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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 591   View pdf image (33K)
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BIOGRAPHIES McP

more County, 1800-1806. WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED:
on July 15, 1810, at "Pot Spring Farm," Balti-
more County. PERSONAL PROPERTY: included
plate, slaves, bank insurance, and road stock.
LAND: ca. 5,600 acres in Baltimore and Washing-
ton counties, plus at least 17 lots and 20 acres in
or adjoining Baltimore City and ground rents on
additional lots in Baltimore City; also owned real
estate in Delaware.

MCPHERSON, ALEXANDER (1738-1805). BORN:

in August 1738 in Charles County; fourth of six
sons. NATIVE: at least second generation. RE-
SIDED: in Bryan Town Hundred, Charles County.

FAMILY BACKGROUND. FATHER: William Mc-

Pherson (?-1752) of Charles County. MOTHER:
Barbara Acton. BROTHERS: Thomas (1726-?);
Daniel (1729-?); John (1743/44-?); William
(1740-?); and Henry (1734/35-1775). SISTERS:
Etheldra, who married (first name unknown)
Chapman; and Catherine (1747-?). MARRIED on
November 20, 1776, Mary, daughter of John Weems
(1727-1794), stepdaughter of Mary Dorsey (?-
1816). Her sister was Sarah. CHILDREN. SONS:
Alexander; John Weems. DAUGHTERS. Mary;
Ann, who married ca. 1802 John Adams, Jr.;
Sarah; Elizabeth; Eartheldry; Rachel; and Cath-
erine. PRIVATE CAREER. EDUCATION: literate. RE-
LIGIOUS AFFILIATION: probably Anglican. SOCIAL
STATUS AND ACTIVITIES: Mr., 1795; Esq., 1803.
OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: planter; called mer-
chant, 1778. PUBLIC CAREER. LEGISLATIVE SERV-
ICE: Lower House, Charles County, 1777, 1777-
1778 (Claims 2). LOCAL OFFICES: coroner, Charles
County, commissioned 1773; justice, Charles
County, 1787-1805 (quorum, by 1800-1805);
commissioner of the tax, Charles County, ap-
pointed 1793 and 1798. MILITARY SERVICE: cap-
tain, Lower Battalion, Charles County Militia,
by 1777-1781. WEALTH DURING LIFETIME. PER-
SONAL PROPERTY: assessed value £545.5.0, in-
cluding 10 slaves and 3 oz. plate, 1783; 18 slaves,
1790; 51 slaves, 1798. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION:
597 acres in Charles and Prince George's counties
(acquired by patent and purchase). SIGNIFICANT

CHANGES IN LAND BETWEEN FIRST ELECTION AND

DEATH: bought 1,538 acres in Charles and Prince
George's counties, 1778-1803; sold 374 acres in
Charles and Prince George's counties, 1788-1801.

WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED: will probated on August

27, 1805, in Charles County.. PERSONAL PROP-
ERTY. $10,964.26 (including 66 slaves); FB,
$10,492.76. LAND: 1,761 acres in Charles and Prince
George's counties.

MCPHERSON, JOHN (1760-1829). BORN: in 1760
in Pennsylvania. IMMIGRATED: in 1781 from
Pennsylvania. His family was said to have been
among the early English settlers. RESIDED: in
Frederick Town, Frederick County, 1781-1829.
FAMILY BACKGROUND. SISTER: (first name un-
known) Russell. MARRIED on September 11, 1783,
Sarah Smith of Frederick County. CHILDREN. SONS:
Horatio (?-1836), who married Mary; James;
William S., a physician, called the "third son";
Col. John (1796-1874), called the "fourth son,"
who married on December 23, 1823, Fanny,
granddaughter of Gov. Thomas Johnson (1732-
1819), and who was owner of the Catoctin Fur-
naces for a number of years, a manager of the
Branch Bank (now Central National Bank), and
an active promoter of the national turnpike from
Washington, D.C., to Wheeling, West Virginia;
Robert G. (?-by 1827); and Edward. DAUGH-
TER: (name unknown), who married John Brien
(?-1835). PRIVATE CAREER. EDUCATION: literate.
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Anglican; All Saint's
Parish, Frederick County. SOCIAL STATUS AND
ACTIVITIES. Esq., by 1790. OCCUPATIONAL PRO-
FILE, probably planter; owned half of the Antie-
tam Iron Works, which is said to have made him
the largest iron manufacturer and real estate owner
in western Maryland; involved in numerous
Washington County suits and injunctions charg-
ing him with wasting or destroying timber on other
people's property. PUBLIC CAREER. LEGISLATIVE
SERVICE. Lower House, Frederick County, 1788,
1790. LOCAL OFFICES: justice, Frederick County,
1795, 1797, 1798, 1801; Maryland Senate Elector,
1796; appointed commissioner to value lands in
Frederick County, 1801. MILITARY SERVICE: com-
missioned a lieutenant in Pennsylvania, ca. 1781,
but never saw active field duty; was sent to Fred-
erick County as an agent for the supply of pris-
oners quartered there. STANDS ON PUBLIC/PRI-
VATE ISSUES: Federalist, 1796. Manumitted a 22-
year-old male slave in 1791, who worked on
McPherson's farm in Pennsylvania. McPherson
wanted to bring the slave into Maryland, but
Maryland laws would not permit the transport
from Pennsylvania into Maryland. To circumvent
this, McPherson manumitted the slave who then
entered into articles of agreement indenturing
himself to McPherson for seventeen years, after
which he was to have his freedom. WEALTH DUR-
ING LIFETIME. PERSON AL PROPERTY. 6 slaves, 1790;
assessed value $3,040.00, including 17 slaves and
225 oz. plate, 1825. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: no
evidence of land ownership in Maryland. SIGNIF-

591



 

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 591   View pdf image (33K)
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