.  They were indeed letter from my gggg Grandmother written to the Governor as well as her correspondence to Chief Justice Bowie.  What I would learn would saddened me, but also gave me insight to Henrietta  – her strong will and pride.  What saddened me was her plea for money to survive. I have retyped one of the letters below exactly as she wrote it on October 22, 1863

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

New London, Maryland                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

October 22, 1863                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

To his Excellency the Governor of Maryland

I have seen your address to the Senate and house of Delegates and was pleased to see you so interested in the behalf of that good Government that we once enjoyed in peace and flatter myself that you feel equally interested in the behalf of your state and even to an individual of your State.  With an honest heart I tell you that Richard J. Bowie now Chief Justice of your state did rob or swindle me out of the last cent of my fortune that my father gave me. To give you a true statement would be intruding too much writing on you..if you please you can read a letter I have written to Mr. Bowie enclosed in your letter.  I will give you some idea of the treatment Mr. Bowie gave me.  Is it not in your power to have my case opened, to see if the Chief Justice Richard Bowie is guilty of my charges?  He did when acting as my counsel assist Price and Hobbs to rob or swindle me out of seven thousand dollars worth of land at the time they took it from me.  If your Excellency would show him this communication he would be with a smile of contempt say who is this Mrs Gardiner?  He knows who she is and I am pleased to know I have it in my power to say to your Excellency there is no one in America that can boast of better fore-fathers than I can there names are recorded in Annapolis – Worthington and Ridgely.  If money could add anything to standing few could command what they could.  I am happy to say your Excellency that it was not in the power of Bowie nor adversity to rob me of this rich principles that my ancestors left me – Justice – Truth and Mercy.  I know your Excellency can give me a support according to standing, but the Country is already appraised enough.  I would be obliged if your excellency would loan me $25 to $30 dollars until the Assembly meet and I lay my case before them as my need is great.  I am unable to attend to business by reason of age being 75 years old and very feeble.

I am Your Most Obedient Servant,

Henrietta Gardiner

 

 

 

I was blind…but now I see.

gem

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Genealogical gems…we all know them when we find them and proudly display them in our family tree!  For years I have been researching our family.  I know the ancestors and descendants…that is the easy part, but what I cherish are the finds that actually tell you about the person.  Obituaries can be hit or miss, but boy did we hit the jackpot on this one!

From the New Market Journal – January 12, 1863

(Typed as it appeared) Obituary of Francis Simpson

Departed this life on December 25, 1862, in New London, Frederick County, Md., after a lingering illness FRANCIS SIMPSON, age seventy-one, nine months and eighteen days.

Brother Simpson, the son of Basil and Sarah Worthington Simpson, was born in Johnsville, Frederick County, MD.  He had the misfortune at an early age of seventeen years to lose his eye-sight.  His eyes naturally weak from childhood, were greatly injured as was supposed by efforts made when a school boy was made to gaze long at the sun, and though surgical relief was sought, ultimate total blindness was the result.  His father, removing to  Elkridge in the vicinity of Savage Factory, soon there after died, the subject of this brief memoir the possessor of a handsome patrimony.  But alas! with him the loss of sight was the precursor of the loss of worldly wealth, which was to him the greater misfortune, as a young and comparatively helpless family was thus left wholly to his own necessarily inefficient exertions, for support.

Thus the dishonesty of false friends and a severe attack of illness had the effect for several years to impair his mind.  He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church about the 30th year of his age.  His religious life was also, at times, chequered by occasional periods of coldness, despondency and gloom.  It is probable when wholly himself, he never entirely lost his confidence in the personally availing efficacy of the Redeemer’s blood.  Though often from blindness and other reasons, deprived of the privilege of going to the house of God, yet is is doubtless his desire to be a child of God.  He ever delighted in family worship, and signing the praises of God aloud was especially the solace and comfort of the last twelve months of his life.  His last words were, “my trust is in Jesus.”

His funeral was largely attended at Central Chapelcentral-church11, when a discourse was preached by the writer from the words:

“And I will bring the blind by the way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not know; I will make the darkness light before them, and crokoed things straight.  These things will I do unto them and not forsake them.”  (Isaiah, 42d chapter, 16th verse)

May all of his friends and family meet him in heaven. 

How is that for an obit!!  Rest in Peace Francis Simpson.

francissimpson

Well Hello Governor…

leonard-calvert

 

 mdflag You never know what you will find when you start tracing your origin.  Through research I discovered that I am related to Thomas Greene.  

 Thomas Greene was the 2nd Provincial Governor of the colony of Maryland from 1647 to 1648 or 1649. He was appointed by the royally chartered Proprietor of Maryland, Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, to replace Leonard Calvert, who had been the first Governor of the Province. He was succeeded by William Stone.

 Maryland began as a proprietary colony of the Catholic Calvert family, the Lords Baltimore under a royal charter, and its first eight governors were appointed by them. When the Catholic King of England, James II, was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution, the Calverts lost their charter and Maryland became a royal colony. It was governed briefly by local Protestants before the arrival of the first of 12 governors appointed directly by the English crown. The royal charter was restored to the Calverts in 1715 and Governors were again appointed by the Calverts through the American Revolution.

Thomas Greene came to America in the mid 1600′s from England with Leonard Calvert.  He was born at Bobbington, Kent, England in 1610 he first married Ann Cox in 1634 and they built their home,
known as “St Anne’s” on Green’s Freehold. Their home was located near St. Mary’s City. While by Leonard Calvert’s death bed Calvert named Greene as the next Governor upon his demise.  Margaret Brent witnessed this as well as acting as the executrix of Calvert’s will.  Brent is perhaps best know for her request to vote.  She on January 21, 1648, she went before the all-male Assembly and asked for two votes — one for herself as a landowner and one as Lord Baltimore’s attorney. Ironically Governor Greene would be the one to decline her request to vote. The statement made by Margaret Brent when she appeared before the Assembly was not, “Women should vote,” but “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”

margaretbrentplaque

Greene originally came from England on the Ark and the Dove with the first adventurers in the year 1634.  It has also been said that Thomas Green and Ann Cox (his first wife) was the first Christian marrigage on Maryland soil. Greene was one of the most prominent and influential men in public affairs until
his death in 1651.

Maryland’s “first families” are traditionally the descendants of Sir George Calvert (Lord Baltimore) and of those passengers who came on the Ark and the Dove in 1634.

certain facts of this article are from an Article from Wikipedia. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

The Day I Found my Grandmother

Central Church Cemetery

central-cemetery-gate2New Market, Maryland is an area rich with lore and history.  In the late 1700′s it emerged as a popular trade route.  It is estimated that over three million people traveled through New Market from 1820-1850.  Today it has been deemed the Antiques Capital of Maryland. Charming Main Street is lined with homes from the Federal period, many of them are antique stores filled with treasures. As you meander the back alley’s and narrow cobble walk ways you almost transcend in time. 

 

Four years ago, I was fortunate enough to move to New Market.  On moving day – we drove past  the Central Church Cemetery –  about a mile from my home.  Dad reminded me that we had relatives buried there one of which included my G-G-G-G Grandmother.    

 

 After driving by the cemetery on a daily basis for two months, I decided to take advantage of the sunny winter day and go grave hunting. 

 My quest was to find Henrietta Gardiner my G-G-G-G Grandmother.  I had my teenage girls in tow, who were already complaining…mind you were were just entering the cemetery gate.  Caitlin said, “How are we going to find her?”  I turned to her, placed my index finger to my lips asking her to shh. 

 

Always looking for humor I said… “Be quiet, they are sleeping.”

   

I methodically worked my way through the cemetery row by row.  My girls opted a more “free-style” search which was more or less just random running.  Caitlin was the first to spot it and called me over…there she was… my G-G-G-G Grandmother. 

 

 Henrietta Simpson Gardiner born 1790 in Maryland.  The daughter of Basil Simpson and Sarah Worthington.  In 1823 Henrietta married William Gardiner in Rockville, Maryland.  William Gardiner according to family lore stowed away on ship setting sail from Ireland arriving in America @1819.  Henrietta Simpson Gardiner is buried beneath the same monument of her brother Francis Simpson, and her sister, Elizabeth Simpson  Clarke.  As we made our way around the monument our mouths dropped open as we read the words on the front of the monument. 

 it reads:

“Open the Gate gently they are not dead but sleeping.” 

Open the Gate

Total coincidence, divine intervention or a clue from my dear Grandmother.  You be the judge. What it was I don’t know or really care. I was thankful to find the grave and think of her everyday as I drive by my heritage, right here in New Market, MD.