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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 879   View pdf image (33K)
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BIOGRAPHIES WES

only child of Capt. Richard Williams (?-1752),
a mariner and commander in the Guinea trade,
and his wife Christiana Black of Scotland. Han-
nah was the stepdaughter of George Gordon of
Prince George's County. Hannah received half
of her father's estate at his death. CHILDREN. SONS:
William Henry, eldest son, died without progeny;
John Stephen, second son, died without progeny;
Stephen, third son, and a minor in 1769, who
married Ann, daughter of Michael Pue and wife
Mary; Joseph; and Richard William (?-after 1813),
who married Maria (1782-?), daughter of Edward
Lloyd (1744-1796). DAUGHTERS: Christian Han-
nah, eldest daughter, a minor in 1764; Mary, sec-
ond daughter; Harriet (?-after 1813); and Rachel
Sophia (?-after 1813), who married on January
25, 1790, Benjamin Oden. PRIVATE CAREER. ED-
UCATION: literate. RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: An-
glican. SOCIAL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES: Gent., by

1756; Esq., by 1766; Hon., by 1781. OCCUPA-
TIONAL PROFILE: merchant. A partner in "West
& Hobson," which owned stores in Bladensburg,
Annapolis (which sold household and kitchen fur-
niture and goods, jewelry and tools), Queen Anne,
Pig Point, Piscataway, Upper Marlborough, Elk-
ridge, Elkridge Landing, and Georgetown. In 1772
West took over Mr. French's house in Annapolis,
where he sold imports from his ship Friendship.
He exported tobacco on his ship Sibella, and he
owned a ropewalk in London Town on the South
River. At least once, in 1750, West traveled to
the West Indies to select goods personally to bring
home to sell. At his plantation the "Woodyard,"
West manufactured linen, cottons, and woolens,
and developed a machine for spinning cotton in
which one wheel turned twenty-two spindles and
spun as many threads simultaneously. During the
Revolutionary War, West manufactured many
items which he then sold to the government, such
as blankets, socks, rifles, firelocks, fabric for tents,
sails, and rigging. He also repaired gun locks and
bayonets, and in 1781 alone 400 of these were
delivered to him for repair. When the Council
purchased 200 pairs of soldiers' stockings from
West in 1779, they wrote, "We are convinced the
examples of others in demanding exhorbitant prices
for what they sell will have no influence on you,
because they have a tendency to obstruct the ob-
ject you and we have so much at heart the relief
of the poor soldiers." PUBLIC CAREER. LEGISLA-
TIVE SERVICE. Conventions, Prince George's
County, 4th, 1775, 5th, 1775; Lower House, Prince
George's County, 1777-1778 (Claims 1-3, Man-
ufactories 1-3, Elections 3). OTHER STATE OF-

FICES: delegate, Continental Congress, 1780
(elected on March 31, 1780, to fill vacancy, but
did not serve; resigned on April 5, 1780); Council,
1781 (elected on January 25, 1781, to fill a va-
cancy). LOCAL OFFICES: appointed to a committee
by the Assembly to inquire into the practicality
of establishing a manufactory of arms in the prov-
ince, the expense involved, and the best way to
carry it out, July 29, 1775; appointed to collect
all the gold and silver coin that could be procured
in Prince George's County, January 27, 1776; St.
Paul's Parish Vestry, Prince George's County,
elected June 7, 1779. STANDS ON PUBLIC/PRIVATE
ISSUES: a subscriber to St. John's College; a very
active patriot during the Revolutionary War, who
was commended by the Council for the zeal he
manifested in the cause. WEALTH DURING LIFE-
TIME. PERSONAL PROPERTY: assessed Value

£695.0.0, including 16 slaves, Anne Arundel
County, 1783. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: 3,545
acres in Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Balti-
more, and Calvert counties, plus the following
lots: 2 in Upper Marlborough, 1 in Queen Anne
Town, Prince George's County, and 4 in Annap-
olis, Anne Arundel County (564 acres and 5 lots
by purchase, 2,172 acres through marriage, 516
acres inherited from his father, and 378 acres and
2 lots by patent). SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN LAND

BETWEEN FIRST ELECTION AND DEATH: sold 293

acres in Prince George's County between 1777
and 1779 and half a lot in Annapolis in 1780. That
same year he purchased 1 lot in Leonard Town,
St. Mary's County, and a tract of unspecified
acreage, also in St. Mary's County. In 1783 he
paid taxes on 587 acres, plus 1 lot at Elkridge
Landing and 1 at Pig Point where he had stores,
all in Anne Arundel County, and some of which
may have been his father's land. In 1784 he pur-
chased 350 acres in Prince George's County, which
he immediately sold. In 1785 he purchased 339
acres in Prince George's County; in 1787 he leased
out 2 of his lots in Annapolis. He purchased a
warehouse at the public wharf in Annapolis, con-
taining 3,200 square feet, in 1788. Between 1756
and 1776 he held mortgages on 575 acres, plus
several tracts of unspecified acreage, as well as
slaves, other chattel property, and leases. WEALTH
AT DEATH. DIED: between December 31, 1789, and
January 22, 1790. PERSONAL PROPERTY: TEV,
£48,335.4.19 (including 116 slaves and 483 oz.
plate); FB, £8,235.17.1. LAND: probably ca. 4,000
acres and 2 lots in Prince George's County, 5 and
one-half lots in Anne Arundel County, and 1 lot
in St. Mary's County.

879



 

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 879   View pdf image (33K)
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